Category Archives: Religion and Faith

JOHN MENADUE. Seasonal favourites.

I would like to share with you some of my favourites at Christmas, a time of hope.  

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PETER DAY. Grandpa’s favourite Shepherd

This Christmas child won’t give you discounted goods … rather he’ll invite you to be humble, other-centred.

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GERALDINE DOOGUE. Connections in our lives.

Underneath the jollity and frantic end-of-year scurrying, I detect a wistfulness about the lack of certainty of connections in people’s lives these days. 

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. 2017 for Pope Francis: what to expect.

At the heart of what Arrupe sought to do was get Jesuits out of their comfort zone, engaged with the real world and most especially reconverted to Jesus Christ by their encounter with the poor.  Pope Francis would agree. 

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ERIC HODGENS. Christmas – An Epiphany.

What he stands for is the real object of our celebration – love of family and friends; love of enemies, too. He stands for peace, for fair consideration of everyone we deal with, for a world in which we work … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Understanding challenges the church in Asia faces.

The Church in Asia can absorb and replicate its hierarchical, tiered cultural surrounds, or leave behind the clericalist conception of the Church, as a tightly run top-down organisation. It lies at the intersection of local hierarchical cultures and the culture … Continue reading

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PETER JOHNSTONE. The Royal Commission and the Catholic Church’s Dysfunctional Governance

  In May 2016, the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released Issues Paper 11 – Catholic Church Final Hearing, inviting submissions for its final Catholic Church hearing scheduled for three weeks 6-24 February 2017. That … Continue reading

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PETER DAY. Is western civilisation bored?

  Religion. The mob. Capitalism. Fundamentalism. Bad parenting. Racism. Materialism. Youth unemployment. Poverty. Thugs. Multiculturalism. Rich vs poor … Take your pick; even add to the list, as we collectively grapple to decipher the root causes of the violence and … Continue reading

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Catholic Bishops – It Is Time To Bring Them Here

Statement in support of offshore detainees By Archbishop Denis Hart, President, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference One of the greatest crises of our day is the plight of people forced from their own countries by war, persecution or poverty and forced … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. Cometh the hour, cometh the man?

  Is the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Federal Minister for Education and Training, the man? In his recent appearance on the ABC’s Q&A, Senator Birmingham announced that there are private schools that are ‘over-funded’. This came as the Turnbull Government is … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. The Royal Commission and Religious Liberty

  Three law professors, Michael Quinlan and Keith Thompson (Notre Dame) and Frank Brennan (ACU) have criticized any attempt by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to discuss the doctrines and canon law of the Catholic … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY S.J. Making saints.

  In our dreary world full of incredible people making claims to leadership, finding the occasional hero or heroine can’t be a bad thing. So why begrudge the Catholic Church its idiosyncratic ways of creating people for believers to admire … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Don’t blame welfare for budget woes

  Prime Minister Turnbull promised us more centrist and fairer policies, but the Treasurer Mr Morrison appears to be playing a politics of resentment against people on income supports. On 25 August he declared: ‘There is a new divide – … Continue reading

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MILTON MOON. Waiting for Godness -a narrative poem

by Milton Moon.© I’m due to die sooner rather than later. My wife of sixty-seven years has already gone, her mortal remains, in ashes waiting for mine. Together they’ll go, somewhere as part of the seasons or the tides ebb … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. Why Turnbull has no option other than a plebiscite on Same Sex Marriage

  In The Australian Paul Kelly writing on the same sex marriage plebiscite said (23/8), ‘Lawyer and priest Frank Brennan, who has always argued the issue should properly be decided by parliament, told this column: “Contrary to Justice Kirby I … Continue reading

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PETER JOHNSTONE. A Plenary Synod in 2020 for the Australian Catholic Church

  The Australian Catholic Church is planning a national/plenary synod of the Church in Australia. Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane has announced that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has decided to conduct a plenary council/synod in 2020. Few Australian … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Sniffing the Ecclesiastical Wind

  There’s one thing you have to concede to Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane: he can unerringly sniff the direction of the wind in the Vatican; mind you, he’s a frequent visitor to Rome. He’s spotted that Pope Francis is … Continue reading

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DALLY MESSENGER. A letter to Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten concerning refugees.

    There is some talk of cooperation so, living in hope, I am emboldened to write to both of you. Only by you both working together can this criminal behaviour cease. There are far better ways to stop people … Continue reading

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DEAN ASHENDEN. State aide, the ALP and the ‘needs policy’.

When Labor decided to support public funding of non-government schools fifty years ago, it created a legacy that is still misunderstood.

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PETER DAY. The Lord’s Prayer: beyond lip service

Diego’s phone rang, said the voice in Spanish ‘I am Pope Francis’.  “Our Father in heaven; hallowed be your name …” How well we know these words – perhaps too well as they slip off our tongues like a perfunctory … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Why the debates about Islam have gone off the rails

  One of the persistent conceits of modern history has been the growing conviction that rational scientific enquiry will completely remove religious thinking from human consciousness for all time. Positivist fundamentalists like Stephen Hawking or so-called “New Atheists” like Christopher … Continue reading

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FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Economic Inequality is a Wound on our Nation: Can It be Healed?

  The wash up from the Federal election echoes that from after the Brexit vote in the UK – voter disenchantment and protest. Commentators suggest this comes from electorates where the “old economy” still holds sway. Where jobs are tenuous … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis clips Cardinal Pell’s wings.

In the space of a week, Pope Francis reduced the responsibilities of Cardinal George Pell and rebuffed an initiative by Cardinal Robert Sarah. … Pope Francis [also] did a pretty good number on Australian Cardinal George Pell by once more … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. How powerful is Pell in Australia?

  The papacy only gained complete power over the appointment of bishops in the mid-19th century; it’s that recent. Previously many different systems operated, but the key issue was that the local church had a major say in who was … Continue reading

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PETER DAY. The Parable of the Good Muslim

  Some right leaning Christian politicians and commentators were not satisfied when a wise man told them you should love your neighbour as yourself. “And who is my neighbour,” they asked. The wise man replied: A conservative Member of Parliament … Continue reading

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JOHN O’DONOGUE: On Compassion – even for people who are ‘different’

Compassion distinguishes human presence from all other presence on the earth. The human mind is one of the most gracious gifts of creation. The human mind is the place where nature gathers at its most intense and at its most … Continue reading

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ANN GILROY RSJ: A Response to Pope Francis’s Commission on Women Deacons

Women Religious welcome any development in Church that responds to women’s repeated call to have an equal share in the decision-making. Pope Francis’s proposal to set up a Commission to study the possibility of having women deacons, while not yet … Continue reading

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CAROLINE RYAN. Women deacons or women cardinals?

While I welcome anything authentic that promotes the capacity of women to be truly influential in the church, I am not really keen on the diaconate idea of female deacons. Essentially this is because I think it is unnecessary. That … Continue reading

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TONY DOHERTY. Women deacons.

Three feet of ice, the Chinese say, are not frozen in one day. Nor does it thaw in one year. Large institutions are famous for sometimes moving with all of the speed of an inert glacier. The ancient institution of … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. ‘Theodora the Bishop’: Pope Francis and Women Deacons

The Via di Santa Prassede is a back lane close to the imposing Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Pope Francis’ favourite church in Rome. But there is a very significant historical building just nearby: the basilica of Santa Prassede in … Continue reading

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