DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     December 14, 1998     vol. 9, no. 241

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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SYNOD FOR OCEANIA APPROVES FINAL STATEMENT

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- The special Synod of Bishops for Oceania has moved toward a close of its deliberations, with the approval of a final message addressed to all the faithful of their region.

          In their final message, the assembled bishops cover the main topics which have dominated their discussions during the past three weeks: pastoral problems such as the shortage of priests and the demands of inculturation; and social issues such as the spread of secularism, the challenges of immigration, the problem of poverty, and threats to the environment. The bishops also make a special mention of "indigenous minorities," supporting them in their struggle for recognition of their rights and preservation of their cultural heritage.

          Above all, the Synod fathers proclaim in their final message, the Church in Oceania must respond to "the need for holiness, for the pastors and for the faithful." They conclude that "if the Church seeks to teach, she must first bear witness."

          "The Synod For Ocean has provided us with a better understanding of how we can help each other, as bishops in the different regions," said Bishop Gerard-Joseph Deschamps of Daru-Kiunga in Papua New Guinea. "In my case, I need professors in my seminary; I have been able to talk with Australian bishops, who will be able to alert their own seminarians and teachers to that fact, to see if any of them may be interested."

          The Synod, which convened in Rome on November 22, will close with a formal liturgical ceremony on Saturday, December 12. The final product of the Synod will be an apostolic exhortation, to be issued by the Pope, summing up the main themes of the bishops' discussions. Cardinal Jan Schotte, the secretary of the Synod, reported that a survey of participants had resulted in a list of cities that might be recommended to the Pope as appropriate sites for the formal promulgation of that apostolic exhortation. This list included two Australian cities, Brisbane and Sydney, as well as two Pacific island locations, New Caledonia and the Fiji Islands.


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December 14, 1998       volume 9, no. 241
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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