Bishop Terence Brady issued a message for the International Day of People with Disability 2015 on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. He is the Conference’s Delegate for Disability Issues and a member of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life.
Bishop Brady noted that “according to the 2011 National Church Life survey figures there are 267,711 Catholics with disability in Australia” and acknowledged that “people with disability face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society, including our parish communities.”
Bishop Brady said that “people with disabilities do not enjoy access to our faith communities on an equal basis with others. It is important that people with hidden disability are included in all aspects of our faith communities. The International Day can be used to draw attention on the situation of persons with invisible disabilities, such as mental health and psychosocial disabilities, intellectual disabilities, as well as hearing impairments.”
Bishop Brady declared that “a Parish is not complete or whole unless it includes, nurtures, and rejoices in each of its members” and called on parishes “to be communities that gladly and authentically welcome people with disability and their families to life of the Church.”
Full Text & Video
The full text of Bishop Brady’s message can be read here.
Watch the video
Reflections, prayer cards, guidelines and more from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference are available here.