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Austria: Bishops’ Conference, Plenary Assembly in Mariazell from 14 to 16 June. Synodality, pandemic, assisted suicide on the agenda

The Summer Plenary Assembly of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference (ÖBK), chaired by Archbishop Franz Lackner of Salzburg, will take place again in person at the national Marian shrine of Mariazell. The meeting will start on Monday, 14 June, at 3pm, with a prayer at the Altar of Grace in Mariazell Basilica. On Thursday, 17 June, at 10am, a closing press conference with Mgr Lackner will take place at the premises of the Archbishop’s Palace in Vienna. The focus of the three-day Plenary will be on the Pope’s latest guidance on synodality. From October, the dioceses are expected to carry out special synodal processes on the themes of community, participation and mission, whose results will then be collected by the Bishops’ Conference by April 2022. “The exchange of views on the preparation of the World Synod of Bishops on synodality will be at the centre of the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference”, ÖBK Secretary General, Peter Schipka, told the Catholic press agency Kathpress. In this context, the Bishops will hold a meeting with women in leadership positions in the Church on 14 June in the afternoon. Items on the agenda will also include the current state of the pandemic and the expected legal changes to assisted suicide. Also on the agenda of the Bishops’ Plenary is a meeting on Wednesday, 16 June, with the apostolic nuncio to Austria, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, who will be attending the final Mass on 16 June.

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