Catholics – where to now?

February 27, 2020 BY

The Catholic Church is seeking to reflect the sense of faith among its Australian members.

AUSTRALIA’S Catholic Church will hold a Plenary Council in October, the first in 80 years.

As part of the process of setting the agenda, the church is seeking to reflect the sense of faith of Catholics in Australia.

As part of the church’s Listening and Dialogue with the community an invitation was published in this newspaper over a six-week period to join a meeting of interested persons held at St Therese Catholic Church on November 16, 2019. What follows is a brief report on that meeting.

Participants were challenged to address a number of questions in the context of the church’s response to the Sexual Abuse Royal Commission and the core question: “What is God asking of us in Australia today?”

More than 50 people responded to the invitation, forming small groups of up to 10, with responses summarised by organisers and shared with local Catholic communities via the Nazareth Parish Grovedale Catholic Community website (cam.org.au/grovedale). Summaries were also forwarded to the Plenary office as input into the Plenary Agenda setting process.

There was disease at the meeting concerning the church’s response to revelations of sexual abuse and outreach to victims. A strong consensus emerged around the need for significant change to ensure accountability in governance, and position the church to be a place of love, compassion, mercy and inclusiveness.

People want the church to be responsive, able to enable the gifts of all its members, especially women in ordained and leadership roles, calling forth values and standards that give real witness to all, including business leaders and those in the political arena. The church has much to do to reclaim the moral leadership it has lost.

Further information on the Plenary Council can be found at plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/FINAL-BOOK-v7-online-version-LISTEN-TO-WHAT-THE-SPIRIT-IS-SAYING.pdf

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