Written by Neil Helmore, Communications Coordinator, Diocese of Townsville
Over 80 invited guests gathered in Townsville last Thursday, 20 March 2014, to launch the new book by Townsville Catholic Bishop, Most Rev. Michael Putney.
Guests from all areas of Church life from across many denominations including the Anglican Primate, Archbishop Phillip Aspinal and Apostolic Nuncio in Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher.
Bishop Michael has dedicated most of his life to the promotion and deeper understanding of ecumenism both in Australia and around the world.
“My interest in ecumenism was initially just an interest in one of the new developments in the Church, which I gave assent to with genuine enthusiasm,” he writes in his introduction. However, something pivotal occurred which meant that this particular stream of renewal became a deeper and more comprehensive part of my response to the Second Vatican Council.”
The book ‘My Ecumenical Journey’ is made up of previously published and un-published papers and addresses and represents a large sample of Bishop Michael’s theological work in the area of ecumenism, especially over the past couple of decades.
“The idea was first raised with me by Fr. Orm Rush after he and Sr Elizabeth Delaney had spoken,” Bishop Michael said during the launch.
Fr Orm and Sr Elizabeth edited the book with the assistance of ecumenist theologian Fr Gerard Kelly, from the Catholic Institute of Sydney. “Bishop Michael has written on a wide range of issues, but we thought that having a book that focused just on ecumenism would be the best way to proceed,” Fr Orm said.