Towards and beyond the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council, July 2022
What should be discussed at the Second Assembly? How should the discussion continue after the July Assembly?
A group of parishes from Melbourne and beyond are sponsoring this website to:
facilitate discussions between parishes in Australia on the key issues facing the Church, and
articulate and promote via a consultative process a shared view across parishes, to the extent to which such a shared view exists.
We invite all involved in the life of the Church, in their parish or in other ways, to join in a conversation to contribute to effective change.
We want to use the website to host discussions about issues related to the Plenary Council (PC) We are keen to hear about, and your take on, changes taking place in your diocese and more generally in the Church in Australia.
The immediate issues are how the agenda is set and discussed at the Second Assembly, and how the reform discussion in the Australian Church continues after the Second Assembly. Should there be a Third Assembly in 2023, or should we try to move to a genuinely more synodal and inclusive format, such as the German Synodal Path?
To facilitate discussion on these issues, we provide below six documents:
The PC paper Towards the Second Assembly: A Working Document for Members (28 February 2022). This document has not been published but has been widely circulated.
An initial response to this paper, prepared by Peter Sheehan for the Sense of the Faithful Editorial Committee (SOFEC).
An updated analysis of the revealed priorities of a group of parishes for the Council, prepared by Richard Curtain for SOFEC.
A joint statement made to the Drafting Committee of the PC, by 22 PC members and 72 other members of the faithful, on 11 May 2022.
The Framework for Motions document, published by the PC on 30 May 2022.
Comments on the Framework for Motions document, prepared by SOFEC and sent to all PC members on 12 June 2022.
You can also access the important sermon by Fr Frank Brennan SJ, delivered at Newman College on Sunday 12 June 2022 by clicking here.
Contributions on these and other issues are welcome. For information about the submission process and other guidelines see How to contribute. We seek contributions from all points of view.
Topics for discussion: What should be discussed at the Second Assembly, and what should follow it?
Many of the documents (1–6) listed above touch on the issue of what should be discussed at the Second Assembly, and indeed how it should be discussed. As we approach this Assembly, it is vital that the evolving views of the faithful in the parishes be fed into this process.
Secondly, what follows the Second Assembly? Should there be a Third Assembly in 2023, or should we try to move to a genuinely more synodal and inclusive format, such as the German Synodal Path? Document 4 and 6 (above) touch on this issue, but it has not yet been thoroughly explored.