Registrations open for national sports consultation

The Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry is hosting an online national sports consultation on February 28 (Photo: Diocese of Parramatta).

The Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry is inviting Catholics to register for an online national sports consultation to be held on February 28.

The consultation will include a keynote address from Santiago Pérez de Camino, head of the Church and Sport Office in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

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Oceans, synodality among key themes for Oceania bishops

Archbishop Peter Loy Chong is the current president of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania.

Dozens of bishops will descend on Fiji this weekend for the quadrennial gathering of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania to reflect on and pray about their shared mission in the region.

The assembly will bring together members of the bishops conferences of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands and the Pacific Islands.

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Church publishes fifth annual report on child safety

The ongoing work to ensure Catholic settings are safe for children and that organisations are responsive to safeguarding concerns has been outlined in the Church’s fifth annual report to the National Office for Child Safety.

One of the recommendations of the final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse was the publication of annual reports on progress that organisations were making. The requirement was for such reports to be submitted for at least five years.

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Church in Oceania prepares response to Synod of Bishops report

Members of the Oceania discernment and writing group after the celebration of Mass on January 12.

The rich diversity of the Catholic Church across Oceania, as well as its unity, was evident during a meeting in Melbourne last week of representatives of the region’s four bishops conferences and Eastern Catholic churches.

More than 20 people from across the Pacific gathered to reflect on and respond to the Working Document for the Continental Stage released by the Synod of Bishops Secretariat, titled Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.

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Statement on the death of Cardinal George Pell

A statement from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

It was with great sadness that I learned of the unexpected death of Cardinal George Pell in Rome on Tuesday evening (Rome time). Cardinal Pell provided strong and clear leadership within the Catholic Church in Australia, as Archbishop of Melbourne and Archbishop of Sydney and as a member of the Bishops Conference for more than 25 years.

His many strengths were widely recognised, both in Australia and around the world, as his Vatican appointments as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy and as a member of the Council of Cardinals, an advisory group to Pope Francis, testify.

Cardinal Pell’s impact on the life of the Church in Australia and around the world will continue to be felt for many years. As we remember him and reflect on his legacy, I invite all Catholics and other people of goodwill to join in praying for Cardinal Pell, a man of deep and abiding faith, and for the repose of his soul.

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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