SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – On the occasion of National Reconciliation Week in Australia, Archbishop Makarios of Australia published a message. The full text follows:
“As we are in National Reconciliation Week, I feel the need to join my voice with the voices of all those who struggled throughout the decades to achieve reconciliation in this Australian nation.
I feel the need to direct my steps towards the path taken by those who crossed Sydney’s Harbour Bridge 20 years ago, as well as all those who – in the past but also in the years to come – ‘built’ small or large bridges of solidarity, mutual respect, trust and reconciliation between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
I strongly believe that the faithful of our holy Archdiocese present a good testimony and walk this blessed path with dedication. Besides, respect and unconditional love for one’s neighbour are basic tenets of our Christian teaching.
For the future, it is the duty and responsibility of all of us to preserve what Australian society has achieved to date and to contribute, with perseverance and without complacency, in the utter attainment of the concept of reconciliation. To attain this presupposes that we look at history with respect and honesty in order to recognise and acknowledge the mistakes of the past and to turn with loving eyes towards our neighbour and to strive daily for new inroads that will allow us to come even closer together. Steps that will allow us to say with one voice…’In this together!’”