keywords: Catholic Church Sex Abuse Crisis

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

  • The insights of Pope Francis in shaping Catholic health and aged care

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 August 2015

    When addressing Italian doctors last November, Pope Francis quoted St. Camillus de Lellis who suggested that the most effective method in caring for the sick was simply to 'Put more heart into those hands.' Let's do something to change the market settings and political settings here in Australia to modify the behaviour of all Australians in the future, and let's attend to our own Franciscan interior ecological conversion with our care for the vulnerable.


    Doogue, Brereton on keeping faith in the face of the abuse crisis

    • Peter Kirkwood
    • 05 August 2015

    'The question for me is: Is the Catholic Church at it's most authentic when it is covering up child abuse?' asks Adam Brereton, opinion editor for The Guardian Australia. Eureka Street TV's Peter Kirkwood talks to Catholic convert Brereton and 'cradle Catholic' Gerladine Doogue about the effect that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is having on Australian believers.


    The Border Force Act's disquieting parallels

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 July 2015

    On July 1 the Australian Border Force Act 2015 became law. Detention centre staff are now forbidden to speak about human rights abuses, with a two year jail penalty applying. It is perhaps appropriate to recall the secrecy of the security apparatus of Stalinist Russia, Apartheid South Africa, and Chile and Argentina under the Generals, where victims were denigrated and information prevented from leaking out.

  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 12 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

  • Frank Brennan, Ambassador from the Republic of Conscience

    • Kristina Keneally
    • 04 June 2015

    'As a legislator and a Catholic, I often felt gratitude for Frank Brennan's ambassadorship from the republic of conscience. I found the need to weave, this need to take 'data points' from many places and form my conscience. I regarded Frank as a bit of a hero.' Kristina Keneally launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Our Lady of the Way Parish, North Sydney, 2 June 2015.

  • Call off the Cardinal Pell witch-hunt

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 June 2015

    As we await Cardinal Pell's appearance before the Royal Commission, many Australians are baying for his blood. It is time for those of us in the Church to stop paying undue deference to those who exercise ecclesiastical power in a fashion at odds with contemporary notions of transparency and equality. It's also time for all commentators to play the ball, and not the man.


    The burning of a tainted church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 April 2015

    The burning of a church offers possibilities. It would be a bold and noble gesture, exactly measured to the destruction done to the Catholic Church by priests' sexual abuse, to leave the ruined walls of St James as a shrine to the victims, a record of the evil that was done, and a pledge that never again will children be unprotected in the Catholic Church.


    Restorative justice for child sexual abuse victims

    • Vic O'Callaghan
    • 17 November 2014

    Total focus on designing the right professional standards policy could be creating a hole, where all that is heard is a droning 'let's move on' message. Where are the stories of people gathering to help mend and heal themselves and the victims of this horrific episode in our history?


    The Australian Christian Lobby will not go away

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 November 2014

    The ACL's recent national conference was held in Canberra and featured Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as keynote speaker. Appearances at the lobby's conferences have become something of a political rite of passage in recent years. Despite serious academic criticism from Professor Rodney Smith of the University of Sydney questioning its claims to political influence, it is now established in the top echelon of lobbying groups.


    Buddhism's challenge to Christian churches

    • Jenny Stewart
    • 27 October 2014

    Christianity is a warm, people-centred faith. Buddhism is cool and cerebral. Christianity offers narrative and prophecy of human failing and human glory. The Buddhist sutras are impenetrable discourses on the absolute. Yet Christianity in Australia seems to be fading.



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