Social justice Sunday is observed every year on the final Sunday of August. This year’s commemoration falls on August 28. The Catholic Church in Australia has a long tradition of commemorating Social Justice Sunday. The Catholic Bishops have issued an annual Social Justice Statement practically every year since 1940. The social justice remarks are made on behalf of the entire bishops’ conference in time for Social Justice Sunday. These declarations are issued with the hopes of provoking thought and action throughout the year.
History of Social Justice Sunday
Social Justice Sunday observance by the Catholic Church in Australia has a long tradition. Since 1940, catholic bishops have teamed up practically every year to issue major social justice pronouncements. The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (A.C.S.J.C.) was created in 1987 by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (A.C.B.C.), as the Catholic Church’s national justice, peace, and human rights institution. The Bishops Commission for Justice and Development holds the A.C.S.J.C. accountable to the A.C.B.C.
The A.C.S.J.C.’s activities are divided into three categories: diocesan awareness and networking, education and formation, research, advocacy, and public policy. The Social Justice Statement’s media rollout calls on the entire Catholic Church to act with greater urgency and to be guided by Laudato Si’s integrated social and ecological vision. On this day, dedicated individuals, religious institutes, schools, and organizations that have long worked on environmental issues are affirmed, praised, and utilized as a model for the Catholic community to follow.
The Australian Church’s commitment to inspiring engagement and effective responses among the Catholic community is exemplified through the Social Justice Statement. The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council works with and supports a nationwide network of contacts appointed by each diocese, as well as keeping in touch with the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. The Office for Justice, Ecology, and Peace’s responsibilities include implementing initiatives and programs on behalf of the Bishops, assisting the Bishops in their advocacy on social justice issues, raising awareness of issues, and collaborating with others working to promote social, economic, and ecological justice.