31 October-7 November
Schools are again a battleground for grown-ups; a Melbourne vicar makes an artful protest on behalf of his flock; and some lessons for 2018 are drawn leading into this weekend's centenary of the Armistice.
November 7 2018:
Melbourne’s Archbishop Philip Freier calls on the Federal Government to release the Ruddock report into religious freedom immediately, saying schools in his diocese have no desire to expel students or dismiss staff on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Chris Shearer reports for TMA online.
The Revd Dr David Powys, Vicar of St John’s Cranbourne with Christ Church Tooradin, is a big advocate for people living on the growing edge of Melbourne. Timna Jacks of The Age reports on Dr Powys’ artistic advocacy for those bearing the huge social costs of commuting.
With the Victorian election little more than two weeks away, Henrietta Cook, Education Editor for The Age, analyses Opposition Leader Matthew Guy’s carefully managed announcement of his plans to reintroduce religious instruction into state schools during class time.
Home Affairs Department bureaucrats have been accused of “fishing for an excuse” to deny Iraqi Christian Ali Alkhazali’s asylum claim after losing a court bid to stop him on character grounds, Helen Davidson reports in The Guardian Australia. Mr Alkhazali has been found by Australia to have a genuine refugee claim but has been in and out of detention for six years and is waiting for the Immigration Minister to make a discretionary decision on his case.
Sydney’s Archbishop Glenn Davies writes in The Australian that the only mechanism faith-based schools have for preserving their ethos and values are exemptions in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, framing the debate in a way that is “misleading, confusing and totally unsatisfactory”.
Joel Harrison, Senior Lecturer at the Macquarie Law School, writes on the ABC Religion and Ethics website that the latest debate about religious freedom has been “a mess”. But religious liberty talk is important, he writes, because it asks, “How do we imagine our relations with one another?”
One of Britain’s most prominent clerics will have to face a controversial tribunal process to keep his job, Madeleine Davies reports for Church Times. One of his leading defenders, Bishop Paul Bayes of Liverpool, describes Dr Percy as “a decent, kind, infuriating, magnificently mistaken, splendidly articulate, rightly and helpfully prophetic Christian theologian”.
Jim Wallis, President of Sojourners, visits Martin Luther King’s church on the eve of the US mid-term elections this week – the first national electoral test for President Donald Trump since his stunning election two years ago – and reflects that for Americans, this Election Day is not just a “‘political’ but a spiritual battle between our better angels and our worst demons”.
Aled Jones went from a boy chorister in a cathedral in his native Wales to topping the charts and performing for the Queen before building a musical career as an adult. Kumi Taguchi of ABC TV’s Compass profiles a performer known to Australian audiences from his role with the BBC’s Songs of Praise.
With the centenary of Armistice Day falling this Sunday, the Revd Dr Jeremy Morris, Master of Trinity Hall at Cambridge, reflects on an unexpectedly moving recent visit with his son to the nightly ceremony of the Last Post at the Menin Gate in Belgium – and its lessons for the world in 2018.