Category Archives: Religion and Faith

ERIC HODGENS. The Fifties – Werribee’s Greatest Years.

Werribee’s fiftieth year as a scene of priestly training will also be its last. Nostalgia prompts deeper reflection. Our thesis is that the fifties were Werribee’s greatest years. This article was published by Catholic View in October 2018. 

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CHRIS GERAGHTY. Faith-based Beliefs or Long-held Prejudices.

The recent “conversation” as to whether faith-based schools should be permitted by law to discriminate against gay boys and girls, or against teachers who belong to the LGBT cohort, has resulted in a magnificent own-goal scored by so-called liberal conservative … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Scott Morrison’s Australia resembles the 51st American state (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

 “We’re a sovereign nation,” said Scott Morrison. And then proceeded to act as if we were not, as if Australia was not merely an American vassal, but a Donald Trump toy.

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KIM WINGEREI. A Secular Nation

Australia is a secular nation. It is enshrined in our constitution, yet we have a Prime Minister and many others in Parliament who don’t quite seem to understand what that means. The Ruddock report reveals not only state laws in … Continue reading

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MARGARET O’CONNOR. Changing the culture of the church.

“What is the good of drawing up, on paper, rules for good behaviour, if we know that, in fact, our greed, cowardice, ill temper, and self-conceit are going to prevent us from keeping them? I do not mean for a … Continue reading

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JOHN HANNON. Complexities of Catholic marriage.

As Brendan Byrne SJ, scripture scholar, comments on today’s Gospel( 7 October 2018): “Any pastor would be aware that no Sunday Gospel read throughout the year… will require more careful handling than this one… To simply read out the rulings … Continue reading

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TONY COADY. The Synod, the Celibacy Rule, the Wider Problem of Radical Change in the Catholic Church

The current meeting of the world’s Synod of Catholic Bishops in Rome to discuss “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” will clearly have an eye to the vast decline in vocations to the priesthood, particularly in the Western world. … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Revisiting the Theology of Clericalism.

Theology tends to ramp up the status and certainty of its models and theories so that what starts off as a theory morphs into unquestionable truth.

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GERALDINE DOOGUE, AMY DONALDSON. Bill Hayden explains why he decided to be baptised.

Apart from being Australia’s second longest-serving governor-general and introducing the first version of Medicare, Bill Hayden is probably best known for being a vocal and even hostile atheist.

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DOUG TAYLOR. Uniting Church launches new decriminalisation campaign.

Australia’s first pill testing trial took place earlier this year in Canberra at a music festival. 128 people attending the festival provided pills for testing and two of these pills were found to contain potentially deadly substances.  These pills were … Continue reading

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JOHN WARHURST. The power of the Catholic lobby. (Canberra Times 27/9/2018)

The continuing education funding controversy invites scrutiny of the power of insider politics. Political insiders are those who use economic clout, political connections, extensive networks and privileged access to decision-makers to consistently influence political outcomes.  

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BRUCE KAYE. The Prime Minister’s Pentecostal Christianity and neo liberalism.

Will Scott Morrison really be able to exercise the office of Prime Minister properly while belonging to a Pentecostal church that is said to have a prosperity gospel that promises wealth and health to believers?  Guilt by association is always … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. How serious is Pope Francis about eradicating clericalism?

Even after waging war on clericalism there’s little evidence to show that the pope has dramatically changed the attitude of the clericalists in the Church. 

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DAVID TIMBS. The priest shortage and the elephant in the room.

Twice in recent weeks, Fr James Clarke, Chair of  the National Council of Priests (NCP), has stated that the majority of Australian priests and probably most laity support a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the Catholic priesthood and pastoral … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. HOMO SAPIENS – REALLY?

​Along the evolutionary trail we have somewhat ambitiously called ourselves homo sapiens, or humans who are sapient – knowing or wise. The truth of the matter is tragically far from this: we seek to resolve difference through violence rather than … Continue reading

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TROY BRAMSTON. Ex-Labor leader Bill Hayden, 85, baptised into Catholic Church.

Bill Hayden, at age 85, has renounced his atheism and been baptised into the Catholic Church.

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Flirting with Church schism.

The right-wing effort to delegitimize Pope Francis is continuing.

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JOHN MENADUE. Failed leadership in church and state. Repost from 24 August 2018

Good leadership is about facing the group up to the hard issues. Without clearly defining why and how we need to change and creating  some disequilibrium there will be no worthwhile change.  In the AFR on September 14 2018 Laura … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Scott Morrison, the ‘prosperity gospel’ and neoliberalism.

Sounding surprisingly like an evangelical revivalist, Prime Minister Morrison in Albury on 6 September highlighted the need for love in our country, for every Australian, and that this set the value base for his own thinking and presumably for policies … Continue reading

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Bishop Long and other religious leaders denounce asylum-seeker policy.

Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. has joined other faith leaders in denouncing Australia’s indefinite detention of refugees and asylum-seekers on Nauru and Manus Island. 

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. Religious Persecution and Home Churches in China.

When will they ever learn? The best tonic to stir up religious fervor and greater commitment in a totalitarian society is to persecute believers. 

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ELIZABETH EVATT. Where are the threats to religious freedom?

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called recently for laws to protect religious freedom, in order, he says, to safeguard personal liberty. While there is little evidence that religious freedom is under threat in Australia, there is a demand in … Continue reading

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GARRY EVERETT. No Way To Start.

To be a dissenting voice is a risky business. If you oppose the prevailing orthodoxy, you are either disowned because you are wrong; or you struggle to have your voice heard, because your message is not popular. 

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KIERAN TAPSELL. The Australian Church Response to the Royal Commission Final Report on the Pontifical Secret.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in its response to the Royal Commission’s Final Report has claimed that the pontifical secret does not inhibit bishops from reporting all allegations of child sexual abuse against clergy to the civil authorities. In view … Continue reading

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ANTHONY HOGAN. Can we start again please? Towards reform of the Catholic Church?

The Australian Catholics Bishops Conference have announced that they are open to change. This article scopes out what such an agenda for change might need to address.

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BRIAN COYNE. Rupert Murdoch and the increasing division in society

Following the sensational demand from Archbishop Vigano for the resignation of Pope Francis, Michael Sean Winters wrote a commentary in National Catholic Reporter wondering if the right wing in the Church was about to launch a schism. The following commentary … Continue reading

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PETER WOODRUFF. Open letter to Pope Francis on “The Pope as a Game Changer”

Dear Pope Francis, Greetings from Australia.  I am a priest who worked for many years in parishes in poor barrios of Lima, Peru.  I am now retired in Melbourne, Australia.

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GARRY EVERETT. Have we learnt nothing?

In the work of the recent Royal Commissions of Inquiry in Australia, into the sexual abuse of minors, and the banking and financial institutions, two glaring similar findings presented themselves. The institutions involved were neither transparent nor accountable for their … Continue reading

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GEORGE BROWNING. The Prime Minister: personal faith and public values

On 29th August comedian Tom Ballard chose to parody the faith of the new Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, on the Tonightly ABC series by contrasting his perceived lack of love or concern for refugees with his espoused love of Jesus.  … Continue reading

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GARRY WILLS. The Priesthood of The Big Crazy (The New York Review of Books, 23.08.18)

The grand jury report of Catholic priests’ predations in Pennsylvania is enough to make one vomit. The terrifying fact that hundreds of priests were preying upon over a thousand victims in that state alone makes one shudder at the thought … Continue reading

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