Category Archives: Religion and Faith

CHRISTOPHER LAMB. Cardinal Pell analysis: What happens next? The Pell case has become something of a litmus te st for the church’s handling of abuse

The Vatican is holding off from issuing any disciplinary measures against Cardinal George Pell until the Australian prelate has exhausted all legal avenues in trying to overturn his convictions for the sexual abuse of children.

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JACK WATERFORD.  High Court should leave Pell alone. There’s no unresolved point of law, and no mere judicial disagreement on facts invites special leave

George Pell will be doing very well if he succeeds in getting the High Court to grant him leave to appeal after the Victorian Court of Appeal threw out his appeal against his  conviction for child sex offences.  Pell was … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Where to from here?

One persistent question that has been asked since the failure of Cardinal George Pell’s appeal last Wednesday has been: Why isn’t the Vatican acting to force him from the College of Cardinals and expel him from the priesthood? They moved … Continue reading

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SR PATTY FAWKNER SGS. The Church – to include or not to include?

Boston’s gain has been Australia’s loss. Richard Lennan, a priest of the Maitland Diocese taught Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney for fifteen years before transferring to Boston College in 2008 where he now serves as Professor of Systematic … Continue reading

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PETER WILKINSON. Witness of truth wins justice in Pell appeal

 On Wednesday, 21 August 2019, a majority of the appeal judges who reviewed all the evidence in the trial of Cardinal George Pell for historic child sexual abuse, and in which he was convicted on five charges, have concluded that … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SEAN WINTERS. The Pell verdict: Various shades of justice | National Catholic Reporter

A three-judge panel in Australia has upheld the guilty verdict against Cardinal George Pell. On two of the claims put forward by Pell for overturning the verdict, the three judges were unanimous. On the third claim — the key issue … Continue reading

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CHRISTOPHER ALTIERI. Rarely has a Vatican official spoken so bluntly on abuse.

As Spring 2019 turned into summer, journalists, media relations professionals and communications experts gathered for four days in St Petersburg, Florida, to take part in the annual Catholic Media Conference. The event, sponsored by the Catholic Press Association of the … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Adapting to a ‘World Church’. A New Internatio nal Commentary on Vatican II

Vatican II was, according to Karl Rahner, the beginning of the “world church.” Elected bishop of Rome half a century after Vatican II, Francis is the first pope who is not from the Euro-Mediterranean area, and he can therefore be … Continue reading

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PETER DALY. Tackle clericalism first when attempting priesthood reform | National Catholic Reporter

In his 2018 “Letter to the People of God,” Pope Francis condemned the sins of sexual abuse and the abuse of power in the church. He linked those sins to clericalism. “To say no to abuse is to say an … Continue reading

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J.A. DICK Sacralizing Politics

It happens. A few days ago I was unfriended on Facebook by a fellow who fears I have ceased being a theologian and am now a political agitator. Actually, I don’t mind agitating a bit but I am still very … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. No issue matters as much as climate change

What will it take before the Morrison government recognises the great peril from climate change? Is the overwhelming consensus of scientists not enough, as they track the record-breaking heat waves globally? And why are religious leaders not echoing Pope Francis … Continue reading

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KIERAN NOONAN. Respecting Sacred Spaces

Can you imagine the uproar if, with the convenient burning of the roof of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, the French Minister for Transport approved a plan to build a freeway through the Cathedral? Through the main transept … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Catholic Culture Wars and the Pell legacy

A clash of cultures was graphically dramatized in 1968 when Paul VI published Humanae Vitae. It was a major moment in a tumultuous year. Europe was split over the Vietnam War. Student riots paralysed Paris and alarmed a young theology … Continue reading

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CONCERNED CATHOLICS CANBERRA GOULBURN. ‘Break open the word’ on Plenary Council, bishops urged

The credibility and success of the most important event in the Australian Catholic Church in many decades, the 2020 Plenary Council, depends on an open and frank airing of the grave issues crippling the Church. Concerned Catholics of Canberra Goulburn … Continue reading

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PETER JOHNSTONE. Archbishop rejects top woman theologian – business as usual.

Peter Comensoli, still only 12 months into his new job as Archbishop of Melbourne, seems to have adopted the old ways of Catholic episcopal autocracy. He has unilaterally determined that an internationally acclaimed Catholic theologian, Sister Joan Chittister, be removed … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Diaspora and the globalization of the Catholic Church.

The number of Catholics continues to drop in Germany. More than 216,000 of them decided to “leave the Church” last year alone by ceasing to pay the government-mandated church tax. This is just the latest example of what has become … Continue reading

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JOSEPH MARTOS. Can laypeople lead a parish? Look to Louisville for a thriving example.

In his recent book Worship as Community Drama, sociologist Pierre Hegy described an unusual Catholic parish whose identity he hid under the name Church of the Resurrection. When the book was published earlier this year and we read the chapter … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. The rise of ‘devout schismatics’ in the Catholic Church. {La Croix International”, 16.7.2019)

“If Matteo Salvini becomes prime minister, Italy will have a government led by a Catholic who is devout but schismatic.” So said Sergio Romano, a former Italian ambassador to NATO and the ex-Soviet Union, in a recent opinion piece in … Continue reading

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PAUL MOSES. Putting Church above Children. The Vatican Fails to Comply with a UN Treaty

One way Pope Francis could move ahead with his aim of curbing clergy sex abuse in the worldwide Catholic Church would be to insist that the Holy See comply with the international human-rights treaty it signed to protect the rights … Continue reading

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BISHOP VINCENT LONG-Australia’s Mandatory and Indefinite Off shore Detention Policy

This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that no person seeking asylum by boat would ever be resettled in Australia. Every single person arriving after that date was to be subjected to indefinite detention … Continue reading

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CARDINAL GEORGE PELL. Where have all the fighters gone?

The future of George Pell is in doubt but his shadow will remain for  many years across the Australian Catholic Church. Through a rigged system he was able to effectively decide who became bishops in the Church. This was critical … Continue reading

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VIC ROWLANDS. Israel Folau – a line in the sand.

If Israel Folau cannot find a way to qualify his homophobic interpretation of the Bible so that it does not cause hurt and offence to other people, his reputation as a person may well be the main casualty of his … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

J.A. DICK. Natural and Unnatural human rights

On Monday, July 8, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the creation of an advisory commission: the “Commission on Unalienable Rights.” He hopes it “will provide the intellectual grist of what I hope will be one of the … Continue reading

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ELISE HARRIS. Persecuted Christians urge more action, fewer empty words

With global religious persecution increasingly thrust into the international spotlight, members of several Christian communities suffering violence and discrimination have said promises are no longer enough, but action is needed from political leaders. Typically seen as a political non-priority, religious … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Reform or Dismantle? Why We Need to Keep the Institutions that Keep Us.

One of the effects of the sex-abuse crisis is the current moment of institutional iconoclasm—the temptation to get rid of the institutional element of the Catholic Church. The failures of the church’s institutions are now on full display, even more … Continue reading

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PATTY FAWKNER, SGS. Chittister, Censorship and an Adult Church.

It was decades ago, but I remember the day and the conversation well. It was a Monday morning and I was returning to work at a Catholic adult education organisation after a short break. I was confronted with the news … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. Francis continues to make us all a bit uncomfortable – From his stance on migrants to his encyclical Laudato si’, the pope causes controversy

Pope Francis is an equal opportunity offender. No matter where you place yourself along the Catholic Church’s broad spectrum – right, left or center; conservative or liberal; traditional or progressive – if you are not challenged and even disturbed by … Continue reading

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CHRIS MCDONNEL. A cry from the depths

It is often said that the darkest night comes in the hour before dawn. Recently the Church has passed, and is still passing through, a night time experience. We await the dawn hour.

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis is seeking to unite humanity

“Among all the world’s political and social leaders, Pope Francis stands increasingly alone as the most powerful force for global peace and stability.” Thus began the prelude to an earlier article titled, “Pope Francis or Steve Bannon. Catholics must choose.”

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KEVIN PEOPLES. Is the Male Clerical Church Irrelevant?

I first met the clerical God in 1964. I was 27. This was at Springwood, in the Blue Mountains. I met him while hiding away at St. Columba’s seminary. He was not to my liking and we parted in just … Continue reading

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