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THE SIX NATIONAL THEMES FOR DISCERNMENT

THEME ONE – MISSIONARY AND EVANGELISING

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is missionary and evangelising?

As we move into this second stage of the Plenary Council journey, we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and our contemporary situation in order to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will help shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.

This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who shared a passion for participating in the missionary nature of the Church and desire stronger support, involvement and formation among all the baptised who make up the Church. The data also identified the need to reach out and communicate more effectively and to find new ways of living and proclaiming the Gospel in Australia today. There was a call for the strengthening of leadership and ministries in parishes and schools, training to equip leaders for ministry, pastoral support for various groups within parish and faith communities, and a desire for a unified voice in engaging social issues such as life and religious freedom.

https://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/PC2020-snapshot-report-1MISSIONARY-final3.pdf

THEME TWO – INCLUSIVE, PARTICIPATORY AND SYNODAL

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is inclusive, participatory and synodal?

As we move into this second stage of the Plenary Council journey we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and our contemporary situation, in order to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will help shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.

This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who expressed a desire for individuals and groups within and also beyond the Church to find a better welcome and be incorporated more into her life and mission. There was a call to renew forms of governance and leadership in the Church, to find ways formally and informally of being co-responsible for ministry and mission, seeking structures and processes of collaboration, shared decision-making and financial co-responsibility in order to enable this greater involvement of lay people particularly of women, young people, people of diverse cultural backgrounds and people with disabilities. There was an expressed need for stronger connections across the many parts of the Church, and with other Christian traditions.

Download the SNAPSHOT REPORT to see a sample of the voices and answers that inspired this theme

THEME THREE – PRAYERFUL AND EUCHARISTIC

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is prayerful and Eucharistic?

As we move into this second stage of the Plenary Council journey we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and our contemporary situation, in order to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will help shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.

This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who shared how deeply they treasured the Eucharist and the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. There was a call for stronger and more engaging preaching, with an emphasis on the Word of God and connection to daily life, some seeking a uniquely Australian expression of prayer and Eucharistic celebration, drawing from the wisdom and rituals of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and also bringing together the many migrant communities which make up the Church in Australia. There were many divergent expressions of ways in which people and communities encounter God through their experiences of prayer, music and liturgy, and a desire for catechesis, training and formation for those in ministries related to these.

The Snapshot Report for this theme will be released on June 30, 2019

THEME FOUR – HUMBLE, HEALING AND MERCIFUL

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is humble, healing and merciful?

As we move into this second stage of the Plenary Council journey we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and our contemporary situation, in order to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will help shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.

This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who expressed a deep and faith-filled trust in God and a need for lament and healing within the Church, acknowledging the sexual abuse crisis as a turning point for the Church in Australia. It identified the need for relationship and reconciliation among many within the Catholic community, and with the wider Australian society, particularly with Australia’s First Peoples and with all of creation. A desire was expressed for stronger prayer and sacramental life and more effective outreach to those who seek healing, as a renewed openness to and sign of God’s mercy.

The Snapshot Report for this theme will be released on July 7, 2019

THEME FIVE -A  JOYFUL, HOPE-FILLED AND SERVANT COMMUNITY

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is a joyful, hope-filled and servant community?

As we move into this second stage of preparation for the Plenary Council, we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and good practice, to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.

This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who expressed a yearning for the Church to be a sign of God’s kingdom for all people in Australia – to be able to see the Catholic Church in action, and to recognise Jesus. There was an expression of faith-filled hope in the capacity of the Catholic community to celebrate together, to show what it is to be a follower of Christ and to be loved unconditionally by God. There was a call to contemplate the Gospel call to be a servant Church for the good of all people in Australia – particularly for refugees and asylum seekers and other people who are vulnerable or at risk. Many responses called for greater sharing of the story of the good works done by so many people and organisations of the Church. Some responses expressed a hunger for strong witness of faith, especially by priests, young people and female leaders in parish and school ministries.

The Snapshot Report for this theme will be released on July 14, 2019

THEME SIX – OPEN TO CONVERSION, RENEWAL AND REFORM

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is open to Conversion, renewal and reform?

As we move into this second stage of the Plenary Council journey we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in July 2019, we are called to reflect on Scripture, Church teaching and our contemporary situation, in order to discern the answer to this question. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will help shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020.

This National Theme for Discernment is inspired by the voices of the People of God who expressed a desire to do things differently in response to Christ and the experience of our people, accepting that faithfulness to tradition requires change that is both personal and communal. Respondents also affirmed the important role of the clergy, expressing their appreciation for their vocation and recognising the need for support and ongoing formation and accompaniment. Some asked for a consideration of alternative approaches to ordained ministry, some for a greater inclusion of laity and different groups in the Church’s life, some for new models of governance and leadership, and some for a renewed fidelity to the Church’s teachings. There was also a call for a renewed life of prayer and communion with one another, including understanding the many different ways in which we encounter God and experience a conversion of heart.

The Snapshot Report for this theme will be released on July 21, 2019

The comprehensive report of the findings from PHASE I: LISTENING AND DIALOGUE
will be released on July 28, 2019