by Bishop Shane Mackinlay
Later this week, I will be one of 15 Australians and hundreds of people from around the world heading to Rome for the first assembly of what has become known as the “Synod on Synodality”.
Next month’s assembly, and another to follow in October 2024, are the continuation of what has been dubbed “the world’s largest ever consultation”. When you consider that almost 120 bishops conferences from every part of the world gathered the thoughts of the People of God in their dioceses, that claim makes sense. Continue reading
Australia’s Catholic bishops say the issues surrounding the proposed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice “are not just political”, but are also “moral and ethical”, in a statement ahead of next month’s referendum.
In Towards the Referendum, the bishops encourage all Australians to educate themselves, including by reading the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the bishops’ annual Social Justice Statement. They also invite people to listen to others’ hopes and fears.
The Church has rejected “unfounded allegations” made by West Australian politicians that it failed to abide by the state’s mandatory reporting laws, saying it takes its reporting obligations seriously.
In a statement provided to Channel Seven, which has run several stories this week based on the leaked report from the Church’s investigation into former Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders, the Church confirmed it had provided a copy of the report to Western Australia Police deputy commissioner Allan Adams.
A statement from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB
Archbishop of Perth, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
The allegations against the former Bishop of Broome, Christopher Saunders, broadcast on Monday evening are very serious and deeply distressing, especially for those making the allegations. It is right and proper for them to be thoroughly investigated.
Bishop Charles Gauci, John Lochowiak and Sabrina Stevens are among the Australians who will participate in the International Conference on Catholic Indigenous
Five Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will attend an international Catholic gathering in Washington D.C. next week, along with indigenous people from the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
The Australian delegation will take part in the International Conference on Catholic Indigenous, which had originally been scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions that year.
Catholic communities across Australia are being encouraged to reflect on the Holy Family’s experience as migrants as the Church prepares to mark the 109th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
Dating back to the First World War, the commemoration takes places on the final Sunday in September – September 24 this year. It will come just after Pope Francis travels to Marseille, France, for a cultural festival called “the Mediterranean Encounter”.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia have published a report updating the Church’s progress in implementing the relevant recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
On the five-year anniversary of the initial response, the report is part of the Church’s ongoing efforts to be publicly accountable for how it is working to create, maintain and enhance safe environments for children and all people who are at risk.
The National Centre for Pastoral Research has published a pair of reports on pastoral councils, as part of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s response to a review of Church governance.
Each of the reports – one into diocesan pastoral councils, the other into parish pastoral councils – draws on Church documents on such bodies, the writings of recent Popes and research in Australia and overseas, before offering various models for how councils could operate.
Jason McFarland, who has worked in the field of liturgy for more than two decades, has began work as executive secretary to the Bishops Commission for Liturgy, also serving as director of the National Office for Liturgy.
Dr McFarland’s significant experience in liturgical roles over the past 25 years includes working with the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and as an academic in the United States and Australia.
Australia’s Catholic bishops have called on the nation to seek “a new engagement” with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in their annual Social Justice Statement being launched today.
Since the 1940s, the bishops have published annual statements that urge the Catholic community to reflect and act on social, economic and ecological issues. The statements are published as a focal point for Social Justice Sunday, which will be marked on August 27 this year.
The Australian bishops’ decades-long tradition of publishing an annual Social Justice Statement continues this week, with the launch of Listen, Learn, Love: A New Engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples on Thursday.
In May last year, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference agreed the 2023-24 statement would consider the place of First Nations peoples in Australian society today. It was prepared in partnership with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council.
Members of the Australian delegation to Ukraine in front of a war-damaged building (Photo supplied)
At the invitation of Bishop Mykola Bychok CSsR, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, a delegation from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference visited Ukraine from August 8-11 in an expression of pastoral solidarity with the country’s people.
This was an important opportunity to witness first-hand the human experience of this ongoing war, and to hear from Church leaders and civilians where future humanitarian support might be best directed.