Category Archives: Religion and Faith

IAN JOHNSON. The Eastern Jesus. A review of R.S. Sugirtharajah’s “Jesus in Asia”

Over the past few years, the authorities in Beijing have given churches across the country orders to “Sinicize” their faith. According to detailed five-year plans formulated by both Catholic and Protestant organizations, much of this process involves the predictable palaver … Continue reading

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MARK O’CONNOR FMS. Letters from the Synod. There are new steps: Prophetic voices amaze and energise in first week of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region

  I am sure some of you might remember that fine Australian film Strictly Ballroom. In it, there was an epic struggle going on. On the one hand, there were those convinced that there is only one model of ballroom … Continue reading

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PRINCE CHARLES, THE PRINCE OF WALES. John Henry Newman: The harmony of difference

When Pope Francis canonises Cardinal John Henry Newman tomorrow, the first Briton to be declared a saint in over forty years, it will be a cause of celebration not merely in the United Kingdom, and not merely for Catholics, but … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. The role of ordinary Catholics in clerical sex abuse

NZ bishop Charles Drennan was forced to resign after a young woman complained about his sexual behaviour towards her. The #MeToo movement has forced a reckoning about the imbalance of power between clerics and lay Catholics. This is a major … Continue reading

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THE SOUTHERN CROSS (Adelaide). New Vietnamese church a blessing. Our Lady of the Boat People.

  In what was a momentous occasion in its 40-year history in South Australia, the Church of Our Lady of The Boat People was dedicated by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, with an evening of Vietnamese celebrations to follow.

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GERARD O’CONNELL. As Amazon Synod begins, Pope Francis looks to proceed with a ‘pastoral heart’

Pope Francis opened the first plenary session of the synod for the Amazon region this morning by praying with the synod participants at the tomb of St. Peter in the basilica dedicated to his name and then gave an incisive … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. A controversial synod and an unusual consistor. Pope Francis doubles down on reforming the Church and the Vatican

There’s a lot of commotion in and around the Vatican right now. It consists mostly of the angry rumblings of traditionalist Catholics who don’t particularly care for the way Pope Francis is leading the Church. Then there are the retaliatory … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. The emergence of synodality and the inadequacy of canon law. Historically the Church has never been regulated exclusively by legal codes, says Massimo Faggioli

Catholic bishops around the world are responding in various ways to the crisis the Church is currently facing. Some have tried to show that the bishops in the United States and Germany are doing so in a similar fashion.

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis steps up his campaign for immigrants

“Xenophobia and aporophobia today are part of a populist mentality that leaves no sovereignty to the people. Xenophobia destroys the unity of a people, even that of the people of God.”No one who has been following the activities of Pope … Continue reading

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ROSEMARY O’GRADY. For the Record

On the evening of Monday 16 September 2019 at a Melbourne bookshop, Allen & Unwin launched Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell by Lucie Morris-Marr.

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ERIC HODGENS. Where Do We Find the Authentic Catholic Voice?

Cardinal Pell got his voice heard from prison. Furthermore, surrogate Pell voices are heard from bishops he has promoted in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. But, on three current issues polls show that most Catholics disagree with them. So, which voice … Continue reading

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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.

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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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