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  • RELIGION

    Year of Mercy's opportunity for Aboriginal reconciliation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 March 2016

    'On his last two visits to Latin America, Pope Francis has focused on past and present relationships between indigenous peoples and their colonisers. This Jubilee Year of Mercy perhaps it could be a blessed moment for Aboriginal Australians and descendants of their colonisers to walk together through the Door of Mercy at the St Francis Xavier Cathedral, calling to mind the sins and endeavours of the past, the achievements and commitments of the present, and the hopes and aspirations of the future.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ, Lenten Talk, Norwood Parish, 3 March 2016

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Good and bad news about the Syria ceasefire

    • Justin Glyn
    • 24 February 2016
    4 Comments

    There is cause for both optimism and scepticism in the news that the US and Russia have agreed a ceasefire in Syria. On the face of it, one of the world's bloodiest civil wars is about to come to an end; an end to be guaranteed by the two biggest, best armed militaries on the planet. This should be excellent news for everybody, not least the long suffering civilian population of one of the most bombed countries on earth. So what could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a lot.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Self-care as political warfare

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 23 February 2016
    4 Comments

    Feminist writer Audre Lorde wrote that 'Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.' In medical professions, the term 'self-care' originated in reference to the self-management of illness. Self-care, however, also exists in the context of social justice, extending beyond physical wellness to cater for a holistic approach that includes emotional, mental and spiritual fulfilment. The need for this is rooted in the burden of oppression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ending family violence in culturally diverse Australia

    • Jasmeet Sahi
    • 21 February 2016
    8 Comments

    All cultures have different ways of addressing family violence. What might be suitable for an Anglo population may not be appropriate for other groups. I was raised in India, where women learn early in life that it is paramount to maintain calm and peace in a family home - nobody wants to be that family that airs its dirty laundry in public. Local community-based programs can provide solutions tailored to diverse cultural groups. Sadly many such programs are badly under-resourced.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Why Australia is missing the revolution

    • J. R. Hennessy
    • 18 February 2016
    23 Comments

    The aftershocks of the late-century push for liberalisation and the GFC have bred generations of dislocated voters who seek answers outside of the limited solutions of centrist governance. This provides ample opportunity for true progressive change, as seen in Europe and Latin America, and now the US and UK. Where's Australia? Nowhere to be seen. It is hard to imagine a truly progressive candidate emerging from our ossified political structures. There are a few reasons for this.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Downsizing numbers can't silence Indigenous protests

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 31 January 2016
    27 Comments

    On the day of the Invasion Day rally in Melbourne, I was abused for wearing a pro-Aboriginal rights t-shirt. I wasn't shocked. Indeed, I even expected it. It is not the first time I have been abused as an Indigenous activist on Australia Day. What did shock me were the media reports on the rally. When I read that the densely packed, energetic, noisy crowd consisted of only 150 people, I was surprised, to say the least. I and other seasoned protesters estimated the crowd at around 3-5000.

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  • RELIGION

    Meeting Pope Francis

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 January 2016
    22 Comments

    Hailing from Argentina, Francis puts his trust neither in ideological Communism nor in unbridled capitalism. We need to enhance international security, building the rule of law within multilateral organisations, and fostering the climate for investment sensitive to the triple bottom line - economic, social and environmental. I return from Rome grateful that we have a pope prepared to open these questions, accompanied by senior prelates happy to mix it with business and community leaders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel stories of the security state

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 December 2015
    19 Comments

    The pastel coloured domesticity of the images of Jesus' birth does not do justice to its context. Herod's sending out first his spies to find where the Messiah was to be born, and then his soldiers to eradicate the threat the child posed to national security, may not appear on Christmas cards, but they frame the story of Jesus' birth. The disjunction between the tenderness of the Christmas stories and the brutality of their public context is mirrored in the conflict between the humane values of the Gospel and the harsh instrumental values of the public world in any age.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis and the face of mercy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 December 2015
    2 Comments

    'I joined the Jesuits in 1975 just as the previous 32nd General Congregation (GC32) was concluding. Pedro Arrupe was at the height of his powers. That Congregation asked the question: 'What is it to be a companion of Jesus today?' and answered unequivocally, 'It is to engage, under the standard of the Cross, in the crucial struggle of our time: the struggle for faith and that struggle for justice which it includes.' I have always regarded myself as a GC32 Jesuit. Many of those who gathered for GC33 thought that the GC32 mission was a little too one-dimensional. I suspect Bergoglio was one of those.' Frank Brennan on the eve of the Catholic Church's Jubilee Year of Mercy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Excluding abortion protestors is a matter of dignity

    • Fatima Measham
    • 03 December 2015
    51 Comments

    Last Friday, Victoria passed an amendment to establish a protest-free zone around abortion clinics. I find it impossible to reconcile with the idea that personhood in utero depends on whether a baby is wanted or unwanted, but I also believe bodily autonomy is integral to the dignity of women. There is such a long history of women being deprived of agency across political, economic, social, sexual and cultural dimensions, that being able to make a choice carries its own compelling morality.

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  • EUREKA STREET TV

    Radicalisation begins in the mind

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 27 October 2015
    4 Comments

    'How we address radicalisation as a psychologist is to help people to examine their way of thinking. Every form of radicalisation and fundamentalism is to do with rigidity in the way people think. Our job is to help people to see that rigidity in anything doesn't work.' Clinical psychologist Shehzi Yusaf has a particular interest in the role of religion and spirituality in mental health. She is based in Parramatta, the site of the recent murder of NSW police employee Curtis Cheng by 15-year-old Farhad Jabar.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis is not an anti-Capitalist greenie

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 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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