Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), 25 July 2019
The Honourable Mr Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia.
Dear Prime Minister,
I write to you as the newly elected President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) and the Provincial of the Marist Brothers Province of Australia.
I confirm CRA’s support of the comments and suggestions made by Father Malcolm P. Fyfe msc, Vicar General, Catholic Diocese of Darwin in his letter to you dated 19 July 2019, on the sixth anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s announcement that no person seeking asylum by boat would be resettled in Australia.
CRA represents leaders in the Australian Church, who are active in effecting change within the Church and society in a diverse range of areas, some of which are justice, professional standards, education, stewardship and governance. Leaders of almost 150 Catholic congregations of sisters, brothers and priests living and working in all States and Territories of Australia are members of CRA. Our religious congregations comprise more than 5,000 Catholic religious women and men. We have many more colleagues working in our Catholic organisations.
It is a travesty that a country with the opportunities such as Australia fails to respond to the concerns raised by United Nations personnel, the Human Rights Commission, Church Leaders, medical and legal experts, children’s welfare organisations and other highly principled members of the public.
There is a clear loss of support for the current model, as indicated by PNG Prime Minister James Marape who wants a timetable to end asylum seeker processing and have all those involved removed from Manus Island.
It is now time to respond as active Christians and give respite to those many who suffer. I urge you to take action to right the wrongs that have been and continue to be perpetrated against asylum seekers.
Peter Carroll fms
President, Catholic Religious Australia.