The working document for the Plenary Council will provide a constant reminder of the need for deep and ongoing discernment of God’s will for the Church, says Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
Work recently began on the development of the document, known as an instrumentum laboris, with it drawing heavily on the first two preparatory phases of the Council journey: Listening and Dialogue and Listening and Discernment.
The voices of more than 220,000 people across the country, as well as discernment and writing papers on each of the six National Themes for Discernment, are being considered alongside Church teaching, Scripture, papal documents and a range of other sources – within and beyond the Church – in preparing the instrumentum laboris.
Archbishop Costelloe pointed to a national review of parish and diocesan governance, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the COVID-19 pandemic as some of those sources.
“It is the task of the instrumentum laboris to give voice to all these elements of our individual and communal experience, and deepen the process of bringing them into dialogue with the Gospel and the Church’s living tradition,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
Archbishop Costelloe is joined on the instrumentum laboris writing team by Daniel Ang, who has served on the Plenary Council’s executive committee since 2016; Trudy Dantis, the director of the National Centre for Pastoral Research; and Fr Kevin Lenehan, the master of the Catholic Theological College in Melbourne.
The instrumentum laboris will be finalised in October and be considered at the bishops’ November plenary meeting. It will then be sent to the Holy See, while local work continues on the development of the agenda for the first assembly in October 2021.