The months between the first and second general assemblies of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia are a time for “prayer, reflection, maturation and development”, according to a concluding statement from the first assembly. Source: ACBC.
The statement, approved by the Council’s members during Saturday’s final plenary session, speaks of a week in which regular prayer and spiritual conversations, encouraging deep listening, “allowed space for still nascent dreams and visions to come to greater maturity”.
It came after 16 sessions across six days, encompassing conversations in groups of eight to 10 people, larger groups of up to 30 and gatherings of the full membership of the Council. All sessions were punctuated with time for prayer and reflection.
The concluding statement said the process of members listening to each other in those various forums “has planted promising seeds and raised important questions for us”.
“We have experienced and expressed the range of emotions that come with facing profound issues together, holding in tension diverse interpretations and expectations,” it said.
“Through prayer and reflection, we have been called to be patient with the process, with each other, with the Church and, most importantly, with the Holy Spirit.”
The statement said the closing of the Council’s first assembly means the journey “now enters a time of prayer, reflection, maturation and development”.
“This will involve continuing reflection by the members of the Council, and consultation with the wider Church community, as we develop propositions for presentation to the second assembly of the Council next July.”
Professor John Warhurst’s Plenary Insight blog (Concerned Catholics of Canberra)
Reflections and Perspectives on Plenary Council (The Catholic Weekly)
Catholics battle over power in historic meeting (The Australian)