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Keywords: Sexual Abuse Crisis

  • 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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  • RELIGION

    Roe vs Wade: The Bishops’ dilemma

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 26 May 2022
    5 Comments

    News leaked earlier this month that the US Supreme Court plans to overturn its most famous decision, that in Roe vs Wade (1973) which protects a pregnant woman's freedom to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision has attracted much criticism both in the past and now on account of its dubious legal reasoning – in particular, its attempt to link the right to abort to a right to privacy which itself was notional and not specified in the US Constitution.

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  • RELIGION

    What is to be done?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 March 2022

    Any program of church reform will have soon to ask Chernyshevsky’s question, What is to be done? It is a dangerous question — he wrote his novel from jail and spent much of his life in exile or imprisonment. Discussion of Church matters is mercifully less perilous today, but the question does invite a radical repiecing of the connections and tradition and energies that constitute Catholic life.

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  • RELIGION

    What now for senior clergy who covered up abuse?

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 27 January 2022
    23 Comments

    Many Catholics will have found the news from Germany this past week painful. A law firm, Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, has presented findings in its investigation into historic sexual abuse in the Munich archdiocese. Running to 1,000 pages, the report is shocking: it lists at least 497 victims for the period 1945–2019 and identifies 235 probable offenders including 173 priests and nine deacons.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2021: The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 04 January 2022

    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

    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

    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 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fragile fraternity a hundred years on from Black Friday

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 April 2021
    4 Comments

    The parallels with our own times of the events of Black Friday in 1921, with its movement from a time of heavy social spending and the flowering of social capital to a time of recovery, and the fateful choices that are made at such times, are evident. We await the results of the economic choices being made by government and their effects on community and solidarity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Addressing gendered violence in Australia

    • Barry Gittins
    • 01 April 2021
    11 Comments

    We don’t want to admit the truth of who we are as a nation: there are Australians who are violent toward the people they say they love the most. Living among us are those who take what they want, out of entitlement, privilege and the naked use of power.

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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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  • 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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