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