01 Aug 2018
Momentum building for Plenary Council
The Southern Cross newspaper – August 2018
Thousands of people from across Australia have taken time in the two months since the Plenary Council 2020 officially launched at Pentecost to consider the future of the Catholic Church.
In May, the Listening and Dialogue phase of the Plenary Council began, with resources created to help people across the country participate in a prayerful conversation to consider the question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”
A brochure explaining the Listening and Dialogue process is included in this month’s issue of The Southern Cross and local representative Sarah Moffatt said it was hoped this would be an impetus for many South Australian parish, school and family groups and individuals to have their voices heard.
Adelaide will host the opening session of the historic Plenary Council in October 2020.
Plenary Council facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins who was in Adelaide last month to conduct a Listening and Dialogue session with Religious women and men, said enthusiasm has been high.
“As people learn they are central to this process, that the stories of their experiences of faith and the Church will shape the agenda for the Plenary Council sessions in 2020 and 2021, they understand how important it is that their voice be heard and listened to,” Ms Turvey-Collins said.
“People see that the Church is moving into uncharted territory by engaging so significantly with all parts of the Church – young and old, women and men, all cultures, all languages, all abilities, lay, Religious and clerical. Many find that very empowering.”
Trudy Dantis, director of the National Centre for Pastoral Research, is supporting the facilitation team by working with a research group and providing expert analysis of the responses that have been submitted.
Dr Dantis said some examples of topics being mentioned in submissions include a greater role for women, the need for more faith formation and the desire for liturgy that is nourishing and inspiring.
She said the Plenary Council was also attracting responses from people who acknowledge they are no longer closely affiliated with the Church.