Keywords: Encyclicals

  • RELIGION

    Encyclical's groundbreaking critique of technology

    • Paul Collins
    • 15 July 2015
    9 Comments

    While Francis has no time for technological solutions and 'fixes' for complex ecological problems, he is no techo-Luddite. What he does is link technological knowledge to power and says that those with this knowledge and the economic resources to use it, gain 'an impressive dominance over the whole of humanity and the entire world.'

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  • RELIGION

    'The Australian' gangs up on Pope Francis

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 10 July 2015
    37 Comments

    In a series of articles, The Australian newspaper has strongly criticised the new encyclical Laudato Si', with editor-at-large Paul Kelly charging that the Pope has 'delegitimised as immoral' pro-market economic forces. This is wrong. Pope Francis is not opposed to the free market in principle, but insists that it be well regulated to ensure social justice for all involved.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Understanding Pope Francis' hard line against population control

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 June 2015
    23 Comments

    In his recent encyclical, Pope Francis demands that, in addressing the needs of the environment, wealthy nations must reform an economic system that perpetuates poverty in the underdeveloped world. In seeking a conversion of heart on the part of those who are wealthy, he sees imposing artificial population control on the world's poor as a thoroughly unfair and unconverted attitude. The real problem is the greed of the rich, not the inability of the poor to control their fertility.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Pope Francis' new encyclical is so radical

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 June 2015
    10 Comments

    The interdependence of human beings on one another underlies the Catholic insistence that the dignity of all human beings must be respected, so that the test of any society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. Laudato Si extends that solidarity to the natural world.

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  • RELIGION

    Francis puts environment above short-term politics

    • Paul Collins
    • 19 June 2015
    24 Comments

    Laudatio si is an extraordinary document addressed to 'every living person on this planet'. Ecological issues are no longer an after thought but up there with social justice and equity in an incisive, practical, realistic and far-reaching encyclical that tackles the most important issues facing us honestly and with absolute integrity. It will upset a lot of apple carts in the Church and in the world.

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  • RELIGION

    Getting ready for Pope Francis' environmental Rerum Novarum

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 11 May 2015
    20 Comments

    Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI made passing reference to environmental issues. Benedict spoke of the need for protection of the environment, resources the climate in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate. But in terms of its significance, Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical has the potential to do for the environmental movement what Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891) did for the union movement – to provide it with a powerful source of moral and religious legitimacy in the face of those forces which have sought to limit their influence. 

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  • RELIGION

    The peacemaker pope

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 24 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Quite striking is the similarity between the warm response to Pope John XXIII half a century ago and to Pope Francis today. Both broke through the gilded cage of outdated conventions and stereotyped expectations. Both stepped over barriers of ideology or religion to evoke bonds of a common humanity committed to promoting the wellbeing of all people, especially the poor and marginalised. The contexts were of course quite different.

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  • RELIGION

    Trials of a recalcitrant priest

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 19 March 2014
    18 Comments

    Irish priest Fr Tony Flannery wrote that he did not believe 'the priesthood, as we currently have it in the church, originated with Jesus'; that some time after Jesus 'a select and privileged group who had abrogated power and authority to themselves' claimed that priesthood had been instituted at the Last Supper. He was duly silenced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. His supporters now hope that Pope Francis will reinstate him.

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  • RELIGION

    Winds of theological change at the Vatican

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 13 March 2014
    10 Comments

    No one can deny the impact Francis has had. The question remains whether the differences between him and his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI are a matter of style or substance. Francis has downplayed the prospects of major doctrinal changes, yet the rehabilitation of liberation theology and the bringing in from the cold of outspoken 'extreme centrist' theologian Cardinal Walter Kasper do reveal a fundamental shift.

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  • RELIGION

    Churches fight for economic justice

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 29 November 2013
    12 Comments

    In his recent address to the Yarra Institute about Christian social thinking, Fr Frank Brennan expressed the view that 'Christian churches are all but absent from the economic debate other than making the occasional, predictable utterance about ensuring that no one is left worse off as the result of new policy measures'. This seriously understates the public advocacy of the Australian churches and does a disservice to many people and organisations.

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  • RELIGION

    Continuity in a changing church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2013
    9 Comments

    In the tension between tradition and change, John Paul II is seen as an emblem of continuity, and Pope John XXIII as a symbol for radical change. In the decision to canonise both former popes, Francis has refocused continuity as a way of honouring different perspectives in the name of a greater common mission.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Solidarity on Europe's horizons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 14 June 2013
    1 Comment

    At present all that seems to unite European citizens is the negative sentiment of 'Euroscepticism'. There's a gulf between citizens' opinions, and the policies pursued to solve Europe's most pressing problems. For committed Europeans the important discussions to be had now aren't just concerned with institutional design, but with 'the fundamental questions'. Enter the philosophers.

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