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  • The insights of Pope Francis in shaping Catholic health and aged care

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 August 2015
    7 Comments

    When addressing Italian doctors last November, Pope Francis quoted St. Camillus de Lellis who suggested that the most effective method in caring for the sick was simply to 'Put more heart into those hands.' Let's do something to change the market settings and political settings here in Australia to modify the behaviour of all Australians in the future, and let's attend to our own Franciscan interior ecological conversion with our care for the vulnerable.

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  • A trinity of questions about Laudato Si’

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2015
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis is not the first pope to address a social encyclical to everyone. But in comparison with his predecessors, Francis has been more inclusive in the process of writing the encyclical and in the final content of the document. He quotes from 17 different conferences of Catholic bishops. He is at pains to indicate that he is collaborative and that he takes the principle of subsidiarity very seriously. Being the final redactor of the text, he has felt free to interpolate some very folksy advice from time to time. He has also taken the liberty of inserting some very blunt, evocative images of environmental and economic devastation.

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  • RELIGION

    Coal warriors targeting Pope Francis

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 15 July 2015
    29 Comments

    It is not surprising that The Australian should be leading the local pushback on the environmental encyclical Laudato Si'. What is surprising is that a Catholic priest - Fr James Grant - should be joining the chorus against the encyclical, initially in an IPA media release. His more recent contribution to The Australian is right out of the briefing notes supplied by the coal industry in its global public relations efforts to shore up its waning reputation. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Elegy for Joshua Hardy

    • Dougal Hurley
    • 07 July 2015
    5 Comments

    Stop trying to possess him, claim him, covet your story, talk it away with the Christ or the hackneyed straddling of 'Two Worlds'. He didn't walk between them, he just was, is and ever shall remain, a man not a slogan.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The US Supreme Court's gay marriage overreach

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 July 2015
    75 Comments

    In its determination that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, the US Supreme Court took it upon itself to discover a definitive answer in the silent Constitution on this contested social question. This is regrettable, because there can be no doubt that the democratic process was taking US society in only one direction, and the Court's unilateral intervention has reduced the prospects of community acceptance and community compromise regarding the freedom of religious practice of those who cannot embrace same-sex marriage for religious reasons.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The enigma of the island

    • Ian C Smith
    • 23 June 2015
    3 Comments

    Our salt-blasted car rental veteran guzzled fuel, gearbox a disaster gasping past wallaby roadkill leaving the dramatic volcanic mountainscape for glimpses of carved bays, Crusoe beaches contrasting with weathered scrub, still farms.

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  • RELIGION

    Francis puts environment above short-term politics

    • Paul Collins
    • 19 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fossil fuel divestment economics in line with morality

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The Norwegian Parliament has just ordered its $A1.15 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. This represents the largest single divestment from fossil fuels in human history, and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is likely to disintegrate. Australia will crash and burn both economically and morally if we do not follow suit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Boston bomber sentence shows death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 19 May 2015
    11 Comments

    The lesson from the trials of Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the Bali nine is that the death penalty is always political and macabre. In the US, Justice Scalia was not at all minded to consider the merits of the argument about the effects of the drug Midazolam because he thought the case was all part of a long term political campaign to delegitimise the death penalty. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Curious names subvert Cuba's politics of exclusion

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 08 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Roger Blanco Morciego is a young Cuban man with an English name, who grew up in a communist country ostracised from the rest of the world. 'In my neighbourhood we have seven Rogers. I think we were named after Roger Moore'. I have my own theory about this: people who are shut out will do anything to explore and understand the realm they've been excluded from. 

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  • ECONOMICS

    Ukraine conflict heightens global economic split

    • David James
    • 28 April 2015
    2 Comments

    The conflict in the Ukraine has attracted a great deal of attention for its geo-strategic implications. Less noticed have been the economic implications. The sanctions placed on Russia have forced Russia to become even closer to China, and the alliance between a military superpower and an economic superpower is beginning to split the global economy in two. It may come to represent the biggest geo-economic and geo-political shift of the first half of this century, defining much of the future landscape.

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  • Anzac Day centenary homily at Harvard Memorial Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 April 2015
    5 Comments

    This Memorial Church here at Harvard was dedicated on Armistice Day 1932 in memory of those who died in World War I. It is fitting that we, Australians, New Zealanders, Turks and Americans should gather in this place to mark the centenary of Anzac Day, the day on which Australians and New Zealanders landed in the stillness of the early dawn on the Turkish shoreline wanting to assist with the Allies’ advance on Constantinople, now Istanbul, the day on which the Turks commenced a successful, eight month campaign to defend their homeland against the assault.

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