Welcome to the Plenary Council reading resources! We will provide links to relevant articles and books that we hope will be helpful resources for you to journey together. Learning about topics related to Church, mission, discernment, listening and synodality and more.

If you have particular requests or if you know about a great resource others might find helpful, use the Contact Us page and let us know.

Theological Resources

Second Australian Plenary Council, 17 November-1 December 1895

Peter J. Wilkinson || Published in 'The Swag', Vol. 27, No. 1, Autumn 2019

First Plenary Council of Australasia, 14-29 November 1885 - Part 2

Peter J. Wilkinson || Published in The Swag, Vol. 26, No. 3, Spring 2018

First Plenary Council of Australasia, 14-29 November 1885 – Part 1

Peter J. Wilkinson || Published in 'The Swag', Vol. 26, No. 2, Winter 2018, pp. 8-12

The 1862 non-recognized Australian Provincial Council

Peter J. Wilkinson || Published in 'The Swag', Vol. 26. No. 1, Autumn 2018

Second Australian Provincial Council, 18-25 April 1869

Peter J. Wilkinson || Published in 'The Swag', Vol. 26. No. 1, Autumn 2018

Power and Leadership of Women Within the Catholic Church in Australia

Patricia Fox || The Australasian Catholic Record || Jan 2018

A New Testament Hermeneutic for Divorce and Remarriage in the Catholic Tradition

by Francis J. Moloney || The Australasian Catholic Record || July 2015

The legacy of 'Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus - a conversation'

by Dr. Jenny Close || Australian Catholic Theological Association working group on gender justice


To learn more about the process of Discernment, click HERE.

Talk Theology

All I want for Christmas…

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC​

I have been writing columns for about thirteen years. A few Christmases ago, the muse ran dry until one morning when I was talking to a female colleague about her Christmas break.

The Kingdom Within

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC​

As we prepare for the Plenary Council 2020, we are being encouraged to speak boldly and to share what is in our hearts. One of my concerns is that I do not think it is easy to know what is deep in our hearts and it is even more difficult to express it adequately.

Realising the dream of Vatican II

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC​

Earlier this year, I read an excellent book, 'An Unfinished Council: Vatican II, Pope Francis and the Renewal of Catholicism', by Richard Gaillardetz.

The Plenary Council 2020/21 – an initial impression of the journey

by Archbishop Christopher Prowse​

One of my favourite passages of scriptures is from Psalms 127: “IF THE LORD DOES NOT BUILD THE HOUSE, IN VAIN DO THE BUILDERS LABOR” (Psalm 127/1)

Will they listen? Will anything change?

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC​

A couple of months ago, I was invited to give a presentation on the Plenary Council at a Spirituality in the Pub session.

We need a missionary Church, rather than a perfect Church

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC​

As I travel around Australia promoting the Plenary Council, I encounter both scepticism and hope.

TUESDAYS WITH TERESA: What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?

by Teresa Brierley

I recognised during this past week that it would be difficult for me to put thoughts to paper because of our local news headlines coupled with those national headlines of family violence, the rescue of the young boys in Thailand and some personal family matters.

A Pope who is not afraid of open discussion and even dissent in the Church

by Sr Mary Fermio RSJ and Sr Audrey Thomson RSJ

In her address to a recent gathering of Josephite Sisters of the Victoria/Tasmania region, congregational leader Sr Monica Cavanagh spoke of the upcoming Plenary Council and urged them to accept the invitation to become participants in the proposed process.

What does it mean to live the life and mission of Jesus in contemporary Australian society?

by Daniel Ang

The Plenary Council is more than a single event to be held in the year 2020.

Voices of laity 'indispensable' part of Church governance

by Christopher Lamb

The voices of ordinary Catholics are an “indispensable” part of Church governance while canon law should be updated to make it compulsory for parishes to have councils that consult the laity, according to an important theological body which helps establish official Catholic teaching.

When we meet in Adelaide, we won’t be doing something completely novel

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC

At their latest meeting in May, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference decided that the first meeting of Plenary Council 2020 will be held in Adelaide from October 4-10, 2020. I

A Pope who is not afraid of open discussion and even dissent in the Church

by Fr Noel Connolly SSC

Pope Francis is an unusual Pope who is bringing real change to the Church by encouraging open discussion and refusing to silence dissent

Plenary Council participation and reception

Synodality and Discerning the Sensus Fidelium by Fr Ormond Rush, November 2017.

Plenary Council and the Diocese of Broken Bay

by Daniel Ang, published in Broken Bay News, February 2018.

The ACBC has sought the approval from Pope Francis for this Council, official endorsement which is expected in due course.

More on the Theological basis and background of the Plenary Council HERE.


Catholic Church 2020 Plenary Council

by Peter Wilkinson, published in The Swag 2017

Historical Series: 1844 First Australian Provincial Council

by Peter Wilkinson published in The Swag 2017