Category Archives: Religion and Faith

MICHAEL KELLY. Time to think outside the square for the Church in China

Joseph Jiang’s timely essay on the Church in today’s China will annoy some but asks all the right questions.   

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GEORGE BROWNING. Monotheism, Terrorism and Injustice

I want to reflect on the unspeakably appalling terror events that have occurred recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Manchester, London, Melbourne and Tehran in the light of monotheistic religion and the ethical requirements that flow from it.  

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PETER OLSZEWSKI. Still banging away – Michael Kelly as a media mogul.

Bangkok-based Father Michael Kelly – Mick to his mates – is a journalist who became a Jesuit priest who became a savvy publisher and who now runs a complex global religious media empire.  

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PAUL COLLINS. There’s Movement at the (Radio) Station

It is not only ABC management that don’t take religion and specialist broadcasting seriously. What can you expect from a board that is made up of business people and technocrats. The fault here lies with the federal government that has … 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

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KIERAN TAPSELL. ‘The Attachment’ by Ailsa Piper and Tony Doherty.

The subtitle to this book is Letters from a Most Unlikely Friendship, and it consists of a series of letters with some occasional background comment between a “lapsed” Catholic (although none of the authors use that word) turned “agnostic with … Continue reading

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LYNDSAY CONNORS. The  Tangled  Education Web. Part 2 of 2: The Catholic Story

‘Sector-blind’ does not mean turning a blind eye to the shortcomings of any sector in distributing public funding received from government. 

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CAVAN HOGUE. Trump and the Wahhabis

President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia does not sit well with a demand to fight the Wahhabi inspired terrorists but support for a dictatorship that suits American commercial and strategic interests is a long standing US practice. We may wonder … Continue reading

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MARK METHERELL. The need for Catholic Church Reform

It is at once disturbing and affirming to realise the depth of dissatisfaction and mood for change among Catholics in Australia.  Dissatisfaction may be too soft a word for the disillusion many Catholics express about the clericalism and authoritarianism that … Continue reading

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PETER JOHNSTONE. An Open Letter to the Catholic Bishops of Australia

Most Australian Catholics have long been aware that the structures of their Church are autocratic; most were brought up accepting that Church decision making is unaccountable and often secretive, that bishops are remote from their people in their decision making, … Continue reading

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ROB BRIAN. Easter Reflections

This is not an easy time to be a believing/practising Catholic. Indeed, many good people have given up on the Church because of the horrendous revelations of widespread sexual abuse of children by priests and religious and by the possibly … Continue reading

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MAUREEN BRIAN. Easter – Radical Awareness

In a recent ABC interview with Richard Glover and her co-author Monsignor Tony Doherty about their recently published book Attachments, Ailsa Piper presents us with the challenge to “become aware of the thing that comes at you”. Two chance encounters … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Are US Catholics too American to stand up to Trump?

It also reveals a much more complex issue – the deep-seated fear of the state within American Catholicism and of the gap between US Catholicism and the global Catholic Church’s view on the state and of political authority. This creates a … Continue reading

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And Jesus said unto Paul of Ryan …

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times on March 16, 2017, writes about a ‘discussion’ between Jesus and Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Ryan claims that Catholicism has shaped his political views. Is Nicholas … Continue reading

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PATTY FAWKNER. The pattern of all life.

For 13 billion  years, since the Big Bang until now, death has been part of life. We know that, and as Christians we believe that death is the prelude to new life. We call it the Paschal Mystery. But what … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. The Royal Commission, Religious Liberty and the Jehovah’s Witnesses

A more difficult issue is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ practice of “shunning” those who decide to leave the organisation as adults because of sexual abuse. It may be that the Commission is left with no other alternative but to condemn it … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Back to following The Way.

Power is still the Church’s stumbling block. Mind you, Jesus warned us: The gentiles lord it over their subjects – not so with you. The Church’s power to “lord it over” society has been curtailed by today’s pluralism but is … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. A Response to Francis Sullivan

I agree with what Francis Sullivan has said in the edited version of his speech to Catalyst for Renewal. But there is a recitation of history in the full version that cannot go unchallenged.  

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JONATHAN PAGE.  Who Pays The Ferryman? Befriending Death.

The human experience is haunted by mortality. It is important to encourage deep discussion of the reality of our own individual death from an early age. The potential psycho-spiritual and behavioural benefits of this discussion are immense. 

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FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Where to from here?

I don’t think anyone was prepared for the extent of the abuse and the appalling rate across male religious orders and within the priesthood. The posturing and spin of years past has been seen for what is was – an … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. The Catholic Dilemma.

Clerical privilege took a heavy blow when Catholic bishops were summoned to appear at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to child sexual abuse (RC).  The             church answering to the state.  

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GEOFFREY ROBINSON. The Royal Commission.

I am convinced that there must be a full and open discussion of all aspects of the Church if we are ever to put this scandal behind us. Quite simply, we need a different church. The Royal Commission was not … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Failed Leadership in Church and State!

From my experience and observation good leadership is about creating disequilibrium and a process to galvanise the group to change. Without disequilibrium there will be no worthwhile change.  

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GARRY EASTMAN. Response to Jack Waterford: We need a Catholic Yom Kippur, and a serious sacrifice.

There are now no survivors or parents of survivors on the Commission nor are there any on the Australian Towards Healing or Melbourne Response agencies for handling complaints by victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The same criticism … Continue reading

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CHRIS GERAGHTY. Jesus and CFMEU

It’s not a time for business as usual. It’s a time for outbursts of horror, for open-throated cries for justice – a time for sackcloth and ashes, for fasting and floggings of repentance – a time to cease celebrating, singing, … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. Vatican Reform on Child Sexual Abuse in Disarray – Does Pope Francis get it?

Zero tolerance in a professional context almost invariably means dismissal, but Pope Francis’s claim that the Church has a “zero tolerance” policy is not borne out by the figures he presented to the United Nations: only one quarter of all … Continue reading

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PAT POWER. The Royal Commission and the need for reform.

Despite all the warnings, I don’t know of anyone who has not been shocked by what has emerged from the Royal Commission. For twenty years or more, we have heard accounts of abuse, sometimes very close to home. But somehow … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission.

But in the past, these spiritual leaders were also professing their commitment to an institution which commanded their hierarchical obedience and clerical acquiescence in protecting the institution’s public reputation and its coffers.  

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JOHN MENADUE. The Catholic bishops don’t understand their responsibility and accountability.

In any other walk of life or area of public administration, admission of criminal neglect would be a prelude to the tendering of resignations. The criminally negligent are not fit and proper persons to hold senior administrative responsibilities. Not so in … Continue reading

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BRIAN COYNE. The randomness and chanciness of life…

In this short essay, Brian Coyne, explores how much randomness and chance play in the outcomes we experience in life. He asks how much we are influenced by the Christian biblical mythology that an afterlife where the first will be … Continue reading

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