Census 2021: Why Catholic identity matters

On August 10, Australia will hold its five‐yearly national Census. The Census of Population and Housing, conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), is a “comprehensive snapshot” that reveals the changing economic, social and cultural demographics of the nation.

Religion is a basic variable used in socio-demographic research. A question on a person’s religion has been included in all Australian Censuses, along with questions of country of birth and language spoken at home, because it is an important part of a person’s identity and an indicator of Australia’s cultural diversity.

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Deputy general secretary appointed for Bishops Conference

Jeremy Stuparich, who for 10 years has been the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s public policy director, has been appointed to a new role as the Conference’s deputy general secretary.

Mr Stuparich will retain his public policy responsibilities while working closely with the general secretary, Fr Stephen Hackett MSC, in the new role.

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Mitochondrial donation law raises ethical, safety concerns

Bishop Delegate for Life Bishop Richard Umbers (Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2018)

Australian bishops have urged federal politicians to scrap plans to allow mitochondrial donation, citing safety and ethical concerns and a lack of evidence the technique is effective.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference recently made a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee inquiry into the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021.

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Fund welfare services for seafarers, Government urged

Groups that provide spiritual, pastoral and practical support to seafarers are urging the Australian Government to follow New Zealand’s lead in funding welfare services for those working on the seas.

New Zealand recently amended legislation passed in 1994, with the changes now allowing revenue raised from maritime levies to fund “the facilitation of, or support for, seafarer welfare services”.

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Church, Network Ten to mark 50-year milestone

The longest-running program on Australian commercial television, Mass for You at Home, will celebrate 50 years on our screens when Mass is broadcast into people’s living rooms on August 1.

Mass for You at Home, which originally aired on Channel 0 in Victoria, was a ministry of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne from 1971 until earlier this year.

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Catholic Men’s Gathering prepares for launch

Final preparations for the 2021 Australian Catholic Men’s Gathering are being made, with more than 400 participants registered for the event, which launches nationally on July 31.

A collaborative initiative of the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry and the Bishops Commission for Life, Family and Public Engagement, the event follows the first national Catholic Men’s Gathering held in August 2020.

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Catholic groups gather for national online consultation

Participants gather for the national consultation with lay movements and ecclesial communities

More than 50 groups have taken part in a national consultation with Catholic ecclesial communities and lay movements, held online earlier this week.

Almost 100 representatives of those groups explored ways of identifying, networking and supporting communities into the future.

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Eight years on, bishops renew call for resettlement

Manus Island detention centre (Refugee Action Coalition file photo)

Australia’s Catholic bishops have joined the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands in calling for detainees on Manus Island and Nauru to be resettled in Australia – eight years after the advent of mandatory offshore detention.

Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen OFM Conv, chair of the Catholic Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, has welcomed an open letter from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to the Australian Parliament.

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National Centre for Pastoral Research marks 25 years

The national agency that conducts surveys and research about the Catholic Church, its members and its ministries has just marked 25 years crunching the data.

Established in 1996 as the Pastoral Projects Office and later named the Pastoral Research Office, the National Centre for Pastoral Research – as it has been known since 2018 – recently celebrated the significant milestone and its history.

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Church prepares to honour, pray for seafarers

The Church celebrates Sea Sunday on July 11 this year (Photo supplied)

Cardinal Peter Turkson has urged Catholics globally to give thanks for the efforts of maritime workers and pray for their health, safety and wellbeing as the Church celebrates Sea Sunday.

Parishes and Church ministries in Australia are among those that mark Sea Sunday on the second Sunday in July – this year, on July 11.

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