Archbishop says pastoral planning is about gospel values, not structures
Catholic parishes immersed in Adelaide's current pastoral planning review should not allow debate about "structures" like buildings and Mass times to obscure thinking about gospel values, according to Archbishop Leonard Faulkner.
The Southern Cross reports that Archbishop Faulkner said he was excited by Pope John Paul's recent Apostolic Letter that urged local churches to decide their own planning adapted to the needs of each community.
But the Pope emphasised that all planning by local dioceses should have "a deep and incisive influence in bringing gospel values to bear in society and culture".
The messages are contained in the Pope's Apostolic Letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium), issued at the close of last year's Great Jubilee Year.
"The Pope is saying to us to put real flesh on our pastoral planning and not simply to just change structures," Archbishop Faulkner said. "I'm afraid that there might be too much emphasis (in the Adelaide planning review) on structures and not enough emphasis on the gospel values and traditions of the church in which we work.
"Pastoral planning must mean more than looking at how many priests we have, how many buildings. The Pope wants all planning to intrinsically be a call to holiness."