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Keywords: Synodality

  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council fails to embrace Pope Francis’s wider social vision

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 21 June 2022
    3 Comments

    Some 278 Catholic bishops, clergy, religious personnel and lay people will meet as members of an unprecedented Plenary Council during 3-9 July to finalise the resolutions of their first assembly last year. However the May working document ‘Framework for Motions’, despite much worthy content, especially on Indigenous affairs, relies on a narrow notion of mission overly focused on inner-church issues at the expense of the wider social engagement that Francis emphasises.

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  • RELIGION

    What can we expect from the Plenary Council? A Roundtable

    • Geraldine Doogue, Greg Craven, John Warhurst, Julian Butler
    • 17 June 2022
    2 Comments

    After four years, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia is nearly at a close with the second and final assembly in July. So what has been the significance of the Plenary Council so far, and what can we expect from the final session? In this Roundtable, Geraldine Doogue, John Warhurst, Greg Craven and Julian Butler reveal their hopes and expectations for the process and discuss likely outcomes.

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  • RELIGION

    Forward to the Second Plenary Council Assembly

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 April 2022

    The 280 Plenary Council (PC) Members have just taken another major step towards the Second Assembly in Sydney on 3-9 July. Yet it is difficult to have a proper public conversation about this step because it has taken place behind closed doors. Towards the Second Assembly comes a long way under the guidance of the four writing groups, whose membership has not been made public. Though it is a mixed bag, it is probably the best document emerging from the PC, making it even more frustrating that it is not in the public domain. 

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  • RELIGION

    Reforming the Roman Curia

    • Brian Lucas
    • 29 March 2022

    Prior to the conclave that elected Pope Francis, the Cardinals who met together identified the need for a reform of the Vatican finances and a broader reform of the Roman Curia. Shortly after Francis was elected, work began on the reform of the Roman Curia. There was wide consultation including with the various bishops’ conferences around the world.

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  • RELIGION

    To change church culture, we need service-oriented leaders

    • Anne Benjamin
    • 24 February 2022
    15 Comments

    The call to synodality is a call to convert, reform and renew the church’s organisational culture. New cultures do not emerge automatically. It is not about turning upside down the present pyramid structure of the church with a clerical hierarchy at the top and the faithful on the bottom. The church is not a political democracy, but a ‘holy people’ whose mission is to make God and Jesus present and, in a sense, visible to our world.

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  • RELIGION

    The enigma of knowing

    • Gerry O'Neill
    • 17 February 2022
    10 Comments

    At a time when the Catholic Church is being invited to greater humility by the Plenary Council and greater synodality by Pope Francis it may be prudent to acknowledge both the richness and limitations of human knowing, especially when it comes to matters concerning ultimate reality. 

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  • RELIGION

    Open government for the Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 February 2022
    21 Comments

    The Church in Australia has taken a step towards greater transparency with the release by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) of its first ever Annual Report-this one for the 2020 year. This step is welcome, but there is more to be done. Synodality and co-responsibility presumes that those who are walking together have equal access to information upon which to discern the future of the Church at all levels. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for basic, public values

    • Greg Craven
    • 25 January 2022
    42 Comments

    One reasonably could ask whether this is the moment to write a book about the potential of Catholic Social Theory to contribute to Australian politics and policy. After all, the Church is still struggling to come to terms with decades of child abuse, hardly a recommendation for social potential. We currently also are attempting to make sense of a Plenary that is both confused and confusing.

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  • RELIGION

    When synodality confronts hierarchy 

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 December 2021
    3 Comments

    Synodality confronts the traditional practice of hierarchy within the church. When the ACBC responded last December to The Light from the Southern Cross report, which promoted synodality and co-responsible governance, it re-stated its position that hierarchy was embedded in the church’s approach to governance. This immediately set up a potential tension between episcopal authority and participation in governance by the People of God. 

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    38 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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  • RELIGION

    Seats at the table: Incorporating diverse identities in a global church

    • Michael Furtado
    • 11 November 2021
    63 Comments

    Every Australian diocese and parish already has its particular subcultural identity that inflects its liturgy. Celebration, being the authentic hallmark of a liturgy that reflects identity, must keep pace with a theology that also incorporates the diverse cultural space that the young inhabit. 

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  • RELIGION

    In a state of synodality

    • Brian Lucas
    • 21 October 2021
    18 Comments

    One takeaway from the First Assembly of the Plenary Council that might come as no surprise is that the controlling elite in the Church, the bishops, are not dependent on popular support. They are appointed not elected. They are generally irremovable. They come from a culture that is about preserving ‘the tradition’ (which can easily be expanded to include historical novelties that are not really part of the tradition). Moving into the new world of synodality brings obvious challenges.

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