Newsstand 24-30 September
WA Anglican girls' school comes to aid of locked-down Melburnians; Archbishop Freier on lessons from end of the Pacific War for a COVID world; Attenborough's advocacy for Earth puts many Christians in the shade; C of E approves compensation for abuse survivors as it awaits independent inquiry's findings; Baltimore church owns up to shameful past; and much more ...
September 30 2020
The October edition of The Melbourne Anglican (TMA) has been posted to parishes and subscribers, and is also available online. Please click here.
For weeks the wider community of St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School in Perth had watched as Melbourne’s second wave of COVID-19 had paralysed the city. They’d heard stories about vulnerable people being unable to afford essential masks, and they decided to do something about it.
The 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific has been commemorated in muted tones because of coronavirus. Here, Melbourne's Archbishop Philip Freier offers a personal perspective and draws out some lessons for our own times linking the two, notably the importance of our shared humanity.
In early October, the Senate will vote on a bill that allows the Minister for Home Affairs to ban any items that he prohibits within immigration detention centres. His judgment will not be reviewable. The items that have caused most controversy have been mobile phones. Jesuit priest Andrew Hamilton writes here that "though disguised in beige words this legislation is a knife held at the throat of Australian decency as well as of the humanity of people who seek protection".
Judy Adamson, Editor of Sydney's diocesan monthly Southern Cross, reviews Sir David Attenborough's latest film, A Life On Our Planet, and says his passionate plea for the Earth is "entirely selfless" as he won't be around to see whether humanity responds to his call. "I doubt whether many of us are as urgent in our need to share the gospel and save people’s souls as he is in urging us to save the planet, and that should give us pause," she writes.
The Church of England has approved an initial compensation scheme for survivors of sexual abuse that could reach a multimillion-pound sum as it braces itself for the findings of an independent inquiry to be published next week. The C of E’s executive body, the Archbishops’ Council, unanimously agreed to draw down reserves for the first payouts to survivors as part of an “interim pilot scheme”.
The Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Quebec has endorsed an interfaith statement strongly criticising COVID-19 restrictions by the Quebec government limiting attendance in public places, which religious leaders across the province suggest unfairly target places of worship.
The Bible Society’s Penny Mulvey reflects that there is hope, even in the hardship of lockdown. “Perhaps the most important and hardest lesson of all – the best way to manage is to be present – to myself, to God, to my colleagues, to the local barista and to my family and friends. Why? Because God is fully present with me, loving me, holding me, whether I am in the depths of despair or full of hope.”
Local vicar, Father Dushantha Rodrigo, has been appointed as the next Bishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka by Archbishop Justin Welby. The Colombo Diocesan Council referred the appointment of their next bishop to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his role as Metropolitan under the Church of Ceylon’s constitution. The Church’s own internal mechanisms failed to elect a bishop in August. But Archbishop Welby said it was not a role he had sought or felt comfortable having to exercise. "In my view, it carries too many reminders of a colonial past. I have therefore sought and obtained from Father Dushantha his assurance that he will give urgent priority to enabling the Church of Ceylon to take its proper place as a fully independent province in the life of the wider Anglican Communion."
Donald Trump’s nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court, to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has drawn attention to a secretive Catholic “covenant community” called People of Praise that counts Barrett as a member and faces claims of adhering to a “highly authoritarian” structure.
While congregations across The Episcopal Church in the United States are confronting examples of historical racism, the history of Memorial Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland, stands out as “particularly sordid”, the Revd Grey Maggiano, the church’s rector, tells the Episcopal News Service. The two priests who are connected to the church’s 1860 founding and memorialised by its name, the Revds Henry Van Dyke Johns and Charles Ridgely Howard, were defenders of slavery and came from families who enslaved hundreds.