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Pastoral issues, divorce at heart of Bishops concerns

Pastoral issues including divorce are among the leading topics dealt with by Australia's bishops who have made public a summary report of decisions taken at their biannual conference that ended in Sydney earlier this month.

According to the report, the bishops at the meeting approved a new booklet entitled Divorce and the Catholic Church - Frequently Asked Questions which will be a companion to the popular Marriage in the Catholic Church - Frequently Asked Questions, published earlier this year by the bishops.

"This small booklet is an attempt to explain some of the principles underlying the Church's approach to issues around divorce, remarriage and the Eucharist," the introduction says.

"It is hoped that it provides encouragement and guidance to all who are grappling with the pain of divorce and, in particular, with its implications for their life as members of the body of Christ, the Church."

A publication date for the booklet has not yet been set. Upon publication it will be available for order through the bishops' conference's secretariat.

The bishops also formally approved the itinerary for the pilgrimage of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon. They also approved a Congress on "Peace in the Middle East" at the NSW Parliament House in May.

The summary report says that the proposed day-long Congress will be "a significant event in Australian inter-religious affairs, featuring participants from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions."

International speakers will join local experts to consider the topic of "The Role of Religion in Achieving Peace in the Middle East", the report notes.

At the plenary meeting, the bishops also welcomed two new faces in Auxiliary Bishop of Adelaide, Bishop Gregory O'Kelly, and the newly installed Eparch of the Chaldean Eparchy of Oceania, Archbishop Jibrail Kassab.

Bishop O'Kelly, who has had a long and distinguished career in education, was seconded to the Commission for Catholic Education while Archbishop Kassab was seconded to the Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations.

The meeting, held at Mary Mackillop Place in Sydney, was also the first Plenary Meeting since the appointment of Canberra and Goulburn Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

News from the November Plenary Meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, 8/12/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Bishops seek to reconnect with Catholics (CathNews, 4/12/06)
Restructure for Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (CathNews, 6/5/06)


12 Dec 2006