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News 2022

Previous 2022 News from January-July  HERE

A broad and diverse mix of Local, National and International faith-related News, Information and Opinions.
Views expressed are those of the Authors and may or may not always represent those of the Parish.

Launch of new Parish website

Fr Bill, Friday 15 July 2022

Our Parish is about to launch its new website and if all goes well, and the countdown is completed, the launch will take place during this coming week. Even after launch there will still be work to do on the site, material to upload and bugs to be ironed out, so please be patient with those trying to bring this project to fruition.         As we prepare to transition from our current website to this new platform we thank John Costa who over many years has initiated, developed and maintained our current website ensuring that our parish has been at the forefront of online information for those seeking not just information on the parish but news from sources far and wide bringing the Universal Church into the reach of parishioners week by week.    We thank John not just for the thousands of hours he must have spent, week by week, as our Webmaster, but also for the endeavour and commitment in bringing to us the rich diversity of news and views from sources from around the world. 

Parish Redevelopment Project Update
Sad Essential Step  – Sale of Mother of God Church

Pat Kelly, Project Manager, 15 July 2022
The Roman Catholic Property Trust, the owner of all church property within the Archdiocese of Melbourne, has engaged Colliers as agents for the sale of the Mother of God Church at 56 Wilfred Road, East Ivanhoe. Expressions of Interest for purchase of the property will be placed in commercial real estate publications around the end of July 2022.     The terms of sale provide for the church to be used until all parish activities and assets are located to the redeveloped Mary Immaculate site and our new Mary Mother of the Church Parish Centre. 

Pope Francis ‘pointing the People of God forward'
Edited Extract from Mary Brazil, Catholic Outlook, CathNews, 15 July 20222
Pope Francis is helping to “reshape the Church for the third millennium”, British journalist Christopher Lamb said during his recent visit to Australia.  Christopher Lamb, who was in Australia to observe proceedings at the second assembly of the Plenary Council, delivered a public lecture titled ‘The Outsider Pope: Where is Francis leading our Church’, hosted by Parramatta Diocese on July 5.        Lamb is the Vatican correspondent from The Tablet, and his latest book, The Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church, draws on his close observations of Pope Francis and his efforts to renew the Catholic Church.        He said the Pope’s consistent and relentless focus on a lived, authentic Christianity has stirred up some arguments against him.      “How can a pope both make an incredible global impact, yet also (arouse) intense opposition at the same time? And can he succeed in the battle for Church reform?” he asked.         “At its heart, the Francis pontificate is an attempt to implement a Gospel-based reform of the Church by applying the essentials of the Christian faith. It is rooted in a deep trust in the action of the Holy Spirit to update and renew the Church, including its structures.”        Lamb described how the Pope got his “outsider” moniker – by being from the "Global South", having not worked or studied in Rome ahead of his election and by choosing to model his pontificate on St Francis of Assisi.       “This Pope, like St Francis, seeks a renewal of the Church first and foremost by living the Gospel authentically, embracing poverty, simplicity and a deep love of the Cosmos, the natural world.      “It is about mission rather than maintaining the Church’s institutional prestige or financial position.”....(More).  Photo: Christopher Lamb lecture Sydney July 5 , Parramatta Diocese, CathNews 20220715

Letter from Archbishop Peter Comensoli on the 5th Australian Plenary Council

To all of Christ's faithful in the Achdiocese of Melbourne

15 July 2022


Archbishop Costelloe begins term as Conference president
Extract from CathNews, ACBC Media Blog, 14 July 2022
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has officially taken over the presidency of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, two months after being elected to the post.             The Bishops Conference’s biennial election of president and vice-president took place at its May plenary meeting. Archbishop Costelloe was elected president, with Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP re-elected vice-president.        The bishops agreed to delay the handover of the role until after the second assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, for which Archbishop Costelloe served as president for more than four years.       The second assembly concluded on Saturday, but the date for the change of president was July 13 – to coincide with the completion of a retreat for bishops that ended on Wednesday afternoon.       Archbishop Costelloe, the Archbishop of Perth, becomes the first bishop of a West Australian diocese and the first bishop who is a member of a religious order to lead the Bishops Conference.               He succeeds Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who served as president for four years.         When elected in May, Archbishop Costelloe said: “As we continue to contemplate how we live out the Gospel in this age ... I look forward to working with my brother bishops and the People of God to carry forward Christ’s mission.”....(more) Photo: Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB (ACBC)
Pope names three women to Dicastery for Bishops
Extract from CathNews, Vatican Media, CNS, 14 July 2022
Ten days after saying he would name two women to the group that helps him choose bishops, Pope Francis appointed three women to the office.    The Vatican announced yesterday that the Pope had named 14 new members of the Dicastery for Bishops.        For the first time, the members include women: Sr Raffaella Petrini, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, who is secretary-general of the office governing Vatican City State; Sr Yvonne Reungoat, a French Salesian and former superior general of the order; and Maria Lia Zervino, an Argentine who is president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations.       The dicastery is led by Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet and is responsible for helping the Pope choose bishops for Latin-rite dioceses outside of the Church’s mission territories. Members meet twice a month to review dossiers submitted by Vatican nuncios about potential candidates and to vote on the names they recommend to the Pope.       Before Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia took effect in June, members of the dicastery were only cardinals and a few bishops.         The other new members of the dicastery include: Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm; Cardinal Jose Advincula of Manila, Philippines; Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonca, Vatican archivist; and Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops....(more).  Photo:The Pope with Sr Raffaela Petrini , Vatican Media, CathNews, 20220714
The 2nd General Assembly of the 5th Plenary Council of Australia July 3-9 2022
Concluding Statement
Decrees, Motions and Voting, Relive the 2nd Assembly, Timeline.
Linked from Plenary Council, 14 July 2022
Plenary Council Blog. John Warhurst, Final day of the Plenary Assembly, 8 July 2022   HERE

Plenary Council Blog. Francis Sullivan, 8 July 2022,   HERE

Plenary Matters Podcast. Geraldine Doogue with ++Mark Coleridge, Dr Maeve Heaney, 8 July 2022  (2 X 15 Minutes)  HERE
UK Synodal consultation – key issue is Church governance
Extract from Editorial, The Tablet 7 July, linked here 13 July 2022
The consultation of the Catholic faithful in England and Wales, designed to promote the concept of synodality, has to be seen as a striking success. While many features of Catholic life were found to be overdue for reform, the tone was not angry and reproachful but constructive and respectful. The laity, in summary, are appreciative of parish clergy but have had enough of clericalism and want their relationship with the clergy to be reset – for the sake of priests as much as for themselves. Most priests will welcome this, as they too are frustrated. But some have chosen to opt out of the synodal process.  They can see nothing wrong with the way things are, and the limit of their ambition is the successful management of decline.         Serious questions lie just below the surface of this consultation exercise. Why, 57 years after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, has the kind of Catholic Church it called for still not arrived? Why are large groups of lay Catholics, most notably women, still feeling marginalised and excluded, their energies wasted or ignored?  Why is the Church not functioning as it should, as a sacramental embodiment of the values of the Gospel, a shining light in a dark world?            This may seem like a criticism of the people in charge, the bishops, but none of them has deliberately set out to frustrate the Church’s evangelistic mission.  The remedy must lie elsewhere, in a transformation of the culture that the laity and the clergy at all levels are part of – and to a degree stifled by – and in the structures, largely set by Canon Law but also by custom and practice, within which they have to operate. Culture and structure need reform: probably both at once, as they shape each other.         Attention should be given, for instance, to the demoralising effect of Canon 129 of the 1983 Code.  “Those who have received sacred orders are qualified, according to the norm of the prescripts of the law, for the power of governance, which exists in the Church by divine institution and is also called the power of jurisdiction.” While it goes on to add, “Lay members of the Christian faithful can cooperate in the exercise of this same power according to the norm of law,” governance in the Church – the power to make executive decisions – is denied to those who are not ordained.  The Catholic Church has to ask itself whether that makes the appearance of a clerical caste inevitable, with a sense of exclusion for those not belonging to it.         In his reform of the Curia, Pope Francis has signalled the end of the theology behind Canon 129, by allowing senior posts in the Curia to be opened to lay men and women.  That reform has universal implications. Why should the Catholic Church of England and Wales, or anywhere else for that matter, be governed exclusively by a priesthood of celibate males?  That suggests either that government in the Church should be opened to people who are not celibate males by widening the criteria for ordination; or that Canon 129 should be repealed altogether, with its heavily clericalist presumptions, so that the laity can be fully empowered, yet still as laity. Theologically, as Vatican II reminded them, they too are part of a holy priesthood.....(More).  Photo: Cardinals Pope Francis' celebration of Mass & process leading to world Synod of Bishops 2023, CNS Remo Casilli, Reuters, The Tablet 7
Plenary Council decisions to impact Church communities across Australia
Extract from Mark Bowling, Catholic Leader, 11 July 2022

Australia’s historic Plenary Council ended on Saturday with a Mass and approval of a final statement by the 277 Council members that “The Holy Spirit has been both comforter and disrupter”.           The Council’s final six-day assembly in Sydney included tense and difficult moments, especially last Wednesday (July 6) when the assembly was left in disarray after two motions aimed at promoting women’s roles in Church did not pass.              The motions were redrafted and five, reshaped motions relating to the role of women in the Church went to a vote on Friday and passed.            Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge who flagged a Plenary Council in 2016,  said decisions made after voting on dozens of plenary motions would “have their effect in communities all around Australia”.        “These are not decisions made on Planet Mars, they are really quite concrete decisions that will have all kinds of effects seen and unseen upon the communities that make up the Catholic Church around Australia,” Archbishop Coleridge said.         “I can’t predict in detail what those effects will be, but I know that they’ll happen over time.”        The final statement said the Council had been an “expression of the synodality that Pope Francis has identified as a key dimension of the Church’s life in the third millennium”.        “Synodality is the way of being a pilgrim Church, a Church that journeys together and listens together, so that we might more faithfully act together in responding to our God-given vocation and mission,” it said.       The statement agreed with Pope Francis’ assessment that synodality is “an easy concept to put into words, but not so easy to put into practice”.        Townsville Bishop Tim Harris agreed the Council assembly had been a “powerful and palpable experience of synodality.         “And I think that now we’re at the end it’s proved to me that what the Pope has asked us to do is the right thing to do… the end of the Plenary is now the beginning of the implementation,” he said.         The Plenary Council directly engaged with some of the tough issues that have confronted the Australian Church – First Nations recognition and identity, historic child sexual abuse and the safeguarding that is now needed, and the place of women in the Church.              The Plenary attempted to capture the major issues affecting contemporary Churh life in Australia, hearing from 222,000 people and the contribution of 17,457 submissions.           Now, after final voting, dozens of motions will be scrutinised in the weeks and months ahead.         The Plenary concluded with Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in central Sydney on Saturday morning. Earlier Council members confirmed the decrees of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, which were then signed by all bishops present.            After a November meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the decrees will be sent to the Holy See.         Once recognitio is received by the Holy See, the decrees will be implemented and become the law of the Church in Australian six months later......(MORE)    Photo: Plenary Council expression of synodality Mark Bowling Catholic Leader 20220711

A week of positives and negatives for the Plenary: Archbishop Anthony Fisher
Extracts from Peter Rosengren, Catholic Weekly, 9 July 2022
As the four year process of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia comes to an end, there have been both positives and negatives, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP of Sydney said in an interview on its final day.           He said he was cautiously optimistic about its achievements.        “There’s been a direct engagement with some of the really ‘hard’ issues, like Indigenous issues, child sexual abuse and the place of women in the Church,” he told The Catholic Weekly newspaper. “Those discussions were sometimes very emotional and potentially very divisive. Yet in the end there was a high level of agreement on most of them.        “It’s much better that such matters were confronted directly rather than presenting a kind of faux unity by avoiding the hard issues,” he said.  A challenging process        “The assembly has offered some good thoughts on liturgy, marriage catechumenate, youth ministry, formation programs for lay leaders including those in rural and remote areas, and stewardship of the earth.”        Other positives included a much greater appreciation of the place of the Eastern Catholic churches in Australia than has been seen in Church gatherings before now.        It was always going to be difficult to hear, distill and then do justice to contributions from near a quarter of a million people down to two one-week assemblies and the processes in-between. And underrepresentation of ‘ordinary’ priests and indeed ordinary Catholics , including overseas-born ones, was also potentially distorting according to Archbishop Fisher.............“The assembly was structured in a way that created pressure upon the ‘determinative voters’—mostly bishops—to vote along the same lines as the other members (the ‘consultative voters’) in order to show they’d listened to the people. And there were other pressures from some of the members who were quite ideological and outspoken,” he said.        “I think we are clearly in a very different world to that of the previous Plenary Councils, where the bishops were seen as undisputedly the leaders of the Church and it was their task as pastors to decide the pastoral direction of the Church. This Plenary was very much set up so the bishops would listen and enact what others thought were the pastoral priorities.”         He said this was partly influenced by the spirit of the age and partly by developments in Church thinking.        “There’s a very different attitude to authority, leadership and hierarchy today – partly due to the spirit of the age which reduces truth to popular opinion, and partly due to the synodality movement which has called the pastors of the Church to listen to their people and discern alongside them rather than above them. So I would say some of this has come from the heart of the Church and some of it is coming from other places that are not so healthy.”....(MORE)  Photo: Archbishop Fisher OP of Sydney, National Catholic Education Commission chair Jacinta Collins, Plenary Council final day, Sydney, 8 July, Giovanni Portelli The Catholic Weekly 20220709
Members happy with revised women’s motions on Plenary’s final day
Revised motions on women and the Church have received the necessary votes to pass on the Plenary Council's final day
Extracts from Marilyn Rodrigues, Catholic Weekly, 9 July 2022
The Plenary Council prepared to draw to a close on 8 July after two days of catch-up in an altered voting format, passing almost all of the motions in its guiding document including a revised version of the section on the equal dignity of women and men in the Catholic Church.      Members were noticeably tired after a long week but the general mood in the assembly hall was buoyant as the final full day ended.              The Co-director of the Sydney-based Marriage Resource Centre, Francine Pirola, said that the Council had produced a “vastly improved” revision of section 4 of the Motions and Amendments document on women which had been the focus of a major disruption mid-week.      “Instead of being comprised of only two motions, all of the action items were separated out, so that was really good and felt a lot more respectful,” she said.    “The document was theologically more concise and accurate as well, so I think that made it easier for people to swing behind it,” she said. “Mostly the women who had previously been very distressed seemed to be happy with it.”........“Where ever they find themselves on the spectrum of what it is to be a Catholic woman we’ve found a mid-point,” she said.      “It was an opportunity for a foundation and a starting point. I feel like I can go home to my daughter now and say yes, the Catholic Church values women and men, and it is a good day in that respect.”.......Prof. Kohler-Ryan said the greatest challenge and responsibility was trying to do justice to such a diverse range of views expressed in discussion and written feedback.        “The wisdom of Christ’s Church, her Scripture and tradition, shines a path that actually places demands on all of us,” she said.      “Catholics are still to realise the ‘hour of woman’ that Paul VI spoke about at the close of the Second Vatican Council...........“As the drafting team has expressed: there is still much work to be done.”.........(More)Photo: Members Second Assembly Plenary Council final day, Giovanni Portelli, The Catholic Weekly 20220709
Voting Outcomes for the 5th Plenary Council of Australia
(Parts 4,5,6,9,10 and 11 of the Motions And Amendments Documents. 8 July 2022  (HERE)
Further to reports below relating to Part 4 (Witnessing to the Equal Dignity of Women and Men) note a qualified majority and passing of Motions 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4

For all voting results see HERE
Plenary Council backs action on ecology, Church governance reform
Extract from ACBC, 7 July 2022, Catholic Outlook,  7 July 2022
Plenary Council Members have passed all six motions they considered on Thursday across parts of the agenda in the areas of Church governance and integral ecology.       Among the reforms backed were a call for the establishment of diocesan pastoral councils across the country, the hosting of diocesan synods within five years of the conclusion of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia and the undertaking of broad consultation about the creation of a national synodal body for Church collaboration.        Those were captured in the four motions that emerged from Part 7 of the Council’s Motions and Amendments document entitled “At the Service of Communion, Participation and Mission: Governance”.        All four motions achieved a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes cast on Thursday, and so were passed.        Members also voted on two motions in Part 8, Integral Ecology for the Sake of Our Common Home, with those two votes achieving a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes, therefore passing.       The Council said ecological conversion is “both personal and communal”, and that there was “urgent need for action” from Catholic entities through the development of, or alignment with, Laudato Si’ Action Plans inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical letter of the same name.      The Council called for the promotion of initiatives in Church and society that “promote and defend human life from conception to natural death, especially those who are most vulnerable”.      Details on the final wording of motions and the voting outcomes can be found on the Motions and Voting page of the Plenary Council website.      Follow the second assembly HERE       View the Voting Outcomes for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia on Parts 7 and 8 of the Motions and Amendments Document, announced on 7 July 2022, HERE.    Rewatch the livestream of the opening session of Day 5 of the Second Assembly HERE.......(MORE)    Image: Plenary Council Members plant seeds table gardens PC 2nd Assembly Sydney, ACBC, Catholic Outlook 20220707      
Pope Francis to appoint women to Vatican office responsible for selecting bishops,
Extract from Christopher White, Vatican, National Catholic Reporter 6 July, linked here 7 July 2022
ROME — Pope Francis intends to appoint two women to the Vatican's Dicastery for Bishops, marking a historic first for the office tasked with advising the pontiff on which Catholic priests to appoint as bishops across the world.       "Two women will be appointed for the first time in the committee to elect bishops in the Congregation for Bishops," Francis told Philip Pullella, the Reuters' Vatican correspondent, in an interview that took place on July 2 and was published on July 6.      Under the Vatican's new constitution, which took effect on June 5, all Vatican congregations and councils have now been renamed with the newly streamlined title of "dicastery."        The constitution also notes that  "any member of the faithful can preside over a dicastery," and in the newly published interview, Francis said that Vatican's office for Education and Culture and the Apostolic Library are among those that could be headed by a lay man or woman in the near future......(More). Photo: Pope Francis Sister Jolanta Kafka, president of the International Union of Superiors General May 5, 2022, CNS Vatican Media, NCR 20220606
UPDATED VERSION of report below: Vote over role of women disrupts Plenary Council assembly
Extract from Mark Bowling, Catholic Outlook, 7 July 2022
AUSTRALIA’S historic Plenary Council assemby was left in disarray on Day 3 after a vote to elevate the role of women in the Church failed to pass.      The program for the 277 assembly members meeting at St Mary’s Cathedral College in Sydney was dramatically put on hold after a final vote by bishops rejected motions aimed at ensuring women play a greater role in the Church, and included support for admission of women to become Church deacons, if the Pope agreed.        Dozens of members, mainly women, walked from the assembly floor in protest, some of them crying.      “We were really disturbed,” congregational leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Sr Patty Fawkner, said.       “We stood silently on the sidelines of the assembly.    “One of the fruits of the Spirit is peace, and there was definitely no peace in that room.”          One assembly observer, theologian, Professor Gerard Kelly said “a crisis is a fork in the road. What these motions basically say is the Church has nothing to say about the role of women, which is devastating”.       “It basically obliterated all that was there on paper,” Prof Kelly said........(More). Photo: Plenary members silent protest after failed vote on women,  Fiona Basile, Catholic Leader, 7 July 2022
Plenary Council assembly reaches decision day about the Church role of women
Extract from Mark Bowling, Catholic Leader, 6 July 2022
AMIDST global debate about the role of women in the Catholic Church, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge says it will be “a close call” today whether a motion to support women becoming Church deacons is supported at Australia’s historic Plenary Council assembly in Sydney.       Motions aimed at providing women and men equal dignity in the Australian Church are being put to 277 assembly members – a first vote has already been cast by religious, lay men and women – with a final vote – made exclusively by bishops – to be known later today.      To pass, a final vote by bishops on whether to support women deacons would require a two thirds majority.     “I suspect it will be a close call but there are very different perspectives on this all held in good faith,” Archbishop Coleridge, outgoing president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said.     Inside the Church, he said a “tectonic shift” is happening in terms of allowing women into decision-making positions, however, he added “it can’t be reduced to simply women being ordained deacons” – an action that would ultimately hinge on Pope Francis agreeing to it.      “I think the current model of governance in the Church, where it’s so closely tied to ordination, looks to me to be unsustainable in the future,” Archbishop Coleridge said, outside the closed-door plenary assembly.       “Currently you can only govern in the Church if you are ordained… and I think we have to move more to a team approach to governance and leadership and women will have to be very much part of that.”      Plenary member, Bishop of Wagga Wagga, Mark Edwards OMI, said that if the deaconate for women went ahead the “great advantage it would offer us is that we would hear a woman preaching at Mass”, but he said from his experience the move would not really help with Church governance since “decisions in the parish aren’t made by the deacon they are make by the priest, and decisions in the diocese aren’t made by the deacon they are made by the bishop”.       “So I don’t think it’s a help with governance, governance needs to be addressed in other, creative ways,” he said.      Plenary member, Dr Maeve Heaney, Director, Xavier Centre of Theology at Australian Catholic University, said finding a decision-making space for women in the Church implied thinking how our “baptismal identity as prophets, priests and kings interacts with theologies of priesthood and theologies and episcopate”........(more)       Photo: Mark Coleridge ponders great Change in Catholic Church, Mark Bowling, Catholic Leader 20220706

2nd Assembly Results of first six Plenary Council votes announced
Extract from CathNews, ACBC Media Blog, 5 July 2022
The outcome of the initial rounds of voting for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia were announced yesterday, with all relevant motions being passed with a qualified majority.        Members of the Plenary Council voted on six motions from the Motions and Amendments document. Prior to voting, the members agreed on three amendments.      Under the Reconciliation: Healing Wounds, Receiving Gifts theme, the members voted to pass a motion that would, among other things, commit the Church to say sorry to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for the part played by the Church in the harm they have suffered, as well as endorsing the Uluru Statement from the Heart.      The members voted for Catholic schools, parishes, dioceses and organisations to respond to recommendations contained in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council position paper “Embracing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the Life of the Catholic Church”. Members also approved a motion for the Bishops Commission for Liturgy and NATSICC to "develop options for the liturgically and culturally appropriate use of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander symbols and rituals in Catholic liturgical contexts”.          The second theme considered was Choosing Repentance – Seeking Healing. The members voted for the Plenary Council to say sorry to abuse victims and survivors, their families and communities and recommit the Church to respond with justice and compassion to those who have suffered from the trauma of abuse.      The members voted to request the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Religious Australia, and the Association of Ministerial PJPs, with assistance from appropriate experts, to study, acknowledge and address systemic factors which have facilitated abuse within the Church.          The members also voted to adopt a new name for the annual Safeguarding Sunday, and for the Bishops Commission for Liturgy to develop appropriate rituals and liturgical resources to be offered to parishes for use on the day.     The full details of the motions and votes can be found online at the Motions and Voting page of the Plenary Council website....(more).  Photo: Plenary Council members vote on a PC motion ACBC, Fiona Basile, 5 July 2022

Towards a new hopefulness
Extracts from Gail Freyne*, Pearls & Irritations, John Menadue website 3 July 2022
....When Joan Chittister toured Australia these past six weeks a whole lot of hope washed over us.
And a very big meeting was opened: Thousands of us bought tickets to hear her in person, nearly two thousand in Melbourne, eight hundred in Adelaide, eight hundred in Sydney, eight hundred in Brisbane and they were just the public events. Privately, she spoke to hundreds at a gathering of Catholic Religious Australia, for her ‘family’ of Good Samaritan Sisters and Benedictines, and for Mater Health with its ten thousand employees. Most of these events were recorded for national and international viewing, many for religious working overseas. More thousands tuned in to the programme, ‘Soul Search’ on ABC National radio, and on ABC South Australia.         Thousands watched a Zoom presented by ACCCR, read interviews in the Adelaide Advertiser, they watched her on The Drum on ABCtv, and listened to her in conversation with Rachael Kohn, Geraldine Doogue and nationally on Zoom conversation with John Warhurst for the states she was unable to visit: Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania. And, of course, for those in hospital, jail, aged care and the far reaches of the continent who were unable to attend in person. Finally, she spoke to two hundred and fifty of our 14-17 year old students from eighteen Catholic high schools in the Melbourne Archdiocese. They, the hope of the side, blessed with a privileged education, were urged to take the responsibility of being a Public Intellectual in the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.       Why did all these people turn up or tune in? One religious superior put it to me very succinctly: “Joan is an orthodox Catholic to her core”. She is not contradicting church teaching, she is asking us to live it and live it faithfully and more abundantly.........Here we are taught a theology that gives us all we need and yet it is a theology that for nearly five hundred years we backgrounded. The Council of Trent, concluding in 1563, was concerned not so much with orthodoxy but with reform: to abolish the sale of relics and indulgences, to critique the shallowness of church governance, the extremes of sexual and financial misbehaviour of our clerics that seem eerily close to our church today. Happily, this time we have a Pope who teaches that our problems arise from the still present evils of that clericalism and the hierarchy’s refusal to adopt the reform centred Council, Vatican II.       Pope Francis has told us that the failure to implement the reforms of Vatican II is central to the dysfunctional situation in which the church finds itself today.           Sr. Joan explains: “this Council called upon the church to be the church that the church was meant to be”........(More)*Gail Grossman Freyne, PhD, LL.B, Vice President of Catholics for Renewal, Founding Member, Women’s Wisdom in the Church (WWITCH).  

Image: Church Ceiling, PxHere, Pearls & Irritations, 3 July 2022

Previous News 2022 for January-July HERE