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Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office

ACMRO News August 2021

International Catholic Migrant Commission

Invitation to support the Afghan community

We are amplifying the need for family reunion for 5,100 Afghan refugees who are not allowed to bring their families to Australia under humanitarian pathway.

They have worked, studied, and contributed significantly to Australian society in considerable ways, including volunteering on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response. Due to the current situation in Afghanistan, it is certain that they will not be able to return safely to their homeland in the near future.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Archbishop Coleridge urged him to increase the Afghan intake as there has been an outpouring of concern for the people of Afghanistan, due to the country’s government collapse.

The Catholic Bishops of Victoria have expressed their solidarity and support for the Afghan community and their families back home in a joint statement.

Jesuit Refugee Service supports calls from Archbishop Coleridge to provide at least 20,000 humanitarian places for people fleeing Afghanistan.

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv emphasised that faith-based and community groups are ready to help people to relocate to Australia.

Refugee Council of Australia calls for the Australian Government to take seven steps to support people in Afghanistan and Afghan nationals currently in Australia.

The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) has joined the national U.S. resettlement agencies and other non-governmental organisations as a signatory to the letter calling on the U.S. government to take immediate and decisive action to urgently evacuate and support Afghans in need of protection.

The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) has written to Ministers, calling for swift and compassionate action for Afghans. 

Catholic Social Services Victoria voiced their concerns for the ongoing pain and suffering of Afghans who came to Australia under a temporary protection visa as they are unable to bring their family to Australia through the humanitarian program.

In the meantime, there are advocacy and support programs being convened for Afghans on a temporary protection visa. These include:

  • Cabrini Outreach calling Afghans on their books who are seeking mental health support.

  • Wellsprings for Women have organised a meeting with their Afghan mothers group and are partnering with some specialist services to provide support.

  • Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project is calling current and former people they have assisted – offering pastoral support and solidarity. 

  • Jesuit Social Services convened a CAPSA meeting and has released statements and written to the Minister for Immigration, and the Minister for Home Affairs

  • Vinnies are in touch with some of the Afghans they assist (in Shepparton etc.) and engaging in advocacy at the state and federal levels. 

We invite you to offer your support to the Afghan community during this difficult time.

International Catholic Migrant Commission

Social Justice Statement 2021-22:
Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor

On 5 August, the Australian Catholic Bishops released Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, the Social Justice Statement 2021-22 in the lead up to Social Justice Sunday on 29 August. The statement provides theological foundations to ground and inspire efforts to care for creation while responding to the needs of the disadvantaged and excluded. The statement also reflects on creation in and through the Trinity.

The Bishops invite the whole Catholic community to join them in taking up Pope Francis’ invitation to a seven-year journey towards total ecological sustainability, guided by seven Laudato Si’ Goals in the Statement.

The Statement will be a useful resource throughout our seven-year journey to total sustainability.

To download the Social Justice Statement 2021-22, Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, please click here.

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