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 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 | 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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Michael Kelly SJ. Pope Francis and the Curia.

The tongues are certainly waging worldwide over the Christmas message of Pope Francis to staff at the Vatican – the priests, monsignors, bishops and cardinals gathered for an end of year assessment by the pope of the year that has … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Phillip Hughes: reality bites

Seeing Australia from outside the island continent offers some very strange views from time to time. The outpouring of grief over the tragic accident that took the talented life of cricketer Phillip Hughes went global within a very short time. … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith, Sport | 1 Comment

Michael Kelly SJ. On being a Priest.

I’ve been a priest for thirty years and for perhaps the past two decades, I have known that when I walk into an unfamiliar setting or join a new group of people and tell them what I am, a goodly … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. A new magazine – Global Pulse.

Global Pulse Magazine brings together the rich editorial resources of some of the world’s leading independent publishers in the Catholic Church for an international English readership. Global Pulse provides insights into the Church and in the wider world of politics, … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Stopover in Hong Kong

John Le Carre (real name David Cornwall) has written a lot of books about the fairly predictable workings of spies. The Dirty Tricks manual doesn’t have a lot of chapters and you don’t have to be too smart to anticipate … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Pope Francis is a game-changer.

There’s no doubting that Pope Francis is a game changer and not just for the Catholic Church. The question remains whether he can pull off the changes he’s foreshowed and many Catholics want. Three decades of people being made bishops … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

Michael Kelly SJ. Today’s Totalitarianism’s Powerful Forms.

Australian eyes are focused on the unspeakable brutality and pointlessness of the downing of MH 17. But alongside this event, Australian minds and hearts are assailed daily by barbarism across the Middle East and in different parts of Asia. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

Michael Kelly SJ. Catholic Church needs to show more than legal compliance

It’s been a big few weeks for the clergy and their dealings with the police across the world. In legal matters in countries covering four continents – India, the Dominican Republic, Italy and Australia – clerics are being held to … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

Michael Kelly SJ. The banality of evil

Denial has many faces. Some of them are necessary. If any of us entertained what might befall us each day and the harm we could come to, we would never get out of bed. But denial also has corrosive and … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. A powerful minority or an elected majority!

In a process that shows no sign of ending soon, Thailand’s unstable governance has reached another crisis. The Acting Prime Minister has been tipped out only to be replaced by an Acting Acting Prime Minister who is himself to face … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Why Protestants are more popular than Catholics in China

Questions abound over the recent vicious actions of the Chinese government towards Christians in the prosperous Zhejiang Province just south of Shanghai. The actions of the government during the fortnight after Easter against both Protestants and Catholics are unprecedented in … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration, World Affairs | 3 Comments

Michael Kelly SJ. Next item on the Catholic reform agenda

This is a time of reform in the Church. Everyone who bothers to look, from average Catholics around the world to the cardinals who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio to become Pope Francis, knows the Church is in strife and in … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly S.J. What makes this week Holy.

The recent casual remark of a friend got me to thinking about just how people experience Easter differently. My friend and I were talking about something Christians are constantly encouraged to consider especially in Lent and which gets its highest … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. The canonisation of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII – an event of telling significance.

Pope Francis may need some help from Our Lady The Untier Of Knots On April 27, we will witness an event that will tell us more about what to make of Papa Francesco and what to expect in his papacy. … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

Michael Kelly SJ. Where does the buck stop in the Church?

You could be forgiven for not knowing where the buck stops in the Catholic Church these days. In any society, organization or Church community, it is important to know who is ultimately responsible in decision making; otherwise, chaos or worse … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Sexual abuse and the humiliation of the Catholic Church. A new spirituality.

​ Michael Kelly SJ invites Australian Catholics to embrace the humiliation that is bound to increase as the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse continues in 2014 through a spirituality based in the gospel. The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola invite us … Continue reading

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Michael Kelly SJ. Australians as the ‘white trash of Asia’ reaches new depth.

It is now over thirty years since the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew described Australians as the “white trash of Asia”. The barb stung and is still recalled with shame and hurt by Australian politicians as then … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration, World Affairs | 1 Comment

Michael Kelly SJ: Chaos reigns in Bangkok

The fear of many Thais is that the country will end up like the Philippines – so laid back that nothing gets done, so corrupt that everyone stops trying, so mismanaged that there is misery for many just around the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 2 Comments

Bangkok is bubbling. Will it blow? It’s looking increasingly like it will. Guest blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

In recent months, most independent observers have admitted to complete uncertainty about the outcome of the demonstrations and disturbances that for months have plagued Bangkok with its metropolitan area population of some 15 million. But now there is a date … Continue reading

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Sexual abuse: two Popes late on the scene. Guest blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

Early in the 20th Century, the French Catholic poet and writer Charles Peguy observed that, at the turn of each age, the Catholic Church arrives a little late and a little breathless. It was not till the 1960s, at Vatican … Continue reading

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The end of an era. Guest blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

It may be because I’ve been in Ireland and dealing with people who are the heirs of those responsible for most of the heritage and works of the Australian Jesuits. But I don’t think so. What struck me most deeply … Continue reading

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The Catholic Church is in for a shake-up. Guest blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

Pope Francis has pressed all the hot buttons that get Catholic and other tongues wagging- a pastoral response to divorced and remarried Catholics, homosexuality, the place of women in the Church, the excessively centralized nature of management in the Church, … Continue reading

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Commodifying and dehumanising asylum seekers. Guest blogger Michael Kelly SJ

The rejection by the Indonesian foreign minister of Tony Abbott’s suggested ways of “stopping the boats” is only the latest assertion of how the Coalition’s policy on asylum seekers was never going to work. It might have made political sense … Continue reading

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Clericalism and the inability to recognise one’s own shortcomings. Guest Blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

But what was the question? For a very long time I have puzzled over what fanatics, bigots, sundry village idiots and fundamentalists have in common. I used to think it was fear – the fear of losing control. So, all … Continue reading

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Fear and Trust. Guest blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

It was Arthur Augustus Calwell, Federal Leader of the Australian Labor Party before Gough Whitlam, who believed that fear was the most potent political weapon. He ought to know: he lost three elections because of it. The political correlative to … Continue reading

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Next step for Pope Francis. Guest blogger: Michael Kelly SJ

So Pope Francis said to himself when he was elected Bishop of Rome, as he told journalists in Rome on last Saturday, what about the poor? Bishop of Rome means Pope and his question was what does it mean to … Continue reading

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Francis I. An unpredicted but not unpredictable result. Guest blogger Michael Kelly SJ

While everyone agrees that the election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis is unprecedented in many ways, it is not entirely a surprise. He was runner up to Joseph Ratzinger in the 2005 Conclave that saw him elected as Pope … Continue reading

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It happens every day (Guest blogger: Fr Michael Kelly S.J.)

It happens every day. People in public life try to grab hold of and change the public narrative about themselves, those they represent or lead. For most of the second half of last year, the Prime Minister had charge of … Continue reading

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