Category Archives: Religion and Faith

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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CHARLES MOREROD The Church under pressure: Reform or counter-reform? Throughout history there has been no change in the Church without at least some external pressure

Bishop Charles Morerod, who is recognized as one the leading intellectuals among the Catholic hierarchy of Europe, recently told La Croix “the Church reforms itself under the influence of seemingly adverse forces.” The 57-year-old Swiss Dominican, head of the Diocese … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. After al-Noor, a new sense of “neighbour” is needed.

There’s a simple, eloquent community song written by parish priest and musician Father Kevin Bates SM that begins with a sacred invitation: “Come and sit at my table. Though you have no money, come! Come and sit at my table … Continue reading

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WILLIAM GRIMM MM. Schoolyard bullies in the sacristy. Sexual abuse by clergy should be blamed on emotionally immature men, not homosexuality or celibacy

Half a century ago, the bishops’ conference of the United States commissioned an interdisciplinary study of the priesthood in that country. Key parts of it were led by two priests who at the time were celebrities in the Catholic community, … Continue reading

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DANIEL P. HORAN. Francis of Assis’s model for church reform may help in the abuse crisis

There is a famous story about St. Francis of Assisi that takes place early in his experience of ongoing conversion to live a more committed Christian life. According to those friars who knew St. Francis during his lifetime and documented … Continue reading

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PAUL COLLINS. Talking Heads in the Catholic Church

 

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CRISTA PONGRATZ-LIPPITT. Renowned reformer: ‘Church has 5 years for a complete turnaround or it’s over’

Father Helmut Schüller of Austria says the sex abuse crisis shows urgent need to ‘desacralize’ the Catholic priesthood and empower the laity. .

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PETER DAY. To Light a Candle or Curse the Dark: The Cardinal Dilemma

‘Foolishly, indulgently’, Christian mercy does not depend on remorse, repentance, or even whether it is deserved. It takes the initiative in willing the good of the other.

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TERRY FEWTRELL. Canberra Catholics lay out church reform agenda.

Inclusive, transparent, accountable, non-clericalist and humble – characteristics not usually associated with the Catholic church, but ones the church must adopt. That is the view of a large group of Canberra Catholics in a submission to the church’s Plenary Council … Continue reading

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