A report from the National Centre for Pastoral Research (NCPR) has been released about submissions to the Plenary Council website. These submissions will help determine the agenda for the National Plenary Council in 2020, which will affect the future of the Australian Catholic Church.
Each diocese around Australia has received an individualised report. The report shows that we have had 176 submissions from our diocese, coming from 95 groups and 81 individuals. We have had a total of 585 respondents, most of those Catholics over the age of 50. No individual submissions from people under the age of 20 have been received, and only four from those aged 20-29 years.
Across Australia there have been 5,388 submissions from 1,709 groups and 3,679 individuals accounting for almost 42,000 respondents. According to NCPR, topics that have been frequently raised in submissions so far include leadership and governance within the Church, the place and role of women, the importance of young people, the living tradition, liturgy and music, the priesthood and other vocations, inclusion and welcome, the sacramental life of the Church, ecology and creation, and social justice.
There are still five weeks left to make submissions. Please encourage those you know, especially young people, to answer the question What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time? and make a submission before 6 March. This will help shape the church of Australia in the future.
Teachers, encourage students; parents, encourage children; colleagues, encourage other colleagues; friends, encourage friends.
As Director of Pastoral Ministries, Teresa Brierley, said in today’s Tuesdays with Teresa, “What are the signs of our times and how are we being called by God to respond to these signs? We are certainly facing the threat of ‘extinction’ of the church as we have known it and the emergence of something new. Surely, this is what the Plenary Council is asking of us.”
“There is no lack of information and life experiences to help us respond to this critical question. The universal church is looking to see what emerges as the Australian response to this open-ended dialogue.”