With the release of the Plenary Council 2020’s National Themes for Discernment snapshots over the past six weeks, and the release of the National Centre for Pastoral Research’s Final Report for the Plenary Council 2020’s Phase 1: Listening and Dialogue, people from around the Diocese of Parramatta were asked what they thought about the National Themes for Discernment and the next phase of the Plenary Council.
In the next stage of discernment, we will have an opportunity to engage with national working groups and break open these themes further as we prepare for the council. How do you feel about the next stage of discernment?
“I feel that having the Themes examined, prayed about, discussed and planning courses of action in six theme matched groups is the next logical step. I am hopeful that the participants continue to listen to the Holy Spirit with open loving hearts and faith-filled minds. I also feel that this is just the beginning of a process for change and renewal that will stretch into our future, thanks be to God.” – Teresa.
“Excited and looking forward to seeing how these ideas are converted into plans and then acted upon. At the same time I guess there is an element of trepidation at where this journey might take us.” – Michael.
“My fear is that this will largely become a talk fest and the resistance to change will result in no changes actually taking place. The issue with this is that should the main themes of apology, recognition of certain sectors of the community and involvement of laity in the church not be addressed, that will further distance the church from our follows who will see the church’s views and ideology as no longer being relevant.
“I feel that the next phase is a big risk IF we do not include a complete cross section of our community. It is wonderful to have so many people volunteering to participate in the next phase of discernment, but we run the risk of “preaching to the converted”. We need those groups who have felt marginalised and left the practicing of their faith to participate…we need to listen to those women who want greater involvement in the church, Catholics who are divorced, and those who believe in God and our faith, who are part of the LGBTQ community, as well as those who have suffered through abuse within our institution.” – Ryan.
“The next stage of discernment will truly see if we are at home with the Holy Spirit and alive to his physical presence and to his amazing gifts he gives to us.” – John.
How do you feel about the next stage of discernment? Please share your comments.