News Stand

Newsstand 7 - 13 November

Urgent prayer for bushfire affected regions; George Pell granted a final appeal; Indian court awards holy site to Hindus; Anglicans in Canada facing extinction in two decades; religion and environmental movements; and should clergy stay out of politics?

November 13 2019

Urgent prayer for our country

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has announced the opening of a bushfire appeal as one million hectares of land has been burned already this fire season. Archbishop Davies has appealed for Anglicans and other Christians to pray fervently in light of the danger facing New South Wales, Queensland and other parts of the country.


George Pell high court appeal: cardinal granted final challenge against child sexual abuse conviction
Cardinal George Pell will have a final chance to overturn his conviction on historical child sexual abuse offences after the high court in Canberra agreed to hear appeal arguments in a special full court sitting.


Religious freedom bill ‘will sustain nastiness and hostility’ Michael Kirby warns
The Coalition’s religious freedom bill will result in a rise in both religious intolerance and anti-religious hostility, threatening secularism in Australia, Michael Kirby has warned. The former high court justice has labelled it an “unbalanced law that will sustain nastiness and hostility that we can well do without” in his first intervention in the debate since Christian Porter released the draft religious discrimination bill in August.


Ayodhya verdict: Indian top court gives holy site to Hindus
The disputed holy site of Ayodhya in northern India should be given to Hindus who want a temple built there, the country's Supreme Court has ruled. The case, which has been bitterly contested for decades by Hindus and Muslims, centres on the ownership of the land in Uttar Pradesh state. At the centre of the row is the 16th Century Babri mosque which was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992, sparking riots that killed nearly 2,000 people.


Archbishop condemns oil companies for ‘sparking environmental genocide’
The Archbishop of York has called for urgent action to stop the oil spills that are devastating communities in Nigeria’s Bayelsa state.Following the release of an interim report of the Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission, which he chairs, the Archbishop, Dr John Sentamu called the actions of oil companies operating in the Niger Delta as “nothing less than environmental genocide".


‘Wake-up call’: Anglican Church of Canada faces steep membership decline
The Anglican Church of Canada’s first reliably-collected set of statistics since 2001 show the church running out of members in little more than two decades if the church continues to decline at its current rate, the Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Friday 9 November.


How an isolated group of Mormons got caught up in Mexico’s cartel wars
The deaths of nine women and children has thrust into focus a small religious community and their long history in a remote corner of northern Mexico


Turning to faiths to save the planet. How religions shape environmental movement in Indonesia
The problems of climate change are not only problems of science and technology. They are also moral, ethical and spiritual problems about how we live our lives. Research in Indonesia shows that religious groups have played an important part in responding to climate change by participating in environmental campaigns and by translating scientific and policy language for a religious audience.


Should clergy keep out of politics?
It’s rare to hear a genuinely prophetic voice on broader issues such as education and communications, science and medicine, penology and the economy, says Rabbi Raymond Apple for ABC religion and ethics. We hear slogans and stereotypes, but there are too few voices that uphold the dignity of human beings. Perhaps this is the ongoing contribution that clergy can make to our common life.


Light and life found in humiliation
For our culture the most challenging aspect of Ignatius Loyola' experience and of the way of living he commends may be the value he places on humiliation, writes Andrew Hamilton for Eureka Street. To see any possibility and gift in humiliation will instantly be dismissed by many as masochistic or self-abasing. But it is worth following Ignatius' argument through its roots in Christian faith.