News Stand

14 - 20 November

The bushfire emergency; a new director for the Anglican Centre in Rome; Bishop of the Riverina on water as a physical and spiritual fundamental; and what role do faith traditions play in later life care?

November 21 2019


Chaplains and churches put lives on hold to care for bushfire victims

Australia’s bushfire emergency has prompted the biggest ever deployment of Disaster Recovery Chaplains at evacuation and recovery centres along the NSW north coast.


Israel Folau links bushfire crisis to same-sex marriage and abortion

Sacked rugby union star Israel Folau has linked the NSW bushfire crisis and drought to legalising same-sex marriage and abortion, warning the disasters are a "little taste of God's judgment". Speaking at his church in north-west Sydney, Folau said his remarks were a "message mainly for the people that are outside [the church], within the world". The video footage was posted online on Sunday.


Attorney-General updates religious freedom bill

Attorney-General Christian Porter has rewritten proposed religious freedom laws to give faith-based hospitals and aged care providers greater protections.


Archbishop Ian Ernest installed as Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has formally commissioned the new Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome during an ecumenical bi-lingual service in a Jesuit Church near the Centre. In addition to being Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, Archbishop Ian Ernest, who was formerly Bishop of Mauritius and Primate of the Anglican Church of the Indian Ocean, will also serve as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Personal Representative to the Holy See.


Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby plan united visit to South Sudan

The first joint pastoral visit by a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury could take place in South Sudan early next year, the Vatican and Lambeth Palace announced on 13 November. A joint pastoral visit by a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury would have been unthinkable even a few years ago. But it is not the first time that Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby have taken unprecedented joint action, particularly on peace in South Sudan.


Hong Kong protests and the Chinese fight for religious freedom

For more than two decades, measures guaranteeing that Hong Kong would retain its legislative and justice systems until 2047 have been held in place. This shielded the region from experiencing the full scope of China’s injustices and provided a relative safe haven for religious adherents and human rights activists. But a proposal that would allow China to bring indicted Hong Kong residents to the mainland for trial has ChinaAid President Bob Fu worried about religious freedom in the former British colony.


Faith in later life care

What if you found out that you only had a short time left to live? What would you do? Rush through your bucket list? Get your affairs in order? Devote all your time to family and friends? Or would you have a more spiritual response? In this episode of Soul Search on the ABC, Meredith Lake explores the important role that faith traditions play in later life care.


Holy water: Anglican bishop says water is ‘not a commodity, it's the very essence of life’

Riverina’s Bishop Donald Kirk says water needs to be seen as a physical and spiritual fundamental, rather than a commodity to be traded, as hearings for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry into the water market take place. Bishop Kirk was Rector of the Parish of Hamilton and an archdeacon in the Diocese of Ballarat before his election as Riverina’s 11th Anglican bishop in February.


Anglican Overseas Aid’s Advent reflections

Anglican Overseas Aid’s 2019 Advent Reflections booklet, A Radical Advent, is now available. This free booklet can be used as a personal reflection, a small group study guide or a resource for your whole church. It is also available in Mandarin Chinese. Free versions can be downloaded from AOA’s website, or order booklets via or 1800 249 880.


A visit among the men of Manus

“The many men that I had the honour to meet are fellow human beings who want nothing more than a chance to rebuild their lives in peace and safety. If we can begin to recognise that, perhaps we can all open our hearts a bit more,” writes Carolina Gottardo from Jesuit Refugee Service Australia about her recent visit to Port Moresby as part of a delegation of Catholic leaders.