keywords: Church Governance

  • RELIGION

    Democracy in the Church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 July 2011
    30 Comments

    A petition circulating among Australian Catholics offers a sombre picture of the state of the Church. To some Catholics petitions seem inappropriate. But they have the value once attributed to canaries in the mineshaft: their witness is dismissed at the mine owners' peril.

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  • RELIGION

    The strengths and shortcomings of Church apologies

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 July 2010
    10 Comments

    Archbishop Denis Hart's letter of apology for sexual abuse by Catholic priests drew a variety of responses. Some expressed gratitude, others found it inadequate. The letter and responses invite broader reflection on the place of letters of apology by leaders of churches.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rulers in crisis

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2020
    11 Comments

    In the choppy waters of public conversation, rulers have recently attracted much attention as they have bobbed along on its surface. This is not unusual, but in these months the attention has been more frenetic and perhaps harder to read. Whether it be Trump, Johnson, Andrews, Ardern, Berejiklian or Pope Francis, there have been unusual eddies about them that merit reflection.

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  • RELIGION

    Ecumenical history offers lessons

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 June 2020
    19 Comments

    With churches closed throughout much of the world, many events and dedicated weeks have passed us by. One of those weeks was the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Catholics who paid attention to Pope Francis’ engagements may have noticed it through his references to the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul’s Encyclical on Christian Unity, Ut Unum Sint.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The importance of connections

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 May 2020
    7 Comments

    In recovering from catastrophic events, we need to look beyond the simple defining of problems, finding solutions that match them and naming agencies responsible to fix them. We need to be curious about the persons involved, their interlocking relationships which have contributed to the trauma and the possibilities for healing within those relationships.

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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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  • RELIGION

    Cultural questions for getting back on mission

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 October 2019
    11 Comments

    For Catholics who are interested in the Australian Church, its future and the Plenary Council, this is essential reading. Given its focus on governance, it may also be of interest to a wider audience. Many of the strains of dysfunction it finds in Church governance are similar to those in public life in Australia and internationally.

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  • RELIGION

    Lay community key to reforming Catholicism

    • Paul Collins
    • 04 September 2019
    42 Comments

    Anyone in the past who called attention to these issues was accused at best of exaggeration'. Getting Back on Mission points out that until the church accepts good governance characterised by accountability, transparency, inclusion and a recognition of the equality of women, it will continue its culture of clericalism and secrecy.

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  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council rocket science a matter of trust

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 August 2019
    48 Comments

    The inclusive and consultative processes in the early stages of preparation for the Plenary Council are a vast improvement on previous practice. They express the desire to involve Catholics in the council. If they are simply dropped on completion and not kept alive in the church, however, the trust they have engendered will be lost.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Care for common home in mining disasters

    • Julie Edwards
    • 03 March 2019
    5 Comments

    In January, the tailings dam of a deactivated iron ore mine in Brumadinho, Brazil failed, releasing toxic mud that caused devastation, 117 deaths and intergenerational ecological and economic consequences. It should, and could, have been prevente by the company, Vale, who was also responsible for past tailings dam destruction.

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  • RELIGION

    Supporting those on the margins

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 February 2019

    'We can do this better by breaking down the silos and binding together our concern for nature, justice for the poor, commitment to society, and interior peace.' Opening Keynote Address by Fr Frank Brennan SJ at the Catholic Social Services Australia National Conference, Port Macquarie 19 February 2019.

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  • RELIGION

    Seeking a plenary council fit for purpose

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 November 2018
    78 Comments

    What we need is a listening and inclusive Church — a plenary council at which the clergy and the laity have a proper place at the table, at which the voices of the ‘rusted-on’ and the ‘cheesed-off’ Catholics are heard and at which the bishops are respectfully listening as much as speaking. 

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