Australian Bishops Delegation to Lebanon and Iraq

Sunday 14 to Wednesday 17 December 2014

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Australian Bishops Delegation to Lebanon

On 14 December 2014, a delegation of Australian Bishops from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference as well as the Conference of Bishops and Representatives of the Middle Eastern Apostolic Churches in Australia and New Zealand departed to the Middle East to be with displaced Christians in Erbil, Iraq and refugees in Lebanon, offering spiritual support and humanitarian aid in this Christmas season. Continue reading

Mass for Victims of Siege at Martin Place

16 December 2014 | Homily by Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP at St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney

We are not used to hearing words like ‘siege’, ‘terrorist’, ‘hostages’ and ‘security forces’ associated with our city. Yet for the past day and night we were subjected to pictures and sounds we tend to associate with alien lands. In a café only two blocks away from St Mary’s Cathedral, only one block away from the Supreme Court, even closer to the New South Wales Parliament, the Reserve Bank and the Channel 7 studio, hostages were pinned for hours against the windows and forced to hold up a flag which blasphemously used the name of God as a threat.

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Disability and Euthanasia

19 December 2014 | By Debra Vermeer

With a euthanasia bill tabled in the Federal Parliament, arguments on all sides of the debate are gathering steam, but there is one group of people who say they have more to fear than most from euthanasia legislation – those who are living with disability and battling a daily presumption from society that their lives are not worth living.

Greens Senator, Dr Richard Di Natale, earlier this year tabled the Exposure Draft “Medical Services, Dying with Dignity Bill 2014”, which was then referred to a Senate Inquiry. Hearings for the inquiry took place in October.

Craig Wallace

Craig Wallace

Among those who appeared before the Senate Committee was Craig Wallace, Convenor of Lives Worth Living, a network of Australians with disability speaking about euthanasia and eugenics, not from a religious, ideological or pro-life position, but from a disability rights perspective.

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A look back at 2014

Christmas message from Archbishop Hart, President of Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Archbishop Denis Hart

Archbishop Denis Hart

As I take some time out to reflect on the year that was, I realise that 2014 was a year of highs and lows for the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC).

Many wonderful occasions have taken place throughout the year and the guidance of the Holy Spirit can certainly be seen through the dedicated work of our agencies, bishops commissions, councils and at the Secretariat.

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Two Auxiliary Bishops of Melbourne Ordained

Media Release | 18 December 2014

The Episcopal Ordination of the Most Reverend Terence Curtin and Most Reverend Mark Edwards OMI, as Auxiliary Bishops of Melbourne, took place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne last night, 17 December 2014. Continue reading

Bishop Comensoli Installed Third Bishop of Broken Bay

Media release following Solemn Mass of Installation at Diocese of Broken Bay

Bishop Comensoli

Bishop Comensoli

The Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli became the third Bishop of Broken Bay during a Solemn Mass of Installation at Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara on 12 December 2014.

“On this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for who I have had a special devotion, I entrust my ministry and our diocese to the loving protection of St Mary, Star of the Sea, our sure light leading us to Christ,” Bishop Comensoli said.

“What exciting times lie before us as we together proclaim Christ crucified to the people of the Central Coast, the northern Peninsula and the North Shore,” he added.

Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend Robert Borg and the Cathedral Clergy welcomed Bishop Comensoli. Indigenous Elder Uncle Neil Evers said the Welcome to Country and Director of Music, Noel Debien, led the Cathedral choir. Continue reading

Highlighting the Promise of Technology for People with Disability

Media release | 5 December 2014

Luke Mowbray teaches his nephew Noah to use an iPad

Luke Mowbray teaches his nephew Noah to use an iPad

The Catholic Church in Australia is celebrating International Day of People with Disability this week with a focus on the promise of technology for people with disability.

The 2014 theme is Sustainable Development: The Promise of Technology. It focuses on the role of technology as a way to break down barriers for people with disability, particularly as devices are becoming faster, cheaper and more accessible.

Member of the Australian Catholic Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life and Bishops’ Delegate for Disability Issues, Bishop Terry Brady said, “It is appropriate that we observe and celebrate the International Day of People with Disability as we prepare during the Advent season for the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

“Rapidly developing technology has changed the way people with disability can communicate and access catechesis, entertainment, faith formation, work, and information in general,” Bishop Brady added. Continue reading

Aboriginal People Threatened with Closure of their Homelands 

Media release during Australian Catholic Bishops plenary meeting | 28 November 2014

The Australian Catholic Bishops express their deep concern for Aboriginal peoples threatened with the closure of their remote homeland villages in Western Australia.

This is a time for Federal and State Governments to pursue meaningful consultation with those affected.

Our governments need to exercise restraint and compassion for the first peoples of this country who enjoy a spiritual affinity with their traditional lands.

For media queries, please contact Aoife Connors on 0450 348 597 |

Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Commission for Relations with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders and Bishop of Broome Christopher Saunders is available as a spokesman on this issue.

Australian Catholic Bishops Offer Condolences on death of Phillip Hughes

Media statement during Australian Catholic Bishops plenary meeting | 27 November 2014

dreamstime_m_16083896The Australian Catholic Bishops, gathered at the tomb of Mary MacKillop for their biannual plenary meeting in Sydney, are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Phillip Hughes.

We have prayed for the young Australian cricketer and for the extended Hughes family, cricket colleagues and friends.

Our thoughts also go out to NSW paceman Sean Abbott. We are aware of his trauma and assure him of our prayerful support and that of the Catholic community.

The death of Phillip Hughes, a talented 25-year-old cricketer, reminds us that life is at once precious and fragile.