Search Results: encyclical

  • RELIGION

    The peacemaker pope

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 24 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Quite striking is the similarity between the warm response to Pope John XXIII half a century ago and to Pope Francis today. Both broke through the gilded cage of outdated conventions and stereotyped expectations. Both stepped over barriers of ideology or religion to evoke bonds of a common humanity committed to promoting the wellbeing of all people, especially the poor and marginalised. The contexts were of course quite different.

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  • RELIGION

    Trials of a recalcitrant priest

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 19 March 2014
    18 Comments

    Irish priest Fr Tony Flannery wrote that he did not believe 'the priesthood, as we currently have it in the church, originated with Jesus'; that some time after Jesus 'a select and privileged group who had abrogated power and authority to themselves' claimed that priesthood had been instituted at the Last Supper. He was duly silenced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His supporters now hope that Pope Francis will reinstate him.

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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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  • 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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  • RELIGION

    Sweet and sour in Pope's exhortation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2013
    24 Comments

    To my knowledge this is the first church document that refers to 'sourpusses'. It must be the first lengthy papal document for some time, too, that refers to the Magisterium only twice in passing. Nor does Pope Francis refer explicitly to clerical sexual abuse. Francis is not interested in radical institutional or doctrinal change but wants to help a dysfunctional church work better at compassionately communicating God's love.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 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

    Churches fight for economic justice

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 29 November 2013
    12 Comments

    In his recent address to the Yarra Institute about Christian social thinking, Fr Frank Brennan expressed the view that 'Christian churches are all but absent from the economic debate other than making the occasional, predictable utterance about ensuring that no one is left worse off as the result of new policy measures'. This seriously understates the public advocacy of the Australian churches and does a disservice to many people and organisations.

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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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 and Australia’s social justice agenda

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 October 2013

    'Here is a pope who is not just about creating wiggle room or watering down the teachings of the Church. No, he wants to admit honestly to the world that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings — held together coherently only by mercy and forgiveness.' Frank Brennan's Wallis Lecture presented in Hobart on 24 October 2013 and Launceston on 25 October 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholics' radical alternative

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 October 2013
    4 Comments

    'When confronted with moral evil in public policy, church personnel have a choice: to be prophetic sticking to the moral absolutes, or to be practical engaging in the compromises needed to temper the evil. At the moment, the only political parties not wanting to embrace a short term shock and awe approach are the Greens, the DLP and the Palmer United Party. And neither Christine Milne, John Madigan nor Clive Palmer will ever be prime minister.' Workshop paper from Catholic Social Services Victoria's Listening, Learning and Leading conference, October 2013.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of paternalism in Aboriginal policy

    • Callum Denness
    • 25 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Following the abuse received by Adam Goodes from a teenage spectator in the AFL's Indigenous round, and the subsequent remarks made by Eddie McGuire, the country became embroiled in a debate about racism in modern Australia. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory introduced its Mandatory Alcohol Treatment Bill which, if passed, will see more Aboriginal people incarcerated. We were too busy describing the modern face of racism to notice.

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