‘Renewal is absolutely necessary’, say Plenary Council delegates

20 Aug 2020

By The Record

From left to right: Plenary Council delegate Mr Damian Walsh, The Shopfront Director, Very Rev Peter Whitely VG, Vicar General, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB and Plenary Council delegates Dr Angela McCarthy and Dr Marco Ceccarelli. Photo: Matthew Lau.

Plenary Council delegates Dr Marco Ceccarelli and Dr Angela McCarthy sat down with The Record journalists Eric Martin and Amanda Murthy to speak about all things Plenary Council.

00:00 (Eric Martin)
Hi, listeners and welcome back to the records podcast series. You’re with Eric Martin and Amanda Murthy. And we’re joined today by two of our special guests: Dr Marco Ceccarelli, the director of the Center for faith enrichment here at the Archdiocese.

00:12 (Amanda Murthy)
and Dr Angela McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in theology at the University of Notre Dom Australia’s Fremantle Campus, both of whom have been selected as delegates for the upcoming Plenary Council in 2020, that is now – thanks to COVID – in 2021.

00:32 (Eric Martin)
Guys welcome to the show! I hope your weekend was wonderful and Monday was kind to you. Can we start just by asking you to share with our audience a little bit about yourselves and the current roles that you’re fulfilling here within the Catholic community in Perth?

00:46 (Dr Ceccarelli)
Very well. It’s great to be here with you, Eric and Amanda. And I’m, as you mentioned yourself, the director of the Center for faith enrichment which is the adult faith formation, adult faith education agency of the Archdiocese of Perth. I am also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Notre Dame, where I teach church history and theology. So, my role is split between these two fascinating learning centres that are so connected to the Catholic faith. I’ve lived in Perth my whole life. Well, not quite, but I did. I’ve been in Perth since the age of nine. When I moved to Perth with my family. We are originally from Rome and we came out here in the early 90s as missionaries for the Catholic Church. So that’s my background. I am married with three children, three boys, which kicked me very, very, very busy. I’m involved also in my parish in various roles, including helping out with the youth group.

Dr Angela McCarthy, Senior Lecturer in theology at the University of Notre Dom Australia’s Fremantle Campus and Dr Marco Ceccarelli, Director of the Archdiocesan Center for Faith Enrichment. Photo: Eric Martin.

They’re fantastic. So you’ve got sort of, I suppose, a really broad spectrum of insight then into various church activities for those different roles that you have both in a professional sense, but also just as as a parishioner and a father and someone involved in the Church. Dr McCarthy, could we just ask you a little bit about yourself as well and your background here in Perth?

02:33 (Dr McCarthy)
Thanks, Eric, and Amanda. Yes, well, my background is a little longer than Marco’s being one of the older brigades, but my action within the church has been very very long term. While I’ve been teaching at Notre Dame for over 20 years now, I started at Notre Dame as a student in ’93. So I’ve been with Notre Dame all but one year of its existence, but prior to that, I was in secondary education. My origins are in the Eastern States. I’m one of nine children from an Irish Catholic background. It was very interesting reading material about the Plenary Council discernment papers about those who are from the Irish Catholic background, that was so culturally unifying in my childhood. But of course, it’s not now.

03:20 (Dr McCarthy)
So there’s a major cultural change there. But in the 60s, excuse me for going back this far, but during the Second Vatican Council, we have a fantastic young priest who had been a secretary at the Council who came to our parish, and enthused us with this extraordinary thing that was happening in Rome; taught us all to play the guitar, which drove the local parishioners insane. 15 very badly tuned guitars hitting you know, all along the front rows roaming soulfully, strumming badly mostly. I have horrible memories of it. But it began in me liturgical musicianship which has gone on now for well over 40 years yeah, maybe longer, but it’s still my passion for the church. My passion is family and church, and then that’s taken me into the realm of education, which has taken me eventually to Notre Dame. But again, like Marco, I’ve been heavily involved in the Parish, I’ve been – up until this year – I was on the parish liturgy committee in our parish for over 30 years, have been involved constantly in that at a diocesan level, later, national level. And so it’s been my lifeblood if you like this growing in the church. So for me, all of that has led to this extraordinary challenge of the Plenary Council and the extraordinary nature of being able to embrace that and be a part of it.

Which I suppose you have explained to our listeners as well. I mean, that’s the reason that we have you both here today is to talk about plenary, you’ve both been selected as delegates. And I suppose one of the things, we’re just going to take this back from, I suppose, a very grassroots level, and just explain to our listeners as well. So as a delegate for the plenary Council, what is involved in that and why are we pursuing the process of plenary here in Perth or here in Australia?

Well, so there’s two sides to that question. And I think I’ll begin with the second question first: Why are we engaged in a plenary council? So the decision to host a plenary Council was made quite some time ago. I think was made up more than 10 years ago. I don’t know the exact date, more than 20 years ago. And that is because, well, something needed to be done. It was thought by some of the bishops at the time and perhaps Angela can provide some more of the details in terms of bringing the church in Australia forwards, in terms of also revitalizing the essence of the Christian identity here in Australia and also discuss, essentially, what were some of those topics that needed to be addressed to revitalize the Christian faith. Perhaps draw also on those Christian roots which have significantly also shaped Australia.

Very true, I suppose you’re looking down from your past studies in history. I mean, there must be so many examples of, you know, how that Catholic identity was central to so much of the formation of our country.

Correct. And I think this is where Angela might be able to address particularly in terms of that Irish Catholic influence. I wonder if maybe she could enlighten us a little bit more about that. 

We have a really interesting history here in Western Australia because it’s quite different from the Eastern States. We’ve had different influences. But primarily, by the end of the 19th century, we had a dominance of Irish bishops. Now, the really interesting part of it, it wasn’t just an Australian thing. It was a worldwide thing where Irish Catholic Bishops were kind of sent all over the world, missionary tech if you like. And that influence was very powerful on the local face of the church. So in terms of past devotions, in terms of the way parishes functioned, the supremacy of the Irish parish priest was just unchallenged. And so that culture that I come from – I’m a child of that culture – I’ve seen that radically change since then. But even visually see some of the artworks that you’ll see in older Catholic churches, not artworks because they’re not art. And that’s another question another time. And they are images, perhaps of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These kinds of images are very, very strongly placed within the Irish heritage. Same with the layout and the way parishes function. And, of course, that as we lost that generation or several generations of Irish Catholics, we now have a much, much more diverse international influence in terms of clergy and people. You know, we’ve come from all over the world. Marco is a missionary to us from Rome.

Yeah, what I would like to add about that is also there is, I can’t Help I think of a recent paper which I, which I read about this Irish spiritual Empire, which is, calling it a spiritual Empire. It’s an interesting way of defining, but there was certainly that Irish stamp on the Catholic identity here in Australia, over different generations and particularly considering the different waves of migration from countries like Italy, more like Southern Europe, like Greece, and eventually, what we saw was an intergenerational change and a much more as an Angela mentioned, an international Australian Catholicism, which, which then became an Australian Catholicism in its own right and development. 

I suppose we’re seeing the continuation of it, aren’t we? In terms of a high influx of Vietnamese priests coming through as well and we’re recruiting heavily from Southeast Asia now in terms of our vocations. I’m a bit of a history student as well. So I must admit, one of the things that struck me is quite humorous looking back at some of the plenaries, from when the Irish priests were fairly dominant was plenary, back then dealt a lot with issues of drinking, unfortunately. And I was wondering though, could you tell us something a little bit about some of the issues may be that have changed over the years that we might be looking at in our current plenary?

Well, yes, two of the things as I’ve been reading the papers on all the various material that’s available now. Two of the things that I seem to see very clearly are the role of women in the church and being a wife and a mother and a grandmother of 14, and you know, very much a woman of the church, but I’m also seeing that and hearing that women need to have a much greater voice in the church. The Irish Catholic model, of course, yes, parish priest used to drink whiskey, and it would be very good if you could supply him with a bottle when he visited your home. And that’s part of the Irishness. It’s not a good side, but it’s certainly part of the Irishness. But I just say that besides that one of the other things that keep coming up in all of the aspects of what we’ve received so far about the Plenary Council is the idea of clericalism. That clericalism needs to be seriously considered as something that is,

just to expand on that, would either of you or Amanda, feel free to jump in here as well be able to give us an example of what clericalism might look like. So what are we talking about here, in practice?

We’re talking about decision making. So primarily, the decision-maker in a clerical model is the clergy. So in a parish model, then you have the only person who’s allowed to make decisions about anything to do with the parish is the parish priest. And that was very, very powerful within the Irish tradition, but it’s also very, very strongly ensconced. But clericalism is not only about the actions of the priest, but it’s also the actions of the parish community, that a parish community may well understand themselves as being subject to the priest. So clericalism is not just about the priest, it’s also about the way community views and responses as well.

So we only do what the father says. Okay, so clericalism in that and as Pope Francis has said, rather blatantly, that clericalism is cancer because what it’s doing is not allowing the people of God to function in the way that was envisaged by the Second Vatican Council. So that is part of why I say that we are needing this Plenary Council. The plenary Council is to look at all of these issues and to look at the future directions that the Holy Spirit wants to take us in.

And what are some of the issues that you’d raised? Dr Ceccarelli?

Well, there are a few things that come to mind as we are speaking. As our listeners may know, or may not know, there has been the first phase to this Plenary Council which was called the Listening and Dialogue phase. We received something like 250,000 responses. Those were broken up into six themes essentially then went through a social research process and they work on refining to these into six themes. Then we had a listening and discernment process on those themes. And now we are making our way to the actual event and the instrumentum laboris of this great event, which will be plenary council now 2021 is currently being worked on. For me, the two themes that stood out were missionary and evangelizing and participatory inclusive and synodal. And I guess these discussion sage ways as well from what Angela was saying. Because for me, the word that keeps echoing is the laity. In essence, what has struck me has been the importance which also the Second Vatican Council emphasized quite a bit of the laity. So, I believe that many of the ills that we have in our church today, which have been raised also now, are also linked to the fact that the laity needs to be given a more significant role within the parish. One of the great things that the Second Vatican Vatican Council concluded was that the church is the people of God. So it kind of flipped the pyramid upside down. Where the people of God, that’s the church. In fact, in the first 300 years of Christianity, we had no churches. And there was not much focus on hierarchy either. It was only when the church was confronted with a lot of threats, you could say both ideologically and physically, that the church started to become a lot more defensive and therefore also hierarchical. So there was a shift there from what is historically called prophecy to more structure, which is also where then, of course, there was this we could say the unhealthy link between the church and the state began by Emperor Constantine. And therefore what we’ve seen is a much more of a focus on the structure. For me, and this is where I bring in those two themes and the power of the laity. And whilst the hierarchy is incredibly important, has its place. Yes, it has its place, but the laity is the one that is bringing this plenary council forward, we have heard the majority of the responses have been from them. The themes have been established based on what they have said and therefore, the laity is front and centre of this process, and it is hoped that the laity and the clerical body of the church can work together in terms of bringing the church of Australia into the future, into harmony. The question at the very centre of this Plenary Council was, what do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time? The word church was left out in that first instance because the idea here is, and it’s been mentioned, that the Holy Spirit is also leading this entire process.

We have to have confidence in that. I know we’ve heard lots of negative criticism, but if we’re going to be very negative about it, then we’re denying the power of the Spirit. I think it’s worthwhile just expanding a little on what Marco said. The initial phase was listening and dialogue and it was a very beautiful process. I was involved in many different groups in that and it was very beautiful. The next one was all of that information was gathered together, and then put into a document in those six themes, and then people could review them. It was a snapshot, which was areally great because you could see the kind of words that people around Australia had used. Then there was some paper on the theme. Now, we’ve been through that, and then had the next phase of discernment, which was people thinking and listening and making more submissions and discerning carefully, and that process had quite a bit of silence in it, which some of the parishioners found challenging, others found very fruitful. But then the next section, that is the instrumentum laboris, where you have that materials are going to be gathered and examined by experts. And from that comes the agenda of the Plenary Council. So that’s important. 

So it’s been very involved inclusive as much as a possible process in the lead up towards it.

Everybody had the opportunity if they wanted to be part of that. And I think that’s been a very, very beautiful part of the process. 

But as plenary lay delegates, and I should mention also you are joined by Mr Damien Walsh and Emily Hardbottle as well. This was announced, sort of during lockdown, I believe. And so how have things changed in terms of the process of the plenary council being postponed to next year? In the meantime, is there anything that’s happening here with the use of the internet perhaps? Have there been any discussions or anything online?

No, officially has not.

I also had the opportunity of helping out with the organization of the listening and dialogue listening discernment process. I happen to listen to something that Archbishop Timothy Costello said recently about this fact that the plenary Council is going to be postponed because of the coronavirus. And I think there is an opportunity there for us to perhaps have more time for discernment. One of the things that Angela mentioned is that this process of discernment required silence. It was based on the Ignatian tradition of reflecting on scripture meditating on its impact on both you personally but also on the voices of the group. So it’s called communal discernment, which implies that it has to be done in a group of people. And you are trying to pick up on the voice of the Holy Spirit through the voices of the people in your group, which essentially also reflects what the Plenary Council is all about. Trying to listen to God’s voice through the voices of the faithful. This is also a bit more of a complicated description to it called Sensus Fidelium, which is a concept championed by Cardinal Newman, whereby the voice of God is heard through the voice of its people. So essentially the Coronavirus has slowed everything right down, it’s giving us a time to reflect more on these papers that have just been published. Yeah. So just recently, the actual documents on the themes of the Plenary Council have been published for people to look at, accompanied by an extensive amount of information on the website, which explains what it is that we’re doing both in terms of theology theory, but also pushing people to one of the great questions of the second phase, the listening and discern phase was, how do you think of applying these ideas to your particular local reality, to your parish?

It may be your parish, it may be your ecclesial community. It may be your prayer group, it might be your school. It may be the group of people that you look after at an aged care facility. So in your particular reality, how can you apply some of these so that we’re not just talking here. And in this sense, we also believe I speak for myself I also believe this whole process up until now has been fruitful.

I hope that even maybe just discussing the ideas and realizing that the process is helpful and necessary, and this Plenary Council will not finish next year. In October 2021, as Archbishop Costello said, recently, it’s the beginning.

It’s also about one of the things that impressed me in reading lots of the material that’s on the website is the pain. There is so much pain among the people of God. They have witnessed this royal commission into sexual abuse they have lost, and there’s a terrible loss of respect, there’s a terrible loss of confidence.

I see that moral authority, which was seriously the voice of the Church seems to have been so damaged by this

Damaged and, I think one of the really good things I mean, mind you, as I read a lot of the material, I am deeply moved by the pain, but it’s not just the pain of that whole sexual abuse crisis. It’s also the pain of women my age, who are watching their children and their grandchildren and their grandchildren are not even baptised. There’s this whole generational loss of the Catholicism and, and they’re watching this feeling completely and utterly unable to do anything about it.

unempowered almost

Unempowered and they’re seeing their children and their grandchildren just disappear from any understanding of their place in Church. 

I suppose, as mentioned during the introduction that you taught a compulsory core unit in theology at Notre Dame University. And you mentioned as well with the younger generation that you heard many times from your students, that they felt the church wasn’t listening to them. Could you please tell us a little bit more about some of the issues where the youths are feeling ignored? And what’s preventing them, do you think from becoming engaged in a meaningful dialogue with their leaders about some of these issues?

The words of some of the students that these particularly I’ll choose the students, not the ones who unchurched, but the ones who would have come through fully Catholic education. During that time so many of them spoke about the wonderful things that they did, their sense of social justice, the sense of being part of a community that work towards ideals and of morals and a way of living. They were impressed with that. But then they come out of that a cocoon of a particular form of experience of Church, they get to university they’re challenged by having to work and pay debts and do all the rest of those young adult things that are always challenging. And then try and find their own way to have space within the church

So many of them said, we just can’t find a place there and then it becomes obvious that the what they understand the church is, and that has come from their wonderful education, it’s not the reality of the church when they get out. This is not a lived reality. So they’re very very disillusioned. When they step back then from any further information, what they get is the only information they have about Catholicism is what they read in the media.

Which isn’t that positive, mostly, very negative. So they have ideas that the church is completely non-compassionate to marginalized groups of people. It’s a perception. So we end up with a whole series of perceptions that aren’t rooted in reality but colour their understanding of what Church is. And that’s the opposite of their grandmother’s who are mourning the loss of their grandchildren in a church.


It must be so hard these days when the message is just so hidden and bombarded underneath constant media. I mean, the voice of the church, I don’t think it’s shrunk but it just seems to have been drowned out somewhat maybe by this ever-increasing volume of background noise from the world that we keep encountering.


When you have things like the Royal commissions, sexual abuse within the church. It’s not just the Catholic Church, but the media would have you believe that is primarily the catholic church, that is again blatantly untrue. But at the same time, the impact of that on social consciousness and understanding of church has been extremely detrimental

Marco, you work very closely with the adult Catholic community. Would you be able to share some of the perspectives among the older generations, perhaps the young adults, maybe that you serve? And what are some of the concerns and issues that have been raised with you?

One of the topics that came up often among both adults and young adults was that of faith formation. This is, again, another one of those things that could perhaps help to address problems like this bombardment of the media that people are surrounded by. Look, many topics came up and I feel like I’m not doing what people have said justice by just isolating a few. But, you know, I think of faith formation. And I think of this fact that perhaps, after confirmation, especially young people seem to not really have anything that forms them. They seem to fall out of love, they fall out of line with their faith simply because perhaps the church hasn’t been that good in terms of offering them something that catches them and that perhaps pushes back on the secular pressure that is on them. And, and so the focus I’m, I’m certain that this will be a focus of the plenary Council. I don’t just say this because I’m involved in faith formation. I say this because it is something that needs to be addressed. We play our part. But I think what perhaps what this plan what disciplinary council help us to see is where these new voices coming from, for example, there are many new movements within the church. I can’t help but think of the extremely wonderful work that the religious have done here in Australia, in terms of transmitting that faith to people both in the schools, but also just because of that contact that the religious had with the families in the parish, parishes were much more alive and they were maybe up to 20 groups within the parish operating.

Almost as like that practical expression of love or of, you know, Catholic Christianity in action is what was really the rubber meets the road and converting and winning hearts and souls there. 

A very wise person once said to me, that one needs to have at least five people in their life that transmit faith to them for this person to grow up with a good understanding and a good grounding of faith and an understanding of faith that isn’t shaken when the first gust of wind comes along. And there have been many, particularly in the last 20 years in the wake of the sex abuse scandals. So a strong faith formation with strong lay leaders, also mothers, fathers, young people involved in their parish, people who really, in a sense, have faith because you can only give of what you have. But we need people as people who have faith while they’re able to transmit this on to the new generations in a way that allows them to have a proper encounter with Jesus Christ.

Meet them in that spot that they’re at where they have that particular need, at that time for their faith and just being able to identify that and just connect at that time.

One of the speakings of encounters, I really like that word. And it’s a beautiful word to use in terms of sacraments. And within the parish situation, I’ve worked for a very long time with the children’s program, the parish religious education program. And one of the sadnesses is that it’s like the sacraments are to be done. 1234 finished. Now we can go we’ve got all the sacraments, we’ve done the right thing. Our kids have now got confirmation. We’ve done it, we don’t have to do anything more. Which is such a poor understanding of sacraments and so the sacrament is like a mark on you that you are given this indelible mark and somehow that’s going to make you a Catholic; rather than understanding that these are the gifts that are given to us to encounter God in a very particular way. In our Catholic community. 

It’s almost like dressing up a soldier in a breastplate and with a short sword and shield and sending them off suddenly they’re a soldier. But no, they’ve got months of training. They’ve got Bootcamp, but they’ve got all sorts of exercises and stuff to go through before they get there.

So, as Marco said, it seems like they get to that last, that confirmation sacrament, which actually should be attached to baptism, not anything else. So it is confusion and I think it’s a Cathecesis confusion. And there’s that old idea that sacraments kind of topped you up in grace, which is a very poor understanding of what grace is. So it’s this faith formation needs to be very rich and very deep because we got a long way to go. That’s right.

And it’s also something that needs to be understood as something that will take time. Yeah, and we have this idea, a very 21st-century idea that we get something by maybe, I don’t know, attending a course and within a few weeks, we have faith. Well, no faith is something That is very long, it requires formation, it requires perhaps some catechists to follow you, and people with whom then perhaps when life starts to throw its punches at you, you can ring them, you can call them you can ask them. So it doesn’t all become about the parish priests, the parish priest has his role. He administers the sacraments. He’s the head of the parish, but what we’re perhaps lacking is faith formators that develop a relationship with the people. And these people will also need a community of faith within which to live. So we attend church on Sunday, which is an incredibly important aspect of our faith to receive the sacraments, whether it be the Eucharist, whether it be confession, but perhaps what we lack is a place within which to experience community and communion. Brothers and sisters in Christ where our faith is tested, and as it’s tested, it’s refined and it’s made, it’s made stronger. So we like these elements which constitute healthy faith formation. And, and this has come up time and again, in in the discussions, some of which have been quite animated 

Perhaps a comment that Bishop, Mark Coleridge made at one point, when launching this, he was launching it. He’s not the head of the Plenary Council, but he was launching it at first and he was just saying it’s going to get messy. It’s going to get messy, he said, and also, we cannot put up a sign on the front of the church that says business as usual. Okay, so we’ll need to move forwards. And look, when it gets messy for me. It’s not a problem. If anything, I think for something to move on for things to change there needs to be some sort of messiness involved otherwise, we would get nowhere. 

We will remain complacent. We’re not staying real if we don’t get that point,

Don’t you think COVID-19, therefore, have given us a bit of a bolster here, but you know, nothing’s going to be the same.

Very true. 


So this kind of fades in nicely. But as you were talking, I was thinking, how does it affect you? Or how do you feel emotionally about this? Sometimes I feel completely overwrought and completely underprepared. And I think How did I end up with this level of responsibility being a delegate? And then other times, I’ve been so encouraged, particularly by some women in our parish, who kept pestering me and saying, Angela, please, please apply, please go and do this. And I’ve felt humbled by that deeply humbled, but at the same time, this is an enormous responsibility. And so feeling overwhelmed at times

so much hopes and dreams, I suppose that everybody has resting on this and must be like being elected as a politician, I suppose, in some ways where you’re going, I’m representing my constituents out there.

Well, do I get a sight? Whom am I speaking for? Who have I? How do I make sure I’ve listened well enough and that discernment journey… I was talking with my husband of 46 years about where am I going to get a silent space? I need a few days of real silence in this day and age. I can’t wait to do it. So I’m trying to pick a place where I can go and just be silent for a few days and think and pray.

Is that how you prepare for this role or do you reckon and this is an ongoing process.

It’s ongoing, it is definitely in need of moments of intense preparation. I really need some intense time of silence and stillness. I just, you know, I’m very busy. I’m still working and I look after grandchildren and I do all sorts of other stuff in my life and parish and still part of music ministry. All of that is very busy. You know, this is something about and same with you Marco, you got three small children and the franticness that that brings about where do you get a silent moment?

I think the short answer is I don’t.

He’s eight months old and he’s teething. Oh, well, I’ll leave the rest to your imagination. Yes, some colourful language has been used in the middle of the night as he wakes for the fourth time.

Well, guys, can I just ask us to finish up with this one? Individually, obviously, there’s a lot here to be hoped in the way we’re looking forward as a church. but individually, what would you love to see come out of Plenary Council as a personal hope, something that may be just as dear to your heart?

What I would like to see, and it’s an important question. It’s a difficult question, I think, but it’s an extremely important question. I think what I would like to see is the Holy Spirit really making Itself alive in the people of God. What I would like to see is people truly discerning what it is that God is asking of us. responding to that to that call responding with faith. And what I would like to see is a church in Australia that that is full of life. What I would like to see is a church in Australia that really appreciates and finds this constant of communion important. I’d like to see an inclusive, participatory, synodal Australia do much like what these things are telling us. And I’d like to see a missionary, evangelizing Australia. So this, for me, the encounter with Christ, has been so incredibly important for me for my family. I’d like to pass this on to my children. And what I hope is that this encounter with Christ becomes so important for for for Christians in Australia that we share with others becomes what is essentially mission is all about. The encounter has been so important that you feel this urge to want to share it with others. Why? Because this is what Jesus Christ has done in my life. This is what he has done in my marriage. This is what he has done with me and with the relationships that I have with my colleagues at work, the relationship I Have with my father and my mother, he has been able to bring me out.

This is my lord and master and I want you to meet.

That’s right. Well, this, you know, these are the practical examples of what Christ has done with me. This is why I think it is important that one has because I don’t know where I’d be without having had that encounter with Christ in my life. Right, I probably wouldn’t be in the Church. I don’t know where I’d be. I wouldn’t be here sitting and speaking with you. So He has done enormous things in my life that I’m grateful for. And I think this is an incredibly important message to share with those around us, who have a thirst for this. I say this in the friends of the people my age, most of whom have left the Church. They this is what they desire, and at the very core of their being, but they need someone that announces these to them.

Yeah, so rather than a library of self-help books may be that we actually know who the answer is, and we can share that with other people.

I would like to see that this challenge that the people of God have thrown up in this journey towards the Plenary Council is that renewal is absolutely necessary. If renewal is not obvious, then the bishops are going to lose all credibility. Because the people have said, this needs to change, that needs to change. You can hear the pain, you can hear the desire for change. You can hear the yearning for a faith-filled act of community that is evangelizing that is participatory, that is an idol. And so I think what I really want to see is that following the Plenary Council, what is presented to Rome, and then given to the church of Australia, is a change structure, a renewed structure that embraces what we’ve asked.

Fantastic, fantastic, Amanda. Do you have anything else you’d like to ask?

Really happy with that, guys. Thank you so much for coming in and joining us today, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking with you both. And we’d like to just wish you the best with the upcoming plenary sessions as they take forward. And best of luck, Angela as well and trying to find that three days or so maybe some contemplated quiet rehab that takes place for you. And yeah, just thank you so much for sharing with us what your hopes and dreams are.

Right. It’s been great.

Cheers, guys. And with that listeners, we’re going to wrap this up and you can join us in two weeks for the next in our podcast series. Thank you.