CNA Staff, Feb 26, 2021 / 06:05 am
Australia’s Catholic bishops on Thursday issued a working document ahead of the first assembly of a landmark plenary council in October.
The text, released on Feb. 25, will inform discussions at the first plenary council of the Australian Church since 1937.
The document, entitled “Continuing the Journey,” calls for a sweeping renewal of the Church in Australia.
It highlights a series of “major topics,” including “strengthening practices of discernment and synodality,” “co-responsibility in mission and governance,” “renewing the Church’s solidarity with First Australians and those on the margins of society,” and responding to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
It says that these topics will help to form “the skeleton of an agenda” at the plenary council’s first assembly.
Australia’s Catholic bishops formally announced their decision to hold a plenary council in May 2016. Pope Francis ratified the plan in March 2018.
According to the plenary council’s website, “a plenary council is the highest form of gathering of local church and has legislative and governance authority. The decisions that are made at the council become binding for the Catholic Church in Australia.”
The organizers were forced to change their plans for the plenary council because of the coronavirus crisis.