Author: Paul Collins

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  • RELIGION

    Encyclical's groundbreaking critique of technology

    • Paul Collins
    • 14 July 2015
    9 Comments

    While Francis has no time for technological solutions and 'fixes' for complex ecological problems, he is no techo-Luddite. What he does is link technological knowledge to power and says that those with this knowledge and the economic resources to use it, gain 'an impressive dominance over the whole of humanity and the entire world.'

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  • RELIGION

    Francis puts environment above short-term politics

    • Paul Collins
    • 18 June 2015
    24 Comments

    Laudatio si is an extraordinary document addressed to 'every living person on this planet'. Ecological issues are no longer an after thought but up there with social justice and equity in an incisive, practical, realistic and far-reaching encyclical that tackles the most important issues facing us honestly and with absolute integrity. It will upset a lot of apple carts in the Church and in the world.

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  • RELIGION

    Francis moving Church from pale green to deep green

    • Paul Collins
    • 19 January 2015
    43 Comments

    Pope Francis has been hailed for his ‘rattling’ and ‘upsetting’ Catholic climate change sceptics and politicians. His predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI were ahead of most politicians on the issue, but essentially they underestimated the magnitude and urgency of the environmental problems we face. It is likely that Francis will make a decisive effort to confront climate change during 2015.    

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  • RELIGION

    The Vatican's Francis Revolution gains pace

    • Paul Collins
    • 10 November 2014
    23 Comments

    An important power shift occurred in Rome at the weekend, and it has a genuine Australian connection. The nuncio in Canberra Archbishop Paul Gallagher was named Secretary for Relations with States, which will put him third in charge at the Vatican. He has been popular here because he has kept in touch with pastoral life, having volunteered to help out in the far-flung western NSW of Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes during his first Easter in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    A conundrum for Pope Francis

    • Paul Collins
    • 13 October 2014
    49 Comments

    Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart told Vatican Radio that the Bishops currently attending the Synod on the Family in Rome 'want to engage with people and see the needs of families ...  The bishops have been emphasising that we are pastors'. This emphasis indicates Pope Francis' challenge when he asks the bishops to assume the level of leadership necessary to act collegially with him.

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  • RELIGION

    Jury still out on Francis the game-changer

    • Paul Collins
    • 12 March 2014
    12 Comments

    The greatest danger is that we expect too much from Francis. He brings a new perspective that has little to do with the preoccupations of the developed world. But we shouldn't kid ourselves that he is a closet progressive. The other danger is that he could turn out to be all show and no substance. His 'Gang of Eight' has not even begun to address the diabolically difficult problems embedded in reforming the curial structures of the Vatican.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate change and Australia's weather on steroids

    • Paul Collins
    • 03 February 2013
    38 Comments

    Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said that, coming from Australia where climate change denial 'fills the air', he finds it significant that world leaders see climate change as the world's most important concern, even more than the economy. Recent extreme weather events, including the floods in Queensland, are symptoms of long-term climate change.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate view from a nation doomed to drown

    • Paul Collins
    • 13 December 2012
    15 Comments

    Kiribati, situated in the central Pacific Ocean and home to 101,998 people — more than half of them Catholic — will be the first country to be drowned by global warming. While we wring our hands and climate sceptics pretend there is no problem, on Kiribati people are already in the midst of a climate change disaster. 

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  • RELIGION

    The truth about the Vatican's money

    • Paul Collins
    • 14 August 2012
    35 Comments

    People often talk about the 'enormous wealth of the Vatican'. Some think the Vatican owns all the Church's worldwide real estate, others that all that art could be sold for the poor, others that the Vatican is corrupt and busy laundering vast sums of Mafia money through the 'Vatican Bank'. Now for the first time we have some hard facts.

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  • EDUCATION

    Thought under threat at Australia's universities

    • Paul Collins
    • 22 May 2012
    27 Comments

    The Australian National University vice-chancellor's proposal to asset-strip Canberra's School of Music prompted the biggest university demonstration in 30 years. ANU isn't the only uni in financial stress, thanks to successive governments' under-funding of tertiary education and user-pays attitude.

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  • MEDIA

    The commercialisation of the ABC

    • Paul Collins
    • 04 August 2011
    22 Comments

    Increasingly the ABC is 'outsourcing' material to commercial production companies. Interest group Friends of the ABC describes this as 'privatisation by stealth' and is calling for a public inquiry. All who value the ABC and its role as a public broadcaster need to support this call.

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  • RELIGION

    Australian Catholics facing disaster

    • Paul Collins
    • 03 March 2011
    46 Comments

    The troubles facing Australian Catholicism have been documented in a new report. When people focus on this most think of sexual abuse. In fact this is more a symptom than the actual core of the problem. 

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