Author: Frank Brennan

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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  • RELIGION

    The preferential option for the poor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 July 2014
    1 Comment

    '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. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too much order with too little law 30 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 July 2014
    1 Comment

    '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.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hearts in the right place during NAIDOC Week

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 July 2014
    8 Comments

    The prime minister stumbled last week when he said: 'I guess our country owes its existence to a form of foreign investment by the British government in the then unsettled or, um scarcely settled, Great South Land.' His Indigenous advisor Warren Mundine said: 'I know his heart is in the right place.' With hearts in the right place, we can all forgive and be forgiven.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The contours of an extended child abuse royal commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 July 2014
    17 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses of Child Sexual Abuse has asked the Abbott Government for a two-year extension until December 2017 to complete its task. The good news is that the victims' groups seem to think they can wait that long, as anything sooner would be rushed.  The bad news is that we will all be waiting another three and a half years for answers about how to restructure institutions ensuring the better protection of children.

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  • RELIGION

    Why Bishop Morris was sacked

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 June 2014
    53 Comments

    '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.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law disorder in Campbell Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 June 2014
    11 Comments

    All is not well in the Sunshine State, where Premier Newman is running a strong 'law and order' line. Judges are used to politicians running 'law and order' lines, but enjoy independence from the executive government once appointed. The risky part is the sequence of events associated with the appointment. The naming of Tim Carmody as the state's chief justice has made a mockery of the transparency and openness of this process.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's time Parliament had a say on 'disgraceful' PNG solution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 June 2014
    29 Comments

    Australia's cruel arrangement for asylum seekers arriving without a visa cannot be scrutinised by our courts and has never been approved by our Parliament. In the name of democracy, in the name of Australian self-respect, and in the name of human rights protection and the rule of law, it is time this arrangement was presented to our Parliament for its approval by our elected representatives or for immediate ditching. It's a disgrace.

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  • RELIGION

    Unheard stories of the sex abuse crisis

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 June 2014
    11 Comments

    In Unheard Story, Fr Padraig McCarthy rightly highlights shortcomings in legal-political-media processes like the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. The future wellbeing of children demands that the spotlight be shone on all equally. But there is no getting away from the fact that in Ireland and Australia, the reported instances of child sexual abuse has been greater in the Catholic Church than in other churches.

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  • RELIGION

    The role of the faith based organisation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 May 2014
    3 Comments

    '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'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's be good neighbours with Timor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 May 2014
    10 Comments

    In 2006 Australia and Timor Leste hastily signed the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) at a time of considerable political instability in Timor. After last year's revelation of evidence of Australian spying on the Timorese during the negotiation of CMATS, the Timorese decided to challenge its validity, and in March this year they had a spectacular win in the International Court of Justice that caused great embarrassment to Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    In defence of Cardinal Pell

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 April 2014
    30 Comments

    I write to defend Cardinal Pell in the wake of Elizabeth Farrelly's claim in the Fairfax press that Pell, when appearing before Justice McClellan at the Royal Commission, proposed a 'priestly child abuse insurance scheme'. Pell is not one of my fans, and neither am I one of his. But I think Farrelly has unfairly kicked him when he is down, and muddied the waters about what is a critical issue for the victims of child sexual abuse.

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