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Ep 13: The Church in damage control: the Royal Commission, Pell and Spotlight

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Hey guys! We’re doing a live podcast in April in Sydney. You should definitely come along. More details here.

Notes from Episode 13

For arguments sake: where we take a debate, cut out the party politics and try to talk it out

Megan and Michael get straight into discussing child sexual abuse within the church in the wake of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction and sentencing earlier this month on several counts of child sexual abuse while he was Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. They consider whether there is something particular about churches that “makes us more prone to this kind of problem?” Megan suggests clericalism is one of the big problems, not just in the Catholic church but all denominations – putting pastors on a pedestal and expecting more of them. Megan and Michael talk about their own experiences as pastors, and what has started to change in the training and formation of ministers to avoid the abuse of power.

Megan also suggests that the fact that most pastors are male also contributes to the problem of abuse in the church. And while Michael says he doesn’t necessarily disagree, he has had trouble getting an answer on what specifically would be solved by having more women in the priesthood, and in positions of leadership in churches. Tune in to hear the discussion.

If this episode has brought up any issues for you, please check out these links: 

Mentioned in this segment:

Look – a new segment!
You did WHAT now? A peek at what the other ‘M’ has been up to.

Megan wrote an opinion piece for Eternity seeking to bring together some similar issues that have arisen from the support by many Christians and Christian leaders of the Australian visits of Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson and evangelist Franklin Graham and then the response of some within the church to the conviction of Cardinal Pell. The piece attracted a lot of comments on social media, from Christians on both sides. Michael notes that in writing the piece Megan was applauded by some and accused of being a heretic by others.

Megan says she was trying to get across the problem of adulating particular people to the point where it is difficult to question them, and how important it is to not shut down questioners. Michael gives his own verdict on Megan’s piece and the issues she was addressing.

This is a good example, says Megan, of the lack of respectful conversation among Christians (particularly online) when people disagree with a dominant view.

Mentioned in this segment:

Marg and Dave: Reviews from two people obsessed by stories. But not always the same ones.

Michael and Megan watch Spotlight, the 2015 award-winning movie following the Boston Globe‘s investigation of child sexual abuse within the Catholic church in Boston. It is based on a series of stories by the “Spotlight” team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Mentioned in this segment:

We’re going LIVE this April

With All Due Respect will be recording a live podcast special as part of Paddington Anglican’s PEACEtalk series, on Thursday 11th April from 7pm. It will be a federal election special: a political and personal conversation minus the polarisation.

Join us at PEACEtalks with Megan Powell du Toit and Michael Jensen as we explore some Christians perspectives as we approach the Federal election. Potential segments will include:
– For arguments sake: Should our politicians dream dreams and see visions?
– The secret life of us: How does who we are determine how we vote?
– And a live Q&A with the audience
This is surely to be a lively conversation in which we get to engage!

The event will commence at 7pm with a light dinner followed by the Live Podcast commencing promptly at 7:30pm. Supper will be served after the event. Parking can be tricky, so consider public transport or arriving early.

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Find out more about the hosts of With All Due Respect:

Rev Dr Michael Jensen, rector at St Mark’s Anglican Darling Point, author, public commentator.

Rev Megan Powell du Toit, ordained Baptist minister, Publishing Manager of the Australian College of Theology, editor of the journal Colloquium.

We got the idea of our two-header theology and culture podcast from this show: The Movie Show/At the Movies.

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