World Youth Day Dustup

The government of New South Wales, Australia, has passed a special amendment regarding public conduct during the upcoming World Youth Day in Sydney. As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, "Extraordinary new powers will allow police to arrest and fine people for ’causing annoyance’ to World Youth Day participants and permit partial strip searches at hundreds of Sydney sites, beginning today." In response, Frank Brennan, SJ, a prominent Jesuit lawyer and well known in his country for his outspoken advocacy for aboriginal rights, in an article on Eureka Street, the online Australian Jesuit e-zine, notes that such regulations are actually contrary to Catholic Social Teaching. "The NSW Government’s controversial Amendment to the World Youth Day Act is a dreadful interference with civil liberties, and contrary to the spirit of Catholic Social Teaching on human rights," writes Father Brennan. You can read about the dustup here in an article, along with links to the original documents, entitled "Catholic teaching affirms freedom that may annoy pilgrims." James Martin, SJ
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