On Monday night, this exchange took place on ABC 4 Corners between presenter Kerry O'Brien and Archbishop Mark Coleridge about Australia's new system of offshore processing and resettlement for asylum seekers arriving on Australian territory without a visa.
O'BRIEN: Archbishop Coleridge, one of the most powerful moments in the new Pope's reign was his very pointed and poignant visit to the Italian island of Lampedusa to see and be seen with the north Africans who risked their lives on leaky boats to seek asylum in Europe. Now, have you wondered what Pope Francis might think of Australia if he were able to visit the Manus Island detention centre?
COLERIDGE: I think he would be appalled. Just recently, Australian bishops put out a very clear and strong, but measured statement on this very point and I think Pope Francis would subscribe to that statement very strongly, saying that the current policy, supported by both sides of politics, is morally unacceptable and shames our country. And, the need for it to be reconsidered is urgent and what is puzzling and indeed troubling in all of this is that you have politicians who are not themselves cruel people, quite the contrary, but they are presiding over a policy which has to be named cruel.
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