Category Archives: Religion and Faith

NCR EDITORIAL STAFF-Open letter to the US Catholic bishops: It’s over (National Catholic Reporter).

Dear brothers in Christ, shepherds, fellow pilgrims, We address you as you approach this year’s national meeting in Baltimore because we know there is nowhere left to hide. It’s over.

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ERIC HODGENS. Three Religious Elephants.

Is religion on the way out?

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MICHAEL MCGIRR. Christianity tells stories; Islam finds designs (Eureka Street, 30.10.18)

My year ten class studies Islam, one of the most formative influences in the world that my students will inhabit and hopefully improve. I have a profound respect for Islam. Westerners, and especially western Christians, often fail to acknowledge the … Continue reading

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GARRY EVERETT. Critical yeast in critical times.

The title of this piece is taken from an address by Bishop Vincent Long, to the Concerned Catholics of Canberra, on the 11th of September this year. The Bishop had been invited to outline his vision for a Catholic Church, … Continue reading

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GARY SANDS. Vatican–China relations are warming up, but at what cost?

The Vatican is drawing closer to China. With the signing in September 2018 of a provisional agreement on the long-contested appointment of bishops in China, many are questioning what this development means for Catholicism in China and for the Vatican’s … Continue reading

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. The Catholic Church’s Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation.

Why a New Wave of Sexual Abuse Revelations Has Deepened Preexisting Divisions. 

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FRANK BRENNAN. Compassion and justice after abuse apology.

Tomorrow in our national parliament, the Prime Minister will offer an apology to the victims of child sexual abuse. Many survivors will be here in Canberra. Some will be here at taxpayer expense having been successful in a ballot to … Continue reading

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DEBRA VERMEER. 70 years since six Good Samaritans set sail for Nagasaki.

Seventy years ago this month, six Good Samaritan Sisters set sail for Nagasaki, Japan, to respond to the need of the people there in the wake of the atomic bomb dropped on the city in 1945. For Sister Mary Constable, … Continue reading

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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. 

Posted in Refugees, Immigration, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

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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