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Ensuring Synod ‘Not Just Another Talk-Fest’

Last edited 10th September 2017

Ensuring Synod ‘Not Just Another Talk-Fest’

The last Plenary Council for the Church in Australia took place 80 years ago and the upcoming synod is an opportunity to engage the wider community in important discussions around the future of the Church.

The consultation seminars, The Journey to 2020: Opening the Conversation to the Plenary Council, are being led by the Chair of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.

The first consultation seminar took place at Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney on Friday and was attended by 150 participants. The seminar was facilitated by the Congregational Leader of the Presentation Sisters, Sr Anne Lane PBVM.

Specific information from the discussions that come out of the seminars will be passed on directly to a 14-member committee which will work closely with the Bishops Commission to ensure the successful preparation, celebration and implementation of the Plenary Council 2020.

Archbishop Coleridge emphasised the importance of ensuring the Plenary Council was a meaningful consultation process.

“This must certainly not be just another talk-fest that risks becoming tokenistic, but one that allows all voices to be heard, that is attuned to the Holy Spirit and which actively seeks out the views of the disaffected as well as those more actively engaged with the Church,” Archbishop Coleridge said.

Maronite Bishop Antoine Charbel Tarabay shared some valuable insights at the seminar on the synodal processes in the Maronite Church and he called for the Plenary Council to be as ecumenical as possible.

The Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Sr Clare Condon SGS told the seminar, she saw the Plenary Council as a unique opportunity to promote a more inclusive Church.

“We need to actively reach out to the marginalised, including those in irregular marriages, same-sex relationships, the homeless and the long term unemployed,” Sr Clare said.

“Our world has also changed irreversibly for women since the last Plenary Council was held 80 years ago and this should be reflected in Church governance today.”

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