OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - The Archdiocese of Melbourne welcomes asylum seekers into church properties

Monday, 6 December 2010

Melbourne (Agenzia Fides) - According to a report from the Archdiocese of Melbourne sent to Fides, asylum seekers will be moved into presbyteries and other church-owned properties in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne before Christmas. The Catholic Archdiocese and the Hotham Mission Asylum-Seeker Project, who planned this project, are in talks to have the families moved, but residents have raised fears about the program, which has been shrouded in secrecy. Two presbyteries on offer are in Melbourne's leafy eastern suburbs of Deepdene and Balwyn. Parishioners were informed of the initiative during Mass, while other locals who do not attend church remain unaware. Some residents are concerned about the ability of families to integrate the refugees into the community and about the security checks conducted. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 06/12/2010)