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What are an Archbishop’s Major Duties in the Capacity of a Chief Member of the Clergy?

The Catholic Church (or any other church for that matter) is shaped in its organizational structure rather like the armed forces of a nation. There is a fixed hierarchy. Each rung on the ladder of leaders and followers caters to the higher-ups who in turn bear a great responsibility towards their subordinates. The various ranks help one another uphold the structure of the church by attractively dovetailing their rights and duties.

In today’s world with its power politics, material economics and mass consumerism, there is indeed a vacuum left behind after the meaninglessness of everyday life. The daily grind, with its emphasis on pure gratification and super-efficiency, can weigh any ordinary individual down with its monotony and sheer cruelty. It is in such circumstances that the church enters to guide lost souls towards a more purpose-driven lifestyle that heals with its inner warmth and superior goodness.

While the Catholic Church is headed by the Pope, whose residence is in the Vatican, there are countless junior members busy performing their duties. They are engineers of the soul who help guide the masses (and anyone who seeks their assistance) towards tremendous self-satisfaction and holy life of gratitude towards God, holiness and prayer.

An archbishop is a chief bishop who governs the other bishops that come under his command. His duty is partial as a successor to the original apostles. An archdiocese comes under his governance. Bishops also share in this honour. The Christians of the world are brought to a focus in their multifarious energies by this figurehead who reports to the Pope time after time.

He also happens to be responsible for regulating, shuffling and reassessing various bishops and priests. This, of course, is dependent upon their performance. He oversees their every move and reprimands or rewards them under their level of obedience and devotion to the spirit of the church.

The archbishop is also a part of the ritual of administering the sacrament. This is of chief importance. It is rituals that add richness and lend texture to humankind’s spiritual depth. Without a certain level of grounding in the ways of the Lord and guidance towards what is right and good, there would be chaos and misery on earth. That is because as the Holy Bible puts it so well: “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”. To expect a human being to rely on his material circumstances solely is like expecting a bird to fly through the air with one wing alone.

Archbishops also care for the liturgical rites. They take into their ambit religious contacts between the clergy and laity. A sort of local chief minister of types (to borrow a political analogy), an archbishop decides who gets to become a bishop or priest. The post is not for the weak of heart since it requires enormous strength of will and a robust and prodigious work ethic. The archbishop must learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. This requires a keen and discerning ability to discern between individuals based on their spiritual merits.

Ultimately, the show must go on, and the archbishop has to handle the office he is granted with strict supervision of the junior members. Discipline is a necessity no matter how difficult it might seem to a soft-hearted individual who finds himself occupying the archbishop’s seat of authority. The outward rites and rituals are more comfortable to follow than maintaining a sense of balance and harmony in one’s regional religious centre. This is the crux of the matter, and it is up to the archbishop to see to it that the spirit is followed as much as the letter of the faith that has attracted so many believers from around the world.

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What are Some of the Rules regarding Church Activities during Christmas in Australia?

The current Covid-19 pandemic means by its very nature that Christmas will be celebrated in Australia in a slightly subdued manner. While things will proceed in a usual way, there will be specific rules in place that used to be absent before the deadly pandemic reared its ugly head. We are living through extraordinary times, so notable regulations will have to be followed whether we like it or not.

Many of the churches and other houses of worship throughout Australia have quite vocally expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s unfair policies. While the government has allowed many rock concerts and other entertainment venues to carry on their festivities without any hindrance of any kind, it has been over the top in the restrictions it has imposed on religious places of worship. This shows a lack of understanding of the feelings of holy and pious people who want to worship their Creator and participate in the rituals of their religion(s) with relative freedom.

You cannot have one set of rules for one group of people and another set for another clique. To upset a particular segment of the country is to ask for trouble. Especially when it comes to the personal lives of people, too much interference by the state is perceived as oppression and injustice.

The Coronavirus-caused wave of deaths throughout the Global Village has made it necessary to take certain precautions at all times. We all know them, and they do not need going into here. Yet you cannot neurotically hide from this disease. You have to live your life, and that includes going to work, gaining an education, seeking out entertainment, eating good food, keeping up social values and most of all practising your faith. Keeping all this in mind, the government of Australia has come up with some guidelines on how Christmas is to be celebrated this winter before the New Year is ushered in.

The density per person in a house of worship is determined, and so is the same value in an open place of ritual. The former is one person per two square meters of space. If the strength of people in the building dedicated to the Lord is less than about two dozen, then this rule does not apply. A maximum of 150 people inside and 300 outside are the norms. The safety measures count for synagogues, mosques and temples as well.

Church leaders have spoken up about the sad fact that the consumer drive is all that is being concentrated upon during Yuletide. Such should not be so since it is a false value to just materialistically enjoy what is meant to be a source of rich satisfaction on a spiritual level. The magic and meaning of Christmas lie in the thoughts and feelings that exist in the hearts and souls of ordinary individuals. To give, love, care, and share is what the season is all about. It is all about random acts of kindness and not solely about how much money you spend. Church services are crucial to bringing greater purpose and satisfaction into the lives of those who worship and believe in God. The government has therefore eased some of the previously unfair and draconian restrictions on religious expression this Christmas. Different states and territories of Australia have different rules and regulations which apply to Church activities held inside their jurisdiction. Especially the singing of carols by a choir will have to be different this time around since it could dramatically cause the spread of Coronavirus. Other than that, people are encouraged to take things generally as they come despite the troubled times of panic we are passing through.