.- Australiaâs Catholic bishops, Catholic agencies, and religious orders are supporting a long-awaited apology to the âStolen Generations,â the indigenous people removed from their families under past government policies, CathNews reports.
Writing on February 13 on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC), conference president Bishop Philip Wilson called the National Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples an âhistoric and prophetic moment in the life of the Australian nation.â
Bishop Wilson said, âAustralia is a stronger nation today for having had the humility to say we are sorry that past policies were unjust and wrong, even when they were carried out with good intentions according to the prevailing attitudes of the era.â
The bishop recalled the ACBCâs own 1998 statement asking victimsâ forgiveness for the Churchâs participation in the government policies and promising support for indigenous peoples.
Referring to the National Statement, the bishop said, âHaving arrived at this point of healing, we must not fall into the trap of thinking that reconciliation is complete and our obligations as a nation are fulfilled.â
Bishop Wilson called for an increase in efforts to improve the âpractical circumstances of our Indigenous brothers and sisters,â in âfull consultation and collaboration with Indigenous communities.â He pledged the Churchâs continued assistance to helping Indigenous peoples so that all Australians can live âin peace and unity, with dignity and mutual respect.â