Hmmm … the Independent Advisory Group’s Governance report

Dim Light Southern Cross

Title: Hmmm … the Independent Advisory Group’s Governance report

Author: Philippa Martyr

Publisher: The Catholic Weekly

Date: 05JUN2020

The Royal Commission made some sensible recommendations for changes in church governance. But they also made recommendations – like breaking the seal of the confessional – which the Church can’t introduce without altering its nature and mission.

I think something similar has happened with The Light from the Southern Cross (the Governance Report). I can see why Church leadership didn’t want this report released yet.

The Report itself tells us why.

The Governance Report

When it was commissioned, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference asked that the governance review take place “in the light of Catholic ecclesiology.” (p 4) The Report seems to have a generous understanding of what that means: for example, they don’t dare openly recommend ordained women deacons, but they leave the door wide open for it (pp 129-30).

This doesn’t stop them mildly threatening the bishops in return: “The next generation of episcopal leaders must be prepared to embrace the approaches advocated in this report … It follows that all of these matters should form part of, and be given high priority in, the investigations and consultative processes leading to appointment of new bishops.” (p 61)

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