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Members set to gather for second Plenary Council assembly

The four-year journey of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia is about to reach its high point, with Members gathering in Sydney this weekend for the start of the Council’s second and final assembly.

“For the 277 Members, most of whom have been walking this journey for almost two-and-a-half years, this has something of the feel of a grand final,” Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said.

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Jesus’ voice remains strong in Australia society

Despite a fall in the number of people identifying as Christian, the fact almost half the population is still Christian means Jesus’ voice remains prominent in Australia, Archbishop Mark Coleridge has said.

On Tuesday, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the first data from the 2021 Census. That included figures on religious affiliation, which show Catholics now make up 20 per cent of the population – down from 22.6 per cent in 2016.

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Bishop Mackinlay named co-chair of ecumenical body

Sandhurst Bishop Shane Mackinlay has been appointed the new co-chair of the Methodist-Roman Catholic International Commission as the group prepares for a new round of dialogue set to begin in October.

Bishop Mackinlay, who joined the Commission during its previous term, said it was an “honour” to have the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity name him Catholic co-chair of the body, which was established in 1967.

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Catholic, Christian leaders among Plenary Council observers

Cardinal John Dew (left) and Reverend John Gilmore are among the observers who will attend the Plenary Council’s second assembly.

Leaders of the Catholic Church in the Asia-Pacific region and the head of the National Council of Churches in Australia are among those who will serve as observers at the second assembly of the Plenary Council.

There is a long tradition of having observers attend major Church events, and there will be five such observers at the Plenary Council.

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Families meet ambassador on eve of Rome meeting

Australian delegates to the World Meeting of Families met with Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See this week (Source: Twitter)

The Australian delegation to the World Meeting of Families in Rome has met with the Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Chiara Porro, on the eve of the event.

Thousands of people from around the world are gathering in Rome, but communities around the world are also hosting local events centred on the theme “Family love: a vocation and a path to holiness”.

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Community invited to Plenary Council’s closing Mass

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB is inviting the Catholic community to attend the closing Mass of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia – the culmination of a four-year journey of renewal for the Church.

The second and final assembly of the Plenary Council will be held in Sydney from July 3-9. The final Mass, to be held at St Mary’s Cathedral at 10.30am on Saturday, July 9, is open to the public.

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Church welcomes wage boost, despite arguing for more

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv says while the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage by 5.2 per cent falls short of the Church’s proposal, that boost will make a difference for many Australians.

Through the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations (ACCER), the Church’s submission on the national minimum wage said a 6.5 per cent increase was affordable and would deliver a more sustainable standard of living for low-paid workers and their families.

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Minimum wage increase would have economic, social benefits

Many workers earning the minimum waging are hoping to see their pay packets increase when the Fair Work Commission releases its determination on the national minimum wage.

A significant increase in the national minimum wage will deliver economic and social benefits, a key adviser to the Catholic Church’s submission to the Fair Work Commission has told the Media Blog podcast.

Tom Barnes, a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, prepared detailed analysis to support the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations’ submission.

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Online prayer service among Catholic Refugee Week events

Catholics across Australia are being invited to participate in a special Refugee Week prayer service that will be streamed online on the evening of Monday, June 20.

The prayer service is being jointly hosted by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) and the Office for Justice, Ecology and Peace (OJEP) – both agencies of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

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Motions framework published for second Council assembly

The 30 motions that will be considered during the second assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia in July, rising from four years of national conversation, have been published.

The Framework for Motions “will form the backbone of our reflection, discussion and decision when we gather”, Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB wrote in a message to fellow Members.

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World Meeting of Families will span the globe

The Abdallahs from western Sydney are among the Australian families who will attend the World Meeting of Families in Rome.

Dioceses around the country are organising a range of local events to participate in the 10th World Meeting of Families next month.

Held from June 22-26, the World Meeting of Families will take place in dioceses across the globe for the first time, after being postponed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme for the event is “Family love: A vocation and a path to holiness”.

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