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Media Releases 2018

National Apology 150The leaders of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) have welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s apology to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and recommitted to working with the community to eliminate the scourge of child sexual abuse.

“The National Apology today and the apologies made by institutions during the life of the Royal Commission and since have been an important validation of the courage of survivors of abuse in seeking truth, justice and healing. We think first of them at this time,” said CRA president Sr Monica Cavanagh RSJ.

CRA supports campaign for more humane asylum policies 150Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) supports the coalition of groups meeting on October 14 to ramp up the campaign for more humane asylum policies in the New South Wales electorate of Wentworth ahead of the by-election.

CRA represents approximately 7,000 religious women and men deeply concerned at the plight of refugees and asylum seekers on off-shore islands and those in Australia at risk of losing their only financial support.

Child Protection 150On 12 September 2018, a large gathering of representatives from 20 faith-based organisations and major survivor advocate groups met together in the NSW Parliament House. Their aim was to establish a joint standing committee for the purpose of working together to tackle child abuse within religious settings. The original vision behind the establishment of the committee came from the NSW Ombudsman’s Office and the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian who invited the parties to meet together on this historic occasion. 

‘It is momentous for survivor advocate groups and faith based-organisations to join together to work to keep children safer in faith-based organisations and to respond more effectively and compassionately to survivors’, said Anne Walker, National Executive Director of Catholic Religious Australia.

Pacific Islands Forum 150Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) represents over 150 congregations across Australia comprising approximately 7000 religious women and men of whom a number work in the Pacific or support a range of activities and projects across the Pacific Islands.

Our Members are seriously concerned that the Prime Minister will not attend this week’s Pacific Islands Forum. As the largest and wealthiest member of this Forum it is of the utmost importance that Australia is a committed and engaged Pacific partner. The recent visit of the Prime Minister to Indonesia and his proposed absence from the Forum could be seen as an indication that the Pacific is not a priority for Australia.

Friday, 31 August 2018 10:39

CRA and ACBC Response to Royal Commission

Royal Commission Final Report 150Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference today released their response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Insitutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Read the full report here.

Royal Commission Final Report 150Catholic leaders have today responded to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and have vowed that the Church’s shameful history will never be repeated.

Josephite Sister Monica Cavanagh, the president of Catholic Religious Australia, and Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge have today released a joint response, expressing their deep sorrow that vulnerable children were abused, weren’t believed and weren’t supported when seeking justice.

CRA President Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj 150Catholic Religious Australia strongly supports Pope Francis’ Letter to the People of God written about the sexual abuse in the Church and shares in his determination to keep all safe in our Church, especially the young and the vulnerable.

“It is shameful that in the past, the response was one of omission and that people have been so deeply damaged that the wounds of the past may never disappear,” said Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, President of Catholic Religious Australia, but Catholic Religious Australia and its religious leaders recognise that now is the time for action.

0918Multicultural Australia 150Catholic Religious Australia is concerned about increasing incidences of racism in our nation. On August 14 this phenomenon was brought to a new level by means of an important Parliamentary process - a senator's maiden speech.

“Hard-won national values, such as esteem for fairness and tolerance, received a blow through that speech", said Sr Monica Cavanagh, president of CRA. "The Australian project of working towards being the most successful multicultural society on earth has received a set-back. More fundamental still, the Christian principles upon which Australian law and customs are built have been completely ignored", she continued. "Oddly enough, such an attack on Christian principles was made alongside an expressed desire for the Australian population to reflect Christianity."

Radoactive nuclear waste 150Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) comprises representatives of religious congregations of women and men throughout the nation. As a group historically involved with the education of generations of young Australians, CRA is concerned that short term proposals for the storage of Australia’s nuclear waste will leave insoluble problems for present and future generations.

Three sites, all in South Australia, have been shortlisted by the Federal Government for a nuclear waste facility that will permanently hold low-level nuclear waste and temporarily hold intermediate level waste, toxic for up to 10,000 years. Two are close to the international grain farming area near Kimba and one near Hawker in the iconic Flinders Ranges. All three sites are strongly contested.

Refugee Week logo 150As the leaders of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) gather at their National Assembly, they stand in strong solidarity with the many asylum seekers and refugees for whom this year’s World Refugee Week theme of ‘the need to belong’ is clearly under threat in the face of the most recent Government legislation.

Last year the government announced an end to Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) for several thousand asylum seekers on bridging visas, to come into effect in 2018. This action removes financial support and accommodation for some of the most vulnerable people in Australia – people who are already experiencing immense suffering.

New CRA leadership Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj 150The 42nd National Assembly of Catholic Religious Australia explored the theme of “Religious in Australia: Evolving with Hope” continuing the tradition of courageous and prophetic leadership which the women and men of religious congregations are known for.

A significant part of the gathering is the election of the new President and Council. Resounding applause assented to the election of Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph into the role of President.