Diocese decision

Tuesday, 5th July, 2011

Catholic parishioners in Broken Hill will have a chance to have their say on the future of the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese later this month.

An investigative committee will hold a meeting on Monday, July 18, to discuss with local parishioners their views on the possibility of changing parish boundaries.

The diocese administrator, Bishop Kevin Manning said this meeting will give people the chance to speak with the committee about the state of the diocese and their thoughts as to its future.

Bishop Manning said the committee has been appointed by NSW Bishops to investigate the viability of the dioceses and the resources needed for it to continue into the future.

The committee will report to NSW Bishops in August.

Two members of the committee will visit Broken Hill to listen to the proposal from the community and report back to the committee.

Bishop Manning said there has been a huge response from people in the Wilcannia-Forbes diocese concerned about its future.

“(I) have some idea how people are feeling, (there is some) very strong opinions,” he said.

“People want to retain the diocese and try to get more priests to help.”

He said when the meeting was held in Forbes over 200 people attended, and he hopes to see a similar response in the city.

“(The Forbes parishioners) presented a very good case for the retention of the dioceses. I hope (the) meetings will bring (out) a lot of people there so we can hear their opinions as well.”

However, Bishop Manning said without more priests, it will be difficult trying to manage the diocese.

“By the end of the year, we will be at least four priests short. At the present we are seeking ways and means to invite more priests to the diocese,” he said.

Bishop Manning said without more priests services would be drastically cut.

“Priests can only do so much on Sundays,” he said.

“I would hate to see the diocese close down. I am optimistic the Lord will make some provisions.”