Category Archives: Press Releases

Any change to marriage law must include protections for religious freedom

Parliament must work to unify Australians by respecting different views on marriage, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart said today in the wake of the result of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey.

“The Catholic Church, and many others who sought to retain the definition of marriage as it has been understood for centuries, continues to view marriage as a special union between a woman and a man, which allows for the creation and nurture of children,” Archbishop Hart said. Continue reading

Australian Youth Ministers to Gather in Western Sydney in 2018

The Australian Catholic Bishops Office for Youth and the Diocese of Parramatta will host the Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (ACYMC), from 21-23 September 2018, at Rooty Hill RSL.

The ACYMC will explore the call of Pope Francis to ‘Open New Horizons for Spreading Joy’ and going out to the peripheries to support young people in finding their place in the world.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney and Bishops Delegate for Youth, shared his hopes about the fourth ACYMC. Continue reading

First joint Plenary Council meeting Monday October 23, 2017

Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council meeting

The first joint meeting of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, the Executive Committee and the Facilitation Team was held on October 19-20 at St Joseph’s Retreat Centre in Baulkham Hills, Sydney.

It was an important step on the journey toward Plenary Council 2020 which was announced by the Bishops of Australia earlier this year.

The purpose of the meeting was to allow the three groups to meet each other and to share personal stories and hopes for the Plenary Council.  It was also a time to start building a shared sense of the Council journey with its three phases – preparation, celebration and implementation.  Prayer was interwoven through the two-day program with input and sharing sessions in small groups. Continue reading

Parishes called to acknowledge the vital role of Seafarers “in the midst of the storm”

ACBC_Seafarer Banner 200 x 200 px v.2Parishes across Australia are called to support the work of Seafarers as part of the annual Sea Sunday Appeal on 9 July. Every dollar raised will help to provide pastoral support for seafaring men, women and their families through the works of Stella Maris centres across Australia.

Seafarers commonly face mental health challenges such as; depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide given the nature of their work; long hours in highly pressured environments with quick turnarounds at port before heading back out to sea.

Working as crew on board a cruise ship or industrial container tanker can involve long journeys being away from home and unable to see family for weeks and months at a time. As a result, Seafarers often experience isolation, cultural barriers with fellow crew and fatigue.

The Bishops of Australia and Sea Chaplains recognise that loneliness and the mental health of Seafarers is a serious concern and a recurring theme amongst those working in the industry. Therefore the theme of this year’s Sea Sunday Appeal is ‘In the midst of the storm’ focusing on the importance of addressing mental health concerns and providing the necessary emotional, psychological and spiritual support to Seafarers who may well be experiencing ‘stormy times’ mentally.

In advance of Sea Sunday, Bishop Bosco Puthur, Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Seafarers highlighted the importance of supporting Seafarers who may be experiencing mental health challenges, ‘Our Sea Chaplains know that many Seafarers struggle with mental health conditions. In many cases, loneliness and isolation can be contributing factors to feelings of anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide. It is important that our Sea Chaplains are resourced to support those working on board. The Sea Sunday Appeal helps us to provide some of the necessary support.’

Currently, ninety per cent of Australia’s trade involves shipping with more than one million Seafarers on the world’s oceans at any one time. While life at sea can be exciting, Seafarers can encounter poor and dangerous working conditions, mental health issues, family isolation and piracy with crews and ships being held hostage.

There are 25 ports operating across Australia supported by 15 Apostleship of the Sea Chaplains or centre managers. The Apostleship relies heavily on generous volunteers, of which there are approximately 160, who live out their faith by welcoming the stranger.

To make a donation supporting the Sea Sunday Appeal, simply transfer funds online to: Stella Maris Seafarers Centre, BSB: 083-347 and Account Number: 649518680 with the reference, ‘Sea Sunday Appeal’.

Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Michael Morrissey takes place in Geraldton

Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey, Bishop Michael Morrissey and Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini.

Emeritus Archbishop Barry Hickey, Bishop Michael Morrissey and Emeritus Bishop Justin Bianchini.

The Most Reverend Michael Morrissey was ordained the ninth Bishop of Geraldton on the eve of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Wednesday 28 June at Nagle Catholic College Gymnasium, Geraldton.

The Archbishop of Perth, the Most Reverend Timothy Costelloe SDB, was the Principal Ordaining Bishop. The Principal co-consecrating Bishops were Emeritus Archbishop of Perth and the seventh Bishop of Geraldton, the Most Reverend Barry Hickey and the Most Reverend, Justin Bianchini, Bishop Emeritus of Geraldton. The Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, His Excellency the Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana read the Papal Bull in Latin followed by a translation in English.

Bishop-Elect Morrissey is the first Bishop of Geraldton who was born, raised, ordained and ministered in the Diocese and said his appointment recognises all the small communities scattered throughout the diocese. Continue reading

Bishops Announce Appointment of Plenary Council Executive Committee

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

The Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council today announced the names of those who have accepted appointment to the Plenary Council Executive Committee. Their appointment followed an extensive confidential process of consultation across the Australian Church to ensure diversity. Together they bring a variety of gifts, competencies and experience to the work of the Executive Committee.

The Committee will work closely with the Bishops Commission to ensure the successful preparation, celebration and implementation of the Plenary Council 2020. The Executive Committee membership with their home diocese is as follows:   Continue reading

30 Year’s on From Bob Hawke’s “No Child will live in Poverty” statement

Fr-Frank-BrennanFriday 23 June marked the 30th anniversary of Bob Hawke’s promise to ensure that “By 1990 no Australian child will live in poverty”.

Right now 731,300 children or 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of 2 percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).

Last Thursday Fr Frank Brennan, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia, joined other leaders in the social services sector, for a vigil on the lawns in front of Parliament House to remind our elected representatives that they can, and should do more, to rescue Australian children from the grip of poverty. Continue reading

‘With courage let us all combine’

Refugee Week
18-24 June 2017

By Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv
Bishop Delegate for Migrants and Refugees

bishop-LongRefugee Week 2017 (18-24 June 2017) is a time to celebrate Australia’s rich diversity and shed light on the success stories of migrants and refugees in our communities. Refugee Week coincides with World Refugee Day on 20 June 2017.

During Refugee Week Australians come together and celebrate the contribution migrants and refugees have made to our country. Australia has a rich multicultural heritage, adding to is diverse heritage. Australia’s success as a Nation is in part due to this rich diversity. Continue reading

Catholic Professional Standards Limited Announces Appointment of CEO

Sheree Limbrick

Sheree Limbrick

The Board of Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPS) today announced the appointment of Ms Sheree Limbrick as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

Ms Limbrick has a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement and management, strategic planning and policy development, as well as more than 10 years experience in executive leadership in social services.

Ms Limbrick has most recently worked with CatholicCare Melbourne as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and prior to that as Director of Operations. Previously managing Statewide Programs for Berry Street, a service provider for vulnerable children and families across Victoria, Ms Limbrick established support services for Forgotten Australians.

In welcoming Ms Limbrick’s appointment, the Chair of CPS, Geoff Giudice AO, said: ‘CPS has a unique role in the history of the Church in Australia and carrying out that role will not be without challenges. The Board is confident that we have a CEO who will provide outstanding leadership in meeting those challenges and achieving the company’s objectives’.

Members of the company, Sr Ruth Durick OSU, President of Catholic Religious Australia and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Vice-President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference also welcomed Ms Limbrick on her appointment to this new role. Continue reading

President of Conference appeals for donations for the East Africa food crisis

East-Africa-social-media-image_200‘I am shocked to learn of the harrowing plight facing millions of people in a number of countries in East Africa,’ Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said today.

‘Sadly, there has been little coverage in Australia of this emerging tragedy. Today, I am lending my voice and that of the Catholic Church in Australia to urge you to help if possible.’

‘Prolonged drought is causing widespread hunger across East African countries. Somalia, South Sudan and parts of Ethiopia and Kenya are the worst affected.’

Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s international aid and development agency, through its international network, is working to support over 250,000 in the affected region. Continue reading

Harvester minimum wage case commemorated and invoked on its 110th anniversary

Minimum wageThis year is the 110th anniversary of the landmark Harvester minimum wage decision by Justice Higgins in 1910.

The basic objective of Harvester was to set a fair and reasonable minimum wage that would provide a decent standard of living for workers and their families. The Harvester minimum wage for unskilled workers came to be regarded as the Australian living wage.

Harvester was commemorated and invoked by the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER) in its recent submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review.

ACCER’s submissions traced the influence of Justice Higgins and others on the legislation and decisions that enabled the setting of the living wage. ACCER’s submissions also drew on the assessments of former High Court judge Michael Kirby and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke regarding the influence that Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum had on the legislation and policies that resulted in the Harvester decision.    Continue reading

Calling young Australians to be part of an international conversation

ACBC----Youth-Synod-2018-Survey-Facebook-Ad-650px-v200Young people across Australia are being called to share their views about life, faith, and their experience of Church through an online survey published today by the Australian Bishops.

The survey seeks to capture the opinions and perspectives of young people as part of a national consultation process that will inform an international conversation in Rome next year.

Australians aged between 16 and 29 years are encouraged to complete the survey. The questions cover a range of topics including: the experience of being listened to, using social media and technology, friendships and influences in today’s world, opportunities for engagement with Church activities such as, outreach programs, youth masses, community leadership or parish events.

At a recent gathering of young people in Rome which has informed and helped to prepare this process, Ashleigh Green, a young social worker from Sydney said, one of her hopes for the Church in Australia is that ‘we can better engage our most disadvantaged and marginalised young Australians’.

‘I hope that we can use the common yearning for social justice as an avenue to engage youth and I hope that we can create new spaces for community within the Church,’ Ms Green added. Continue reading