The Synod on Synodality – Why we should care


On Thursday 2nd February 2023 Australasian Catholics Coalition for Church Reform (ACCCR), Yarra Theological Union (YTU) and Garratt Publishing, hosted an online convocation explore the Synod on Synodality – Why We Should Care.

The Church is now at a ‘kairos’ moment regarding its future direction as proposals are being developed across the seven continental regions of the world. These will form the basis for the Instrumentum Laboris (Working Document) for the formal Synod gathering in October 2023. The success of the Synod on Synodality is crucial for our Church. This Convocation is synodal in its inclusion of the faithful.

SYNODALITY is a Church word for inclusive leadership, listening to the sense of faith of the faithful. We must take every opportunity to contribute to this process of discernment. Everyone has a stake in the future of our Church.

The Synod on Synodality is an opportunity for much-needed change to the Catholic Church’s culture, leadership and governance structures. The bishops must listen to the people of the Church and open their minds to the cultural and structural renewal urgently needed to rescue it from irrelevance.

Renewal must include a focus on: the role and status of women, acceptance of the spirituality of First Nations people, inclusion of all without discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, gender, marriage, race or relationships, clericalism and the harm done by the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults, synodality and the inclusive use of authority.

Our intent was to uncover ways forward for the people of God and the hierarchy to shape the mission of the Church and to play our part in the global movement towards renewal.

After an Introduction from ACBC President, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe,our expert panel revealed the real issues facing our Church, and the part we can play as the People of God.

Presenters included: Christina Reymer, Francis Sullivan AO, Susan Pascoe AM, Grace Wrakia and Patricia Gemmell. 

A recording of the event is available to view below. 

Speaker Presentations
Susan Pascoe AM
Francis Sullivan AO
Patricia Gemmell

The Song by Geoffrey Robertson
Excerpts take fromTowards the End of My Days: Theological & Spiritual Reflections by Geoffrey Robinson, Co-Ordinating Editor Seamus O’Grady

Report on the ACCCR Convocation of Catholics
Synod on Synodality: Why We Should Care, 2 February 2023


ACCCR works to bring about the Church we dream of – a Christ-like Church. Pope Francis' Synod on Synodality is a moment of hope for the Church. Synodality is all the baptised working together equally in the Church’s mission. We encourage all Catholics to be involved in synodal activities. For this we need resources to pay for events as we build on previous convocations and publications. All ACCCR members involved volunteer their time and effort.

Donations can be made at the following link:


Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB
Archbishop of the Diocese of Perth since 2012 and President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.


Christina Reymer
One of the founders of Be the Change Aotearoa/New Zealand – a group of women and men who have adopted the name ‘Be the Change’ as that is what they aspire to, committed to gender equity in the Catholic Church.


Francis Sullivan AO
Francis is well known for his many and varied roles in major Church ministries. He was previously CEO of the Truth Justice and Healing Council and has served as an advisor for the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers. He has a masters degree in theology, tertiary qualifications in politics and is currently Chair of the Mater Group of hospitals, Catholic Social Services Australia and a director of Mercy Health. 

Susan Pascoe AM
Susan is a member of the Vatican planning group for the 2023/24 Synod and an Adjunct Professor at the University of WA. She chairs the Australian Council for International Development, the Community Director's Council and is a member of the AICDs NFP Chairs' Forum. She is a board member of Mercy Health, and a Trustee of St John of God Health Care.

Grace Wrakia 
Grace is a member of the Laity Commission Board of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and attended the Melbourne meeting on the Oceania response to the DCS.


Patricia Gemmell
Patricia is one of the working team responsible for Australian Women Preach – a weekly podcast of women proclaiming the gospel – launched in 2021 as a result of Plenary Council discernment. She currently serves on the National Leadership Team of the Grail in Australia and is the coordinator of the Grail’s International Spirituality Network. She graduated with a Masters in Theology from Newcastle University in 2014.


Anne Benjamin & Charles Burford



TOWARDS THE END OF MY DAYS: Theological & Spiritual Reflections
Geoffrey Robinson, Co-ordinating Editor Seamus O’Grady



WRESTLING WITH THE CHURCH HIERARCHY, Engaging with the Plenary Council and Beyond
John Warhurst



HARD QUESTIONS BORN OF LOVE, My Journey Through the Plenary Council
John Warhurst


A CHURCH FOR ALL, A Guide to the Plenary Council …and Beyond
Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform


GETTING BACK ON MISSION, Reforming our Church Together
Catholics for Renewal


AN INDIGENOUS VOICE TO PARLIAMENT, Considering a Constitutional Bridge
Frank Brennan


IN HER VOICE, Raising Women’s Voices in Preaching the Gospel
Australian Women Preach


DEEP GOVERNANCE MATTERS, The World of Community Service and Mission
Kathleen Donnellon, Foreword and Reflections by Michael McGirr


FAITH TODAY: AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN LIVING, Rediscovering the Sacramental Imagination
Gavin Brown


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