Keywords: Hope

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious discrimination laws coming to the boil

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 November 2021
    32 Comments

    It’s four years since the Australian Parliament amended the Marriage Act 1961 to provide that marriage means ‘the union of two people to the exclusion of all others’. The legislation followed the plebiscite on same sex marriage. To address the concerns of some religious groups, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set up an expert panel chaired by long time Liberal Party minister Philip Ruddock to report on whether Australian law adequately protected the human right to freedom of religion. 

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    38 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Public faith and Perrottet

    • Julian Butler
    • 01 November 2021
    15 Comments

    The elevation of Dominic Perrottet to the Premiership of New South Wales caused a flurry of commentary about his religious faith. In many parts of the media his politics and personality were framed by his Catholicism. I watched on with a degree of discomfort, and with a sense of possibility. Could some of the bigoted characterisations invite a richer conversation about the ideals and deeper narratives that enliven our public leaders?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    27 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    From persecution to protection and the purgatory in between

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 October 2021
    5 Comments

    Mark Twain is reported to have said ‘history does not repeat, it rhymes.’ Watching a US helicopter evacuating people from the US Embassy in Kabul, that was rhyming. Many have seen this picture before, 30 April 1975, but then it was Saigon. The massive confusion, mixed messages, terrified people, lack of human rights protection happened in 1975, and still happens in 2021.

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  • RELIGION

    Evaluating plenary: One journey ends, another begins

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 October 2021
    11 Comments

    Ten days after the conclusion of the first Assembly of the Plenary Council each member was sent an Evaluation Form to complete. As well as reflecting on our experience we were asked to consider how we would complete the phrase ‘It would have been good if…’. The authorities told us that our responses would help to plan the second Assembly. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Accepting uncertainty

    • Tim Hutton
    • 21 October 2021
    6 Comments

    The pandemic has been a clear demonstration that science is a method, not an endpoint. It is an ongoing process of hypothesising, testing, and interpreting the results of those tests through public policy. Though the hypothesis may be accepted or rejected, these interpretations are unlikely to be absolutely definitive statements or recommendations and are usually made with varying degrees of certainty.

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  • RELIGION

    In a state of synodality

    • Brian Lucas
    • 21 October 2021
    18 Comments

    One takeaway from the First Assembly of the Plenary Council that might come as no surprise is that the controlling elite in the Church, the bishops, are not dependent on popular support. They are appointed not elected. They are generally irremovable. They come from a culture that is about preserving ‘the tradition’ (which can easily be expanded to include historical novelties that are not really part of the tradition). Moving into the new world of synodality brings obvious challenges.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Observing October

    • Barry Gittins
    • 11 October 2021
    3 Comments

    I have decided to observe October as a month to observe other people observing things. For me, there was a sense of self crumbling under the weight of being house arrested for the good of all. Gravitas, like gravity, can be crushing; I knew I needed a break from howling at the Moon (16 October is the ‘international observe the Moon night’). So to the calendar I turned.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The satisfactions of homeliness

    • Brian Matthews
    • 06 October 2021
    2 Comments

    I’m reminded of George Orwell in smashed-up thoroughly locked-down, wartime London welcoming the first signs of spring amidst the ruins and winter’s lingering cold but wondering whether he should. ‘Is it wicked,’ he asks, ‘to take a pleasure in spring and other seasonal changes? To put it more precisely, is it politically reprehensible?’ 

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Restoring the Third Rite

    • Bill Uren
    • 05 October 2021
    14 Comments

    As a result of the pandemic, like other religious observances, the availability of the Sacrament of Penance has been drastically curtailed, and it is unlikely that recourse to the sacrament will be as frequent as previously even when the restrictions are lifted. Further, the confidence of the laity in the inviolability of the seal has, understandably, been undermined, a consequence of which may again be that recourse to the sacrament will be in decline. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The problem of new nihilism

    • Joel Hodge
    • 05 October 2021
    55 Comments

    Does life have meaning? Or, as the new nihilists suggest, is life meaningless? A new book, The Sunny Nihilist, by writer and journalist, Wendy Syfret, puts the case for nihilism as an antidote to the obsessive search for meaning and purpose that many modern people experience.

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