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The Church at the crossroads

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 Contents - Oct 2000AD2000 October 2000 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The Church at the crossroads - Michael Gilchrist
'Dominus Jesus' reaffirms Catholic Church's claims to truth - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
'Call to Change' in Tasmania: but whose 'vision of Church'? - Michael Gilchrist
The Salesians' impact in East Timor - Br Marcal Lopes SDB
Contentious Social Justice Statement on women's participation published - Michael Gilchrist
Jubilee Marian Congress
Archbishop Pell: social justice for today's family - Archbishop George Pell
How orthodox are Australian Catholic University's professorial staff? - Eamonn Keane
How language transforms a Christian society into a secular society - Audrey English
An authentic Christian spirituality grounded in objective revelation - Michael Daniel

It is now approaching two years since representatives of the Australian Episcopal Conference and heads of key Vatican congregations jointly adopted a plan of action outlining key areas in need of urgent reform in the Church in Australia - the Statement of Conclusions.

While some dioceses in New South Wales, Victoria and WA have embraced the agenda of orthodoxy with enthusiasm, it is also clear that in many, it has disappeared without trace.

The Statement of Conclusions set out the following kinds of directives:

* A bishop should "exercise vigilance over the celebration and administration of the sacraments in his diocese" ensuring "the sacraments are administered according to the proper liturgical norms." If not, he should act "quickly to correct the error or abuse."

* In "choosing their collaborators in the diocesan administration, seminary and in parishes, bishops need to make these appointments with a careful eye and with great attention, always giving emphasis to sanctity of life, orthodoxy and pastoral competence."

* Teachers in Catholic schools "must be properly formed in the faith, especially principals and those who teach religion."

Apart from early remedial action on illicit use of the Third Rite of Reconciliation, there has been little evident action to implement the Statement's directives. In some States, the opposite has even been occurring, with an eager embrace of old, failed policies and practices.

The way ahead is to be found in those dioceses that are following policies in line with the Statement of Conclusions. The alternative path leads to demoralisation, decay and, ultimately, the disappearance of the Church in any recognisably Catholic form.

Michael Gilchrist: Editor (Email -

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 13 No 9 (October 2000), p. 2

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