Section: Religion

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • RELIGION

    In a state of synodality

    • Brian Lucas
    • 21 October 2021
    3 Comments

    One takeaway from the First Assembly of the Plenary Council that might come as no surprise is that the controlling elite in the Church, the bishops, are not dependent on popular support. They are appointed not elected. They are generally irremovable. They come from a culture that is about preserving ‘the tradition’ (which can easily be expanded to include historical novelties that are not really part of the tradition). Moving into the new world of synodality brings obvious challenges.

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  • RELIGION

    Handing on a tradition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2021
    1 Comment

    One of the challenges facing churches today has to do with tradition. Tradition is a sometimes charged word, but it refers to an everyday social need. It has to do with how a community passes on its way of life and its understanding of authoritative writings that shape it. The word itself can refer both to what is passed on and to the process of passing it on. The challenge of passing on a tradition is perennial. Both ways of living and writings reflect the culture of their own time and so need to be translated into the changing languages of later cultures.

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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
    13 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

    How the Plenary might resolve the unresolvable

    • Nimmi Candappa
    • 30 September 2021
    19 Comments

    At one level a lot is riding on this Plenary Council. Only the fifth such Council in the Australian church history, there is a great sense of anticipation among a wide variety of groups: those estranged from the church, priests looking for direction, women bereft of opportunities to express their faith and seeking a look-in, parents of uninterested children, those ostracised from the church, as well as those not wanting any changes at all.  

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  • RELIGION

    Synodality is a work in progress

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 September 2021
    28 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

    Is it time to re-think seminaries?

    • Gideon Goosen
    • 23 September 2021
    40 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

    Valuing human life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 September 2021
    23 Comments

    In recent weeks the value of human life has become a topic of public conversation in different contexts. Proposed legislation on abortion and assisted dying has continued to focus attention on it. Debate about loosening COVID restrictions has also balanced the risk of death from the disease with risks to health and economic welfare from lockdowns. In Afghanistan the victory of the Taliban has again raised questions about the morality of the war and the killing involved by both sides.

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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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  • 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

    Cry of the Earth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 August 2021
    11 Comments

    Last week the annual Catholic Social Justice Statement was launched. Entitled Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, its theme is care for the environment. In the same week the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report warned of the need for immediate and radical effort to minimise emissions and of the likely effects of their existing growth.

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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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