Search Results: Rome

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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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  • RELIGION

    Robber bands in Parliament

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 February 2014
    14 Comments

    Augustine wrote of the Roman Empire, 'Without justice, states are robber bands.' His mordant comment aimed to strip away the self-congratulatory rhetoric of empire from the reality of a Rome concerned purely with asking how to achieve desired goals uncontrolled by respect for human dignity. If we appreciate how robber bands work we can better understand what states do, including Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    Coming out of Cardinal Pell's shadow

    • Chris McGillion
    • 25 February 2014
    75 Comments

    George Pell's promotion to Rome is proof of the powerful friends he has made. As for enemies, it is not hard to compile a list of those who will be glad to see him go. It would include most liberal Catholics, many priests, and a good many of his fellow bishops. One group who are likely to regret Pell's departure are the journalists and commentators for whom he has loomed large as a figure of ridicule if not outright contempt.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A distasteful slice of gender politics pie

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 February 2014
    1 Comment

    Adele is a single mother suffering the debilitating after-effects of past trauma. But her story offers no robust consideration of mental illness. In stark contrast to her male counterparts, Adele is merely pitiable and helpless, and lacks the agency to raise herself from despondency. Weakness is thus conflated with femaleness. Only the arrival of a strong, practical and violent man serves to raise her Adele from her stupor.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Clean, bright, efficient death

    • Kristin Hannaford
    • 10 February 2014
    1 Comment

    The abattoir to the left funnels steam into the night, a long slow drag exhaled by a thousand beasts, also travelling tonight. Poor cattle, horses, and pigs. Some days, the air is so bloodthick it hinges at the back of the throat, a glottal of rusty muck. Not tonight though. The air is winter clear, glassy.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Bible LOL

    • Geoff Page
    • 03 February 2014
    6 Comments

    They say there's humour in the Bible, but I am not so sure. The scholars cite a joke or two. Why aren't there rather more? The Book of Psalms (one twenty-six) has mouths that 'filled with laughter' — but that's no consolation if a smiting's coming after.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Cardinal sins in beautiful Rome

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 January 2014
    5 Comments

    The cardinal is senseless to the libertine Jep's enquiries about faith, and prone to missing ordinary human connections in the midst of his politicking and self-obsession. If this is an unflattering reflection of institutional Catholicism, it finds its counterpoint in an ancient nun known as the Saint, whose humility reveals to Jep the possibility of transcendence.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: A Jesuit learns to live with a Jesuit Pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 January 2014
    6 Comments

    I indulge a passing self-congratulatory thought that the Pope is, like me, a Jesuit, and will understand our Jesuit ways. And that the Church, of course, will benefit immeasurably from his Jesuit training. That is immediately followed by a touch of anxiety: perhaps he will understand our ways all too well.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Christmas story's whisper from the edges

    • John Falzon
    • 16 December 2013
    13 Comments

    Recently Pope Francis blasted the so-called trickle-down economic theories in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Some will scorn his message as naive at best and dangerous at worst, while others will regard it as an urgent enkindling of hope in the face of degradation and despair. The Christmas story hints that another kind of world is possible.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 December 2013
    2 Comments

    How refreshing to have a pope write: 'It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound 'decentralisation'.' Vatican monsignori in long flowing robes will be troubled to hear him say, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission.'

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  • RELIGION

    This time in the Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 November 2013
    5 Comments

    'Having thrown off the shackles of compulsion endured by pre-Vatican II Catholics, we relish that we come to the table not because we are forced, not because of social expectations, not because of the mindset of the mob, but because we are graciously called and freely responding.' Frank Brennan's Camino Address, Parish of Our Lady of the Way North Sydney, 12 November 2013

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  • AUSTRALIA

    War fires should be left to smoulder

    • David Stephens
    • 10 November 2013
    12 Comments

    Remembrance Day has always been for Australians a quieter affair than Anzac Day, particularly as Anzac Day in recent years has taken on a brassy, bragging style. The historian Ken Inglis described Anzac as Australia's civil religion. Although we were the first country anywhere to come together under a national constitution after a mass popular vote, we downplay Federation and venerate instead a failed military campaign in Turkey in 1915.

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