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Commission for Catholic Women to meet in Brisbane

The Commission for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) will travel to Brisbane in early August to meet with the Catholic community from the Brisbane Archdiocese.

The CACW, which is based in Canberra, has already held meetings in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth

The meeting will be held at Riverglenn (near Nudgee Junior) at 70 Kate Street, Indooroopilly at 7.30pm on Thursday August 8.

The CACW was appointed by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) following the release in 1999 of the report Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus.

This report was developed from a major research project on the participation of women in the Catholic Church in Australia that was launched in 1996.

The research addressed four major questions and sought responses from Australian women through written submissions, focus groups, a questionnaire to a national sample of Catholic parishes, and public hearings in all capital cities and provincial centres. The questions were:

  • What are the ways in which women participate in the Catholic Church in Australia?
  • What assistance and support are currently offered to women to participate in the Church?
  • What are the barriers to women’s participation in the Church?
  • What are some ways in which women’s participation in the Church can be increased?

In September 2000, the Catholic Bishops of Australia launched the Social Justice Statement that responded to the research. It contains nine decisions and 31 proposals for action at diocesan level. The CACW was appointed to assist the Bishops to implement those decisions and action those proposals.

During the past two years, the CACW has experienced considerable success in the building up of networks and working with groups and individuals at all levels of Church.

In 26 dioceses within Australia, including Maronite, Melkite and Ukranian Eparchies, diocesan contact persons are working to bring about a whole of community response to the quest for greater participation of all people in the life of the Church.

The CACW recognises the difficulties facing rural woman including isolation, distance and high costs that limit rural women’s access, equity to formation, and ability to effectively sustain church communities in rural Australia. It is a priority with CACW that the wider Church listens and responds to the particular circumstances of women across all sections of the community.

For interview with Chair of the Commission for Australian Catholic Women Geraldine Hawkes, contact Jan McGrath Catholic Communications Office 041 902 7769

Released by Catholic Communications Office Brisbane

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