Friday December 1 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We write this letter to you as we are gathered together in Sydney. There are Bishops from rural Australia, from all the capital cities, from the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory and from every state of Australia.
We are well aware of how difficult life is in rural communities. We know about crops that have failed, about livestock that cannot be fed and must be sold. We know of farmers who cannot get a good price for their produce. We know of families and communities who live from the land and who are under great stress at this time.
We stand in solidarity with all our brothers and sisters who in any way are suffering because of this unrelenting drought.
At times like this we realise that we are not the master of the forces of nature. This can be deeply unsettling. Yet our faith provides us with a reason to hope and trust in God who cares for us and loves us.
We believe that God walked the earth as a human being without ever ceasing to be God. This reveals God’s love and concern for us in the person of Jesus Christ. All our hope is in Him. We know how difficult such hope must be for you now, but we believe that it is more important than ever.
The Bishops stand as one with all who are struggling and we are all keen to offer still more practical assistance to meet the growing needs.
We have prayed for you here and you will be in our prayers from day to day through this difficult time.
We ask all Catholic people to join us in praying for rain and for those suffering the effects of drought.
The Catholic Bishops of Australia.
Media Contact: Debra Vermeer at the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference on 0414 880 475.