The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has published its inaugural annual report, outlining the key activities undertaken by the various parts of the Bishops Conference.
The idea of publishing an annual report emerged from a desire to inform the Catholic community and wider society about how the Bishops Conference supports the mission of the Church in Australia. It also responds to the call for greater transparency within Catholic organisations.
Catholics are invited to join local consultations about their experience of synodality within the Church as part of a two-year journey towards the next international Synod of Bishops, set for October 2023.
Dioceses across the world hosted local Synod celebrations on Sunday, a week after Pope Francis officially opened the global process for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
“The end of the Australian offshore detention program in Papua New Guinea is a welcome development,” says Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, chair of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service.
Bishop Long, who visited Port Moresby in 2016 and Manus Island in 2019, was responding to last week’s announcement that the Regional Resettlement Arrangement between the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments will end on January 1, 2022.
Dioceses across Australia will this weekend hold launches to mark the commencement of local participation in the two-year journey towards the 2023 Synod of Bishops.
Last Sunday, Pope Francis celebrated a Mass to launch the global process for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which has the theme “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”.
The months between the first and second general assemblies of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia are a time for “prayer, reflection, maturation and development”, according to a concluding statement from the first assembly.
The statement, approved by the Council’s members during Saturday’s final plenary session, speaks of a week in which regular prayer and spiritual conversations, encouraging deep listening, “allowed space for still nascent dreams and visions to come to greater maturity”.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge celebrates the closing Mass for the Plenary Council’s first assembly
A Mass celebrated by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president and Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge has closed the first general assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia this morning.
The Mass comes a week after Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, the Plenary Council president, opened the first such gathering in Australia for more than 80 years with a Mass across the expanse of the continent in Perth.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB address the Plenary Council (Photo: Max Hoh/Archdiocese of Perth)
As he closed the formal proceedings of the first general assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia Saturday evening, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB reflected on a week that had been “inspiring, challenging and sometimes unsettling”.
Archbishop Costelloe, the Council’s president, adjourned the Council’s first assembly and summoned its 278 members to gather again in July 2022 for the second and final assembly.
Plenary Council members from the Diocese of Cairns (supplied photo)
An impassioned call for “a prayer for the future of our common home, a Gospel for the home of our future generations” was made during the final reporting back on small group discernment by Plenary Council members today.
The presenters’ comprehensive reports on the 16 agenda questions included proposals and requests for further investigation and research to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia.
Archbishop Peter A Comensoli in today’s Mass for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia has said the Council’s task is to reveal the face of Christ – a face that blends cultures, languages, ethnicities and histories.
The Melbourne Archbishop celebrated Mass on the final full day of the Council’s first general assembly, which will conclude with Mass at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane Sunday morning.
Plenary Council members join the first general assembly from Brisbane
The concept of “sniffing out” the presence of God in the world, articulated by theologian Fr Richard Lennan in an address to the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, struck a chord with many members as they continued their discernment.
Fr Lennan, a priest of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese and an expert adviser to the Council speaking from Boston, said the Church had “no option but to exist in the present”.
As Pope Francis prepares to launch the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, an Australian lay woman assisting the process says the Church in Australia has been a key supporter of the Synod.
Susan Pascoe has held a number of senior roles in the Church and in government in Australia, including as head of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
Archbishop Tarabay celebrates Mass for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia
Maronite Archbishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay OLM has spoken about the significance of the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Rite Church coming together as “pilgrims” for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia.
Archbishop Tarabay, who celebrated Thursday’s Mass for the Plenary Council, said while the journey to the Council began in 2016, “maybe it was prepared for us from the beginning of time”.