Pope Affirms Plenary Council Decision

POPE Francis has given his approval for the Catholic Church to hold a plenary council, its most significant national gathering in Australia in more than 80 years.

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, chair of the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council, said the bishops were deeply grateful to Pope Francis for affirming the decision.

“We ask all people to join in prayer as we embark on this journey together as God’s people in Australia,” he said.

“The Council will be a unique opportunity for people to come together and listen to God in all the ways God speaks to us, and in particular by listening to one another as together we discern what God is asking of us at this time.”

He said the Church in Australia was facing “significant challenges”.

“We sincerely hope the preparation and celebration of the Plenary Council is a time when all parts of the Church listen to and dialogue with one another as we explore together how we might answer the question: ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia?’”

In approving the Plenary Council, Pope Francis also endorsed the bishops’ nomination of Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB as president of the Plenary Council.

Archbishop Costelloe said he hoped the Council would bring about “a period of authentic renewal”.

Plenary Council facilitator Lana Turvey-Collins said a process of listening and dialogue, beginning at Pentecost 2018, would help form the council agenda.

Visit the Plenary Council website at http://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/

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