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Nuncio urges parishes and movements to work together

Pope John Paul II's representative in Australia, Archbishop Francesco Canalini, has called on parishes and Church movements to set apart rivalries in order to work together to answer the challenges and needs of the times.

Archbishop Canalini, the Apostolic Nuncio, told Friday's opening session of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference Plenary Meeting in Sydney that parishes and movements should promote "mutual relations which value difference".

He said the Bishops' recent ad limina visit to Rome had served to "consolidate unity in the same faith, hope and charity" and while they returned home to be confronted with a reality which was not new, their hope had been refreshed and renewed.

"Confirmed by the Successor of Peter, we are ready to immerse ourselves in the Episcopal ministry with renewed apostolic energies and zeal," he said.

Archbishop Canalini warned against a "lukewarm" faith, saying it "is a risk which threatens all the faithful, allied as it is to religious indifference, which seems to pervade a great part of the mentality of our modern western world".

"This is the challenge that needs to be faced," he said.

"Signs of this awareness are present in our communities and are gradually becoming more evident in the national scene. I think in particular of the National Evangelisation Teams (NET), Antioch and Youth Ministry Teams in various dioceses, besides the many other Catholic organizations with similar approaches.

"I mention also various new ecclesial movements, which are determined to awaken 'the giant sleeper' and in making inroads among nominal Catholics.

"However the basic component of the diocesan organisation remains the parish."

Archbishop Canalini said parishes and movements often had different modes of operation, presenting the question "as to how to let these 'associative realities' enter into common and wider pastoral projects and perspectives".

"This demands that we set apart rivalries and promote mutual relations which value difference and, at the same time, recognize legitimate initiatives of originality and freedom," he said.

Pictured: Archbishop Canalini (left), with ACBC President Archbishop Francis Carroll

Parishes and Movements should work together - Apostolic Nuncio (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 7/5/04)

Italian study says 'New Movements' are not sects (CathNews 22/7/03)
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Neocatechumenal Way
Focolare Oceania
Nuncio's message to focus on essentials of the faith (CathNews 27/11/03)
Archbishop Francesco Canalini (

10 May 2004