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Bishops travel to Rome for Synod document promulgation

Four Australian bishops have been invited to Rome to attend the promulgation of "Ecclesia in Oceania", Pope John Paul II's response to the 1998 Synod for Oceania.

The promulgation will take place during a private audience at 11.30 am next Thursday (22 December).

Those attending are Perth's Archbishop Barry Hickey and Townsville's Bishop Michael Putney - both members of the Post-Synodal Council for Oceania of the General Secretariat - and Bishop John Gerry of Brisbane - a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO). Bishop Peter Connors of Ballarat was invited but is unable to attend.

Archbishop Hickey said: "We worked hard and effectively, so we look forward to the Promulgation which will be a source of inspiration and challenge for the Church in Oceania."

Bishop Putney stated: "It was a privileged task to try to incorporate all the insights of the Synod into a document for the consideration of the Holy Father. I am sure his response to the work of the Synod will give the Church in Australia great encouragement at the beginning of the new millennium."

St Paul Publications will print the Apostolic Exhortation as soon as possible after nextt Thursday. The Australian Bishops also hope to post the report on their website ( immediately after the Promulgation.