“The way in which our society treats the aboriginals of Australia and refugees, that is, the first and last, challenges us to a greater commitment to the common good. This year’s theme of National Reconciliation Week, ‘Walk Together with Courage’, reminded us of the fundamental importance of truth in our spiritual lives and in the life of our society”. This was stated in a note sent to Fides News Agency by Sandie Cornish, at the head of the research area of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJ, the Commission for Justice and Peace of Catholic bishops) and a lecturer at the Australian Catholic University, illustrating the initiatives of the ACSJ in June 2019, focusing on the care and attention regarding aboriginals and refugees.
The lecturer explains: “The recognition of our personal and social sin and of the damage we have done, precedes and opens the way to repentance, to efforts to make things right, to conversion and to commitment to change. The fact that our original peoples continue to be negative protagonists of so many socio-economic and health indicators has its roots in the historical injustices that must be recognized and addressed in order to bring lasting changes”.
“The events of this month of June – the note continues – push us to reflect on the first and last of our society: on June 3rd the National Reconciliation Week ended, while on June 16th the week dedicated to refugees will begin”, notes the researcher, who recalls the words of Pope Francis in his Message for the 2019 World Day of Migrants and Refugees: “Jesus Christ asks us not to yield to the logic of the world, which justifies injustice to others for my own gain or that of my group. Me first, and then the others! Instead, the true motto of the Christian is: The last shall be the first!”.
“Indigenous peoples and refugees remind us that all must be included in the common good, which after all is “the good of all of us” (Caritas in Veritate, n. 7). The extent to which this is true is the measure of our society’s justice”, concludes Cornish.