Category Archives: Religion and Faith

PAUL COLLINS. The Royal Commission—a mixed blessing

I’m not looking forward to the report of the Royal Commission. As a still-practising Catholic with a minor public profile, I am very ashamed of what the Commission has revealed about my church. But, despite its excellent work, I still … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL. The Royal Commission Report on the Melbourne Archdiocese

On 5 December 2017, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a redacted version of its Report of Case Study No. 35: the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It strongly criticized Church personnel for failure to protect children … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

LARRY JAGAN. Suu Kyi should heed Pope’s suggestion on UN role

Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar last week was an overwhelming success and may provide the much needed spark to ignite the government’s peace process and its efforts to bring reconciliation to the country’s violence-torn western region of Rakhine. The Pope’s … Continue reading

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DONELLA JOHNSTON. Why women should run the Catholic Church.

You know an idea is starting to become mainstream when you read about it in the Australian Women’s Weekly.

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MICHAEL KELLY. The Pope in Asia

Pope Francis was true to his word about the best place for the Catholic Church to be is on fringes, away from the cosseted privilege that keeps reality at bay. Traveling to Myanmar and Bangladesh – both in the top … Continue reading

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BRUCE WEARNE A Suggestion to the Ruddock Committee

The discussion of Freedom of Religion in relation to proposed changes to the Marriage Act should not avoid analysis of how the current Act refers to a wedding ceremony’s “monitum”. The Marriage Act decrees that the “Monitum” must be announced … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Pope Francis and The Lady meet

The much-anticipated meeting between Pope Francis and Aung San Suu Kyi will disappoint those who expected an attentive focus on the Rohingya.  

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IAN MACPHEE. A deeper view of the Rohingya crisis than media provide.

Since writing my blog on 13 October in defence of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (whom I will now only term Daw Suu) external media has continued its criticism of her for not condemning the military for its brutal attacks … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Media, Politics, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY. What brings a Jesuit Pope to Asia?

One of the biggest influences on Pope Francis remains relatively unexplored – Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Jesuits (1965-83) who appointed Jorge Bergoglio Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina (1973-79) at the tender age of 36.

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PATTY FAWKNER. The mystery of death and life

Death and dying have been in my thoughts. Not only in November when the Christian tradition especially remembers the dead. Not only since July when my mother died. But constantly throughout the year because of two books which offered me … Continue reading

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Justice Peter McClellan says Police had an ‘understanding’ to protect churches from scandal

POLICE in Sydney and Melbourne had an “understanding..for many years” about protecting church figures accused of child sex allegations, royal commission chair Justice Peter McClellan will say in a speech in Melbourne on Tuesday. This is an article written by award winning journalist … Continue reading

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PETER WILKINSON. Catholic Church 2020 Plenary Council: bishops must tap into the grassroots without delay

The Catholic Church in Australia is in the midst of a massive and existential crisis, the greatest in its history. The Catholic bishops have responded by proposing a Plenary Council in 2020. They say it will no longer be “business … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. Same sex marriage and freedom of religion

On Wednesday, the ABS will announce the results of the survey on same sex marriage. The return rate on the survey is a very credible 78.5 per cent. In Ireland only 60.5 per cent of eligible voters turned out.  

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 12 Comments

BRUCE DUNCAN. Pope Francis under attack

Despite his immense popularity among most Catholics and many others, not just Christians, Pope Francis is meeting increasing opposition and outspoken criticism, even from some cardinals and bishops, as well as from some prominent academics and writers.

Posted in Economy, Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

PETER JOHNSTONE. An ill-informed plenary council for the Catholic Church.

Only those in blind denial could fail to realise that the Catholic Church in Australia is now in the midst of a massive and existential crisis. It is, above all, a crisis of governance. The Catholic bishops’ main response to … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. A mate’s take on Rudd’s call to arms.

Kevin Rudd is back. Last week he was blitzing the country with a whirlwind book tour, having flown in from New York where he continues his post-prime-ministerial life as President of the Asia Society. He is promoting volume one of … Continue reading

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KEVIN PEOPLES. The Dangers of a Feminine Touch

The Catholic Church’s misogyny is one of the cultural causes for its sexual abuse scandal. It is impossible to believe that any female bishop, or any woman assisting her bishop as a consultor, on hearing rumours or allegations of the … Continue reading

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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

The debate in the Victorian Parliament about assisted dying has tended to focus on the terrible personal experiences of deaths of family members. That focus is understandable, but it has been at the cost of consideration of the need for … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY. The weakest to the wall.

The eyes of the world have been fixed on and appalled by the sight of more than 580,000 Rohingya fleeing the violence gratuitously inflicted on them by the military in Myanmar.  And the story isn’t over yet.  More will be … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. What Makes Australia’s Catholic Bishops Tick?

The Catholic Church is a clerical institution. Bishops are the top rung of the clergy. Where do they come from? What are they like? What is their future?

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GEORGE BROWNING. Violence and Religion

Recently released Fairfax poll figures indicating that Australia records the highest percentage of citizens of any comparable country believing the world would be better off without religion because of its assumed connection with violence is somewhat of a shock.  That … Continue reading

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PETER DAY. One of us: the sanity behind an act of insanity

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the Right of the people to Keep and Bear Arms shall not be infringed.”  (U.S. Constitution, 2nd Amendment)  Thanks to the literalist and, thus, intellectually corrupt interpretation … Continue reading

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WE ARE ALSO READING AND LISTENING TO …

Pearls and Irritations provides the following links for weekend reading and listening:

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

KIERAN TAPSELL. University report lifts the lid on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne have produced a landmark report on the systemic reasons for child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. Same sex marriage and freedom of religion.

  NZ Prime Minister Bill English was being interviewed by Fran Kelly on ABC RN Breakfast on Monday morning.  Fran asked him about same sex marriage which is now law in New Zealand. He stressed that freedom of religion is … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

PETER JOHNSTONE Catholics,can definitely vote ‘Yes’

Two Catholic bishops have written pastoral letters to their dioceses in which they make it clear that Catholics should not discriminate against same-sex couples and should listen to their consciences in considering how to vote in the ABS survey, now … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Civil and religious marriage are best kept separate.

By conflating the civil law with religious ritual, we create confusion that makes it easy for the Church to claim authority that rightfully belongs to the state. In other words, the Church makes demands regarding sacramental marriage, which of course … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

PETER JOHNSTONE. The Catholic Church is ‘Circling the Wagons’

“This is no time to circle the wagons in some supposedly self-protective manoeuvre.”  (Archbishop Coleridge, Chair Bishops Commission for the 2020 Plenary Council)

Posted in Religion and Faith, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

ANNE O’BRIEN. Clericalism is alive and well in the Catholic Church

The Royal Commission has provided few grounds for optimism concerning the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. The institution is moribund and its leaders are unable or unwilling to face reality.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

ARCHBISHOP FISHER. Does Pope Francis support same-sex marriage?

A number of commentators have recently suggested that loyalty to Catholic teaching, and especially to Pope Francis, would allow, even require, support for same-sex marriage; by implication, the Australian bishops misunderstand Catholic teaching and have been disloyal to Pope Francis … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments