Six national themes for discernment announced

Australia moves into the second phase of Plenary Council preparation

More than 222,000 people participated in listening and dialogue encounters and contributed 17,457 submissions during the first stage of preparation for the Australian Plenary Council. The voices of the faithful help all of us to understand something of the historical experience and the current reality of the Catholic Church in Australia. This gathered data also reveals some deeper hopes and questions, and the diverse yearnings, that we are now challenged to consider together.

What happens next?

The six National Themes for Discernment are inspired by the data and call us toward the future. The newly updated Plenary Council website provides more information on each theme. In coming months, the Church of Australia will move through a listening and discernment process that will draw on the six National Themes for Discernment as determined by what has been said around the country.

How is God calling us to be a Christ-centred Church that is:
  • Missionary and evangelising
  • Inclusive, participatory and synodal
  • Prayerful and Eucharistic
  • Humble, healing and merciful
  • A joyful, hope-filled and servant community
  • Open to conversion and renewal.

This discernment process will involve establishing Working Groups for each National Theme for Discernment. Also, people in faith communities across Australia will be called to participate locally in their own communal Listening and Discernment encounters. The fruits of what is discerned during this time will shape the agenda of the first session of Plenary Council in October 2020. As we move into this second stage of preparation for the Plenary Council, we continue to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

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