Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bishop Vincent statement on refugee death

Statement from MostRev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

It is with sadness that we have heard of yet another death of a refugee on Manus Island. This death could have been prevented. The Australian Government has been removing support services on Manus Island since the announcement of the closure of the detention centre.
Those in the care of the Australian Government whilst in offshore processing, who have come to Australia for safety and a better life, deserve more.
I urge the Australian Government to provide support services for those who are on Manus Island, awaiting a resolution to their current situation. The Australian Government needs to listen to the concerns of these people and treat them with dignity.
People seeking asylum are currently some of the most vulnerable members of our global community. It is imperative that they are treated humanely and with dignity. These people must be provided with options for settlement in safe countries free from further persecution.
I urge the Australian Government, to be committed to its international obligations, and continue its work within the region and with non-government organisations to ensure the safety of those seeking asylum.
Whilst it is important to prevent the loss of life at sea, it is equally important to provide adequate care for those in offshore detention. The Australian Government needs to provide adequate amenities, and provide quick resettlement options.
I urge the Australian Government, to provide adequate amenities to those on Manus Island, and to endorse programs that both protect lives at sea and in its care.

Most Rev Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees
Bishop of Parramatta

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2017

The World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017 is about working together for the common good!

#WBW2017 will call on advocates and activists, decision-makers and celebrants to forge new and purposeful partnerships. Together, let’s attract political support, media attention, participation of young people and widen our pool of celebrants and supporters. 

Only then can we campaign for a generation and commit to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals  by 2030.


As a Catholic I have been surrounded by religious imagery. At its best it inspires and challenges. At its worse it  is tacky and cheap.  Yet apart from galleries and some European Churches you will search in vain for an image of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding.

Perhaps this is the week to invite our local parishes and religious centres to include this image in our public spaces as an acknowledgement of the Incarnation and the role of Mary as Mother of the Lord. 

Are your Churches and places of worship welcoming spaces for women to breastfeed as they pray?  It seems that the Pope is quite open to this practice:

“You mothers, go ahead and breastfeed, without fear. Just like the Virgin Mary nursed Jesus,” he told worshippers attending an annual ceremony commemorating the baptism of Jesus.