The Plenary Council 2020 has moved into its next phase with the release of the National Themes for Discernment on Pentecost Sunday. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
The themes emerged from a historic process of listening to the voices of more than 222,000 people.
Between May 2018 and March 2019, almost 17,500 submissions, from individuals and groups of all sizes, addressed the Plenary Council’s central question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?” Over several days of listening to what the people of God said, with intense moments of prayer and discernment, the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council and its Executive Committee, joined by the Facilitation Team, considered what people were longing for. Six National Themes for Discernment emerged.
“The National Centre for Pastoral Research was able to pinpoint more than 100 recurring subject areas from those 17,500 submissions,” said Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, president of the Plenary Council.
“In some ways, those subject areas described what one might call ‘the messy reality’ of Catholic life in Australia today. 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.
“We worked to discern what people were yearning for as we move into this next stage of preparing for the Plenary Council.”
Archbishop Costelloe said there was a clear desire expressed for the Church to renew herself and focus on the person of Jesus Christ.
“Accordingly, the six National Themes for Discernment flow from that primary goal of being a Christ-centred community of people,” he explained.
The six National Themes for Discernment invite people to reflect, to pray and to consider how God is calling the People of God to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is:
- Missionary and Evangelising
- Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal
- Prayerful and Eucharistic
- Humble, Healing and Merciful
- A Joyful, Hope-Filled and Servant Community
- Open to conversion, Renewal and Reform.
More information on the National Themes for Discernment can be found on the re-launched Plenary Council website: www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au.