It is difficult to know how to begin this week’s message, with the news of the death of Bishop Bill Wright. Like me, many of you may have been thinking of him and holding him in prayer over the past few months, but nothing prepares you for the finality of someone not being there anymore. I have been struck lately by his empty chair in our Cathedral, and now it is really empty as we await a new Bishop.
The target of 80% of people vaccinated in NSW, marks the beginning of greater freedoms for us, while still needing to take precautions. I note that today, Sunday, is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, commencing Anti-poverty week, with its associated theme, Building Together: Ending Persistent Poverty, Respecting All People on our Planet. We know that there is a divide between those in the developed world who have access to COVID vaccination, and those who are on society’s margins who do not have the benefit of protection from, or treatment of, COVID. We are reminded daily of the disadvantage that many face around our globe, and we can become overwhelmed by their plight.
What an amazing week it has been for the Catholic Church in Australia. The first session of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia was closed today (Sunday) after many words, both written and spoken. Now begins the nine-month journey to the second session which will be held in July. For many women, the image of nine months won’t be lost on them.
The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia has begun with Mass on Sunday, live-streamed from Perth and then with Mass each day this week.