Keywords: Church Governance

  • RELIGION

    Handing on a tradition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2021
    5 Comments

    One of the challenges facing churches today has to do with tradition. Tradition is a sometimes charged word, but it refers to an everyday social need. It has to do with how a community passes on its way of life and its understanding of authoritative writings that shape it. The word itself can refer both to what is passed on and to the process of passing it on. The challenge of passing on a tradition is perennial. Both ways of living and writings reflect the culture of their own time and so need to be translated into the changing languages of later cultures.

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  • RELIGION

    Raising women’s voices

    • Tracy McEwan, Patricia Gemmell
    • 06 October 2021
    15 Comments

    Annabel Crabb’s ABC TV documentary series Ms Represented had us gasping, laughing and raging all at once. The series struck an achingly familiar chord as women from different political parties and generations voiced their common experience of sexism and misogyny in Australia’s parliament, elucidating just how hard it is for women to have a voice at the table in Australian institutions of power.

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  • RELIGION

    How the Plenary might resolve the unresolvable

    • Nimmi Candappa
    • 30 September 2021
    19 Comments

    At one level a lot is riding on this Plenary Council. Only the fifth such Council in the Australian church history, there is a great sense of anticipation among a wide variety of groups: those estranged from the church, priests looking for direction, women bereft of opportunities to express their faith and seeking a look-in, parents of uninterested children, those ostracised from the church, as well as those not wanting any changes at all.  

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 September 2021
    7 Comments

    In the Catholic calendar the Feast of St Francis of Assisi falls on next Tuesday. Although he gave up on wealth, power and influence Francis probably had a bigger effect on his world than any of his contemporaries. He continues to attract people to challenge the values of our society and to spark renewal in Christian institutions at the risk of going stale.

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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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  • RELIGION

    Synods on synods

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 June 2021
    58 Comments

    At first sight the recent Vatican announcement that a forthcoming synod would be delayed was non-news. All synods are considered boring, and a synod on synodality sounds entirely self-referential. Yet the announcement was significant. The synod will take up much time and energy of Catholics at the local, diocesan, national and international level for almost three years.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Proposed law changes put charities at risk

    • Joe Zabar
    • 11 May 2021
    10 Comments

    The Morrison government will use the federal budget to set an agenda which will focus on those policies which will deliver it victory at the next election and reconnect — at a policy level — with its traditional supporter base. The reconnection with parts of its base could spell trouble for charities that undertake advocacy activities.

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  • RELIGION

    Hands-on faith

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 May 2021
    17 Comments

     The laying on of hands has been associated with controverted change in Western religious societies. Central in religious societies, it became neuralgic in cultures seeking to mark out clear boundaries between religion and such domains as politics, science and medicine and demography. To appreciate the significance of the action, it is worth reflecting on its history.

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  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council needs the Catholic community

    • John Warhurst
    • 22 April 2021
    72 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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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate crisis, displacement and solidarity

    • Stephen Minas
    • 13 April 2021
    2 Comments

    On 30 March, the Holy See engaged with an important aspect of displacement with the publication of its ‘Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People’. The intersection between climate change and human displacement is a still emerging area of concern. Nevertheless, we know that climate change is already a factor in various forms of human mobility.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    How do fathers figure in?

    • Mike Kelly
    • 01 April 2021
    5 Comments

    There are many gems and reflections on ‘fathering’ in Pope Francis’s apostolic letter, Patris Corde ‘With a Father’s Heart’, in which he nominates 2021 as the year to honour the fatherhood of St Joseph. Francis’s letter is inclusive, encompassing the scope of fatherhood and the responsibilities fathering entails. ‘Fathers are not born, but made’, Francis says.

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council must address structural inertia and church decline

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 February 2021
    56 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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