Author Archives: Bruce Duncan

Bruce Duncan

About Bruce Duncan

Bruce Duncan is a Redemptorist priest and lectures in history and social ethics at Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne. He was one of the founders in 2005 of the ecumenical advocacy organisation, Social Policy Connections.

BRUCE DUNCAN. Faith and the Triple Crises of Corona Virus, Economic Shutdown and Climate Change.

The photo of Pope Francis speaking on 27 March to the completely empty square in front of St Peter’s in Rome spoke volumes. Isolated and alone, like so many others because of the corona virus outbreak, he epitomised the dilemmas … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Mr Morrison, please do not abandon innocent Aussie children in Syria.(Repost from 1.11.2019)

How will the Morrison government respond to the desperate plight of some 65 women and children detained in a camp in Syria? Relatives are pleading with our government to bring their family members safely home, but it appears immobilised by … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Mr Morrison, please do not abandon innocent Aussie children in Syria.

How will the Morrison government respond to the desperate plight of some 65 women and children detained in a camp in Syria? Relatives are pleading with our government to bring their family members safely home, but it appears immobilised by … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

BRUCE DUNCAN. No issue matters as much as climate change

What will it take before the Morrison government recognises the great peril from climate change? Is the overwhelming consensus of scientists not enough, as they track the record-breaking heat waves globally? And why are religious leaders not echoing Pope Francis … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

BRUCE DUNCAN. A stringent critique of financial abuse.

The Vatican has launched a stringent critique of widespread abuses in global economies, abuses that are driving astonishing inequality, threatening ecological sustainability and unleashing powerful reactionary political forces.

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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?

Posted in Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

BRUCE DUNCAN. What would Jesus make of our Christmas?

 The Christmas stories were not written for children but as preludes to the adult message of God in Jesus walking in solidarity with the entire human family.

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Did Pope Francis succeed in Myanmar?

Myanmar’s neighbours were watching closely the Pope’s visit, worried that the shocking treatment of the Rohingya Muslims could inflame inter-religious conflicts throughout the region. Francis has intervened personally to promote deeper mutual understanding among the major religions, urging them to … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Francis’s World Day of the Poor. ‘The poor are our passports to paradise’.

Even atheists, agnostics and humanists, as well as people of the great religious traditions, would likely welcome Pope Francis instituting a new World Day of the Poor. While a shallow and at times vulgar commercialism trivialises the profound religious meaning … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Curious Vatican article challenges right-wing US Catholics

Was Pope Francis aware that the Jesuit periodical, La Civita Cattolica was strongly attacking right-wing US Catholics for abandoning Church social teaching by political alliances with very fundamentalist Christian groups?  

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BRUCE DUNCAN. A scorecard on Pope Francis

Unexpectedly, Pope Francis has emerged as one of the most significant world leaders. Largely unknown before his election, Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis has assumed the moral stature of a new Mandela, and not just among Catholics.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

BRUCE DUNCAN. Don’t blame welfare for budget woes

  Prime Minister Turnbull promised us more centrist and fairer policies, but the Treasurer Mr Morrison appears to be playing a politics of resentment against people on income supports. On 25 August he declared: ‘There is a new divide – … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Julie Bishop cuts Overseas Development Aid to record low.

Despite lobbying from many groups, the May federal budget for 2016-2017 is hacking another $224 million from Australia’s overseas aid, reducing our aid to $3.8 billion, and as a percentage of our national income to just 0.23%, our lowest level … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Budget ignores growing inequality

Scott Morrison’s Commonwealth budget aims to be politically balanced but, like the Hockey budgets, neglects struggle street. The budget still labours under the neoliberal belief in minimal taxes, small government and maximum freedom for private enterprise. Morrison’s mantra is that … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Perplexed by Easter

Perplexing and confronting. Whether believers or not, that is how many of us find the events of that first Easter week in Jerusalem. Here are the elements of high drama: betrayal, confrontation with Jewish and Roman authorities, a trial, torture … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Pope Francis supports social revolution among the Zapatistas in Mexico

The western media largely missed the significance of Pope Francis’s visit to the ‘Free and Sovereign State of Chiapas’ in the south of Mexico on the border with Guatemala in February 2016. He not only reiterated the message he bore … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Australia’s moral crisis: shipping babies and families off to Nauru

How has it come to this, that the Australian government is poised to send back 37 babies, 54 children and their families – 267 in all – into the traumatic conditions of Nauru? Only a few years ago many Australians … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Pope Francis on avoiding environmental catastrophe

Current Affairs Popes write social encyclicals in times of social crisis or at great turning points in history. Pope Francis’s Laudato Si is no exception. He sees the world facing unprecedented twin crises: from climate change; and unresolved issues of … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Pope Francis and the Abbott government

Current Affairs  Pope Francis has repeatedly called for greater social and economic equity in the world, and reiterated the critique of neoliberal economics very strongly. Now he is about to issue an encyclical, the highest form of Church teaching, on … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Pope runs moral template over G20.

Pope France outlined a sharp moral template for world leaders at the G20 meeting in Brisbane. In a letter on 6 November to the current chair of the G20, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the Pope warned that “many lives are … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Iraq: where to now?

Threats from the self-styled Islamic State to kill Australians randomly on the street or wherever by any means possible have shocked us all. The threats were not just against Australians, nor only against westerners, but against other Muslims, even Sunnis … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. Pope Francis: economic system is failing millions.

A blog in the Economist accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and war: the Pope’s divisions”, was reacting to the Pope’s interview … Continue reading

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Bruce Duncan. The Coalition: how to lose friends and alienate people

Mr Abbott in his 2013 book, Battlelines, wrote that in government he would balance social values with pragmatic policy for the common good of the country. Yet one could be forgiven for thinking government policy is being driven by neoliberal … Continue reading

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