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Military Bishop appoints women's advisor

Bishop Max Davis of the Catholic Military Ordinariate has announced the appointment of Lieutenant Commander Carmel Barnes as Episcopal Deputy and Advisor with regard to the special needs of the women of the Military Ordinariate.

Bishop Davis (pictured) said the appointment was the first of its kind in the Military Ordinariate of Australia and was integral to creating a Church in which all members contribute to its growth and promote a strong spiritual life which will be healthy and energetic in its visible love of God.

"Today I wish to formally advise of our affirmation of the role of women in our Church and acknowledge the rich experiences and variety of talents which women have that can only enhance our spiritual journey," he said.

"To assist me to bring about a fuller participation of women in the life of our Church I asked Lt Cmdr Carmel Barnes to assist me in harnessing the many skills of the women of our diocese."

Lt Cmdr Barnes has been associated with Defence, mostly Navy, as a serving member and a partner for more than 30 years. She is based in Canberra and is married to Steve. They have a daughter and four sons.

She said her initial reaction when asked to take on the appointment was to be overwhelmed at the enormity of the task.

"Then I became excited at what we could achieve if we worked together taking a step at a time," she said.

That first step will be to set up a network of Catholic women across the Military Diocese.

"We are a mobile population and while there are organisations within Defence which assist us when we move with the physical aspects of transition, I believe we have a need to support each other in transition and in location on a spiritual basis as well," she said.

"Working together, we can become a fuller, richer Church. It is an exciting vision."

Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 1/9/04)

Australian Catholic Defence Diocese
Commission for Australian Catholic Women | Diocesan Contact for the Military Ordinariate

2 Sep 2004