Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
This Sunday the Australian Bishops release this year’s Social Justice Statement.
As more and more Australians live longer, we should celebrate the great "success story" of our ageing population and, as a fair and compassionate nation, foster solidarity among all generations, says the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
"Australia must protect older people who are most vulnerable to hardship and who are at risk of feeling they are a burden on society," said Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay at the launch of the Australian Catholic Bishops 2016-2017 Social Justice Statement, entitled A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society.
The statement highlights the significant contribution that older people continue to make to the life of the community. The number of Australians aged 65 and over will more than double from 3.6 million today to 8.9 million by the middle of the century.
Around 75 percent of men and 85 per cent of women are reaching retirement in good health and with around 20 years of life ahead of them.
There is a risk, however, that a society ill-prepared for demographic change may assess these trends as an economic threat. Already, we hear divisive terms such as "intergenerational theft" or invidious comparisons between "productive workers" and "burdensome retirees".
"Our community must ensure that both the costs and the great benefits of an ageing population are shared equitably. Where policies encourage longer working lives, we must ensure that vulnerable groups share the benefits of employment and are protected from poverty in their later years," the statement adds.
The Bishops challenge a "throw-away" culture that casts older people as being burdensome or even dispensable. They strongly affirm the sanctity of life and call for a culture of compassionate care that values and protects people in their final years.
Copies of the Statement are available from the back of the Churches and can also be downloaded on the websites of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (www.catholic.org.au) and the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au).
Finally a reminder not to miss Fr Richard Leonard this Tuesday evening in the Epping Parish hall commencing at 7.30pm. His topic: “Where the hell is God?”……you will need to come along and find out!
This week's parish bulletin
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