Mercies and Josephites pledge support for Indigenous
Religious leaders representing three thousand Catholic nuns have pledged their support for Indigenous people on the twentieth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s address to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in
Sister Katrina Brill, a Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, speaking in conjunction with Sister Caroline Ryan, Vice-President of the
Speaking on behalf of both religious orders, Sister Katrina Brill said, “In his address twenty years ago today, Pope John Paul lamented that a just and proper settlement of Aboriginal rights had not been achieved. He spoke of the right to culture, to a livelihood, to education and to spirituality.
“In particular he recognised the connection between Aboriginal people and their land. He emphasised a right to land, a right that the first peoples of this country have never surrendered.
“With regard to issues facing the Australian community today, the Pope’s call for “˜fair and equitable recognition of Aboriginal right to land’ is particularly pertinent to aspects of the current implementation of the NT Land Rights legislation. The invitation to sign 99-year leases on land that the Aboriginal people already own, poses a threat to basic rights.
“We appreciate that this is a complex issue requiring specialised knowledge, but there continues to be worrying reports from places like Wadeye, Galiwinku and
“Where there is unequal power, there is extreme danger of coercion,” Sister Katrina said.
“In working towards a truly reconciled
“After all, where one person is diminished, all are diminished,” Sister Katrina said.
Sister Caroline Ryan RSM
Sister Katrina Brill RSJ
Released: November 29, 2006
Messages to: Sister Caroline Ryan RSM (Institute Vice-President)
DOWNLOAD A PRAYER commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s address to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People –