Called a “Plenary Council,” it’s the first such gathering in Australia since 1937, and it will be celebrated across nine months, bookended by assemblies from October 3-10 and in July 2022.
The nine-month adventure comes after three-and-a-half years of preparation, including a significant period of national consultation, with over 220,000 people taking part.
The Council was meant to be in-person, but COVID-19 restrictions have made that impossible. As a result, the 270 delegates, including bishops, priests and laity, all having equal rights and responsibilities, will be meeting via zoom to work both in a plenary-assembly mode and in smaller groups.
That sounds a bit further along than my own archdiocese’s effort. (Our logo, left.) Our ordinary and his team sifted through 30,000-plus bits of input from over eight-thousand folks in our previous synod stage. I wonder how much will go into the Pope Francis project which begins formally this coming Sunday? These two efforts, in Minnesota and on the smallest continent seem like they were initiated before the synod on synodality was announced.