Australia’s Archbishop Timothy Costelloe
Read Part I of this interview here: Australian Archbishop Costelloe tells Pope Francis ‘The church in Australia is alive.’In the second part of this exclusive interview with America, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, S.D.B., the president of the Australian bishops’ conference, discusses the Plenary Council of the Church in Australia that was held from 2018 to 2022, of which he served as president. He explains that, unlike the German synodal way, the Australian Plenary Council did not have its origins in the abuse crisis. He goes on to identify the top three priority conclusions that emerged from that historic event: care for Indigenous people, the abuse crisis and the role of women in the church.
The archbishop recalled that a few months after Benedict XVI appointed him as the ninth archbishop in Perth in 2012, the Australian government announced the setting up of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. “This was, therefore, a major factor. But even prior to that, we had already decided that we had to do something to address the challenges facing the church. The sexual abuse crisis was there, we were all painfully conscious of it, but it wasn’t as if it was the only factor which prompted us to act,” the archbishop said.