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Nuncio's message to focus on essentials of the faith

The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Francesco Canalini yesterday urged Australia's bishops to focus on the essentials of the faith as they go forth in unity to meet the challenges posed by an often fragmented modern society.

Archbishop Canalini (pictured left, with ACBC President Archbishop Francis Carroll) was delivering the opening address to the Plenary Meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in Sydney.

He said clear emphasis must be placed on the essential nature and mission of the Church: To announce Jesus Christ and His message to the world of today.

"Challenges come from everywhere: rapidly evolving technology, induced consumerism and hedonism, the rush for quick profit, outspoken relativism, enraged terrorism and violent reaction, all seem to conspire in favour of a world mentality of fragmentation where there is no room for a transcendent God and Christ's message of universal hope and salvation," Archbishop Canalini said.

"In these circumstances it is urgent that the Catholic Church emerge in its whole identity and proclaim - through its bishops and priests - with clarity, enthusiasm and steadfastness the saving and liberating message of our Lord in its integrity."

Archbishop Canalini said Catholics should achieve an enriching balance in living out their faith.

"We Catholics need to deepen our own faith and divest ourselves of dangerously divisive ideological attitudes, stressing at all times the integrity and grandeur of the Church's doctrine," he said.

Archbishop Canalini also paid tribute to Pope John Paul II, following the recent celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.

"Showing still surprising leadership qualities, he never ceases to challenge all of us," he said.

Focus on the essentials in meeting modern challenges - Apostolic Nuncio (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference media release 26/11/03)

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Australian Bishops meeting in Sydney (24/11/03)
Archbishop Francesco Canalini (

27 Nov 2003