Plenary Council 2020 - Discernment Papers

Six Discernment and Writing Groups, one each for the six national themes for discernment that emerged from the Council’s Listening and Dialogue phase, were tasked with writing papers to bring some major themes and issues into focus.

“The papers are the fruits of communal discernment. The aim of the discernment process was to draw upon the lived faith and experiences of more than 220,000 Australians, the living tradition of the Church, sacred Scripture, papal teachings and additional insights from outside the Church,” said Archbishop Costelloe, the Plenary Council president.

Archbishop Costelloe said the papers are an important contribution to the Church in Australia’s ongoing discernment towards the Plenary Council.

“While not the final word on the six thematic areas which emerged from the Listening and Dialogue process, I encourage everyone to receive them in the spirit of faith and discernment with which they have been written,” he said.

“They both invite and challenge us to continue to ‘listen to what the Spirit is saying’.”

Each paper provides a reflection on some elements of the relevant pastoral reality, articulates a theological vision, outlines a number of challenges to be overcome, suggests prioritised questions to be answered and develops some proposals for change.

They will be foundational to the next stage of discernment toward the Plenary Council - the development of the working paper, or Instrumentum Laboris - and ultimately the agenda for the Council assemblies.

The Discernment Papers, including an audio version developed by the Diocese of Bathurst, can be found HERE>

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