Author Archives: Frank Brennan

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About Frank Brennan

Frank Brennan SJ is the CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia and the Rector of Newman.

FRANK BRENNAN SJ. ‘I can’t breathe.’

Martin Luther King said ‘in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard’. 

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN Constitutional Recognition of the Indigenous Voice

Addressing the National Press Club during NAIDOC Week, Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians said: ‘I will develop and forward a consensus option for constitutional recognition to put to a referendum during the current parliamentary term. That means working through … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 4 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Australia and the refugees who come by boat

We have now all endured our third election in a row when boat turnbacks and the punitive treatment of refugees and asylum seekers featured.  The overwhelming majority of our politicians and the overwhelming majority of voters are agreed that the … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Our Church or Our Museum? Contributing to a confident, humble, listening, and questioning Church.

Even with changes to governance and participation, the Catholic Church remains at a cross roads between life and death, between relevance and irrelevance, between a Church and a museum in our post-modern world.

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FRANK BRENNAN. Safe Turnbacks and Appropriate Medical Care for Asylum Seekers (Eureka Street, 18 February 2019)

We are all gearing up for the third election in a row when boat turnbacks and the punitive treatment of refugees and asylum seekers feature.  It need not be so.  It’s time voters sent a message that it should not … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE, JOHN MENADUE. Boat Turnbacks and Medical Transfers.

It’s time to stop the shrillness.  The boats have stopped.  Both sides of politics are now committed to turnbacks.  Both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will do whatever it takes to stop asylum seekers setting sail from Indonesia.  If asylum … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | 18 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Compassion and justice after abuse apology.

Tomorrow in our national parliament, the Prime Minister will offer an apology to the victims of child sexual abuse. Many survivors will be here in Canberra. Some will be here at taxpayer expense having been successful in a ballot to … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. Walking together for a better future (Eureka Street, 01.10.18)

Frank Brennan’s keynote address to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council Assembly entitled: ‘Strong Faith. Strong Youth. Strong Future — Walking Together in a movement of the Australian people for a better future’. 1 October 2018, Technology … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Consolations from the Liberal Party mess.

What a mess! Poor Fellow My Country. Today is not a day for reckoning about any big policy issues, because none of them was in play when members of the Liberal Party cast their votes in the party room.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. A planet to heal (Hiroshima Remembrance Ecumenical Service, Adamstown Uniting Church, Newcastle, 5 August 2018).

I join with you in acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. This weekend at the 20th Garma Festival held on Yolgnu lands in Arnhem Land, the acclaimed Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan spoke. Having disclosed his … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Woe to the shepherds (Homily, 22.07.18 at St Michaels’ Church, Kaleen)

Sometimes the lectionary throws up a reading from scripture which just hits you in the face given what’s been going on in your world the previous week.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. The sentencing of Archbishop Wilson. (Eureka Street 3/7/2018)

Philip Wilson has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment to be served by way of home detention. It’s very likely that he will appeal his conviction and sentence. An appeal may well succeed, but that’s not the end of the … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Close the camps now and stop the posturing.

Both the Turnbull government and the Shorten opposition are committed to ‘stopping the boats’. Tony Abbott’s mantra is now the political orthodoxy on both sides of the political aisle in Canberra. Labor knows it has no chance of winning an … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Newstart needs a new start,

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be hearing a lot about company and personal income tax cuts. The Turnbull government holds the view that tax relief for companies and middle-income earners is necessary to improve the economic prosperity of … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. Public servant to the First Australians.

Funeral Homily for Barrie Dexter CBE. Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 26 April 2018. Listen on SoundCloud [commencing at 2:00] In Australia, there have been many children of the manse who have gone on to be great contributors to … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Religion and Faith | Comments Off on FRANK BRENNAN. Public servant to the First Australians.

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

Posted in Religion and Faith | 21 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Edging closer to a just regime in the Timor Sea.

On Tuesday the governments of Timor Leste and Australia will sign a maritime boundary treaty in New York in the presence of Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations. This day has been a long time coming. 

Posted in Asia | 3 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. The apology ten years on.

Today we mark the tenth anniversary of the National Apology.  All of us remember where we were that day when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd read the words of the parliamentary motion moved by him and seconded by Brendan Nelson, the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. A Catholic reflection on the Royal Commission as the curtain closes on Act One.

On Friday, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has been part of the Australian political and ecclesial landscape for the last five years, will cease to exist.  The commission will present its report to the … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 13 Comments

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

FRANK BRENNAN. Questions Ardern can ask Turnbull about Manus.

When Prime Minister Turnbull meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Sunday, he will receive a renewed offer of help from New Zealand in relation to Manus Island.  For the last four years, New Zealand has offered to take … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. SJ Towards an economy that works for all.

The promise of riches from the trickle-down effect is at best patchy for many Australians, and non-existent for others. Continuing with the same economic and social policy settings will exacerbate the already growing divide between the rich and the poor … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

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

FRANK BRENNAN. We need a Bill of Rights

As Attorney General Lionel Bowen dedicated a lot of time and energy to a Bill of Rights. He introduced legislation which was doomed. But he outlined the principles for an Australian Human Rights Bill espousing the preconditions for the common … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Developing an inclusive and sustainable economy (Speech launching the 2017 Social Justice Statement, 7 September 2017)

We’re here to launch Everyone’s Business: Developing an Inclusive and Sustainable Economy. 25 years ago, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference published Common Wealth for the Common Good: A Statement on the Distribution of Wealth in Australia. Michael Costigan and Sandie … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. The Copenhagen breakthrough in the Timor Sea.

There has been an agreed breakthrough in the long running dispute between Australia and Timor Leste in relation to maritime boundary demarcation and control of the resources in the disputed area in the Timor Sea.  The breakthrough came on 30 … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Compulsory drug testing is no silver bullet.

Christian Porter, the Minister for Social Services, has been trying to make his mark as an upcoming minister in the Turnbull Government.  Porter thinks he might have found the perfect silver bullet: mandatory drug tests for unemployed welfare recipients. 

Posted in Economy, Health | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN. The bi-partisanship shame of refugee policy

What possessed Filippo Grandi, the relatively new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to go public last week, having a go at Australia for our government’s treatment of unvisaed asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat? He repeated UNHCR’s … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE and JOHN MENADUE. Stopping Boats and Saving Lives Four Years On …

How much longer will we continue to punish proven refugees who are our responsibility while they await interminable, uncertain futures in Nauru and Manus Island?  Everyone knows that not all the proven refugees will be resettled in the USA even … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments