Catholic parishes and religious communities across New Zealand and Australia are preparing for a global e-conference in August which will reflect on the topic — “Gospel Leadership in Times of Chaos: the Hope of Pope Francis”.
Australia’s former Foreign Minister, Professor Bob Carr and US theologian and expert on Vatican II Professor Massimo Faggioli are among the keynote speakers at the e-conference on August 10 which is being presented by BBI-The Australian Institute of Theological Education in partnership with the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
The e-conference, now in its 13th year, is popular in New Zealand where it has attracted strong interest over recent years.
This year, keynote speakers from the political, business, and media arenas will reflect upon the hope offered by Pope Francis during the current era of socio-political change and uncertainty which has included the rise of fundamentalism, the growing violence and displacement of peoples in the Middle East and Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union.
“I am looking forward to a timely and spirited discussion at the e-conference”, explained one of the key speakers, Australian business leader Elizabeth Proust.
As deputy chair of the Truth Justice and Healing Council in Australia, Ms Proust has been shocked by the extent of clergy abuse highlighted through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
“And I believe Pope Francis offers us a tremendous role model of a humble, courageous servant leader who is not afraid to adopt difficult positions on some important social and moral issues of our time, from ecology through to
corporate greed,” Ms Proust explained.
Through her work as Chairperson of Nestle and the Bank of Melbourne, Ms Proust has increasingly taken on a mentoring role to aspiring young business leaders in Australia, particularly young women.
“In the business arena too, I believe we can draw upon the example of Pope Francis and adopt a humbler approach to leadership that is perhaps less focused on multi-million dollar profits for shareholders and which genuinely addresses the growing gulf between the earnings of CEOs and their employees in some of our big corporations,” Ms Proust added.
More information about the e-conference, including registration details can be accessed through the BBI website: www.bbi.catholic.edu.au/short-courses/ eConference-2017.