Archbishop John Dew, in his capacity as President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania, has spoken to the gathering of representatives of the world’s Catholic Bishops.
The Holy Father Benedict XVI has called the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in the Vatican from Sunday 7 to Sunday 28 October 2012, on the topic: “The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”.
The Opening of the Synod marks fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council. The Synod of Bishops on “New Evangelisation” brings together over 250 church leaders for a three-week summit at the Vatican, joined by lay experts and representatives of other Christian groups.
On the first day of the Synod Archbishop John Dew was asked to provide a report on the state of the Church on the continent of Oceania.
Archbishop John started by talking about the phrase “Islands of Humanity” to describe the Oceania region. This phrase was coined by Father Timothy Radcliffe, a Dominican Priest and then used by Blessed Pope John Paul II following the Synod for Oceania held in 1997. This document, named Ecclesia in Oceania, a post-synodal exhortation was also mentioned by Archbishop John as an example of the change in the way the Church communicates. Blessed Pope John Paul II had planned to deliver the document during a pastoral visit to New Caledonia. Illness meant this was not possible so the document was delivered electronically.
In today’s world each intervention, speech and hoimily of the Synod is published on the Vatican webiste almost immediately – see the full text of Archbishop John’s report on the Vatican website.
Archbishop John Dew and Bishop Charles Drennan (Palmerston North) are the two bishops from New Zealand at the Synod in the Vatican that runs from 7- 28 October.
Archbishop John is blogging from Rome about the Synod. Visit catholic.org.nz to read.