Category Archives: Religion and Faith

JAMES CHAPPEL. Weigel’s ‘Irony of Modern Catholic History’ in review.

The pope is far less in control of his flock than most people realize. This has always been the case: no leader in history, let alone one in charge of a billion people across the globe, has been able to … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Brexit as a spiritual crisis: remain, leave, and an incarnational Church. The whole debate about leaving or remaining in the Catholic Church amid the sex abuse crisis is a form of ecclesial Brexit

In his novel “A Legacy of Spies” John Le Carré ponders the relationship between England and Europe.

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Religious Discrimination Bill

The Religious Discrimination Bill, introduced by the Attorney-General Christian Porter, has its flaws. Nevertheless, it walks a more or less acceptable line between arch proponents and critics of the recent campaign for greater religious freedoms. The Government has produced relatively … Continue reading

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DAVID TIMBS. Archbishop Comensoli needs to cut the ecclesiastical umbilical cord.

Peter A Comensoli has been the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne for just on a year. So far he has demonstrated very little understanding of the disastrous situation he inherited. Nor has he shown any clear indication of the kind of … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LEAHY. The Catholic Weekly: seeking justice for Pell or waging a culture war?

As a former colleague in the seminary and priesthood, and friend, of Cardinal Pell, it gives me no pleasure to see him fall so dramatically from grace. Along with all Australians of good will, I want to see him get … Continue reading

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IVAN LEVINGSTON, DAVID WAINER. The Most Undiplomatic of Diplomats Is Trump’s Man in Middle East (Bloomberg 30-8-19)

David Friedman has upended American policy in the unstable region.

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

PAUL COLLINS. Ten new papal electors

Last Sunday Pope Francis unexpectedly announced that on October 5 he would appoint thirteen new members to the college of cardinals from thirteen different countries, a truly international group. Ten of the new appointments are under the age of 80 … Continue reading

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NICHOLAS KRISTOF. What religion would Jesus belong to?

ONE puzzle of the world is that religions often don’t resemble their founders. Jesus never mentioned gays or abortion but focused on the sick and the poor, yet some Christian leaders have prospered by demonizing gays. Muhammad raised the status … Continue reading

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NATIONAL CATHOLIC REPORTER. Editorial: Those who dismiss Pell verdict ignore integrity of legal process

The response in certain circles to the Aug. 21 court decision upholding Cardinal George Pell’s conviction for sexually assaulting two choirboys in the 1990s was as swift as it was irrational.

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CHRISTOPHER LAMB. Cardinal Pell analysis: What happens next? The Pell case has become something of a litmus te st for the church’s handling of abuse

The Vatican is holding off from issuing any disciplinary measures against Cardinal George Pell until the Australian prelate has exhausted all legal avenues in trying to overturn his convictions for the sexual abuse of children.

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JACK WATERFORD.  High Court should leave Pell alone. There’s no unresolved point of law, and no mere judicial disagreement on facts invites special leave

George Pell will be doing very well if he succeeds in getting the High Court to grant him leave to appeal after the Victorian Court of Appeal threw out his appeal against his  conviction for child sex offences.  Pell was … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Where to from here?

One persistent question that has been asked since the failure of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal last Wednesday has been: Why isn’t the Vatican acting to force him from the College of Cardinals and expel him from the priesthood? They moved … Continue reading

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SR PATTY FAWKNER SGS. The Church – to include or not to include?

Boston’s gain has been Australia’s loss. Richard Lennan, a priest of the Maitland Diocese taught Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney for fifteen years before transferring to Boston College in 2008 where he now serves as Professor of Systematic … Continue reading

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PETER WILKINSON. Witness of truth wins justice in Pell appeal

 On Wednesday, 21 August 2019, a majority of the appeal judges who reviewed all the evidence in the trial of Cardinal George Pell for historic child sexual abuse, and in which he was convicted on five charges, have concluded that … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SEAN WINTERS. The Pell verdict: Various shades of justice | National Catholic Reporter

A three-judge panel in Australia has upheld the guilty verdict against Cardinal George Pell. On two of the claims put forward by Pell for overturning the verdict, the three judges were unanimous. On the third claim — the key issue … Continue reading

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CHRISTOPHER ALTIERI. Rarely has a Vatican official spoken so bluntly on abuse.

As Spring 2019 turned into summer, journalists, media relations professionals and communications experts gathered for four days in St Petersburg, Florida, to take part in the annual Catholic Media Conference. The event, sponsored by the Catholic Press Association of the … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Adapting to a ‘World Church’. A New Internatio nal Commentary on Vatican II

Vatican II was, according to Karl Rahner, the beginning of the “world church.” Elected bishop of Rome half a century after Vatican II, Francis is the first pope who is not from the Euro-Mediterranean area, and he can therefore be … Continue reading

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PETER DALY. Tackle clericalism first when attempting priesthood reform | National Catholic Reporter

In his 2018 “Letter to the People of God,” Pope Francis condemned the sins of sexual abuse and the abuse of power in the church. He linked those sins to clericalism. “To say no to abuse is to say an … Continue reading

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J.A. DICK Sacralizing Politics

It happens. A few days ago I was unfriended on Facebook by a fellow who fears I have ceased being a theologian and am now a political agitator. Actually, I don’t mind agitating a bit but I am still very … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. No issue matters as much as climate change

What will it take before the Morrison government recognises the great peril from climate change? Is the overwhelming consensus of scientists not enough, as they track the record-breaking heat waves globally? And why are religious leaders not echoing Pope Francis … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

KIERAN NOONAN. Respecting Sacred Spaces

Can you imagine the uproar if, with the convenient burning of the roof of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the French Minister for Transport approved a plan to build a freeway through the Cathedral? Through the main transept … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Catholic Culture Wars and the Pell legacy

A clash of cultures was graphically dramatized in 1968 when Paul VI published Humanae Vitae. It was a major moment in a tumultuous year. Europe was split over the Vietnam War. Student riots paralysed Paris and alarmed a young theology … Continue reading

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CONCERNED CATHOLICS CANBERRA GOULBURN. ‘Break open the word’ on Plenary Council, bishops urged

The credibility and success of the most important event in the Australian Catholic Church in many decades, the 2020 Plenary Council, depends on an open and frank airing of the grave issues crippling the Church. Concerned Catholics of Canberra Goulburn … Continue reading

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PETER JOHNSTONE. Archbishop rejects top woman theologian – business as usual.

Peter Comensoli, still only 12 months into his new job as Archbishop of Melbourne, seems to have adopted the old ways of Catholic episcopal autocracy. He has unilaterally determined that an internationally acclaimed Catholic theologian, Sister Joan Chittister, be removed … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Diaspora and the globalization of the Catholic Church.

The number of Catholics continues to drop in Germany. More than 216,000 of them decided to “leave the Church” last year alone by ceasing to pay the government-mandated church tax. This is just the latest example of what has become … Continue reading

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JOSEPH MARTOS. Can laypeople lead a parish? Look to Louisville for a thriving example.

In his recent book Worship as Community Drama, sociologist Pierre Hegy described an unusual Catholic parish whose identity he hid under the name Church of the Resurrection. When the book was published earlier this year and we read the chapter … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. The rise of ‘devout schismatics’ in the Catholic Church. {La Croix International”, 16.7.2019)

“If Matteo Salvini becomes prime minister, Italy will have a government led by a Catholic who is devout but schismatic.” So said Sergio Romano, a former Italian ambassador to NATO and the ex-Soviet Union, in a recent opinion piece in … Continue reading

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PAUL MOSES. Putting Church above Children. The Vatican Fails to Comply with a UN Treaty

One way Pope Francis could move ahead with his aim of curbing clergy sex abuse in the worldwide Catholic Church would be to insist that the Holy See comply with the international human-rights treaty it signed to protect the rights … Continue reading

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BISHOP VINCENT LONG-Australia’s Mandatory and Indefinite Off shore Detention Policy

This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that no person seeking asylum by boat would ever be resettled in Australia. Every single person arriving after that date was to be subjected to indefinite detention … Continue reading

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CARDINAL GEORGE PELL. Where have all the fighters gone?

The future of George Pell is in doubt but his shadow will remain for  many years across the Australian Catholic Church. Through a rigged system he was able to effectively decide who became bishops in the Church. This was critical … Continue reading

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