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Keywords: Synod

  • 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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  • RELIGION

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

    • Andrea Dean
    • 18 November 2021
    34 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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  • 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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  • RELIGION

    Seats at the table: Incorporating diverse identities in a global church

    • Michael Furtado
    • 11 November 2021
    63 Comments

    Every Australian diocese and parish already has its particular subcultural identity that inflects its liturgy. Celebration, being the authentic hallmark of a liturgy that reflects identity, must keep pace with a theology that also incorporates the diverse cultural space that the young inhabit. 

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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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  • 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

    Cry of the Earth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 August 2021
    11 Comments

    Last week the annual Catholic Social Justice Statement was launched. Entitled Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, its theme is care for the environment. In the same week the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report warned of the need for immediate and radical effort to minimise emissions and of the likely effects of their existing growth.

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  • RELIGION

    The challenge of Church leadership

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 August 2021
    66 Comments

    Among Australian Catholics the Plenary Council and the preparations for the Synod in Rome on Synodality have aroused hope and stirred scepticism. It is clear that a Church diminishing in numbers of participants in its public life and in its financial resources, and discouraged by the extent of child abuse by its officers, must find new ways. But that the processes of the Council and the Synod will spark fresh energy for change is not a given.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    What would reconciliation in the Church look like?

    • NATSICC
    • 08 July 2021
    11 Comments

    The question of reconciliation in the Church is particularly pressing, given 2021 marks the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in Australia, and the 150th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity to the Torres Strait. Yet many First Australians recognise that the Spirit of God was poured out onto the original inhabitants of this great Southern Land many, many thousands of years prior.

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  • RELIGION

    The Church should learn from democracy’s spirit of equality and participation

    • John Warhurst
    • 22 June 2021
    57 Comments

    Democracy is a modern ideal, still fighting for acceptance in some parts of the world. It has had to be fought for by brave advocates. The church by contrast is an ancient pre-democratic institution, which shows in its hierarchical organisation and undemocratic internal processes. 

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