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Keywords: Laity

  • RELIGION

    The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 25 October 2021
    15 Comments

    The First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council held few surprises. The program made sure of it. Proceedings were carefully choreographed and the agenda was deliberately anodyne. It took several days before participants found their feet. The upshot was a week devoid of strategic focus.

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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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  • RELIGION

    Synodality is a work in progress

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 September 2021
    32 Comments

    Synodality, the new term which is sweeping the church, is an aspirational goal not a proven methodology. For this reason, it is a test case for the lasting impact on church reform of the papacy of Pope Francis. He has given us an aspiration but also set us a test.  

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  • RELIGION

    Is it time to re-think seminaries?

    • Gideon Goosen
    • 23 September 2021
    48 Comments

    The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified clericalism as a significant contributor to abuse across religious institutions Australia-wide. Clericalism is rooted in a theological belief that the clergy are different to the laity, having undergone an ‘ontological change’ at ordination, and feeds the notion that the clergy may not be challenged. And according to the report, the culture of clericalism is on the rise in seminaries in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Consulting the faithful

    • Bill Uren
    • 30 August 2021
    31 Comments

    One might submit that a Plenary Council is a cumbersome instrument to ascertain the genuinely representative views of the Catholic Church in Australia. Many of the canonical strictures regarding the membership, agenda and process of the Council will dampen the original enthusiasm for the Council that provoked over 17,500 submissions.

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  • RELIGION

    The challenges of representing Catholic Australia

    • John Warhurst
    • 20 July 2021
    70 Comments

    The Plenary Council First Assembly is only two months away, but uncertainty still remains about the role that its 282 members will play. Not just about what work they will do but what conception of the role they will bring or will be imposed upon them by the authorities.

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  • RELIGION

    Synods on synods

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2021
    58 Comments

    At first sight the recent Vatican announcement that a forthcoming synod would be delayed was non-news. All synods are considered boring, and a synod on synodality sounds entirely self-referential. Yet the announcement was significant. The synod will take up much time and energy of Catholics at the local, diocesan, national and international level for almost three years.

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  • MEDIA

    Media matters for the good of the Church

    • Peter Donnan
    • 19 November 2020
    66 Comments

    Author Gideon Goosen estimates the percentage of those involved in reform groups in Australia is 5 per cent or less. Given the passivity of the laity, his view is that reform proponents should seek to engage the 40 to 45 per cent who might change their thinking. What forums or media, with sufficient audience reach and influence, facilitate respectful discussion of change in the Catholic Church?

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  • RELIGION

    The Catholic Church and modern science

    • Bill Uren
    • 15 September 2020
    250 Comments

    Whereas the Vatican II document sought to engage with, and to respect, the autonomy of the modern world and its science, only too many of the Vatican’s official statements over the past fifty years have effectively resiled from that commitment.

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  • RELIGION

    Factions and ginger groups within the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 September 2020
    66 Comments

    What is happening at the moment is that certain bishops are condemning members of the church renewal movement as pressure groups pushing an agenda, while ignoring the well-known fact that groups with other agendas are widespread within the church.

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  • RELIGION

    Who speaks for the Catholic church?

    • John Warhurst
    • 18 June 2020
    27 Comments

    Discussion of church life in Australia is incomplete without consideration of who speaks for the church at the national level. The answer to the question 'Who presides over the Catholic church in Australia?’ is more complicated than you might think.

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  • RELIGION

    Cultural questions for getting back on mission

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 October 2019
    11 Comments

    For Catholics who are interested in the Australian Church, its future and the Plenary Council, this is essential reading. Given its focus on governance, it may also be of interest to a wider audience. Many of the strains of dysfunction it finds in Church governance are similar to those in public life in Australia and internationally.

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