about catholicity article Catholic bishops’ conference has announced it will be the first major body to recognise the importance of “cathartic” practices, such as circumcision.
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) will make the announcement on Thursday, while the Catholic Church of England (CofE) is expected to announce the same day.
The CofE’s first move will be to recognise that “the Christian faith, the catholic faith, is the bedrock upon which all other religions are built”, said a statement on its website.
The statement added that “there is no place in our church, or in the world, for practices which do not accord with this foundation”.
Catholic bishops have already been lobbying for recognition, and the ACBC will seek to “give voice to this important issue” at its annual meeting next month.
The ACBC statement added: The Catholic Church has always been committed to promoting a healthy and compassionate community, including through our policy and practice on circumcision.
There is no room in our faith for practices that do not correspond with this.
This recognition will help ensure that our bishops have the support they need to provide the highest quality of pastoral care and to foster the health and well-being of our communities.
It will also ensure that all people who need to have their bodies and our communities protected can get the help they need.
The decision was announced at the conference’s annual meeting in Melbourne, where the CofEs bishops have been meeting to discuss the issue of circumcision.
Bishop Richard Smith said the decision to recognise circumcision was not a matter of dogma.
“We believe that it is important for our Church to recognise this fact and that we are the first to recognise it,” he said.
“The fact that the Catholic church recognises this and the fact that we have been a good neighbour to other religions will be recognised.”
Bishop Michael McGlashan, the COfE’s general secretary, said that circumcision was an important part of the Catholic faith.
“I think the CAs policy is based on the teachings of the Holy Fathers,” he told ABC radio on Wednesday.
“What the Holy Father says in the Summa Theologica is what we believe.”
The COfEs bishops will also discuss the importance for Catholics of “the healing and sanctification of their own bodies and the bodies of their neighbours”.
Bishop Smith said that while he had a “broad sense of what is important”, there was a “disregard for other cultures” and a “distaste” for people “who practise things that do and do not conform with Christian doctrine”.
“It is important to remember that our Church has been an established Church for over 400 years,” he added.
The Anglican Communion has not recognised the “sacredness of the body” as being a matter for religious freedom.
However, the Catholic bishops will have the same opportunity to discuss their policy on circumcision, which is a matter to be resolved at their annual meeting.
“As bishops we have a responsibility to be faithful to our principles, and we will do everything possible to protect the dignity of the human body and the human person,” Bishop Smith told ABC Radio on Wednesday morning.
“But we recognise that we can only do that by taking care that this is a decision that is respectful to all those who practice the faith.”
Bishop Smith’s comments come after the Archbishop of Sydney, the Bishop of Melbourne, the Archbishop in Perth and the Bishop in Queensland have also announced they will not recognise the “biblical” circumcision.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Australian Christian Lobby, a lobby group representing more than 500 Catholic bishops, called on the Catholic hierarchy to reconsider its position.
“This is a big deal,” said Richard Hogg, the director of the ACL’s Australia office.
“It’s an important step forward, but it’s a big step forward and there is a lot of work to do.”