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An 'unprecedented opportunity to break the cycle of poverty'

Fr Frank Brennan’s 2017 Rerum Novarum lecture, ‘The Legacy of Justice Higgins: Seeking a True New Start for all Job Seekers and workers’, challenged us all to ‘focus more on how our unprecedented wealth gives us a one off and unprecedented opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, through education and lifelong support’.  This requires ‘economic policies which are based on, and which build on, the aspirations of the marginalised and excluded who yearn for the opportunity to access the market, sharing the fruits of Australia’s prosperity.’ and it must ensure ‘a robust safety net and an assured leg up for those missing out through no fault of their own’.

Early last century Justice Higgins referred to ‘the pole star of justice’ as his guide in establishing a just wage system. 

Pope Francis has also ‘articulated the concerns of many about the social and environmental impacts of the dominant economic system.  He has called for a change in the attitudes and practices of all of us, but placed particular responsibility on those with the power to change the economic environment through laws that are capable of protecting the common good.'

Click here for full text, which was given on Wednesday 8 November.

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