19 May 2022

12 - 18 May

With an election looming, here’s what Anglicans had to say

Throughout the year, we’ve been asking Anglican leaders what they’ll be looking for as they cast their vote. With just three sleeps until election night, we’ve collated their views on a range of issues.  

Here you can read Tracy Lauersen on family violence policy, Amy Brown on youth mental health, Jonathan Cornford on addressing climate change, Audrey Statham on refugee policy, along with voices from Anglicare Victoria, the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Anglican Overseas Aid.  

Ridley College’s Lindsay Wilson also shares the questions he believes Christians should ask before voting. 

 

Future of same-sex marriages may be left to individual dioceses: Melbourne leaders

Individual dioceses may be left to discern the way ahead on same-sex marriage within the church after motions both for and against such unions were voted down at General Synod, leaders have predicted.  

Victorian Anglicans are seeking to find a unified way forward after motions both for and against same-sex marriage within the Church were voted down at General Synod.  

Despite differences of opinion on whether same-sex marriage was “a moral good and a gift to be celebrated” within the Anglican Church, leaders agreed that listening to one another was a key aspect of moving forward. 

 

Anglican disunity on same-sex marriage threatens to tear the church apart

When same-sex marriage was legislated by the Commonwealth in 2017, it quickly became a potential flashpoint in the Anglican Church of Australia. 

For the conservative Diocese of Sydney, which contributed $1 million to the “no” campaign in the national same-sex marriage plebiscite, it became the line in the sand that could open up a major rift in the national church. 

The national church now stands on the brink of that rift, writes Muriel Porter. 

 

The changes to Australia’s History, Civics and Citizenship Curriculum better reflect the role of religion in our national life

Religion remains a contested topic in the upcoming federal election – and particularly religion in schools. 

Last year, when the then Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge rejected the proposed changes to the Australian History Curriculum because of – among other things – an unhistorical lack of reference to Australia’s Christian heritage, many disparaged him for launching a fresh “culture war”. Others agreed with Tudge’s concerns, insisting that the draft curriculum represented latest attempt at “woke” engineering in our classrooms. 

The reality of national curriculum writing is far less conspiratorial, writes Associate Professor David Hastie. 

 

Unconverted: Calls for Australia-wide ban on conversion therapy

Conversion “therapy” is banned in three states and territories, but no national ban exists. 

It is based on the idea that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity can be changed, suppressed or eradicated through practices ranging from psychiatric treatments to spiritual intervention. 

Here, three Australians share their stories. 

 

Presbyterian Church to offer future land sales to iwi first

The New Zealand Presbyterian Church has reached a milestone decision to offer any future church-owned land for sale to local Maori iwi before anyone else. 

An iwi is a term for extended kinship group in Maori society. 

The first right of refusal policy was voted with an overwhelming majority in support, with 121 votes for and just 12 against. 

 

Church of England to pump £3.6bn into parishes and fund more social action

The Church of England is to pump £3.6 billion into its 12,500 parishes over the next nine years in an effort to halt its decline by increasing “mission activity” among young people and disadvantaged communities. 

The money – a 30 per cent increase in funding from the church commissioners, who look after the Church of England’s central assets – will support social action projects such as food banks, and help the church achieve its target to be carbon net zero by 2030. 

 

Church leaders slam Israeli police attack on Abu Akleh’s funeral

The top Catholic clergyman in Jerusalem has condemned the police beating of mourners carrying the coffin of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli forces last Wednesday, accusing Israeli authorities of violating human rights and disrespecting the Catholic Church. 

 

Hong Kong cardinal Joseph Zen arrested under China’s security law

One of the Catholic Church’s most senior members has been arrested in Hong Kong for breaking China’s national security law, police have confirmed.  

Cardinal Joseph Zen, 90, is one of four people detained for being associated with a now-defunct organisation that helped protesters in financial need. 

 

Laguna Woods church gunman worked methodically, but motive a mystery

The suspect in a shooting that killed one person and injured five at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods appeared to be motivated by political hatred of Taiwan, officials said Monday. 

David Wenwei Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, left notes in Chinese in his car stating he did not believe Taiwan should be independent from China, said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.