keywords: Church Governance

  • 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

    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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  • RELIGION

    More than rules, Church needs a change of heart

    • Tracey Edstein
    • 30 May 2019
    19 Comments

    There are guidelines, rules and laws galore. None of these stopped clergy and church personnel abusing children, or necessarily led those in authority to act. The community could therefore be forgiven a certain scepticism. Legislative changes, stronger governance and mission statements mean little without a change of heart.

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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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  • RELIGION

    No shortcuts to reform after church abuse crisis

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 April 2019
    75 Comments

    The sentencing of Pell highlighted the dismay and soul-searching among Catholics at sex abuse and its devastation of the lives of victims and their families. It also brought home the depth of the crisis caused by clerical sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Although it still challenges understanding, a historical parallel may help illuminate it.

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  • RELIGION

    Church reform scorecard

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 December 2018
    53 Comments

    Scoring the performance of the Australian church is a complex task at any time. Dioceses and congregations vary enormously. The mission of church agencies continues unabated in education, health, social services and aged care. But by any measure 2018 has been a big year.

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  • RELIGION

    What it will take to prove the Church gets it

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 September 2018
    47 Comments

    The question of the seal is seen as proof that the church leadership is still resisting the royal commission recommendations. That impression can only be allayed if the church's record in a decade's time can be shown to be impeccable in responding to the other 98 per cent. Already 98 per cent has been shown to be a rubbery figure.

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  • RELIGION

    Subverting idolatry in churches and banks

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 May 2018
    31 Comments

    The banking royal commission has already come to resemble the earlier child abuse royal commission. To observers who share a personal and public-spirited interest in the decent functioning of institutions, the similarities invite reflection on why two apparently different forms of institution should behave in such similar ways.

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  • RELIGION

    Let’s be less shrill about Church-State relations

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 April 2018
    48 Comments

    Archbishop Fisher's Easter warning was in part responding to the findings of the royal commission and in part to some of the submissions to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom. Being on the panel, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on particular submissions at this time. But I was shocked by the Archbishop's shrill tone.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholic citizens needed within the Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 May 2017
    54 Comments

    Catholics have a proud record of exercising their democratic rights within Australian democracy as voters, members of political parties and lobby groups, and as elected representatives. But within their own church they have been taught to leave their democratic rights at the door. Now is the time to challenge that norm in parishes, dioceses and the wider church. In responding to the royal commission the church needs an infusion of democratic values, including transparency and accountability.

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  • RELIGION

    This time in the Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 12 November 2013
    5 Comments

    'Having thrown off the shackles of compulsion endured by pre-Vatican II Catholics, we relish that we come to the table not because we are forced, not because of social expectations, not because of the mindset of the mob, but because we are graciously called and freely responding.' Frank Brennan's Camino Address, Parish of Our Lady of the Way North Sydney, 12 November 2013

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  • RELIGION

    Church-state issues and the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 October 2013
    2 Comments

    'The Church should not give any appearance of hiding behind the corporate veil. Justice demands that present church leaders agree to satisfy any judgment debt against their predecessors or their deceased predecessors' estates when there is an allegation of past failure to supervise or adequately investigate a sexual predator in the ranks. Any damages should be paid from church assets.' Frank Brennan addresses the Australian Lawyers Alliance Conference, Rydges Lakeside, Canberra, 26 October 2013.

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