Keywords: Compassion

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious discrimination laws coming to the boil

    • Frank Brennan
    • 17 November 2021
    32 Comments

    It’s four years since the Australian Parliament amended the Marriage Act 1961 to provide that marriage means ‘the union of two people to the exclusion of all others’. The legislation followed the plebiscite on same sex marriage. To address the concerns of some religious groups, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set up an expert panel chaired by long time Liberal Party minister Philip Ruddock to report on whether Australian law adequately protected the human right to freedom of religion. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    26 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Disciplining delinquent words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 October 2021
    2 Comments

    Sins have often been divided into those of thought, word and deed, with deed regarded as the worst. Today we pay more attention to sinful words, realising the harm that they can do. Bad words can bring social exclusion. Yet complex questions surrounding the use of words remain. 

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  • RELIGION

    The careful choreography of plenary

    • Francis Sullivan
    • 25 October 2021
    15 Comments

    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

    Handing on a tradition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2021
    26 Comments

    One of the challenges facing churches today has to do with tradition. Tradition is a sometimes charged word, but it refers to an everyday social need. It has to do with how a community passes on its way of life and its understanding of authoritative writings that shape it. The word itself can refer both to what is passed on and to the process of passing it on. The challenge of passing on a tradition is perennial. Both ways of living and writings reflect the culture of their own time and so need to be translated into the changing languages of later cultures.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    If life is not sacred...

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 October 2021
    35 Comments

    Some weeks ago I wrote about the taking of human life and of the loss of its sacred connotations.  I argued that the decisive consideration governing recent legislation in such issues as abortion and assisted dying has been the appeal to individual choice, supported by compassion for people who suffer from their denial. Whether we welcome this trend or regret it, as I do, we all have an interest in asking what effect it will have on society. In this article I would like to explore this question in a way that opens rather than closes conversation.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    What’s next for Afghanistan?

    • Hava Rezaie, Hayat Akbari, Zaki Haidari
    • 28 September 2021
    5 Comments

    It has now been over a month since the Taliban seized Kabul. As attention inevitably shifts elsewhere, the painful question arises: What's next? Is this another 'back to the future' moment? The signs are grim. Over the last two weeks, the Taliban have issued a number of edicts which demonstrate that their attitudes to women have not changed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Three ways Queensland’s assisted dying bill goes too far

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 September 2021
    22 Comments

    The Queensland parliament, like the Victorian parliament four years ago, is committed to legislating for voluntary assisted dying. The bill being considered by the one-chamber Queensland parliament this week basically follows the contours of the Victorian legislation. But there are three major developments proposed that are very worrying in this new field of social experimentation.

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  • RELIGION

    Valuing human life

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 September 2021
    23 Comments

    In recent weeks the value of human life has become a topic of public conversation in different contexts. Proposed legislation on abortion and assisted dying has continued to focus attention on it. Debate about loosening COVID restrictions has also balanced the risk of death from the disease with risks to health and economic welfare from lockdowns. In Afghanistan the victory of the Taliban has again raised questions about the morality of the war and the killing involved by both sides.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Our moral duty towards Afghan refugees

    • Vincent Long Van Nguyen
    • 30 August 2021
    9 Comments

    I was one of the boat people who escaped from South Vietnam. The escape happened after South Vietnam had fallen to the Vietnamese communist forces in 1975, and my world descended into total chaos with an international embargo, wars against China and Cambodia, forced collectivisation and the insidious spread of what were termed “re-education camps” - but were really communist gulags. My siblings and I grew up in a world of poverty, isolation, oppression and constant fear of what might happen to us or our loved ones.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What is a just outcome for the Biloela family?

    • Paul Cutler
    • 24 August 2021
    21 Comments

    I believe in the rule of law and I appreciate that the proper application of the law does not always produce a fair or popular result. I also believe that Australia's refugee policy is too harsh and deeply flawed. However, that policy is bipartisan and appears to be inexplicably popular. The same 'fortress Australia' mentality is evident in our efforts to contain Covid-19.

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  • RELIGION

    Cry of the Earth

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 August 2021
    11 Comments

    Last week the annual Catholic Social Justice Statement was launched. Entitled Cry of the Earth, Cry of the Poor, its theme is care for the environment. In the same week the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report warned of the need for immediate and radical effort to minimise emissions and of the likely effects of their existing growth.

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