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Category Archives: Religion and Faith
A few days ago, I told a friend that Gerard Henderson had just asked me to speak here tonight, to give, what he called, a ‘personal reflection’ on Cardinal Gilroy. ‘You should say,’ said my friend, ‘that you once wrote … Continue reading
The Catholic Church is so big and complex. That is one of its defining characteristics yet the media and society at large, much less the Catholic community itself, often fail to grasp its consequences.
I had the good pleasure of celebrating Easter masses out in the country — Adaminaby and Nimmitabel in the Snowy country. At Adaminaby we had a full church and a very happy baptism. At Nimmitabel, the numbers were very modest … Continue reading
The Catholic Church in Australia faces continuing decay unless bishops listen to grassroots Catholics. Some 50 representatives, women and men, of nine Catholic groups throughout Australia advocating for systemic reform of the Church, gathered in Canberra a few days ago. … Continue reading
ROBYN J WHITAKER. Jesus wasn’t white: he was a brown-skinned, Middle Eastern Jew. Here’s why that matters
I grew up in a Christian home, where a photo of Jesus hung on my bedroom wall. I still have it. It is schmaltzy and rather tacky in that 1970s kind of way, but as a little girl I loved … Continue reading
Australia is a commonwealth, where seeking the common good brings prosperity, unlike the fostering of division which leads to decline if not death. An object lesson in the meaning of Easter.
Turning Mary Magdalene into a sinner obstructed women’s place in the church.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s comprehensive and confronting final report rightly focuses on the Catholic Church, with one of the 17 volumes dedicated solely to that institution. The litmus test for the Church leadership in … Continue reading
Is Easter simply a relic from the past and a chance for a holiday break? Why have the dramatic events of Easter been so significant in our cultures, and why is Easter still so central to Christian belief?
The Plenary Council planned for 2020-21 gives rise to great hopes and some anxiety as the Catholic Church in Australia and indeed worldwide faces the greatest challenge of the modern era. As a church “always in need of reform” we … Continue reading
It is patently obvious that Australian Catholicism is in crisis. The usual analysis is that this has been caused by the appalling mishandling and cover-up of child sexual abuse and the subsequent investigations of the Royal Commission. However, this is … Continue reading
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Post have something important to say about ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ of the Church’s mission.
“The bond of trust between the laity and their bishops has been severely impaired…a serious erosion of trust in the hierarchical leadership of the church’’.- leading Australian Catholic theologian Professor Neil Ormerod of the Australian Catholic University in Fairfax papers … Continue reading
The biggest error Catholic leaders have made regarding the church’s response to priests abusing children has been the exclusion of women leading the policy-making and reform process.
A few days ago I drove with a friend from Sydney to Leura in NSW’s Blue Mountains. We were heading towards a meditation centre and on the way shared views about social justice and most especially peace activism. As long-time … Continue reading
The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse spent five years interviewing over 8,000 survivors, their abusers and personnel from institutions that had covered up the abuse. The Commission found that 61.8% of all survivors within religious … Continue reading
2018 will be a fateful year for the Catholic Church in Australia as Melbourne gets a new archbishop. This appointment, if successful, offers some hope for the Church; if a failure, it will hasten the Church’s decline into insignificance. Here’s … Continue reading
At first I was angry and irked by Sydney Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fisher’s linking of an annus horribilis with the passing of marriage equality laws in Australia. Now, a few days later, I feel saddened that the leader of the … Continue reading
FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Australian Catholic Church must take abuse commission report seriously or risk irrelevance A REPOST
After five intense years of inquiry and more than 400 recommendations — with 20 new recommendations specifically relating to the Catholic Church — the report of Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is due a considered … Continue reading
Early on Wednesday morning, hours after Cardinal Bernard F. Law died in a Rome hospital, a priest unlocked a small chapel at the Basilica of St. Mary Major and pointed to the spot under the marble altar and life-size crucifix … Continue reading
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis strongly defended immigrants at his Christmas Eve Mass on Sunday, comparing them to Mary and Joseph finding no place to stay in Bethlehem and saying faith demands that foreigners be welcomed.
I believe it is time to address the elephant in the room, now that the Royal Commission has presented its findings. Last weekend’s Saturday Age had a dark front-page image of a large cross with claw like hands descending from … Continue reading
The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse’s report and its recommendations are essential for the care and protection of children and care of victims and their families. They are also important steps in preventing the perpetuation of the destructive … Continue reading
MARK METHERELL and JOHN WARHURST. Royal Commission provides almanac for what Catholic bishops should do now.
Our group, Concerned Catholics of Canberra Goulburn, was formed back in April 2017 in response to the tide of evidence of child sex abuse that has swept the church. Our motivating concern was to press for reforms in our church, … Continue reading
When we see the images of Mary and her child this Christmas, may we pause and think of Maya and the countless victims of sexual exploitation, writes Sister Patty Fawkner.
Media attention has been drawn to the recommendation in the Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that religious confession should not be exempted from civil law requirements to report child sexual abuse. However, … Continue reading
The powerless Jesus of the Christmas Gospel stories offers a tutorial on power in the Church today.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is testament to both the evil in our society and to the courage and determination of many of the victims. But we need to be aware that most child sexual … Continue reading
Here’s a quick Christmas quiz. (Warning: it’s not a very merry quiz.)