AUSTRALIA, June 18, 2007 ( Amid continuing discussion concerning relations between Church and State, John Meahan, National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, has issued the following statement -  “The Society is a lay Catholic organisation that lives the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice and joy. The Society comes in for some criticism for our advocacy and we respect people’s views without necessarily agreeing with them and, in fact, we publish critical letters where possible in our national magazine, The Record. Nonetheless, we are committed to being apolitical in addressing systems that deprive the downtrodden – we are outside the system.  Being outside the system, advocates can tell the truth fearlessly and can focus single-mindedly on the welfare of those often forgotten and neglected….”
John Meahan’s statement (pdf format)  relates in particular to the annual Ozanam Lecture titled “Love and Politics – The Revolutionary Frederic Ozanam” delivered in Melbourne on March 15,  2007  by Dr John Honner. The text of the Lecture is now available at: Ozanam Lecture March 2007.

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