‘Being Catholic in Australia today... after the Royal Commission and before the Plenary Council’
It is now 12 months since the organising committee of the 2018 NCP Convention began to meet and plan for our gathering this coming September. We decided to focus on two important aspects of the life of the Catholic Church in Australia today – the now completed Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the upcoming 2020 Plenary Council. We have been heartened by the interest and affirmation we have received as people anticipate what the week together in Canberra will bring discussing and analysing these two issues.
The Royal Commission was conducted over five years and reached into every aspect of the life of our Church. The recommendations are still being absorbed as the Church looks to changing its culture to avoid a repeat of some of the cases in the Royal Commission. It is necessary for us to learn the lessons of this lengthy report. To shed light on our way forward, Dr Gerardine Taylor Robinson and her husband Dr Tony Robinson from Vitality Psychology and Consulting Services will give input on some of their observations over a long period of time into what lead to this crisis and how the Church can best move into the future with confidence that we will not make the same mistakes again. Representatives of the Truth Justice and Healing Council will also be contributing to this important discussion at our Convention.
The 2020 Plenary Council preparations have been launched and much work is being done to make sure that everyone in our Church gets an opportunity to make a contribution to this process. Fr Noel Connolly SSC and Ms Lana Turvey-Collins will bring us up to date on the process, the challenges and the opportunities of this Plenary. Archbishop Mark Coleridge has been involved with both the Royal Commission and the Plenary and will be part of the Open Forum Discussion panels. Fr Frank Brennan SJ will make his unique contribution to the week.
The Barnaby Joyce saga of the last few weeks is a reminder that Canberra is not dull! Canberra has many museums, galleries, parks and buildings to see and Floriade will be opening the week after the Convention. The QT Hotel where the Convention is being held is close to Civic and all the shops, restaurants and bars. A visit to the Australian War memorial has been planned on the Wednesday for those who wish to experience a spine tingling Last Post Ceremony.
The Convention is only seven months away and it is time for members to begin to register with Sally and Chris to be with us for this special time together. Encourage your priest friends and members of your respective presbyterates to come and enjoy the camaraderie, speakers and all Canberra has to offer.
The Committee looks forward to welcoming you all to the 2018 Convention in Canberra.