Catholics for Renewal


Editorial 12,  September 2016
" Christ's faithful have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge,  competence and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters
which concern the good of the church."

(Canon 212, par 3)

 Online Survey

"Needs of Dioceses/Archdioceses and Selection of Bishops"

Catholics for Renewal survey for Australian Catholics. 

At this critical time for the Church in Australia a number of dioceses (6 as of 31 March 2016) are without bishops, and given Canon Law requirement that Bishops at the age of 75 submit their resignation to the pope for consideration, several Australian diocesan bishops are likely to be appointed in the not too distant future, including a new archbishop for Melbourne. In consultation with others Catholics for Renewal has created a ‘free form’ survey inviting a wide representation of Catholics in Australia to suggest in their own way what qualities and attributes they would like in a bishop to serve the needs of their Diocese/Archdiocese. This survey for Australian Catholics is accessible by clicking the logo

Leadership of the bishop is absolutely central to the ministry of the local church. Pope Francis says that he wants bishops who “are pastors, close to the people, fathers and brothers, that they are gentle, patient and merciful; animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord and also by outward simplicity and austerity of life, that they do not have the psychology of "Princes". Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they do not seek the episcopate...and that they are married to a Church without being in constant search of another.”

The church needs bishops with real leadership qualities, who encapsulate and reflect in themselves and in their whole approach the kind of love, mercy, acceptance, forgiveness and service that Christ taught and exemplified, and accordingly what the Catholic church should be about. The bishop also works in a specific context, that of our diocese. So we ask you firstly: What are the most pressing pastoral and ministerial needs of our diocese? Secondly: what are the attributes, qualities and personal charisma that your bishop needs to demonstrate the leadership required to address your diocesan priorities?

The two main survey questions are also based on the process set out in Canon Law (ref.4) for the selection of Bishops. Canon law requires that the condition and needs of the diocese be investigated first, followed by a process of selecting the most suitable candidate for the diocese. To complete the survey click on the logo above. Note that Qs marked * are compulsory.


For those seeking background reading for the survey the following references might assist:

1. Possible Needs of Australian Dioceses - some examples  (Here)

2. Choosing the next Archbishop of Melbourne: how it should occur, and why this is important, Dr Peter Wilkinson 1 June 2016, (Here)

3. Selecting nine new Australian bishops this year - involving the faithful. Originally published in SWAG. Peter Johnstone, President, Catholics for Renewal Inc. Republished June 8th, 2016 with permission from SWAG. (The Swag, the journal of the Australian National Council of priests has recently run a series of articles on the selection of bishops)  (Here)

4. Canons 377 - 380 of the Code of Canon Law (Here)


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