Search Results: Jesuit Refugee Service

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Party games in darkening Canberra

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 21 March 2013
    10 Comments

    Our political leaders are suffering from the disenchantment of the electorate. Canberra and its political hackery has less appeal now than it's had for a long time. It might be worth listening to Bob Hawke, who recently unwittingly echoed the seniment of French philosopher Simone Weil's essay 'On the Abolition of All Political Parties'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Post-Saddam Iraq defined by division

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 March 2013
    1 Comment

    One Christian engineer remembers celebrating religious festivals with his Muslim neighbours. They in turn would celebrate Christmas with him. Such interfaith experiences are almost unknown now. Iraqis tell me that at least under Saddam you knew where the boundaries were. Now there is uncertainty and indiscriminate violence.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Freewheeling fantasies of European citizenship

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 21 February 2013
    1 Comment

    Does citizenship need to be built upon close cultural, linguistic and historical ties, as in a national community? Or can a broader conception of citizenship be formed? In Brussels I spot a mural of a mosque on a garage door, surrounded by people from North Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, speaking French, Flemish, English and Arabic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers stiffed by election year spin

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 February 2013
    16 Comments

    The ad hoc nature of arrangements for asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG reveal that priorities are being determined by election dates rather than respect for human dignity and international human rights laws. The latest Coalition idea to interdict boats from Sri Lanka outside our territorial waters and send them back is particularly ill-considered.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Transformed by a boring Brussels Mass

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 24 January 2013
    15 Comments

    The coughing is getting worse; it sounds like the pew behind me is hosting a cardiac arrest. English theologian James Alison described mass as 'a long term education in becoming unexcited', a state that allows us to dwell 'in a quiet place' that 'increases our attention, our presence'. In Brussels, becoming 'unexcited' seems important.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Back road encounter in the Italian countryside

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 30 October 2012
    3 Comments

    We drove up a narrow road, on the dubious instructions of the GPS. Suddenly the car became unbalanced and the front wheel spun above the side of the road, which had collapsed. We were stuck. We could hear dogs barking in the night. After a while a car approached from one direction, and then a utility from the other.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rise of the Kurds in Syria

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 09 October 2012
    4 Comments

    It is not only Arabs that stand to benefit from the Arab Spring. Kurdish autonomy has long been a desire of the Kurds, who are spread through Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. In Syria, while the Assad regime is occupied by rebel groups in Aleppo and Damascus, the Kurds are establishing their own armed security in their areas.

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  • RELIGION

    Brennan and Katter's Aboriginal pilgrimage

    • Frank Brennan
    • 30 September 2012
    1 Comment

    'I had the pleasure of the company of Bob Katter at a series of meetings with Aboriginal Councillors before addressing a public meeting on Palm Island. Some say there has been little growth or change on these remote Aboriginal communities. In fact some of what we saw was unimaginable 30 years ago. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Farewell to the concierge of Pitt Street

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 07 August 2012
    24 Comments

    Yassin made sure the bins were out for the garbage collectors, and that people had parking tickets on their cars in case the rangers passed by. He looked after the area so well that we nicknamed him 'the concierge'. Last Monday a security guard found him lying unconscious and without a pulse.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Politics in the pulpit

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 08 July 2012
    35 Comments

    ‘I don’t think politics should be brought into the pulpit,’ said the gentleman who waited for me at the church door after all the other mass-goers at Sunday’s 8:30 am Mass had departed. ‘You upset my wife: she wanted to walk out during your homily.’

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  • EDUCATION

    Teachers are wrong about performance pay

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 June 2012
    19 Comments

    The Victorian Government plans to introduce performance pay for teachers. The teachers' union has objected on the grounds that teachers are special. Its argument is faulty. Performance pay is not wrong for teachers because they are special, but because it is wrong for everybody.

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  • RELIGION

    Politics played as holy comedy in Cambodia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 June 2012
    5 Comments

    Meetings between holiness and politics are inherently dramatic. Think of Jesus' trial, of A'Beckett's murder, of Luther at Worms, of Romero's last sermon. These were tragedies. In Fr Pierre Ceyrac, a French Jesuit priest who died last week, politics and holiness met dramatically, but as comedy.

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