While ACCCR accepts the reality of the failure of the ‘Yes’ Vote in the October 2023 Referendum related to Constitutional Recognition and a Voice to Parliament for Australia’s First Nations Peoples, we are committed to the Uluru Statement of the Heart (2017) in its fullness, including its expressed wish for the following specific national reforms:
We call for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution.
We seek a Makarrata Commission to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history.
While we hope for action by the Australian Government we support the actions taken by State and Territory Governments for Treaties and Voices to Parliament.
Final Session October 2024
Following extensive world-wide consultations, the first session of the Synod on Synodality was held in Rome in October 2023. The second (final) session will be held in October 2024. This Synod will be the establish the way of operating of the church for the foreseeable future. Groundwork in terms of the limited synodality applied in the first session needs to be consolidated and developed in the second. Building on the structure with much-needed reforms in areas such as access by women to all roles, recognition of gender diversity as natural, welcoming communion for everyone and many others will be critical for the success of the 2024 session and the future of the church.
The church is a church for all Catholics. Free, informed respected discussion is now required to let Synod members know how lay people think and feel about these matters. ACCCR is committed to doing all it can to progress this discussion.
The following documents provide useful background information.
Letter to the People of God 25 October 2023
From the First Assembly of the Synod
“To progress in its discernment, the Church needs to listen to everyone, starting with the poorest; those who have been denied the right to speak in society or who feel excluded, even by the Church; listening to people who are victims of racism or abuse committed by members of the ecclesial body; to the laity, women and men; those who want to be involved in lay ministries and to participate in discernment and decision-making structures.
Synthesis Report. A comprehensive report on the October 2023 session of the Synod. 28 October 2023
The Synod process has the potential to reshape the culture and way of working of the church but it is not yet firmly in place. Current achievements are precarious. History and experience tell us that transition to a new working style will not be full or complete until all those affected are included in the change process. We are still a long way from the necessary engagement of everyone. The first session of the Synod on Synodality was just a beginning.
On Promoting Theology. Instruction issued by Pope Francis on developing theology for our times. 1 November 2023
A theology that speaks to people as a living spiritual and intellectual inspiration and guide must be grounded in the human experience of a personal search for integrity, wholeness and a truly fulfilling life. Real relationships of love, whether intimate as in a family, shared as in a community or drawing us to transcendence as with God, are central to the theological enterprise. It is not abstract and ideological, but spiritual. By spiritual Francis clearly means the concrete reality of an integrated authentic person living in life-giving relationships with God and others. “It is impossible to know the truth without practising love, engaging and connecting with others.”
Towards October 2024. Guidelines for preparing for the second session, issued by the Synod Council. 12 December 2023
A guiding question is set: How can we be a synodal Church in mission? This is to be addressed on two levels.