Australian Anglican Dean offers "sanctuary refuge" to asylum seekers after legal challenge was thrown out by the High Court


NOTE: The High Court is the highest court of the land. This is the first time the new laws introduced a couple of years ago have been heard before the High Court.

GUARDIAN: Churches and cathedrals in Australia are offering sanctuary to asylum seekers who have suffered trauma and abuse to prevent their return to Nauru.

On Wednesday the high court ruled Australia’s offshore detention regime on Nauru had been lawfully established.

The decision means that up to 267 asylum seekers on the mainland could be sent back to the island nation, where a large number of serious sexual assaults have been reported included a reported case involving a 5yo. A Senate inquiry also raised serious concerns about conditions on Nauru, where infant children are being held.

10 Anglican and Uniting churches around the country have offered sanctuary to the asylum seekers who are at risk of being returned.

The right to sanctuary, while not now recognised under common law in Australia or other jurisdictions, is a biblical concept that had legal basis during the middle ages.



The large majority of Australians support the retention of all refugees attempting to come to Australia illegally by boat, on refugee camps on Nauru and Manus and Christmas Islands indefinitely. This includes everyone, men, women and children. Both major parties and now the full bench of the High Court agrees with the validity of the law under our Constitution.

This policy has saved many lives of those prevented from crossing dangerous waters as experienced in the Greek waters of the Mediterranean. It has also saved Australia from the tragedy unfolding in Europe. It has also dried up the people smuggling trade in Indonesia that was feeding off human impatience of many economic migrants from India and Africa waiting for years in UN camps in Indonesia.

It has also allowed Australia to accept many tens of thousands of legitimate refugees from oppressed minorities such as Christians directly from Syria and UN camps around the war zone. This allows intelligent planning and logistics so as to accommodate a manageable number with good provision for accommodation, education, welfare support and employment opportunities.

The refugees on our overseas camps have only to agree to return to their country of origin, many of them criminals from New Zealand wanting to enter Australia illegally as we don’t allow people with criminal convictions of more than one year into Australia. Many of these held are nationals of other countries who have committed violent crime in Australia and are being deported after their convictions, but who refuse to return to their country of origin.

Yet these Church Leaders of the Anglican Church are breaking this law accepted by the overwhelming majority of Australians,its legislature and its Courts, by offering illegal “sanctuary”!

The Anglican church has one bishop and one past Arch-bishop only this week before the Royal Commission into Child Abuse saying sorry for their actions in hiding the pedophilia exposed in that churches’ boy’s brigade and youth homes.

This will not go down well with straight talking Australians who despise hypocrisy and child abuse and have a long history of cutting tall poppies’ heads off in its leadership ranks when those leaders of whatever function fail to fulfill their public duties.
Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. I find that God takes what He wills.


I am Australian I disagree With Petaro entirely. May the Holy Spirit guide and protect the Angilican and uniting churches and pastors who are involved.

Matthew 25

42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
44 "Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’…
45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


I understand your desire for compassion and care for the stranger. However, that care has to be given within the context of the 1200 innocents lost at sea before the present policy was introduced. It has to be given in a coherent and logistically planned manner that gives full assistance to those the UN has determined as most in need in areas of oppression and war. It can not be subject to the whims of economic migrants who pay to demand our charity and over ride the legal integrity of our borders.
We are inviting in 14000 migrants from Syria into our country having planned, costed and paid for their continued welfare, not just a week in a church for publicity.


ABC: Church leaders offering sanctuary to asylum seekers who face being sent to offshore detention could be risking 10 years’ jail, an academic working in migration law says. Legal risks are involved for harbouring “an unlawful non-citizen, a removee or a deportee.” The penalty is imprisonment of 10 years, fine of $180,000, or both.

Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the Reverend Dr Peter Catt, said he was opening up St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane to some of the 267 asylum seekers who are in fear of being returned to Nauru or Manus Island.

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce said offers of help were coming from across Australia. There were also questions about how much legal protection asylum seekers would have by sheltering in a church.

Marianne Dickie, a senior academic at ANU working in the migration law program, said that there was a section within the Migration Act that made it an offence to harbour a person deemed an unlawful non-citizen, a removee or a deportee.

“So [the penalty for] that offence is imprisonment of 10 years or fine of $180,000 or both,” she said.

“But for us the problem arises with the term unlawful non-citizen, removee or deportee in determining what status the people the church will look after, hold at that present time.”

Misha Coleman, from the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, said the logistics of getting asylum seekers to the churches was difficult.

“To effectively provide sanctuary or to provide protection from harm you need to do that very quietly,” Ms Coleman said.

“So it was a big decision for us to announce this publicly, but we wanted people to know that we are there for them.”


As long as you are confident that God will accept that explanation on judgement day, sure, you can explain it all to him. :shrug: God bless.


In a few days, Prime Minister Turnbull is threatening to forcibly send 267 people seeking asylum, including small babies back to detention centres where they’re at serious risk of sexual and physical assault.

Among the 267 are 80 children that were brought to Australia to receive urgent medical attention. New evidence has emerged that Paediatricians assessing many of these children said that they “are among the most traumatised we have ever seen in our 50 years of combined professional experience”.

These kids are terrified at the mention of returning to the harsh conditions in Nauru. This is no way to treat vulnerable people seeking safety.

Several women have already reported sexual assault in detention, and now our leaders wants to send them back to their abusers.


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