Plenary council backs action on ecology, church governance reform
July 8, 2022
Plenary Council Members have passed all six motions they considered on Thursday across parts of the agenda in the areas of Church governance and integral ecology.
Among the reforms backed were a call for the establishment of diocesan pastoral councils across the country, the hosting of diocesan synods within five years of the conclusion of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia and the undertaking of broad consultation about the creation of a national synodal body for Church collaboration.
Those were captured in the four motions that emerged from Part 7 of the Council’s Motions and Amendments document entitled “At the Service of Communion, Participation and Mission: Governance”.
All four motions achieved a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes cast on Thursday, and so were passed.
Members also voted on two motions in Part 8, Integral Ecology for the Sake of Our Common Home, with those two votes achieving a qualified majority in both the consultative and deliberative votes, therefore passing.
The Council said ecological conversion is “both personal and communal”, and that there was “urgent need for action” from Catholic entities through the development of, or alignment with, Laudato Si’ Action Plans inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical letter of the same name.
The Council called for the promotion of initiatives in Church and society that “promote and defend human life from conception to natural death, especially those who are most vulnerable”.
Details on the final wording of motions and the voting outcomes can be found on the Motions and Voting page of the Plenary Council website.
Find out more about the Plenary Council and follow the second assembly at:
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Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.