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Brisbane archbishop inspired by new Anglican leader

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has returned from the enthronement of the new Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, with a renewed awareness that their challenges are similar.

Bathersby shares that conviction with the people of his archdiocese in his Lenten pastoral letter to be read at Masses this weekend.

A little over a week after attending the enthronement of Archbishop Williams (pictured), he refers to the challenge of reaching the vast majority of people who do not participate in the life of the Church.

Archbishop Bathersby said the new Archbishop of Canterbury's message for his congregation after his enthronement is simple: "Jesus is God's great secret".

"Despite the clarity of the secret the archbishop acknowledged that many people will hear the secret and be totally unaffected by it.

"The archbishop is aware that so many baptised people just do not take Christ's message seriously, so that much still needs to be done if people are to understand Christ's meaning.

"That, my dear people, is the great challenge not only for the Archbishop of Canterbury but for this archdiocese too as we face the future," Archbishop Bathersby said.

He said the archdiocese was placing great hope in the synod to be held in May.

"The synod is a one-off opportunity for us to face the challenge that 87% of our Catholic people have minimum contact with the Church." He urged the people of the archdiocese this Lent to pray in a special way for the synod.

Catholic Leader

Archdiocese of Brisbane | Archbishop | Statements (text of letter to appear here) | Synod 2003
Newly-enthroned Anglican leader praises Pope (28/2/03)
Archbishop of Canterbury (official website)
Anglican Communion

6 Mar 2003