ARCHBISHOP John Bathersby will set a new direction for Brisbane archdiocese based on the three vital dimensions of faith ‘ Jesus, Communion and Mission ‘when he announces the outcomes of Synod 2003 today (Sunday).
In an exclusive interview with The Catholic Leader prior to today’s synod promulgation, he said these three theological concepts would underline all the strategies he would announce to cap off the three year-long archdiocesan synod process.
He said while the process had a slow start, the synod ended up being successful ‘beyond my wildest dreams’.
Archbishop Bathersby said the synod had been a calling together of the archdiocese to hear ‘what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to us at this moment in history’.
A major concern of the archbishop’s is that only about 13 per cent of the 600,000 people in south-east Queensland who identify themselves as Catholics regularly worship God.
‘Australia is a very secular society where the majority believe in God but, more or less, do nothing more than that.
‘You can’t say you believe in God if worship and prayer is not there.
‘It’s so troubling that many people don’t see the Church as relevant to life.
‘In some way we have to find the ways and means to welcome back to the Church these people, and get across the Good News of Christ to other people who live without Christ.’
The archbishop said the greatest challenge was trying to understand Christ’s message.
‘If people did, they would embrace it with great energy and passion.’
Archbishop Bathersby said the synod was ‘a privileged listening place for the Holy Spirit’.
In particular, he noted the ‘enormous input’ of young people at the Synod Assembly in May.
‘The Spirit spoke to us loudly and clearly, one might almost say, through the mouths of babes in the final session, regarding what should be the priorities at the beginning of the new millennium.’
Archbishop Bathersby said he was doing well after his recent mild stroke and it had not affected his schedule in preparing for the promulgation.
He will promulgate the synod outcomes at a special invitation-only ceremony in St Stephen’s Cathedral today at 2.30pm.