Author Archives: ACBC Communications

Church in Australia mourns death of Pope Benedict XVI

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says Pope Benedict XVI will long be remembered fondly in Australia as the Pontiff who led young people from around the globe in prayer at World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008.

Pope Benedict, born Joseph Ratzinger, led the Church from April 2005 until February 2013, becoming the first Pope in centuries to resign. He had earlier served as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the Vatican’s most influential departments, for more than two decades.

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Australian reflections on Synod’s working document published

While the hundreds of Australians who participated in the latest round of discernment for the global Synod of Bishops process identified issues and challenges facing Catholics, there was a strong sense of hope for the Church’s future.

Almost 80 groups from across Australia, comprising a total of about 750 people, took up the invitation to reflect on the Working Document for the Continental Stage, which was published in October.

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Hundreds participate in ongoing Synod of Bishops discernment

Hundreds of Australians have participated in group discernment on the Working Document for the Continental Stage for the Synod on Synodality, as the global process moves towards a series of regional gatherings.

In October, people were invited to form groups to read, reflect on, pray with and respond to the Working Document for the Continental Stage, which was seen as a “handing back” of the submissions received from around the world during the local consultation phase.

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Ministers to seafarers celebrate their pastoral efforts

Stella Maris delegates from Australia and New Zealand at the recent regional conference in Sydney.

Dozens of people who minister to seafarers on behalf of the Catholic and Anglican churches gathered in Sydney recently for the Oceania regional conference of Stella Maris and Mission to Seafarers.

More than 60 people were at Mary MacKillop Place for the event, which allowed managers, chaplains and ship visitors from Australia and New Zealand to meet in person for the first time since the pandemic began.

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Australian bishops back local Advent appeal for Ukrainian people

The country’s bishops are encouraging Catholics to respond to the call from the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia to provide financial support to people in the war-torn nation as winter arrives.

Bishop Mykola Bychok CSsR gave an update on the situation in Ukraine during the plenary meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference earlier this month. He thanked the bishops for praying – and inviting their communities to pray – for Ukraine, and asked them to renew those prayers.

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Church renews focus on domestic and family violence

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s statement on domestic and family violence will be a focus for an online event next week to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The bishops’ annual social justice statement for 2022-23, titled Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse, was published in August.

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Bishops formally approve Plenary Council acts, decrees

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe presents the acts and decrees of the Plenary Council to Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Balvo.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has formally approved the acts and decrees of the Fifth Plenary Council, which will now be sent to the Apostolic See for review.

The documents, which comprise five volumes across hundreds of pages, were received at the Bishops Conference’s plenary meeting last week.

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Submission portal opens for next Synod of Bishops phase

Groups across Australia are now able to participate in the latest discernment process for the global Synod on Synodality, reflecting on the recently-published Working Document for the Continental Stage.

The document, which was drawn from local and national consultation processes undertaken around the world, was published in late October.

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Bishops Conference publishes its 2021 annual report

Former president Archbishop Mark Coleridge says the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s second annual report is “much more than a company report or a bureaucratic manifesto”.

The report, which has now been published online, covers the 2021 calendar year. It outlines some of the key works of the Bishops Conference, its commissions, agencies and offices during the year.

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Prison chaplains are ‘eyes, ears and hands of Christ’

Bishop Tim Norton SVD has described prison chaplains as “the eyes, ears and hands of Christ in a contained world that has very limited signs of love and care”.

Bishop Norton, the Bishop Delegate for Prisoners’ Pastoral Care, addressed an online gathering of Catholic prison chaplains from across Australia this week in anticipation of Prison Sunday, which will be marked on November 6 this year.

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