Author Archives: Michael Kelly

Michael Kelly

About Michael Kelly

Father Michael Kelly is an Australian Jesuit who directed the Catholic Church's news feature and commentary service, UCA News, 2008-2018. He is the publisher of the English editions of La Croix International and La Civilta Cattolica, the 170 year old Jesuit publication of the Italian Jesuits.

MICHAEL JAMES KELLY. An Old Mans Gripe

It is a paradox: in the midst of suffering and dying, there is an unfamiliar human warmth. I have encountered it at several levels.

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MICHAEL KELLY. Coping with Isolation

The ‘command and control’ world of isolation we all find ourselves requires some new lessons in coping with isolation. Father Michael Kelly reflects on his experience of the strict world of the Jesuit Novitiate to guide him through his isolation.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KELLY.  Liberal culture and revelation

Western humanism has religious and transcendent sources without which it is incomprehensible to itself.    Jacques Maritain, Integral Humanism.  Faith in revelation does not destroy the rationality of knowledge but rather permits it to develop more fully.    Etienne Gilson, … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY SJ. What is to become of us?

I used to think I was part of a religion founded by Jesus Christ. The older I’ve got and the more I’ve come to know Jesus, the more I’m convinced I got that wrong and have outgrown it. Not that … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 13 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY SJ. The real culture war just down the road

Continuing the brutal ideological contest born of fear of difference and at times invincible ignorance only serves to maintain the power of the dominant

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ The biggest con in any current debate in Australian public life

In a highly contested event, one political con over the last decade stands out as the greatest bipartisan piece of deception in any enduring debate: the obfuscation employed in the public arguments over asylum seeker arrivals in Australia.

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Religious Persecution and Home Churches in China.

When will they ever learn? The best tonic to stir up religious fervor and greater commitment in a totalitarian society is to persecute believers. 

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MICHAEL KELLY. A journey with urban refugees in Bangkok.

Some days I feel like a people trafficker, though I’m not making a zack out of the trafficking. Other days I see myself as a latter-day Oskar Schindler. But mostly I just feel trapped along with the 1000 refugees and … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, World Affairs | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY. Change of era in Oz.

In a revealing throwaway line, Pope Francis captured something that is true for the Church across the world but most especially for the Church in Australia. The pope described our time in the church and wider society as “not so … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Bangladesh wake-up call on sexual abuse for Asia’s bishops.

The case of Father Walter Rozario bears all the hallmarks of denial, cover-up and silencing victims seen in the West. 

Posted in Asia, Religion and Faith, World Affairs | 4 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY. Canada shows us how it is done.-A REPOST from July 5 2017

The Refugee Council of Australia’s call for more affordable and community based ways of settling refugees is only the latest attempt to bring both community good will to refugees and the implementation of a proven and superior alternative to government … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KELLY. The Pope in Asia

Pope Francis was true to his word about the best place for the Catholic Church to be is on fringes, away from the cosseted privilege that keeps reality at bay. Traveling to Myanmar and Bangladesh – both in the top … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Pope Francis and The Lady meet

The much-anticipated meeting between Pope Francis and Aung San Suu Kyi will disappoint those who expected an attentive focus on the Rohingya.  

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KELLY. What brings a Jesuit Pope to Asia?

One of the biggest influences on Pope Francis remains relatively unexplored – Pedro Arrupe, the Superior General of the Jesuits (1965-83) who appointed Jorge Bergoglio Provincial of the Jesuits in Argentina (1973-79) at the tender age of 36.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KELLY. The weakest to the wall.

The eyes of the world have been fixed on and appalled by the sight of more than 580,000 Rohingya fleeing the violence gratuitously inflicted on them by the military in Myanmar.  And the story isn’t over yet.  More will be … Continue reading

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FR. MICHAEL KELLY. Christianity isn’t the answer

Paul Kelly named what is the biggest untreated socially communicated disease in the Western world: narcissism (The Australian, 8/07/2017). He’s not alone of course and quotes several other commentators who believe the same thing, among them David Brooks.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY. Time to think outside the square for the Church in China

Joseph Jiang’s timely essay on the Church in today’s China will annoy some but asks all the right questions.   

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Six archbishops examined by Australian judge.

An extraordinary piece of evidence presented to the Commission is that up to 7% of Australian Catholic clergy have been child abusers.  

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. 2017 for Pope Francis: what to expect.

At the heart of what Arrupe sought to do was get Jesuits out of their comfort zone, engaged with the real world and most especially reconverted to Jesus Christ by their encounter with the poor.  Pope Francis would agree. 

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Understanding challenges the church in Asia faces.

The Church in Asia can absorb and replicate its hierarchical, tiered cultural surrounds, or leave behind the clericalist conception of the Church, as a tightly run top-down organisation. It lies at the intersection of local hierarchical cultures and the culture … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Winners are grinners – asylum seekers in Bangkok.

  In the great race of life, it’s well to savor the few winners you back. Such was my experience last week. For some years, I’ve been helping a small group of asylum seekers survive against the odds in Bangkok. … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY S.J. Making saints.

  In our dreary world full of incredible people making claims to leadership, finding the occasional hero or heroine can’t be a bad thing. So why begrudge the Catholic Church its idiosyncratic ways of creating people for believers to admire … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Washing feet, culture and religion.

The decision by parts of the Catholic Church in India to differ with Pope Francis’ decision to allow women to have their feet washed in the ceremony on Holy Thursday is puzzling to say the least. Their reason given is … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Where to from here for the Catholic Church in Australia

Despite the unpersuasive Vatican spin on Cardinal Pell’s appearance last week before the Royal Commission into child sex abuse in institutions – that his performance was “dignified” and “edifying”, his performance, in the assessment of most observers including this one, … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. As Holy Mother Church has always taught.

At times I have to pinch myself to be alert to what’s going on right now in the Catholic Church and to fathom the depth of it. Throughout history, we have seen change come abruptly. It happened in Europe and … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Treating Islam’s clerics like their Christian equivalents will save lives

There is an unexpected upside to the mayhem and carnage across the world, visited on the unsuspecting innocents of countries where Muslims are not a majority of the population – Europe and beyond. It’s something the Catholic Church has had … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Paris: the problem is deeper than criminal acts

There’s something profoundly rotten about cultures that can give birth to the murderous behaviour on show in Paris last Friday. This is just the latest and probably most visible instance because it happened in one of the hubs of the European … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. George Pell’s own goal.

A Catholic friend of mine who spent his professional life as a journalist at what was the then rather WASPISH Melbourne Age told me in the 1980s that two sports dominated that paper’s pages – Australian Rules football and Catholic … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. The challenge of people movements.

Great as the gesture of Pope Francis is to mobilize parishes in Europe to accommodate the influx of tens of thousands of asylum seekers from the Middle East (they call them migrants), the problem is more complex than offering immediate … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration, Religion and Faith, World Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Michael Kelly SJ. It can’t get any worse.

Current Affairs. There’s a special irony in the Australian Catholic bishops’ recent statement “Don’t Mess with Marriage” which is a defence of the institution against proposals to recognise gay marriage. What are they defending? It’s not just the Catholic sacrament … Continue reading

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