The Archbishop of Cardiff has announced that he wants to merge two Catholic dioceses in Wales.
Most Rev Mark O’Toole who is also the Bishop of Menevia, has issued a pastoral letter to the communities of both Cardiff and Menevia asking them to consider the possibility of uniting the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Diocese of Menevia into one Diocese. He said the move would aim to enhance the mission and outreach of the church.
In his letter, Archbishop Mark highlighted the need for the Church to be more "audacious in mission," as called for by Pope Francis. He believes that uniting the two Dioceses would enable the Church to be more effective in sharing the Gospel and serving those in need.
"By sharing resources and supporting one another, I believe we can give a more credible witness to Jesus Christ in our society and communicate Him more effectively, both in our own faith and in the good works that we undertake," Archbishop Mark wrote.
The Archbishop has scheduled a series of "Open Listening Sessions" across both Dioceses in the early months of 2024 to gather feedback from the faithful. The purpose of these sessions is to discuss the proposed uniting of the two Dioceses, to gather ideas on reaching out in mission, and to look at how all in the two Dioceses can move forward together.
The Archbishop emphasizes that no final decision has been made, and the ultimate decision rests with the Pope after the open listening and consultative phase. He said he wants to listen to the experiences and perspectives of laypeople, religious, and clergy before making any recommendations:
"I humbly ask you to walk with me on this path so that together we can enter more fully into Jesus' life and help others to do so too, so that the good news of the Christ child is communicated to the whole world."
A more detailed outline of the consultation process will be available on the websites of the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Diocese of Menevia in the coming weeks.