Author Archives: Michael Mullins

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About Michael Mullins

Michael Mullins is a former editor of Eureka Street.

Necessary disruption for church culture change to protect children

A ‘secret bishops report’ has called for the declericalisation of the Catholic Church in Australia. The bishops are keeping the report under wraps until the end of the year ‘to do it justice’, while critics are calling it ironic for … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Blind obedience and the Pell trial jury

While I was training to be a Jesuit in the late 70s, I learned about, and practised, ‘blind obedience’. Rightly or wrongly, what I learned about blind obedience has informed my understanding of how juries work in the court system.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 18 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Jean Vanier and the abuse of celebrity power

Jean Vanier was the revered founder of the international network of L’Arche communities for people with intellectual disabilities. It was revealed at the weekend that he sexually abused six women in France between 1970 and 2005. Treating leaders like gods … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 11 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Leaving Google

Last month an Amnesty International report took Google and Facebook to task for their ‘surveillance-based business model’ that is ‘predicated on human rights abuse’. Back in 2006, I recall a colleague telling me about Google’s ‘do no evil’ manifesto. I … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL MULLINS. The role of ordinary Catholics in clerical sex abuse

NZ bishop Charles Drennan was forced to resign after a young woman complained about his sexual behaviour towards her. The #MeToo movement has forced a reckoning about the imbalance of power between clerics and lay Catholics. This is a major … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. George Pell’s conviction and fragmentary memory

Many people dismiss any element of testimony that is thought to be guided by emotion. Court proceedings are based on rational argument. If holes can be picked in the verbal narrative of the witness, the allegations remain unproven. A new … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 15 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Abstract thinkers living in bubbles.

During the Christmas break I read Rick Morton’s One Hundred Years of Dirt, which is one of the more acclaimed Australian memoirs published during 2018. It details the wretched life he’s led and also challenges the culture warriors of the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Reviews | 2 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. The importance of wage growth

The blemish on this week’s ‘beautiful set of numbers’ announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was wage growth. We all need to build wealth to provide a secure future. The way to do that is to receive not only a wage, … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Why I avoid social media news feeds

Facebook and the like are not interested in truth in journalism. They use their algorithms to create news that confirms their users’ pre-existing views. If they gave them content with views they didn’t like, chances are that the users would … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. The politicisation of remembrance

In Australia there is a highly selective regime of remembrance that chooses to exclude the Frontier Wars that killed large numbers of indigenous Australians, and also the many unsavoury aspects of war such as the mistreatment of women by our … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Treatment of the mentally ill as ‘the next civil rights issue’

Humour touching on mental health is a delicate undertaking that can either enhance or destroy the dignity of those living with mental illness.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

MICHAEL MULLINS. Wilson conviction exposes Australian bishops’ lack of contrition

Recently a friend abused by a priest in Newcastle 40 years ago took his own life. Archbishop Philip Wilson was convicted this week for concealing sexual abuse in that diocese around the same time. Church leaders valued the institution ahead … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 16 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Joyce’s schooling is the real scandal

It is unhelpful to judge Barnaby in the way the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull did on Thursday. It’s better to focus on a critique of the culture. His leadership of the Nationals may be no longer tenable, but the best … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 6 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. The mission of a bank nerd.

The vigilance of nerds – or mavens – enhances the wellbeing of us all. Their scrutiny keeps businesses on their toes and non-nerds are less likely to be exploited.  If everybody was a bank nerd, the banking royal commission would … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. What happened to my Australian accent?

I spent the summer of 1983-84 in the Philippines. During this time I fell in love with the Philippines and its people and felt ashamed to be Australian.

Posted in Human Rights | 2 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Who really killed Confession?

Most Catholics have stayed away from Confession for decades because the thought of it has made them feel small and unworthy. It’s not dissimilar to the dynamic of sexual abuse. It is part of what critics of the Church see … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. It’s likely Pope Francis would support ‘killing off confession’ to support abuse victims

At his media conference following Friday’s release of the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Archbishop Anthony Fisher said that ‘killing off confession is not going to help anybody’. The report recommended legal strictures … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Mothballing the clerical collar would help prevent clergy sexual abuse

An attitude of superiority on the part of a priest or other religious functionary carries with it the distinct possibility that they will abuse their position by taking sexual advantage of someone less powerful. On the other hand, if they … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Proper scrutiny will expose ‘traditional marriage’ as dangerous.

Pope Francis has confirmed his resolve to dump Pope John Paul II’s legacy regarding marriage and the family. He will replace it with his own more inclusive vision, which he outlined in a speech in October last year. This suggestion … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Civil and religious marriage are best kept separate.

By conflating the civil law with religious ritual, we create confusion that makes it easy for the Church to claim authority that rightfully belongs to the state. In other words, the Church makes demands regarding sacramental marriage, which of course … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Cardinal Pell’s preference for spin doctors over truth tellers

Cardinal Pell’s actions and attitudes towards the media over the years have demonstrated a lack of appreciation of its role in truth telling. If, as he stated , he is innocent of the ‘false’ charges laid against him, it is … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 2 Comments

Michael Mullins. Threatened Al Jazeera more trustworthy than ‘white man’s media’

John Menadue’s blog post ‘White man’s media’ points to our media’s disproportionate coverage of terrorism in the west, where only 2.6 per cent of terrorism related deaths occur. Our easily accessible media outlets could be on the way to becoming even … Continue reading

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