Challenges to face...but also inspiration to celebrate
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, has welcomed more than 250 Catholic clergy attending the National Council of Priests of Australia 2010 Convention being held in Parramatta from 12 to 16 July.
Bishops, priests and deacons from around Australia have come together for the convention, to reflect on the changing face of contemporary ministerial priesthood and the risen Christ’s presence in the midst of this change.
In his welcome address, Bishop Anthony said the Diocese of Parramatta shared in the challenges faced by other parts of the Church in Australia and around the world.
"The increasing secularisation of society, how to respond to rapid change in economy, ecology, technology and culture, the ageing and declining numbers of people in priestly, religious and married life, the effects of more than a decade of battering in the media on our credibility and morale, and the need to ensure that all people, and especially young people, are welcomed, safe and genuinely built up in our Church...every part of this country has particular challenges, related to size, distance, personalities, economy and history," Bishop Anthony said.
"In the context of current controversy about physical and sexual abuse by clergy and religious and the sometimes grave mishandling of these matters by Church leaders, it is appropriate that there will be a reconciliation liturgy acknowledging our personal and ecclesial responsibility and praying for healing and conversion."
In his address, Bishop Anthony also paid thanks to the Chairman of the NCP, Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Quakers Hill Mary Immaculate Parish Priest Fr Ian McGinnity, for bringing the convention to fruition.
Bishop Anthony will preside at the conference closing Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral on Thursday night.
The Diocesan Development Fund, Diocese of Parramatta is a proud sponsor of the NCP 2010 Convention. Visit the DDF.
Read Bishop Anthony's Address in Full
Related: The risen Christ in the changing face of the priesthood
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