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Keywords: Synod

  • RELIGION

    Seeking a plenary council fit for purpose

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 November 2018
    78 Comments

    What we need is a listening and inclusive Church — a plenary council at which the clergy and the laity have a proper place at the table, at which the voices of the ‘rusted-on’ and the ‘cheesed-off’ Catholics are heard and at which the bishops are respectfully listening as much as speaking. 

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  • RELIGION

    Towards credibility and a clean conclave

    • Gail Grossman Freyne
    • 05 October 2018
    26 Comments

    The numbers show this is not a witch hunt, merely the tip of a conclave. Any man who becomes a seminarian, then a deacon, then a priest, then a bishop, then a cardinal, will almost certainly have bumped into, bounced off or blindfolded himself to the endemic problem within the Church of the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable persons.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's tips for building a marriage

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 12 April 2016
    16 Comments

    As Pope Francis was releasing his long-awaited response to last year's Synod on the Family, my fiancé and I were taking part in a marriage preparation course, where we were told: 'Statistics tell us that one in three of your marriages will end in divorce ... while only a third of you will have a happy marriage.' If love is a type of craftsmanship, as Francis writes, then our hope is that day to day, with small and large acts of love, we can help each other become masters of our craft.

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  • RELIGION

    Family Synod neglects feminine genius

    • Beth Doherty
    • 29 October 2015
    28 Comments

    We can assume that despite the recent Synod's focus on families, most of the voters have never had any involvement in raising families, and certainly not of experiencing pregnancy and childbirth. None have directly dealt with an abusive spouse, struggled to regulate family size, questioned whether to stay in an unhappy marriage, or dealt with a child identifying as gay, lesbian or transgender. Last year, I spent time working in a parish in Paraguay, where, unlike the church more broadly, women run the show.

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  • RELIGION

    Betting on the Synod

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2015
    6 Comments

    The journalist Claud Cockburn once said that Catholics could never bet on the election of a pope because they believed it was all up to the Holy Spirit. He was mistaken — many Catholics then and now would place a bet on anything and everything. His reasoning also overlooked the Catholic understanding that human beings cooperate with the Holy Spirit. But his association of God's action with the election and actions of popes provides a lens for looking at the recently concluded Synod on the Family.

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  • RELIGION

    No room for culture warriors in Canberra or the Vatican

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Many in the Church would echo Tony Abbott's feelings on the dangers a theological environment 'at war with itself' presents to its moral authority. Similarly, there are many conservative politicians and members of the press who look at the current political commentary — marked by discussion rather than authority — and wonder what a government can accomplish in such an environment. Not surprisingly, Cardinal George Pell — described by Abbott as a 'fine human being and a great churchman' — is among those pushing back against the dialogue at the current Synod on the Family.

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  • RELIGION

    Third World issues illuminate Synod's first world problems

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 September 2015
    14 Comments

    Although important to respond to generously, divorced and homosexual Catholics will not be the only people who make a claim on the Synod on the Family in Rome, with bishops of the Third World to want a focus on the life and death issues that face families in their region. But divorced and homosexual Catholics are important, and the divisions between bishops are both real, and generally misread by the media.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Speak of the Devil no longer

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 20 May 2015
    19 Comments

    The Death of God debate raged on and off several decades ago. Now it's the Devil's turn. Medieval clerics believed he was everywhere. Earlier this year the General Synod of the Church of England decided it was time for him to retire, and have 'disappeared' him. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Can speech be free in the Catholic Church?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 April 2015
    32 Comments

    Recently priests in England drafted a letter about this year's Synod on the Family. They invited other priests to sign it and made it public. In turn, Cardinal Vincent Nichols rebuked them even though Pope Francis has insisted participants in the Synod are free to express opinions. Free speech has long been tendentious topic for discussion in the Church. 60 year ago German theologian Karl Rahner was daring in the approach he took in his pamphlet Free Speech in the Church.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Sex and gay children in Catholic families

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 29 October 2014
    28 Comments

    Australian couple Ron and Mavis Pirola’s speech at the Vatican Synod on the Family made them unlikely international media celebrities. They spoke frankly about their sex life and the importance of sex in marriage, and they made a plea for a welcoming attitude towards homosexuals in the Church.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Synod affirms Francis' vision of church governance

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2014
    15 Comments

    The Synod was reported in some media as a defeat for Pope Francis at the hands of conservative bishops. Yet for one who had suffered a defeat, the Pope seemed remarkably buoyant at the end of the event. It's likely that he saw it as a victory for his vision of church governance, as it allowed participants to engage in open discussion in which nothing was put off bounds.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic Church returns to pluriformity of Vatican II

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 20 October 2014
    31 Comments

    Conservative elements were quick to criticise the interim 'relatio' of the Synod that opened the door to gay and other estranged Catholics. Undoubtedly there will be pushback, but the Catholic Church is going through something not experienced since Vatican II – a Church willing to debate topics once felt long settled, without fear or favour.

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