Canberra Catholics push for more power in church decision-making

The Canberra Times

Katie Burgess

Ordinary parishioners would have a greater say in the future direction of the Catholic Church in Canberra, in reforms overwhelmingly supported at a meeting of concerned churchgoers on Thursday night.

More than 200 people attended a meeting convened by the recently formed Concerned Catholics of Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese.

The group has called for more lay people, including women, to play a greater role in church decision-making, after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse pointed to power imbalances in the church as a reason why abuse in many cases carried on with impunity.

The group is also pushing for a diocesan pastoral council to be established, with more members of the laity given a seat at the table.

Meeting chair Professor John Warhurst described it as a watershed for Catholics in the Canberra region.

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