One Archbishop objects to an advertisement; another rejects what he sees as distortions about leaked sections of a report; and Australian children speak up for young asylum-seekers on Nauru.
October 17 2018
Melbourne’s Archbishop Philip Freier, the Anglican Primate of Australia, takes issue with a controversial advertisement using Jesus’ Crucifixion to promote organ donation. Dr Freier says that while the Anglican Church has no problem with organ donation, the use of Jesus on the Cross was “distasteful and sad” and that people should be encouraged to make a decision about organ donation well ahead of their death, not when they are extremely vulnerable to manipulation, as the ad suggests.
Archbishop Glenn Davies tells Sydney’s diocesan Synod that the “selective and distorted” leaking of the recommendations of the Ruddock Review into religious freedom had misrepresented its findings. “Let’s be very clear. Anglican schools in Sydney do not expel students for being gay,” Dr Davies said. “It is an absurd proposition and it is certainly not something we asked for in our submission to the Ruddock Review. We would gladly support any amendment to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 which would clarify this. This issue was nothing more than a beat-up and smoke screen to discredit the Ruddock Report and obscure the real issues.”
Renae Barker, Lecturer at the University of Western Australia School of Law and a prominent WA Anglican, writes on the ABC Religion and Ethics website that the leaked recommendations of the Ruddock Review, far from expanding existing rights, “constrain and narrow them”. “It is important that the existing exemptions are understood not as a right to discriminate but as an exercise of freedom of religion,” she writes.
Australian children have appeared on a video as part of the #KidsOffNauru campaign. A coalition of more than 230 humanitarian, refugee, church and human rights organisations is calling on the Federal Government to remove all asylum seeker children from Nauru by Universal Children’s Day on 20 November, Emma Halgren reports for TMA online.
With Prime Minister Scott Morrison to deliver a National Apology this Monday to victims and survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth faces a fresh challenge to his entitlements more than 15 years after he was forced to leave Yarralumla over his handling of abuse cases while in his previous role as Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane.
Dual Israeli-Australian citizen Na'ama Carlin says PM Scott Morrison’s indication that he's considering moving the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will embolden the Netanyahu Government's oppressive hold over Palestinians living in already precarious conditions. “Palestinian lives and Palestinian sovereignty are not a political football to throw around when your polling is down,” she writes in this piece for Eureka Street.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, a frequent visitor to Nigeria for the past 40 years, calls on Nigerians to live up to their ideals and potential. “Nigeria is the giant of the continent and is becoming a giant of the world,” he tells a conference in Abuja. “By 2050 she may have as many as 500 million citizens. There is an energy in this country which can transform not only this nation but the whole continent, and far beyond.”
The Revd Duku Wolikare, a community chaplain in Melbourne’s west backed by the Melbourne Anglican Foundation, says the South Sudanese community does not match the descriptions given by politicians and media. He argues that the public conversation must turn away from one of racism and fear to one of compassion and support for vulnerable young people and their families. “It was chilling to watch the former Australian Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister speak against a small, struggling community. The consequences of their words have been serious for us, with people experiencing a marked increase of abuse and threats and feeling unsafe on the street and then on social media.”
British Anglican newspaper Church Times calls for accelerated action in response to the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “Disregard for the world that God created is more Manichaean than Christian in origin,” the paper says in an editorial. “When this is combined with high consumption, as among many Trump-supporting Evangelicals in the United States, theological error is compounded by hypocrisy. By contrast, the people who are most religious lead the simplest lives, with the smallest global footprint, because they love the world around them.”
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord (Rowan) Williams contemplates challenges to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as it approaches its 70th anniversary. “It is important for the language of rights not to lose its anchorage in a universalist religious ethic — and just as important for religious believers not to back away from the territory and treat rights language as an essentially secular matter, potentially at odds with the morality and spirituality of believers,” he writes.