Author Archives: ACBC Communications

Bishops disappointed in small minimum wage increase

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference says a 1.75 per cent increase in the national minimum wage falls well short of the boost needed, leaving many families vulnerable during a pandemic.

The Conference, which has made submissions to the annual review of the minimum wage for decades, argued for a 4 per cent increase – before COVID-19 led to additional financial uncertainty for many low-paid workers and their families.

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Funding boost for groups helping with bushfire recovery

Counselling to support children traumatised by the bushfires is among the projects funding by Catholic Emergency Relief Australia

Fifteen organisations have received funding from Catholic Emergency Relief Australia to support communities recovering from bushfires that devastated large parts of the country last summer.

Catholic Emergency Relief Australia (CERA) was officially launched in February and brings together a number of key national organisations.

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Final version of governance report to be published by mid-August

The final version of a report into diocesan and parish governance will be published after a series of amendments and clarifications have been made, likely by mid-August, it has been announced.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge on June 12 announced a timeline for the report’s release after a draft version was leaked to international Catholic media earlier this month.

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Church denounces malicious emails claiming to be from Catholic sources

The Catholic Church has denounced a number of malicious emails being sent to random recipients claiming to be from Catholic parishes, dioceses and other organisations.

In recent weeks, emails have been sent that mention one or more of the following: Cardinal George Pell, the complainant in his criminal trial, COVID-19 and – most recently – the upcoming Eden-Monaro byelection.

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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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