Expectations that the Pope would come to Australia to present his response to the Synod of Oceania held in November 1998 have been dashed by a Vatican announcement that he will deliver his response in Rome.
Pope John Paul II will issue the final document emanating from the Oceania Synod during a private audience at the Vatican on November 22, said Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
The Pope, now 81, decided against making the trip to Australia to deliver his response because he believes the long journey would be too taxing.
This is the first time the much-travelled Pontiff has
stayed home instead of visiting the region in question to deliver a regional synod document personally.