The product of four years of research as part of his Honours thesis, Prophetic Pastoral Leadership is being launched on March 10 by Archbishop Faulkner at St Peter Claver Church, Dulwich.
Paul commenced his Bachelor of Theology after retiring as business manager at Thomas More College.
“I was interested in the history of the Church and I wanted to do my thesis on something that hadn’t been documented before,” he said.
“I thought the pastoral team was something that had been under-reported.”
He stressed that the initiative was a response of the Adelaide Archdiocese to the Second Vatican Council and had evolved from a process of renewal started by Archbishop James Gleeson in the early 1980s.
The inaugural pastoral team comprised the Archbishop, the Vicar General Fr Jim O’Loughlin, Mrs Madge McGuire and Sr Patricia Fox RSM. It began in 1985 and concluded in 2001 when Archbishop Wilson took the approach of a consultative leadership team with male and female chancellors advising him.
“It was the first one in the world – and there has never been one since,” Paul said.
“It took some adjustment on the part of the Council of Priests, the fact that women were coming to meetings.
“It was a whole change of culture.”
Paul said the release of the book was timely given the comments made during the final hearing into the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Witnesses at the hearing attributed a low level of offending in the Adelaide Archdiocese to the participation of women in the hierarchy.
Paul said Adelaide had a history of strong lay participation which was even more important now as the Church adapted to a future with less priests.
The book, which costs $20, can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org