Search Results: laity

  • RELIGION

    Cardinal Pell and the culture of silence

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 10 March 2016
    23 Comments

    Even as a young priest George Pell was marked for higher things. He was a protege of B. A. Santamaria who had a significant following among Victorian bishops and priests. He was chosen to go to further study in Rome and then in Oxford. He was quickly given positions of responsibility. Within this trajectory there was no room for a priest who rocked the boat on clerical misconduct. To ask questions about why Ridsdale was being constantly moved was evidently not part of the plan.

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  • RELIGION

    Corrupt churches need women leaders

    • Moira Rayner
    • 14 December 2015
    48 Comments

    There is a culture of brotherhood in the upper echelons of the Church. There is also a natural urge to homosocial reproduction in its instrumentalities. If I have learned anything from my work with companies and organisations on cultural change, it is that these comfortable cultures need to be broken up, because they are readily corrupted. The best way to change a culture is to start giving women positions of real influence and respect. They are outsiders, and outsiders see what insiders cannot.

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  • RELIGION

    Betting on the Synod

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2015
    6 Comments

    The journalist Claud Cockburn once said that Catholics could never bet on the election of a pope because they believed it was all up to the Holy Spirit. He was mistaken — many Catholics then and now would place a bet on anything and everything. His reasoning also overlooked the Catholic understanding that human beings cooperate with the Holy Spirit. But his association of God's action with the election and actions of popes provides a lens for looking at the recently concluded Synod on the Family.

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  • Frank Brennan's 'fifth gospel'

    • William Morris
    • 15 June 2015
    7 Comments

    'Frank points out that the Church cannot credibly proclaim a message of social justice in a pluralist democracy when its own processes fall short of ordinary community standards of justice. It needs to turn its teaching about human rights and human dignity back on itself, the Church, insisting on due process within the life of the Church community.' Bishop William Morris helps launch Frank Brennan's new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • Call off the Cardinal Pell witch-hunt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 June 2015
    22 Comments

    As we await Cardinal Pell's appearance before the Royal Commission, many Australians are baying for his blood. It is time for those of us in the Church to stop paying undue deference to those who exercise ecclesiastical power in a fashion at odds with contemporary notions of transparency and equality. It's also time for all commentators to play the ball, and not the man.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Sex and gay children in Catholic families

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 29 October 2014
    28 Comments

    Australian couple Ron and Mavis Pirola’s speech at the Vatican Synod on the Family made them unlikely international media celebrities. They spoke frankly about their sex life and the importance of sex in marriage, and they made a plea for a welcoming attitude towards homosexuals in the Church.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic Church returns to pluriformity of Vatican II

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 20 October 2014
    31 Comments

    Conservative elements were quick to criticise the interim 'relatio' of the Synod that opened the door to gay and other estranged Catholics. Undoubtedly there will be pushback, but the Catholic Church is going through something not experienced since Vatican II – a Church willing to debate topics once felt long settled, without fear or favour.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic press struggles to earn trust

    • Tim Wallace
    • 07 October 2014
    21 Comments

    The sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has affected mass attendance and contributions to the collection plate. The credibility of its newspapers has also taken a hit, with coverage of the crisis generally following the official line. The publications must  appease both their clerical owners and their supporters, the readers, whose trust needs to be earned and maintained.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    A place for women in church leadership

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 01 October 2014
    34 Comments

    For two weeks from this Sunday, the much anticipated Synod on the Family will take place at the Vatican. Those attending include around 150 bishops, a number of lay experts and 14 married couples. An interested observer from afar is former NSW Labor premier Kristina Keneally, theologically trained and one of the most prominent lay Catholics in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Church congregations have role in healing abuse victims

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 18 August 2014
    33 Comments

    The recent independent redress scheme announcement by the Catholic Church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council is welcome. However it is not simply a matter for church hierarchy. Congregations need to be brought into the process of healing and reparation, which might include liturgies of lamentation and practical ways to make the church a safe place for victims of abuse.

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  • RELIGION

    Magnanimous memoir of a 'dead canary' bishop

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 July 2014
    41 Comments

    In mines, where bad air could be lethal, miners used to bring canaries with them. If they fell ill and died, the miners had warning to get out. The recent book by Bishop Bill Morris, replete with documentary evidence, tells the story of a canary caught in the shafts of Vatican culture. His early expiry date pointed to something amiss in the governance of the church, heralding the larger disclosures in the Royal Commission on sexual abuse.

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