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Keywords: Child Abuse Royal Commission

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Power but no glory

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 March 2022

    People who understand more about international affairs than I do tell me that the Ukrainian/Russian matter is complex, but to me the matter seems simple enough, involving the obsessions of a powerful man, and the suffering of an innocent population. As usual, it is the women and the children who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, while President Putin remains supremely indifferent to their fate. And, as so often, I wonder what makes him tick.

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  • RELIGION

    What is to be done?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 March 2022

    Any program of church reform will have soon to ask Chernyshevsky’s question, What is to be done? It is a dangerous question — he wrote his novel from jail and spent much of his life in exile or imprisonment. Discussion of Church matters is mercifully less perilous today, but the question does invite a radical repiecing of the connections and tradition and energies that constitute Catholic life.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Shane Warne’s limelight

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 07 March 2022
    4 Comments

    It was once said of T. E. Lawrence that he had a tendency to back into the limelight. With the late Shane Warne, arguably the finest slow bowler cricket has ever produced, it edged towards him. His debut appearance against India in the 1991-2 home series in Australia was not auspicious. Paunchy, exuding a vernacular Australian coarseness, and initially wayward, he received an object lesson from India’s Ravi Shastri and the youthful Sachin Tendulkar at the Sydney Cricket Ground. But there were already those incipient signs: the slovenly look, the ear piercings, the peroxide hair.

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  • RELIGION

    To change church culture, we need service-oriented leaders

    • Anne Benjamin
    • 24 February 2022
    15 Comments

    The call to synodality is a call to convert, reform and renew the church’s organisational culture. New cultures do not emerge automatically. It is not about turning upside down the present pyramid structure of the church with a clerical hierarchy at the top and the faithful on the bottom. The church is not a political democracy, but a ‘holy people’ whose mission is to make God and Jesus present and, in a sense, visible to our world.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Juvenile injustice

    • Julian Butler
    • 22 February 2022
    4 Comments

    Having previously spent time as lawyer working predominantly in the Children’s Court of Victoria, there isn’t too much about the State’s treatment of young people that shocks me. That is, until a few weeks ago when I was drawn to the final item of The Weekend Australian’s editorial column. Under the heading, ‘Hurt boy’s inhuman treatment’, was set out the details of a 15-year-old West Australian boy who had been ‘locked alone in a glass-walled observation cell of a juvenile detention centre in the southern suburbs of Perth for 79 days.’    

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The Australian love story

    • Barry Gittins
    • 15 February 2022
    7 Comments

    Did you make the annual obeisance to St Valentine’s Day traditions [read purchases] on the 14th? Last year, Australians were projected to spend $1.1 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts as St Valentine’s Day was lauded and backed by marketers, glamorising Romantic ardour and infatuation, glorious, all-consuming passion, and a thirst for intimacy and transcendence.

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  • RELIGION

    Open government for the Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 February 2022
    21 Comments

    The Church in Australia has taken a step towards greater transparency with the release by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) of its first ever Annual Report-this one for the 2020 year. This step is welcome, but there is more to be done. Synodality and co-responsibility presumes that those who are walking together have equal access to information upon which to discern the future of the Church at all levels. 

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  • RELIGION

    What now for senior clergy who covered up abuse?

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 27 January 2022
    23 Comments

    Many Catholics will have found the news from Germany this past week painful. A law firm, Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, has presented findings in its investigation into historic sexual abuse in the Munich archdiocese. Running to 1,000 pages, the report is shocking: it lists at least 497 victims for the period 1945–2019 and identifies 235 probable offenders including 173 priests and nine deacons.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The case for basic, public values

    • Greg Craven
    • 25 January 2022
    42 Comments

    One reasonably could ask whether this is the moment to write a book about the potential of Catholic Social Theory to contribute to Australian politics and policy. After all, the Church is still struggling to come to terms with decades of child abuse, hardly a recommendation for social potential. We currently also are attempting to make sense of a Plenary that is both confused and confusing.

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  • RELIGION

    Best of 2021: The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 04 January 2022

    The First Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council held few surprises. The program made sure of it. Proceedings were carefully choreographed and the agenda was deliberately anodyne. It took several days before participants found their feet. The upshot was a week devoid of strategic focus.

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  • RELIGION

    Church should prioritise wider community interests over its own

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 December 2021
    27 Comments

    Church and state are confronting one another right now over the federal freedom of religion bill and the Victorian anti-discrimination bill. Whenever such confrontation occurs it reveals our priorities. We define our identity by what we choose to fight for hardest.  

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    38 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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