Keywords: Plenary Council

  • RELIGION

    Church should prioritise wider community interests over its own

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 December 2021
    9 Comments

    Church and state are confronting one another right now over the federal freedom of religion bill and the Victorian anti-discrimination bill. Whenever such confrontation occurs it reveals our priorities. We define our identity by what we choose to fight for hardest.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Where to now with Religious Discrimination?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 November 2021
    12 Comments

    On Thursday, three Bills were introduced to the House of Representatives: the Religious Discrimination Bill 2021, the Religious Discrimination (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2021, and the Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2021.  Collectively, these bills constitute the Morrison Government’s response to the Ruddock Religious Freedom Review provided to government in May 2018.   

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  • RELIGION

    More than strawberry on the cake: A call for greater gender equity

    • Andrea Dean
    • 18 November 2021
    23 Comments

    It’s good news to see women being appointed to significant roles within the Catholic Church, including several recent appointments of women to important positions in the Holy See. In early November Pope Francis appointed Sr Raffaella Petrini as secretary-general of the Vatican’s governorate. 

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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
    37 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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  • 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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  • 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

    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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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sacked professor Ridd's freedom of speech

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 October 2021
    5 Comments

    The High Court decision has been confusing for many people because it both upheld Ridd’s right to intellectual freedom and the university’s entitlement to sack him for breaches during disciplinary proceedings which had followed upon two wrongly argued censures. Basically, Ridd won on the point of intellectual freedom but he lost on the other aspects of his behaviour which had nothing to do with the exercise of intellectual freedom. 

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  • RELIGION

    Raising women’s voices

    • Tracy McEwan, Patricia Gemmell
    • 06 October 2021
    15 Comments

    Annabel Crabb’s ABC TV documentary series Ms Represented had us gasping, laughing and raging all at once. The series struck an achingly familiar chord as women from different political parties and generations voiced their common experience of sexism and misogyny in Australia’s parliament, elucidating just how hard it is for women to have a voice at the table in Australian institutions of power.

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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

    How the Plenary might resolve the unresolvable

    • Nimmi Candappa
    • 30 September 2021
    21 Comments

    At one level a lot is riding on this Plenary Council. Only the fifth such Council in the Australian church history, there is a great sense of anticipation among a wide variety of groups: those estranged from the church, priests looking for direction, women bereft of opportunities to express their faith and seeking a look-in, parents of uninterested children, those ostracised from the church, as well as those not wanting any changes at all.  

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