Australian bishops declare a Year of Grace
October 21, 2011
The Catholic bishops of Australia have proclaimed a Year of Grace for the Church in that country, to begin on Pentecost 2012.
Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, the president of the Australian bishops’ conference, revealed the plan for the Year of Grace during a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI, as the Australian bishops completed their ad limina visits. Speaking to the Pontiff on behalf of the Australian hierarchy, Archbishop Wilson said that tensions within the Church have made it difficult for bishops to preserve Church unity. He continued:
In the attempt to 'start afresh from Christ' (Novo Millennio Ineunte, III), in the communion which is in Jesus, we have decided to call the whole Church in Australia to celebrate A Year of Grace from Pentecost 2012 to Pentecost 2013.
During that time, the archbishop continued, the Church in Australia “will implore a new sending of the Holy Spirit, who alone can breathe new life into the Church."
The Year of Grace in Australian will overlap with the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI on October 16. The Australian observance will run from Pentecost Sunday in 2012 to Pentecost Sunday in 2013. The Year of Faith will begin later, on October 12, 2012, and through November 24, 2013, the feast of Christ the King.