RELIGION


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Finding grace amid difference of marriage equality opinion

14 Comments
24 September 2017 | Julie Perrin

Stone heart with purple flowerSeveral years into my time as school chaplain, a journalist asked for my opinion in relation to the taboos long held by Christians regarding homosexuality. I knew my views would be regarded as a betrayal by some of the parents and I put a call through to the gentle-fierce man. I did not want to unravel the remarkable friendship we had built, but neither did I want to remain silent on this issue. When I explained the dilemma, he said something I have never forgotten.


The Catholic option for 'yes' or 'no'

36 Comments
24 September 2017 | Frank Brennan

Marriage equality postal vote formFor many Catholic voters, this has been a difficult issue because for the first time in their lives they have found themselves in the same position which our politicians find themselves every time they have to vote on contested moral and political questions in parliament. They don't find themselves getting all that much help from official church declarations. This is no criticism of our bishops. They are the custodians of a tradition which has been somewhat skewed on this issue for a long time.


How forced migration defined Francis' papacy

7 Comments
21 September 2017 | David Holdcroft

xxxxxFrancis was elected on his perceived ability to address the need for reform of a Roman Curia increasingly beset by paralysis, inefficiency and scandal. It is almost in parenthesis that we note his pontificate coinciding with the rise of numbers of forced migrants to historically unprecedented post-war levels both in Europe and around the globe. This presented Francis with a unique opportunity to develop and demonstrate his vision for a renewed Church, repositioned in and for a globalised world.


Euthanasia bill could put vulnerable Victorians at risk

12 Comments
21 September 2017 | Hoa Dinh

Illustration of dying manEuthanasia legislation would lead to further coercion against vulnerable persons in society: the elderly and people with disability. Once voluntary suicide is legalised, to continue living becomes a choice that people will have to justify to themselves, their family, and society. It is especially the case for persons who have to depend on the assistance of others: the elderly, and people with disability.


Uncontrollable Irma and Fr John George

20 Comments
19 September 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Hurricane IrmaI was reminded of the importance of the uncontrollable by the recent death of Fr John George, a Sydney priest who daily submitted comments on our Eureka Street articles, some of which we published. Though no Hurricane Irma, the literary Fr George, the only one whom we knew, was nevertheless easily seen as terrifying and fascinating. Our efforts to control George reminded us of how limited is our capacity to control and how, as we control, we can turn people into ciphers and threats to be dealt with.


Raising girls in an unjust world

9 Comments
14 September 2017 | Rachel Woodlock

Girl faces woodsAs the mum of a 13 year old daughter, I'm trying to prepare her for adulthood in a world that will, at times, judge her for being female. She's at the beginning of her adolescent journey, when the future seems to hold so much promise but also new dangers. The one that gives me pause, in the odd moment when I allow myself to think about it, is what I can tell her about protecting herself from bad men who might want to harm her, without scaring her into believing all men are potential rapists.


Cultural appropriation a year after Shriver furore

5 Comments
11 September 2017 | Yen-Rong Wong

Lionel ShriverA little over a year ago, Lionel Shriver delivered the opening address at the Brisbane Writers Festival, deriding political correctness and defending the practice of cultural appropriation by white writers. This year's festival didn't attract real controversy, but the memory of last year still lingered, and it's clear that parts of that mentality live on.


Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy

2 Comments
10 September 2017 | Frank Brennan

John Ferguson and Frank Brennan (back)
Susan Pascoe, Bishop Vincent Long, Elsie Heiss (front)The real call of Everyone's Business is to move beyond them and us to admitting that there is only us. If we are truly to build an inclusive and sustainable economy, it can't be just those in full time paid employment who are part of that economy. We take seriously the principles of neo-liberalism, letting the market decide. But we set limits on the market for the common good.


Church democracy and the 2020 Plenary Council

31 Comments
10 September 2017 | John Warhurst

Raised handsThere is a lot of big talk by Australian Catholic church leaders about the forthcoming 2020 Plenary Council, but remarkable vagueness about its likely shape. Now that the first of the consultation sessions about the council has occurred in Sydney, resolving the nature of the event becomes a matter of some urgency. Otherwise the council runs the risk of eventually becoming a huge disappointment.


The government should stop marrying people

32 Comments
06 September 2017 | Rachel Woodlock

Gay weddingThe state doesn't have an opinion on whether God approves of the union because theocracy went out of fashion in the West, along with the Divine Right of Kings. These days in Australia, the state doesn't even care to enforce sexual exclusivity of partners, although once upon a time that was a major element of marital law. Divorce is all about distribution of assets and establishing proper care of the kids. So why the brouhaha over marriage for gay people?


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