Eureka Street is not 'lefty' but reformist

43 Comments

 

Those of us who write regular columns have little time for introspection. We are too busy getting up the next article. But we are frequently prompted, sometimes by our disappointed readers, to ask what we are up to. Every now and then our readers deserve a personal response.

Selection of articles from Eureka Street homepage In my case, the questions go like this: What am I, as a Jesuit priest, doing writing about all topics except the woes of the Catholic Church? And as a follow up question, what are the Jesuits, a Catholic religious congregation, doing sponsoring Eureka Street, a magazine that has little Catholic content and regularly publishes articles that might be more at home in The Guardian than in the scriptures?

Such questions touch on integrity: the coherence between our public commitments, our behaviour and our inner thoughts.

My initial response is that I do write often and happily in magazines that address a Catholic audience on Catholic teaching and issues within the Catholic Church. Eureka Street, however, is a public magazine written in a publicly accessible language for a public audience on issues of interest to a wider public. Issues affecting the Catholic Church, therefore, need to be addressed in a language and in arguments accessible to that audience.

The specialised language of Catholic theology and an appeal to the authority of Catholic statements are not appropriate in this forum.

Another factor limiting what can be written for Eureka Street is its commitment to a public conversation that is open and courteous. Its editors hope that readers will engage with what is written, explore the arguments deeply, and be open to modify their own views.

This excludes both directly polemical writing and also participations in debates where the guns are already trained from both sides, ready to fire at any provocation. Direct attacks on highly controversial figures in church or state are therefore off limits: they may be justified, but they will not generate conversation, only shouting.

 

"In my judgment, the root of many of our current discontents lie in the shallow and self-seeking emphasis on the competitive individual. This has led to a self-generating structural inequality in society."

 

The orientation and Catholic sponsorship of the magazine make it particularly difficult to publish defences of Catholic positions on controversial positions, particularly if written by Catholic priests. They will be assumed to be microphones for a party line, with the result that the response will focus on authority and not on the topic at issue. For those with a taste for such debate, there are other forums.

These are external limiting factors on what I contribute to Eureka Street. But there is an inner coherence between my writing and the various relationships that compose my identity as person, Catholic, Jesuit, priest, writer and contributor to public conversation. A coherence in aspiration, I should add, but too often not in performance.

The coherence is grounded in my personal conviction that each human being is precious and demanding of respect, that human beings depend on one another to survive and thrive, and consequently are responsible to one another, particularly to the people who are most disadvantaged. The health of society depends on the quality of respect embodied in the interlocking relationships between people, groups and the world in which we live.

My conviction and commitment to a vision of the good society as cooperative, communal, and equitable is also supported by my personal Christian faith and by the Catholic social justice tradition that I have inherited. It leads to a desire to make the world a better place, and also provides criteria for assessing the manifest failures in respect that mark our society, both secular and church. These are the major themes in my own writing.

From that perspective I am comfortable with the characterisation of Eureka Street and of my own writing for it as reformist. The articles it publishes, whose writers reflect the diversity of Australian society, generally reflect the conviction that we can do better. In my judgment, the root of many of our current discontents lie in the shallow and self-seeking emphasis on the competitive individual. This has led to a self-generating structural inequality in society. In reaction it has led groups based in identity to see themselves as competing with other groups for resources and not as fellows seeking the common good.

In such a society it is essential constantly to return to the realities of human life, and particularly to the dignity of the human beings who are excluded from society, and to demand respect for their humanity. They include people discriminated against on the grounds of their background, race, religion and sexuality, often by Christian churches as well as by the wider society.

In a polarised society you can be dismissed if you constantly insist on the humanity we share with people commonly regarded as being beyond the pale. But might that dismissal be a sign of integrity, not of its lack?

 

 

Andrew HamiltonAndrew Hamilton is consulting editor of Eureka Street.

Topic tags: Andrew Hamilton, Eureka Street, progressive, reformist, left, right, Catholicism

 

 

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Existing comments

Thank you for your thoughts here, Andrew. I would not like to see the lines between Catholic-specific language and dissemination of authoritative Church statements in a public forum, ES or other, etched so separately as you would appear to have them drawn. To my mind, to make this concession would effectively be to silence the Church's voice in the contemporary agora, and this in a time when the Church is hard-pressed to justify its very existence, both to many of its followers and to the public at large. I would also hope, and pray, that Eureka Street staff, whose goodwill and business I do not doubt, can find that "time for introspection" necessary for anyone engaged in public activity.
John | 28 June 2018


Whether ‘lefty’ or ‘reformist’ is irrelevant. The question is whether Eureka Street speaks to the public at large on any topic that it wishes to publish with a voice that can be attributed to an element of Scripture or Church Teaching. The form and function of what it is to be Jesuit is not independent of the Church any more than a brain can function outside a body. Tim Hutton’s article on the employment injustice meted out to teachers is a case in point. Where in all that fact and commentary is the simple citation he could have made of the black and white text in Scripture that labourers are worthy of their hire?
Roy Chen Yee | 29 June 2018


I find your writing very well balanced and not partisan one way or the other, Fr Andrew. It generally espouses a consistent Catholic position thankfully free of the created, alienating language of theology. However, I don't think the same can be said of all contributors to Eureka Street. In any event, the distinction between left and right seems to have become very blurred in modern society with an admixture of the two probably being the best representation of modern society at large. I think dissent arises when the extremes surviving at the edges of the past raise their ugly heads. I do think the balance in ES tips towards the left rather than the right which is unfortunate when there is good to be found in both. After all, Jesus of Nazareth, your beloved patron, was a very complex mixture of both if we are to accept the scriptures.
john frawley | 29 June 2018


You have often reminded me of Chesterton's marvellous creation, Father Brown, Andy. There is a deep wisdom within the Catholic Church - a living wisdom witnessed to by thousands of exemplars - which is not so easily discovered in many institutions in our society. Jesus preached and brought restorative wholeness to marginalised people in a broken world. The mission of Christianity has not changed much in the last 2000 years. I do not see all contributors to Eureka Street coming from the same place as you. Their intellectual and spiritual wellsprings are often quite different. Sometimes that leads them to conclusions which I suspect would be vastly different to those you would make. The expression of these conclusions in articles in this magazine may well shake some extremely intelligent Catholics who have actually thought through their faith and feel that the generally accepted Church teaching on certain matters is both correct and highly defensible. I can understand this. The problem that I would see arising is an attempt by the editors to censor criticism of certain articles which take a 'progressive' line. In my opinion this is just as bad as the magazine not publishing articles from a variety of viewpoints.
Edward Fido | 29 June 2018


I was quite touched by Andrew's observation that all of us need to be open to modifying our own views and be wary of launching into discussions with our own preloaded polemics and set views. A challenge for publications like ‘Eureka Street’ that have articles associated with online discussions, is how to promote honest engagement in dialogues. 'The Drum' [ABC] discussions have ceased and the Editor of National Catholic Reporter writes: “We see comments as part of our mission of enabling conversations in the Catholic community” … [the problem] “screen out the nasty things people will say to one another. There is no validation system that will keep out the trolls and people with ill-intent who are determined to get it. Whose voices are listened to and embraced in Catholic media? How do clergy and lay people work together to promote a culture infused by our deepest Christian traditions? How do we promote honesty, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, compassion and humility in Catholic media? [I am adapting some of RC Tony Fitzgerald’s wording here]. Many of our Australian Catholic diocesan publications have ceased Letters to the Editor and I believe privilege more conservative religious perspectives, within clerical, editorial oversight guidelines. Jesuit publications in Australia and overseas have not followed these trends but Andrew's reflective piece highlights some issues. Thank-you.
PeterD | 30 June 2018


I am unsure if any surveys have been done of who exactly constitute Eureka Street's readership. Funds may well have prohibited that. Certainly ES would not have similar funding to successful, purely commercial magazines. That would effect who you can attract to your small paid staff and what you pay your contributors. Some of these contributors are obviously not Catholic or may have views which differ radically from accepted Church teaching. That, in itself, is not a major problem, but, if that leads to certain points of view being expressed, it can certainly shake some intelligent thinking Catholics. Some past articles, such as Catharine Marshall's one celebrating the legal advent of Same Sex Marriage, left no doubt as to what she thought of those who disagreed with her, who, if I recall correctly, were dismissed with the pejorative term 'homophobic', which, like other such terms bandied around today, is becoming a sort of Orwellian Newspeak. To me this sort of polemic seems to be attempting to preclude the expression of any differing opinion. My comment on aforesaid article, which I thought was not extreme, was not published. As they say in the Law, I rest my case.
Edward Fido | 01 July 2018


"A coherence in aspiration, I should add, but not too often in performance." Those of us with incoherence both in aspiration and performance have some little difficulty! When I read that others are struggling just as much as me it may be comforting in a way but we readers and contributors do need that coherence in aspiration. One point: I would hope that Catholic theology has a number of different slants (for want of a better word). God is unfathomable. Just think how revolutionary at the time was Michelangelo's painting of a certain Chapel.
Pam | 02 July 2018


I would tend to take Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel as a piece of art, Pam. It may be awe inspiring in execution, but religiously it does not ring any of my bells. It is also not an official theological statement but a personal impression of the Creation of the World. No Catholic would be arraigned for heresy for thinking it rubbish, although you might question their taste. Theology is a wee bit different to Art. It is not about impressions but Ultimate Truth. What many people today, Catholic and other, are desperately seeking for is for some sort of light on their path. The Church's prime purpose is to show that way in the footsteps of Christ. Authentic Catholic Theology is a bit like a valid road map. If you get off the road you could be in trouble, such as being bogged down. Many people these days are bogged down and lost. The Catholic Church actually teaches very matters as being essential to belief. It relies on the authority passed on to it by Christ to do so. There is a difference between essential belief and matters that are debatable, such as the introduction of married clergy in the Latin Rite. Some non-Jesuit, often non-Catholic, contributors to Eureka Street take a 'slant' which is way outside what the Church teaches as essential belief. That would be my contention and that of many others.
Edward Fido | 03 July 2018


Pam, doctrinally, the Genesis 1:26 account which inspired Michelangelo's creation depiction to which you allude is reinforced in Psalm 8, which celebrates the unique dignity of us human beings as being made in the image and likeness of our Maker. So I'm wondering where the "revolutionary" aspect you perceive in it lies? In artistic execution, I agree with Edward Fido that its merit is debatable (though,personally, I admire it, and counterbalance it with Picasso's Guernica).
John | 03 July 2018


Pam, you're right. The Church does need to have many different theological slants or methods, and the good news is that it does. All theology is an exploration of the deep mystery of our relationship with God. One method would never have cut it. Maybe one of the great things Eureka St does is to give us a chance to hear a variety of voices and work out for ourselves whether they're in harmony with the Catholic voices - and if not, why not. In either case, listen.
Joan Seymour | 03 July 2018


Thanks, Andrew for the clarity of your justification as Catholic, priest, Jesuit and author. I believe that you situate yourself squarely in the spirit of Gaudium et Spes as someone within the same world about which you write, not someone commentating from a perfect world outside the real world we live in. Thanks!
Gerard Rummery | 05 July 2018


Thank you Fr Andrew for your discerning article. I'm not sure but isn't the Pentecost about speaking in tongues (in part anyway)? Whenever I undertaken projects in the past I've been able to offer key messages (interpretations) in a range of different "languages" ... Church, State, Profession-specific, everyday etc all from the same source. My God is a God of infinite love and wisdom and I have been able to bring awareness and change into places and spaces that would not normally have that particular voice heard e.g. VicHealth & pastoral care. I am about to go on a wondrous pilgrimage of Mary Magdalene's journey in France with/alongside an atheist. I have introduced the beautiful Rosary to a Uniting Church Minister. I have presented to volunteers in an Aged Care facility on aspects of pastoral care without banging on to them about God all the time. I totally agree with Joan Seymour ... listen first and let people discern for themselves where the voices they are encountering might be coming from. I have a deep faith in God (of love and wisdom and deep mystery) and wish to respect my fellow men and women in their faith and no faith. Such a timely article for me Fr Andrew .. so an abundant blessing of gratitude to you for this one. Bless you and all who are courageous in offering their gifts to others in a Spirit of generosity, hospitality and openness. Go well and go gently ...
Mary Tehan | 05 July 2018


An extremely good article Fr. Andrew. A perspective that is truly ‘catholic’. There is not one phrase that you have written that I would disagree or take issue with.
John Whitehead | 05 July 2018


Joan and Mary, I'm all for "listening", but on matters of faith and morals I place higher store on the Church's formal teaching than other voices, based as the Church's voice is on the authority of Jesus who himself said of his disciples: "They know my voice and and I know them and they follow me." (Jn 10: 27). There is, of course, a further matter of the application of the Church's teaching to the specific situation, which requires wisdom and discernment.
John | 05 July 2018


Eureka Street offers principled correction to a mindset that put profit and power first and people last. I'm always glad to hear its voice. Thanks to Andrew Hamilton.
Andrew Lynch | 05 July 2018


Andrew, I don't think there is any need for the little mea culpas in your article. I congratulate you on the sustained excellence of your articles over the years. What an extraordinary range of issues you have engaged with - day after day after day - and done so with a bewildering breadth of knowledge and awareness. Your corpus is, I think, one of the finest to be found anywhere. You have discouraged the superficial and encouraged the open and the honest and the well informed. I would not have liked to get to the end of my days without having had the chance to pay you the tribute you deserve. Ad multos annos.
Joseph Castley | 05 July 2018


It’s never occurred to me that Eureka Street might be seen as ‘not a Catholic’ publication. It’s precisely the kind of Catholic publication we need in this country, and in the Church generally. Keep up the good work.
John O’Leary | 05 July 2018


You held me up for half an hour in your last parragraf . I'm so slow. In the end of course I got it; you are so right.
Mahdi | 05 July 2018


Pam, Edward and John, you may enjoy another interpretation of Michelangelo's painting in the Sistine Chapel. Our Archbishop elect Most Rev. Peter Comensoli has used this painting as his subject for a Pentecostal Spiritual Letter to the faithful in Broken Bay. It's called "Growing Young in Christ" (May 20, 2018). The link is here. https://www.dbb.org.au/bishop/dsp-default.cfm?loadref=733
Trish Martin | 05 July 2018


Hi Andrew, As a committed, yet questioning Catholic approaching 70 years on this planet, a retired secondary teacher , an still active Acolyte of 40 years service, and the holder of a Masters in Theology, I find the articles in E.S to be informative, challenging and very important to a world and society where the individual's rights are now being placed above the needs of society. You are rightly reformist in your approach and do not need to apologise to any one. Those who disagree can always hit the unsubscribe button! Please keep up the good work Andrew.
Gavin O'Brien | 05 July 2018


To accuse the writers in Eureka Street to be "lefty" just because one does not agree with their opinions expressed as not being "Catholic" or "Jesuit" is rather spurious. Let us carefully examine the Encyclicals of the late 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries. The author of the highly controversial HUMANAE VITAE, assisted by a Jesuit, is the same author of a radical "lefty" document like POPULORUM PROGRESSIO. Eureka Street provides individuals with an avenue for public debate that is not available in the mainstream media.
Nicholas Agocs | 05 July 2018


Thank you Andy - reform is certainly needed in us all. I also applaud Eureka St. for providing a platform for a discussion of values, issues and controversies in a measured and gracious context.
Libby Rogerson | 05 July 2018


Thank you Andrew for your very clear explanation for the reason for the existence of Eureka Street. While I don't read everything, I really appreciate yours as I find them challenging and offering a different perspective from that found in other forums. Congratulations on your continuing great work.
Carole McDonald | 05 July 2018


Thank the Lord for Andy Hamilton , I say ! Articles always allow the ‘hit pause ‘ button for considered reflection.
Mary Storey | 05 July 2018


Stick to your guns, Andy! Its perfectly fine for a Catholic priest, and especially a Jesuit, to be a person of the Left. Heaven alone knows just how important it is to balance the books in a discourse that has gone the other way for far too long and which it has to be the job of the Jesuits to return to the sensible Centre. And never, ever apologise for what you have written. It keeps many of us sane in what is undoubtedly otherwise an extremely bleak and desertified landscape of Australian Catholic publishing.
Michael Furtado | 05 July 2018


Fr Andrew,when I read the heading of your article, my immediate thought was what is the difference between the terms “left wing” and “reformist”? I therefore consulted the Oxford Living Dictionary and saw that it defines “left wing” as meaning “the liberal, socialist or radical section of a political party or system.” And when I consulted the Oxford Thesaurus I saw that it equates “left wing” with progressive, liberal, reforming, social-democrat, politically correct” In general, most people would not equate reformism with being left wing or socialist. Reforms tend to introduce change for the betterment of society, but left wing activists tend to work for change that is more permanent so that everybody has enough to be able to enjoy healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. There is a lot of evidence to show that Christian philosophy is quite left wing and advocates such changes as well.Many of the early Christians lived a socialist or communal lifestyle. However, not all Christians agree on this. ALP members, for example, often describe their party as a “reformist”. It also has a socialist plank, but the ALP does not introduce socialist policies – and all too often these days, it goes along with some of the worst right wing policies of the US Military Industrial Complex. Churches and church organisations are frequently divided politically. I once worked in a Jesuit school and most members of the community, but not all, were very conservative. However, I have met Jesuit priests working in developing countries who are decidedly left wing because they see human exploitation and suffering on a daily basis. An Italian Jesuit I met founded the National Sugar Workers Federation of the Philippines and he had no doubt that he was called to make meaningful change for people who faced great exploitation and oppression. My experience of reading Eureka Street is that its content tends to be progressive and reformist and that it encourages courteous and lively public debate on very important issues in a very positive way. Editors in the main stream press tend not to publish progressive views in their letters columns However, I do think that this makes it somewhat “lefty” as well as the Oxford Thesaurus indicates. Those who do not agree with some of the progressive views expressed certainly make their opinions known!
Andrew (Andy) Alcock | 05 July 2018


Thanks, Andrew for your succinct and clear expression of how and why the secular and the sacred can, and must, intersect. When I read your words it dawned on me why ES is so important: it helps us on a daily basis to continue on the path of metanoia. Articles, poetry and cartoons spark our spirits to strive for truth, beauty, goodness and justice as the Gospel challenges us.
john murphy | 05 July 2018


I agree with Michael Furtado. Keep writing in your own style and giving us much food for thought!!!
Lynne Zahra | 05 July 2018


“a magazine that has little Catholic content and regularly publishes articles that might be more at home in The Guardian than in the scriptures?.... a public magazine written in a publicly accessible language for a public audience on issues of interest to a wider public.” Given that the comments to the articles often come from self-identified Catholics, it might be better to describe ES as a journal of wider public issues addressed to Catholics, and leave it to the self-identified Catholics to debate whether the way in which an article is written makes it a ray of illumination for the sensus fidelium --- or its Trojan horse.
Roy Chen Yee | 06 July 2018


I was about to say, no explanation necessary. But the article is clear and needed it seems. In the 1960s we read Bouyer on pluralistic societies and christian humanism.. Apparently some objecters have not has the opportunity to take in these ideas and ideals. The fortress catholic church is long dead, and its successor in grave jeopardy. Better to be in and of the world.
jp | 06 July 2018


Your thoughts on the role of ES, and the task facing its contributers, are clearly articulated and most welcome Andy. ES plays an important role in demonstrating that Catholics can (and should) be talking about all elements of human concern and our relationships towards one another. In this way, ES demonstrates that the focus of faith is not confined to one's own relationship to God, but touches on every sphere of our endeavours, especially the ways in which individually and communally we attend (or fail to attend) to those made vulnerable in life. ES properly lifts the gaze of Catholics beyond the sandstone walls of Church into the public square, creating a place for Catholics and Callithumpians to meet, converse, listen and contemplate together how we might enable a more just and compassionate community.
Therese Mary | 06 July 2018


John, the gospel of John does not say that "the sheep KNOW my voice"; it says "they listen to my voice". We all listen, but none of us can be sure that we hear it right. None of us. Only in matters determined as "ex cathedra" does the Church proclaim itself without error. But in all other matters, we must search out the truth, consult our consciences, and of course the teachings of the Church, and of theologians, which may vary - and then decide how to act. There is no clear and unmistakable "voice" of God, as you imply. That "voice" will only be heard unambiguously in the next life. In this one, in difficult situations, we must grope, individually and corporately, for the right way to live. Hence the need for tolerance of all (or most) opinions.
Pat Mahony | 06 July 2018


Well said Andrew!
Jim Coghlan | 06 July 2018


Fr Andrew's essay warrants universal endorsement, defines Eureka Street as it always reads - the most civil of public conversations while always reflecting scripture and Church teachings, Catholic percipience, human rights and social justice, and without nailing a flag to its masthead. It's apolitical but forthright, addressed to the secular, to all off 'us'. It's a pity that Fr Andrew found it necessary to defend the paper but then he does so with his characteristic stylish readability, a separate bonus for Eureka Street's readers.. John's concerns are misplaced. It is not a 'Church' magazine, but one explicated for example by the connection Roy Chen Yee can make linking a Eureka Street article on wages with Scriptures' concern's for the just hiring of labourers. Eureka Street, exactly as it is, is indispensable - fair and honest. You can't have shades of honesty.
Brian Davies - | 06 July 2018


I too am strongly in favour of the "good society... as cooperative, communal, and equitable". I am also in favour of a world that has sufficient wealth to produce such a situation, and the evidence is over-whelming that that needs reasonably free economic markets in the context of oversight regulation from a "Western"-type social democratic government and the rule of Law to achieve. I find ES enjoyable and frequently stimulating to read, but also unduly prone to the "progressive" bias endemic in much of modern "educated" Australia. This is essentially neo-Marxist in origins, and hating of the very Judeo-Christian values and institutions necessary for the "good society" you envisage, Father.
Eugene | 06 July 2018


JP, so long as Andy has the 'Trojan Horse' insinuation of Roy Chen Yee to contend with, I'd say that he very definitely requires to deal with an omnipresent Fortress Catholicism. Keep sprinkling everything you choose to publish, Andy, with a liberal dose of richly-deserved and vitally necessary left-wing chili!
Michael Furtado | 07 July 2018


Pat Mahony, I'm not clear on what your point of issue is - you yourself recognize that Catholics believe Christ's voice can be known in the exercise of the Church's ex cathedra magisterium on faith and morals. Perhaps I should have been more explicit in using this term instead of "formal"?
John | 09 July 2018


Brian Davies, insofar as Eureka Street is published by the Jesuits and presents theological content and purports to base itself on Catholic Social Teaching from a left-wing perspective, I'd think Eureka Street readers - particularly those who are Catholics - are entitled to regard it as affiliated with the Church and expect that it be substantively representative of Catholic belief and teaching, its self-described politically leftist bias notwithstanding. Perhaps a clarification of what ES understands by Catholic Social Teaching, and also "left-wing", especially when the latter term is utilized theologically, would be helpful.
John | 10 July 2018


Interesting how many of the comments on this article seem to debate whether its author, the Catholic Church, the Jesuits and/or Eureka Street are 'left' or 'right'. My own opinion is that these terms are inappropriate. Jesus, who the Church looks to as its official founder, was, I believe, neither 'left' nor 'right' but came to take the spiritually moribund official religion of his day back to its God given roots. He was not a political animal nor did he encourage a physical revolt against the brutal Roman occupation. I think the current Church needs to be taken back to its roots. The current Pope, a Jesuit, is actually striving to do that. I think what he is trying to remove is centuries of engrained clericalism without ditching the essential message. I myself see the Australian Catholic Church as coming out of a dreadful era of clericalism. I think many Catholics seeking reform need to make sure they know the difference between the baby and the bathwater and to exercise extreme care as to which they want to throw out. John Henry Newman's poem, which became a great Anglican hymn, 'Lead kindly light', may be appropriate reading in these circumstances.
Edward Fido | 10 July 2018


John, the reason we have an interest in journals like ES, and other media for christian specialists speaking to the general public, as well as for committed Christians, is that so many so-called Christians act so appallingly in the name of their religion. Only 19 matters have been determined as "inerrant" - and some of them are merely iterations of folk religion, things which cannot be known by humans this side of the grave. For the rest, we rely, not on a universally known "voice of God", but on the inner voice we may take to be God - but which is also known as conscience.
Pat Mahony | 11 July 2018


Pat, regarding the authoritative status of Church teaching and the Church's expectation of the faithful's disposition towards it, I refer you to Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, "Lumen Gentium", III, 25. The foundation of conscience is more explicit and assured than an "inner voice we may take to be God" - and, I might add, the variety of opinions we encounter in magazines such as ES!
John | 12 July 2018


Pat I think you raise an important question that of the role of a person's intelligence and conscience in formulating moral judgements and acting in accord with these. My late Professor of History, Greg Dening, a former Jesuit, resigned his priesthood because he could not in conscience preach against the use of birth control, which was banned by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humane Vitae. I have always understood that birth control was not a matter of core doctrine but of regulation. We need to beware of blindly quoting what we incorrectly assume to be Church doctrine, but attempt to gain some sort of theological understanding, facilitated by God's Grace, before speaking on contentious issues. I think Greg did. A thinking Catholic is not, by any means, a heretic. One of the things I feel about the Jesuit writers in Eureka Street, like Andy, is that they raise contentious issues to make all of us, including those of all beliefs and none, think seriously on vital issues.
Edward Fido | 12 July 2018


Roy, are you suggesting God only concerns herself with issues related to your narrow view of Catholicism?
AURELIUS | 13 July 2018


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