The first session of the Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia, which began on October 3 with the Divine Liturgy and will end on October 10, is taking place online these days.

All Roman Catholic dioceses, together with their bishops and elected delegates from among the faithful, and five Eastern churches with their bishops and delegates from all over Australia take part in these meetings. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is represented in this Council by Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, together with Fr. Simon Ckuj, protosyncellus of the eparchy, as well as with two faithful, Stefan Romaniv and Maru Yarotsky.

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The Plenary Council is held under the slogan “Listen to what the Spirit is saying.” In order to take certain steps forward, you need to be able to hear each other. It is significant that the last time such meetings of the Catholic Church in Australia were held in 1937, it is more than 80 years ago. This Council was supposed to take place in 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic was constantly postponed until later, hoping to gather all together alive. Unfortunately, this is just a dream, because these meetings are held online. 277 delegates representing the entire Catholic Church in Australia are taking part in this Council.

The main task of all present is to make certain proposals in order to renew the life of the Catholic Church in Australia. The majority emphasized the deep crisis of faith not only in a secularized society, but in particular the crisis of faith in the Church itself in Australia. In response to these challenges, we should pay attention to the conversion of both the pastors of the church and all the faithful; it is necessary to draw the attention of the whole church to the youth. An important factor in the renewal of the church in Australia can be an even greater involvement of the laity in various ministries in the church as well as in church institutions.