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Author Archives: Mark Bowling

Devastating bushfires stir community spirit in coastal areas across Central Queensland

DAYS of bushfires burning in coastal areas across Central Queensland have destroyed homes, torn through thousands of hectares of bush and farmland, and forced more than 1500 residents to evacuate. However, amid heatwave conditions, the loss and worry, the spirit and deeds of smoky-faced volunteers has inspired entire communities. “The whole community is pulling together with this disaster,” Agnes Water ... Read More »

Right to teach beliefs threatened by proposals to repeal faith-based exemptions, bishops say

In the classroom

AUSTRALIAN Catholic bishops have demanded federal members of parliament provide protection for religious schools operating according to their faith. The move follows the shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus announcing on November 27 that Labor would introduce its own Private Member’s Bill, to repeal the exemptions for religious schools in section 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act. The Bishops said Parliament ... Read More »

Graham Preston facing arrest if he continues his pro-life activism for the unborn in Queensland

PRO-lifer Graham Preston, a regular campaigner outside Brisbane’s abortion clinics, knows his days of freedom to do that are numbered. Queensland’s Termination of Pregnancy Bill – effectively legalising abortion – comes into force on December 3, and 63-year-old Mr Preston faces arrest if he continues his activism. New laws will establish 150m exclusion or “bubble zones” around abortion clinics or medical ... Read More »

Townsville Bishop Tim Harris urging the release of the last remaining Bali Nine drug mules

A QUEENSLAND bishop has demanded it was time to bring home the remaining Bali Nine, convicted after smuggling drugs in 2005 and still languishing behind bars in Indonesia. “Surely our government and the Indonesian government could get together and talk about the possibility of getting those Australians home,” Townsville Bishop Tim Harris, who has a deep pastoral connection with the ... Read More »

Caritas Australia CEO critical of long-term loan plans for Pacific Island nations

THE head of Church aid agency Caritas Australia says Australia’s strategic pivot towards the Pacific region, including the introduction of long-term loans for new projects, ignores needs and priorities identified by the region’s political and Church leaders. Caritas Australia chief executive officer Paul O’Callaghan said “climate-change financing and local aid are really what Pacific Islanders are calling for”. Mr O’Callaghan ... Read More »

Former atheist Bill Hayden anticipating the joy of his First Holy Communion before Christmas

TWO months after being baptised a Catholic, former governor-general and declared atheist Bill Hayden is eagerly anticipating the joy of his First Holy Communion. “It will be exciting because I have never done it before in my life,” the sharp-witted, but frail 85-year-old said as he considered his new-found faith journey. Speaking from his farm outside Ipswich, Queensland, where he ... Read More »

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