Plenary Council backs action on ecology, Church governance reform

Plenary Council Members have passed all six motions they considered on Thursday across parts of the agenda in the areas of Church governance and integral ecology.

Among the reforms backed were a call for the establishment of diocesan pastoral councils across the country, the hosting of diocesan synods within five years of the conclusion of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia and the undertaking of broad consultation about the creation of a national synodal body for Church collaboration.

Those were captured in the four motions that emerged from Part 7 of the Council’s Motions and Amendments document entitled “At the Service of Communion, Participation and Mission: Governance”.

All four motions achieved a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes cast on Thursday, and so were passed.

Members also voted on two motions in Part 8, Integral Ecology for the Sake of Our Common Home, with those two votes achieving a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes, therefore passing.

The Council said ecological conversion is “both personal and communal”, and that there was “urgent need for action” from Catholic entities through the development of, or alignment with, Laudato Si’ Action Plans inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical letter of the same name.

The Council called for the promotion of initiatives in Church and society that “promote and defend human life from conception to natural death, especially those who are most vulnerable”.

Details on the final wording of motions and the voting outcomes can be found on the Motions and Voting page of the Plenary Council website.

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