News Stand

Newsstand 3 August - 10 August

Archbishop rejects bishop claims; Sydney Archbishop's drought plea; and the struggle for China's soul.

August 10 2018 

Archbishop Freier defends Melbourne diocesan response to complaints about Dr Hollingworth
Archbishop Philip Freier has rejected claims that the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne had ignored complaints about former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth, a former Archbishop of Brisbane. Dr Hollingworth, while not drawing a salary or being involved in decision making, is still a bishop in the Diocese of Melbourne, but some child sexual abuse survivors have called on Dr Freier to withdraw his permission to officiate. Dr Hollingworth resigned as Governor General in 2003 amid a storm of criticism about his response to child sexual abuse complaints while Archbishop of Brisbane from 1990-2001.

Archbishop Glenn Davies launches emergency appeal for victims of crippling NSW drought
With 99 per cent of NSW declared to be in drought, the Archbishop of Sydney’s development agency, Anglican Aid, has launched an emergency appeal to help communities through churches in northern and western parts of the state that are already dealing with requests for practical support for families hit by what, in many places, is the worst drought since 1900.

Unions seek to end religious bodies' right to discriminate in hiring
Australia’s union movement is to push for churches and other religious organisations to lose the legal right to fire some workers on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity. Read The Guardian Australia’s report on the consequences of a resolution passed at the recent Congress of the Australian Council of Trade Unions to significantly narrow exemptions for faith bodies. 

Christian soldiers in fight for China's soul amid communist crackdown
Under President Xi Jinping, China's believers are enduring the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity since religious freedom was written into the Chinese constitution in 1982. Yanan Wang of Associated Press reports on the crackdown in this article published in The Age.

Thousands of UK churches convert to renewable energy
Salisbury Cathedral is one of 15 cathedrals and more than 5500 churches across the UK to have converted to renewable power to help combat climate change, the BBC reports. The Church of England's procurement initiative, Parish Buying, has changed its bulk energy purchases to 100% renewables.

An atheist's take on the virtue of forgiveness
Melbourne writer Ben Pobjie says he is no fan of Christianity, but in this opinion piece for the Jesuit-run website Eureka Street, he writes that “more and more I am enamoured of one element of Christianity that I consider its most striking, and most laudable, feature: forgiveness”. 

The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too
Read Man Booker Prize-winner Richard Flanagan’s powerful call at the recent Garma Festival in Arnhem Land for non-Indigenous Australians to embrace the Uluru Statement From The Heart issued last year by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders – and his warning if it is ignored.

Thou shalt not put politics ahead of religion
“Doing God” is becoming much more of a necessity and something politicians can’t continue trying to avoid, writes Michael Scammell in The Sydney Morning Herald, after revelations about the faith lives of some of our political leaders in a new book by The Australian’s Foreign Editor, Greg Sheridan, God is Good for You: A Defence of Christianity in Troubled Times.

Walking home alone
Writer and student Neve Mahoney says what happened to Eurydice Dixon and Jill Meagher in Melbourne’s inner north is “entirely too close for comfort” for any woman walking in this city, especially after dark.

Christians are why the death penalty lives on
Shane Claiborne, author of Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us, says if the Supreme Court justices, Catholic Governors and Christian Senators of the US embrace the teachings of their faith, “they will be part of making history by making the death penalty history”.