Tag Archives: Plenary Council 2020

Plenary Council – battle for the Australian Church

Two years ago, I established a tab on this website which would provide links to articles about the proposed Fifth Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia. Hearing about the plan had at once aroused my suspicions. The dissenters and destroyers have been hard at work ever since the Church Fathers paraded into St Peters to begin the Second Vatican in October 1962.

As it turned out, my gut reaction to the news was spot on. The effusions of many of the organisers made it clear that a powerful group aimed to take charge and make radical changes to the Church’s governance and doctrine. The document ‘Continuing the Journey’ and the views of Sister Nathalie Becquart, a popular invitee to radical groups around the Catholic world, were explicit enough. See my previous comments about this pretend religious sister. So, I was gratified to come across an article by Professor Greg Craven in the Catholic Weekly, outlining similar misgivings.

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Greg Craven: Plenary ‘reformers’ are really demolitionists

By Professor Greg Craven, The Catholic Weekly, December 2, 2021

Even Beelzebub must feel sorry for the Catholic Church in Australia. Beset externally by enemies in the media, politics and what passes for the intelligentsia, it now has its own self-righteous fifth column.

These worthies like to describe themselves as “reformers”, but they want to reform the Church the way woodworm reforms a house. They really are demolitionists, hoping to clear away the existing Church, and replace it with one in their own image.

On 18 November, the demolitionists had their electronic clan-gathering, grandly titled a “Convocation” around “The Future of Catholicism in Australia”.

The website is very proud that 1500 people participated. To put this in context, the last census revealed 5,210,000 Catholics, so that is a whopping 0.03 per cent. Or for further comparison, outside COVID, 3,000 people visit St. Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney each day. A quarter of a million attended Pope Benedict’s World Youth Day Mass at Randwick in 2008.

So why would one worry about this micro-swarm of gnats? Mainly because, in the wake of the appalling scandal over Church child abuse, some Bishops are briskly walking scared.

Read the rest here …

The Fifth Plenary Council of Australia – whose idea was it?

The first sessions of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will take place between 3 and 10 October 2021. There has been a great deal of chatter about the Council within Church circles, Indeed, the rhetoric about ‘deep listening’ and ‘discernment’ and the ‘Synodal Church’ has been thrashed to death. But who started all this? Where did it all come from?

Well, Barb Fraze for (liberal) online CRUX tells us the originator was Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who recently announced his support for a separatist voice of Aboriginals in the Australian Constitution. Coleridge, a Francis devotee, is a supporter of such progressive causes.

In 2015, the archbishop was attending the Synod of bishops in Rome when he was illuminated by what seemed to him ‘the work of the Holy Spirit.’ Why not a Plenary Council for the Church in Australia in which the Synod’s mode of ‘discernment’ could be put into action ?

And so, it came to pass that after much organisational work, the first sessions of the Plenary Council were set for early October (3-10 Oct.) Barb Fraze projects much enthusiasm about the Plenary Council’s prospects, no doubt shared by Archbishop Coleridge and the organisers. But let me focus on several important elements in Ms Fraze’s report.

First, the Plenary Council will not be any old Council with a lot of boring unapproachable clerics, adding more bricks to the fortress of clericalism. No, it will involve the laity – women, the young and other marginalised people.

Second, it will be synodal in form. ‘Synodality’, says Fraze, is a buzzword these days in Catholic circles.’ It certainly is. But don’t pass over the word too quickly. Synodality, announced Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, quoting Francis, ‘is not so much about deeper reflection on this or that theme as it is about learning a new way of living as church’ and this deep reflection is to be “marked at every level by mutual listening and by a pastoral attitude, especially when faced with the temptations of clericalism and rigidity.”

There you have it – the glorious new church, ripped from the ruins of clericalism, sexual abuse, and people lost in stone-age ‘rigidity’. The rigid ones are to be counselled and failing counselling are to be cast into the darkness where they will not interrupt the free and open dialogue of discernment and deep listening.

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In Plenary Council, Australians search for ‘a new way of living as church’

By Barb Fraze Sep 26, 2021 Catholic News Service.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the listening and dialogue phase of the Australian Catholic Church’s Plenary Council, 220,000 Australians answered the question, “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?”

In 2015, Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge was asking himself something similar. Australia was in the midst of a government-mandated investigation into sexual abuse in the church. Australian Catholics were leaving the church.

The Brisbane archbishop was at the Vatican, attending the Synod of Bishops on the family. It was there he had an idea that “seemed to me at the time and still seems to me the work of the Holy Spirit.”

“For the first time — certainly at a Roman synod — I saw discernment in action,” Coleridge wrote earlier this year. “It was messy and unpredictable; at the halfway mark it looked very unlikely that we would achieve anything worth achieving. Yet at the end we did produce something which wasn’t the last word, but which was a real contribution to the ongoing journey of the church.

Read the rest here…

Diocesan Assemblies promote the narrative

Cathnews (21 Sept.) reported the activities on the Adelaide Diocesan Assembly 2021 under the title of ‘Diocesan Assembly shows the benefit of “deep listening”.’

The assembly drew many participants – 400 representatives of various bodies, not just parishes. It is curious, though not surprising, to see CathNews quoting those regurgitating the rhetoric of the soon-to-open Fifth Plenary Council of Australia. Here’s a sample:

‘Issues [discussed] included outreach and accompaniment of young people and families, inclusion and healing, parish life and liturgy, responding to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, and leadership and formation.

Each group discussed two themes and through a listening, dialogue and discernment process came up with 144 recommendations.

Diocesan Assembly coordinator Peter Bierer said the first two sessions of the assembly highlighted the value of “deep listening, withholding judgement, noticing our own biases and feelings, discernment and community”.

Forgive my scepticism, but those exhorted to deeply listen and withhold judgement and suppress biases about divorce, abortion, homosexuality, Church governance, clergy, and female priests would be people like me. If I ever aired my traditional views about the Catholic Church and its traditional beliefs at such an assembly I would be told in short terms to shut my mouth.

But there is no risk of the need for that sort of suppression. I would never attend such a gathering. Once bitten, twice shy. The one experience of nearly forty years ago was enough. Indeed, the parish priest once lectured me from the pulpit – not by name , of course. But I got the message when he unabashedly fixed his reprimanding eyes on me while condemning resistance to the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’.

As an aside, I remark there is hardly a man to be seen in the report’s colour photo showing the Assembly’s participants.

Catholic Church in Australia surrenders to the enemy

In January The Australian Bishops Conference invited Catholics to a ‘listening and dialogue session’ in anticipation of the Plenary Council to take place in 2020. I suspect this session on 6 February was merely the first step in softening up Australia’s Catholic population in preparation for the Council. The invitation provided the opportunity for a rich flow of the New Church rhetoric that reduces some of us to a catatonic state. Here is the mind-numbing text of the invitation:

Upcoming Plenary Listening & Dialogue Session

Calling all LGBTIQA+ Catholics, Christians and the broader LGBTIQA+ community, family, friends and supporters to come along for a safe and inclusive conversation.

What is discussed and determined by the Plenary Council will be based on a long listening to the Holy Spirit speaking through the voices of people from around Australia. This listening and dialogue process provides an opportunity to come together as a group to spend time thinking and talking about personal experiences of faith, life and church. Following this session, a submission will be made on behalf of the LGBTIQA+ community by Acceptance Melbourne, a community for LGBTIQA+ Catholics.  The session will be facilitated by Kevin Meese (Catholic Mission) and Mary Ryan (Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation). Other key collaborators include Ro Allen (Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality), Kaye Bradshaw (Collective Impact), Teresa Ma (Acceptance Melbourne), Bishop Mark Edwards OMI (Auxiliary bishop of Melbourne) and Fr Kevin McGovern (St Cecilia’s Parish, Camberwell South). This session is being held in partnership with the Victorian Government and Acceptance Melbourne. Health Care card holders please let us know if you require further assistance with travel costs. Privacy and confidentiality are assured. 

I wonder that the authors of such announcements are not embarrassed by the regurgitation of the same deadening and ultimately meaningless rhetoric. Listening to ‘Holy Spirit’, dialoguing and other ‘spirit of Vatican’ buzzwords and phrases have meant in the past the charade of the Catholic left pretending to listen and dialogue but dominating the proceedings that lead to the imposition of their ‘vision’.

Let me make a prediction this far out from the Plenary Council. The Council will be a leftist farce with the outcome already decided. A huge amount of money will be spent in orchestrating that farce. The only question for the victors is how far they get in forwarding their agenda, an agenda that now differs little from the Marxist agenda of the secular left.

What other conclusion could you come to about the collusion of Church representatives with Australia’s first Marxist government headed by an ideologically drooling premier entertaining Stalinist measures against dissenters, a government virtually legalising infanticide, a government ramming through a program of indoctrination that aims to sexualise children from infancy? The Church is dialoguing with a bunch of state paedophile pimps. And down the road is the slow destruction of a decent man framed with the crime of child sexual abuse.