back to top
Saturday, May 18, 2024
12.2 C
Sydney

Archbishop flags church decentralisation

Most read

Archbishop Mark Coleridge

“The days of Dioceses as independent fiefdoms and the bishops as a law unto themselves are gone,” Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, outgoing president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has written in a foreword to the ACBC’s 2021 Annual Report.

While “the real powers in the Church rest with the dioceses, not with the Conference”, under Pope Francis Bishops’ Conferences are now “a work in progress”, Archbishop Coleridge wrote.

“Given that Pope Francis wants to encourage what he calls ‘a healthy decentralisation’, passing more responsibility to the bishops’ conferences, it is clear that the profile and function of the bishops conferences is changing,” he wrote.

- Advertisement -

The Plenary Council journey has shown that Bishops must learn to work with all the baptised, religious and ministerial public juridic persons, he added.

The Bishops have to learn to listen to all the voices in the Church in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, since unless we Bishops hear the voice of the Spirit we will end up in an echo-chamber where we hear only our own voice.

“In that sense, episcopal authority is not being undermined but resituated – and the resituating will only strengthen and clarify genuine episcopal authority, the authority of service.

“The Bishops have to learn to listen to all the voices in the Church in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, since unless we Bishops hear the voice of the Spirit we will end up in an echo-chamber where we hear only our own voice.

“In this report, it is not only the voice of the Bishops that is heard. That is why it is much more than a company report or a bureaucratic manifesto.”

Archbishop Coleridge was succeeded as ACBC president by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, of Perth.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -