Tag Archive: australian bishops


Today is Pentecost Sunday, and with it begins the Year of Grace which has been called by the Australian bishops.  The brochure that was handed out at Masses in Brisbane this weekend says that the Year of Grace is

A holy time, given by God, to start afresh from Christ;  to contemplate his face and listen to God’s Word, that Jesus may heal our wounds, overcome all our divisions, and make us rich in hope, so that we may show forth his face and speak God’s saving Word to the world in new ways.

The local Brisbane Archdiocesan website for the Year of Grace can be found here.  There is also a Facebook group.

The Year of Grace in Australia will overlap with the Year of Faith, an international Year called for by Pope Benedict beginning in October on the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, but I don’t think that will matter much as both Years will have a similar goal: renewal of faith in Jesus Christ.

Click here to go to the National Year of Grace Prayer – perhaps you could say it when you make your morning offering, or as part of grace before the evening meal?

In other news … (including the suggestion, or two)

I haven’t had much chance for blogging of late!  I am half-way through my tribunal and chancery practicum, so that keeps me occupied for most of the week.

I did get slightly excited when I saw an announcement in the Archdiocesan Clergy Bulletin announcing that the Archdiocese was going to take up the new social media.  Because I read the notice in a hurry I assumed that meant Facebook.   However, when I read the notice more carefully later, it seems we haven’t gone that far yet.  But, for those of you who use Twitter, who can follow the Archdiocese of Brisbane at https://twitter.com/BneArchdiocese  Hopefully the Archdiocese might join the rest of us on Facebook soon!

But it did get me thinking … what would be really excellent, in my humble opinion, is if Archbishop Coleridge took up blogging!   Since he is already showing himself to be a very “hands on” leader, a blog would give all of us direct and constant contact with his thoughts and activities.

The excellent Archbishop of Ottawa, Terrence Prendergast SJ, maintains a very informative blog (The Journey of a Bishop) complete with pictures detailing his many pastoral and other engagements in the Archdiocese of Ottawa, in Canada, and internationally.  I’m not sure how he finds the time to do it, but he is certainly setting a good example of what is possible.

More or less coinciding with the Year of Faith called for by Pope Benedict XVI, the Australian Bishops have called the Church in Australia to celebrate a Year of Grace from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013.  The Bishops see this Year as a chance to “start afresh from Christ” and to renew our contemplation of the face of Christ.

In a letter to Australia’s Priests and Deacons, Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, wrote:

“We make the same call to the members of your parishes and communities, to the Religious, and to all the agencies which are part of our mission – our schools and universities, our social justice and welfare organisations, our myriad committees and agencies.  We will challenge ourselves to keep asking the question: “What’s this got to do with Jesus?” 

We ask and invite ourselves to pray, to grow in prayer, to help others to pray and to pray better.  We hope you will share this challenge with us.

We will call ourselves to repentance for the areas in which we have failed, individually and corporately, by commission and omission.

And we will celebrate the gift of holiness, the gifts of the Spirit, with which the Father has blessed us through the Risen Lord.”

I’m interested to hear your practical suggestions of how we can achieve these goals that Archbishop Wilson mentions.   We can exhort people to pray – or deepen their prayer life – but would actually help you to do that?

What would help you to make Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013 truly a Year of Grace that would draw you closer to Christ?

Leave a comment below!

See: Year of Grace – Starting Afresh from Christ

Archbishop Wilson’s message to Catholics in Australia:

Pope has final power

Following what I posted recently regarding the Toowoomba situation,  I draw readers’ attention to the following from the website of the Archdiocese of Melbourne:

Saturday 4 February 2012

Archbishop Denis Hart wrote yesterday to the Editor’s of both The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald in response to an article published in both newspapers last Thursday. The article presented opinions that suggested that former Toowoomba Bishop Bill Morris was denied procedural fairness and natural justice and that the Pope had breached canon law and exceeded his authority in removing Morris. The Archbishop’s letter to The Age is presented below.

Dear Sir,

The opinion piece “Bishop’s sacking reveals the Inquisition’s heavy hand remains ready to strike” (Age 2/2) re the removal of Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba is unfair and inaccurate. I understand WJ Carter QC is an eminent civil lawyer. Father Ian Waters’ Canon Law reflection is based solely on the Carter report.

In fact, the Holy See conducted a pastoral process of dialogue with Bishop Morris over eleven years involving senior officials of three offices of the Roman Curia, a number of meetings in Rome and a personal meeting with Pope Benedict. An Archbishop of another diocese from overseas appointed by the Holy See to investigate the matter has stated that he did discuss the contents of his report with Bishop Morris while he was in Toowoomba. Last October, in Rome, the Australian Bishops were informed of the care taken and the efforts made by the Holy See to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution.

In the Catholic Church, because the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the Universal Church, he has final power throughout the Church and can always freely exercise that power. This includes the appointment, transfer and removal of bishops.

Father Waters is misrepresented by the statement that the Pope has breached Canon Law and exceeded his authority.

In the final analysis the Pope always has freedom to act for the good of the Church in the appointment and removal of bishops.

Yours sincerely

[signed] + Denis J. Hart

There is more commentary over at Australia Incognita.