keywords: The Orphanage

  • EDUCATION

    Voluntourism hinders community development

    • Beth Doherty
    • 01 June 2018
    13 Comments

    More and more, school leavers are being invited to participate in 'life-changing' experiences where they build houses in Cambodia, or volunteer for a week in a Vietnamese orphanage. When presented with such opportunities we should exercise caution and informed discernment.

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  • RELIGION

    Let’s be less shrill about Church-State relations

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 April 2018
    48 Comments

    Archbishop Fisher's Easter warning was in part responding to the findings of the royal commission and in part to some of the submissions to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom. Being on the panel, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on particular submissions at this time. But I was shocked by the Archbishop's shrill tone.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2017: Commission's Catholic wrap-up

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 January 2018
    13 Comments

    The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Being clear about orphans

    • Brian Lucas
    • 22 August 2017
    7 Comments

    In the Sydney Morning Herald on 17 August Lindsay Murdoch reported on the public hearing by the Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee investigating a Modern Slavery Act. The proposed legislation is broad but this article focused on one aspect—the institutionalisation of children. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A pause to reflect in the wake of the youth justice storm

    • Julie Edwards
    • 15 March 2017
    6 Comments

    At present the tornado that has raged in youth justice has abated. Disturbing images from Don Dale led to a royal commission in the Northern Territory. In Melbourne, public fears about gang violence, carjackings, robberies and youth detention centre riots were followed by the placing of many young people in an adult facility and a pledge to build a new prison for young offenders. This pause offers time for reflection on the human reality and needs of children who are involved in the justice system.

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  • RELIGION

    Ensuring justice for all after the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 February 2017
    3 Comments

    The commission's forensic scrutiny of past actions of church officials in no way constitutes an interference with the freedom of religion. Its spotlight is to be welcomed, provided only that it is shone on a truly representative sample of all institutions which have been found wanting and provided the same light filter is applied to all institutions. I do however have a problem with the commission making findings on issues like the want of compassion when those findings are made only against a Church.

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  • RELIGION

    The Catholic wrap-up at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 February 2017
    74 Comments

    Last Monday, the Royal Commission commenced its three-week forensic examination of the causes of child sexual abuse and cover up in the Catholic Church in Australia over the last 60 years. The statistics were horrifying. Every case represented a person who claims as a child to have been abused by a person of authority in a Catholic institution. Whichever way the statistics are interpreted in comparison with other institutions, they are appalling. We need to hold the victims clearly in focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Why the seal of the confessional should remain in tact

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 December 2016
    18 Comments

    One distinctively Catholic practice is personal confession in which an individual confesses to God their sins and seeks forgiveness in the presence of and at the hands of a priest. Some groups and individuals are proposing to the royal commission that the seal of the confessional no longer be inviolable. I was quoted in The Australian saying, 'If a law is introduced to say that a priest should reveal a confession, I'm one of those priests who will disobey the law.' Being also a lawyer, let me explain.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious freedom in an age of equality

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 September 2016
    18 Comments

    'No good will be served by a royal commission auspiced by the state telling a Church how it judges or complies with its theological doctrines and distinctive moral teachings. By all means, set universal standards of practice expected of all institutions dealing with children, but do not trespass on the holy ground of religious belief and practice.' Fr Frank Brennan SJ addresses the Freedom for Faith Conference in Melbourne, 23 September 2016.

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  • RELIGION

    Neerkol orphanage findings and the place of compassion

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 April 2016
    16 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has now published its Case Study 26 on the Neerkol Orphanage in Rockhampton. It finds that the response by the bishop and by the Sisters of Mercy to victims making complaints prior to 1996 was often inadequate and lacking in compassion. The word 'compassion' or 'compassionate' appears 21 times in the report. I have no problem with church people or other individuals adversely judging church leaders for a lack of compassion. There may even be a case for politicians doing it. But I don't think it's the job of a royal commission.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Lord's Resistance Army is alive and well

    • Dorothy Horsfield
    • 26 August 2015
    1 Comment

    For almost twenty years, across the settlements and subsistence farms of Central Africa the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has preyed upon civilian populations with exceptional cruelty, emerging from the bush in small units to commit unspeakable atrocities. These days there is a common assumption that the LRA has been decimated and scattered and that its leader Joseph Kony is in hiding and probably ineffectual. But visiting activist Sister Angelique Namaika insists this optimistic assessment is misguided. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The case for defending children and their advocates

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 25 February 2015
    10 Comments

    Children have always suffered and been exploited. Only recently have been regarded as being children at all, rather than mini-people. Reformers like Dickens raised consciousness beginning in the 19th century. Bombs are raining on children in Syria and elsewhere. Not so Australia, but many are being damaged nonetheless. The Australian Human Rights Commission is having to defend its report on Immigration Detention from critics that include the Prime Minister.

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