Fifth Plenary Council of Australia closes
The nine-month celebration phase of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia ended on Saturday, with Council Members standing and applauding as president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB formally declared the Council closed.
Almost four-and-a-half years after preparations for the Council began, Members met for a final session to bring to a conclusion the second general assembly, held across six days in Sydney.
In addition to celebrating the final Mass on Saturday morning, Members also approved a concluding statement signed by all Members of the assembly, reflecting on the discernment that took place over those days.
The statement said the Council had been an “expression of the synodality that Pope Francis has identified as a key dimension of the Church’s life in the third millennium”.
“Synodality is the way of being a pilgrim Church, a Church that journeys together and listens together, so that we might more faithfully act together in responding to our God-given vocation and mission,” it said.
Acknowledging that while some moments during the week had been “calm and harmonious”, others were “tense and difficult”, the statement also said “every moment has been blessed; the entire week has been grace-filled, though never a cheap grace”.
“The Holy Spirit has been both comforter and disrupter.”
After a dramatic day on Wednesday, when a pair of motions did not pass, Council Members commenced “new patterns of listening and dialogue, which are nascent but real”.
The statement agreed with Pope Francis’ assessment that synodality is “an easy concept to put into words, but not so easy to put into practice”.
“Embedding these practices of listening and discernment will continue to be essential dimensions of the implementation of this Plenary Council,” the statement said.
“They will re-shape our engagement with the world, our evangelising mission and our works of service in a rapidly changing environment.
“The work has only begun.”
On Saturday morning, Council Members confirmed the decrees of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, which were then signed by all bishops present. After the November meeting of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the decrees will be sent to the Holy See.
Once recognitio is received by the Holy See, the decrees will be implemented and become the law of the Church in Australian six months later.
The details of the voting and final motions have been published online.
On Friday evening, Members approved a motion about the implementation phase of the Plenary Council.
The steps outlined include the establishment of terms of review for implementation by the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, the publication of interim reports in 2023 and 2025, and the publication of a final review report in 2027.
Find out more about the Plenary Council at: www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au
I wish to congratulate and thank the Council for its hard work. , I do, however, have a comment.
Having regard to the agenda of the Plenary Council, It would seem to me that the delegates taking part will have been required (where possible) to have studied or at least to have read carefully the documents of Vatican 11. Did that happen ?
As is well known, many of the requirements and recommendations of Vatican 11 were ignored in the implementation thereof, for instance, the requirement/recommendation regarding the retention of our profound heritage in Church Music, especially that of the Gregorian chant, which the council declared to be the most appropriate setting for the celebration of the Mass.
Was there any reference to that matter or to an other similar matters discussed or discerned at the Plenary Council ?
I would really appreciate a reply.
Hopefully, and with Best Wishes
Kevin, the Agnus Dei is still widely used by some Covid-period online Mass providers.
My inadequate research suggests that Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral is unusual because
it supplies well-labelled Mass and Evening Prayer live and online on many days, for those
who can access YouTube. This a great blessing for those who are deaf & without `sign’.
For wider access to Gregorian chant since Vatican II, we all must pray more. Geoff Wood