Prayer, planning underpin national Stella Maris gathering

Port chaplains, managers, volunteers and members of the Stella Maris national committee gathered in Sydney last week for the first national conference of its type in several years for those ministering to seafarers.

Eighteen people attended the event at Mary MacKillop Place, with the theme “Together: United in Caring for Seafarers”.

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Plenary Council a positive and transformative experience: Bishop Mackinlay

Bishop Shane Mackinlay addresses the Plenary Council in Sydney, July 2022 (CNS/The Catholic Weekly/Giovanni Portelli)

Australia’s Plenary Council provided a “positive and transformative experience of discernment and synodality”, Sandhurst Bishop Shane Mackinlay told the Synod of Synodality on Wednesday.

Bishop Mackinlay, who served as vice-president of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia that ran from 2018 until 2022, was invited to offer a reflection on that journey during the current Synod’s 12th general congregation.

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Catholic Church says referendum result should usher in new era

Despite the referendum to establish an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution not succeeding, Australia needs to find a way to address the inequalities many First Nations people face, Bishop Charles Gauci has said.

Bishop Gauci, chair of the Bishops Commission for Relations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, has issued a statement following yesterday’s poll. He said although the idea of the Indigenous Voice to Parliament was not supported by a majority of Australians, “that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do something”.

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Bishop Randazzo: Conversion can be achieved through Christ

Personal and communal conversion is possible when a pastoral mission begins and ends with Jesus Christ, Broken Bay Bishop Anthony Randazzo told fellow participants in the Synod on Synodality on Monday evening.

Bishop Randazzo, president of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania, celebrated Mass and preached on Monday evening as more than 350 Synod participants attended a retreat before the Synod opens on Wednesday evening Australian time.

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Pope promotes “safe space” for Synod participants

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

Bishops say issues around Voice are moral, not just political

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.

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Church provides report on Bishop Saunders, rejects accusations of law breach

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.

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Statement on Vatican investigation into Bishop Christopher Saunders

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.

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Australian delegation set to participate in indigenous conference

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.

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Resources published for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

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”.

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Bishops Conference and CRA publish Royal Commission update

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.

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Reports outline possible models for pastoral councils in Australia

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.

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