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Church reform: from Stage One to Stage Two

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 Contents - Jun 2001AD2000 June 2001 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Church reform: from Stage One to Stage Two - Michael Gilchrist
Archbishop Pell installed in Sydney - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Basic Ecclesial Communities: Adelaide's 'new model of church' - Michael Gilchrist
Annual women priests protest in Adelaide - AD2000 Report
Denver document addresses challenges to Catholic marriage teachings - AD2000 Report
US missionary risks death in Colombia - Zenit News Service
Anglican defence of Catholic inter-Communion ban - Fr Geoffrey Kirk
How a small rural parish survived against the odds - Paul Newton
Light to the Nations 2001 - Young Australian Catholics celebrate their faith - Mary-Jane Donnellan
Letters: Archbishop Pell (letter) - Godwin Brown
Letters: Ballarat Diocese (letter) - Fr Gerry Baldock
Letters: Encouragement (letter) - John F. Doran
Letters: Consecrated life (letter) - Therese O'Rourke
Letters: Indian appeal (letter) - Kevin L. Fernandes
Letters: Annunciation (letter) - Andrew Scholl
Letters: Altar (letter) - Stuart J. Blackwood
Letters: Science and Christianity (letter) - Mrs Carol V. Phillips
Letters: Sexual abstinence (letter) - Errol P. Duke
Letters: 'Lest we forget' (letter) - Marion Craig
Books: The Turin Shroud: Past, Present and Future, International Scientific Symposium - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: 'As One Struggling Christian to Another: Augustine's Christian Ideal for Today' - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: 'Blessed Columba Marmion: a Short Biography' by Mark Tierney OSB - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: 'The Wedding Present' by Viscountess Margaret Long - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Heaven in Stone and Glass: Experiencing the Spirituality of the Great Cathedrals - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: 'The Doctors of the Church' by Bernard McGinn - Angela Joseph (reviewer)
Books: 'Praying The Psalms: A Commentary' by Fr Stanley L. Jaki - Anthony Cappello (reviewer)
Books: 'Praying with Thomas Aquinas' by Houle, Monshau and Norris - Catherine Sheehan (reviewer)
Reflection: The priest: mediator between God and man - Archbishop George Pell

With the departure of the former Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr George Pell, to Sydney, it remained for his successor in Melbourne to be appointed. Meanwhile, Bishop Denis Hart was named on 11 May as the interim Diocesan Administrator. At this stage it is not clear when the name of the new Archbishop of Melbourne will be announced.

This editorial is not strictly about Bishop Hart's appointment or about who succeeds to Melbourne, but about the general direction of the Catholic Church in Australia, signalled by Archbishop Pell's move to Sydney.

One gains the impression, with this latest episcopal appointment, that Rome has come to appreciate that only through particularly strong and orthodox bishops - given the challenges facing the Church - can the faith be strengthened and spread throughout Australia.

It is an encouraging trend that there are now many bishops in this category. And with an increasing number of episcopal vacancies opening up over the coming months, there is an opportunity for Rome to consolidate the position further in Australia.

When the Statement of Conclusions was first released, with its agenda of reforms, the Holy See had reason to hope the situation would begin to improve in a reasonable time. And when the Australian bishops endorsed the document at their conference in 1999, this hope would have been confirmed.

Since then, however, the less than enthusiastic approach to implementation of the Statement of Conclusions in some quarters suggested the Statement itself might be only Stage One.

Stage Two, which has seen a recent succession of strong and orthodox appointments, culminating in Archbishop Pell's move to Sydney, seems to have involved, where possible, filling vacancies with bishops who could be expected to be more pro-active regarding the Statement of Conclusions.

Michael Gilchrist: Editor (E-mail -

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 14 No 5 (June 2001), p. 2

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