Bishop suggests cathedral for Broken Bay

Concern is growing in the diocese of Broken Bay in Sydney's northern suburbs over the lack of space for large liturgical gatherings, leading Bishop David Walker to raise the issue of a purpose built cathedral for the twenty-year old diocese.

The present diocesan "cathedral", which only holds 600-700 people, was originally the parish church of Corpus Christi, St Ives, on Sydney's north shore.

What may be needed is a cathedral that can "provide comfortable accommodation for more than a thousand people to celebrate the liturgy of the Church", Bishop Walker told the Catholic Weekly.

Bishop Walker says he has been concerned that a number of diocesan groups, especially secondary schools, have, in recent times, begun to have their school Masses at St Mary's Cathedral.

"What is this saying about our identity as a diocese?" he asked.

"The reason groups go outside the diocese is that there is no church, or even an appropriate civil place, in Broken Bay diocese," he said.

"Our liturgical people also have been concerned at our lack of liturgical space for large diocesan gatherings."

"The arguments proposed do not necessarily convince me that we need a purpose-built cathedral, but they do convince me that we need to think seriously about the question," he added.

"We would be one of the few dioceses in Australia, perhaps the only one, that does not have a purpose-built cathedral.

"There is no doubt that a cathedral is meant to be a central focus within a diocese, and its life is meant to challenge and support the parishes of the diocese."

Bishop Walker says a cathedral should be a "focal point of diocesan life".

"It is clear that the building of a church can bring people together in a parish, and be the basis of deepening the faith life of the community," he said.

Working together to build a cathedral could be "the means to take us forward into the third millennium".

Broken Bay may need new cathedral: bishop (Catholic Weekly, 1 October 2006)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Broken Bay diocese
Bishop David Walker (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Bishop David Walker (Catholic-Hierarchy)
Bishop David Walker (Wikipedia)

28 Sep 2006