Plenary Council agenda calls for missionary, Christ-centred Church

The agenda of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia calls those attending the Council assemblies to “develop concrete proposals to create a more missionary, Christ-centred Church in Australia”.

The Council agenda, which has emerged from three years and several layers of prayer, listening, dialogue and discernment, will shape the program of the Council’s assemblies – the first of which opens on October 3 this year.

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Building a Church responsive to marriage and family

Perth couple Karen and Derek Boylen were part of the Australian contingent to take part in a Vatican conference on marriage and family (Photo supplied)

by Karen and Derek Boylen

Family is a universal and challenging experience for everyone. It is also the future of the Church.

Last week, more than 250 people, representing 72 bishops conferences and more than 30 groups and movements from around the world, gathered online to discuss marriage and family.

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New book examines Australian, international abuse inquiries

Dr Virginia Miller has written a book on abuse inquiries in Australia, Ireland and the United States

An Australian researcher says while the child sexual abuse Royal Commission pushed strongly for better child protection measures, it did not acknowledge safeguards already in place had lowered rates of offending.

Virginia Miller, a research fellow at the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology at Charles Sturt University, has just published a book on abuse inquiries in Australia, Ireland and the United States. Continue reading

Australians to join Vatican Amoris Laetitia webinar

Six Australians will this week participate in a four-day international webinar to reflect on the pastoral application of Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

Earlier this year, the Pope inaugurated the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, which is due to culminate with the celebration of the World Meeting of Families in Rome in June 2022.

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Canon lawyer: Revisions offer important clarifications

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican May 26, 2021. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A leading Australian canon lawyer says revisions to Church law announced this week clarify the nature of certain canonical crimes and seek to ensure they are dealt with in an effective way.

Pope Francis issued the apostolic constitution Pascite Gregem Dei on June 1, reforming Book VI of the Code of Canon Law, which deals with individual crimes. The changes have been many years in the making, and revise parts of the Code published in 1983.

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Bishops name three priorities for work of Bishops Conference

Members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference during their 2019 Ad Limina Apostolorum visit

Australia’s Catholic bishops have used a weeks-long process of prayer and discernment to identify three priorities to guide the work of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

The recommendation to identify priorities for the Bishops Conference arose from a structured review of Conference operations and financing undertaken in 2019.

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Church in Australia backs Laudato Si’ plan

Bishop Vincent Long van Nguyen OFM Conv says the Church in Australia is well placed to engage with the Laudato Si’ action plan in light of an upcoming Social Justice Statement on integral ecology.

Bishop Long, the chairman of the Bishops Commission for Social Justice, Mission and Service, was commenting on the plan for environmental sustainability Pope Francis announced earlier this week.

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Australian bishops formally convoke Plenary Council

Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge signs the decree of convocation (Archdiocese of Brisbane photo)

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has formally convoked the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, with its president Archbishop Mark Coleridge signing the required decree on Pentecost Sunday.

The decree of convocation is the final necessary step while preparing for the celebration of a plenary council. The convocation follows the approval of the related statutes and regulatory norms, the approval and February publication of the Council’s working document Continuing the Journey and the recent approval of the Council agenda.

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‘Come and See’ resources highlight Church’s impact

A series of resources highlighting the Church’s ministries in Australia was inspired by Pope Francis’ World Communications Day message for 2021, which invites people to “Come and See”.

Marked towards the end of the seven-week Easter season each year, World Communications Day celebrates the achievements of the communications media and considers how it can best use them to promote Gospel values.

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Bishops make submission on Indigenous Voice to Parliament

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has called for the Australian Government to move quickly to hold a referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament once a model for the Voice has been chosen.

The Bishops Conference submission supports the views of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) and urges engagement with groups for whom faith is important.

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Prayer campaign launched for assembly countdown

People across the country are being invited to join a months-long prayer campaign in the build-up to the first assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia, starting on October 3.

Due to launch this weekend on the Feast of Pentecost, “Fan the Flame” will allow for people in any context to engage with Scripture, papal writings and documents prepared for the Plenary Council in bringing a focus to their prayers for the October assembly and beyond.

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