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Plenary Members to reconsider motions


The Members of the Plenary Council who are meeting in Sydney this week spent yesterday afternoon working together to reconsider a pair of motions that were not passed earlier in the day.

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In the first afternoon session, an overwhelming majority of Members backed a motion to reconsider the two motions from Part 4 of the Council’s Motions and Amendments document entitled ‘Witnessing to the Equal Dignity of Women and Men’.

At least half of the Council’s 277 Members had to support the motion to reconsider before it could proceed to a deliberative vote. The motion then received almost unanimous support in the deliberative vote, which required a two-thirds majority.

Earlier in the day, the two motions from Part 4 each received a majority of deliberative votes, but fell just short of a qualified majority – two-thirds of those present. They therefore did not pass.

Following the announcement of those votes, Council Members were invited to spend time in conversation at their tables, sharing their feelings and responses, and considering how they could move forward constructively.

Plenary Council vice president Bishop Shane Mackinlay said this had clearly been an emotional time for many Members, but that what had ensued was a sign of the “journeying together” the Council has promoted.

“We were able to hear from Members – women firstly, but also from men – about how we can better respond to and recognise the gifts that women offer in service of the Gospel,” he said.

A four-person writing group has been established to receive recommendations from Members for the drafting of revised motions. The new motions are expected to be considered later in the week.

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