Three Australian bishops are among the hundreds of Bishops and priests from around the world gathering in Rome for the XXIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, on the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith,” the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in a media release.
The three are Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, Archbishop of Perth, and Bishop Christopher Prowse, Bishop of Sale. Cardinal Pell was nominated by Pope Benedict XVI as one of the Synod Fathers, and Archbishop Costelloe and Bishop Prowse were elected to represent the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
The pope formally opened the Synod of Bishops yesterday in a Mass at St Peter's Square with a “universal call to holiness” aimed at all Christians worldwide, reports the Catholic News Agency.
“Holy men and women bloom among the generous missionaries who announce the Good News to non-Christians, in the past in mission countries and now in any place where there are non-Christians,” said the Pontiff in his homily.
Commenting on the Mass, Bishop Prowse says “Like the Apostles gathered with Mary in the Cenacle, we gathered with the Holy Father at the Opening Mass this morning praying for a New Pentecost to descend upon us.”
The Australian Bishops are among 262 Synod Fathers, who will be joined by 45 Experts and 49 Auditors, women and men, lay and religious, as well as Fraternal Representatives of 15 Churches and ecclesial communities not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Cardinal Pell says “This is a significant topic. It is easier to reform seminaries but much more difficult to bring about spiritual renewal.”
Archbishop Costelloe says “The Year of Grace currently underway in Australia reminds us that it is important to contemplate the face of Christ in order to deepen our faith. This is at the heart of the new evangelisation.”
RELEASE IN FULL Australian bishops prepare for synod
Pope opens synod with universal call to holiness (CNA)