OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - More space and responsibility to women in the pastoral of the Church

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - Working together in material and spiritual assistance for the disabled and the marginalised; responsibility in the field of catechesis and religious instruction especially for young people and families; revitalise liturgies, celebrations, prayer meetings, animation of parish communities: these are some of the tasks which women, religious or lay, are called to undertake to give an important contribution to the pastoral activity of the Catholic Church in Australia. According to Mgr. David Walker, Bishop of Broken Bay, women’s ministry is important and needs to be more deeply valued and the female charisma must be given more space and ever greater importance in the Church.
The idea is to let this charisma emerge increasingly in the pastoral activity of the Church in Australia thanks to the presence of religious and lay women. This point was agreed by the Australian Bishops who, in assemblies and meetings, have always urged parish priests, representatives of movements and associations to give women roles of responsibility.
More specifically the Bishops, wishing to foster and encourage at the national level the vocation and mission of the laity, are particularly aware of the contribution of lay women can offer in Christian witness and evangelisation. In this context recognition was given to women’s indomitable courage, tenacity, patience and a spirit of sacrifice. An essential contribution for the Church’s mission: the “female genius” is being or becoming “space to welcome and give life”. And this “giving life” assumes many forms and characterizes females charisma in all its expressions. (Agenzia Fides 23/5/2006 righe 24 parole 253)