Search Results: Neil Ormerod

  • AUSTRALIA

    Whose rule book is Abbott playing from?

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 15 May 2014
    48 Comments

    It took John Howard until his third term before he let his personal leanings completely off the leash. It led to his electoral demise. Abbott is doing much the same in his first term, over-reaching, thinking himself invulnerable to a political backlash. Whereas Machiavelli's prince could rule through force, Abbott must face an electorate whose trust in political promises has been completely eroded. Our political system will take a long time to recover.

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  • RELIGION

    Commission hearings' trail of collateral devastation

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 03 April 2014
    21 Comments

    Damage was done to the reputations of Pell's secretary Dr Michael Casey, and to the solicitors from the his chosen legal team Coors, who would have heard clearly the warning of Justice McClellan that saying they were following their client's instructions would be no defence. There is the damage done to the Australian Church as a whole, and, of course, the damge to Pell himself. This is not how he wanted his reign in Sydney to end.

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  • RELIGION

    Winds of theological change at the Vatican

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 13 March 2014
    10 Comments

    No one can deny the impact Francis has had. The question remains whether the differences between him and his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI are a matter of style or substance. Francis has downplayed the prospects of major doctrinal changes, yet the rehabilitation of liberation theology and the bringing in from the cold of outspoken 'extreme centrist' theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper do reveal a fundamental shift.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Coal hard facts for religious investors

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 February 2014
    12 Comments

    The international movement to divest from investment in fossil fuels is gathering momentum. Investors are starting to realise that as governments act to restrain fossil fuel consumption, fossil fuel companies will find their assets being written down. This is particularly pertinent to Australia, the second largest coal exporter. And it raises questions for Australian religious bodies about the prudent and moral use of their resources.

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  • RELIGION

    Is the pope a Marxist?

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 17 December 2013
    27 Comments

    Pope Francis' vision for the church of the poor is now joined to a stinging critique of our globalised economy which promotes a 'new tyranny' of unfettered capitalism and an attack on the 'idolatry of money'. While such language has not been uncommon, buried in the riches of Catholic social teaching, this pope has made it up front and centre stage of his message.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate denial tide is turning

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 04 November 2013
    47 Comments

    With the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Los Angeles Times made the bold decision to no longer publish letters from climate change denialists saying climate change is a matter of fact, not opinion. While this might seem like a small victory, the more substantial issue on the horizon is the global campaign for divestment in the fossil fuel industry. As it gains momentum and fossil fuel companies will be forced to reassess the value of their assets.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis the smiling revolutionary

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 17 May 2013
    17 Comments

    It is difficult to get into the mind of a person who might have been pope eight years earlier. Would the intervening years have been filled with 'what ifs'? Would he have watched Benedict and wondered how he might have led differently? Whether they knew it or not the cardinals initiated a quiet revolution in electing this man. 

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  • RELIGION

    The difference one pope can make

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 21 March 2013
    7 Comments

    There are 57 cardinals over 72 years of age. If Francis is in office for eight years or more he'll have a direct hand in replacing each of them. Just as John Paul II shaped the college of cardinals for the election of Benedict, so Francis is likely to shape the college for the election of his successor. This is a long term impact.

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  • RELIGION

    A pope for hard seasons

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 18 February 2013
    27 Comments

    One of the major challenges facing the new pope will be to find creative and compassionate ways of addressing the issue of clergy sexual abuse. A proper response will require a change in heart and mind, to see the world through the eyes of the suffering and humiliated. Can we expect anything less from the next pope?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Philip Adams in schism with the Dawkinsonians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 April 2012
    14 Comments

    In the shadow of the blockbuster Q&A and Global Atheist Convention was a poignant encounter between atheist broadcaster Philip Adams and Jesuit theologian Gerald O'Collins. The instant bond between the two may have a flipside in an affinity between fanatical atheists and fundamentalist religious believers.

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  • RELIGION

    Bruises all round in Pell-Dawkins street fight

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 April 2012
    89 Comments

    Atheist Richard Dawkins' debate with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in February was a gentlemanly affair. By contrast Dawkins' debate with Cardinal George Pell on the ABC's Q&A this week was billed as a 'title fight of belief'. As one comment on Twitter noted the next day, 'they both lost'.

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  • INFORMATION

    University truth

    • Paul Beirne
    • 13 September 2011
    2 Comments

    'Melbourne College of Divinity's application to become a specialised 'university of divinity' followed a four-year process that was thorough, comprehensive, consultative and detailed. It was by no means 'an act of faith'.' Paul Beirne, Dean of MCD, responds to Neil Ormerod's article 'Future bites for theological colleges' 

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