Author Archives: ACBC Communications

Discernment papers help sharpen focus for Plenary Council

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says the six discernment papers for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia signify the latest milestone as the Church considers its present circumstances and discerns its future.

Six Discernment and Writing Groups, one each for the six national themes for discernment that emerged from the Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase, were tasked with writing papers to bring some major themes and issues into focus.

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Work progressing on new Church protocols, safeguarding structure

Expert groups will carry forward the work of creating a national system for handling complaints of sexual abuse and the establishment of a national office to oversee safeguarding within the Church.

At their plenary meeting this month, and in conversation with the leaders of religious institutes and other canonical stewards of Church ministries, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference reviewed progress on developing the National Response Protocol.

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Bishops express their care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE, chair of the Bishops Commission for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples has expressed its solidarity with Australia’s Indigenous communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission met as part of the recent biannual plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, held using video technology.

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Bishop Mark Edwards appointed to Wagga Wagga

Pope Francis has this evening appointed Bishop Mark Edwards OMI the sixth Bishop of Wagga Wagga.

Bishop Edwards, who will turn 61 next month, was born in Indonesia and grew up in Adelaide, Darwin and Melbourne’s southeast, attending St Leonard’s Primary School and Mazenod College. Mazenod was founded by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the order he would eventually join.

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Role with Bishops Conference brings together skills, faith

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has welcomed Michael Willett as its first chief operating officer, a role established as part of the restructure of the organisation implemented in January 2020.

Mr Willett, whose background includes time in the banking industry and recent experience in the medical and not-for-profit sector, said he was excited to take up the position last week.

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Plenary Council assemblies set for 2021 and 2022

The two assemblies for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will now take place in October 2021 and April 2022, following the disruption of the original schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference last week decided to postpone the opening assembly by 12 months, with it now to be held in October 2021. Adelaide remains the venue for the first assembly. The second assembly will be in Sydney in April 2022.

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Historic review of Church governance presented to leaders

The Australian Catholic bishops have welcomed a report into Catholic Church governance practices and possible reforms, which was presented to them shortly before last week’s plenary meeting.

The report, entitled The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia, was commissioned by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference following a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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Grant applications opened for ongoing bushfire recovery

Catholic Emergency Relief Australia has opened an initial grant application round to support those continuing the long process of recovery from the summer’s catastrophic bushfire season.

CERA chair Susan Pascoe said while the country “is largely – and understandably – focused on the COVID-19 pandemic”, challenges like social isolation and financial hardship are exacerbating some problems the bushfires caused.

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Social media guide launched for World Communications Day

The Australian Catholic Media Council has launched a resource encouraging parishes to embrace Pope Francis’ invitation to share the Gospel story – online and in person – as the Church in Australia marks World Communications Day this Sunday, May 17.

Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day 2020, released in January, focuses on the importance of storytelling, including the sharing of stories between generations.

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Bishops to entrust Australia to Mary Help of Christians

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australians’ lives, including their worship, the Catholic bishops will entrust the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day next week.

In a message issued today as “A word of encouragement to the Catholic people of Australia”, the bishops noted that the country “has certainly suffered because of the pandemic, but not as grievously as some other countries”.

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Archbishop Coleridge re-elected president of Bishops Conference

The Catholic bishops of Australia have today elected Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane to a second two-year term as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Archbishop Coleridge was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2002 and later became Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn. Since 2012, he has served as Archbishop of Brisbane.

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