Author Archives: John Warhurst

John Warhurst

About John Warhurst

John Warhurst AO is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. He is a regular columnist with the Canberra Times and Eureka Street.

Plenary Council progress without transparency or inclusion for lay Catholics 

Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn last August challenged the President of the forthcoming Fifth Plenary Council of Australia (PC), Archbishop Tim Costelloe of Perth, to avoid a breach of faith with the Australian Catholic community. It called on him to open … Continue reading

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A breach of faith with many thousands of Catholics.

Leading church renewal group, Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn, has called on Australian Catholic bishops to release an essential document for consultation with the broader Catholic community before the bishops finalise it and send it to Rome ahead of the historic … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Catholic Bishops must embrace transparency and accountability

Senior Catholic bishops must exercise leadership and firmly grasp the fresh opportunities now provided to them for increased transparency and accountability within the church. They must grab the moment.

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JOHN WARHURST. Church Governance Review Project Team Opportunity

The church governance review now underway has garnered considerable national and international interest as a forward step in church reform. This opportunity should not be over-sold as taking control of church reform, because of the considerable constraints under which the … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHUST.  Robert Fitzgerald provides a glimmer of hope for Australia’s Catholics.

 Robert Fitzgerald has brought a ray of hope for those Catholics despondent about this dark time for the church in Australia.  Fitzgerald is ideally-placed to offer advice on the temporal and spiritual future of the church in Australia.  He has served Australia … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Why I am not leaving the Catholic Church

Not only am I not leaving the Catholic church, but I am redoubling my efforts to join with others in making the case for much needed reforms. At heart I believe it is an institution worth working within to improve … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Catholics grow restless at bishops’ lethargy.

Rather than despair at the absence of half of humanity in the clergy and disappearance of their adult children from the church pews, reforming Catholics are seeking to turn their old church around.

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JOHN WARHURST. The power of the Catholic lobby. (Canberra Times 27/9/2018)

The continuing education funding controversy invites scrutiny of the power of insider politics. Political insiders are those who use economic clout, political connections, extensive networks and privileged access to decision-makers to consistently influence political outcomes.  

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JOHN WARHURST. Let’s talk about the Catholic bishops.

While knowledge of individual bishops is helpful, what is more useful is a sense of how they operate and where they stand collectively. 

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JOHN WARHURST. Major Catholic church consultation ambitious – but will it succeed? (Canberra Times 5/7/2018)

The huge Australian Catholic community, the largest, the most clerical and the most hierarchical of our Christian churches, has just embarked on a potentially defining internal consultation process, the Plenary Council 2020, to discuss the future of its church. While … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Mud-wrestling the Catholic elephant.

The Catholic Church is so big and complex. That is one of its defining characteristics yet the media and society at large, much less the Catholic community itself, often fail to grasp its consequences.

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JOHN WARHURST. Demystifying the Coalition

The downfall of Barnaby Joyce and his replacement by Michael McCormack from Wagga Wagga as Nationals leader shows once again that maintaining the Liberal-National coalition has a considerable impact on the nation, and thus it deserves greater attention and transparency. … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Corruption and decay of Australian politics. A REPOST from June 15 2017

  This week’s ABC Four Corners program that revisited, after 30 years, Chris Masters’ revelations of police corruption in Queensland, “The Moonlight State”, brings to mind how widespread corruption in Australian politics has been since then. 

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MARK METHERELL and JOHN WARHURST. Royal Commission provides almanac for what Catholic bishops should do now.

Our group, Concerned Catholics of Canberra Goulburn, was formed back in April 2017 in response to the tide of evidence of child sex abuse that has swept the church.  Our motivating concern was to press for reforms in our church, … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. The Coalition’s special disrespect for unions.

The raid on the offices of the Australian Workers Union by the Australian Federal Police demonstrates a disrespect for trade unions contrary to the Catholic tradition. Since the papal encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891, Catholic Social Teaching has recognised the … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Catholic Citizens needed within Church

Catholics must stand up and become active citizens not loyal subjects within their own church community. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has pointed to weaknesses in culture and governance within the Catholic Church in Australia. … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments