Bishops, leaders of religious congregations and Catholic lay leaders from across Australia have already come together in Sydney for the first of a series of consultation seminars in the lead up to the historic Plenary Council in 2020.
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, The Archbishop of Brisbane, Most Reverend Mark Coleridge.
In his keynote address 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.
“The consultation process will drive the agenda of the Plenary Council and social media will play a key role in ensuring that it is as inclusive as possible so that those who are unable to attend the consultations in person can still be actively involved”, he added.
Archbishop Coleridge urged the participants to reflect upon the longer term significance of the Plenary Council.
“The world is watching this process and we can’t therefore afford to see the Plenary
Council as merely significant for the Australian Church”, he said.
“This will indeed help shape the direction of the universal Church as well”.