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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stalin’s patriarchate

    • Stephen Minas
    • 23 May 2022
    1 Comment

    ‘We removed him from the mausoleum’, wrote the Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. ‘But how do we remove Stalin from Stalin’s heirs?’ The poem was published in 1962 but it’s still a good question. Today one of Stalin’s heirs commands a barbaric war against Ukraine with the enthusiastic cheerleading of another such heir – the leader of the Moscow Patriarchate reestablished by Stalin.

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  • MEDIA

    Why bother about trying to communicate?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 May 2022
    2 Comments

    It is unfortunate that World Communications Day is celebrated in the middle of an election campaign. We have seen the worst of partisan media coverage, of shouting as a preferred form of communication, of endless experts promising Armageddon if the result is not to their taste. And yet we have also seen the best of media informing us of the issues that concern people in different parts of Australia. Without such public communication, for all its defects and excesses, our society would be the poorer.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When victory for the silent is defeat for the silenced

    • Anthony N Castle
    • 18 May 2022
    5 Comments

    I was invited to a party the night of the 2019 election. The night’s entertainment was invite-only, with long tables of bread and wine, and I stepped back from the sounds of celebration to hear the political coverage on my phone. Standing at the far window, I looked up to see people in the night below, out in the dark, silent. Behind me a party guest shouted over the noise ‘what happened?’ I looked away from those outside and answered: a loss.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    After the truths are told

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 03 May 2022
    4 Comments

      The danger is that unless commissions and inquiries are accompanied by other ways of telling other truths they will inadvertently help to shrink that national story into the story of victims who in fact have never been only victims, and of unmentioned perpetrators who in fact have never been only perpetrators. They risk preaching to a more-or-less converted majority and to an implacably unconverted minority.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Local governments are being pushed out of aged care. But at what cost?

    • Zacharias Szumer
    • 05 April 2022

    Like the aged care sector more broadly, home care is in the process of transition as the federal government implements a system designed around the principles of consumer choice and efficiency. The push is driven by expectations that the number of Australians accessing aged care services will more than triple by 2050.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Shane Warne’s limelight

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 07 March 2022
    4 Comments

    It was once said of T. E. Lawrence that he had a tendency to back into the limelight. With the late Shane Warne, arguably the finest slow bowler cricket has ever produced, it edged towards him. His debut appearance against India in the 1991-2 home series in Australia was not auspicious. Paunchy, exuding a vernacular Australian coarseness, and initially wayward, he received an object lesson from India’s Ravi Shastri and the youthful Sachin Tendulkar at the Sydney Cricket Ground. But there were already those incipient signs: the slovenly look, the ear piercings, the peroxide hair.

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  • RELIGION

    The enigma of knowing

    • Gerry O'Neill
    • 17 February 2022
    10 Comments

    At a time when the Catholic Church is being invited to greater humility by the Plenary Council and greater synodality by Pope Francis it may be prudent to acknowledge both the richness and limitations of human knowing, especially when it comes to matters concerning ultimate reality. 

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  • MEDIA

    Best of 2021: Facebook unfriends Australia

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 11 January 2022

    Instead of retaining its control of a fruit market, or preserving an oil monopoly, Facebook harnesses another resource: data. Any regulator or sovereign state keen to challenge the way the Silicon Valley giant gathers, monetises and uses that data will face their ire.

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  • RELIGION

    When synodality confronts hierarchy 

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 December 2021
    3 Comments

    Synodality confronts the traditional practice of hierarchy within the church. When the ACBC responded last December to The Light from the Southern Cross report, which promoted synodality and co-responsible governance, it re-stated its position that hierarchy was embedded in the church’s approach to governance. This immediately set up a potential tension between episcopal authority and participation in governance by the People of God. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How community interventions can prevent youth crime

    • Ross Homel
    • 09 December 2021
    2 Comments

    A small minority of localities situated outside Greater Brisbane suffer from disproportionately high rates of a wide array of problems including low income, overcrowding, long-term unemployment, particulate matter in the air, no internet, child maltreatment, and youth crime. These different strands of disadvantage pile-up and interlock, countering attempts to break free.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Inequality in a time of pandemic

    • Tim Dunlop
    • 15 November 2021
    5 Comments

    The experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has been like the aerosol used in those heist movies, where the cat burglar breaks into the museum and sprays the air to reveal the invisible lines of power that criss-cross the space between the door and cabinet where the treasure is kept.  

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