Category Archives: Religion and Faith

MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. A Postscript to Dignitatis Humanae. A New Vatican Document on Religious Freedom

 It’s been more than fifty years since Vatican II ended—on December 8, 1965—and some of the conciliar documents are now showing their age. One of these is the declaration on religious liberty, Dignitatis humanae, the conciliar document that benefited most … Continue reading

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PHILIP ALMOND. Five aspects of Pentecostalism that shed light on Scott Morrison’s politics

Prime Minister Scott Morrison began his victory speech on Saturday with the words, “I have always believed in miracles”. This was no mere hyperbole. Morrison appeared to be declaring his belief that God had actively intervened in the political process … Continue reading

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NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN AUSTRALIA. May 21, 2019 Media release on Manus and Nauru asylum seekers.

  Marking this time of new beginning, we urge the newly elected Federal Government and Prime Minister Scott Morrison to resolve the plight of the 1000+ refugees in Manus and Nauru, some of whom are now in Australia. Let them … Continue reading

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JONATHAN LUXMOORE. ‘No words to express our shame’: Polish bishops apologize for abuse

The Polish bishops’ administrative council met in emergency session May 22 and later admitted the church failed to act against clerical sexual abuse. The meeting came amid outrage over a two-hour documentary, “Just Don’t Tell Anyone,” that included drastic accounts … Continue reading

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MARILYN HATTON. Will the Australian Catholic Church face “the elephant in the room”?

  Australia could lead the way on reform of Church governance. The scrutiny of the Royal Commission and work arising from the 2020 Plenary Council has equipped the Australian Catholic Church like no other in the world at this time.  

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JOAN CHITTESTER St Benedict’s Rule offers fresh insight into age-old problem

A new series written by Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister OSB is exploring the question of institutional breakdown through the Rule of St Benedict.

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MILES LITTLE – Israel Folau. Free speech and its limits?

The skilled and charismatic Rugby player Israel Folau has caused a stir at many levels by posting the unambiguous message that certain categories of sinner will go to Hell. His attitudes to gay people have surfaced before and since, but … Continue reading

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NICK HALLETT. Christian persecution ‘near genocide levels’

The worldwide persecution of Christians is at near “genocide” level, a report for the British government has said.  The review, led by the Anglican Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen, said Christianity is set to be “wiped out” from parts of … Continue reading

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KIERAN TAPSELL: Pope Francis and the Closed Door Syndrome

For all his good points, Pope Francis has a credibility problem over child sexual abuse. Public statements are made, but once the door is closed, the paper that comes out contradicts what has been said. His latest Apostolic Letter, Vos … Continue reading

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ROBERT MICKENS. Pope Francis’ race against the clock. The 82-year-old pope looks increasingly like a man rushing to complete a mission

The first rays of dawn had barely begun to rise over a cloudy St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican. But at 6:20 a.m. on Sunday, May 5, Pope Francis was already on his way to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport where, 40 … Continue reading

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ANTHONY HOGAN. The Christian Left – a case study of value driven social progressives?

Perhaps being socially progressive and Christian are not such mutually exclusive value positions after all?

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. The Catholic Church and nationalism: The shadow of the ‘long 19th century’

Pope Francis’ visit to Bulgaria and North Macedonia may not be as sensational as his trips to the Arabian Peninsula or the United States. But it reveals much about the similarities in the life stories of Jorge Mario Bergoglio and … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ. The real culture war just down the road

Continuing the brutal ideological contest born of fear of difference and at times invincible ignorance only serves to maintain the power of the dominant

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Australian Catholic Church – reform or die.

Australia’s Catholic bishops appear to have ceded control of the direction of wholesale reform in the church, with the announcement of a sweeping and unprecedented review into the management of dioceses and parishes by a group whose six-members include just … Continue reading

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MIKE KELLY. Spirituality and religion

“Spirituality is important to me but I don’t like organised religion.” The social, psychological and historical forces that underlie this juxtaposition cannot be traced here; but it is still possible to suggest that it fails to notice (or at least … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE LORENZO. Uncovering the Gender Inequality in my Church.

If the power structures of the Catholic Church remain unquestioned and unchallenged by the unknowing conformity of the masses, maybe we are complicit in its scandals.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Political leadership . Morrison or Shorten?

 We are regularly polled about who is the best leader as if it a popularity contest. That is not what leadership is about. And leadership and charisma are  quite different. Good leadership is about facing the country or group up … Continue reading

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FRIDAY FORUM. Easter Sunday’s suffering in Sri Lanka – seeking and finding answers

The Friday Forum,    Sri Lanka The Friday Forum is an informal and self-financed group dedicated to democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law. It has for over five years sought to alert the public on issues concerning the rights of the citizen. … Continue reading

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PAUL ELIE. What do the Church’s victims deserve?

The Catholic Church is turning to outside arbiters to reckon with its history of sexual abuse. But skeptics argue that its legacy of evasion continues.

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Benedict’s Untimely Meditation. How His Essay on Sex Abuse is Being Weaponized

On the evening of April 10, six weeks after the conclusion of the Vatican’s summit on the sex-abuse crisis, the “pope emeritus,” Benedict XVI, made known his thoughts on the genesis of that crisis in a five-thousand-plus-word essay sent to … Continue reading

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PATTY FAWKNER SGS. Vague wanting. Our lives, yours and mine, are too precious to fritter away on lukewarm commitments and half-hearted vows.

Do you want God?” The retreat director’s question to me, a young nun preparing to renew her vows as a Good Samaritan Sister, was uncharacteristically blunt. The much-revered Benedictine priest must have picked up something in my attitude during our … Continue reading

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GARRY EVERETT. “Worse things than dying.”

In Eric Bogle’s haunting song : “And the band played Waltzing Matilda”, there is the heart-wrenching line sung by the young soldier who has just had both legs blown off by a Turkish bomb. He sings:”And when I saw what … Continue reading

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MEGHAN SULLIVAN. Envisioning the Afterlife. The problem with Lazarus.

During Lent, Christians are asked to think much more concretely about our short, precarious lives. We swear off chocolate, alcohol, or, in my case, swearing itself.

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JOSHUA J. McELWEE. In new letter, Benedict blames clergy abuse on sexual revolution, Vatican II theology.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a new letter blaming the continuing Catholic clergy abuse crisis on the sexual revolution, developments in theology following the Second Vatican Council, and modern society’s aversion to speaking about God.

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PAULINA GUZIK. Church in Poland struggles to address clerical sex abuse crisis

A penitential liturgy for the crimes of sex abuse in the industrial city of Łódź on March 28 signaled an about-face for the Polish Church.Two weeks earlier, the leaders of the country’s bishops’ conference held a press conference where they … Continue reading

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CONCERNED CATHOLICS OF CANBERRA. A Catholic future – Out of hope not fear.

Opponents of reform of the Catholic  Church in Australia risk doing enormous further damage to the church and its own community, a  former member of the  Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse , Robert Fitzgerald AM, says.Mr … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Catholic Governance – A Challenge for Improvement.

A monarchical organization, powered by ideology, with promotion by patronage results in bad governance. The Catholic Church has a governance problem.  

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GARRY EVERETT. Inertia or Inability?

Inertia or inability? How best to describe the response of the Australian Catholic Bishops to findings of the Royal Commission into the Sexual abuse of Minors? Admittedly the case of Cardinal Pell has dominated the media of recent weeks, but … Continue reading

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DAVID SMITH. Warrants for genocide

The killing of 50 Muslims in two Christchurch mosques is the largest massacre of a minority group in the west since at least 1961. On October 17 of that year, Paris police opened fire on thousands of Algerians demonstrating against … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LEAHY. Can the institutional Catholic Church be saved? Getting it back on Mission.

The Catholic Church throughout the world is facing its greatest crisis since the Protestant Reformation, and particularly in the Australian Church. Already reeling from the exposure by a Royal Commission of crimes of clerical paedophilia and episcopal cover-ups, it has … Continue reading

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