St Joseph the Worker Message Urges Action Against Sexual Harassment

Call for the Church’s workplaces to be “characterised by respect and freedom, by mutual esteem and kindness”

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"Sisters of Mercy Parramatta Congregation will open our hearts to the cries of the poor using our energies, gifts and resources to address violence and discrimination especially for women and children, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, displaced persons, minority groups, the homeless, those suffering hardship because of poverty and those affected by injustice within the Church." (Chapter Statement)

Each year, the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service releases a message for the feast day, which falls on 1 May. This year's message addresses the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, mindful that the Catholic Church employs more than 220,000 people in Australia.

"The Church needs to play its part in addressing the problem of sexual harassment within its own workforce", the message says. "We are one of Australia’s largest employers with workers in schools, hospitals, aged care facilities and many agencies. Sadly, sexual harassment is a reality within Catholic workplaces too.

We in the Church need to not only comply with the law’s new requirements, but we must embrace them with enthusiasm and commitment.

If we are to be faithful to the teaching of Christ, we need to do everything we can to ensure that Catholic workplaces are characterised by respect and freedom, by mutual esteem and kindness, not by coercion, control and domination..."

Read the full text of the message here

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