Plenary Council 2020:
Listen To What The Spirit Is Saying…

In October 2020, the Catholic Church in Australia will gather for the first Plenary Council to be held since the second Vatican Council. In 2018, the entire People of God in Australia began preparing for this historic moment by listening to God, by listening to one another’s stories of faith.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the original date of the Assemblies have been delayed. See the new PLENARY COUNCIL JOURNEY 2020-2022.

Click HERE to access the new resource, the Reflection guide to responding to the Thematic Discernment papers. Click HERE to access “A Journey of Discernment: The Plenary Council”, a paper by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe.

  • Phase I: Listening and Dialogue

    More than 222,000 people participated in Phase I: Listening and Dialogue, contributing 17,457 submissions. The voices of the faithful help all of us to understand something of the historical experience and the current reality of the Catholic Church in Australia. This gathered data also reveals some deeper hopes and questions, and the diverse yearnings, that we are now challenged to consider together.

  • Phase II: Listening and Discernment

    The voices in the Listening and Dialogue submissions inspired The National Themes for Discernment named below, which have served as guides as we go through Phrase II: Listening and Discernment. Catholics all over Australia continue to participate in Writing and Discernment sessions, discerning on the submissions with prayerful hearts and minds. These responses make their way to our Writing and Discernment Groups via our website portal, who are drafting thematic papers towards making the agenda for Assembly 1.

    Discernment will go on indefinitely. We invite you to continue getting together with your community for sessions and sending us your responses via the website.

  • Towards Assembly 1

    With the calling of the delegates, we begin to work towards Assembly 1 of the Plenary Council in earnest. While Discernment continues across the country, delegates will undergo formation and be sent documents in advance. These documents will include the THEMATIC DISCERNMENT PAPERS written by the Writing and Discernment Groups.

    On March 23, we announced more than 250 delegates for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, including delegates nominated by dioceses, eparchies, ordinariates and a personal prelature. The delegates will represent those local churches at the celebration of the Council over two assemblies – originally planned for Adelaide in October 2020 and in Sydney in mid-2021.

    On April 6, 2020, Assembly 1 was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic preventing the desired process of discernment and formation for the delegates. As of June 2020, Assembly 1 will be held in Adelaide on October 2-10, 2021 and Assembly 2 will be held in Sydney on July 4-9, 2022.

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As we near the date the first Assembly of the Plenary Council was originally going to be, we are thankful for continual developments behind the scenes -- including working towards commissioning our delegates, further work with the Instrumentum Laboris team, the release of Archbishop Costelloe's "Journey to Discernment" and more!

Below are a few more excerpts from the Writing and Discernment Groups finished the Discernment Papers. These papers contain summaries of the responses to Discernment, and an outpouring of knowledge, references and experience on the part of the Groups in interpreting the themes, talking about the present of the Church, and making concrete recommendations going towards the future. These papers are integral to forming the agenda of the Plenary Council Assembly 1, which will now be in October 2021.

Find the papers (and audio versions courtest of the Diocese of Bathurst) here: plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/continuing-the-journey-of-discernment/
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A few weeks back, our Writing and Discernment Groups finished the Discernment Papers. These papers contain summaries of the responses to Discernment, and an outpouring of knowledge and experience on the part of the Groups in interpreting the themes, talking about the present of the Church, and making concrete recommendations going towards the future. These papers are integral to forming the agenda of the Plenary Council Assembly 1, which is now scheduled for next year.

Access all the Thematic Papers (and audio versions courtest of the Diocese of Bathurst) here: plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/continuing-the-journey-of-discernment/
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