IntroductionThere are more than five million Catholics in Australia. It is the largest single Christian denomination, representing nearly 25% of the community.
The Church is made up of bishops, priests, deacons, men and women belonging to religious orders and lay people. Through their baptism, all are called to enter into the life of the Church.
The Church is organised into thirty-three dioceses, each headed by a Bishop. Dioceses include geographic areas as well as Eastern rites and the Military diocese. Each diocese is made up of smaller geographic areas, called parishes.
The permanent national assembly of Bishops is the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). The elected President of the ACBC is the Most Reverend Philip E Wilson, Archbishop of Adelaide. Leaders of religious orders also play an important role in the life of the Church, through their permanent body, Catholic Religious Australia. Sr Clare Condon SGS is the current President of that Body.
The Church, through its members, seeks to respond wholeheartedly to Jesus' command to love God and love neighbour. The Catholic Church is a worshipping, Eucharistic community, which carries out its mission to the broader community in a number of key areas including education, health, social justice and social service.