With the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council commencing with a Mass on Sunday 3 July, and discussions and voting commencing Monday 4 July, the Diocese of Parramatta has launched a new series of videos about this significant event.
The first of the videos features members of the Plenary Council from the Diocese of Parramatta explaining the journey of the Catholic Church to this point.
The first meeting in October 2021, which had been delayed because of the pandemic, was held via video conferencing. The Second Assembly will be the first to be held in person and in the video, the members express how much they are looking forward to holding discussions in person next week. Fr Peter Williams AM, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, adds that despite his reservations about holding the First Assembly online, it was still an effective means of members coming together to talk about the issues. “It shows that the Holy Spirit can work through modern technology,” he says.
At a briefing with members of the Plenary Council and members of the Diocese of Parramatta’s deanery pastoral councils on 29 June 2022, member Wendy Goonan said that the motions that the Plenary members will consider still reflect the parishioner submissions she read from the discernment process. She was heartened that people are continuing the process, despite it taking years, as well as some criticisms.
On the video, Wendy says she sees the Holy Spirit moving in people’s hearts and minds, and how she feels it is wonderful to see people thinking and talking in this way.
From Monday, the members of the Plenary will be discussing the motions that have been drawn from the discussions during the First Assembly, and putting them to a vote.
Fr Wim Hoekstra, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy and Parish Priest of the Parish of Baulkham Hills, says in the video, “We are voting on the motions that will determine where the Church will be in the future, once the decrees of the Council have been approved by the Pope.”
Wendy speaks to how she has been called as a layperson and will be representing the People of God. “We will be there with our hearts, minds, hearts and gathered wisdom and apply it to the task,” she says.
In discussing the use of a plenary as the canonical arrangement for discussion and change of the Church in Australia, Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, reminded those gathered on 29 June that “The Plenary Councils is the only legitimate means we have at the moment until the Pope decides to create another contemporary vehicle.” He explained the need for the Plenary Council to move the Church forward. “Sometimes we need this to jolt us out of inertia and encourage a new commitment,” he said.
Watch the livestream of the Plenary Council at this link.
You can send a message to the members of the Plenary Council which will be displayed in the Assembly venue through this link.
Find out more about the members of the Plenary Council from the Diocese of Parramatta, and more about the Plenary Council at parracatholic.org/plenary