Category Archives: Religion and Faith

GEORGE BROWNING. Peace on Earth, Good will towards all: Tale of Two Jerusalem Prizes

The holy city’s name focuses the universal longing for peace: the hope, indeed the expectation that diversity and difference do not need to issue in animosity, injustice and violence, but in mutuality, enrichment from the other’s difference.  It is associated … Continue reading

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MARK EMERICK. Brisbane priest urges more help for West Papuans in exile following visit to PNG

A HIGH-level Australian Catholic delegation has met with former Manus Island asylum seekers and refugees now in Port Moresby, and heard shocking stories of their detention. “It was shameful to hear how our government has treated them on Manus Island … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Back to basics for Pope at huge Tokyo Mass (UCA News 25-11-19)

Francis warns against the consumerism and isolation that wealthy societies can create

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SAINT JOHN HENRY CARDINAL NEWMAN. Advent is upon us.

Why need they observe certain rites and ceremonies? Why need they watch, pray, fast, and meditate? Why is it not enough to be just, honest, sober, benevolent, and otherwise virtuous? Is not this the true and real worship of God? … Continue reading

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ROSEMARY O’GRADY. The Pell Appeal Judgements: One Perspective.

In the majority judgement disallowing Cardinal George Pell’s appeal against criminal convictions, Chief Justice Ferguson and Appeal Court President Maxwell set-out the task that had faced the three appellate judges.  

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BENZI GOPSTEIN: Burning Christian churches in Israel justified ( Palestine Post 19-11-19)

The rabbi said he is ready to spend 50 years in prison for burning a church.

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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

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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

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ERIC HODGENS. Pastoral Planning – A Church Crisis.

Church Pastoral Planning languishes – ignored and unloved. Yet, with the church being in freefall, it is needed today more than ever. It’s time to bring it in from the cold.

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The ALP and the religious right in Australian politics

The religious right is casting a darkening cloud over Australia’s democracy.

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 12 Comments

MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Catholic synodality as a response to the crisis of democracy.

The global crisis of democracy is yet one more challenge for a Church fighting for social justice.

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J. A. DICK. Political Religion and the Prosperity Gospel

Re-reading a bit of political philosophy, I came across a 1939 quotation by the French philosopher Raymond Aron (1905-1983) who warned of ‘notre époque de religions politiques.’ If Aron were around today, he would have much to wrote about.

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GARRY WILLS. Changing the ‘Changeless’ Church. A view of John O’ Malley’s ‘When Bishops Meet: An Essay Comparing Trent, Vatican I , and Vatican II’

In John O’Malley’s When Bishops Meet—the latest of his five books on ecumenical church councils—he compares and contrasts what he has written on the three last councils and argues that there should be a new one.

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J.A. DICK. Faith Development or Stunted growth.

Thinking about some well-known public personalities who, despite their age, are still rather adolescent in their beliefs and behaviour, I went back to James Fowler’s understanding of faith development.

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RAMZY BAROUD. The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinian Christians that Nobody is Talking About (CounterPunch 31-10-19)

Palestine’s Christian population is dwindling at an alarming rate. The world’s most ancient Christian community is moving elsewhere. And the reason for this is Israel.

Posted in International Affairs, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

RANDALL HEYN-LAMB. Episcopal Church officially bars investments in companies benefitting from the Israeli occupation (Mondoweiss 24-10-19)

This week, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church adopted a human rights investment screen related to Israel and Palestine and will sell its holdings in Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, Inc., and the Israel Discount Bank.

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NICOLAS SENEZE. A book sheds light on mismanagement of Vatican’s funds. Journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi reveals the tripling of the Holy See’s budget deficit and how reforms are sabotaged by a Curia that opposes any control

Is the Vatican facing a payment crisis? Despite the denials by a Vatican finance manager on Tuesday in a interview with L’Avvenire, journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, however, said the risk will become real by 2023. His latest book, Giudizio Universale (Last … Continue reading

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PETER DONNAN. The Plenary Council: Searching for Australian Catholics

Approximately 8% to 10% of those who identify as Catholics are regular mass attenders and almost a third of these are between 60 and 74; decline in mass attendance has been occurring since the 1950s, according to the National Centre … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. Please Leave.Please Come Back

In his speech at last week’s Sydney synod, Archbishop Glenn Davies made it clear he wished those who support the blessing of same sex marriage unions to leave the Church because ‘you cannot bless sin’. Subsequently he attempted to clarify … Continue reading

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IAN JOHNSON. The Eastern Jesus. A review of R.S. Sugirtharajah’s “Jesus in Asia”

Over the past few years, the authorities in Beijing have given churches across the country orders to “Sinicize” their faith. According to detailed five-year plans formulated by both Catholic and Protestant organizations, much of this process involves the predictable palaver … Continue reading

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MARK O’CONNOR FMS. Letters from the Synod. There are new steps: Prophetic voices amaze and energise in first week of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region

  I am sure some of you might remember that fine Australian film Strictly Ballroom. In it, there was an epic struggle going on. On the one hand, there were those convinced that there is only one model of ballroom … Continue reading

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PRINCE CHARLES, THE PRINCE OF WALES. John Henry Newman: The harmony of difference

When Pope Francis canonises Cardinal John Henry Newman tomorrow, the first Briton to be declared a saint in over forty years, it will be a cause of celebration not merely in the United Kingdom, and not merely for Catholics, but … Continue reading

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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

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THE SOUTHERN CROSS (Adelaide). New Vietnamese church a blessing. Our Lady of the Boat People.

  In what was a momentous occasion in its 40-year history in South Australia, the Church of Our Lady of The Boat People was dedicated by Apostolic Administrator Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ, with an evening of Vietnamese celebrations to follow.

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GERARD O’CONNELL. As Amazon Synod begins, Pope Francis looks to proceed with a ‘pastoral heart’

Pope Francis opened the first plenary session of the synod for the Amazon region this morning by praying with the synod participants at the tomb of St. Peter in the basilica dedicated to his name and then gave an incisive … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. A controversial synod and an unusual consistor. Pope Francis doubles down on reforming the Church and the Vatican

There’s a lot of commotion in and around the Vatican right now. It consists mostly of the angry rumblings of traditionalist Catholics who don’t particularly care for the way Pope Francis is leading the Church. Then there are the retaliatory … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. The emergence of synodality and the inadequacy of canon law. Historically the Church has never been regulated exclusively by legal codes, says Massimo Faggioli

Catholic bishops around the world are responding in various ways to the crisis the Church is currently facing. Some have tried to show that the bishops in the United States and Germany are doing so in a similar fashion.

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis steps up his campaign for immigrants

“Xenophobia and aporophobia today are part of a populist mentality that leaves no sovereignty to the people. Xenophobia destroys the unity of a people, even that of the people of God.”No one who has been following the activities of Pope … Continue reading

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ROSEMARY O’GRADY. For the Record

On the evening of Monday 16 September 2019 at a Melbourne bookshop, Allen & Unwin launched Fallen: The inside story of the secret trial and conviction of Cardinal George Pell by Lucie Morris-Marr.

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ERIC HODGENS. Where Do We Find the Authentic Catholic Voice?

Cardinal Pell got his voice heard from prison. Furthermore, surrogate Pell voices are heard from bishops he has promoted in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. But, on three current issues polls show that most Catholics disagree with them. So, which voice … Continue reading

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