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Nuncio says measured, pastoral approach needed to face contemporary challenges

Contemporary challenges in the life of the church, particularly with regard to priestly vocations and the role of the laity called for a measured, studied and pastoral approach, the Apostolic Nuncio told Australia’s Bishops today.

His Excellency, Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli delivered the opening address to the Bishops’ Plenary Meeting in Sydney today.

“There has been a noticeable and increased activity in promoting vocations to the diocesan priesthood in your dioceses,” he said.

“It is not an easy task, as we all know, and the future, at least the immediate future, does not seem to augur that things will be easier or that there will be an “instant stream” of candidates.

“The preparatory prayers of the Offertory speak of the bread and wine as fruits of the earth and the work of human hands, a reminder of the challenge of the Incarnation in all sectors of life, the divine and the human; the interaction of the two and not without some tension.

It certainly is true in the quest for vocations. The most challenging and most demanding part, as always, is the human element.”

Archbishop De Paoli said that against this background the role of the laity was coming even more to the fore, bringing both blessings and tensions. He said sensitivity and patience from all would achieve much in dealing with the contemporary challenges in the life of the Church.

“A measured, studied and pastoral approach seems to be called for,” he said.

Archbishop De Paoli assured the Bishops of his prayers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their Plenary Meeting.

Released by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference

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