AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE
POOR AND VULNERABLE
Any society is judged by how the weakestand poorest o its members are treated. Themost vulnerable people are our greatestresponsibility. We welcome and support thebipartisan commitment to the National DisabilityInsurance Scheme. We support and encourageCatholic social services, which serve more thanone million Australians every year. Governmentpriorities should ocus frst on the needs o thepoorest and most vulnerable.
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Families are the basic unit o society. Theremust be legal recognition o the unique natureo marriage between a man and a woman, andproper protection or the rights o children torelate to their natural mother and ather. TheChurch acknowledges the many sad situationsthat mean one or both parents may not bepresent in a child’s lie. Single parent amiliesneed support in their important work, butchildren should not intentionally be deprivedo their parents unless there is concern or children’s saety.Tax arrangements, government payments andworkplace relations laws should have as their primary aim the strengthening o amilies andthe reduction o pressures on fnances andamily time.
As Catholic bishops and as individuals, weshare the eelings o outrage that all decentpeople eel when they read the reports o sexual abuse. These are proound abuses o human dignity, contrary to the Gospel and arecrimes. Over the past 20 years, there have beenmajor developments in the way the Churchresponds to victims, deals with perpetratorsand puts in place preventative measures.We will continue to cooperate with the RoyalCommission into Institutional Responses toChild Sexual Abuse both through the Church’snew Truth, Justice and Healing Council andas individual bishops and dioceses, as theCommission requests. We will continue to workto eradicate the circumstances that enableabuse to occur and to seek to provide pastoralcare and support or victims.