WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Picnicking for justice


March 2014

Teresa Homan

The Wellington Justice Peace and Development Commission is inviting everyone to come to a picnic in the grounds of parliament in front of the Beehive on Wednesday 19 March 5.30 – 7.30pm. The event is timed to coincide with politicians’ tea break so they have a special invitation from Archbishop John Dew.

We live in a country with a shameful record of poverty and poverty-related illnesses where 250,000 children live below the poverty line. This means many of our brothers and sisters experience hunger, poor health, reduced life expectancy, debt and unaffordable or bad housing.

Catholic social teaching says that everyone has a fundamental right to these things. The goods of the earth are gifts from God and intended to benefit everyone. New Zealand has the resources to provide all the basic needs of life for all its people but some are missing out.

Our picnic will show that, when we share what we have more evenly, everyone can have what they need to participate in society with dignity.

At the picnic Members of Parliament will be challenged to make decisions for New Zealand that will lead to a better sharing of resources and to increase the ability for those on the lowest incomes to have more adequate access to the basic necessities of life and an ability to participate in society free from discrimination due to financial burden.

Archbishop John, Mgr Gerard Burns and Teresa Homan will address the gathering. Come along and enjoy the music and a drama.

Last year Pope Francis said, ‘A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness and respect for every human being’.