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Perth archbishop gets down to business after rumours laid to rest

Following Bishop Denis Hart's appointment as Archbishop of Melbourne and the end of speculation that Archbishop Barry Hickey could be named to that position, Archbishop Hickey has outlined a vision for what he describes as his final ten years as Archbishop of Perth.

He wrote in The Record newspaper: "Now that the speculation about me going to Melbourne is over, it's time to get back to serious business again. I have only ten years to go as Archbishop of Perth."

He vowed to work to arrest the drift from the Church that he sees endemic among parents of young children.

He said: "The priority is staring me in the face -- stop the drift, call people back to Mass and the life giving community of the Church, call them to be true followers of Christ."

Archbishop Hickey specified ten points of focus for the next ten years: Personal Holiness, Lay Formation, Family Life, Sacramental Life of the Church, Catholic Education, An Evangelising Church, Vocations, Fidelity to the Truth, Witness to Love, and Solidarity with the Poor.

He said he hoped these priorities can be brought to the floor of a Diocesan Synod, after discussing them at various levels throughout the communities.

"The ways we can achieve these aims are open to debate and prayerful consideration, yet we must set a plan and a direction for the future, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit," he concluded.

Newman Graduate