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Social Justice Week 11-17 September 2005

Thursday 8 September, 2005

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Social Justice Week 11-17 September 2005

“We are members of one human family, each created in the image of God….When diverse groups work together for the common good, they enrich society through their respect for one another’s uniqueness and shared human dignity.”
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference, 2005

Social Justice Week is celebrated in the Catholic Church in the second week of September each year. It is an opportunity for Catholics throughout New Zealand to consider Catholic social teaching on a specific issue, and to find ways to celebrate it in our parishes, Catholic schools and communities.

Social Justice Week in 2005 focuses on Celebrating Cultural Diversity. This topic was chosen in 2004 because of concern about increased racial tensions in New Zealand.

Caritas Director, Mike Smith says it invites Catholics to consider and discuss issues such as how new migrants are treated; the place of the Treaty of Waitangi; interfaith dialogue and the persistent inequalities between ethnic groups in our society.

“We want to get people talking about these issues, to open paths of dialogue which we hope will foster greater tolerance, understanding and respect between people who may not otherwise sit down and talk together.”

Caritas is looking forward to seeing these important issues considered and debated in parish communities the week before the election. We believe that the experience of the Catholic Church working in cross cultural situations brings insights and considerable experience of living with cultural diversity as a universal Church.

The Caritas social justice series booklet, In the presence of all peoples, considers some experiences and issues around cultural diversity in the light of Catholic social teaching. We hope that this year’s theme will be an opportunity for parishes and schools to celebrate the cultural diversity of our Church community.


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