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Members of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania at their recent assembly in Fiji (FCBCO)

Representatives of the four bishops conferences in Oceania have approved the region’s final response to the working document published last October for the Synod of Bishops for a Synodal Church. Source: FCBCO.

The new executive council of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania recently met via videoconference, along with members of the discernment and writing group tasked with drafting the Oceania response.

That group, which met for five days in January, synthesised reports from the four bishops conferences and the Eastern Catholic Churches in Oceania responding to the Working Document for the Continental Stage, titled Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.

The draft report was considered in an atmosphere of prayer and reflection during the FCBCO’s February assembly in Fiji, before final amendments were made ahead of last week’s online meeting.

Broken Bay Bishop Anthony Randazzo, who took over as FCBCO president last month, said the completion of the report was an important milestone for the Church in the region.

“We are, in many ways, still a young Church here in the Pacific, but we are an integral part of the Body of Christ around the world,” he said.

“Alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ from the other regions of the world, we offer our shared prayers and reflections for the international conversation on communion, participation and mission in the life of the Church.”

Susan Pascoe, who served as chair of the Oceania Taskforce for the Synod of Bishops preparations, said the evolution of the process to conclusion had been quite profound.

“When we think back to the initial invitation for people to participate in local consultation and fast-forward to this report, so much prayer has been offered, so much passion expressed and so much energy poured out,” Ms Pascoe said. 

“There is still some way to go in the journey of this Synod of Bishops, but the Church in Oceania can be proud of what it has achieved in producing this document.”


Oceania bishops finalise response to Synod’s working document (FCBCO)