Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia, announced the closing of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, citing low enrollment.
Vatican official George Pell faced four hours of questioning about his role in the clergy sexual abuse crisis in his native Australia in an overnight hearing Sunday.
"At this very time when we could do so much together, the clouds of discrimination ... are gathering across the continent that needs the most support."
In Australia, "laypeople are taking over all of these organizations, taking leadership positions in the schools, in the social ministries, in the health care institutions."
Catholics in the United States and Australia have ringing similarities, the most evident being that their churches are undergoing a major transition.
The bishop appointed to head the newly erected Syro-Malabar Catholic Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Melbourne, Australia, said he has "a tough task ahead."