On November 7-11, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference takes place in Sydney, in which all Catholic bishops participate. One of the most important topics discussed during the Conference was the topic of the war in Ukraine.
Each day of the Conference begins with the Divine Liturgy, followed by working sessions. Many topics were touched upon during the meetings, including: reports of various commissions of the conference, canonical issues, Catholic education in educational institutions, Christian unity and interfaith dialogue, challenges for the Catholic Church due to sexual abuse, moral doctrine, exit from quarantine, emphasis on the Catholic family and the example of parents in raising children, evangelication and the participation of the laity in the life of the church, liturgical issues. In particular, the topic of the war in Ukraine, which has been going on for 259 days, was discussed. On November 9, Bishop Mykola Bychok addressed the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference with a separate appeal regarding the war in Ukraine, noting: “Today I thank you for the opportunity to speak the truth about the war in Ukraine. The last time I addressed you on 9th of May this year, the 75th day of the war. Today we have reached the 259th day of the war. That is more than eight months of horror that all Ukrainians are living through, and the whole civilized world is watching. It is very symbolic that I am speaking to you today, since 9th of November is the day of Ukrainian literature and language.”
- An Appeal of Bishop Mykola Bychok to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
- Bishop Mykola’s speech at the ACBC
- “For every mother, the most precious person is her child”
Among the working documents for the Episcopal Conference, there was also a prayer for peace and tranquility in Ukraine, which all present bishops pray throughout the week.
Also on November 8, on the second day of the Conference, the new website of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference was officially launched: catholic.au.
It is very symbolic that I am speaking to you today, since 9th of November is the day of Ukrainian literature and language.
It is worth noting that membership of the Conference comprises bishops from 34 dioceses and ordinariates from 28 territorial dioceses and from 6 other structures, specifically the Eastern Catholic dioceses for Chaldean, Maronite, Melkite and Ukrainian Catholics; a military ordinariate; and an Anglican ordinariate, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. The bishops come together twice a year for a week in May and November to act nationally and address issues of national significance. The conference has a president and a vice-president (each elected for two years), a permanent committee and various bishops commissions (in which each member is elected for three years) and a general secretariat. It is worth reminding that during the Conference in May of this year, Bishop Timothy Costello, Archbishop of Perth, was elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, and Bishop Anthony Fisher, Archbishop of Sydney, was elected as his deputy. The general secretary is Stephen Hackett.