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Keywords: John Warhurst

  • RELIGION

    Church reform is systemic not personal

    • John Warhurst
    • 19 July 2022
    17 Comments

    When those, like myself, seeking reform speak of systemic change to church structures those opposed to change see disrespect towards those holding positions like bishop and priest within the established order. When reformers seek the equality of women in governance and ministry those opposed to change see disrespect towards lay men and male religious as well as to other women. 

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  • RELIGION

    What did the Plenary Council achieve?

    • Paul Collins
    • 12 July 2022
    9 Comments

    The Plenary Council (PC) is over and the time has come for assessments. What did it achieve? In positive terms it brought together an enormously generous group of people whose dedication to Catholicism is extraordinary. It also demonstrated the diverse complexity of the community. 

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  • RELIGION

    Navigating between the perfect and the good at the Second PC Assembly

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 June 2022
    6 Comments

    The week of the Plenary Council's Second Assembly, unlike the First Assembly, will largely be devoted to voting. My best guess is that there could be about 100 rounds of consultative votes (including amendments and then thirty amended motions) during the week. This will be followed by deliberative voting by the bishops and their proxies. Before voting there will be many short, sharp speeches from among the 280 members interspersed in the program. This will make for an extremely tight timetable. 

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  • RELIGION

    What can we expect from the Plenary Council? A Roundtable

    • Geraldine Doogue, Greg Craven, John Warhurst, Julian Butler
    • 17 June 2022
    2 Comments

    After four years, the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia is nearly at a close with the second and final assembly in July. So what has been the significance of the Plenary Council so far, and what can we expect from the final session? In this Roundtable, Geraldine Doogue, John Warhurst, Greg Craven and Julian Butler reveal their hopes and expectations for the process and discuss likely outcomes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The cities strike back

    • John Warhurst
    • 24 May 2022
    5 Comments

    Governments lose elections, but Oppositions still must demonstrate that they are a capable alternative. Both the Morrison Coalition government and the Albanese Labor Opposition played their part last Saturday. There were many sub-plots in the pattern of voting, but this election was primarily lost and won in the four biggest mainland cities. 

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  • RELIGION

    Elections and the Episcopal gaze

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 May 2022
    6 Comments

    We should not underestimate the difficulty that people who represent independent branches of the same organization face when drawing up an agreed statement on contentious issues. Even the widely applauded Uluru Statement from the Heart did not secure the support of all Indigenous groups. If the Bishops Statement was to be effective it had to be supported, or at least tolerated, by all members of the Conference, despite their differing views about political and church issues and the priority that should be given to them in advocacy. 

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  • RELIGION

    Distinctive Catholic voices in the election campaign

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 April 2022
    10 Comments

    The Church must speak up to be relevant, but those who seek to ‘speak for the church’ must be brave. They risk exposing themselves to claims of bias unless they stick to a very narrow agenda and speak in extremely measured terms. Yet if they are too bland they risk being irrelevant to the sharp end of political debate and their intervention becomes little more than a symbolic ritual.   

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  • RELIGION

    Forward to the Second Plenary Council Assembly

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 April 2022

    The 280 Plenary Council (PC) Members have just taken another major step towards the Second Assembly in Sydney on 3-9 July. Yet it is difficult to have a proper public conversation about this step because it has taken place behind closed doors. Towards the Second Assembly comes a long way under the guidance of the four writing groups, whose membership has not been made public. Though it is a mixed bag, it is probably the best document emerging from the PC, making it even more frustrating that it is not in the public domain. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    National security elections: Reds under the bed

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 March 2022
    9 Comments

    Domestic policies are often regarded as more important than foreign affairs and defence policies in influencing Australian election campaigns. But national security campaigns by the government of the day, known as either khaki elections or reds under the beds, have such a long history in Australian federal elections that they challenge the conventional wisdom.  

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  • RELIGION

    Open government for the Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 February 2022
    21 Comments

    The Church in Australia has taken a step towards greater transparency with the release by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) of its first ever Annual Report-this one for the 2020 year. This step is welcome, but there is more to be done. Synodality and co-responsibility presumes that those who are walking together have equal access to information upon which to discern the future of the Church at all levels. 

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  • RELIGION

    When synodality confronts hierarchy 

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 December 2021
    3 Comments

    Synodality confronts the traditional practice of hierarchy within the church. When the ACBC responded last December to The Light from the Southern Cross report, which promoted synodality and co-responsible governance, it re-stated its position that hierarchy was embedded in the church’s approach to governance. This immediately set up a potential tension between episcopal authority and participation in governance by the People of God. 

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  • RELIGION

    Church should prioritise wider community interests over its own

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 December 2021
    27 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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