Category Archives: Press Releases

Statement from Catholic Church regarding Four Corners’ “Unholy Silence” Media Release 3 July, 2012

All Catholics feel shame at the sexual abuse of children by clergy and others.

The loss of childhood innocence and the broken lives that flow from this evil have evoked broad community revulsion and a determination that such criminal abuse of the young has to be stopped.

Since the advent of Towards Healing in December 1996, the Australian Catholic Church has committed itself publicly to a more victim-centred response when evil of this nature became known. Continue reading

Tackle Asylum Seeker Phenomenon at the Source


Media Release
21 June 2012

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) expresses great sadness of the loss of life of the asylum seekers who’s vessel capsised attempting to reach Australia.

“The decision to get on a boat in order to seek asylum is not made by someone who has any other choice” said Fr Maurizio Pettenà Director of ACMRO “No one wants to be an asylum seeker. No one wants to risk their life on open waters.”

“This news will likely attract a lot of attention towards people smugglers and political concerns around offshore processing, let’s not forget these tragedies are a reflection of a much greater issue”he said.

“There is a great and urgent need to tackle the phenomenon of asylum seekers at its source”said Fr Pettenà.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka all feature in the top 20 countries at risk of serious human rights violations and mass killings.

 “These people are desperate. We cannot expect asylum seekers will always behave rationally” he said “they know the boat journey is dangerous and they know they’re likely to end up in detention, but in their situation, it is often seen as a necessary step in order to secure their long-term future”

ACMRO urge the government to explore alternative measures which would allow a number of these people who are most at risk to depart in an orderly fashion directly from countries of conflict and persecution and then be processed in Australia.

“Australia should explore suitable arrangements with countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka to allow people through an orderly process to escape at the source and take away the need for many to put themselves at the mercy of smugglers and dangerous boat journeys” said Fr Pettenà “ currently these people have no alternatives”.

We are greatly encouraged by Minister Bowen’s call to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake. “Quite simply, the demand for refugee visas far outstrips supply” said Fr Pettenà “Increasing the number of available places is by far our best solution to the asylum seeker phenomenon”

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview with Fr Maurizio Pettenà please contact Joe Moloney on (02) 6201 9848.

Personal Ordinariate of our Lady of the Southern Cross erected in Australia Media Release

Media Release 15 June, 2012
This evening 15 June, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI officially erected the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury.
Ordinariates have thus far been erected in England and the United States and are the response of Pope Benedict to Anglicans who have been petitioning the Holy See to enter into full corporate unity with the Catholic Church while retaining essential elements of their heritage.

Continue reading

Catholic Church speaks out on “Stronger Futures” legislation – questions its appropriateness for Aboriginal people

Media Release, 15 June, 2012

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) and the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (BCRATSI) of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) today take the opportunity to remind senators of some issues surrounding the Stronger Futures legislation that will come before the Senate on Monday.

Chair of NATSICC Thelma Parker said that there are a number of problems with the legislation and hopes that the Senate will look closely at the problems.

“The blanket approach endorsed in the Stronger Futures legislation is simply inappropriate.  Changes introduced in recent years have resulted in stable conscientious Aboriginal people being exposed to the embarrassment of using a basic card for their essential items, whilst others in order to obtain cash have sold at a discount the credit on their basics card.  This highlights inequities in the system and the problematic nature of the ‘card system’,” said Ms. Parker. Continue reading

Australian Catholic Youth Ministry convention ready to welcome youth ministers

The second Australian Catholic Youth Ministry Convention (ACYMC) will be held in Campbelltown from September 21st to 23rd, 2012.

It is expected to gather up to 500 participants from around the country who minister with young people in parishes, schools, religious orders, diocese, universities, diocese, movements and communities. Continue reading

SUMMARY OF THE PLENARY MEETING OF THE AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE

Year of Grace launch

3 – 10 May 2012

The Mass of the Holy Spirit was concelebrated on Friday 4 May 2012 in the chapel of Mary MacKillop Place, North Sydney at 7 am. The President of Conference, Archbishop Philip Wilson, was the principal celebrant and preached the homily. The President welcomed the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto who was warmly greeted. He concelebrated the opening Mass, met Bishops informally, addressed the Plenary Meeting and participated in a general discussion.

Archbishop Denis Hart was elected President and Archbishop Philip Wilson was elected Vice-President.

Continue reading

Catholic Earthcare celebrates ten years

Media Release, 9 May, 2012

Today marks a special anniversary for the Catholic Church. Ten years ago at the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference plenary meeting in May 2002, a new agency was born with an extraordinary purpose for humanity to undergo an ecological conversion. This call for ecological conversion was proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in 2001 and it inspired an unprecedented move by the Australian Catholic Bishops’. Continue reading

Stronger futures or stolen futures – Bishops and Religious question legislation

Media Release, 5 May, 2012

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) call upon all Federal Senators not to pass the legislation of the ‘Stronger Futures Northern Territory 2011 Bill’.

In their meeting today in North Sydney, Archbishop Philip Wilson and Sr Anne Derwin RSJ on behalf of the ACBC and CRA released the following statement:

“We join with the many Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians who have already urged the government to consult Aboriginal people and their Elders in planning actions and developing policies that will affect their lives for many years.”

Continue reading

Archbishop Denis Hart elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference


Media Release
4 May, 2012

Archbishop Denis Hart, Metropolitan Archbishop of Melbourne has been elected as the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference at the Australian Bishops Plenary today in Sydney.

Archbishop Hart will take over after this meeting from Archbishop Philip Wilson who has held the post for the past six years. Continue reading

Vatican official, social commentator and filmmaker among speakers at Catholic Media Congress

Media Release
April 16, 2012

Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications Monsignor Paul Tighe will lead an impressive line-up at the Australian Catholic Media Congress which will take place in Sydney from 30 April-2 May.

Former Young Australian of the Year and Filmmaker Khoa Do; and Social Commentator and Women’s Advocate Melinda Tankard Reist will also give keynote presentations during the Congress.

Also featured will be a keynote address at the Gala dinner on 1 May at the Amora Jamison hotel by Julie Flynn, CEO of FreeTV Australia.
Musical performances and accompaniment will be provided by Fr Rob Galea, whose hit song “God does not make rubbish” made number one on the Inspiration Top Ten in 2011.

The Congress entitled “Communicating the Word: Timeless Messages, New Media” will explore the impact of social media on the news landscape, and will offer professional development to Catholic, Christian and Secular media professionals.

The Media Congress will be held at the Menzies Hotel, Sydney from 1pm on 30 April and ending at Midday on 2 May.

Monsignor Paul Tighe will address the Congress on ways of harnessing the potential of social media to present an ethical message of hope and peace.

“Communication of the Gospel must be at heart of the ministry of a priest and I am pleased to be asked to work in the Council that has a mandate to harness the potential of the media – new and old – as a means of evangelisation”, Monsignor Paul said.

‘I am equally pleased to be speaking on this vital area in the mission of the Church at the ACMC in Sydney’.
Full time Registration for the Australian Catholic Media Congress is available for $725 for full time.

Registration for part-time or full-time registration is available at the following website: www.communicatingthewordACMC2012.com

For media enquiries or to organise your registration for the Australian Catholic Media Congress, please contact Beth Doherty on 0407 081 256, (02) 62019859 or media@catholic.org.au or visit www.communicatingthewordACMC2012.com for a full program.