Politicians’ decisions don’t favour families

ACBC_election_statement_2016 (1)-1Economic decisions taken by politicians in recent years have been less and less favourable to families, Australia’s Catholic bishops said in a pre-election federal election statement.

They have called for the voices of the “thrown-away people” to be heard in the federal election campaign.

“During the long election campaign there will be much talk about the economy and the need for good economic management at a time of some uncertainty,” they said.

“Both sides of politics will state their economic credentials in a bid to win power.

“The economy, of course, is important and there does need to be sound management.https://cgcatholic.org.au/wp-admin/media-upload.php?post_id=9106&type=image&TB_iframe=1

“But, as Pope Francis has pointed out, there is also a danger that the economy can become a kind of false god to which even human beings have to be sacrificed.

“This leads to what the Pope has called the throwaway culture – a culture of over-consumption where all kinds of things are thrown away, wasted, even human beings.

“That is why we bishops want to speak a word as part of this campaign – not in order to push an ideological line or simply to defend the Church’s interests, but to give a voice to the voiceless and make their faces seen”.

The bishops warned not only individuals were thrown away. The same could happen to the environment, both social and natural.

“At the heart of a healthy social environment there is marriage and the family,” they said.

“The fact is that economic decisions have been less and less favourable to families in recent years; and it may be that political decisions in the future will undermine further the dignity and uniqueness of marriage as a lifelong union of man and woman.

“Support for marriage and the family does not look like a big vote-winner, so that even the most basic human institution, upon which the health of a society depends, can become part of the throwaway culture or at best an optional extra.

“Pope Francis has said that the earth, too, cries out for justice at this time. The natural environment – the land we live on, the air we breathe, the water we drink – even this can become voiceless, so that the earth’s cry for justice can go unheard.

“Now is the time to act, so that the natural environment is able to meet human needs rather than be sacrificed to the god of the economy.”

Among the people the bishops said are discarded in a throwaway culture are:

Refugees and asylum seekers who are often seen as a problem to be solved rather than as human beings.

Indigenous peoples whose cry for recognition has barely been heard.

The survivors of sexual abuse who have emerged from the shadows.

Those who suffer family violence who are often unseen and unheard.

Those in the womb who are among the most defenceless, at risk of being deprived of the right to live.

The elderly who are seen at times as an economic burden.

Those suffering mental illness who end up in the too-hard basket.

Those suffering addiction who can see no way out of the destructive grasp of alcohol or other drugs, gambling or pornography.

Those entrapped in sexual or workplace enslavement.

The desperately poor beyond our shores who look to wealthy Australia for the help they need but find our nation less and less generous.

For the bishops’ full statement, go to www.catholic.org.au/election