Wangaratta Synod prepares to push Anglican Church of Australia to the Brink

“As I write the synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta is in the final day of its current session.

Bishop Parkes has been very clear that he intends to support and endorse a motion before the synod to allow for blessings of those individuals who have entered into a same-sex marriage in Australia. …

Bishop Parkes’ Presidential Address provides a clear insight into his thinking on this topic.…

It seems certain that the synod will pass the motion and the crisis will be upon us. As we’ve reported previously, we should expect to see conservative bishops take out disciplinary measures against Parkes. The matter will also be referred to the Appellate Tribunal.”

– David Ould writes on the Synod of the Diocese of Wangaratta, which concludes today.

Photo: Bishop David Parkes, who speaks (in his Presidential address) of the influence on his thinking  of John Macquarrie and Friedrich Schleiermacher, among others.

Update 1:

“The Diocese of Wangaratta has passed their motion calling for the blessing of individuals who have taken part in a same-sex wedding. The voting, reported by prominent supporter of the motion Ven. John Davis (Archdeacon Emeritus of the Diocese), was that 67 for, 18 against and one abstention.”

Update 2:

“In the coming weeks, Bishop Parkes will bless two priests from Wangaratta, John Davis and Rob Whalley, who have been in a relationship for more than 20 years.” – ABC News, 1st September 2019.

Protest against the abortion-to-birth bill — Saturday 7th September

The Australian Christian Lobby is encouraging a massive protest against the “abortion-to-birth bill” outside Liberal Party State Council meeting next week.

They write, “This is the first time the party has come together since the election. The Premier and numerous MPs will be in attendance. We need your support to show the tsunami of opposition against the radical abortion-to-birth bill!”

8.00am Saturday 7th September
Outside the Main Foyer
International Convention Centre,
14 Darling Drive, Sydney NSW 2000.

You could consider letting church members know about this on Sunday.

Details at their website.

New Commonwealth Religious Freedom Laws

“The Commonwealth Attorney-General has released Exposure Drafts of a package of Federal Bills designed to improve religious freedom protections under Australian law, along with associated explanatory information. The legislation responds to the recommendations of the Ruddock Panel into Religious Freedom, released late in 2018. Public comment has been invited by 2 October, 2019.

The main item is the Religious Discrimination Bill 2019 (“RDB”), which broadly replicates the existing pattern of anti-discrimination laws enacted by the Commonwealth, but picking up for the first time at the Federal level the “protected characteristics” of “religious belief or activity”. Two ancillary Bills propose consequential amendments to other legislation, add some specific matters to be taken into account in objects clauses for other discrimination laws, and slightly amend or clarify the laws on charities and marriage.

The RDB is a lengthy document (68 clauses over 52 pages), with some complexities that will need to be unpacked. But I would like to offer a brief overview and an initial response, which will be followed up later by more detailed comments about particular issues. I can say, however, that it looks like being a worthwhile and helpful change which in general will further the cause of religious freedom (for both believers and non-believers) in Australia.…”

– Neil Foster, Associate Professor in Law, offers an initial opinion at Law and Religion Australia.

Archaeologists in Peru unearth 227 bodies in biggest-ever discovery of child sacrifice

“Archaeologists in Peru say the 227 bodies they have unearthed from a site used by the pre-Columbian Chimu culture is the biggest-ever discovery of sacrificed children. …”

– Story from ABC News.

Albert Mohler’s The Briefing, August 28, 2019

In today’s issue of his daily podcast The Briefing, Albert Mohler turns to the question of abortion.

He draws out horrifying implications of “the deadly logic of the abortion movement”. The first three parts of the programme are very relevant to New South Wales.

Listen here.

Cathedral Conversation – NSW Abortion Legislation

St John’s Anglican Cathedral Parramatta is hosting a Cathedral Conversation on “Choices: The conversation about abortion we need to have”.

On Monday, 2nd September 2019 from 7:30pm. Read more

‘NSW abortion bill has left us feeling betrayed’

“There are signs that maybe, just maybe, Premier Gladys Berejiklian is starting to listen and understand how much damage NSW’s extreme abortion bill has inflicted on her government.

Last week offered a ray of hope, as she softened her stance on amendments to fix some of the bill’s most brutal flaws, such as sex-selection abortions that would target girls, just for being girls. Her party is bitterly divided. …

And then, just three days ago, the Stand For Life rally in Martin Place and outside Parliament House in opposition to the bill drew a mammoth attendance of an estimated 10,000 people. … Perhaps the most breathtaking moment of the emotional evening was the live audio of a 23-week-old unborn baby’s heartbeat, amplified onstage by ultrasound.”

– Writing in The Catholic Weekly, Campion College student Bethany Marsh writes about the Stand For Life rally and what is really at stake.

After the Stand for Life rally, students from Campion College sang this haunting carol for for passers by. The carol is based on Matthew 2 and the Massacre of the Innocents.

Here’s another video of the singing at Freedom for Faith’s Facebook page.

Vocal NSW church leaders join anti-abortion campaigners

“Triumphant anti-abortion campaigners rallied outside the New South Wales Parliament last night, boasting they have the people power to ensure legislation to decriminalise abortion in the state gets voted down.

Their hopes have been buoyed by Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s decision to delay an upper house vote on the bill until next month.

Leaders of Sydney’s Catholic and Anglican churches and the Australian Christian Lobby urged the crowd to pressure MPs to vote the legislation down.”

– Story from ABC Radio’s AM.

‘Choose Life’ written in sky over Sydney as NSW Parliament goes into abortion tailspin

“NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has made an 11th-hour decision to delay a vote in parliament on a bill that would decriminalise abortion, appearing to cave in to the concerns of Liberal colleagues. …”

– Report from ABC News.

Are the Nationals the ‘New Greens’?

“Are the Nationals the ‘New Greens’? Has the National Party been commandeered by the Progressive Left? What does the National Party stand for any more?

G.K. Chesterton said: ‘When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.’ Equally, it could be said that when a political party loses its reason for existence and its moral fabric it will inevitably allow anything. …”

– The Bishop of Armidale, Rick Lewers, doesn’t beat about the bush in his latest “In Focus” article.

Albert Mohler on the Abortion votes in NSW and New Zealand

On his daily programme, “The Briefing” for 19th August 2019, Albert Mohler looks at the moves in Australia and New Zealand to ‘decriminalise’ abortion and ‘modernise’ the law.

He looks closely at the language used, and the logic behind the statements.

Contacting members of the NSW Upper House

With the NSW Upper House expected to begin to debate the abortion bill this week, readers may care to avail themselves of the Australian Christian Lobby’s portal to e-mail all Members of the Legislative Council.

The page links also includes some suggestions for point you could make.

Of course, you can also contact members individually.

Related:

“Archbishop Glenn Davies has told a State Parliamentary inquiry that the catchcry of new legislation has been ‘decriminalisation’ but skates over the details that it radically extends abortion in New South Wales.

Abortion is not unlawful in New South Wales under certain circumstances because of a precedent set by the ruling of a District Court Judge in 1971.

The new legislation, which allows for abortions up to birth without effective safeguards, has had minor amendments in the state’s Legislative Assembly and now goes to the Upper House for scrutiny and then a vote.

After two weeks of media appearances and joint appeals with other religious leaders, Dr Davies was able to speak directly to the Upper House MPs who form the Social Issues Committee of the Legislative Council. …

The Archbishop also lodged a submission by the Social Issues Committee of the Diocese, which argued against the legislation on several grounds, including its impact on women. …”

Martyn Iles, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, will address the Stand for Life pro-life rally at Martin Place, Sydney on Tuesday August 20.

Thousands of people are expected to attend to show their opposition to the extreme NSW abortion bill that will be debated in the NSW Upper House this week. The Australian Christian Lobby is co-hosting the event with other pro-life organisations.

It follows polling released by ACL today which indicates strong opposition to the bill.

Mr Iles will be joined by MPs including Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers leader Robert Borsak and Tania Mihailuk MLA from the ALP as well as faith and community leaders.

Stand for Life

When: 6pm-9pm Tuesday August 20, 2019

Where: Martin Place (Macquarie Street side)

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