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Eastern Catholic Married Priests
Welcome in Australia

Two Press Releases:   | Bishop Issam Darwish B.S. of Sydney |  and  | Bishop Peter Stasiuk of Melbourne |


Press Release of Bishop Issam Darwish B.S.:

The Australian Catholic Bishop Conference
Plenary Meeting 19 - 27 May 1998

The meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference ended on Wednesday 27 May 1998, after lasting nine days.

On Tuesday 26 May 1998, a discussion took place between the bishops in regard of the married priests in the Eastern Church.  After Bishop Moris Wilson explained the difficulties and inconvenience of the Eastern Church Bishops, experience in not being able to maintain their eastern tradition (including the ordination of married priests).

However, Bishop Brennan, in corporation with Bishop Peter Staniuk of the Ukrainian Operate and Bishop Issam Darwish of the Malachite Operate, put forward the following motion, which was then voted, and resulted in favor of the motion, with 38 votes against 2 votes.

MOTION THE ACBC WELCOME THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE UKRAINIAN, MARONITE AND MELKITE EPARCHIES IN AUSTRALIA

CONFERENCE EXPRESSES ITS RESPECT FOR THE CLERGY, INCLUDING MARRIED CLERGY, WORKING IN THE EPARCHIES, AND IN OTHER EASTERN CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN AUSTRALIA.

CONFERENCE FURTHER AFFIRMS THAT IT HAS NO OBJECTION TO THE EPARCHS ORDAINING MARRIED MEN TO THE DIACONATE AND PREISTHOOD IN AUSTRALIA.

However, Bishop Peter Staniuk and myself were very delighted with the outcome because the reward was great for the day.

Bishop Issam Darwish B.S.

Sydney 27 May 1998



Press Release of Bishop Peter Stasiuk of Melbourne:

The Australian Catholic Bishop Conference
Plenary Meeting 19 - 27 May 1998

On Monday evening, 25 May 1998, the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, meeting at Saint Paul's National Seminary in Sydney, Australia, passed the following motion:

"The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference welcomes the development of the Ukrainian, Maronite, and Melkite Eparchies in Australia. The Conference expresses its respect for the clergy, including the married clergy, working in the Eparchies and the other Eastern Catholic Churches. The Conference further affirms that it has no objection to the Eparchs ordaining married men to the diaconate and priesthood in Australia."

Among the hierarchs present for this historic vote were Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Peter Stasiuk, of the Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul of Melbourne, and Bishop Issam Darwich of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Eparchy. Bishop Issam Darwich is himself the grandson of a priest. Bishop Peter Stasiuk sincerely thanked the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, saying that "this vote is very much appreciated the Ukrainians prepare to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their presence in Australia."
 
The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference adopted this motion to reverse a motion taken on 9 November 1949, which sought to restrict the active ministry among Eastern Catholics in Australia to celibate priests (in consequence of this 1949 motion the first Ukrainian Catholic priest in Australia, Father Paul Smal, was required to leave the country).

Source is Bishop Peter (Stasiuk) of Melbourne (the Eparchy of Ss Peter and Paul of Melbourne).



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