“The Australian Plenary Council is part of a global movement of reform and renewal, longed for by Catholics across the world. The Plenary Council has been called in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and other challenges and failings; it is an opportunity for significant renewal in the Church in Australia.” (A Church for All – A Guide to the Australian Plenary Council and Beyond, Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform.)
I have attached two articles in relation to the Plenary Council, with assemblies of the Council scheduled for October 2021 and July 2022. One is by Bishop Vincent Long, and the beautiful vision for the future of the Catholic Church in Australia he presented in the Dom Helder Camara Lecture in June. The second is a response to Bishop Long by Professor Gabrielle McMullen, former Trustee of Mary Aikenhead Ministries, describing where she sees hope in two current developments in the Australian Church.
For all of us with a deeply committed faith, we look to the Church for nourishment, guidance and direction for how we live our lives in the image of Jesus. The Plenary Council gives me hope that our Church is one that articulates and gives life to Pope Francis’ vision for a Church that meets each person where they are at in their journey, entering into a genuine encounter with the other; a Church that is welcoming, open and inclusive, and transforms the world through love.
Season of Creation
Thursday, 1 September marked the commencement of the Season of Creation – an ecumenical time in our calendars that calls for focussed prayer, advocacy and action for the care of our common home, Earth. The following excerpt helps us to prepare for and focus on this coming season:
“The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, September, is an annual event during which Christians worldwide are invited to celebrate and care for God’s creation. In 1989, the Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios 1 proclaimed September 1st as the Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. Since then, many Christian churches have embraced this special day. Its focus has been extended to a month-long celebration of the Season of Creation concluding on October 4th, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. In 2015, Pope Francis officially acknowledged the Catholic Church’s embrace of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and the Season of Creation. The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is: ‘A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God.’ Oikos is the Greek word for home. This theme reminds us of the common bond Christians share as we reverence all creation as God’s good gift, recognise our inter-dependence and give thanks for the opportunity to care for our Earthly home.”