Category Archives: Religion and Faith

PAUL ELIE. What do the Church’s victims deserve?

The Catholic Church is turning to outside arbiters to reckon with its history of sexual abuse. But skeptics argue that its legacy of evasion continues.

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Benedict’s Untimely Meditation. How His Essay on Sex Abuse is Being Weaponized

On the evening of April 10, six weeks after the conclusion of the Vatican’s summit on the sex-abuse crisis, the “pope emeritus,” Benedict XVI, made known his thoughts on the genesis of that crisis in a five-thousand-plus-word essay sent to … Continue reading

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PATTY FAWKNER SGS. Vague wanting. Our lives, yours and mine, are too precious to fritter away on lukewarm commitments and half-hearted vows.

Do you want God?” The retreat director’s question to me, a young nun preparing to renew her vows as a Good Samaritan Sister, was uncharacteristically blunt. The much-revered Benedictine priest must have picked up something in my attitude during our … Continue reading

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GARRY EVERETT. “Worse things than dying.”

In Eric Bogle’s haunting song : “And the band played Waltzing Matilda”, there is the heart-wrenching line sung by the young soldier who has just had both legs blown off by a Turkish bomb. He sings:”And when I saw what … Continue reading

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MEGHAN SULLIVAN. Envisioning the Afterlife. The problem with Lazarus.

During Lent, Christians are asked to think much more concretely about our short, precarious lives. We swear off chocolate, alcohol, or, in my case, swearing itself.

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JOSHUA J. McELWEE. In new letter, Benedict blames clergy abuse on sexual revolution, Vatican II theology.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a new letter blaming the continuing Catholic clergy abuse crisis on the sexual revolution, developments in theology following the Second Vatican Council, and modern society’s aversion to speaking about God.

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PAULINA GUZIK. Church in Poland struggles to address clerical sex abuse crisis

A penitential liturgy for the crimes of sex abuse in the industrial city of Łódź on March 28 signaled an about-face for the Polish Church.Two weeks earlier, the leaders of the country’s bishops’ conference held a press conference where they … Continue reading

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CONCERNED CATHOLICS OF CANBERRA. A Catholic future – Out of hope not fear.

Opponents of reform of the Catholic  Church in Australia risk doing enormous further damage to the church and its own community, a  former member of the  Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse , Robert Fitzgerald AM, says.Mr … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Catholic Governance – A Challenge for Improvement.

A monarchical organization, powered by ideology, with promotion by patronage results in bad governance. The Catholic Church has a governance problem.  

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GARRY EVERETT. Inertia or Inability?

Inertia or inability? How best to describe the response of the Australian Catholic Bishops to findings of the Royal Commission into the Sexual abuse of Minors? Admittedly the case of Cardinal Pell has dominated the media of recent weeks, but … Continue reading

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DAVID SMITH. Warrants for genocide

The killing of 50 Muslims in two Christchurch mosques is the largest massacre of a minority group in the west since at least 1961. On October 17 of that year, Paris police opened fire on thousands of Algerians demonstrating against … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LEAHY. Can the institutional Catholic Church be saved? Getting it back on Mission.

The Catholic Church throughout the world is facing its greatest crisis since the Protestant Reformation, and particularly in the Australian Church. Already reeling from the exposure by a Royal Commission of crimes of clerical paedophilia and episcopal cover-ups, it has … Continue reading

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CHARLES MOREROD The Church under pressure: Reform or counter-reform? Throughout history there has been no change in the Church without at least some external pressure

Bishop Charles Morerod, who is recognized as one the leading intellectuals among the Catholic hierarchy of Europe, recently told La Croix “the Church reforms itself under the influence of seemingly adverse forces.” The 57-year-old Swiss Dominican, head of the Diocese … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. After al-Noor, a new sense of “neighbour” is needed.

There’s a simple, eloquent community song written by parish priest and musician Father Kevin Bates SM that begins with a sacred invitation: “Come and sit at my table. Though you have no money, come! Come and sit at my table … Continue reading

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WILLIAM GRIMM MM. Schoolyard bullies in the sacristy. Sexual abuse by clergy should be blamed on emotionally immature men, not homosexuality or celibacy

Half a century ago, the bishops’ conference of the United States commissioned an interdisciplinary study of the priesthood in that country. Key parts of it were led by two priests who at the time were celebrities in the Catholic community, … Continue reading

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DANIEL P. HORAN. Francis of Assis’s model for church reform may help in the abuse crisis

There is a famous story about St. Francis of Assisi that takes place early in his experience of ongoing conversion to live a more committed Christian life. According to those friars who knew St. Francis during his lifetime and documented … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Talking Heads in the Catholic Church

 

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CRISTA PONGRATZ-LIPPITT. Renowned reformer: ‘Church has 5 years for a complete turnaround or it’s over’

Father Helmut Schüller of Austria says the sex abuse crisis shows urgent need to ‘desacralize’ the Catholic priesthood and empower the laity. .

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PETER DAY. To Light a Candle or Curse the Dark: The Cardinal Dilemma

‘Foolishly, indulgently’, Christian mercy does not depend on remorse, repentance, or even whether it is deserved. It takes the initiative in willing the good of the other.

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TERRY FEWTRELL. Canberra Catholics lay out church reform agenda.

Inclusive, transparent, accountable, non-clericalist and humble – characteristics not usually associated with the Catholic church, but ones the church must adopt. That is the view of a large group of Canberra Catholics in a submission to the church’s Plenary Council … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. Why I am not leaving the Catholic Church

Not only am I not leaving the Catholic church, but I am redoubling my efforts to join with others in making the case for much needed reforms. At heart I believe it is an institution worth working within to improve … Continue reading

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MARILYN HATTON. Why I’m not leaving the Catholic Church – despite everything

I’m not leaving the Catholic Church, despite the shocking breaking of trust, the horror, the hurt and the un-Christ like behavior and the damage our decision-makers have done to our Church members and our practice of faith. I’m staying because … Continue reading

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FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Why stay?

Since the conviction of Cardinal Pell I have been asked why I remain a Catholic.It is an obvious question. The extent of criminal behaviour and the active cover up by bishops and religious leaders of perpetrators has been breath taking. … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. George Pell’s conviction and fragmentary memory

Many people dismiss any element of testimony that is thought to be guided by emotion. Court proceedings are based on rational argument. If holes can be picked in the verbal narrative of the witness, the allegations remain unproven. A new … Continue reading

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GARRY EVERETT. Sex Only??

The recent Hollywood movie, On the basis of sex, tells the story of the first successful court case argued by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 9th Circuit Court. The subject matter was discrimination by the Federal Tax Laws, against a … Continue reading

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STEPHEN de WEGER. Clerical sexual abuse of adults. Another blind spot.

In 2013, after working as a research assistant project into clergy sexual abuse of children, I decided to undertake an exploratory study into clergy sexual misconduct against adults. During this study I came across what I believe should be a … Continue reading

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FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Pell conviction blows apart bishops’ mantra

Yesterday’s announcement of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been shattering for many and a relief for others. The fact that the most senior cleric in Australia has been found guilty is devastating on many levels. Not the least … Continue reading

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BARNEY ZWARTZ. George Pell has fallen, but the cardinal’s legacy casts a long shadow

So Cardinal George Pell – by far Australia’s best-known church leader of the past 25 years, the highest-ranked Australian ever at the Vatican, a confidant of prime ministers – faces a jail sentence for child sexual abuse. The dispenser of … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. The sex abuse summit and the Vatican’s lack of transparency.

Illustrative of the Church’s fear of revealing the truth is the case of Msgr. Joseph Punderson. 

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PAUL COLLINS. Catholicism’s Year from Hell

Without a doubt the last twelve months have been Catholicism’s annus horribilis and, let me assure you, there’s still not much light at the end of the tunnel.

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