keywords: Confession

  • RELIGION

    Father Page versus the Bolsheviks

    • Nick Brodie
    • 26 July 2019
    15 Comments

    This year marks the centenary of British forces landing in Russia to fight the Bolsheviks. Now, Russia is generally agreed to be interfering in liberal democracies around the globe. A Jesuit priest serving as a chaplain to the British forces helps illuminate this oft-neglected story, and reveals a bit of how the Church was adapting.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The national apology 11 years on

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 February 2019
    8 Comments

    It is hard to think of a more encouraging action by any government during the last 20 years than the national apology to the stolen generations. Much has been said about that apology. It is worth reflecting more generally on why apologies properly made are so gratifying, and what qualities they must have in order to be proper.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Confidentiality, Confession and the law

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2018
    15 Comments

    Victoria's government has promised legislation to force religious ministers to report information about child sexual abuse received in Confession, and called a royal commission after revelations a lawyer breached the professional duty of confidentiality to clients. The implications of these breaches of confidentiality deserve reflection.

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  • RELIGION

    Church reform scorecard

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 December 2018
    53 Comments

    Scoring the performance of the Australian church is a complex task at any time. Dioceses and congregations vary enormously. The mission of church agencies continues unabated in education, health, social services and aged care. But by any measure 2018 has been a big year.

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  • RELIGION

    Philip Wilson's dead letter day

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 December 2018
    41 Comments

    The show trial of Archbishop Philip Wilson has backfired badly causing hurt to many people, most especially victims of child sexual abuse who thought the law was being rightly applied to put an errant Catholic bishop in the frame. Section 316 of the New South Wales Crimes Act is a dead letter and it causes nothing but trouble to everyone involved.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law works within darkened understanding

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 November 2018
    5 Comments

    Debate about the independence and the dignity of the law has always been present. Nevertheless most societies take pains to reinforce trust in those who administer justice. Some elements in our culture, however, put that trust at risk. They deserve reflection.  

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  • RELIGION

    A new story for child abuse survivors

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 23 October 2018
    17 Comments

    Survivors and their families have been at the centre of this story, and now it's theirs to carry. For years, the people who maintained they were victims of abuse were told that they were trapped in a story about something that had happened to them when they were children. But that wasn't the story they were in at all.

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  • RELIGION

    Towards credibility and a clean conclave

    • Gail Grossman Freyne
    • 05 October 2018
    26 Comments

    The numbers show this is not a witch hunt, merely the tip of a conclave. Any man who becomes a seminarian, then a deacon, then a priest, then a bishop, then a cardinal, will almost certainly have bumped into, bounced off or blindfolded himself to the endemic problem within the Church of the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable persons.

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  • RELIGION

    What it will take to prove the Church gets it

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 September 2018
    47 Comments

    The question of the seal is seen as proof that the church leadership is still resisting the royal commission recommendations. That impression can only be allayed if the church's record in a decade's time can be shown to be impeccable in responding to the other 98 per cent. Already 98 per cent has been shown to be a rubbery figure.

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  • RELIGION

    Circumscribing the seal of the confessional

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 August 2018
    31 Comments

    There is no way I would want to defend a seal of the confessional so widely drawn as that defined by Archbishop Anthony Fisher. However, I do think there is a case for respecting the seal of the confessional tightly defined as done by the canonist Fr Ian Waters. But to do that, the Church would need to get its act together.

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  • RELIGION

    What canon law is for

    • Justin Glyn
    • 08 August 2018
    21 Comments

    Canon law, not usually a household term, has come into the public eye of late, especially in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Given this newfound prominence, it seems a good time to have a look at what canon law is — and what it isn't.

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  • RELIGION

    Breaking the seal for the common good

    • Peter Johnstone
    • 18 July 2018
    46 Comments

    The arguments for exemption ignore or deny the harm to children that can arise from failure to report. They claim the law would be ineffective because few paedophiles go to confession, and might not confess if the seal did not apply. Such conjectural arguments ignore the basic principle that all harm to a child must be forestalled.

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