01 Aug 2021

Teamwork key for future of Church

The Southern Cross | August 2021

Ian Cameron crop.jpg

Teamwork and the sharing of wisdom are critical for the success of the Plenary Council and beyond, according to one of the Archdiocese’s lay delegates who will attend the local hub assembly in October.

Ian Cameron said he felt privileged to participate in next month’s Diocesan Assembly and the Plenary Council gathering the following month and represent the views of the diverse Catholic community.

“My passion and commitment is to inspire myself and others to ensure that the people’s voices are heard, and to do so without fear or favour,” he said.

“I will represent those with positive experience of the Church and those who may feel unheard or alienated. I will play my small but important part to ensure that the patterns of issues, identified through the Plenary consultations, are brought into the Plenary deliberations.”

Now in retirement after working as an instructor with SA Police, Mr Cameron said it had been wonderful to have plenty of free time to digest the Plenary working papers and brush up on the history of Church teachings in readiness for the assembly.

“I have had time to prepare for the role,” he said.

“Many lay and religious, including theologians, disagree on aspects of Biblical interpretation. I have read many documents related to Church affairs, including Church teachings, and consulted many people, lay and religious, to learn more about current Church affairs and to test the validity of my long-held ideas and Christian values.

“I came to confirm in my own mind the call in Matthew’s Gospel to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’… and I think this ‘love in all things’ approach to all people will guide an authentic response to the patterns of issues that emerged from Plenary consultations and that must be addressed.”

A parishioner at Holy Cross Church at Goodwood, Mr Cameron has been an active member of the Emmaus parish for many years, serving on the Finance Council, involved with outreach activities and the Alpha program.

He said he enjoys parish activity “where people help out selflessly for the benefit of others” and added that the success of the Plenary Council would rely on similar “teamwork” between the ordained and lay people.

“Lay and religious work seamlessly in many areas of Church life,” he explained.

“Bishops and lay people need to combine their experience, expertise and wisdom to get the best results.

“This teamwork and combined wisdom is critical for the Plenary and beyond – it is critical that Church teachings, rules and laws are written with ordained and lay teamwork, including parents, for more authentic content and credibility.

“I expect that the meetings of our Plenary delegates and Diocesan consultations will produce many positive outcomes, however the Church faces many critical problems and there are no easy solutions.

“Opinions on ways forward often seem to be divided. Some want structures and teachings to remain unchanged. Others call for a more loving, inclusive Church, with less judgement and rules, which respects all equally, regardless of their individual circumstances.

“The Plenary Council is a great opportunity for our Church and I hope it realises its potential.”

The Diocesan Assembly will be held at Cabra College September 17 and 18. The Plenary Council’s first assembly will begin on October 3 at various hub locations throughout Australia, including Adelaide.

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