News Stand

Newsstand 26 May - 2 June

Sydney's new Archbishop takes office, pastor defies lockdown, Catholics question Johnson marriage ceremony, Turkey opens controversial mosque, why the idea of hell is obscene, and more...

June 2 2021


No higher title than ‘child of God’: Kanishka Raffel takes office as Archbishop of Sydney

The London-born former Buddhist of Sri Lankan descent made history last week as he was consecrated and inaugurated at St Andrew's Cathedral as the first non-European Archbishop of Sydney.


The heart of Sydney’s new Archbishop Kanishka Raffel

Watch this interview on The Pastor’s Heart with Sydney’s new Anglican Archbishop three days before he formally took office last Friday.


Pastor on remand after church defies Victoria’s lockdown

Pastor Paul Furlong of Revival Church in Narre Warren, outer Melbourne, has been remanded in custody after being arrested for incitement after making a Facebook announcement that his church would hold a Sunday service. Victoria was in a seven day lockdown at the time.


Catholics question why Boris Johnson was able to marry in church

Catholics, including members of the congregation at Westminster Cathedral, have questioned why the prime minister was able to be married in a Catholic church following his two previous divorces. Boris Johnson married Carrie Symonds at the cathedral in a ceremony with 30 friends and family on Saturday, planned in strict secrecy.


Lesson from a vaccine pioneer

In Gloucester Cathedral is a statue of physician and scientist Edward Jenner, who almost two centuries ago published a pamphlet on his belief that vaccination could eradicate smallpox. His story is a reminder of scientific persistence and patience, but also provides a different perspective on science, faith and the natural world from some of the narratives used by politicians and the media in the response to COVID, writes the Revd Professor David Wilkinson, Principal of St John’s College, Durham University, and project leader of Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science.


Health experts, faith leaders and White House target the ‘movable’ on vaccines

For three hours last week, faith leaders, government officials and health experts in the US offered their tips for houses of worship to help promote COVID-19 vaccines to the unwilling, the uninformed or unmotivated. As the Biden Administration pushes to get 70 per cent of Americans at least one shot by 4 July, the online seminar suggested ways people of faith can be “vaccine ambassadors” who combat vaccine hesitancy and increase access to shots.


Erdoğan opens controversial mosque on Gezi Park protest anniversary

Taksim Square, one of Istanbul’s most famous cultural battlegrounds and the scene of 2013 protests against Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has officially embraced a new religious identity after the inauguration of an imposing new mosque.The controversial project was opened by Erdoğan on Friday after four years of construction. 


At George Floyd memorial service, Episcopalians remember lives lost and recommit to ‘stand against the tide’

Bishops, priests and laypeople from across The Episcopal Church gathered online on May 25 for a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd. The multi-diocesan effort included musical performances, a message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and a prayer of lament filmed in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where then-police officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes on May 25, 2020.


The obscenity of belief in an eternal hell

The belief that a God of infinite intellect, justice, love, and power would condemn rational beings to a state of endless suffering, or would allow them to condemn themselves on account of their own delusion, pain, and anger, is worse than merely scandalous. It may be the single most horrid notion the religious imagination has ever entertained, and the most irrational and spiritually corrosive picture of existence possible.


Knitted together in a common cause

In 2020, Christian movement Common Grace put out a call to its members, asking them to knit a scarf from a pattern that illustrates the past 101 years of climate change. Hundreds of knitters answered the call. Now, these scarves are headed to Parliament House in a bid to persuade politicians to act to rein in carbon emissions. Listen to some of the people behind this very crafty form of protest on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters.