Eureka Street Extra

21 June 2014


AUSTRALIA

Finding a just oil and gas settlement between Australia and Timor-Leste

24 September 2014 | Frank Brennan

UCD Dublin CrestThere is nothing to be gained for Australia and Timor as neighbours airing dirty laundry in exalted international fora.  It is time for both countries to agree to put the unresolved boundary issue to bed, seeking an agreement or determination by conciliation of the differences between them concerning the Timor Sea.  The situation is similar to neighbours agreeing not to settle the boundary of their back fence.  That is all very fine unless and until there is a problem. 


Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

4 Comments
21 September 2014 | Frank Brennan

UCD Dublin CrestConsidering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.


RELIGION

The preferential option for the poor

22 July 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Rohan provides a detailed and accurate analysis and history of the word games that have gone on between the Vatican and the Latin American bishops and theologians wrestling with the concept of the preferential option for the poor.' Frank Brennan launches The Preferential Option for the Poor: A Short History and a Reading Based on the Thought of Bernard Lonergan, by Rohan Michael Curnow. 


AUSTRALIA

Too much order with too little law 30 years on

1 Comment
22 July 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Undoubtedly there are many challenges confronting our elected leaders in dealing with violent crime and with pathological sex offenders. But long-term sustainable solutions must be based on respect for judicial independence and for the role of the legal profession.' Frank Brennan addresses the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties at The Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St, Brisbane 8 July 2014.


RELIGION

Why Bishop Morris was sacked

47 Comments
23 June 2014 | Frank Brennan

Illustration of Benedict and Bishop Morris'My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church ... the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould.' Frank Brennan launches Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three by Bishop William Morris.


The Jesuits' patient, demanding banker

3 Comments
26 May 2014 | Michael Kelly

Julian SlatteryWhen I first proposed what was to become Jesuit Communications, the organisation that now publishes Eureka Street, Julian Slatterie was the first to respond. 'Now Michael,' he said. 'This proposal rests on five assumptions and three presuppositions and if any of them is voided, the project is likely to fail.' He answered that hesitation with 25 years membership of the board. Julian died suddenly of a heart attack last Tuesday.


The role of the faith based organisation

3 Comments
26 May 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Some of us would question Benedict's assertion that the Church "must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot ... replace the State." But we would all agree that the Church "cannot and must not remain on the sidelines".' Frank Brennan's presentation at the Jesuit Social Services Symposium on 'The role of faith based community organisations in contributing to a civil society'.


AUSTRALIA

Cruelled by the Budget

4 Comments
14 May 2014 | John Falzon

John Falzon'You don't help young people, or older people, or people with disabilities, or single mums, into jobs by making them poor. You don't build people up by putting them down. And as even the OECD acknowledges, you don't build a strong economy by increasing the level of inequality. You don't create a strong country on the backs of the already poor.' Statement by John Falzon


Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

1 Comment
10 April 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture


Is our morality at sea with the refugees?

8 Comments
10 April 2014 | Frank Brennan

'We should abandon talk of taking Australia off the table. We should also abandon talk of taking the sugar off the table. The collateral damage of that is too great. The best we can do ethically and practically is to put the sugar out of reach while leaving it on the table for those who make it here with a visa or in direct flight from persecution.' Frank Brennan contributes to a Palm Sunday panel at St Michael's Uniting Church, Melbourne.


Too little law in Newman's Queensland

5 Comments
23 February 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Three decades on, Queensland once again has a premier who finds some political advantage in skewing the balance between law and order, impugning the integrity and vocation of the legal profession. He has described defence lawyers as hired guns.' Professor Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Queensland Law Society Dinner, 30 years on from his book Too Much Order with Too Little Law.


Advancing human rights in the market

1 Comment
10 February 2014 | Frank Brennan

'The market for disability services will need to be underpinned with a strong and robust internal risk management framework. There will be an increasing number of for-profit operators in the sector. Hopefully the not-for-profit operators will make the necessary adaptations competing in the market and providing the ethos for the market to deliver services in a dignified, fair and transparent manner.' Frank Brennan's Leading the Way Seminar for the National Disability Service


RELIGION

Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

2 Comments
01 December 2013 | Frank Brennan

How refreshing to have a pope write: 'It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound 'decentralisation'.' Vatican monsignori in long flowing robes will be troubled to hear him say, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission.'


This time in the Church

5 Comments
11 November 2013 | Frank Brennan

'Having thrown off the shackles of compulsion endured by pre-Vatican II Catholics, we relish that we come to the table not because we are forced, not because of social expectations, not because of the mindset of the mob, but because we are graciously called and freely responding.' Frank Brennan's Camino Address, Parish of Our Lady of the Way North Sydney, 12 November 2013


Christian social thinking for Australia

1 Comment
07 November 2013 | Frank Brennan

'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 


AUSTRALIA

The case for funding legal services with public money

3 Comments
07 November 2013 | Andrew Hamilton

From a liberal perspective the use of public money to fund free legal services to individuals is inherently undesirable. Even if the contracts are awarded under competitive tendering, the funding of the services is a distortion in the market. Ideally they should be left to the market to provide. And by definition they are less efficient than commercial organisations disciplined by a free and competitive market.


Labor's light on the hill

7 Comments
01 November 2013 | Frank Brennan

'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.


RELIGION

Church-state issues and the Royal Commission

2 Comments
24 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'The Church should not give any appearance of hiding behind the corporate veil. Justice demands that present church leaders agree to satisfy any judgment debt against their predecessors or their deceased predecessors' estates when there is an allegation of past failure to supervise or adequately investigate a sexual predator in the ranks. Any damages should be paid from church assets.' Frank Brennan addresses the Australian Lawyers Alliance Conference, Rydges Lakeside, Canberra, 26 October 2013.


Pope Francis and Australia’s social justice agenda

23 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'Here is a pope who is not just about creating wiggle room or watering down the teachings of the Church. No, he wants to admit honestly to the world that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings — held together coherently only by mercy and forgiveness.' Frank Brennan's Wallis Lecture presented in Hobart on 24 October 2013 and Launceston on 25 October 2013.


AUSTRALIA

Miriam Rose's clear vision

2 Comments
22 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

Karel Kupka's portrait of and Aboriginal Madonna and Child'We spent about a week planning the baptism of 12 kids using traditional symbols including the water ceremony to welcome newcomers to country, the firesticks, the smoking, and the ti tree bark to heal and make strong. Miriam has always drawn strength from culture and church no matter what the internal tensions.' Frank Brennan launches the Miriam Rose Foundation at St Mary's Cathedral Darwin.


RELIGION

Costello the great Jesuit teacher

1 Comment
20 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'With Em, we were only one handshake away from the great movers, shakers and events in the Church and the world. Those of us who lived with him were used to history lessons at breakfast when we would be schooled in the shortcomings of the popes, the modest breeding of papal nuncios, and the march of folly of great world leaders.' Frank Brennan's homily for the late Fr Emmet P. Costello SJ, St Mary's North Sydney, 21 October 2013.


EDUCATION

Advice for graduating health sciences students

17 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'My sixth piece of advice is for all graduates and not just those of you who are religious. We all need to develop a comprehensive worldview, nurturing the sense of the transcendent in the human spirit, and holding together in tension ideals and reality, dreams and our shortcomings.' Full text from Frank Brennan's La Trobe Graduation Address, Health Sciences, 18 October 2013.


RELIGION

Catholics' radical alternative

4 Comments
09 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'When confronted with moral evil in public policy, church personnel have a choice: to be prophetic sticking to the moral absolutes, or to be practical engaging in the compromises needed to temper the evil. At the moment, the only political parties not wanting to embrace a short term shock and awe approach are the Greens, the DLP and the Palmer United Party. And neither Christine Milne, John Madigan nor Clive Palmer will ever be prime minister.' Workshop paper from Catholic Social Services Victoria's Listening, Learning and Leading conference, October 2013.


Has the Catholic Church in Australia any credibility left?

18 Comments
02 October 2013 | Frank Brennan

'What a pope; what a man! ... The credibility of the Catholic Church has been enhanced with this new pope. We see in him many of the finest aspects of the presently battered and ageing Church.' Frank Brennan's presentation for Spirituality in the Pub, Pumphouse Hotel, Fitzroy, Vic. on 2 October 2013.


EDUCATION

Equipping students for moral argument

30 September 2013 | Frank Brennan

Full text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'Law teachers as gatekeepers of law, public morality and human rights: Equipping our students for moral argument in a pluralistic legal environment' at the Australian Law Teachers Association Annual Conference 2013.


RELIGION

The Pope who put a spring in our step

11 Comments
19 September 2013 | Frank Brennan

Pope Francis smiling, thumbs-upFasten your seat belts. We are in for an exciting ride with this Pope. He's happy to make mistakes. He's happy to go with the flow. But above all, he is so happy in his own skin and in his religious tradition that he exudes the confidence that comes only from knowing that he is loved and forgiven, and not from thinking that he is always right and has all the answers.


Storm proof: good news for all seasons

2 Comments
19 September 2013 | Clare Boyd-Macrae

Times are no more stormy now than they have ever been. And yet there is a different quality to our storms than there has been in the past. Two things contribute to this. First: it is now a reality, even a likelihood, that we will destroy our planet. Second: we no longer have an assumed, central narrative that informs and inspires us.


AUSTRALIA

Election day reflections on religion in the public square

12 Comments
06 September 2013 | Frank Brennan

How clever of you to choose the day of the federal election for me to offer these reflections.  I come amongst you, not as a publisher or journalist but as an advocate in the public square animated by my own religious tradition as a Jesuit and Catholic priest engaged on human rights issues in a robustly pluralistic democratic society.


RELIGION

Church-state issues and the Royal Commission

2 Comments
03 September 2013 | Frank Brennan

'The Towards Healing protocol is not a substitute for criminal prosecution of sex abusers. Nor is it a cheap alternative to civil liability for damages. It is a procedure available by choice to victims in addition to criminal prosecution of perpetrators or pursuit of civil damages for negligence by church authorities.' Full text from Frank Brennan's address to the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand 47th Annual Conference, 4 September 2013 at Hotel Grand Chancellor Adelaide on Hindley.


Show some respect when talking with homosexuals

27 Comments
18 August 2013 | Frank Brennan

During part of the conversation that was recorded by SBS but not aired, I told Penny Wong I thought her homosexuality was as natural, complex and mystical as my heterosexuality. It is time we dropped the unhelpful, judgmental language of intrinsic and objective disorder when respectfully trying to determine appropriate laws and policies for all people who want to support and nurture each other and their children.


EDUCATION

Paradox and possibility: The example of Francis

1 Comment
13 August 2013 | Frank Brennan

'You are the first generation of Catholic educators who will not have members of religious orders or congregations present in any number at all in your staff rooms and in your classrooms. Thus the need for lay Catholic educators to cultivate their spirituality while also being attentive to the demands of Church and the Church hierarchy.' 6th International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership, Sydney, 13 August 2013.


AUSTRALIA

The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

1 Comment
12 August 2013 | Frank Brennan

'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.


Rudd's boats blunder is shocking, awful

8 Comments
04 August 2013 | Frank Brennan

Kevin Rudd with Nauru and Australian flagsLike many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia, with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There's only one thing worse than shock and awe; that's shock and awe that doesn't work because you haven't done your homework.


Eddie Mabo's legacy

4 Comments
22 July 2013 | Frank Brennan

Bonita Mabo with some of Eddie's descendants

'If my mob were to arrive by boat today uninvited, they would be sent to Papua New Guinea. 150 years ago, the traditional owners helped my ancestors and their fellow passengers to find safe anchorage so that they might settle here permanently calling Australia home.' Frank Brennan speaks on 'Eddie Mabo's legacy of equality, non-discrimination and agreement', Mabo Oration Response at the Playhouse, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, 21 July 2013 


RELIGION

Why I still love the Catholic Church

5 Comments
14 July 2013 | Frank Brennan

Sean Faircloth, a US director of one of the Dawkins Institutes committed to atheism, raised what has already become a hoary old chestnut, the failure of Francis when in Argentina during the Dirty Wars to adequately defend his fellow Jesuits who were detained and tortured by unscrupulous soldiers. Being a Jesuit, I thought I was peculiarly well situated to respond. I confess to having got a little carried away.


AUSTRALIA

Pragmatic answers to the asylum seeker question

10 Comments
26 June 2013 | Frank Brennan

Image of asylum seeker boat with a question mark'I want to outline the contours for a better approach — better than forcibly turning around boats, better than transporting people to Nauru and Manus Island or to Malaysia to join an asylum queue of 100,000 or permitting people to reside in the Australian community but without work rights and with inadequate welfare provision.' Frank Brennan speaks at the Australian Catholic University National Asylum Summit 2013.


RELIGION

Corpus Christi homily

02 June 2013 | Frank Brennan


Church and ordained ministry in the 21st century

2 Comments
23 May 2013 | Frank Brennan

Fr Frank Brennan's keynote address at the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Clergy Assembly, St Clement's, Gaylong, on 22 May 2013


MEDIA

Catholic communicators navigating new media

1 Comment
06 May 2013 | Michael McVeigh


RELIGION

University as an agent of transformation

1 Comment
21 March 2013 | Frank Brennan

'Transformation and empowerment will come through the exercise of kindness and tenderness, accompanied by the practical abilities inculcated by a rounded Catholic education.' Frank Brennan's address at the Transformation and Empowerment Symposium marking 50 years of the Signadou campus of ACU, 22 March 2013.


Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Constitution

1 Comment
20 March 2013 | Frank Brennan

Frank Brennan's address 'Recognising Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the Constitution' presented at the 18th National Schools Constitutional Convention, The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, 21 March 2013.


How can the Catholic Church contribute to a better culture for life?

3 Comments
17 March 2013 | Frank Brennan

Change is upon the Church. Just recall the scene when the new pope emerged on the Vatican balcony. He appeared with none of the papal trimmings of office, and did not once did he refer to the papacy. Could something of this new papal style help Catholics engage more creatively with their fellow citizens? Text from Frank Brennan's lecture 'How Can the Catholic Church Contribute to a Better Culture for Life?'


Contemplating Fred Hollows

9 Comments
10 February 2013 | Frank Brennan

Gabi Hollows at Fred Hollows' graveside'I have been asked to provide a spiritual reflection for Fred who was not always given to spiritual conversation. I find the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah helpful. He came to bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives, bring freedom to the oppressed and sight to the blind. Fred did all these things, sometimes brusquely.' Frank Brennan on the 20th anniversary of Fred Hollows' death.


Eulogy for the 'Martha and Mary' of St Christopher's

1 Comment
26 November 2012 | Frank Brennan

'The sun had finally come to Canberra. Therese was sitting out on the back patio surrounded by children and grandchildren. She had a ticket of leave from the hospital. With grace, humour and gentleness, she recalled that a friend had urged her to live until October when the roses would be in bloom. She schooled us all in beauty and truth even in the midst of adversity.' Frank Brennan's eulogy for Therese Mary Vassarotti.


The Church is not beyond reproach

1 Comment
22 November 2012 | Frank Brennan

'Might not the chief problem with Church language in the public square be that we tend to come from a position of moral superiority, approaching those dreadfully compromised politicians who will do anything to be elected? The abuse crisis reminds us that the Church is not irreproachable.' Text from Fr Frank Brennan's presentation at the Anglican Church of Australia's Public Affairs Commission Conference, November 2012.


Law and justice for abuse victims, Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers

31 October 2012 | Frank Brennan

'Even without the political static which is drowning us all out down there in Canberra, there is real doubt whether the Gillard bluff 'Don't get on a boat because you might end up in Nauru' can do what the Howard bluff could not deliver.' Full text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's Law and Justice Oration at the Law and Justice Foundation 2012 Justice Awards Dinner, Parliament House, Sydney.


Mabo 20 years on

28 October 2012 | Frank Brennan

'Though land rights and self-determination provide no utopia for the contemporary indigenous Australian community, they have belatedly put right an ancient wrong. The cost and inconvenience are unavoidable. Terra nullius is no longer an option.' Full text is from Fr Frank Brennan's keynote speech at the Central Queensland Law Association Conference, Mercure Capricorn Resort, Yeppoon, 27 October 2012.


Advancing human rights in Australia

1 Comment
16 October 2012 | Frank Brennan

Full text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address 'Advancing human rights in Australia — lessons from the National Human Rights Consultation' at the 'Human Rights Matters!' conference marking Anti-Poverty Week 2012. 17 October 2012, Cardinal Knox Centre, St Patricks Cathedral, Melbourne.


Reflections on the death penalty on the tenth anniversary of the Bali Bombings

2 Comments
11 October 2012 | Frank Brennan

Fr Frank Brennan SJ's paper 'Reflections on the death penalty on the tenth anniversary of the Bali Bombings' presented at the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights and Australians Against Capital Punishment Dinner, Red Hill, Brisbane, 12 October 2012, Commemorating the 10th World Day Against the Death Penalty.


Aboriginal Catholics' culturally enriched living

4 Comments
01 October 2012 | Frank Brennan

'It has been helpful to have the Pope offer the encouragement that there need not be any conflict between Christian faith and Aboriginal culture. But Aboriginal culture is often founded on religious beliefs which find and express God's self-communication outside of Christ and the Church's seven sacraments.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address 'Culturally Enriched Through the Gospel' at the NATSICC Conference on 1 October 2012.


Brennan and Katter's Aboriginal pilgrimage

1 Comment
30 September 2012 | Frank Brennan

'I had the pleasure of the company of Bob Katter at a series of meetings with Aboriginal Councillors before addressing a public meeting on Palm Island. Some say there has been little growth or change on these remote Aboriginal communities. In fact some of what we saw was unimaginable 30 years ago. 


Relic rumination

5 Comments
26 September 2012 | Frank Brennan

'We do not stay focused on a moribund, severed arm. Rather we remember that Francis with this arm always pointed towards Christ, and always embraced all before him, especially the poorest of the poor.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address at St Christopher's Cathedral, Canberra, for the visit of the Relic of St Francis Xavier.


Vatican II then and now

10 Comments
23 September 2012 | Frank Brennan

'Looking to the future, I want to focus on the role of the laity in the growing absence of priests. And I want to insist on the need for due process, transparency and respectful dealing within the Church.' Full text of Fr Frank Brennan SJ's presentation 'Looking Back and Looking Forward Over Church and Life on the 50th Anniversary of Vatican II' at the Spirituality in the Pub Goulburn Valley Annual Dinner, 21 September 2012.


Religious freedom and the law

17 September 2012 | Frank Brennan

'The common law leaves a gap between the mandates of the law and the conduct that we choose to engage in according to our individual moral standards. We call that gap 'freedom'. The challenge is determining the width of that gap for groups bound by religious faith which differs from the Australian majority.' Frank Brennan launches Carolyn Evans' Legal Protection of Religious Freedom in Australia. Full text


Seeking a more ethical way to stop the boats and deaths at sea

4 Comments
14 September 2012 | Frank Brennan

In the lead up to the election, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison are sure to continue insisting that the Gillard Government's Pacific Solution Mark II will not work. In all probability this will undermine the efficacy of the Gillard Solution in stopping the boats. Read the full text of Fr Frank Brennan's address to the Migration Institute of Australia, Menzies Hotel, Sydney, 14 September 2012 


There is an ethical way to stop the boats

11 Comments
22 August 2012 | Frank Brennan

Detention centre fenceBehind all the legal technicalities and political argument about boat people, there is room for deeper ethical reflection and a more principled proposal. But first, to clear away some of the debris.


Six challenges for Indigenous researchers

20 August 2012 | Frank Brennan

Text is from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's opening keynote address at the Higher Degree Research Retreat, Rydges Eaglehawk, Canberra, 4 August 2012.


Leadership for justice in health care

20 August 2012 | Frank Brennan

Fr Frank Brennan SJ is board director of St Vincent's Health Australia and professor of law and director of strategic research projects (social justice and ethics) at Australian Catholic University. Text is from his address at Leading the Way, the Catholic Health Australia Conference, Perth 21 August 2012, Governance and Mission stream.


CREATIVE

Chivalrous knight

1 Comment
03 July 2012 | Andrew Hamilton

I have always associated Peter with words like chivalrous, knightly, courtly and courteous. He was courteous and elegant in conversation, listening intently to even the most inarticulate of people. But knights’ business is to fight. 


The eloquence of God

2 Comments
03 July 2012 | Brendan Byrne

'And the Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us, and we saw his glory, full of grace and truth' (John 1:1, 14). In the second-last conversation I had with Peter, we agreed that that text should be the Gospel for his Requiem. There is a sense, I’m sure, in which every poem that Peter wrote was an instance of the Word becoming flesh.


Interviewing Peter Steele for America Magazine

03 July 2012 | Jim McDermott

About four years ago I had the great pleasure to spend four days with Peter Steele while he was at Georgetown. Hearing that he had died, I went back to those interviews, hours and hours we spent on things like the first time he read Billy Collins, growing up in Perth, unexpected blessings, and the never-ending catalogue of characters and words that fascinated and delighted him. 


Peter Steele reads his poetry at Georgetown

1 Comment
03 July 2012 | Jim McDermott

While interviewing Peter in his office at Georgetown University in Washington in 2009, Jim McDermott SJ made audio recordings of Peter reading a selection of his poems.


RELIGION

Greater transparency will evolve the Church

44 Comments
23 May 2012 | Frank Brennan

Frank BrennanBishop Morris wrote at considerable length to Archbishop Chaput, in a highly respectful and fraternal tone. To be fair to Chaput, I will quote his breathtaking response in full. It illustrates what still passes for due process and pastoral care in the Roman Church. We have to insist on something better. And with greater transparency, we will get something better.


Inter-faith perspectives on justice and reconciliation in Cambodia

15 May 2012 | Frank Brennan

'The challenge to a Christian living in a largely Buddhist society has some similarities to the challenge to a Christian living in a society where the public square is largely the preserve of those who argue and agitate with a secularist mindset.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address to the gathering of church and NGO workers convened in Siem Reap by the Jesuit Refugee Cambodia on 12 May 2012. 


On Jesuit collaboration

4 Comments
25 April 2012 | Frank Brennan

'This Jesuit network will not succeed where Copenhagen failed, but it is an incremental contribution to one of the great moral challenges of our age [climate change].' Text from Frank Brennan's paper 'An interpretation and a raincheck on GC 35's call to develop international and interprovincial collaboration', Boston College, 28 April 2012.


An exemplar of Queensland Catholicism

5 Comments
02 April 2012 | Frank Brennan

In the south people love to compare Sydney and Melbourne Catholicism, as if there is no other. But no one does Catholicism quite as ecumenically, quite as incarnationally, and quite as laidback as in Queensland. There is something distinctive and admirable in it, and it is summed up in the life of Fr John Dobson.


John XXIII's half century challenge

3 Comments
26 March 2012 | Frank Brennan

Full text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address 'Bringing the modern world into contact with the vivifying and perennial energies of the gospel (John XXIII's half century challenge)' at the Catalyst for Renewal Dinner, Hunters Hill, 23 March 2012.


Justice, the Church and the Ignatian tradition

18 March 2012 | Frank Brennan

Text from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's Lenten presentation 'Justice, the Church and the Ignatian tradition' at St Ignatius Parish, Norwood, 13 March 2012 and St Michael's, Clare, 14 March 2012.


St Patrick's Day talk

16 March 2012 | Frank Brennan

Text is from Fr Frank Brennan SJ's St Patrick's Day Celebration talk at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, 17 March 2012.


Working out what white Australia wants

10 Comments
29 January 2012 | Frank Brennan

Gillard and bodyguardI have been feeling sad and confused about the happenings in Canberra since Australia Day. On Saturday I got on my bike and went down to the lawn of Old Parliament House. I passed a sign: 'You are now entering or leaving the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy ... Abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.'


The role of religious faith in modern society: a renewed vision

22 November 2011 | Frank Brennan

Fr Frank Brennan SJ's address at the 'Ethics in a Multi Faith Society: Muslims and Christians in Dialogue' Conference, Conference under the auspices of the Fethullah Gulen Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, 23 November 2011.


A Catholic Social Teaching perspective on the Intervention

1 Comment
21 November 2011 | Frank Brennan

Text from the 4th Annual Gerald Ward Lecture 'How do we design a dignified welfare safety net without becoming a Nanny State? — Lessons from Catholic Social Teaching', presented  by Fr Frank Brennan SJ at the National Library of Australia, 18 November 2011.


Homily for John Eddy

3 Comments
10 November 2011 | Frank Brennan

Asked 'How are you?', John would caress his scalp, straighten his hat, adjust his cuffs, massage his moustache, purse his lips, and answer, 'I'm headed for Grand Central. But I don't know when this service is due to arrive.' He never did meet Stalin, but thought he had met just about everyone else of significance on the planet.


AUSTRALIA

Reflections on Gillard's atheism

10 Comments
16 October 2011 | John Warhurst

The making of Julia Gillard, by Jacqueline Kent

Gillard's atheism puts her in stark contrast to her immediate predecessors Kevin Rudd and John Howard. We consider several implications of Gillard's position, including her relations with church-state issues and community attitudes towards gay marriage and euthanasia. 


RELIGION

What difference does it make now that Mary MacKillop is a saint?

13 October 2011 | Frank Brennan

Mary visited Rome as a young religious woman when she was being persecuted by local bishops for being too independent. She got a good hearing from the Pope and great assistance from Fr Anderledy who became the Superior General of the Jesuits. If only Bishop Bill Morris could have received the same sympathetic hearing.


MEDIA

'Fundamentalist' Albrechtsen's Malaysia misfire

6 Comments
12 October 2011 | Max Atkinson

Janet AlbrechtsenIn supporting her opposition to gay marriage, the best Janet Albrechtsen could say was that the opinion was her own, and was 'fundamental'. These remarks shed light on Albrechtsen's bizarre attack on the judges of the High Court over their decision on the Malaysia solution.


RELIGION

Making friends not foes of rights and religion

5 Comments
12 September 2011 | Frank Brennan

Frank BrennanThe Church of the 21st century should be the exemplar of due process, natural justice and transparency. While there can be little useful critique of the final decision of Pope Benedict to force the early retirement of Bishop Bill Morris, there is plenty of scope to review the processes leading up to it.


Faith and famine: The new Irish who call Australia home

2 Comments
29 August 2011 | Frank Brennan

Irish Famine MonumentThe faith of the Irish in politics, economics and religion is at a low ebb, and for the most understandable of reasons.  It is not a famine, but it is mighty grim. There are tens of thousands coming here under the  457 visa and the Irish Working Holiday Visa.


Health and equality

1 Comment
23 August 2011 | Frank Brennan

'We need to break down the silo mentality between health, welfare and education. This exists in church agencies as much as elsewhere in society. We must be committed to providing first rate health care to our patients, but also to creating a more equal society.' Text from Frank Brennan's MercyCare Oration.


Religion and Australian law

1 Comment
01 August 2011 | Frank Brennan

I am bemused that whenever I agitate questions of Aboriginal and refugee rights I am well received by liberals, who then question my clerical entitlement to speak when I buy into debates on issues like euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. On same sex marriage, I am attacked from both sides.


Religious groups and the Bill of Rights debate

17 July 2011 | Frank Brennan

Speech given by Fr Frank Brennan SJ at the 'Law and Religion: Legal Regulation of Religious Groups, Organisations and Communities' Conference Dinner in Melbourne on 15 July 2011.


Human rights and Christian lawyers

2 Comments
17 July 2011 | Frank Brennan

Frank Brennan and Christopher HitchensWhen I appeared on Q&A with Christopher Hitchens, a young man asked whether we can 'ever hope to live in a truly secular society' while the religious continue to 'affect political discourse and decision making' on euthanasia, same-sex unions and abortion. Hitchens was simpaticao. I was dumbstruck.


EUREKA STREET/ READER'S FEAST AWARD

Eureka Street writers awards winners

14 July 2011 | Staff

The Eureka Street/Reader's Feast Award was announced today in conjunction with Eureka Street's other annual ethical essay-writing award, the Margaret Dooley Award.


AUSTRALIA

Back to basics on asylum seeker policy

2 Comments
22 June 2011 | Kerry Murphy

The Rudd Government promised positive reforms after a decade of 'boat people'-bashing from the previous government. Three years later, we are back where we were. To understand how this happened it is helpful to overview the changes under Labor and the gradual decline in 'key immigration values'.


RELIGION

No justice for Toowoomba's shepherd

31 Comments
16 May 2011 | Frank Brennan

I have known Bill Morris as priest and bishop for 30 years. He is a good man — no flash academic but the most down to earth pastoral guy you could meet. His forced departure from Toowoomba has been some years in the coming. He is right to claim that he has been denied natural justice.


Eyeballing injustice

1 Comment
01 May 2011 | Frank Brennan

EyeballJesuit Social Services recently set up a project in Alice Springs to resource the local parish and local Aborigines who want to take more control of their own lives. If we are to get our teeth into issues of acute injustice, we need to eyeball both the decision makers and those affected by those decisions.


Health and ethics

7 Comments
06 April 2011 | Frank Brennan

We need clever strategic and moral thinkers among our health professionals, who can engage with the demands of an aging population, with the gap in life-expectancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians, and with the increasingly politically correct debate about euthanasia.


AUSTRALIA

Responsibility to Protect is not a license to intervene

2 Comments
28 March 2011 | Ben Coleridge

Gareth Evans 'Responsibility to Protect'Many regard the 'Responsibility to Protect' as a doctrine which licences military intervention when civilians' lives are threatened by murderous governments. In fact, R2P emphasises the 'responsibility to prevent' as much as it does the responsibility to intervene.


INTERNATIONAL

Riots and refugees

6 Comments
21 March 2011 | Kerry Murphy

Christmas Island riotThe reintroduction of the Complementary Protection Bill to Parliament this week ought be welcomed. Given the protests in Christmas Island, it is clear that the mandatory detention policy is also overdue for reform.


CREATIVE

Prophet of women's ordination

17 Comments
13 March 2011 | Janet Scarfe

Patricia BrennanPatricia Brennan put the ordination of women on the agenda of the Anglican Church and kept it there. Like Germaine Greer, she was tall, with an unmissable presence and rich voice. And, like Germaine, she was often called strident.


AUSTRALIA

Dire Ireland

7 Comments
28 February 2011 | Peter McVerry

Fine GaelIreland's election was all about how to repay the country's debts. One hundred and fifty predominantly well-educated and skilled young people are expected to emigrate each day over the next two years; not only because they have no jobs, but because they have no hope.


Resist shock jock 'judge bashing'

3 Comments
20 February 2011 | Fran Hogan

Derryn HinchI had anguished over a particular sentence which was the subject of days of media comment. One of my fellow judges stuck his head around the door and said, 'Neil Mitchell says you are right.' This I found unsettling. Then he added, 'But don't worry, Derryn Hinch says you are a disgrace.' Phew!


Keeping an eye on the newest nation

09 February 2011 |

South Sudan flagThere is ample reason to be concerned about what could follow the referendum result that led to the formation of New Sudan. To prevent the potentially devastating repercussions, the international community must prepare to intervene.


CREATIVE

The quick and the slow: a post-flood diversion

27 January 2011 | Susan Prior

Secondhand BooksAfter all the flooding we were doing a little maintenance, the sort that requires a trip to the soulless hardware chain store. I left hubbie to it and ducked into the second-hand book store next door. The elderly gentleman serving asked me, ‘Are you from a big city – like London?’ ‘Why do you ask?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘you talk very quickly.’


AUSTRALIA

Why we lost the Ashes: it’s politics, stupid

3 Comments
06 January 2011 | John Honner

The fortunes of the English and Australian cricket teams follow the fortunes of their nations' conservative governments.