OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Ecumenical initiatives in Australian dioceses

Friday, 22 May 2009

Brisbane (Agenzia Fides) – The path of dialogue continues between the Catholic and Anglican Churches in Australia. Ecumenical events and accords have multiplied, especially on a diocesan level, creating a climate of ever greater fraternity and cordiality between the Christian communities.
Among their newest initiatives is the fact that the Anglican diocese of Brisbane and the Catholic dioceses of Brisbane and Toowoomba will next week sign a covenant that will strengthen the ecumenical ties between the churches and commemorate a relationship reaching back to the foundations of Queensland.
Catholics throughout Brisbane archdiocese have been invited to the historical event known as "A Celebration of Our Common Sesquicentenary and a Signing of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Covenant," which will feature various events at the two Cathedrals, and will include the participation of parishes, schools, and associations. Among these events is "to celebrate an annual Ecumenical Service of Reconciliation ... to be held as near as possible to November 4 (Anglican Roman Catholic Reconciliation Day)
The covenant would be reviewed every three years and be amended to reflect changes facing both churches.
The Christians of Brisbane came together as well in Lent 2009, for the 150th anniversary of the two dioceses, led by Catholic Archbishop John Battersby and Anglican Archbishop Philipp Aspinall, when they wrote a joint Pastoral Letter for Lent.
In addition, among other events, one year ago the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle and the Catholic Dioceses of Maitland-Newcastle and Broken Bay signed a historic ecumenical accord to offer new opportunities for dialogue and study between Christians of both faiths. The Church is working to forget the divisions of the past and build a future on mutual cooperation and collaboration, in a spirit of friendship, solidarity, and charity. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/5/2009)