Vol 22 No 23

19 November 2012


 

  • RELIGION

    Keating’s Timor and Carr’s Papua

    • Frank Brennan
    • 29 November 2012
    17 Comments

    Paul Keating this month reflected on his determination as Prime Minister 'to establish a new and durable' relationship with Indonesia' and lamented the Australian media and his predecessors' preoccupation with human rights abuses in East Timor. It'd be churlish to question these reflections if the current Foreign Minister were not on the cusp of making a similar mistake regarding Papua.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Interfaith pioneer's search for the sacred

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 29 November 2012
    1 Comment

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Interfaith pioneer's search for the sacred

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 29 November 2012

    Stephanie Dowrick is a prolific, best-selling author, a qualified psychotherapist, and in-demand speaker. She leads spiritual tours and retreats, and is a pioneer among the handful of interfaith ministers in Australia. Born in New Zealand, her mother died when she was eight. This was a pivotal event in her life.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Family Christmas torture and triumph

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 28 November 2012
    2 Comments

    This year, in my immediate family, there has been a separation, the sale of a beloved home, the purchase of another house, and the birth of a child, my nephew. If you, like me, are someone who is accustomed to Christmas Day as a 'family occasion', you may be equally aware of the fraught nature of that innocent description. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    East Timor's lessons for our abuse Royal Commission

    • Pat Walsh
    • 28 November 2012
    7 Comments

    Two principal conclusions can be drawn from the East Timor experience. First, a victim-friendly process is desirable, achievable and productive. If East Timor after decades of war and devastation could do it, Australia certainly can. But victims should not take for granted that the high level of public and political support the Royal Commission currently enjoys will translate into action.

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  • RELIGION

    Confessional debate is a Royal Commission red herring

    • Chris McGillion
    • 28 November 2012
    43 Comments

    It is inconceivable that Catholic authorities would countenance the state interfering in the sacramental life of the Church. And any attempt to do so would quickly turn into an issue of freedom of religion. If the Royal Commission were to go down that path it could quickly find it had bitten off much more than it can chew.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parable of the inhospitable hospital

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 27 November 2012
    12 Comments

    Even No Advantage, the best of policies, could not control the breaking of bones, crushing of spleens, poisonings, complications in pregnancy, aneurisms and other events. Still the Intruders came: on crutches and stretchers, with drips, catheters and prostheses. The council saw with alarm, and their opponents with grim satisfaction, that the policy was not working. It had to be strengthened.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Peer pressure could save the military

    • Evan Ellis
    • 27 November 2012
    9 Comments

    The pack mentality that led military personnel to ingore instances of rape seemed also to be at play on the Melbourne bus where a French woman suffered a tirade of abuse while most passengers sat silently by. An American journalist has argued that a peer group's creation of a social norm of human kindness could be the most effective way to encourage defiance to an immoral order.

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  • CARTOON

    Abbott and Gillard's downhill dash continues

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 27 November 2012
    1 Comment

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Unclenching the despotic fist in Burma

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 26 November 2012
    3 Comments

    To say, as Aung San Suu Kyi did, that both the Muslim Rohingya and the Buddhist Arakanese had breached human rights laws in the current conflict is akin to saying that whites as well as blacks violated human rights in apartheid South Africa. The Australian Government, in its treatment of asylum seekers, has lost the moral legitimacy to speak up for oppressed groups such as the Rohingya.

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  • RELIGION

    Dysfunctional Church stares into the abuse abyss

    • Michael Kelly
    • 26 November 2012
    77 Comments

    Rome is seen to be out of touch with the membership. Local bishops often behave as branch managers of a poorly administered, centralised multinational corporation. Royal Commission notwithstanding, there won't be healing of the community of faith until there is systemic change. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Four Chinese poems

    • Yang Xie and Hu Xian, translated Ouyang Yu
    • 26 November 2012
    2 Comments

    Today I saw a rich man. I knew not what his brains and intestines were like ... Today I saw an old man, one hand holding an old bag, and the other, pressed on his upper abdomen. He looked pale, his head covered in sweat, and the corner of his mouth, it kept quivering.

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  • RELIGION

    Rejection of women bishops is not terminal

    • Andrew McGowan
    • 25 November 2012
    30 Comments

    Last Saturday the Rev. Ellinah Wamukoya was ordained as bishop of Swaziland. Most eyes in Australia however were on the Church of England's General Synod, which stumbled at the threshold of a change that would have embraced the consecration of women bishops. This may prove to be the less significant story.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'No advantage' policy more harmful than leaky boats

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 November 2012
    20 Comments

    The Federal Government is treating asylum seekers harshly as a deterrent. If you treat people harshly, you will diminish them as human beings, and they will cease to value their own lives, and possibly even self-harm. This undermines the justification for the initial harsh treatment, which is to protect them from risky sea voyages.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The sinister side of African Aid

    • Ellena Savage
    • 22 November 2012
    5 Comments

    The picture disturbed me: a small child, my own age, sitting beside an infant on the stoop of a simple wooden house with a dirt floor. I cried at their hopelessness, and my helplessness. The point was to make Australian kids aware of their economic privilege. But I wonder if it also made us believe in the weakness of others. 

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  • RELIGION

    On breaking the seal of confession

    • Geoffrey Robinson
    • 22 November 2012
    34 Comments

    In 52 years as a priest I have never had to face a conflict situation over the seal of the confessional and sexual abuse. I pray that I never face a situation where I was convinced an innocent minor would be abused unless I broke the seal. I would find it impossibly difficult to live with that abuse on my conscience. 

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  • RELIGION

    Talking to children about the Royal Commission

    • Kristina Keneally
    • 22 November 2012
    47 Comments

    My Catholic faith has given me great values, and guided me through the best and worst periods of my life. As a mother of children being raised Catholic, who go to Catholic schools, who are old enough to watch the news and understand, I don't know how to explain to them why a Royal Commission is being called. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Taking revenge on idiot America

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 21 November 2012
    2 Comments

    A teen attempts suicide after being ridiculed by the judges of an American Idol style talent show. A news anchor spouts propaganda so extreme it might make a Fox News presenter blush. A reality TV participant extracts an in-use tampon and hurls it at a rival. Appalled by this endless stream of TV trash, one man snaps. 

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  • RELIGION

    Church needs to go back to the revolutionary '60s

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 November 2012
    36 Comments

    A new book by Vinnies chief John Falzon views society from the perspective of those excluded from its benefits , and calls for a concrete solidarity with the poor that will empower them to organise to receive justice. This was the stuff of Catholic activist reflection in the 1960s. It seems surprisingly novel today.

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  • CARTOON

    Meanwhile, in the Middle East

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 20 November 2012

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Jew and a Palestinian walk into a cafe

    • Lyn Bender
    • 20 November 2012
    46 Comments

    The world was silent when Jewish people suffered incursions and massacres and the 'final solution' in death camps. A vast number of my own family were murdered during this time. Now the boot is on the other foot. Israel holds the position of power in the Gaza conflict, yet the world is largely silent about its atrocities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Why the old woman couldn't cross the road

    • Mary Manning
    • 20 November 2012

    What was she to do? Mr J. J. Bullfinch would surely rescue her if he knew of her plight. He would stride out into the traffic and it would stop when he raised his hand. But why should she imagine he'd come? He hardly knew her. She was alone, sitting on the grass shaking from the shock of being nearly hit by a bus. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Conscientious Catholics come around to contraception law

    • Fatima Measham
    • 19 November 2012
    23 Comments

    Last week the UN declared access to contraception a universal human right. The Philippines Church's opposition to reproductive health legislation is hollow because it is doesn't address identified social problems. Many conscientious Catholics are arriving at the conclusion that they can support the bill without having to renounce their faith.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    City rush hour adventures

    • Peter Bakowski
    • 19 November 2012
    3 Comments

    What a gift is hunger. Because of it your ancestors left their caves, explored plains, valleys, rivers, seas. Their adventures became stories, paintings, songs. There's the story of each person, on the trains, trams, street corners. How vulnerable you are, how strong you are.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Going backwards after Abbott's 'urban Aboriginal' gaffe

    • Myrna Tonkinson
    • 18 November 2012
    15 Comments

    The battle of words about what constitutes Aboriginality, sparked by Tony Abbott's ill-conceived remarks about Liberal Party member Ken Wyatt, has been discomfiting. References to Aboriginal 'blood' conjure up the absurd measurements that were used to classify and separate Aboriginal people in the past.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Church should accept its humiliation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 November 2012
    62 Comments

    The Catholic Church’s hope for future credibility depends upon its ability to accept its current humiliation, and give glory instead to the sexual abuse victims it has humiliated. It tells its faithful to be like Christ, who ‘emptied himself, taking the form of a slave’ (Philippians 2). Cardinal Pell has failed, and Eureka Street has failed.

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