Monday, September 26, 2011


Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission and the Archdiocesan Murri Ministry Team joined together to launch a campaign to get Government action to address on-going Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody.

The campaign was launched last Wednesday evening at Musgrave Park, South Brisbane, on the anniversary of the death in custody of a 16 year old Aboriginal youth, John Pat, in 1983.

John Pat was punched and kicked by off-duty police officers when he tried to help another Aboriginal man who was involved in a fight with the police officers outside a hotel in Roeburn, Western Australia.

Pat died as a result of his injuries. Charges were laid against the police involved, but none was convicted.

Media Release Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Campaign 2011

Deaths in Custody launch fact sheet

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When a Picture Speaks a Thousand Words!

Brisbane City Council bus outside the Catholic Cathedral of St Stephen Brisbane  August  28 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Social Justice Sunday 2011 - 25 September

Building Bridges, Not Walls: Prisons and the justice system

It is time for all Australians to revisit the needs of prisoners, their loved ones and those who work with them. It is time to recommit ourselves to reducing the number of Australians held in prison, making better provision for ex-prisoners to become law-abiding and constructive citizens.It is time to knock down the walls of social exclusion that increase the prospects that a person will end up in jail. Before and after jail, we need bridges, not walls.

No crime can take away or diminish the fact that we are all created in the image and likeness of God. In the words of Sir Gerard Brennan, former Chief Justice of Australia: Prisoners, no less than the free, are our brothers and sisters and we have been silent too often when their human dignity has been diminished.

These quotes from the statement of the Australian Catholic Bishops for Social Justice Sunday should provoke discussion and review of the Australian criminal justice system by politicians and voters across our country.

Order form (pdf)
Summary (pdf)

I Was in Prison and You Visited Me

The number of people in prison in Australia (both sentenced and unsentenced) is increasing faster than population growth. At the same time, rates for most categories of offending are decreasing. These trends require us to pause and reflect on what is happening in our society and especially, who is most likely to be found in prison. The great majority of prisoners come from impoverished circumstances, often experiencing multiple disadvantage. However, most attention is given to the few high profile, even very wealthy, individuals who engage equally high profile legal advisers to secure their freedom.

The Social Justice Network has produced this resource to assist individuals and congregations to be aware of the alarming facts about prisons in Australia and to advocate for a more just society.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Don't Upset Hogan's Heroes

Once upon a time in a Catholic News service there was a publisher whose name was Hogan

She had lots of heroes including of course Pope Benedict One bright spring day the  publisher ran a story from AFP about the fact that George and Joseph Ratzinger had never fallen in love with girls. Now both news services allow for public comment on news items. 

Meanwhile out in the blogsphere the Holy Irritant decided to add a comment o the CathNews report of this papal revelation. HI sent off the following comment:

Wow, the Ratzinger boys  never fell in love with a girl because they wanted to  "take another path that excludes marriage"
You mean they are both  good Catholic gay guys??

Now HI is a bit of a veteran at dealing with editorial whims having written his first "Letter to the Editor" to the Herald Sun back in 1967. he knows that CathNews doesn't always publish his somewhat "left field" comments  every time he serves them up on a cyber platter.

However this time  it was different. (At this point dear reader if this was a printed page you would have to turn the page with a sense of dramatic expectation. Perhaps you could just close your eyes for a minute before reading on)

HI received an email from the publisher. There was no message just his comment in the text of the post.  But there in the subject line was the editorial reprimand: Tony - knock it off!

The exclamation mark took HI's breath away and he sat down to think hard about how he had offended one of the Hogan's Heroes. After much pondering and a quick google search HI realised that on her Facebook page Hogan the publisher describes her religious views as  "tolerant thinking Anglo-Catholic"

"Aha", though HI in one of those 'Aha" moments.Is Hogan waiting in the queue for the doors to open for the Australian Anglican ordinariate? This could explain the reprimand for making light of  the papal revelations

So Hogan didn't publish the comment and HI published it in  his blog and they were both left wondering