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2020.05.19. Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane, Australia Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 

Australian Bishops to study report on governance in the Church

The Australian Catholic bishops welcome a report into Catholic Church governance practices and possible reforms, which was presented to them shortly before last week’s plenary meeting.

By Vatican News

Australia’s Bishops have welcomed a report on “Promoting Co-responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia” presented on the eve of their recent plenary assembly.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) commissioned the report, following a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It contains 86 recommendations focused on key principles for good governance of the Church in Australia, including subsidiarity, administration, synodality, dialogue, discernment and leadership. The report also offers concrete suggestions on how to strengthen the role of the laity and ensure their appropriate co-responsibility at both the parish and diocesan levels.

“The members of the Governance Review Project Team are to be congratulated on producing such a substantial piece of work, with far-reaching implications for the Church’s life and mission,” said ACBC President Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane. He said the bishops will study and discuss the document at the diocesan level, in preparation for a “full discussion” at the next plenary meeting, set to take place in November. “This will allow them to then publish the report and respond to it,” Achbishop Coleridge said.

The prelate also stressed that the document will make a useful contribution to the debates during the upcoming national Plenary Council. The first session of the Plenary Council had been scheduled to take place in Adelaide from 4-11 October 2020.  However, due to the Coronavirus emergency the Organizing Commission decided to postpone the assembly to 28 June - 3 July 2021. 

19 May 2020, 12:20