News and views from Australia and around the world

What value a believer's good deeds? Providing redress for abuse survivors. And Bishop Michael Curry still talking up love.

June 6 2018 

Report puts a figure on religious believers’ contribution as donors and volunteers to Australia

Religious believers contribute an estimated $481 million to Australian society through their volunteering and donations, according to a report by Deloitte Access Economics for The Study of the Economic Impact of Religion on Society (SEIROS). The report used data from a national survey of more than 7000 people and while it warned that other factors that might cause donating and volunteering behaviour, it concluded that “religious people are more likely to be donors and volunteers than non-religious people”.


Bishop Michael Curry talks to Leigh Sales about the power of love

Watch royal wedding preacher and the leader of America’s Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry, talk to ABC TV’s 7.30 host about agape, the rise of Christianity in hostile times and how “unbridled selfishness” is at the root of humanity’s problems.


Video: Tasmanian Anglicans’ redress response

Watch and read about the Diocese of Tasmania’s proposals to fund its share of redress for survivors of child sexual abuse. Bishop Richard Condie explains his plans in a video interview.


The case for and against greater religious freedom protections

Listen to ABC RN Drive host Patricia Karvelas discuss protections for religious freedoms with Sydney Anglican Bishop Michael Stead and Andrew Bragg, who was Campaign Director of Libs and Nats for Yes during last year’s same-sex marriage postal survey, in light of a US Supreme Court ruling in favour of a Colorado baker who turned away a gay couple who wanted a wedding cake.


Archbishop visits Shepparton

Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier’s duties as Anglican Primate of Australia and Metropolitan of Victoria often take him beyond the boundaries of his diocese. Read this account by Ashlea Witoslawski in the Shepparton News of Dr Freier’s visit to Anglicans in the Goulburn Valley last weekend.


EU is one of the greatest human achievements, says Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury hails the European Union as “the greatest dream realised for human beings since the fall of the Western Roman Empire” in an address to European Christian leaders meeting in Serbia. Read Madeleine Davies’ report in Church Times on Archbishop Justin Welby’s address.


Jonathan Aitken, former British Cabinet minister jailed for perjury, to be ordained a deacon

The former Conservative minister, who later spent seven months in jail, is to be ordained this month by the new Bishop of London, Dame Sarah Mullally – and he plans to work as an unpaid prison chaplain. Read Harriet Sherwood’s report in The Guardian.


Thy Kingdom Come 2018 – a message from Archbishop Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury says he’s more excited by this global, ecumenical prayer movement than by anything he can remember for years. “This year, it really started to feel like it was all of us: Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Methodists, Pentecostals… When we are united in prayer, it’s a clear sign of the Kingdom.” Watch a video about the third year of this movement and read Archbishop Welby’s reflections on it.


The spiritual potential of Twitter

Listen to and read about the Revd Richard Coles, a British priest who works part-time in a parish and also in the media, deliver a lecture at Westminster Abbey in which he says social media “can align the things of the Kingdom with the things of this world”.


What Religion gives us (that Science can’t)

US philosopher Stephen T. Asma writes in The New York Times that while religion “isn’t terribly reasonable”, its irrationality does not render it unacceptable, valueless or cowardly. “Its irrationality may even be the source of its power,” he writes. “…Religion is the most powerful cultural response to the universal emotional life that connects us all.”