Leaders of the Catholic Church in the Asia-Pacific region and the head of the National Council of Churches in Australia are among those who will serve as observers at the second assembly of the Plenary Council. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
There is a long tradition of having observers attend major Church events, and there will be five such observers at the Plenary Council.
Cardinal John Dew, the Archbishop of Wellington, will be in Sydney for the event from July 3-9 representing the Church in New Zealand.
Cardinal Dew said he considered it “a great honour” to be invited to be an observer for the Council, and he is looking forward to attending the second assembly, after joining online last October.
“The Church in Australia and the Church in Aotearoa New Zealand have had very good relationships over many years, and this is an opportunity to dialogue and share together regarding some of the questions that we all face in this part of the world,” he said.
“For me this is an opportunity to be with the Australian Church, clergy and laypeople together, reflecting on how we live as the People of God in our part of the world today.
“There are so many issues which need a Gospel response, and it is my hope that the Plenary Council and the Synod process will bring new life to the Church internationally.”
Reverend John Gilmore, the president of the National Council of Churches in Australia, the leading ecumenical body in the country, will also be an observer.
“The invitation to observe at the Plenary Council is a way of the Catholic Church being open to other Christian traditions. My presence is a sign that this openness is welcome and received,” Rev Gilmore said.
Other observers who will attend the second assembly of the Plenary Council include Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar; Apostolic Nuncio to Australia Archbishop Charles Balvo; and Catholic Church Insurance’s Ross Castle.
Plenary Council vice president Bishop Shane Mackinlay said the Catholic Church in Australia is grateful for the support of the observers, both in their time and their prayerful accompaniment.
Catholic, Christian leaders among Plenary Council observers (ACBC Media Blog)