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  • RELIGION

    The challenges of representing Catholic Australia

    • John Warhurst
    • 20 July 2021
    32 Comments

    The Plenary Council First Assembly is only two months away, but uncertainty still remains about the role that its 282 members will play. Not just about what work they will do but what conception of the role they will bring or will be imposed upon them by the authorities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don’t be distracted by the individual blame game, focus on the system

    • Cristy Clark
    • 13 July 2021
    13 Comments

    Although there has been a reasonable level of attention paid to governance issues — such as the incredibly slow vaccine roll out, the ongoing problems with hotel quarantine, and the timing of the lockdown itself — Sydney’s current lockdown has also been marked by an unhelpful focus on individual actions.

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  • RELIGION

    The Eucharist is a schooling for sinners, not a reward for the just

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 July 2021
    38 Comments

    Looking from outside at the debates among American Catholics about whether President Biden should be refused communion has been a little like watching the crowd in a Rangers v Celtic game in Glasgow. Much that was said and done fervently in the name of faith showed little familiarity with it. To understand the issue we must enter the Catholic imaginative world in which the Eucharist is central.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    ‘You just don’t get it’: listening and responding to First Nations peoples

    • Brian McCoy
    • 07 July 2021
    3 Comments

    But it is possible the members of the Plenary could begin to hear a deeper voice speaking in their hearts. There may arise a new courage to start a process of truth and reconciliation, reporting the process of this journey to the second Plenary Council planned for Sydney, July 2022. We can only begin that journey if members of the Plenary Council come and are open to listening to that deep inner voice.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia should resist totalising China narratives

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 July 2021
    28 Comments

    We should resist the pressure to regard China as our enemy. The pressure to do so is powerful, given the cycle of retaliatory words on both sides that further poison relationships. The impetus to enmity, however, damages both sides. To treat people as enemies means that they become enemies, with the result that both sides will spurn the mutual exchanges that can help each.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The inhumane logic of Australia’s refugee deterrence policy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 June 2021
    30 Comments

    Deterrence has an inner logic that we can see in Australian treatment of people who seek protection. In the first place it tends to become increasingly brutal. Each breach of policy must be met with a more effective deterrent.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Embracing new arrivals helps Australia evolve

    • Vincent Long Van Nguyen
    • 24 June 2021
    15 Comments

    With the average length of detention in Australia now at an historic high, it is timely to review how immigration detention is used. It should be a last resort that is used for the shortest practicable time so that people who pose little risk to the community are not unnecessarily deprived of their liberty, and that they are able to contribute to the community.

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  • EDUCATION

    Why we need tertiary religious studies and theology

    • Caolan Ware
    • 17 June 2021
    34 Comments

    The tertiary level is designed to promote change and innovation. If there is no tertiary level, there is no growth in our understanding of global religious systems, and no emerging individuals who possess critical thinking skills and historical knowledge of these systems. Without these individuals, there’s a risk that religious institutions will become more insular, regressive, disconnected and, most disastrously, unchecked. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Voluntary assisted dying via telehealth is another step down a perilous path

    • Hoa Dinh
    • 10 June 2021
    4 Comments

    In legislatures around Australia at present euthanasia is a staple item. It is vital that euthanasia legislation ought to balance the liberty of the invulnerable against the safeguarding of the vulnerable, especially the elderly and people with disabilities.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The true quiet Australians

    • Brian Matthews
    • 03 June 2021
    5 Comments

    Red gum, this ‘smooth-barked large tree that gives watercourses all over Australia their Australian feel’, seemed intent on bobbing up in my life one way or another, sometimes as a result of sheer luck or coincidence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australians are holidaying at home, for now

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 27 May 2021
    1 Comment

    The emptiness is dispelled as I pull into Broome, a frontier city located on Western Australia’s Kimberley coast. The city centre, currently undergoing a major revamp, buzzes with pedestrians. Restaurants require booking. Down on Cable Beach, cameleers are lining up their charges for sunset rides and road-trippers are driving onto the wet sand and setting up camping chairs and cracking beers as they settle in for the show of a lifetime.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Time to be more careful about using politically charged language

    • John Warhurst
    • 20 May 2021
    38 Comments

    Modern Australian society is infected with imported terms. The list includes political correctness, identity politics, culture wars, woke and virtue signalling. They are often not used in a neutral fashion, but to denigrate the legitimate views and opinions of others.

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