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13 -19 June

Archbishop Philip Freier calls for a pastoral response as voluntary assisted dying takes effect in Victoria; the Archbishop's latest Breakfast Conversation considers whether loneliness is Australia's next health crisis; and a US rabbi contemplates Anne Frank's 90th birthday, almost three quarters of a century after she died in Bergen-Belsen.

June 19 2019 

Archbishop Freier emphasises pastoral response as voluntary assisted dying comes into force in Victoria

Melbourne’s Archbishop Philip Freier issued a pastoral note on the eve of Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation coming into force in Victoria. Dr Freier writes that notwithstanding the ethical and theological concerns about the legislation that continue to be expressed by people of faith, the pastoral imperative would be to commend the dying person to God. “Anglican ministers should respond to a request for ministry in these circumstances in the same way as they would for any dying person, including funeral ministry,” he writes.


Chancellor, bishops and religious broadcaster honoured on Queen’s Birthday list

The Chancellor of the Diocese of Melbourne, Mr Michael Shand, QC, a parishioner of Holy Trinity East Melbourne and former University of Melbourne Chancellor, Ms Elizabeth Alexander, and two of Australia’s leading scholar bishops, Paul Barnett and Tom Frame, have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Former ABC religious broadcaster Dr Rachael Kohn,  who created, produced and presented The Spirit of Things on Radio National from 1997 until last year, also was honoured.


Loneliness: Australia’s next health crisis

Watch mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry and Ms Helen Page, head of the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s community care in the aged care area, join Archbishop Philip Freier’s Breakfast Conversation at Federation Square to discuss a health issue as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and worse than obesity: loneliness.


Former Anglican Dean of Newcastle Graeme Russell Lawrence standing trial on child sex charges

The former Dean of the Newcastle Anglican Diocese, Graeme Russell Lawrence, is standing trial charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated indecent assault. The alleged offences upon a 15-year-old boy in the NSW Hunter Valley date back to 1991. Mr Lawrence has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has been on bail since being charged in December 2017. Up to 28 Crown witnesses are due to give evidence over the coming weeks.


Tasmanian Treasurer seeks Anglican Church's modelling on burial plot costs

The Tasmanian Government is to investigate proposed increases in the price of burial plots as the result of changes made to the Cremation and Burial Act in December last year, Emily Jarvie reports in The Advocate in Burnie. But Bishop Richard Condie says the Church had been  “very troubled” by the cost implications of the new Act. The Church's careful modelling of costs of maintaining cemeteries for 100 years or more was made in the light of declining volunteer labour.


Former Anglican Primate of Melanesia to be Governor-General of the Solomon Islands

Bishop David Vunagi, the former Archbishop of Melanesia, has been elected by the Parliament of the Solomon Islands as the country’s next Governor-General. Bishop Vunagi was Archbishop of Melanesia from 2009 until his retirement in 2016. He will take on his new role during a ceremony on 7 July, when the Solomon Islands celebrates its 41st Independence Day. 


The thick and thin of Courtney Herron's death

The recent killing of Courtney Herron in Royal Park should not be the only thing that defines her, writes Jesuit priest Andrew Hamilton in Eureka Street. Seeking a fuller description of her life and death is a gesture of respect.


Human trafficking and slavery still happen in Australia. This comic explains how

A series of cartoons illustrates human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices such as servitude, forced labour and forced marriage that exist in modern Australia and around the world.


YMCA celebrates its 175th anniversary

Archbishop John Sentamu of York joined in the celebrations with one of the oldest ecumenical global movements as it marked its 175th anniversary at a thanksgiving service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. The YMCA’s origins go back to 1844, when 22-year-old George Williams met with colleagues in the upstairs room of a drapery store just a few yards from St Paul’s Cathedral in London and began the conversations that led to the Young Men’s Christian Association being formed.


Imagine Anne Frank at 90

American Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin contemplates the impossible – Anne Frank,  a child symbol of the victims of the Holocaust, as a 90-year-old – and looks at how she has been portrayed in the almost seven-and-a-half decades since she perished in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.