Falling numbers a ‘wake-up call’ for Catholics

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SBD (ACBC/Fiona Basile)

Incoming Bishops Conference president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB says the Church’s falling support is a “wake-up call” as it works to balance its convictions with the realities of an increasingly secular nation. Source: The Australian.

The Perth archbishop said the Church needed to be faithful to its core principles and believe in the “gifts” Catholicism has to offer, including a way to make sense of the world and the call to live life with integrity.

Yet the religion with 1.3 billion global followers is falling out of grace with Australians, with 40 per cent of the population identifying as having no religion and only 20 per cent identifying as Catholic, down from 22.6 per cent in 2016, according to the latest census results.

“I think it’s a very clear indication to us of the direction our society is going,” Archbishop Costelloe said. “It’s not surprising but it’s a bit of a wake-up call to remind us we can’t be complacent.

“We know the way we understand the meaning of life and look at life is not shared by everybody; we do not want to impose it on anybody, but we do want to offer it. It is a gift we can bring to our society but like any gift you can take it or leave it … we want to offer it as openly and as generously as we can.”

Archbishop Costelloe, who will begin his role as ACBC President on July 13, said the Plenary Council had spent much of this week discussing “this idea of the Church being a Church that goes out to people, meets them where they are, offers them the gift we bring and leaving it up to them to decide if they want to take it up”.


‘Wake-up call for us Catholics’, says archbishop (By Rhiannon Down, The Australian

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