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Keywords: Synod

  • RELIGION

    A conundrum for Pope Francis

    • Paul Collins
    • 14 October 2014
    49 Comments

    Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart told Vatican Radio that the Bishops currently attending the Synod on the Family in Rome 'want to engage with people and see the needs of families ...  The bishops have been emphasising that we are pastors'. This emphasis indicates Pope Francis' challenge when he asks the bishops to assume the level of leadership necessary to act collegially with him.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A pope of blurred boundaries

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 October 2014
    41 Comments

    Pope Francis is a leader out of his time. In Western society the times are sombre and fearful, and governance emphasises control, security and strong leadership. There is a desire for clear boundaries marking who is in and who is out. The Synod on the Family will  show how far Pope Francis' open and inclusive style can be reflected in the Church's instruments of control.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    A place for women in church leadership

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 01 October 2014
    34 Comments

    For two weeks from this Sunday, the much anticipated Synod on the Family will take place at the Vatican. Those attending include around 150 bishops, a number of lay experts and 14 married couples. An interested observer from afar is former NSW Labor premier Kristina Keneally, theologically trained and one of the most prominent lay Catholics in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Winds of theological change at the Vatican

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 13 March 2014
    10 Comments

    No one can deny the impact Francis has had. The question remains whether the differences between him and his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI are a matter of style or substance. Francis has downplayed the prospects of major doctrinal changes, yet the rehabilitation of liberation theology and the bringing in from the cold of outspoken 'extreme centrist' theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper do reveal a fundamental shift.

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  • RELIGION

    Jury still out on Francis the game-changer

    • Paul Collins
    • 13 March 2014
    12 Comments

    The greatest danger is that we expect too much from Francis. He brings a new perspective that has little to do with the preoccupations of the developed world. But we shouldn't kid ourselves that he is a closet progressive. The other danger is that he could turn out to be all show and no substance. His 'Gang of Eight' has not even begun to address the diabolically difficult problems embedded in reforming the curial structures of the Vatican.

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  • RELIGION

    Radical Pope's gender flaws

    • Megan Graham
    • 13 March 2014
    47 Comments

    The broad support Francis receives from progressives, despite his unwillingness to even consider female ordination, demonstrates how marginalised women's issues really are in our society. He may have changed the game in terms of the Church's engagement with the poor, but this does not diminish the significance of his oppressive and outdated views on gender roles.

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  • RELIGION

    Pastoral priests decry clerical culture that fostered abuse

    • Pat Power
    • 14 February 2014
    49 Comments

    Most priests believe the Royal Commission was very much needed to face up to a terrible episode in the Church's history. They also believe that sexual abuse took place in an environment of clericalism which was imposed by the highest authority in the Church, and which they felt powerless to confront. 'Father is always right' operated from the Pope down and any questioning of it was seen as disloyal or even heretical.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Coal hard facts for religious investors

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 February 2014
    12 Comments

    The international movement to divest from investment in fossil fuels is gathering momentum. Investors are starting to realise that as governments act to restrain fossil fuel consumption, fossil fuel companies will find their assets being written down. This is particularly pertinent to Australia, the second largest coal exporter. And it raises questions for Australian religious bodies about the prudent and moral use of their resources.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 December 2013
    2 Comments

    How refreshing to have a pope write: 'It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound 'decentralisation'.' Vatican monsignori in long flowing robes will be troubled to hear him say, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission.'

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  • RELIGION

    Church's family reality check

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 14 November 2013
    14 Comments

    In a welcome first step, the Vatican has invited lay Catholics to offer their views on the family. The document that accompanies the survey represents a fairly traditional Catholic theology of the family, setting it within a high theology and expressed in elevated language. This theology has been developed principally by celibate men, no doubt familiar with family life through their childhood and pastoral ministry, but at a distance from it.

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  • RELIGION

    Rejection of women bishops is not terminal

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 26 November 2012
    30 Comments

    Last Saturday the Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya was ordained as bishop of Swaziland. Most eyes in Australia however were on the Church of England's General Synod, which stumbled at the threshold of a change that would have embraced the consecration of women bishops. This may prove to be the less significant story.

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  • RELIGION

    The Church is not beyond reproach

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 November 2012
    1 Comment

    'Might not the chief problem with Church language in the public square be that we tend to come from a position of moral superiority, approaching those dreadfully compromised politicians who will do anything to be elected? The abuse crisis reminds us that the Church is not irreproachable.' Text from Fr Frank Brennan's presentation at the Anglican Church of Australia's Public Affairs Commission Conference, November 2012.

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