Latest Cathedral News
"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
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.
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
The Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall has announced that the Venerable Cameron Venables will be Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Brisbane, succeeding Bishop Rob Nolan as Bishop for the Western Region.
Archdeacon Venables is the Rector of the parish of North Rockhampton, and Archdeacon of Rockhampton.
Archbishop Aspinall said Mr Venables had significant parish and cross cultural ministry experience, having worked in Papua New Guinea as well as Brisbane, Grafton and Rockhampton dioceses.
“Cameron has extensive experience ministering with migrant and refugee communities, including Sudanese peoples, and also Indigenous communities,” the Archbishop said.
“Cameron is committed to the mission of God and seeing that mission expressed in contemporary ways. He has a keen interest in social justice and the environment and extensive experience in ministry with young people. Cameron is a warm, personable and hospitable person and I am confident that he will exercise wise and energetic ministry, collaborating with the diversity of clergy and lay people who contribute to our life together in Christ.”
Archdeacon Venables is married to Kate and they have three children, Gabby who is studying at the University of Queensland, Emily currently in year 11 and Jack in year 8 at school.
His Episcopal Ordination will at 7pm on June 24, the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist in S John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
The Dean was one of three presenters who explored the role faith plays in supporting climate change adaptation. This will be examined from two perspectives. First, faith is examined as a personal motivator to face challenges, strengthen resilience and maintain persistence in work. Second, faith as an institution is examined as an important contributor to resilient communities and policy making. This discussion will also include the presentation of a deliberative democratic framework of nine principles to facilitate in infusion of faith perspectives in climate change decision making.
You can watch his presentation by Clicking Here.