The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference was held at St. Mary MacKillop Place, Sydney, from 5th to 9th May 2014. This is a scheduled yearly meeting of all Catholic bishops in Australia. This year there were five Eastern Catholic bishops at the Conference with the recent addition of the Syro Malabar Eparchy. The Conference is a time to plan, organize, pray, and to share fellowship amongst the bishops. The Papal Nuncio is always in attendance. Besides the general business, the Conference is divided into committees which produce specific plans for Pastoral Work in Australia. Bishop Peter Stasiuk belongs to the Pastoral Life Committee. He is also the Bishop Promotor for the Apostleship of the Sea and, in this role, presented the pastoral plan for the Apostleship. World Youth Day and other family related issues are also part of this committee.
The next World Youth Day will be held in Krakow, Poland, in 2016. Since many Australian youth travel to this world event, and like to visit other countries on their way to the main event, Bishop Peter asked the Australian Bishops to invite their pilgrims to spend time in Ukraine on their way to Poland. Many bishops said that they saw this as an excellent opportunity to see Ukraine.
Many bishops wanted to know what was going on in Ukraine at this present time. Bishop Peter was asked to address the matter during the meeting. He presented excerpts of Patriarch Svyatoslav’s speech in Canada at the University of Toronto. He talked about the church in Ukraine and expressed his hope that the situation would end peacefully. He thanked the bishops for their interest and prayers.