Author: Bruce Duncan

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  • RELIGION

    A stringent critique of financial abuse

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 29 May 2018
    5 Comments

    The Vatican has launched a stringent critique of abuses in global economies, abuses that are driving astonishing inequality and threatening ecological sustainability. 'Oeconomicae et pecuniariae questiones' reiterates the call for an urgent dialogue between politics and economics to advance human life and wellbeing.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis' social activism has long roots

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 15 May 2016
    38 Comments

    Pope Francis is determined to highlight the opposition of Christian social thinking to the tenets of neoliberalism or market fundamentalism, an ideology which assumes that free markets of themselves will produce the best outcome, and which pushes aside considerations of social or distributive justice. It is unlikely Francis would be waving the flag of social justice so boldly on the world stage had Pope Leo XIII not written his famous social manifesto, Rerum Novarum, 125 years ago.

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  • RELIGION

    'The Australian' gangs up on Pope Francis

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 09 July 2015
    37 Comments

    In a series of articles, The Australian newspaper has strongly criticised the new encyclical Laudato Si', with editor-at-large Paul Kelly charging that the Pope has 'delegitimised as immoral' pro-market economic forces. This is wrong. Pope Francis is not opposed to the free market in principle, but insists that it be well regulated to ensure social justice for all involved.

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  • RELIGION

    The peacemaker pope

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 23 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Quite striking is the similarity between the warm response to Pope John XXIII half a century ago and to Pope Francis today. Both broke through the gilded cage of outdated conventions and stereotyped expectations. Both stepped over barriers of ideology or religion to evoke bonds of a common humanity committed to promoting the wellbeing of all people, especially the poor and marginalised. The contexts were of course quite different.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't rob the poor to pay the rich

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 03 February 2014
    14 Comments

    The budget problems are not caused by Newstart or disability pensions, which have been declining as a proportion of economic activity. Had the Howard Government not been so generous with its tax cuts to upper and middle income groups, there would today be no budget deficit.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Ways out of economic depression

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 17 October 2012
    8 Comments

    Tony Abbott warned that Australia could go the way of Greece with excessive debt. Such claims reflect a climate of exaggerated concern about debt. Instead Australia could be taking advantage of historically low interest rates and embarking on major infrastructure projects, increasing employment and laying the basis for sustained growth in productivity.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Opportunities on a crowded planet

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 04 July 2011
    14 Comments

    Unless countries are prepared to implement draconian birth-control policies like China's, realistically there is no alternative but to prepare for a world of 9 billion people. But the increase in global population need not provoke a catastrophe.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    No apologies for Howard's unjust war

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 20 December 2010
    7 Comments

    With no hint of regret or apology, John Howard has defended his decision to join the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He gives no consideration to the just war criteria. This is not surprising, as on all these principles the case for a just war fails.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't despair of election 'race to the bottom'

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 06 August 2010

    The election has been plagued by trivial spats and personality conflicts, to the neglect of policies based on the values of equity and social justice for everyone. This reinforces the importance of church and community groups being more active in their social advocacy.

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  • INFORMATION

    Disagreeing with Gerard Henderson

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 12 March 2010
    1 Comment

    Dr Henderson does Maritain a grave injustice in so cavalierly dismissing him as favouring the 'you-beaut idea to advocate Catholic/communist dialogue'. Maritain was strongly opposed to communist ideology, but he also recognised it contained positive elements, some of which he said were drawn with the Gospels.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rosemary Goldie and the Santamaria Split

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 10 March 2010
    12 Comments

    In July 1953, the Vatican's agent Rosemary Goldie — who died on 27 February — met Santamaria but was unable to convince him of the need to keep Catholic Action out of direct political involvements. She was dismayed by the Movement's defiance of clear directives from the Holy See.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's fighting words for a world in crisis

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 07 January 2010
    8 Comments

    In his World Day of Peace statement for 2010, the Pope again highlights the urgency of responding to climate change. Pope Benedict has had major problems in communicating this message, notably a lack of journalistic expertise to make his documents more readable.

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