Archbishop Mark Coleridge
Brisbane archdiocese's new leader Archbishop Mark Coleridge said he is keen to work for the "common good of all people in this great city and far beyond", reports The Catholic Leader. He spoke to the media on various topics, including same-sex civil unions, the issue of women priests and South Brisbane's self-exiled St Mary's community.
"I would like to see myself and the community I lead as engaging the wider culture," Archbishop Coleridge, who has been Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn since 2006 and who was announced as the new Archbishop of Brisbane on April 2, told a media conference.
"It is profoundly antipathetic to the Catholic Church to turn our back on the culture.
"I don't see myself as someone who turns his back on the culture and retreats to a safe and self-protective corner of the sanctuary."
In the course of the conference, Archbishop Coleridge had many opportunities to back up these words as he fielded questions on topics ranging from same-sex civil unions to interfaith relationships, the issue of women priests and even whether South Brisbane's self-exiled St Mary's community could expect some leniency in future.
On same-sex marriage: "It's not that the Catholic Church finds gay marriage unacceptable, we simply find it impossible."
On the priesthood: "You can't have the Catholic Church without priests and at this point of the Church's life that means male, celibate priests."
On interfaith relationships: "With regards to the Islamic faith we have no choice but to find common ground for the good of the whole society."
To a question about St Mary's separated community and the archbishop's attitude to those still in dissent regarding the forced retirement of former Bishop of Toowoomba Bill Morris: "There will be no abandonment of the doctrine and discipline of the Catholic Church but this will be addressed as a pastor and not in some brutal way."
Archbishop Coleridge ready to engage (Catholic Leader)