Newsstand 25 - 31 March
Easter 2021, Conversations with the Archbishop returns, four in line for Sydney Archbishop job, fewer Americans than ever now belong to a church, and more
March 31 2021
Jesus is the king of all who receive his message and live by his promise of eternal life, say Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Dr Philip Freier ahead of this weekend's Easter celebrations. Watch the full video here.
Faith communities are an important part of the conversation about gender equality around the world because of the way faith shapes people’s “norms, practices and structures”. This was one of the key messages shared by Melbourne’s Robyn Andréo-Boosey, Manager of the diocesan Prevention of Violence Against Women (PVAW) program, during the 65th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) that was held online from 15-26 March.
In this first 'Conversations with the Archbishop' for 2021, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Dr Philip Freier is joined by the CEO of Anglicare Australia Kasy Chambers and economist Saul Eslake to talk about how the Australian Government has responded to the economic challenges imposed by the pandemic and what it should be doing in the months and years ahead.
Three assistant bishops and the Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, have been nominated to be the next Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, succeeding Dr Glenn Davies, who retired last week. They are Bishop Chris Edwards, Bishop of North Sydney since 2014; Bishop Peter Hayward, Bishop of Wollongong since 2010; Bishop Michael Stead, Bishop of South Sydney since 2015; and Dean Raffel, who has been at St Andrew’s Cathedral since 2016. A one-day ordinary session of Synod will be held on 3 May, with the election Synod to begin the following day.
Baptist minister Megan Powell du Toit says many Christian leaders have used the COVID experience to suggest learning opportunities for the church but few if any talk about what the COVID experience has to teach us about how we interact with gender in our churches. There have, however, been many articles and studies in society as a whole examining the gendered impacts of COVID. And she writes that she has been living them out as well. “How do we reflect on that with faith?”
Just as Christian belief was once passed down through the generations, the baby boomers’ great rejection of organised religion has gained unstoppable momentum among their millennial children and Generation Z. Post-Christian Britain is now a fait accompli, says an editorial in The Guardian. But the newspaper says that while congregations may have thinned out, spiritual hunger is part of the human condition. “It will find other outlets and means of expression in the years to come.”
The Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council has formally accepted in full the latest recommendations of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), including the creation of an independent body to oversee its safeguarding practices. The IICSA, in its report on child safeguarding in the Anglican Church, made eight recommendations, four of which were specific to the C of E, two to the Church in Wales and two were directed at both institutions. The General Synod voted unanimously to accept the six relevant recommendations late last year.
Ask Americans if they believe in God and most will say yes. But a growing number have lost faith in organised religion. For the first time since the late 1930s, fewer than half of Americans say they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, according to a new report from Gallup.
With the Victorian Parliament having recently passed legislation banning conversion therapy, UK priest and commentator Giles Fraser considers the history of conversion as Westminster considers a similar move, four years after the Church of England renounced conversion therapy. “… While I absolutely believe we need to defend gay people from spiritual abuse, I fear we have now so taken against the idea of conversion, even non-coercive conversion, that we fail to recognise we are all at it.”
Victoria’s Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, a truth-telling inquiry that will investigate injustices committed against Aboriginal Victorians since colonisation, rightly looks to similar models in South Africa and Canada. Each of these also had a clear Indigenous focus and addressed the ravaging impact of white settlement on traditional lands, cultures and communities in their respective countries. Though surprisingly little known in Australia, neighbouring Timor-Leste’s truth and reconciliation commission is also relevant. Timor-Leste’s commission involved Australia in a way the other models did not. Australia co-financed the Commission; Australian experts testified to it and a number of Australians worked for it, garnering experience of potential use to Victoria’s new body.