author: John Warhurst

  • AUSTRALIA

    We need a robust democracy now more than ever

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 March 2020
    20 Comments

    COVID-19 brings many tests. Amid the health, economic and financial crises brought about by the pandemic, our greatest test is to conduct ourselves as a robust democracy and to demonstrate that we are a fair society. Neither test will be easy to pass, but we must aim to emerge at the other end as a better society.

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  • RELIGION

    Church governance needs to walk the walk

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 February 2020
    7 Comments

    Approaches to governance are in flux within church agencies, sectors, dioceses and at the national level, either driven by the demands of state regulations or in response to the challenging new situation the church finds itself in. There is so much change going on that it is difficult to follow.

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  • RELIGION

    Australian bishops have a transparency problem

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 January 2020
    57 Comments

    Australia's bishops have yet to demonstrate the new openness to the Catholic community necessary for a successful Plenary Council. Their inclination to secrecy remains an impediment. They just don't get transparency as a virtue and they have twice demonstrated their adherence to old ways of doing things in recent months.

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  • RELIGION

    Movement for Church renewal keeps growing

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 December 2019
    51 Comments

    What's going on within the Catholic Church always matters more widely given its size and power. Lay participation in leadership, especially of women, is a major social issue. Observers of social trends should watch this space for its wider public policy implications.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor pain and uncertainty

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 November 2019
    10 Comments

    The Labor Party's dismal performance this year has been bookended by May's election loss and this month's campaign review report. As it reflects publicly on the devastating election loss, discussion has also begun among Labor supporters about whether it has chosen the right leader for the future in Albanese.

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  • RELIGION

    Child safety reforms still progressing slowly

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 October 2019
    8 Comments

    The royal commission concluded that child safety, in all its organisational ramifications, raised questions of culture and governance for the church. If the Plenary Council 2020 doesn't take such issues seriously then it will be one indicator that the momentum around last year's official national apology has slowed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Jacqui Lambie conundrum

    • John Warhurst
    • 17 September 2019
    8 Comments

    Serendipity is defined as the gift of finding valuable things in unexpected places by sheer luck. It is a good description of Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie in Australian politics. But there is a sting in the tail. A system which depends on serendipity potentially also has a big downside.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Myths about quiet and shouty Australians

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 August 2019
    14 Comments

    Regional and rural Australians possess many powerful voices. As well as having a political party of their own, the Nationals, they are represented by many powerful lobby groups. Language which seeks to privilege quiet over loud citizens has the effect of advantaging the strong over the weak and insiders over outsiders in our political life.

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  • RELIGION

    Defend inclusiveness at Catholic Plenary Council

    • John Warhurst
    • 24 July 2019
    80 Comments

    Whatever the legitimate logistical and financial challenges, the Australian church leadership should move heaven and earth to put on an event in which delegates and observers, bishops, religious and laity, traditionalists and reformers are free to mingle and interact in the best spirit of collegiality and joint discernment about the future.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Winner-take-all election narrative doesn't wash

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 June 2019
    14 Comments

    We are expected to believe that all those perceived Labor failures, plus the massive anti-Labor Clive Palmer campaign and the attraction of some positive Coalition policies, only shifted a little over one Australian in every hundred, though more in some states like Queensland and some individual seats. That analysis can't be right.

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  • RELIGION

    PM Morrison and 'split personality' Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 May 2019
    14 Comments

    The church has something in common with both sides of politics because the Catholic community has a split political personality. Its range of concerns is so broad that they are addressed in various ways by different political parties. It wants to make an impact on government, but it is always highly unlikely that it can have it all.

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  • RELIGION

    Church reform must increase transparency

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 May 2019
    26 Comments

    Those holding church authority should show the Catholic community that they have learnt the lessons offered by the royal commission by undertaking reforms as soon as possible and by telling us all about them in a spirit of transparency.

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