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Keywords: Australia

  • RELIGION

    A Vatican-inspired theological revolution

    • Paul Collins
    • 28 June 2022
    4 Comments

    A basic principle was laid down in the pope’s recent Apostolic Constitution entitled Praedicate evangelium that is profoundly important with far-reaching consequences for the whole church. This principle states that any baptised Catholic ‘can preside over a dicastery,’ that is run a Vatican department. Previously only ordained clerics could do this.

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  • RELIGION

    Navigating between the perfect and the good at the Second PC Assembly

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 June 2022
    6 Comments

    The week of the Plenary Council's Second Assembly, unlike the First Assembly, will largely be devoted to voting. My best guess is that there could be about 100 rounds of consultative votes (including amendments and then thirty amended motions) during the week. This will be followed by deliberative voting by the bishops and their proxies. Before voting there will be many short, sharp speeches from among the 280 members interspersed in the program. This will make for an extremely tight timetable. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The grace of courtesy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 June 2022
    4 Comments

    Since the Federal Election one of the most refreshing features has been the new Prime Minister’s connection with people. Whether it is shown by riding a bamboo bicycle with the Indonesian President, expressing sympathy for the Nadesilingam family for their prolonged ordeal before returning to Biloela or agreeing with Jacinda Ardern, herself a model of public empathy, about the unreasonableness of expelling to New Zealand people who had never lived there, his actions displayed a readiness to listen and to enter the experience of other people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Can the Class of '22 fix Australian Democracy?

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 22 June 2022
    5 Comments

    Concern about political malfeasance in Australian politics was one of the issues that drove the influx of new members (mainly women) into the Australian Parliament on 21 May, and they are promising a raft of reforms. The astounding thing is that we managed to leverage the change of 21 May 2022 within the confines of a system that inherently favours the status quo, the preferential voting system tending to channel votes back to the major parties.

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  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council fails to embrace Pope Francis’s wider social vision

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 21 June 2022
    3 Comments

    Some 278 Catholic bishops, clergy, religious personnel and lay people will meet as members of an unprecedented Plenary Council during 3-9 July to finalise the resolutions of their first assembly last year. However the May working document ‘Framework for Motions’, despite much worthy content, especially on Indigenous affairs, relies on a narrow notion of mission overly focused on inner-church issues at the expense of the wider social engagement that Francis emphasises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stray thoughts: On battlers

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 June 2022
    1 Comment

    On social media, business cards and the bottom of emails nowadays you will often find a bracket with people’s preferred pronouns (he/him or she/her or they/them). Without fanfare, gender neutrality has slipped into our 21st century speech and our unconscious, and it is only when we are confronted with the gender specific language that we realise how we’ve changed. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    National wage decision gives low-income earners breathing space but still a long way to go

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 20 June 2022
    1 Comment

    Despite last week’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to push up the national minimum wage by 5.2 percent, millions of Australians, in all parts of the country, will continue to live in poverty and on survival wages. The facts are that the Commission’s decision takes the minimum wage from $772 a week to $812, an increase of $5.70 a day, not a fortune but better than nothing.

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  • RELIGION

    What can we expect from the Plenary Council? A Roundtable

    • Geraldine Doogue, Greg Craven, John Warhurst, Julian Butler
    • 17 June 2022
    2 Comments

    After four years, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia is nearly at a close with the second and final assembly in July. So what has been the significance of the Plenary Council so far, and what can we expect from the final session? In this Roundtable, Geraldine Doogue, John Warhurst, Greg Craven and Julian Butler reveal their hopes and expectations for the process and discuss likely outcomes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The exile of place and time

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 16 June 2022
    4 Comments

    Writers are not only preoccupied, among other things, with the concept of place, but also with the matter of time and its passing. Novelist L.P. Hartley famously wrote that the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. Cretan Nikos Kazantzakis considered that ‘the face of Greece is a palimpsest bearing twelve successive inscriptions,’ and he went on to list them, from the 1930s, when he wrote these words, to the Stone Age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The justice of Sir Francis Gerard Brennan

    • Michael Kelly
    • 16 June 2022
    1 Comment

    The Court in Mabo, where Brennan J led majority, put an end to the notion of Terra Nullius, by which the British could claim that land in Australia was ripe for the picking because it belonged to no one, and opened the claims to land ownership to a much wider group including the traditional owners. The follow-up judgement in Wik took that understanding even further.

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  • RELIGION

    Should women be deacons? The stories behind Motion 54

    • Elizabeth Young
    • 15 June 2022
    2 Comments

      Should women be considered for ministry as deacon? Should Pope Francis authorise such ministry? This topic often raises emotions, and strong views either for or against. This is one of the questions posed by Motion 54 to the Church’s July Plenary Council session, where members will amend and vote on 105 motions, prompted by the question, ‘What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?’ Motion 54 is one to watch.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Wit, irony and the Australian vernacular: Remembering Brian Matthews

    • John Schumann
    • 15 June 2022
    4 Comments

    Most of us, when pushed, can name a couple of teachers who had a profound influence on our lives. For me, Brian Matthews was one such teacher. I enrolled in English at Flinders University in 1972. On asking the enrolling officer whether anybody was ‘doing anything about Lawson’, I was directed to the office of Brian Matthews, a recent appointment to the English Department. ‘I hear you know something about Lawson,’ I said, leaning in his doorway.

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