Religious leaders from diverse traditions share candid thoughts on xenophobia

At a global conference on xenophobia in Rome, a panel of four religious leaders from, respectively, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Islamic traditions, spoke candidly about how xenophobia can sometimes be woven deeply into the fabric of these traditions.

The World Conference on Xenophobia, Racism, and Populist Nationalism in the Context of Global Migration is running 18-20 September.

The world conference is organized by the World Council of Churches and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU)

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Living the Change: Climate Science is Unfolding

The nurturing and respect for Life is a central doctrine of all faiths on Earth. Yet today we are endangering life on Earth with unacceptably high and rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions. These gases are destabilizing the global climate system, heating the Earth, acidifying the oceans, and putting both humanity and all living creatures at unacceptable risk.

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Tibetan Buddhist Rinpoche confirmed to have engaged in “physical, sexual, emotional abuse”

The author of the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Soygal Rinpoche, has been subject of abuse claims by his followers. An independent investigation confirms “physical, sexual, emotional abuse” by Sogyal Rinpoche.

The report by law firm Lewis Silkin details multiple allegations of physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse, as well as accounts of “living a lavish, gluttonous and sybaritic lifestyle,” and “tainting the appreciation of the Dharma.

Read moreTibetan Buddhist Rinpoche confirmed to have engaged in “physical, sexual, emotional abuse”

Europe: Ecumenical pilgrims start journey to advocate for climate justice at UN climate talks

A group of ecumenical pilgrims started a journey towards the 2018 World Climate Conference hosting city Katowice, in Poland, where high level talks about the preservation of creation will take place. “Go then!” (Geht doch!, in German) is the motto of the Ecumenical Pilgrimage for Climate Justice that took off in Bonn, Germany, on 9 September.

Read moreEurope: Ecumenical pilgrims start journey to advocate for climate justice at UN climate talks

Royal Commission: Catholic Church must reform canon law in wake of child sex abuse royal commission

Amid international media hype and confusing reporting, Australia’s Catholic leaders delivered their official response to the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse last week.

So, has the Australian Catholic Church “rejected mandatory reporting“, as Al Jazeera published? Or did The Hindu get it right with their headline: “Australian Catholic leaders vow to end abuse cover-up“?

The devil is, as always, in the detail. And there is a lot of detail.

The joint response from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious Australia (CRA), which represents nuns, sisters and brothers, monks and friars, says bishops and religious leaders accept most of the recommendations of the royal commission.

Simultaneously, the long-awaited Truth, Justice and Healing Council (TJHC) report, a self-analysis commissioned by the ACC and the CRA, was made public — it’s a bitter medicinal pill Catholic leadership themselves had paid for and asked to be administered.

The bottom line is that the diverse and independent parts of a complex Catholic Church in crisis have managed — for better or for worse — to pull themselves together and form a coordinated response.

Read moreRoyal Commission: Catholic Church must reform canon law in wake of child sex abuse royal commission

Royal Commission: exploring the task of rebuilding and renewal for Australia’s Christian churches

The conference Health and Integrity in Churches and Ministry calls for a ‘reformation’ of Australia’s churches following Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Participating churches were the Catholic Church (and Catholic Religious Orders), the Anglican Church, the Uniting Church, Churches of Christ and members of the Salvation Army along with representatives of other Christian denominations.

Read moreRoyal Commission: exploring the task of rebuilding and renewal for Australia’s Christian churches

UN calls on China to free 1 million Uighurs from alleged re-education camps

United Nations’ human rights experts have voiced alarm over alleged Chinese political re-education camps for Muslim Uighurs and called for the immediate release of those detained on the grounds of what China describes as “countering terrorism”.

Read moreUN calls on China to free 1 million Uighurs from alleged re-education camps

Victoria: Living the Change

Living the Change is a national faith-based event curated by Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Religions for Peace Australia and United Religions Initiative. It will be launched in many locations in Australia including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. There is also an online tool for reducing your carbon footprint as per your faith.

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Pope Francis condemns church sex abuse in response to new revelations in US

Pope Francis has issued a letter to Catholics around the world condemning the “crime” of sexual abuse committed by priests — and its cover-up — and demanding accountability.

The Vatican issued the three-page letter on Monday in response to new revelations in the US of decades of misconduct by the Catholic Church.

The Pope begged forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims and said lay Catholics must be involved in any effort to root out abuse and cover-up.

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Religions for Peace Mourns the loss of H.E. Kofi Annan


Religions for Peace (RfP) International joins people around the world in grieving the passing of His Excellency Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations. He was a remarkable servant of peace. In addition, he was a long-term partner of Religions for Peace.

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A Rabbi writes: An open letter to my Roman Catholic friends



You, my Catholic friends, deserve the good church. So does the world.” Rabbi Jeff Salkin on the new report of three hundred Roman Catholic priests sexually abusing a thousand children – and how Roman Catholics can hold onto their faith.

Read moreA Rabbi writes: An open letter to my Roman Catholic friends

ABC Life: How to sit with someone who’s dying

When his grandfather died in the emergency department of a Hobart hospital, Andreas was by his side. “I was really frightened.” It was Andreas’s first experience of being with a dying person and it made him anxious.

“As his breathing slowed down and he was taking less and less breaths, I was worried about how I was going to feel when he didn’t take any more,” he says. “And then he had one final really deep inhale and exhale, and it was fine. “I wasn’t panicked at all. I thought ‘Oh, it’s not weird’.

Read moreABC Life: How to sit with someone who’s dying

International: G20 Interfaith, Argentina, 26-28 September 2018

The 2018 G20 Interfaith Forum will take place 26-28 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Meetings will be held in the Auditorio Manuel Belgrano in the historic Palacio San Martín of Argentina’s Cancillería, the Ministry of Foreign and Religious Affairs, and the nearby conference hotel, the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel and Convention Center. This is the fifth annual event in a series of G20 Interfaith Forums held in relation to the meetings of the international “Group of Twenty” (G20) Economic Summit. The G20 Interfaith Forum is pleased this year to partner with meetings of the Argentinian project Ética y Economía, an ongoing dialogue on religiously- and ethically-informed dimensions of the economy, development, and society.

Read moreInternational: G20 Interfaith, Argentina, 26-28 September 2018

Thou shalt not put politics ahead of religion

Senior figures, including the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader among others, have been discussing their religious beliefs in a new book on faith without the usual deer-in-headlights reaction that occurs whenever a politician spots a godless and cynical journalist looking for a gotcha moment.

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Why America’s ‘nones’ don’t identify with a religion


Six-in-ten religiously unaffiliated Americans – adults who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” – say the questioning of religious teachings is a very important reason for their lack of affiliation.

Read moreWhy America’s ‘nones’ don’t identify with a religion

Brahma Kumaris: Sister Shivani to tour Australia

shivani

World-renowned empowerment speaker Sister Shivani is coming to Australia for a national speaking tour. The tour is being promoted by Brahma Kumaris Australia and will take in all capital cities plus the Gold Coast. Sister Shivani has been a practitioner and teacher of Raja Yoga Meditation with The Brahma Kumaris since 1996.

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