|ARCHBISHOP MARK COLERIDGE|
Since his installation as Archbishop of Brisbane on 11th May, 2012 Archbishop Mark Coleridge has moved at a thoughtful and deliberate pace to set the Brisbane Vineyard in order. After decades of laissez faire administration, scandal and disorder, there was much to be done.
Resisting the temptation to try to do everything at once, His Grace spent time in confirming much that he already knew from numerous published items, assessing the best path ahead. There were individuals who would not mend their ways.Some of these had bailed out before His Grace's arrival, others found that they had new appointments in the early months of his Episcopate.
But recently His Grace has announced some significant reforms.And, tellingly, he has gone right to the heart of many of the problems of the Archdiocese to set things right.
CHANGES TO THE BUREAUCRACY
The engine for much of the New Church thrust in the Archdiocese under Archbishop Bathersby was originally called "The Centre for Church Life and Mission" later just "Faith and Life". Originally it had come under the responsibility of Auxiliary Bishop (the Late) James Cuskelly M.S.C. In fact it was Bishop Cuskelly's friendship with Archbishop Rembert Weakland (now deposed) of Milwaukee that delivered to the Archdiocese of Brisbane the template for most of its activity.I know that, because I was there on the morning Bishop Cuskelly returned from overseas and put the documentation on the table during a meeting.
Creations of the the team associated with this operation included the infamous Archdiocesan Synod with its witchcraft inspired themes of Earth , Wind, Water and Fire and the Ceramic Pots distributed to every Parish. They were masters of the Rand Corporation method of manipulating conference outcomes, using the breaking out into Groups, Facilitators to "guide" discussions, then Groups reporting back to Plenary Sessions via massaged reports , so that everybody could be told what they thought ( all of which had been decided before the exercise began.)
Now His Grace has deftly moved to dismantle the former structure and its Leadership's services have come to an end. A new leaner organisation : " EVANGELISATION BRISBANE" will take its place.It will have two arms - "Mission" and "Formation".
The role of " Mission"will have an emphasis on Parish Support and Evangelisation. Whilst "Formation" will concentrate on Faith development and training for Leadership in mission.
Two other Archdiocesan entities : the Queensland Bioethics Centre and the John Paul II Family and Life Centre will now report to the new leader of EVANGELISATION BRISBANE.
His Grace has given to the Formation team the responsibility to develop an " integrated vision and plan for Faith formation and leadership" development for recommendation to him, with a view to implementation in 2015. He has asked the Vicar for Clergy to develop plans to work with the Clergy in the development of lay leaders in Parish communities.
And he has taken the Institute for Faith Education back to the Catholic Education Office from January, 2014.
The positions of Executive Director, Manager Administrative Services, and Project Support and the Youth Ministry Team will be abolished from December, 2013. In the John Paul II Family and Life Centre, two positions will be abolished and another two have their working hours restricted.
The Mission team will be directed to maintain regular contact with Parishes, look to their needs and support them with available resources.
The several Pastoral Care ministries : Shiloh HIV/AIDS Ministry, Catholic Psychiatric Pastoral Care, Prison Chaplaincy,Murri(Aboriginal) Ministry and Apostleship of the Sea will remain under the Centacare leadership until December 2014.The Archdiocese will continue to supplement the funds they are able to raise themselves. However the Shiloh HIV/AIDS Ministry will not be funded after December, 2013.
The remaining Ministries are to aim to restrict their expenditure to 2013 levels.And all of these Ministries will be regularly reviewed.
His Grace's gaze has even extended to the fortress of Catholic Education.
But so far it seems the approach has been very measured.No heads rolling that we can see.
However His grace has announced the launching of a new Curriculum for Catholic Religious Education in the Archdiocese - something that is long overdue given that it had stood unchanged since 1997 in the Bathersby era. But our happiness at the news came to be a bit tinged with uncertainty when we learned that the curriculum development project had been " supported by Father Anthony Mellor" and Dr Peta Goldberg from ACU. Father David Pascoe had acted as the Archdiocesan Censor.
Father Anthony Mellor
Why the uncertainty? Well in the case of Father Mellor you might like to read about his contribution to the Archdiocesan published Lenten Programs in years past in two of our earlier Posts :Imprimatur I and II. Here are the Links: http://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/archdiocese-of-brisbane-bathersby-years_18.html andhttp://vexilla-regis.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/archdiocese-of-brisbane-bathersby-years_19.html
In the case of Dr. Peta Goldberg we are reliably informed that she told a Class at Australian Catholic University some years ago that : " It used to be said that there were Seven Sacraments, but now we realise that there are very many things that are Sacraments - even a man holding a party to celebrate his Divorce - that occasion could be a Sacrament!"
The two becoming involved in preparation of a new Religious Education Curriculum does not inspire confidence. Let us hope that Father Pascoe and His Grace have been able to sanatise the document.