Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Militarisation of the Church

On ANZAC Day, 25th April , Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane presided at a Memorial Mass for the public holiday.  

The Mass is attended by civic leaders for whom seats are reserved at the front and a military catafalque  party.  The  catafalque party  is traditionally mounted around the coffin to ensure the safety of the body while it lay in state. Its presence around the liturgical space during Eucharist is questionable and  a matter of concern in our Archdiocese.

The 2015 official video of the ANZAC Mass shows that the young men providing the catafalque party are not engaged in full and active participation  as their military  role precludes responding to prayers and joining in the common gestures. 

I have even made a point each year of approaching these young men to share the sign of peace. This year that invitation was led by  Deacon Gary Stone, a military chaplain. However, again the young men holding their weapons are not able to respond to my greeting as their hands were firmly gripping their weapons in the place of sanctuary.

In 2017 Australian film maker, David Bradury made another video about the ANZAC Mass which included a call by myself and Erin Kennedy for the  removal of the  weapons during the ANZAC Day liturgy.

This year, in the days leading up to ANZAC Day Jim and Franz Dowling of the Catholic Worker movement leafleted parishioners and visitors to the Cathedral also calling for a ban on guns in the Cathedral.

My images and photo reflection on the 2018 Mass.

If you share our concern about the presence of weapons in the Cathedral of St Stephen please voice your concerns here.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Australia
13th-20th May 2018

Resources have been adapted from material provided by the Caribbean Churches and include a service, sermon notes and Eight days of Bible Study and Reflections - great for use by Home group. 


The themes of the daily material raise some of the contemporary issues addressed by the churches of the Caribbean. Abuses of human rights are found across the region and we are challenged to consider our manner of welcoming of the stranger into our midst. Human trafficking and modern-day slavery continue to be huge issues. Addiction to pornography and drugs, continue to be serious challenges to all societies. The debt crisis has a negative impact upon the nations and upon individuals – the economies of the nations and people have become precarious. Family life continues to be challenged by the economic restrictions which lead to migration, domestic abuse and violence.
The Caribbean Churches work together to heal the wounds in the body of Christ. Reconciliation demands repentance, reparation and the healing of memories. The whole Church is called to be both a sign and an active agent of this reconciliation.

Christian Aid

Each year Christian Aid provides the Go and Do action points for each of the daily reflections – linking into the important work of Christian Aid in the relief of poverty and advocacy of justice.

Social media

Show your support for Christian Unity by posting unity messages and details of your events to our Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Twitter wall – simply add the #wpcuwall hashtag to your Twitter post (note they take 15 minutes to appear). You can also find updates about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on Twitter by following the #wpcu2018 hashtag.