This piece from today’s Catholic Leader paints a dismal picture of conditions in one of our detention centres (at Scherger, FNQ).
An extract –
"I had visited another detention centre in Adelaide during the Vietnam War, but I was not prepared for the (6m) double row of wire surrounding the camp, the desolation and isolation of the centre in the Weipa red-dirt bush, the lack of beauty, water, flowers, scenery, civilisation, comfort, home of any kind," Fr Bissett said of his recent visit.Fr Bissett, who is administrator of the Sacred Heart Mission Parish in the Torres Strait, visits Weipa about once a month and had been asked to celebrate Mass and provide Reconciliation at Scherger for Catholic Sri Lankan detainees.
He said to see the young men crowding into the tent for Mass and hearing their stories of desperation as they waited for processing left him feeling sick and deeply pained.
"This is what my country, the best in the world I am told, does to people seeking what we all take for granted, a home, peace, security, food, family, water, a garden, a car, and being able to walk freely around," Fr Bissett said.
"I am not intending to write a political comment, but to register my pain at what our refugee solution, Pacific or otherwise, means in practice."
But wait a bit – aren’t the boat people banged up in these places all Muslims?
Apparently not – many of them are Christians, and many of those Christians are Catholics. To many of the Islamophobic Bogans out there, this should make a difference.
It doesn’t of course.
The situation also doesn’t seem to worry either Gillard or Abbott.
Perhaps Gillard has an excuse – she’s an Atheist.
Abbott, on the other hand calls himself a Catholic.