Category Archives: Religion and Faith

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

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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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ROBERT MICKENS. Reforming the Church with ‘no possibility of return.’ How Pope Francis is initiating processes of Church reform that will be hard to undo.

How many cardinals does it take to help Pope Francis reform the Roman Curia? And how many years do they need to get the job done?Many Catholics – at least those who are hoping the pope can succeed in decentralizing … Continue reading

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DONALD COZZENS. How much corruption can we tolerate in the church before we leave?

After reading James Carroll’s lengthy lament in The Atlantic on the corruption in the Catholic Church and its priestly caste, I remembered reading an article in America magazine by the late Jesuit theologian Walter Burghardt. “In the course of half … Continue reading

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BERNARD MOYLAN. Homily on Israel Folau

I intended to speak today about the hyperbolic language Jesus used in order to get a point across. The point in today’s gospel is that life is more than rigid responsibilities and that our following him should be unencumbered. He … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis or Steve Bannon? Catholics must choose. American alt-right leader enlists Catholic allies to turn people against the pope

  Among all the world’s political and social leaders, Pope Francis stands increasingly alone as the most powerful force for global peace and stability. Thank God – and the cardinals who elected him in March 2013 – that the Argentine … Continue reading

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DAVID TIMBS. Australia’s bishops are presently visiting the Pope. . What are they telling him and will Aus tralia’s ordinary Catholics ever find out?

Australia’s bishops are currently in Rome for their regular ‘ad limina’ visit to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul . Their last visit was in 2011. While there they will meet Pope Francis, have meetings with many of the … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Give me a break!

Please, please, give me a break from Israel Folau! We’ve all heard more than enough about who’s going to hell. He can believe whatever he wants and he can blow his bags ad nauseam to his Pentecostal mates. But we … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. Our Church or Our Museum? Contributing to a confident, humble, listening, and questioning Church.

Even with changes to governance and participation, the Catholic Church remains at a cross roads between life and death, between relevance and irrelevance, between a Church and a museum in our post-modern world.

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WILLIAM GRIMM MM. What’s under the miter? Legal systems and media exposure are the chief tools to deal with corruption among church leaders

When I was a boy, I watched a narrow clamshell bucket dipping into a sewer up the street from our home to clear muck. I was still too young and too inexperienced in the ways of the Church to be … Continue reading

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DAMIEN CAVE. She’s 83 and a Famous Nun. Australia’s Catholic Leaders Want Her to Stay Away

Sister Joan Chittister, a well-known American nun, feminist and scholar, was looking forward to speaking at a Catholic education conference in Australia next year, figuring there would be plenty to discuss in a country where Catholic schools educate roughly one … Continue reading

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BHIM BHURTEL. The threat to Christianity is from within. (Asia Times 21.6.2019)

Christianity is an indispensable cog in the idea of “Western civilization” along with other core values of “the West” supposedly based on the moral and ethical foundations of Christianity. Perhaps no one can imagine “Western civilization” secluding Christianity as depicted … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. A badly governed Church needs a new model. Catholicism continues to wrestle with the unrealized vision of the Second Vatican Council.

It is an understatement to say that Catholicism is in deep trouble. The sexual abuse tragedy and the secrecy and denial surrounding are obvious symptoms. A key element in the broader Church crisis is governance.

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Massimo Faggioli explores how conflicting memories of Nazi-Fascism on two continents is impacting global Catholicism. The European and American Catholic divide

This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allied troops invaded Normandy on June 6, 1944. Just two days earlier the Allies had carried out the Liberation of Rome, making the Eternal City the first capital to be … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. Vatican document on gender is like lipstick on a pig. The call for dialogue cannot disguise the text’s uncompromising ideological views .

Catholic bishops, including those in Vatican offices, are not exactly the most credible authorities on issues pertaining to sexuality these days. Few people would disagree with this, except – maybe – bishops themselves. And, of course, those who are trying … Continue reading

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PETER SINGER. Rugby Australia’s “Own Goal” (Project Syndicate 11.6.2019)

If Rugby Australia had existed in the first century of the Christian era, and Paul had had enough talent to be a contracted player, the sport’s national governing body presumably would have ripped up his contract once his first letter … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL: Has the Pontifical Secret Been Secretly Buried?

After the criticisms of the pontifical secret at the February summit conference in Rome on child sexual abuse, it was widely expected that it would be abolished. It never happened, but recent announcements by two bishops’ conferences suggest that it … Continue reading

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PAULINA GUZIK. Polish bishops hope ‘knight of Malta’ will help Church battle abuse. Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Vatican’s chief expert on clerical sex abuse, will visit Poland on Friday.

When the people of Poland think of Malta and the Catholic Church, they usually think of the Knights of Malta, the fraternal order which is active throughout the country. Next week, a different kind of Maltese knight will be arriving: … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. The current state of the priesthood and episcopacy seems to be in shambles. Broken trust in a broken clerical system.

“If you want to be priest, lie!”That was supposed to be a punch line in “Mass Appeal,” a comedy-drama written by American Catholic playwright Bill C. Davis. First staged in 1980, it was made into a film four years later.

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PETER JOHNSTONE. Is religious freedom code for a licence to discriminate?

Just one worrying aspect of current talk that religious freedom needs to be legislated is that the need is rarely explained. There is vague reporting of the ‘right’ of religious schools to teach faith-based doctrine. This begs the question as … Continue reading

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DAVID MARR. The George Pell story is a long way from ending – even if he wins his appeal. The high court has often backed trial juries in child abuse cases, and looms over the verdict of the Melbourne judges

G eorge Pell stands a good chance of winning his appeal next week. Not that that would be the end of the matter. Lately the Victorian court of appeal has overturned a number of jury verdicts in child abuse cases, … Continue reading

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PAUP KARP. Coalition delayed religious freedom reform and ‘exploited’ fear, Labor senator says. Deborah O’Neill points to ‘mischievous’ misinformation about Labor’s position on religious issues

Labor senator Deborah O’Neill has accused the Coalition of botching religious freedom reform while profiting from faith-based communities’ fears about Labor. With Coalition MPs calling for greater protection for religious freedom in the 46th parliament, Labor MPs are debating whether … Continue reading

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