According to the Australian Bishops Conference, “Bishop Joe Grech was a tireless advocate for refugees and asylum seekers on behalf of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life (BCPL). He passed away suddenly in December 2010, and this is the third colloquium to be held in his memory.”
Speaking at the colloquium will be Australia’s former Ambassador to the Holy See Tim Fischer; His Excellency Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia; and Bishop Gerard Hanna, Bishops’ Delegate for Migrants and Refugees. Bishop Hanna spoke of the importance of continuing dialogue on this issue in honour of Bishop Joe Grech and emphasized its role in influencing policy.
“The Colloquium will take place just two weeks prior to the Federal Election, and it is our hope that all political parties will take the opportunity to note what the Church says about how we must protect the most vulnerable in our society”, he said.
“I would like to reflect on the dignity of the human person who sets out on a pilgrimage to another land and how this pilgrimage is marked by faith and hope. I am thinking of the thousands upon thousands of people who, for various reasons choose to come to Australia to fulfil their faith and hope. Much more, I am thinking of the most recent arrivals and those who more acutely live the phenomenon of forced migration and look for a place of welcome, peaceful living and dignified opportunities.”