Bishops lament family, domestic violence in annual justice statement

Australia’s bishops have used their annual social justice statement to condemn the scourge of domestic and family violence, saying relationships must be “marked by respect and freedom rather than coercion and control”.

The Church in Australia has published social justice statements each year since the 1940s on a wide range of topics. This year’s statement is titled Respect: Confronting Violence and Abuse.

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New portal puts spotlight on vocations

As the Church in Australia prepares to mark National Vocations Awareness Week, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has set up a new online portal to highlight vocation in its many forms.

National Vocations Awareness Week is celebrated each year across a week that includes the August 8 feast day of Australia’s first saint: St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. The week runs this year from August 7-14.

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New disability projects officer starts at Bishops Conference

The new disability projects officer of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference will continue to carry forward efforts to promote the full participation of people with disability in the life of the Church.

Damien Gardiner, who has significant experience working in the disability sector, recently took on the role previously held for many years by Patricia Mowbray. Mrs Mowbray retired in 2021.

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Research groups to crunch the numbers in webinar

Two of Australia’s most prominent religious research organisations will host a webinar on Wednesday to share initial insights into the latest Census results, including on religious affiliation.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s National Centre for Pastoral Research has teamed up with the Christian Research Association to present the free webinar titled “What the 2021 Census Figures Really Mean”.

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Expressions of interest sought for bishops’ advisory councils

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is accepting expressions of interest from people with the skills and attributes necessary to provide guidance to bishops through a number of advisory councils.

The current three-year terms of the councils that advise the episcopal commissions and Permanent Committee of the Bishops Conference will expire in November this year. There are vacancies to be filled on three of those bodies.

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Conference president reflects on his new role, responsibility

As he commences his tenure as president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB sees one of his key tasks as ensuring the bishops “remain united in our service of God’s people”.

In an interview with the Bishops Conference’s Media Blog, Archbishop Costelloe admitted he was “surprised and somewhat daunted” when he was elected president of the Conference in May.

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Archbishop Costelloe commences term as Conference president

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has officially taken over the presidency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, two months after being elected to the post.

The Bishops Conference’s biennial election of president and vice-president took place at its May plenary meeting. Archbishop Costelloe was elected president, with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP re-elected vice-president.

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Fifth Plenary Council of Australia closes

President Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB signs the decrees for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia while vice president Bishop Shane Mackinlay and secretary Fr David Ranson look on

The nine-month celebration phase of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia ended on Saturday, with Council Members standing and applauding as president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB formally declared the Council closed.

Almost four-and-a-half years after preparations for the Council began, Members met for a final session to bring to a conclusion the second general assembly, held across six days in Sydney.

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Plenary Council ‘re-imagines the Church through a missionary lens’

Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has encouraged Council Members to continue relying upon the Holy Spirit as they move into the future.

Archbishop Costelloe was the principal celebrant and homilist at the closing Mass of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia celebrated in St Mary’s Cathedral on Saturday morning.

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Second Plenary Council assembly ends on high note

On the final full day of the Plenary Council, Members have celebrated the passage of almost all motions contained in the Motions and Amendments document that formed the second assembly’s agenda.

Eighteen of the 19 motions considered on Friday passed. All five motions in Part 4 of the document, entitled “Witnessing to the Equal Dignity of Women and Men”, passed decisively.

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Announcement of voting outcomes due at 6.30pm

Due to additional changes in the program for the Plenary Council’s second assembly, no deliberative vote outcomes were announced within the assembly on Friday morning.

Council Members are working through three parts of the Motions and Amendments document – Parts 4, 5, and 6 – with consultative and deliberative votes expected to be taken during the day.

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Blessed Peter To Rot hailed as model of fidelity

Those gathered for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia are following in the footsteps of the early Christians, Cardinal John Dew said at Mass on Thursday evening.

The Archbishop of Wellington, one of the observers at the Plenary Council, was the homilist for Mass celebrated on the memorial of Blessed Peter To Rot, Papua New Guinea’s first Blessed.

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