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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis is not an anti-Capitalist greenie

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 October 2015
    4 Comments

    Francis knows there are all sorts of issues inside and outside the Church where for too long people with power have tried to keep the lid on, in the hope that the problems and complexities will go away, often by parodying those who see the problems or complexities as small 'l' liberals or cafeteria Catholics. He delights in being joyful and troubled while contemplating big problems, calling people of good will to the table of deliberation reminding them of the kernel of the Christian gospels. He has the faith and hope needed to lift the lid without fear and without knowing the answers prior to the dialogue occurring.

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  • Francis, theological education and the public square

    • Jenny Te Paa
    • 09 October 2015
    16 Comments

    Thank you Francis, for although you have not spoken at any length about theological education per se — any more than you have spoken about the status of women per se — in spite of these somewhat startling omissions, this indigenous lay woman theological educator feels no less inspired, comforted, reassured, blessed, beyond imagining by your gentle, wise, insistent and prophetic urgings.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Oppressing compassion in Europe and Australia

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 28 September 2015
    16 Comments

    When refugees walked into Europe, away from distant distress sites, their presence made the global issue visceral for Europeans. Australia doesn't have asylum seekers walking en masse through ordinary streets. Our border is one of established hatred. 'Stop the boats' policy denies ordinary Australians their compassionate impulse, and creates a history that our children will face judgement upon. It denies humanity's collective memory after World War II.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The children of Aleppo

    • Graham Kershaw
    • 22 September 2015
    1 Comment

    I dreamt of a family escaping through pines, over the crest of a forest, young and old struggling down to the shore of a great cold lake, their only hope of escape; no boat was there, but the strong might try to carry the old, at least, if they cared enough. And it made me want to simply run away, to escape the brain-ache of not doing what we are best made to do.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The aquarium's tapestry of colour and light

    • Edith Speers
    • 15 September 2015
    3 Comments

    The jelly fish are fringed silk shawls ... the anemones are embroidery samplers ... the coral is not calcified not brittle hard as bone ... the prettiest fish are fabric for blouses made of silk.

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    He is not the killer he used to be

    • Jordie Albiston
    • 18 August 2015

    Her every lover, her filler of dreams, her kisser of broken & bruised. She watches him through the pills, she misses him when he leaves, whispers to foot that when she recovers she will love him for ever & ever, but now he is heading back down the stairs & she stares at his absence.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What might have been for the toddler in the suitcase

    • Jen Vuk
    • 07 August 2015
    8 Comments

    Behind scrub on a nondescript South Australian highway lay a battered suitcase. It had been abandoned and largely forgotten, yet its presence was incongruous in this vast, unforgiving landscape. Last month, one passer-by was so disturbed by what he found after peering inside that he contacted police. Just off the Karoonda Highway in Wynarka, in South Australia's Murray Mallee region, a terrible secret had lain in wait.

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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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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greece's lonely season

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 04 August 2015
    5 Comments

    A tarnished pomegranate warms the chill niche of the windowsill, mottled like a faded kilim, mellow rose, dull gold; the island in the autumn thrums to lyres of the bourini, the pagan tongues of log fires in the chimneys; ancient ferries plying the Aegean in the winter run the gauntlet of the gales like emissaries of reason. It is the lonely season.

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  • Homily for the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 August 2015
    1 Comment

    I am one of those Jesuits who sometimes has been perceived as not being sufficiently loyal to the church hierarchy. From time to time, people of good will have urged me to consider Ignatius' rules for thinking with the Church which are appended to his Spiritual Exercises. The stereotypical view of those rules is often summed up by quoting the first sentence of the 13th rule: 'To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What I see as white, I would believe to be black if the hierarchical Church would thus determine it.' But life was not ever that simple, even in the time of Ignatius. Feast of St Ignatius homily by Frank Brennan

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