Mons. Peter Elliott will be ordained a bishop tommorrow night at St Patrick’s Cathedral at 7:30pm along with Bishop-Elect Tim Costelloe. “The Mons” (as he has been affectionately known up until now) gave an interview on Zenit recently in which he referred to one of our endeavours: our local “Catholic and Pentecostal/Evangelical” Dialogue.
Q: Benedict XVI has specifically mentioned Australia, along with some other Western nations, as being one of the countries most affected by secularization and a weakening of the Church. What do you see as the priorities for the Church in Australia to affront this situation?
Bishop-designate Elliott: Yes, secularization is prevalent in Australia. I recently took part in a dialogue with evangelicals and Pentecostals on this question, which is of concern to all Christians.
The secularizing process, and a kind of ideology of secularism, has made great inroads into our families, and into the lives of individuals. But that is just the kind of challenge we have had to face, in other pagan forms, in other societies in the past.
In Australia we need to strengthen the Church by concentrating on two points: formation of priests and promoting vocations, and a radical revision of religious education and catechesis.
Our dialogue is addressing the topic of “Preaching the Gospel to Secular Australia”. So far we have addressed the topics of “The Gospel” and “Secular Australia” in our meetings. The next meeting will address our understandings of “Preaching”, and the final meeting for the year will put it all together. It has been great fun doing this with our protestant brethren and sistern, and “The Mons” has made a great contribution. When asked if he would continue with the dialogue now that he will be a bishop, his answer was “Even more so!”