Pope Francis has sent greetings and blessings from Rome as the program for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, the first such event in this country in 84 years, began yesterday. Source: ACBC.
A message read out during the opening plenary session yesterday said the Plenary Council “represents a singular ‘journeying together’ of God’s people in Australia along the paths of history towards a renewed encounter with the Risen Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit”.
The message, read by Msgr John Baptist Itaruma from the Apostolic Nunciature in Australia, said Pope Francis “prays that the Council may be a graced occasion for mutual listening and spiritual discernment, marked by profound Communion with the Successor of Peter”.
“In this conciliar process, the Church in Australia is challenged to listen to the voice of the Spirit and to bear witness to the perennial truth of the Gospel and to develop new and creative expressions of evangelical charity,” said the message, signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The exchange of messages between the Holy See and the Church in Australia followed an opening address from Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.
Archbishop Costelloe acknowledged the Council’s members would likely be coming with “high hopes”, “great expectations”, but also “conscious of the heavy responsibility we bear”.
“In the mysterious ways of God’s providence, it is we who have been called together to undertake this historic and grace-filled task on behalf of the whole Catholic community of our nation,” he said.
Details and to access the livestreams: www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au