Church Renewal

Historic changes to governance of diocese, parishes and schools

The Australian Catholic Bishops commissioned the report, The Light from the Southern Cross: Promoting Co-responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia, following a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse. The report is set to be a major backdrop for deliberations on Church reform in Australia at the now 2021 Plenary Council. The full press release from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, headed by Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, outlines the progress of the report through the conference to the floor of the Plenary Council.

At the same time the Archdiocese of Melbourne is undergoing governance reform in Catholic Education. Once more, following a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse, the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne is planning to reform the governance structure of parish primary schools and regional colleges. The current proposal is that schools that have been under the sole governance of a parish priest or group of priests forming regional canonical administrators will move to a governance model in which an incorporated company will be responsible for the governance of the schools. Parish priests will continue to fulfil their pastoral and sacramental responsibilities in the schools without the governance roles. Further details, discussion papers and resources associated with this review are available at governance.melbourne.