02 - 08 September
Rome, Constantinople, and Canterbury join in urging 'meaningful sacrifices' to protect Creation, Melbourne priest, TMA honoured at religious press awards, Let's talk about re-opening churches and vaccine passports says Sydney's Anglican Archbishop, Christians as Bad Guys wins Book of the Year and much more
September 8 2021
Climate change is “an immediate and urgent matter of survival”, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I, write in a joint message released on Tuesday. They call on people to make “meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us”. It is the first time that the three church leaders have jointly addressed “the urgency of environmental sustainability, its impact on persistent poverty, and the importance of global cooperation”, they write in A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation.
The flagship publication of Ethos: the Evangelical Centre for Christianity and Society, which is led by Melbourne Anglican priest and academic the Revd Dr Gordon Preece, has won the premier honour of the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA), the Gutenberg Award, with TMA also taking out three awards.
Kaniska Raffel, Sydney’s Anglican Archbishop, is setting up a series of meetings for rectors and churchwardens to discuss plans for the re-opening of churches amid uncertainty about the timing and government regulation. Debate among Christians in some quarters of the internet has been heated in the last week, influenced in part by a shortening timeframe. New South Wales is expected to lead the states in reaching 70 per cent double dose vaccination by October 18 and 80 per cent by November 1.
Western Australian writer, blogger and pastor Stephen McAlpine has been awarded the 2021 Australian Christian Book of the Year award for Being the Bad Guys: How to Live for Jesus in a World That Says You Shouldn’t.
It is one of the holiest events on the Jewish calendar, but this year's Jewish New Year is looking starkly different in large parts of the country. While the festivities - which began on Monday - are usually marked by prayers at the synagogue and a feast at home, Sydney's current COVID-19 lockdowns mean scaled-down celebrations for many families. For adherents in Melbourne, the situation is all too familiar, having marked Rosh Hashanah under COVID-19 restrictions last year.
The Anglican church in Wales will offer special blessings to same-sex married couples after a historic vote welcomed by campaigners for equality. The move puts the Welsh church at odds with the Church of England, which forbids clergy to bless same-sex marriages. It falls short of allowing same-sex marriages in church, and includes a “conscience clause”, allowing individual clergy to decide whether or not to offer blessings.
The Tampa inaugurated an incremental scale of brutal responses against unwanted refugees and asylum seekers, a policy justified to this day with a shoddy humanitarianism laced with security considerations, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark, a former Commonwealth Scholar who lectures at RMIT University. What took place 20 years ago at sea on a Norwegian tanker might have produced a different result but Australia offered a dark alternative, one hostile to refugees and the right to asylum, a model to be used by wealthy states to frustrate international law. “It is one that shows little signs of losing its cruel appeal.”
The US Supreme Court’s decision not to block a Texas law sharply curtailing abortions has abruptly vaulted the issue to the forefront of American politics, reshaping the dynamics of elections in California this month, in Virginia in November and in mid-term elections next year that will determine control of Congress and state legislatures. Republicans hailed the court’s 5-to-4 decision as a tremendous victory, allowing a nearly complete ban on abortions to stand in the nation’s second-largest state. For Democrats, it was a nightmare come true.
The first and only Archdeacon of Western Australia and the first to be promulgated in WA as a local saint and hero of the Anglican Church, John Wollaston is to be celebrated on 18 September.
It took Michelle Smart nearly three years to read the Commedia, but she’s glad she persisted. Dante’s epic poem reminded her of the profound significance of a life, the moral weight of every moment. But what struck her most is the strength of his candour, the honesty of his prose. “You are not alone / the poem said / in the dark tunnel”, writes Louise Glück. The Commedia becomes what every great poem should be: a valued companion for life’s journey.