Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Church and Deaths in Custody Brisbane

There was a positive atmosphere on the 11th of April at Justice Place as Ravina Waldren (Coordinator of Murri Ministries) and Peter Arndt (Executive Officer of Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission) presented to a number of church workers the message about the rising number of Deaths in Custody and inform people of what they can do individually and within their churches to make a difference.  
(Read full story from QCT here)
Georgia Corowa  
Churches Together Indigenous Peoples Partnership, Coordinator  
3369 6792 ctipp@qct.org.au 

In Memory of Daniel Yock 

On November 7 1993 a talented young Indigenous Dancer, Daniel Yock was dragged into police custody in Brereton Street South Brisbane. Daniel died in police custody and no member of the Quieensland police force has been held accountable for his death

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody

Cherbourg Boys Song played in mempry of Daniel

Deaths in Custody Campaign Launched

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Just Music Supporting Jesuit Social Services


A multi-styled, multi-national, multi-award winning collection of musicians have put their hands up to be part of an innovative new album and donate a previously unreleased track or rare recording to help some of our most disadvantaged Australians.

They all contribute to a benefit album titled JUST MUSIC which marks the 35th anniversary of Jesuit Social Services. Jesuit Social Services works with disadvantaged young people especially those within the justice system, through it's Brosnan Youth Services program, and those with multiple and complex needs, including mental health and substance use problems.

Online Orders here

Saturday, April 14, 2012

New Vatican Document on Business Leaders

On Palm Sunday I was in Geelong for my mother's 85th Birthday. At the Basilica of St Mary's of the Angels I picked up the parish newsletter to find and insert from the Catholic Bishops of Victoria.

The insert was a letter addressed to Catholics seeking their participation in an online survey about amendments to the Marriage Act. The bishops raided their piggy banks for this campaign both in the state wide distribution of the letter and a video clip of Bishop Christopher Prowse plugging the cause.

I wonder if the same bishops or in fact any Australian Bishop will invest as much commitment to distributing and supporting the most recent release of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Vocation of the Business Leader A Reflection is now online and is a "must read" text that addresses the question of the spirituality of work. The strength of the document is in the series of questions in the appendix which are both personal and professional challenges to the core values of those who engage in business.

I wonder if it will be required reading by some of our card carrying Catholic politicians? I look forward to seeing it referenced by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. Perhaps our most famous Papal Knight Rupert Murdoch will publish the document as a free service for his global readership.

The document was the brainchild of three business educators: Robert Kennedy and Michael Naughton of the University of St. Thomas and Andre Habisch of the Catholic University of Eichstatt-Ingolstadt, Germany.

They were among the 40 Catholic business leaders and professors who attended a February 2011 seminar at the Vatican looking at Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth") and how its framework for a new business ethic could be applied practically.

Farewell Geoffrey, Welcome Mark!

In 2011 on a balmy November evening in Brisbane  I had just come back from a refreshing dip in the pool to be greeted by this announcement 

In two brief sentences we the sun soaked Catholics of Brisbane have been relieved of our local  Archbishop John Bathersby (ABJB) and have been gifted with another  "off-shore" product in  the Lord Bishop of Lismore, Geoffrey Hylton  Jarrett.

The Apostolic Administrator ad nutum Sanctae Sedis is no stranger to  this side of the Tweed. In  a former life he worked as an Anglican priest in Queensland. According to the Lismore press, the Bishop's preaching appeals to Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce.( No relation to Allan...wowo didn't know he was gay, Allan, that is not Barnaby)

You will find an interesting  discussion of this appointment on the Catholica Forum.

To help you recognize the new apostolic Administrator  ad nutum Sanctae Sedis in case you bump into him at the IGA shop or out for a stroll in New Farm here is a shot in his day gear.You can see a more formal pic of the Lord Bishop of Lismore here with some of his colleagues. Bishop Jarrett is the one on the extreme right which may be where he likes to stand.This pic was taken at the opening of the Australian Bishops investment property in Rome. Apparently the guys in the pic are the major investors. Guess which one is rumoured to have bypassed his finance committee before handing over a  substantial contribution. And what a relief to see no-one from our beloved Brisbane Hierarchy  dipping in for this project.

Some interesting conversations are happening in the hallowed halls of the Catholic Centre where the real decision are made about the Archdiocese.It seems the AA ad natum Sanctae Sedis will pop into town for a couple of days a week to sign bits of paper.

To what extent can the AA makes decisions about the governing structures and personnel of the Archdiocese? This is an interesting issue as Brisbane does not have a Vicar-General as is usual. We have a moderator at the top of the power chain.

As +Jarrett is not the Archbishop I presume that like the auxiliaries he will not be allowed to sit on the "chair" which in Brisbane is a most austere looking piece of white marble with a thin cushion to soften the plonker.

As AA ad nutum Sanctae Sedis does +Jarrett get to pick up +ABJB's public roles for example on the Senate of the University of Queensland?

Does one address an AA ad nutum Sanctae Sedis with his "Lordly" status from Lismore or is he entitles to a more "graceful" status?

Will +Jarrett bring his own episcopal wardrobe with him or will he "make do" with the stuff we have in the cupboard at St Stephen's?

The new AA ad nutum Sanctae Sedis takes up his role in Brisbane at the beginning of National Nude Week. Not sure if Geoffrey is into clothing optional ecclesiology!!

2012 Update!!!
As of  April 2 2012 Geoffrey began to save petrol on his Brisbane visits as another "off shore" product has been offered the pallium in Brisbane.  Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra will be packing his  wardrobe and moving north. I expect Mark will take up  permanent residency in the New Farm property called "Wynberg". At 63 that gives him about 12 years on the local marble cathedra.You can watch Geoffrey and Mark chat about the Brisbane job here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Inspiration in a Pic

Most Revd Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town is a patron of Changing Attitudes,  a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) and heterosexual Anglicans, lay and ordained, who are prepared to be open and visible within the Church, meeting to develop a strategy for change in the Church.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jesus and the Gospels by Maurice Ryan

I love a a good mystery with the challenge of human personalities, cultural settings and the amazing wordsmith ability of writers.Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle and G.k. Chesterton  have been some of my favourite writers of this genre.

As well as the "Whodonit" mysteries, we have the "Who Was He" mystery of Jesus of Nazareth. Ever since my days as a young theology student 40 years ago I have continued to be intrigued by this particular mystery. The writers of the four Gospels  have been a constant feature in my travelling book collection. My versions of the Christian Scriptures include The New Jerusalem Bible, The Christian Community Bible and the popular Good News text.

Alongside the ancient writers of the Jesus Story I carry with me popular and scholarly commentaries that  have pushed and challenged my understanding of the message contained within the Gospel texts.Among these books I often refer to these days are  Binding the Strong Man by Ched Myers, Jesus a Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan,and  Honest to Jesus by Robert W Funk. As well as books I also use blogs including Australian Biblical scholar, Michael Carden.

So I was quite pleased to read of a new publication from an old work colleague, Dr Maurice Ryan: Jesus and the Gospels This work has just hit the shelves and I read of it via Damien Brennan's newsletter. The review Damien has posted is enough to encourage me to go out and get a copy of this work. Maurice is an educator as well as a scholar and this is evident in his publications from Lumino Press.

The book is not yet  listed on the publisher's web site but is well promoted by John Garrett and Google. I have added it to my shopping cart and encourage readers of this blog to join me in some conversation about Maurice's book.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Bishop Geoffrey Robinson exposes the Angry God Syndrome

It isn't often that a Catholic Bishop will call for the Catholic Church to undergo a paradigm shift. In this video  Bishop Geoffrey Robinson also calls for a change to the ethos and mystique of priesthood.

Like the famous 12 steps, the Catholic Church must admit it has an addiction to power, bad theology and patriarchy.

Some great lines and ideas from this talk:
Bella Figura
Creeping Infallibility
Images of the "Angry God"
Confronting Sexual Abuse in the Church

More from Bishop Robinson
ABC Interview 1 March 2009

Monday, April 02, 2012

Jimmy Little RIP

As a young boy picking up the new wave of "Rock Music" I vividly remember the "Royal Telephone" with its catchy country melody and the rich sound of Jimmy Little coming through my parents old radiogram The song wasn't in any of our Hymn Collections of the day and  didn't get a gong from the latest approved hymns by the Australian Catholic Bishops.

And today as I mourn the passing of a great Indigenous leader and singer I wonder if that tune will do more to speak "Good News" to our country than all the ritual language of our worship.For behind the tune was a man who lived  a life of service integrity and commitment to his Indigenous culture.  And as obvious in an interview with Today's Christian Music Jimmy was man of faith. In 2002 the Governor General presented Jimmy Little with the Yamaha Golden Gospel Award.

In my work as a photographer I had two wonderful opportunities to hear and photograph Jimmy Little. One was at The Musgrave Park Family Day Concert in 2006 and a few years later Jimmy was in Brisbane again for a  concert to support young Indigenous people. My tribute album from these events can be seen here.

May the spirits sing you home to join your ancestors. May your music and vision for justice continue in our work of reconciliation and solidarity.. RIP Jimmy and thanks for the music.