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New Council of Churches President highlights Catholic membership

The incoming president of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), Rev Professor James Haire, has described Australia as a "pacesetter in ecumenism", citing the Australian Catholic Church's full membership of the NCCA.

"In the Asia region, we're one of the very few countries where the Roman Catholic Church is a full member of our council of churches," he said. "We Australians are very bad at giving ourselves a pat on the back. But in this area we really are at the cutting edge."

The Council exists to strengthen the cause of Christian unity. 15 major Australian churches form its membership. It works to bring churches closer together and helps them find a common cause and a common voice.

This week Professor Haire ends his term as President of the Uniting Church in Australia. He has also been named as incoming Director of the National Centre for Christianity and Culture in Canberra, and Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University.

The General Secretary of the NCCA, the Revd John Henderson, said the NCCA is delighted that Professor Haire has accepted the honorary position of President and that he and the Council look forward to the energy and wisdom that Professor Haire brings to his leadership in ecumenical affairs.

National Council of Churches of Australia

National Council of Churches of Australia

14 Jul 2003