The Members of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia were urged to “cling to the cross” and “ask the Holy Spirit to help us” as they commenced the Council’s second assembly last night. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
The opening Mass of the second assembly began with a heartfelt Welcome to Country ceremony that included an apology to First Nations peoples on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sunday.
In his homily for the Mass, Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Columba Macbeth-Green OSPPE referred to the Aboriginal crosses provided to Plenary Council members.
Holding up his own cross, he said it was a reminder “that we need to cling to the cross and ask the Holy Spirit to help us understand the role of the cross as the reason for our joy and our hope, that we can rejoice in the midst of maybe our tiredness”.
“It’s the antidote to the tiredness,” he said, after comparing the exile and struggles of the Israelites in the Mass’ first reading to the challenges facing the Church today.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Charles Balvo, was the Mass’s principal celebrant.
“We know that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, also walks with us,” Archbishop Balvo said. “It is also he who is inspiring us to walk the synodal way, to take Jesus, indeed, as our example.”
The Members will today commence the discernment of the more than 30 motions that have emerged at the end of a four-year journey, including a COVID-enforced delay.
The Members will use the Motions and Amendments document published last week as the basis of their conversations, leading to votes on the final motions across the coming days.
Today’s opening plenary session will be livestreamed from 8.30am AEST and will include an opening address from Plenary Council president Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB. Follow the second assembly of the Plenary Council at: www.plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au.
Second Plenary Council assembly opens in Sydney (ACBC Media Blog)