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Latest Cathedral News

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Call for a Changed Focus for ANZAC Day

"There is a pressing need for a change of focus for Anzac Day" says Dr Peter Catt, President of A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia).

"What is needed is a focus on the realities that both past and present defence personnel,  and their families and communities, have to live with as a consequence of war", Dr Catt said.

In his recently published book entitled Anzac's Long Shadow, military author James Brown appeals to government and private groups not to pour money into more and more war monuments but to invest it in the human lives of military veterans.

An example of this extensive and mis-focussed government expenditure is the millions upon millions of dollars that the Australian government is set to spend on commemorating World War I. Australia will spend more than twice what the British Government plans to spend on the project. And Australia does not even have half the population of Britain, nor anything approaching the British casualties in that great and tragic war!

The estimated expenditure by the Australian government on such ceremonies and the like is estimated to amount to over $300 million.

James Brown notes that the Australian government "is spending at least $30 million more on commemorating soldiers who fought in Europe [70 years ago] than the mental wounds of soldiers returning from Afghanistan today".

Brown makes a heartfelt plea for such lavish expenditure to be channelled towards rehabilitation of living war veterans rather than monuments to the dead. He cites the instances of current returned soldiers suffering from war related stress. In a number of cases such stress has led to some veterans committing suicide.

Money invested in the care and rehabilitation of such veterans is a much more vital need in contemporary Australia, rather than the erection of more and more stone monuments and public ceremonies attended by politicians and dignitaries.

A second reason for a change of focus on Anzac Day, Dr Catt noted, is related to the first. There is a challenge facing Australian society, especially its current leaders, for Australia to acknowledge publicly and clearly the toll on family relationships that the trauma of war has produced among those whose loved ones fought in the wars. In particular, acknowledgment needs to be given to the spouses and children who have had to cope with the traumatised lives of returning veterans damaged by their war experience.

Too often, Anzac Day becomes the primary occasion for oft repeated rhetoric that it was war experience that made Australia a nation (and carefully selected war

experience at that). Instead, there is a pressing need for Australia to face frankly the costs of war being borne by the very service personnel who are publicly lauded with nationalistic speeches about bravery, heroism and bloody sacrifice, but who are neglected and forgotten in their post-war journeys as returning veterans.

James Brown writes that "Anzac has become our longest eulogy, our secular sacred rite, our national story, a day when our myth-making paints glory and honour so thickly on those in the military that it almost suffocates them".

A Progressive Christian Voice (Australia) believes that there is a compelling need for a change of focus for the present observance of Anzac Day.

Contacts Peter Catt 0404 052 494

Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Homilies

Homilies offered by The Rev'd Professor Dorothy Lee for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter.

Maundy Thursday: Two Suppers. Download here.

Good Friday: Love, Triumph, Cleansing, Life. Download here.

Easter: The Re-Creation of the World and The Importance of the Body.
Vigil Version: Download here
9.30am Version: Download here

 

Homily Offered by The Dean at the 7.30am Eucharist Easter Day.

A Lovely Day for Christ-Making. Download here.

Anglican Archbishops Express Concern at Children in Detention

The Anglican Archbishops in Australia will commence Holy Week with a call for more humane treatment of refugees, particularly children in detention.

The Archbishops have released the following statement deploring the fact that recent figures suggest that around a thousand children will spend Easter in Australian sponsored detention.

As leaders of the Anglican Church of Australia we wish to put on record our profound disquiet that at the end of February this year there were more than 950 children in detention facilities and alternative places of detention in Australia, and a further 177 children in offshore detention in Nauru. The average time people spend in detention is more than eight months.

While our Federal Government has been drawing attention to the number of days without boat arrivals, this is another set of numbers that needs close scrutiny. These children are innocent victims of tragic circumstances. To use the words of the UN Charter on the Rights of the Child, detention of children should be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate time.

As church leaders, we are not seeking to express a party political opinion on this matter. Within our Church there is grave disquiet about the asylum seeker policies of both major parties.

It is our view that those who flee from desperate circumstances by boat should not be punished by prolonged detention whether in Australia, Nauru or Manus Island. They are not the people smugglers. They are people made in the image of God, who deserve respect from all Australians, but especially our Government and its agencies. They come to Australia out of desperation, fleeing religious, ethnic or economic persecution. They seek asylum under the Refugee Convention that as a nation we have signed. Many will be found to be refugees, as the Government’s own statistics demonstrate.

We call on the Australian Government to ensure that asylum seekers are treated humanely and respectfully by those charged with their care and protection, and that they are attended to in a timely manner.

The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall Primate and Metropolitan of Queensland

 

The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies Metropolitan of New South Wales

 

The Most Reverend Dr Jeffrey Driver Metropolitan of South Australia

 

The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier Metropolitan of Victoria

 

The Right Reverend John Harrower OAM Bishop of Tasmania

 

The Most Reverend Roger Herft AM Metropolitan of Western Australia

 

Reflecting on the Ignatian Suscipe

Homily offered by The Venerable Valerie Hoare at The Eucharist of The Oils on Tuesday 15th April 2014.

Download here.

Cathedral vetoes chocolate Easter eggs due to ‘slavery’ concerns

The only chocolate egg to be seen at St John’s Cathedral this Easter will be pictured on the notice board.

Although the Anglican Church supports chocolate eggs at Easter, the Dean, Dr Peter Catt, said today that the Cathedral would not distribute eggs to worshippers on Easter Day – due to child slavery concerns.

“I made the decision after a fruitless search for chocolate eggs that are certified ‘slavery-free’,’’ he said.

“Much of the world’s cocoa is produced by child slaves. It is the dark side of the chocolate industry.

“Chocolate that is certified by Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ is guaranteed to be slavery free. “Unfortunately there is not much of it around and what little there is of it can be very expensive.”

Dr Catt said having only expensive certified eggs in the marketplace created the idea that the public cannot afford to avoid chocolate that might be produced by child slaves.

“This just isn’t true,” Dr Catt said.

“In the UK and Europe public sensitivity to the issue has seen large amounts of certified product become available with very little increases in price.

“I am deeply concerned that Australian manufacturers and retailers are dragging the chain. Some have made the switch on a number of their products, but this has not carried over to their Easter product range.

“Easter is a celebration of life. We can’t in all conscience enjoy that celebration at the expense of children in other parts of the world,” he said.

“We hope that by Easter next year, some retailers will embrace the simple ethical response that is open to them.”

The Anglican Church of Southern Queensland is a member of The Stop the Traffik Coalition which exists to end slavery world-wide. More on the work of Stop the Traffik can be found at: http://www.stopthetraffik.org/australia

Media contact

John Austin Mob 0401 759 073

crests
St John's Cathedral, 373 Ann Street, Brisbane, Qld, Australia. Open for visitors from 9.30am-4.30pm daily.