The future of nations and people in the Oceania region will be at the forefront of a world-first global online conference being held later this month. Source: ACU.
The online public event, hosted by Australian Catholic University and supported by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, will bring together the Bishops of Oceania with experts from the region for a synodal conference towards the General Assembly of the Federation of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO) in February 2023.
The Bishops of Oceania, representing cardinals, archbishops and bishops in the Conferences of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands, meet as the FCBCO every four years. Their next assembly will be held in the Archdiocese of Suva, Fiji, from February 5-10, 2023.
The FCBCO preparatory event, Our Ocean Home, being held from November 28 to 30, will feature a welcome address from FCBCO president Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva, who has previously called for a Synod on the ocean. It will also include insights from theologians, scientists and First Nations people from the Asia-Pacific region, including international environmentalist Dr Jeremy Hills, Fijian personality Ratu Manoa Rasigatale, and ACU Senior Lecturer Dr Sandie Cornish.
“In the spirit of synodality modelled by Pope Francis and inspired by the experiences of what many cultures in the Pacific Ocean known as vei-talanoa, we invite consecrated and lay women and men, young people, ecumenical networks, and ecclesial regional networks from all over the world to this historic conference,” Archbishop Chong said.
“The Bishops of Oceania are determined to engage in dialogue with you about the overwhelming crises facing our oceans, and the impact that is having on the world, in particular, my brothers and sisters in the Oceania region.”
Jacqui Remond, an Australian consultant to the Vatican’s Ecology Taskforce and one of the ACU-based organisers of the FCBCO Preparatory Event, said it was vital for dialogue and a synodal approach to inform decision making processes and to open new pathways for ecclesial leadership at a local, regional, and global level both in and outside the Church.
For details and to register, visit https://bit.ly/3TOSwPg.