keywords: Papal Power

  • Meddling priest's witness to the primacy of conscience

    • Paul Bongiorno
    • 09 June 2015
    9 Comments

    'In discussing Australia's asylum seeker policies Frank laments the government's deaf ear to calls from the churches, his own included, for a greater measure of compassion and a better way of dealing with the issue of boat people. Frank wryly comments: 'If only the Abbott Government with its disproportionate number of Jesuit alumni cabinet ministers could listen.' Paul Bongiorno launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra, 8 June 2015.

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  • Romero answers the question of who a pastor should side with

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 June 2015
    4 Comments

    We recall that Oscar Romero was chosen by the Vatican to be the new archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 because he was regarded as a safe spiritual leader who was acceptable to the politically powerful in El Salvador.  It was thought that he would not challenge the status quo.  Such predictions came to nought given the events of 12 March 1977 when his friend, the Jesuit Fr Rutillio Grande SJ was killed with two of his companions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis as media role model for Tony Abbott

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 February 2015
    23 Comments

    Our unpopular politicians have not been served well by advice that they should be 'on message' - more controlled and less quirky in their dealing with the media. Pope Francis, whose approval ratings are off the scales, takes the opposite approach, famously engaging the public imagination with symbolic gestures that embody his program.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis celebrates a homeless man's 50th

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 November 2014
    29 Comments

    Last week the Pope's almsgiver installed showers in St Peter's Square, for people who are homeless. This followed his meeting a homeless man, discovering it was his 50th birthday, and inviting him to dinner in a local restaurant, only for the man to decline on the grounds he smelled. The gesture was seen to have Pope Francis’ finger prints all over it, and it illuminates the differences of perspective between him and other church leaders.

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  • RELIGION

    The Vatican's Francis Revolution gains pace

    • Paul Collins
    • 11 November 2014
    23 Comments

    An important power shift occurred in Rome at the weekend, and it has a genuine Australian connection. The nuncio in Canberra Archbishop Paul Gallagher was named Secretary for Relations with States, which will put him third in charge at the Vatican. He has been popular here because he has kept in touch with pastoral life, having volunteered to help out in the far-flung western NSW of Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes during his first Easter in Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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  • RELIGION

    The preferential option for the poor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 July 2014
    1 Comment

    'Rohan provides a detailed and accurate analysis and history of the word games that have gone on between the Vatican and the Latin American bishops and theologians wrestling with the concept of the preferential option for the poor.' Frank Brennan launches The Preferential Option for the Poor: A Short History and a Reading Based on the Thought of Bernard Lonergan, by Rohan Michael Curnow. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Too much order with too little law 30 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 July 2014
    1 Comment

    'Undoubtedly there are many challenges confronting our elected leaders in dealing with violent crime and with pathological sex offenders. But long-term sustainable solutions must be based on respect for judicial independence and for the role of the legal profession.' Frank Brennan addresses the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties at The Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St, Brisbane 8 July 2014.

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  • RELIGION

    Why Bishop Morris was sacked

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 June 2014
    53 Comments

    'My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church ... the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould.' Frank Brennan launches Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three by Bishop William Morris.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law disorder in Campbell Newman's Queensland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 June 2014
    11 Comments

    All is not well in the Sunshine State, where Premier Newman is running a strong 'law and order' line. Judges are used to politicians running 'law and order' lines, but enjoy independence from the executive government once appointed. The risky part is the sequence of events associated with the appointment. The naming of Tim Carmody as the state's chief justice has made a mockery of the transparency and openness of this process.

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  • RELIGION

    Pastoral priests decry clerical culture that fostered abuse

    • Pat Power
    • 14 February 2014
    49 Comments

    Most priests believe the Royal Commission was very much needed to face up to a terrible episode in the Church's history. They also believe that sexual abuse took place in an environment of clericalism which was imposed by the highest authority in the Church, and which they felt powerless to confront. 'Father is always right' operated from the Pope down and any questioning of it was seen as disloyal or even heretical.

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