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PODCAST: Perth Archbishop: ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ is a further step forward, an invitation to discern

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB sat down to discuss the upcoming 2021 Plenary Council in a podcast recorded and released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Photo: Michelle Tan.

The Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB is the latest special guest to feature in the official 2021 Plenary Council podcast.

Archbishop Costelloe’s episode follows on from conversations held with fellow Instrumentum Laboris Writing Group members Dr Trudy Dantis, Fr Kevin Lenehan, and Daniel Ang.

Instrumentum Laboris, the working document released on 24 February, draws heavily on the voices heard during the Listening and Dialogue and Listening and Discernment phases of the Plenary Council and other key sources.

Archbishop Costelloe, who is also President of the Plenary Council, speaks candidly about the Plenary journey and how the team is continually overcoming challenges.

“We’re called to be together, a living, effective, and unambiguous sign of God’s presence and action in our world,” he said.

“We’re coming to understand more a process that calls everybody in the Church to listen – this is not new as a concept of the Church but might be new to many of us in terms of how we’ve gone about our lives as Catholics.

“I think we can be confident that as long as we do stay focussed on this art of discernment, on this listening voice of the Spirit coming through what we’re doing in this Plenary Council – this can only bring good to the Church,” the Perth Archbishop highlighted in the interview with ACBC Media & Communications Director Gavin Abraham.

“Maybe the most important thing we’ve got to do is ask the Lord for a deepening of our faith so we can trust that the Holy Spirit is at the heart of what we’re doing and can lead us to the future God has in mind for the Church of Australia.”

The two assemblies for the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia will be held in October 2021 and April 2022, following the original schedule's disruption because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of June 2020, Assembly 1 will be held in a multi-modal form online from 2 to 10 October 2021, and Assembly 2 will be held in Sydney from 4 to 9 July 2022.

Everyone, especially the tens-of-thousands of Australians who have participated in this process so far, is invited to read and reflect on the document here: