26 August - 01 September
Moral duty towards Afghan refugees, More school chaplains to help children suffering mentally, New status for Moore College, Exposure of gender-based violence, Sexually assaulted Christian threatened with charges in Pakistan, Religious tourism in post-pandemic Middle East, St Paul's Cathedral, London, fossil-fuels protest sees 14 arrested and much more
September 1 2021
Decades after he fled his homeland after the Vietnam War, the memories flood back for the Roman Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, Vincent Long Van Nguyen, when he sees footage of people clambering onto planes after the fall of Kabul. “I believe in the universal and inclusive love of God, a love that seeks to embrace all people, most especially those at the periphery, who are experiencing poverty and injustice … This is a pivotal moment for us to step up and support those in need in Afghanistan. I hope to see the same level of bipartisan support for Afghan refugees now as there was for Vietnamese refugees then.”
Coalition MPs have urged Scott Morrison to increase funding to the government’s school chaplaincy program to help address concerns that activism against global heating is causing mental health problems for Australian children. In the Coalition party room on Tuesday, Liberal MP Andrew Wallace compared children’s fear of climate change with the threat of nuclear annihilation in the 1970s and 80s, and requested full funding for chaplains in every school to help ease concerns.
Australia’s tertiary regulator has recognised Sydney’s Moore Theological College by registering it in the new “university college” category. Moore College is one of the first providers to be registered in the new category, along with the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) at Kensington and the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) at Moore Park, both also in Sydney.
The Anglican Communion has launched a social media video campaign to mark this year’s 30th anniversary of the annual international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. Young Anglicans from around the world are being invited to take part in the campaign by submitting a video which the Anglican Communion Office can release during the 16 Days, which runs from 25 November to 10 December.
A Muslim supervisor is threatening to file blasphemy charges against a Christian sanitation worker in Pakistan if she refuses to withdraw her sexual assault accusation against him, a human rights leaders says.
Egypt, Jordan and Israel are busy preparing for the future, investing significant funds and efforts into improving important religious and heritage sites, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Fourteen Christians have been arrested for taking part in a protest in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral on Sunday, in which they called on the Church of England to divest from fossil fuels. The protesters were members of Christian Climate Action (CCA), who before the protest had written to all the dioceses that still invested in fossil fuels, asking them to divest by the end of the year.
The Anglican Communion has formally approved the formation of a new province of the Communion, to be entitled Igreja Anglicana de Mocambique e Angola (IAMA, or the Anglican Church of Mozambique and Angola). The new province will be inaugurated in September, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, told Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in a letter.
How does the Church prioritise the role of the bishop as a witness to the resurrection and a steward of the apostolic teaching? A US priest of 40 years’ standing, the Very Revd Dr Leander S. Harding, Dean of the Cathedral of All Saints in Albany, New York State, explores episcopal models that depend upon a willingness to delegate an immense amount of important and even urgent administration to diocesan staff. “My observation is that in many of our dioceses the role of chief official of a regulatory agency has overtaken the catechetical and pastoral work of the bishop,” he writes. “Most of our bishops are drowning in meetings and committee work whose relevance to the challenges in front of the church in late modernity is sometimes hard to discern.”
In 1964, Donald Horne famously derided Australia as a place where people enjoyed prosperity aplenty through the gifts of good fortune rather than intelligence or astute political and economic stewardship. Yet, Australia presently looks like a mere shadow of its former self. Rather than the “lucky country”, it resembles a cowering place where government has frequently abrogated its responsibilities and cast aside concern for citizens in ways that many other countries throughout the pandemic have not.