Keywords: Child Sex Abuse

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  • RELIGION

    The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 25 October 2021
    15 Comments

    The First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council held few surprises. The program made sure of it. Proceedings were carefully choreographed and the agenda was deliberately anodyne. It took several days before participants found their feet. The upshot was a week devoid of strategic focus.

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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

    The Plenary Council: Restoring the Third Rite

    • Bill Uren
    • 05 October 2021
    14 Comments

    As a result of the pandemic, like other religious observances, the availability of the Sacrament of Penance has been drastically curtailed, and it is unlikely that recourse to the sacrament will be as frequent as previously even when the restrictions are lifted. Further, the confidence of the laity in the inviolability of the seal has, understandably, been undermined, a consequence of which may again be that recourse to the sacrament will be in decline. 

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  • RELIGION

    Is it time to re-think seminaries?

    • Gideon Goosen
    • 23 September 2021
    48 Comments

    The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified clericalism as a significant contributor to abuse across religious institutions Australia-wide. Clericalism is rooted in a theological belief that the clergy are different to the laity, having undergone an ‘ontological change’ at ordination, and feeds the notion that the clergy may not be challenged. And according to the report, the culture of clericalism is on the rise in seminaries in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Consulting the faithful

    • Bill Uren
    • 30 August 2021
    31 Comments

    One might submit that a Plenary Council is a cumbersome instrument to ascertain the genuinely representative views of the Catholic Church in Australia. Many of the canonical strictures regarding the membership, agenda and process of the Council will dampen the original enthusiasm for the Council that provoked over 17,500 submissions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unmarked graves in Canada raise questions about Australia’s stolen children

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 12 August 2021
    9 Comments

    Across the Pacific Ocean, in Canada or ‘Turtle Island’ as it is also known by many of its Indigenous inhabitants, a horror has been unfolding. It started at a the former residential school in Kamloops, British Colombia where, via the use of ground penetrating radar technology, the remains of at least 215 Native Canadian children were found buried in mass unmarked gravesites. This school ran for 85 years, was part of compulsory government programs to forcibly assimilate these children, and was administered by the Catholic Church.

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Prison time for perpetrators but justice eludes victim of modern slavery in Australia

    • Rebecca Dominguez
    • 02 August 2021
    4 Comments

    Last month, a man and a woman were sentenced to between six and eight years in jail for intentionally possessing and exercising the right of ownership over a slave between 2007 and 2015 in Mount Waverley, Victoria. After arriving in Australia from the Tamil Nadu province in India on a 30-day tourist visa, the woman’s passport was taken from her and she was forced to cook, clean and care for the couple’s three children on an average $3 per day. 

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Women marched for justice because they deserved better

    • Fernanda Fain-Binda
    • 18 March 2021
    7 Comments

    There were more than 5,000 people at Treasury Gardens. Across Australia, there were 40 marches from Adelaide to Wagga Wagga. All in, 100,000 people were involved either in person or signing a petition demanding change and accountability. It may be the biggest uprising of women that this country has seen, and it happened quickly.

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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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