I forwarding this on behalf of the Australian Catholic Migrantion and Refugee Office for your information and possible interest. Please feel free to forward this to people who may be interested.
Claude Mostowik msc
Dear Episcopal Vicars and Directors,
The Australian government is looking to determine what support may be available from the Australian community for the possibility of having community groups and congregations directly support the resettlement of refugees.
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office has been engaging with government authorities to reach a more sustainable approach to alleviate the plight of asylum seekers and refugees in full accordance with Catholic Social Teaching. On the outset, this may be a wonderful opportunity for Catholic communities to be “a comfort for the afflicted, a refuge for the persecuted, a homeland for the exiled” (Pope Pius XII Apostolic Constitution, Exsul Familia Nazarethana, 1952)
The attached document explains further what the government is proposing.
Essentially, the government would like to know whether community groups;
1. Would like to be directly involved in the resettlement of refugees?
2. Who would they like to sponsor?
3. Could financially support refugees to come to Australia?
4. Could provide support with pastoral care, accommodation, household items, furniture, food, utilities, clothing etc?
5. Could help refugees rebuild their lives and gain employment?
The ACMRO will begin preparing a submission which must be finalised by Friday, 27 July 2012.
To help us prepare our submission we are seeking your views, opinions and interest in the community sponsorship program. You can greatly assist us either by addressing the five questions proposed above, or by directly referring to the attached discussion paper and providing advice in regards to any or all of those 18 questions.
It is important to note that this program is in the proposition stage, and therefore will raise a lot of questions, I would encourage you to express any concerns and put forward any suggestions.
Your assistance is greatly appreciated and will help us to make an informed submission which more accurately reflects the views of the Catholic community and potential for a refugee sponsorship program.
I kindly ask that you provide any advice before Monday, 23 July 2012 to allow us time to collate the information and prepare a succinct submission.
On behalf of Fr Maurizio Pettenà,
National Director ACMRO
Research and Information Officer
AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC MIGRANT & REFUGEE OFFICE
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
GPO Box 2720 Canberra ACT 2601
T: (02) 6201 9895
F: (02) 6247 7466