Category Archives: Religion and Faith

ROBERT MICKENS. How serious is Pope Francis about eradicating clericalism?

Even after waging war on clericalism there’s little evidence to show that the pope has dramatically changed the attitude of the clericalists in the Church. 

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DAVID TIMBS. The priest shortage and the elephant in the room.

Twice in recent weeks, Fr James Clarke, Chair of  the National Council of Priests (NCP), has stated that the majority of Australian priests and probably most laity support a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the Catholic priesthood and pastoral … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. HOMO SAPIENS – REALLY?

​Along the evolutionary trail we have somewhat ambitiously called ourselves homo sapiens, or humans who are sapient – knowing or wise. The truth of the matter is tragically far from this: we seek to resolve difference through violence rather than … Continue reading

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TROY BRAMSTON. Ex-Labor leader Bill Hayden, 85, baptised into Catholic Church.

Bill Hayden, at age 85, has renounced his atheism and been baptised into the Catholic Church.

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Flirting with Church schism.

The right-wing effort to delegitimize Pope Francis is continuing.

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JOHN MENADUE. Failed leadership in church and state. Repost from 24 August 2018

Good leadership is about facing the group up to the hard issues. Without clearly defining why and how we need to change and creating  some disequilibrium there will be no worthwhile change.  In the AFR on September 14 2018 Laura … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Scott Morrison, the ‘prosperity gospel’ and neoliberalism.

Sounding surprisingly like an evangelical revivalist, Prime Minister Morrison in Albury on 6 September highlighted the need for love in our country, for every Australian, and that this set the value base for his own thinking and presumably for policies … Continue reading

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Bishop Long and other religious leaders denounce asylum-seeker policy.

Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. has joined other faith leaders in denouncing Australia’s indefinite detention of refugees and asylum-seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. 

Posted in Refugees, Immigration, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Religious Persecution and Home Churches in China.

When will they ever learn? The best tonic to stir up religious fervor and greater commitment in a totalitarian society is to persecute believers. 

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ELIZABETH EVATT. Where are the threats to religious freedom?

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called recently for laws to protect religious freedom, in order, he says, to safeguard personal liberty. While there is little evidence that religious freedom is under threat in Australia, there is a demand in … Continue reading

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GARRY EVERETT. No Way To Start.

To be a dissenting voice is a risky business. If you oppose the prevailing orthodoxy, you are either disowned because you are wrong; or you struggle to have your voice heard, because your message is not popular. 

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KIERAN TAPSELL. The Australian Church Response to the Royal Commission Final Report on the Pontifical Secret.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in its response to the Royal Commission’s Final Report has claimed that the pontifical secret does not inhibit bishops from reporting all allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy to the civil authorities. In view … Continue reading

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ANTHONY HOGAN. Can we start again please? Towards reform of the Catholic Church?

The Australian Catholics Bishops Conference have announced that they are open to change. This article scopes out what such an agenda for change might need to address.

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BRIAN COYNE. Rupert Murdoch and the increasing division in society

Following the sensational demand from Archbishop Vigano for the resignation of Pope Francis, Michael Sean Winters wrote a commentary in National Catholic Reporter wondering if the right wing in the Church was about to launch a schism. The following commentary … Continue reading

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PETER WOODRUFF. Open letter to Pope Francis on “The Pope as a Game Changer”

Dear Pope Francis, Greetings from Australia.  I am a priest who worked for many years in parishes in poor barrios of Lima, Peru.  I am now retired in Melbourne, Australia.

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GARRY EVERETT. Have we learnt nothing?

In the work of the recent Royal Commissions of Inquiry in Australia, into the sexual abuse of minors, and the banking and financial institutions, two glaring similar findings presented themselves. The institutions involved were neither transparent nor accountable for their … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. The Prime Minister: personal faith and public values

On 29th August comedian Tom Ballard chose to parody the faith of the new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, on the Tonightly ABC series by contrasting his perceived lack of love or concern for refugees with his espoused love of Jesus.  … Continue reading

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GARRY WILLS. The Priesthood of The Big Crazy (The New York Review of Books, 23.08.18)

The grand jury report of Catholic priests’ predations in Pennsylvania is enough to make one vomit. The terrifying fact that hundreds of priests were preying upon over a thousand victims in that state alone makes one shudder at the thought … Continue reading

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JOHN CARMODY: The Catholic Right

While Malcolm Turnbull’s own manifest lack of political skills and understanding has played a major role in his downfall, he and others are perfectly correct to recognise that “outside forces” – including some journalists and other media figures who seek … Continue reading

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ANTONIO SPADARO SJ. The prosperity gospel-dangerous and different

SCOTT MORRISON is described as a devout Christian who worships at Shirelive, an American style Pentecostal Church in Sydney.. He formerly belonged to Hillsong. An essential feature of the ‘prosperity gospel’ of Pentecostalists is that prosperity, success and good health … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS Politics and Religion

Fraser Anning has given us the most spectacular take on The White Australia Policy since Labor legend Arthur Calwell’s 1947 quip: “Two Wongs don’t make a White.”  Calwell later explained that he was making a joke at the expense of … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. The pope’s bewildering inaction on sexual abuse.

There is no question that Francis is authentic — He does not demand of others what he does not demand of himself. 

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NATALIE ACTON. A revolution that starts in the heart.

An afternoon at the Sydney Writers’ Festival had delivered me an unexpected and precious gift. I think I’d experienced what Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister names as having an “unboundaried heart”, writes Natalie Acton.

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Catholic bishops’ opposition to Donald Trump emboldens church liberals.

They may be disappointed. 

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

PAUL COLLINS. Breaking the Seal.

Recently we’ve seen a slew of articles in the media, both informed and otherwise, on the question of the seal of confession. Already a couple of Australian governments have acted to enforce mandatory reporting on priests when sexual abuse of … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. A planet to heal (Hiroshima Remembrance Ecumenical Service, Adamstown Uniting Church, Newcastle, 5 August 2018).

I join with you in acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. This weekend at the 20th Garma Festival held on Yolgnu lands in Arnhem Land, the acclaimed Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan spoke. Having disclosed his … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Humanae Vitae – A 50 Year Odyssey.

Paul VI had no idea what he was setting loose when he published Humanae Vitae.

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BERNARD MOYLAN. Scandals In The Church.

I am not attempting to whitewash the Church. It must take its proper responsibility for any abuse of power, learn something from its self-abasement and work even harder to implement gospel values wherever they are most needed. It may take … Continue reading

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GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media.

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VINCENT CHEOK. If spirituality or religion has a bearing on geopolitics then Australia needs to understand what moves the spirit and soul of India and China for our Asian neighbours will be the new global superpowers in a new multipolar multilateral world.

This post is prompted by the release of the final draft of the National Register of Indian Citizens in Assam Province on 30/7/18. This verification exercise was made in accordance with the terms of the Assam Accord of 1985. Not … Continue reading

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