Keywords: John Warhurst

  • RELIGION

    Church should prioritise wider community interests over its own

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 December 2021
    5 Comments

    Church and state are confronting one another right now over the federal freedom of religion bill and the Victorian anti-discrimination bill. Whenever such confrontation occurs it reveals our priorities. We define our identity by what we choose to fight for hardest.  

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  • RELIGION

    Evaluating plenary: One journey ends, another begins

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 October 2021
    11 Comments

    Ten days after the conclusion of the first Assembly of the Plenary Council each member was sent an Evaluation Form to complete. As well as reflecting on our experience we were asked to consider how we would complete the phrase ‘It would have been good if…’. The authorities told us that our responses would help to plan the second Assembly. 

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  • RELIGION

    Synodality is a work in progress

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 September 2021
    32 Comments

    Synodality, the new term which is sweeping the church, is an aspirational goal not a proven methodology. For this reason, it is a test case for the lasting impact on church reform of the papacy of Pope Francis. He has given us an aspiration but also set us a test.  

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  • RELIGION

    Strapped in for the Plenary Council ride

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 August 2021
    25 Comments

    Those of us who are members of the Plenary Council are now strapped in for what looks likely to be an uncertain ride. Some members, having concluded their initial formal formation and training, are now meeting in officially organised discussion sessions to build up their preparation for the first assembly which is now just over a month away.  

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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

    The challenges of representing Catholic Australia

    • John Warhurst
    • 20 July 2021
    70 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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Why I wish I'd never met Philip Roth

    • Sarah Klenbort
    • 01 July 2021
    53 Comments

    While we can’t conflate accusations against Roth’s biographer with his subject, this recent Blake Bailey scandal invites us to revisit, through a 21st century lens, the world of someone considered one of the definitive writers of the 20th century.

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  • RELIGION

    The Church should learn from democracy’s spirit of equality and participation

    • John Warhurst
    • 22 June 2021
    57 Comments

    Democracy is a modern ideal, still fighting for acceptance in some parts of the world. It has had to be fought for by brave advocates. The church by contrast is an ancient pre-democratic institution, which shows in its hierarchical organisation and undemocratic internal processes. 

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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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  • 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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  • RELIGION

    A skeleton for the Plenary Council agenda

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 March 2021
    108 Comments

    Continuing the Journey, the working document (or instrumentum laboris), is another stepping stone towards the Plenary Council (PC). How you view this document, provided explicitly both to those few hundred called to be PC participants and to the whole Catholic community, depends very much on your expectations.

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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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