Welcome to PlenaryPost
PlenaryPost is the Plenary Council e-newsletter, and this is the first edition. It will be published fortnightly and keep you up-to-date with all the news and information related to the Plenary Council happenings around the country.
This newsletter will be better if we hear from our readers – so please send in your ideas for content, questions you have and articles or videos you think are worth sharing.
The beginning of a journey
by Lana Turvey-Collins
At Mass in my parish on Sunday, the feast of Pentecost, Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation with 21 young people and their families.
Echoing some of Bishop Curry’s homily at the Royal Wedding the previous day, Bishop Terry spoke about the fact that it is love that brings us together as people; the fact that God knows us intimately and loves us deeply, and asks us to do the same for one another.
We lit the candle for the Plenary Council and we prayed together for the Holy Spirit to guide us as we begin to think about and talk about the future of the Church and what God is asking of us at this time.
In the time after Jesus’ death, the fire of the Holy Spirit transcended difference and people of different cultures and languages could speak and understand one another.
In this first stage of preparation for the Plenary Council — open Listening and Dialogue, my prayer is that even if we deeply disagree with one another, that we are able to create space to share our stories: our experiences of faith and of the Church.
All people are welcome, invited to share freely from your heart and mind. In this process, we have a chance to speak boldly and to listen humbly to others, so that our hearts may be transformed and we can discover the pathway toward the future for our Church to which God is leading us.
We will address a new question in each e-newsletter. To catch up on previous editions, you can check out the Plenary Council FAQ page. If you have a question, email it to us and we will include it in future editions of PlenaryPost.
The question for today is…
What is a Plenary Council?
A Plenary Council is the highest form of gathering of all local churches in a country. This means all of the places of the Church – the Diocese of Lismore, the Diocese of Darwin, the Military Ordinariate, Catholic Health, Education and Social Services – all of the Catholic Church in Australia, shall come together.
The Plenary Council 2020 is being held so that we can dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
A Pope who is not afraid of open discussion
and even dissent in the Church
by Fr Noel Connolly SSC, Plenary Council Facilitation Team
Pope Francis is an unusual Pope who is bringing real change to the Church by encouraging open discussion and refusing to silence dissent. In fact, he has said, “Open and fraternal debate makes theological and pastoral thought grow…. That doesn’t frighten me. What’s more, I look for it.”
Many people would like to see him clarify matters and crack down on dissent, but Francis is patient and wants people to speak their minds because he believes in a synodal Church. He trusts that the Holy Spirit will guide us in the right direction.
Adelaide to host first Plenary Council session
Adelaide has been chosen to host the first of the two Plenary Council sessions. It will be held from October 4-10, 2020. Read more here.
Pope sends blessings
Pope Francis has written a message to the Catholic Church in Australia, sending his blessing and prayers as the Plenary Council process began officially at Pentecost. Read more here.
Follow us online