Search Results: laity

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Sex and gay children in Catholic families

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 28 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
    • 19 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
    • 06 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
    • 30 September 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
    • 17 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
    • 23 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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  • RELIGION

    Why Bishop Morris was sacked

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 June 2014
    53 Comments

    'My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church ... the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould.' Frank Brennan launches Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three by Bishop William Morris.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is our morality at sea with the refugees?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    8 Comments

    'We should abandon talk of taking Australia off the table. We should also abandon talk of taking the sugar off the table. The collateral damage of that is too great. The best we can do ethically and practically is to put the sugar out of reach while leaving it on the table for those who make it here with a visa or in direct flight from persecution.' Frank Brennan contributes to a Palm Sunday panel at St Michael's Uniting Church, Melbourne.

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  • RELIGION

    Jury still out on Francis the game-changer

    • Paul Collins
    • 12 March 2014
    12 Comments

    The greatest danger is that we expect too much from Francis. He brings a new perspective that has little to do with the preoccupations of the developed world. But we shouldn't kid ourselves that he is a closet progressive. The other danger is that he could turn out to be all show and no substance. His 'Gang of Eight' has not even begun to address the diabolically difficult problems embedded in reforming the curial structures of the Vatican.

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  • RELIGION

    Pastoral priests decry clerical culture that fostered abuse

    • Pat Power
    • 13 February 2014
    49 Comments

    Most priests believe the Royal Commission was very much needed to face up to a terrible episode in the Church's history. They also believe that sexual abuse took place in an environment of clericalism which was imposed by the highest authority in the Church, and which they felt powerless to confront. 'Father is always right' operated from the Pope down and any questioning of it was seen as disloyal or even heretical.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 13 January 2014
    13 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • RELIGION

    Churches fight for economic justice

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 28 November 2013
    12 Comments

    In his recent address to the Yarra Institute about Christian social thinking, Fr Frank Brennan expressed the view that 'Christian churches are all but absent from the economic debate other than making the occasional, predictable utterance about ensuring that no one is left worse off as the result of new policy measures'. This seriously understates the public advocacy of the Australian churches and does a disservice to many people and organisations.

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