author: John Warhurst

  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council needs the Catholic community

    • John Warhurst
    • 22 April 2021
    6 Comments

    The biggest test for the Plenary Council, now less than six months from its first meeting, is to reconnect with the Catholic community. The elongated nature of the lead up and growing apathy have made that difficult, yet it remains essential.

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  • RELIGION

    A skeleton for the Plenary Council agenda

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 March 2021
    47 Comments

    Continuing the Journey, the working document (or instrumentum laboris), is another stepping stone towards the Plenary Council (PC). How you view this document, provided explicitly both to those few hundred called to be PC participants and to the whole Catholic community, depends very much on your expectations.

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council must address structural inertia and church decline

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 February 2021
    55 Comments

    Two documents from and about the church in Australia issued in December last year should be compulsory reading for all Plenary Council (PC) delegates. They offer crucial insights into the state of the church in Australia, and taken together they paint a picture of church inertia and decline.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Spirituality, leadership and social service in the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 15 December 2020
    6 Comments

    The work of Catholic social service agencies should be celebrated within the church. Its peak body, Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), which has been savagely cut recently, has successfully matched wits with governments for over sixty years and its member agencies continue to serve the community selflessly.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parallels between the military and the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 December 2020
    31 Comments

    The Australian community and its government are struggling to come to terms with the extremely serious allegations against members of the SAS for their alleged criminal misconduct during the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, we Catholics are experiencing a bad case of déjà as there are many echoes of how we felt when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RC) began in 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    Patchwork quilt church inhibits national action

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 November 2020
    67 Comments

    There is a good reason why the term Australian Catholic Church is frowned upon in official circles. It does not exist. Instead, it is a patchwork quilt of fiefdoms called dioceses. It lacks an energising central authority which, when it needs to, can generate and shape a national church response.

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  • RELIGION

    Susan Ryan, John Fahey and the Catholic story

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2020
    39 Comments

    Recent weeks have seen the deaths of former NSW Liberal Premier and federal Finance minister, John Fahey, and former Labor federal minister, Senator Susan Ryan. They were both exemplary public figures who not only made a major contribution to Australian public life but did so in a way that drew praise from all sides of politics.  

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Accounting for accountability

    • John Warhurst
    • 13 August 2020
    6 Comments

    Many in the community are crying out for accountability. The idea is appealing because it sounds like a simple framework, but in practice it is extremely difficult to apply.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Respecting Arts and Humanities in universities

    • John Warhurst
    • 16 July 2020
    11 Comments

    Government attitudes towards universities, the humanities and the arts, are often a strange mixture of ignorance, blindness and misplaced priorities. It is almost as if their graduates fail to match the image of what the government would prefer Australians to be.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian politics out of hibernation

    • John Warhurst
    • 20 May 2020
    8 Comments

    Politics in the best sense is returning to normal. To do so it first needs the federal parliament, which should not have been filleted in the first place, to be fully functioning. More will then follow.

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