Category Archives: Religion and Faith

The Church and social justice after Trump

Church social teaching is strongly opposed to neoliberalism, so how did this opposition become so muted, with prominent Catholic voices and resources captured by neoliberal ideology and money?

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Plenary Council progress without transparency or inclusion for lay Catholics 

Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn last August challenged the President of the forthcoming Fifth Plenary Council of Australia (PC), Archbishop Tim Costelloe of Perth, to avoid a breach of faith with the Australian Catholic community. It called on him to open … Continue reading

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Abortion: people want clear-cut answers but it’s not that simple

For many religious and political conservatives, “pro-life” often becomes convenient rhetorical shorthand for avoiding the broad spectrum of urgent contemporary life issues.

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Catholic Bishops cannot govern their dioceses without pastoral councils

Only seven of the 28 Australian Catholic dioceses have pastoral councils. It seems that protecting the independence of ecclesiastical fiefdoms is more important than promoting the common good of the Church in this country.

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To care for the sheep or to preserve Church doctrine? Faith groups are found wanting

It was a rare act of cooperation between the Catholic and the Muslim communities of Melbourne: a full page advertisement in The Age of a joint letter of protest. That is, if it weren’t for the content of the letter.

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Joe Biden’s Catholicism

With the exception of Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, religion has not been a big deal for recent US presidents who were, at best, nominal Christians. For Joe Biden faith is central to who he is.

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How Steve Bannon tried to destroy Pope Francis (Counter Punch 3 Jan, 2021)

At the outset, I cannot emphasize enough the tremendous value and insight provided for the framing of this reportage by What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About #MeToo by JoAnn Wypijewski, an important anthology of sex crime journalism … Continue reading

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George Pell could comment ‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you’

Sensational news stories about Vatican finances are two-a-penny. But for the first time Australia features in a scandal with claims that since 2014 €1.4 billion (A$2.3 billion) of Vatican money ended-up in the Great South Land.

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COVID-19: The Sabbath we had to have?

As we lament this interminable time of suspended animation when even healthy human contact is potentially a criminal offence, or, at the very least, frowned upon as an egregious social sin; a searing question emerges from deep within: “What does … Continue reading

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Most viewed posts 2020: Father Glen Walsh paid a heavy price (Sep 9, 2020)

The revelations never end about priests and brothers, of monsignors and bishops with their secret sexual lives, masturbating, buggerizing, sodomizing and raping boys and girls – protected by an amoral hierarchy and a few corrupt members of the upper-echelons of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

Postmodernism, social justice, conspiracy theories and Jungian archetypes

Why do conspiracy theories thrive? Why has postmodern theory subtly permeated our thought in such a way that we no longer recognise it because it has become part of the fabric of our culture? Part of the answer may lie … Continue reading

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Faith when matter really matters

Christmas is not about Santa Claus, consumerism, or even happy families. It’s about God’s radical entry into humanity in the person of Jesus.

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What the hell kind of Christmas is this?

We are forced to face this Christmas with everything stripped away except the simple fact that Christ is with us.

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Merry Christmas – 2020 – Really?

We cannot wish people a Merry Christmas without taking some personal action. And the recipe for that action is central to the Gospel message of Jesus. We are called to be a commonwealth of peoples, not a conglomeration of self-interested … Continue reading

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Waiting with hope for Church renewal.

“We begin to die the day we don’t act on things that matter.” – Dr Martin Luther King Jnr

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The Sunday Obligation resumes for fewer Catholics

During the pandemic, Catholic Church authorities were forced to endorse the state’s ban on Mass attendance. Some hoped this would be the end of the Sunday Obligation, but Sydney’s Archbishop Anthony Fisher reimposed it last week.

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Faithful and Labor: What Labor Ignores at its Peril

The history of the ALP at the national level is one long lesson in humility.  More often defeated than victorious, glorious in government but only in retrospect. This is our party.

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 15 Comments

George Browning. Is the Anglican Church about to split?

‘The Conversation’ recently published an article co-authored by Dorothy Ann Lee and Muriel Porter under the heading “Is the Anglican Church about to split? It is facing the gravest threat to its unity in more than 200 years”.

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A Warrior Culture

The Prime Minister warned us that we would be in for some shocking reading as the report into Australian war crimes in Afghanistan was released. That there were 39 alleged murders, and 19 Australian soldiers involved, is indeed shocking.

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 10 Comments

We are called to be ‘Neighbours without Borders’

In his encyclical Fratelli Tutti Francis says that being a neighbour without borders is how Christians are called to respond to the challenges faced by our world.

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Does the McCarrick report exonerate Pope Francis? Yes and no.

Though Pope Francis was vaguely aware of rumors of sexual misconduct against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick back in 2013, a Vatican report released on Nov 10 says Francis believed his two predecessors had properly handled the matter and that there … Continue reading

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Singing outside the chorus on “Fratelli Tutti”

I suspect that I may be singing outside the chorus, but I must confess that I was a little disappointed in the recent Encyclical of Pope Francis, “Fratelli Tutti.”

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Many of Trump’s supporters feel disempowered by the elites

We’ve all been doing quite a deal of waiting of late – whether it be for the lifting of lockdown restrictions at a time of pandemic, or for the outcome of this week’s US presidential election.  And all the time, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

Hand Washing or Social Distancing in the Time of Pell

The parish priest, Jorge Bergoglio could afford the luxury of welcoming with open arms an old colleague whom he believed to have been falsely accused of sexual abuse. Even as Pope Francis he could have indulged himself with warm greetings … Continue reading

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Vote for the Trump vision and not the person! (National Catholic Reporter Oct 26, 2020)

No one ever said Michael Warsaw was stupid. The chairman of the board/CEO of EWTN and publisher of the National Catholic Register penned a column about the forthcoming election entitled, “Voting for a Vision, Not a Person.”

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Pope Francis’s rejection of ‘neoliberal’ economics

The new social encyclical of Pope Francis is a cry for those oppressed by poverty, hunger and exclusion, protesting against the injustice in a world with so much wealth. Not surprisingly Francis drew from the parable of the Good Samaritan: … Continue reading

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‘Fratelli Tutti’: Papal dreams or Vatican diversion? (Global Sisters Report Oct 19, 2020)

The encyclical aims to promote a universal movement toward fraternity and social friendship grounded in compassionate love, following the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37)….How do we make sense of this in a church that does not regard women … Continue reading

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Pope Francis on just wars, capital punishment and voluntary assisted dying

Pope Francis and his Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have recently made pronouncements on these life and death issues. The Church’s teaching on the taking of human life has never been particularly coherent.

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Pope Francis’s new encyclical On Human Fraternity and Social Friendship

The new social encyclical of Pope Francis not only renews his strong critique of ‘neoliberal’ forms of capitalism which result in growing and extreme inequality but is a plea for a return to the ideals of fraternity and solidarity, invoking … Continue reading

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The Beginning of the End?

Is Pope Francis running out of steam? Will we ever see an end to Vatican financial scandals? And where is George in all of this?

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