A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in a country. Our Plenary Council is being held so that we can dialogue about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia.
There are many reasons for having a Plenary Council for the Catholic Church in Australia: Pope Francis has invited the local Church to dialogue; the contemporary society of Australia has changed significantly; and the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse has been a significant and influential event that requires deep consideration and response.
When the Australian Catholic Bishops announced the decision to hold a Plenary Council, Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge said that “the Church is not the presence in our society it once was. We need to take a measure of that and make decisions accordingly. The culture in which we have to proclaim the Gospel is very different to what it was even 20 or 30 years ago.”
The journey is taking place over several years in order to give the Catholic community in Australia time to listen, dialogue and discern with one another and, guided by the Holy Spirit, about the future, the role and relevance of the Catholic Church in Australia.
The first Assembly of the Plenary Council took place via a multi-modal format from October 3 to 10, 2021. The Second Assembly will take place in Sydney, from July 4 to 9, 2022.
In order to listen and discern the God’s voice, the Executive Committee invited several experts to share their reflections. Among them, Fr. Frank Moloney SDB shares his own contribution.