Andrew Hamilton | 31 July 2014
We might expect that research into the causes and history of sexual abuse will continue and increase. As part of its owning of the crimes that have flourished within it, the challenge for the Church is to take such research seriously, particularly when it touches on the part played by such aspects of Catholic life, culture and governance as clerical celibacy, attitudes to women and sexual morality, and clericalism.
Tony Kevin | 31 July 2014
The shooting down of MH17 by insurgent anti-aircraft missiles has now been swallowed up in the wider drama of the fierce civil war raging in Ukraine's pro-Russian eastern region. On 24 July, the International Committee of the Red Cross proclaimed Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, appealing to all those involved to respect the humanitarian rules of war or face later indictment as war criminals. The burning question now is, what will Putin's Russia do?
Gillian Bouras | 30 July 2014
So there the marble figures lie, grey and blurred, and with an infinite capacity, I think, to touch the heart. The tomb was radical for its time, in the sense that Richard had decreed that his effigy should not be higher than Eleanor's; her figure also appears to lean towards his, and most moving of all, Richard's has one gauntlet removed, so that his bare hand holds that of his wife. Her feet rest on a little pet dog, his on a small lion.
Catherine Magree | 29 July 2014
Imagine how the quality of the debate would improve if those who blamed the victims of poverty and illness for their plight were publicly labelled welfare sceptics or denialists, and forced to back up their claims. Social research academics would be thrust into the spotlight. If this issue received the scrutiny it deserves in the media there would be a sea change in attitudes to poverty, unemployment and income support over time.
Pat Walsh | 29 July 2014
The day after the result of Indonesia's presidential election was announced, I joined crowds of excited Indonesians in central Jakarta to celebrate Jokowi's election as Indonesia's seventh president. Did you see the rainbow? asked a supporter. I hadn't, but even if the heavens had opened and soaked everybody to the skin, it would have been taken as another sign that God too had voted for Jokowi.
Tony Kelly | 29 July 2014
Poor old fellow, angular, pinched awkward man, taut and pink-faced ... Everyone hesitates to take him in, wincing at his eagerness, and protecting conversation from his fantastic interruptions ... recently he discovered the name of his mother, long dead, and found some brothers ... Now a gush of communication after the long legal amnesia, he reports a big barbecue to celebrate the discovery of belonging after all.
John Warhurst | 28 July 2014
Our national mourning following the recent airline tragedy is spontaneous and scattered but also requires leadership. This is primarily a job for our elected or appointed leaders. This means Prime Ministers and Premiers and Governors-General and Governors. The awful tragedy comes at a time when the federal government is lagging badly in public opinion. It will be fascinating to see how their performance is judged in the next polls.
Neil Ormerod | 25 July 2014
Christopher Pyne's proposed changes to tertiary education place many theological providers in an interesting situation. We have seen a number of theological colleges enter into relationships with universities to assist with their financial bottom line, in the face of falling support from their church constituencies. If private providers are to receive government funding directly, we could see some of these arrangements begin to fall apart.
Mike Bowden | 24 July 2014
The implications of the Good Samaritan story are clear on Christmas Island. The evil of child imprisonment is of the Government's own doing, and it must be shamed into remedying it. Is the Catholic Education Office in Western Australia right then to provide education to these children? Catholic agencies that alleviate the harm done to those imprisoned should also make clear their condemnation of the evil of that imprisonment.
Andrew Hamilton | 24 July 2014
In mines, where bad air could be lethal, miners used to bring canaries with them. If they fell ill and died, the miners had warning to get out. The recent book by Bishop Bill Morris, replete with documentary evidence, tells the story of a canary caught in the shafts of Vatican culture. His early expiry date pointed to something amiss in the governance of the church, heralding the larger disclosures in the Royal Commission on sexual abuse.
Philip Harvey | 23 July 2014
Swedish physicist Sverker Johansson has reportedly written over 2.7 million articles on Wikipedia since 2001, at an average of 10,000 articles a day. Phil Parker is purported to be the most published author in history, successfully publishing over 85,000 physical books, each of which takes less than an hour to 'write' — 'patented algorithms enable computers to do all the heavy lifting'. But the real work begins after they have finished.