Category Archives: Religion and Faith

EDMUND CAMPION. On Cardinal Gilroy At The Sydney Institute.

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

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JOHN WARHURST. Mud-wrestling the Catholic elephant.

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.

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FRANK BRENNAN. Let’s be less shrill about Church-State relations

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

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PETER JOHNSTONE. Catholic Reform Groups Want Urgent Action from Bishops.

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

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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

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ERIC HODGENS: Common-wealth versus Common-loss.
Easter and Australian Politics.

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.

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NICOLAS SENÈZE. Rediscovering the role of Mary Magdalene as ‘apostle of the apostles’.

Turning Mary Magdalene into a sinner obstructed women’s place in the church. 

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FRANCIS SULLIVAN. CEO Truth Justice and Healing Council.

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

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Was God just a spectator at the Crucifixion?

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?

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PAT POWER. Quo Vadis? The Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia

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

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PAUL COLLINS. The Real Crisis of Australian Catholicism.

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

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PATTY FAWKNER. Calls for change within the Church will be its salvation.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Post have something important to say about ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ of the Church’s mission. 

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PETER JOHNSTONE. Should Australian Catholic Bishops be Trusted?

“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

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis, a brewing crisis and ‘feminine genius’

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.

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Weapons of Moral Destruction

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

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KIERAN TAPSELL. “Catastrophic institutional failure” can be fixed.

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

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ERIC HODGENS. Melbourne’s New Archbishop.

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

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PHIL GRANO. A personal response to the marriage equality postal survey.

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

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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

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JASON HOROWITZ. Cardinal’s death highlights sex abuse divide.

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

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Pope Francis, on Christmas Eve, says faith demands respect of immigrants.

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.    

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JOHN HANNON. Failed leadership and systemic failure

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

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MARILYN HATTON and MOIRA COOMBS. Catholic women speak out.

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

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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

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PATTY FAWKNER SGS. Of Mary and Maya.

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.  

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KIERAN TAPSELL. Secrets and the Royal Commission’s final report.

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

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ERIC HODGENS. Christmas Prompts Reflection on Power.

The powerless Jesus of the Christmas Gospel stories offers a tutorial on power in the Church today.

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KIM OATES. The Royal Commission, a beginning, not an end.

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

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HUGH MACKAY. Another kind of deficit

Here’s a quick Christmas quiz. (Warning: it’s not a very merry quiz.)

Posted in Health, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

TONY DOHERTY. A Christmas reflection.

Christmas is the celebration of a story. A story told in the gospels by two storytellers – Matthew and Luke. It’s a tale told and retold, and often so badly that, should the original storytellers be alive today, I could … Continue reading

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