Bishop Vincent Long responded on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops to a High Court finding on 3 February 2016 that the offshore processing of the refugee status claims of asylum seekers is not contrary to Australian law. He called for compassion and mercy for families currently in Australia who are threatened with return to offshore processing centres, asking the Australian Government to focus on protecting these vulnerable people from harm and respecting their dignity.
Bishop Long is the Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and the Bishops Conference’s spokesperson on refugees. He said:
“I urge the Australian Government to ensure that no child is subject to an unsafe and harmful environment and that no-one is returned to where they may face physical, psychological and sexual violence and harm.”
“The Catholic Church opposes mandatory detention and offshore detention because these policy responses do not respect the dignity of people seeking our help.”
Read the full statement here.