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Evangelizing Aborigines at heart of mission: Australian prelate

Catholic World News - October 18, 2011

“The heart of the Church’s mission in Australia” is the proclamation of the Gospel to aboriginal peoples, according to an Australian prelate.

“We need a new evangelization and new vitality and energy in proclaiming the Gospel: we are asking ourselves how we can do it,” said Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra and Goulburn. “The danger is introversion, folding back on oneself. As bishops we clearly say that it is time to ‘put out into deep water’ to deal with new forms and new frontiers of mission.”

“The mission among the aborigines has always been a difficult and delicate issue,” he added. “The mission started with the Benedictine monks at the time of the European settlers. The Catholic Church, despite the efforts, has never been able to powerfully flourish the Gospel seeds planted in aboriginal communities. It is a task that is urgent for us.”

“But if past wounds that exist between whites and natives, are not healed, the aboriginal question will always be a sore point for the whole nation. The mission among the natives will always be at the heart of the mission of the Church in Australia, because the communities are among the poorest and most disadvantaged.”

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