Launching this year's Social Justice Statement, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll described as a 'pilgrimage', the initiative to increase the role of women in the Church.
    He said that was an appropriate image to speak of a task being undertaken by a group of disparate individuals sharing a common purpose.
    "There is need for order and direction but it will often be the messy togetherness of a family picnic rather than the discipline of an army on the march," he told the audience gathered at the Canberra campus of the Australian Catholic University.
    The statement, titled "Woman and Man: Bishops Respond", is the Bishops' Response to the Report into the Participation of Women in the Catholic Church which was released last year.
    Archbishop Carroll emphasised that while the Bishops rejected some positions voiced in the Report that were in conflict with Church teaching, they did not reject the voices, and continued to remain "willing to dialogue with women about these matters for the sake of mutual understanding and in a spirit of Christian love".
    Social Justice Sunday will be celebrated on 24 October. The statement is online at
14 Sep 00

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