Pope Francis sends blessings as Plenary Council process begins

POPE Francis has sent his support and blessings to the Catholic Church in Australia as it commences a three-year process to consider its future through the Plenary Council 2020.

The Church in Australia, on the feast of Pentecost, yesterday marked the official launch of the Plenary Council, which will culminate in gatherings in 2020 and 2021 to consider the Church’s governance, laws and practice.

In a special message for the Catholic community in Australia, Pope Francis said that he hoped “through patient dialogue and faith-filled discernment, the conciliar journey will confirm the Catholics in Australia in a spirit of fraternal unity and missionary discipleship”.

That, the Holy Father said, would enable them to be “a leaven of holiness, justice and reconciliation in today’s rapidly changing society”.

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, president of the Plenary Council, expressed his gratitude for the Pope’s encouraging message.

“We are embarking together on an important initiative that holds great promise for the Catholic Church in Australia,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“It is wonderful to know that the Holy Father is aware of what we are doing and fully supportive of it.

“The Pope’s prayer for us reminds us of our great need for the wisdom, harmony and openness to God’s will, which are the gift of the Holy Spirit, without which the Plenary Council will not bear the appropriate fruit which we pray will renew the face of the Church in Australia.”

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

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