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The president of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania says the 10 non-bishop members from the region chosen for the upcoming Synod of Bishops will help amplify the voice of the Catholic population.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis invited each of the seven regions of the world to nominate 20 people who have been involved in local initiatives for the Synod of Bishops for a Synodal Church as possible additions to the Synod’s membership.

Pope Francis chose 10 members from each region from the list of nominees, seeking to create a cross-section of the Church in terms of age, sex, vocation and other demographic factors.

“There was no shortage of faithful and qualified people in Oceania who could bring their lived experience to the two sessions of the Synod of Bishops in October this year and October next year,” said Bishop Anthony Randazzo, who was elected FCBCO president in February.

“Our region is one of the most diverse in the world, when you consider the 20 or so nations in this corner of the globe. That diversity enriches the Church in Oceania and it will do so at the Synod gatherings in Rome.”

The 10 Oceania non-bishop members appointed by Pope Francis are: Manuel Beazley, New Zealand; Dr Trudy Dantis, Australia; John Lochowiak, Australia; Fr Denis Nacorda, New Zealand; Kelly Paget, Australia; Sr Mary Angela Perez RSM, Pacific; Fr Sijeesh Pullenkunnel, Syro-Malabar Eparchy; Dr Susan Sela, Pacific; Grace Wrakia, Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands; Professor Renee Kohler-Ryan, Australia.

Those members will join the following bishop members from Oceania, chosen by their episcopal conferences, who will participate in the Synod:

Australia: Bishop Shane Mackinlay; Archbishop Patrick O’Regan; New Zealand: Archbishop Paul Martin SM; Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands: Bishop Dariusz Kaluza MSF; CEPAC (Pacific): Bishop Paul Donoghue SM.

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, will serve as one of nine delegated Synod presidents. Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP will participate in the Synod as a member of the Council of the Synod of Bishops.

Bishop Randazzo, as president of the FCBCO, will also attend the Synod sessions along with other presidents of continental episcopal conferences.

Five experts and facilitators have also been appointed from Oceania: Dr Sandie Cornish; Br Ian Cribb SJ; Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe, who served on the Synod of Bishops’ methodology commission; Fr Asaeli Raass SVD; and Fr Ormond Rush, who served on the Synod of Bishops’ theological commission.


Oceania’s diverse Church to be represented at Synod of Bishops (FCBCO)

Non-Bishop Members of XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (FCBCO)