News Stand

6 -12 June

Costello laments; bush priest scarcity; Vatican rejects 'gender fluidity'; How NZ has embraced public religion; and the populist right's 'unholy alliance' with religion

June 12 2019

Tim Costello laments Aussies who see trip to Bali as 'fundamental human right'

Celebrated humanitarian Tim Costello, who has stepped down as chief advocate of World Vision Australia after 15 years with the organisation, says middle Australia wrongly feels it is "doing it hard", and some consider their annual trip to Bali a "fundamental human right" while remaining oblivious to real suffering overseas. He also called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to reverse his government's "mean" foreign aid strategy, describing it as embarrassing and foolish.


Parishioners take charge of funerals and baptisms, as priests become scarce in the bush

Parishioners in rural areas are taking funerals and baptisms into their own hands as small towns increasingly face the prospect of long periods without the presence of ordained ministers.


Disciplinary action against former Tasmanian Anglican Bishop Philip Newell halted

The Tasmanian Supreme Court has ordered the Anglican Church to stop proceedings against former Bishop of Tasmania Philip Newell, who had been the subject of damning findings by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Bishop Newell had applied to the court for a stay of proceedings on the grounds of ill-health.


'Momentary desires': Vatican rejects gender fluidity as unnatural

The Vatican has issued an official document rejecting the idea that people can choose or change their genders. The text, Male and Female He Created Them, was intended to help Catholic teachers, parents, students and clergy address what the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education called an "educational crisis" in the field of sex education.


New Zealand's model for public religion

Public events in New Zealand include traditional Maori blessings, in which all are expected to join. The religious dimension, which is inescapably articulated in public life, demands that people are at home in both a secular and a religious culture and familiar with the symbols and languages appropriate to each, Andrew Hamilton writes for Eureka Street.


Women priests could help the Catholic Church restore its integrity. It’s time to embrace them

In the wake of the royal commission into child sexual abuse, Christian churches in this country need not only radical reform of their principles and practices, but also ways of recovering their integrity. For the Catholic Church, with its patriarchal structures, ordaining women to the priesthood is one way to achieve this, writes the Revd Canon Dorothy Lee, Stewart Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity College Theological School, University of Divinity.


C'mon church, it's time to get fair

Slavery. Poverty. Child labour. Gender equality. Climate change. Most Christians care about these issues, but often feel powerless to make any meaningful difference. And yet a few simple changes to our daily habits will, collectively, create a real and lasting impact upon each of these global issues.


The populist right is forging an unholy alliance with religion

From Italy’s Matteo Salvini to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, ethno-nationalists are hijacking religious themes to fuel their agenda, writes academics Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins and Anton Jäger for The Guardian.


Jordan Peterson: Why some (but not all) Christians are flocking to the culture warrior

Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson is not the classic defender of Christianity. His religious beliefs are unclear. But one Christian magazine has posed the question whether this culture warrior is “the saviour of Christianity”.


TMA contributor Nils von Kalm’s new book Bending Towards Justice

Award-winning Christian writer Nils von Kalm, who is a regular contributor to The Melbourne Anglican, has worked in the aid and development sector since 2000. His new book Bending Towards Justice is a series of reflections that "calls us to look more deeply into what the Gospel is and isn't", and he will be in Geelong to speak about it on Tuesday 25 June.