News Stand

Newsstand 22 - 28 October

Archbishop welcomes easing of restrictions for religious services, megachurch purchases iconic Melbourne venue, why the PM doesn't need believers like Trump does, and Pope Francis offers support for same-sex civil unions.

October 28 2020


The print versions of the November and December issues of TMA will be available by the second Sunday of each month, as is customary for what are usually our Synod and Christmas editions respectively. For this month's issue, please click here


Priestly ministry 'a natural fit' for late vicar with a passion for helping refugees

The late Vicar of Glenroy and Merlynston, the Revd Jo-Anne Wells, had a great capacity for love, empathy, tolerance and compassion, so her priestly ministry "was a natural fit for her", her son Dane said at her funeral on 19 October. Ms Wells, who died on 3 October only a few weeks after her 60th birthday, was also remembered for her love of being a mother to four children, her dedication to refugees and all in need, her devotion to the Eucharist and her passion for travel.


Archbishop says make most of the opportunity we have in covid-safe plans for churches as restrictions ease

Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Dr Freier welcomes the easing of restrictions in Victoria, particularly for religious gatherings, which will gradually be allowed to increase the numbers of worshippers both inside and outside in the coming weeks. 


Hillsong Church purchases iconic Melbourne music venue

Hillsong Church has reportedly paid $23 million for Melbourne’s Festival Hall, which will become the new home of its Melbourne City Campus In addition to housing church services on Sundays, Hillsong says the venue will still be open for business for community events, including rock concerts.


Royal commission files reveal previously unseen details about abuse by priests in Newcastle

Abuse survivors have welcomed reports from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made public last Tuesday that reveal previously unseen details about abuse by priests within the Anglican and Catholic churches in Newcastle. After years of redactions and delays while relevant criminal cases were concluded, Commonwealth Attorney-General Christian Porter released the long-awaited reports, including case study 43.


Victoria Police says it won't investigate Vatican wire transfer claims

Victoria Police says there is no evidence to warrant an investigation into allegations that Vatican funds were used in an attempt to secure the conviction of Cardinal George Pell. Italian newspapers La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera earlier this month claimed a rival of Pell's, former cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, was suspected of arranging for €700,000 ($1.1 million) to be transferred to people in Australia to support the prosecution of child sex abuse charges against Pell.


The Aussie churches making a splash in Brazil

Brazil is home to the world's largest Catholic population, but the rise of Pentecostalism is drawing young Brazilians away from traditional pews, and toward charismatic, "club-like" mega-churches. And according to Cristina Rocha, a Brazilian-born cultural anthropologist at Western Sydney University, Australia plays an important role in this trend.


Scott Morrison is a Pentecostal but he doesn't need believers like Trump does

Scott Morrison is the first Pentecostal Christian in the world to lead a democratic country. But Donald Trump’s presidency is far more infused with Pentecostalism than Morrison’s prime ministership is.

Jerusalem geologist believes we have the nails used to crucify Jesus

Fragments of nails believed to have been used in Jesus’s crucifixion have ancient wood and fragments of bone on them, according to a new study. The fragments appeared for the first time after a 1990 excavation of a burial site of Caiaphas, the high priest who organized a plot to kill Jesus according to the New Testament.

Macron’s clash with Islam sends jolt through France’s long debate about secularism

The French president has become a hate figure in Islamic world over the response to the murder of history teacher of Samuel Paty, who was beheaded for showing caricatures of the prophet Muhammed. 

Pope Francis’ support for civil unions is a call to justice – and nothing new

Pope Francis signalled his support for members of the LGBT community to enter civil unions in a new documentary released on Oct. 21. It wasn’t the first time. So in an important sense, there is nothing to see here – nothing new. Yet Francis’ message here does matter.