Future of the diocese in the hands of the people

COVERING about half of the area of NSW, the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes has had its future assured after the Congregation of Bishops in Rome decided not to reconfigure the diocesan boundaries.

In mid-April last year parishioners in the diocese were read a letter recommending a reconfiguration, with a number of parishes going to the dioceses of Wagga Wagga and Bathurst.

Broken Hill would then become the centre of the diocese of Wilcannia with Cobar, Wilcannia, Bourke, Nyngan and Brewarrina proposed to remain in within.

The recommendation was proposed by local bishops suggesting the area known as the Western Deanery return to the Bathurst Diocese and several parishes bordering the Diocese of Wagga Wagga be transferred to its care.

They also proposed the remaining communities form the continuing Diocese of Wilcannia, with the Archbishop of Sydney taking responsibility for provision of clergy and administration.

A media statement from the Bishop of Bathurst, Michael McKenna, said the Congregation of Bishops had now judged a new bishop should be appointed to Wilcannia-Forbes and it would be up to the new bishop, in consultation with the people and priests of the diocese, to make recommendations about the best way to move ahead.

Meanwhile the funeral of former Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop, Douglas Warren, will be held today at Parkes.

Bishop Warren died on February 6, aged 93. He was Bishop in the diocese from 1967 until his retirement in 1994.

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