keywords: St Andrew

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  • RELIGION

    Chords of community in a country church protest song

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The conflict began with falling church attendances and a decision by the Koroit parish priest to rationalise resources. Although Regina Lane describes in detail the battles to save St Brigid's, her book is far more than a protest song against the power of the Catholic Church. The larger stories embodied at St Brigid's, the immigrant groups who formed the first congregation and their relationship to the first Australians, have continuing importance.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Empowered shock jocks must also be accountable

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The Federal Government plans to change the Racial Discrimination Act to give preference to free speech over protecting individuals and groups from vilification. It is not surprising that there is strong media support for the changes, as they will give investigative reporters and shock jocks alike the legislative freedom they need to do their job. But the Government must include robust legislation to penalise those who get their facts wrong.

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  • RELIGION

    Social justice with a smile

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 February 2014
    7 Comments

    Social justice has to do with what we owe to others. No one likes to think of their debts. And when the debts are universalised so that they are owed by us as members of society, we do not want to know about them. No wonder it is more effective to appeal to our individual generosity than to our shared duty, and for religious leaders to be less comfortable speaking about justice than about love.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's booze culture on trial

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 February 2014
    10 Comments

    Alcohol has a privileged place in polite society. All mood changing substances rely on a myth of a better life and relationships, but the alcohol myth is distinctive because it is rooted in high as well as in popular culture. Attempts to regulate its consumption and limit the damage it does will therefore always be unlikely to succeed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's pointers for Australian welfare review

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 January 2014
    27 Comments

    Pope Francis' message to the World Economic Forum at Davos developed the Catholic understanding that government and business economic actions should be governed not by trust in the workings of the free market, but by care for the good of the whole human community. Coincidentally the Australian Government announced a review of welfare payments.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Celebrating diversity on Australia Day

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 January 2014
    20 Comments

    This week began with Australia Day and ends with the Chinese New Year. The juxtaposition suggests pertinent questions about Australian identity, especially the ways in which Australians have alternately included and excluded those seen as outsiders. This is most evident in the relationship between Australian settlers' attitudes to Indigenous Australians, but it is also seen in Australian attitudes to Chinese and other Asian peoples.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: Advice for the Pope on reforming the Church

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 14 January 2014
    13 Comments

    I wish he would invite me to be his temporary consultant, to offer him advice for his next 500 days. I'd begin by proposing a substantial Vatican-led inquiry, into why the Church has been so troubled by sexual abuse across various countries. Then I would point to the experiences of several large secular institutions, including the New York Times and US Army, that have rebuilt after crises.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2013: A Jesuit learns to live with a Jesuit Pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 January 2014
    6 Comments

    I indulge a passing self-congratulatory thought that the Pope is, like me, a Jesuit, and will understand our Jesuit ways. And that the Church, of course, will benefit immeasurably from his Jesuit training. That is immediately followed by a touch of anxiety: perhaps he will understand our ways all too well.

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  • RELIGION

    Church plays part of Christmas villain

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 December 2013
    14 Comments

    Christmas tells the story of a God who entrusted Christ as a baby safely to the care of Mary and Joseph in a markedly hostile secular environment. The stories told at the Royal Commission are of parents who entrusted their children unsafely to the care of representatives of the Church. The face of Herod in our day is not that of a persecutor who threatens the church from without. It is that of a minister of the church who betrays from within.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    El Salvador suffers Australia's maleficent miners

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 November 2013
    16 Comments

    El Salvador is a small, largely agricultural society, with one of the highest population densities in the world. A largely Australian owned mining company proposes to mine for gold there, at great social and environmental cost to the local population. In Australia the wellbeing of people in areas affected by mining is central in the granting of permits. Are we willing to accept a lowering of standards for the overseas operations of Australian companies?

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  • RELIGION

    The insubstantial Bishop of Bling

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 October 2013
    13 Comments

    Springtime draws attention to the sweet harmonies and scratchy discord between style and substance. Ducks escort their young across green lawns, and peck at anything that dares approach them. Young things in suits or summer dresses sit sozzled in Cup Day mud. Meanwhile in the Catholic Church, Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was suspended from office for his profligate spending during a time of austerity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Would-be nun's Holocaust history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 31 October 2013
    2 Comments

    On the eve of taking her vows as a nun, 18-year-old novice Ida learns that she is Jewish. This sets her on a journey of self-discovery as she seeks to, literally, uncover the bones of her past, which has its roots in the Holocaust. It is timely to reflect on these matters in the wake of last weekend's anti-semitic violence in Bondi. It is better to grasp the bones of truth than walk in pious ignorance past the mass graves of history.

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