Keywords: Irish Referendum

  • AUSTRALIA

    A Human Rights Day tribute to the Northern Territory's Tony Fitzgerald

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 December 2015

    I first met this Tony on my regular visits here to Darwin when he was working at the North Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service and then when he set up the mediation services under the auspices of Anglicare. In later years I knew him when he was your Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. He was a quiet, considered, gentle, strong and principled man. On Human Rights Day, it is only fitting that I honour Tony by offering some reflections on the architecture for human rights in Australia, on the contemporary human rights controversies, and on the way forward for better protection of the human rights of Aborigines and asylum seekers, two marginalised groups who had a special claim on Tony's sympathies.

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  • Meddling priest's witness to the primacy of conscience

    • Paul Bongiorno
    • 09 June 2015
    9 Comments

    'In discussing Australia's asylum seeker policies Frank laments the government's deaf ear to calls from the churches, his own included, for a greater measure of compassion and a better way of dealing with the issue of boat people. Frank wryly comments: 'If only the Abbott Government with its disproportionate number of Jesuit alumni cabinet ministers could listen.' Paul Bongiorno launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra, 8 June 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Same sex marriage a defeat for humanity?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 June 2015
    60 Comments

    The Vatican Secretary of State's post-Irish referendum comment refers to the Church's understanding of the privilege given by society to lasting heterosexual marriage reflecting the social good of the institution. But the heaviest defeats for humanity come from government policies that focus on the individual, ignore the needs of those raising children, and penalise the disadvantaged.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia lags as Shorten leads on same sex marriage

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 June 2015
    71 Comments

    Whatever one's position on the introduction of same sex marriage, it's clear that Australia now lags well behind the Western world, including many comparable countries such as the UK and New Zealand. This contrasts with 120 years ago around the time of Federation, when Australia was a leader on issues such as votes for women, other democratic reforms such as the secret ballot, and a living wage. Our country is now a laggard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Irish Church accepts its teaching jars with the faithful

    • Gerry O'Hanlon
    • 27 May 2015
    56 Comments

    Archbishop Martin voted no in the gay marriage referendum. But after the result, he says the Church needs ‘a reality check across the board’, and that means more than a new language. When Church teaching is invoked to bar women from office, to forbid contraception and condemn homosexual relations as intrinsically disordered in  a way that conflicts with the ‘sense of the faithful’ of so many of the baptised, then the Church, despite the many wise things it has to say, loses credibility.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 18 December 2013
    17 Comments

    After six years in Australia, I am returning home to Scotland to work for the next year's referendum, which will ask if Scotland should become an independent country. It is essentially a contest between the present insular, Little Englander nightmare and a place in the world as a sovereign state. That's worth leaving Australia for!

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's light on the hill

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 November 2013
    7 Comments

    'There have been innumerable post-mortems and words of advice as to how the party with new structures, election rules, and policies can pick itself up, dust off, and win the next election. Sadly some of those post-mortems have come with more coatings of spite and loathing. It is no part of my role in the public square as a Catholic priest to offer such advice.' Frank Brennan's address to the Bathurst Panthers Club, 2 November 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Myths and truths of Australian bigotry

    • Larry Schwartz
    • 23 January 2012
    12 Comments

    Too often I've opened my front door and found myself tempted by some sales pitch. So today I'd answered warily, spoke through the screen door and tried to keep the encounter brief. 'I'm sorry, but we're not interested.' The salesman knew better: 'It's because of the colour of my skin,' he replied.

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  • RELIGION

    Missing Christopher Hitchens

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 December 2011
    25 Comments

    We'll miss his intellectual rigour, self-deprecating humour, unpredictable political perspectives, unforgiving character evaluations, and iconoclastic appetite for scrutiny and transparency — even those of us appalled by his vicious and discriminatory anti-religious bigotry. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australian republicans' Ireland envy

    • Frank O'Shea
    • 08 December 2008
    16 Comments

    Most Irish would be content with the suggestion that the push for an Australian Republic was an Irish plot. When Ireland declared itself a republic 60 years ago, it did so without the awkwardness of a referendum or political grandstanding.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why is it so hard to say sorry?

    • Ursula Stephens
    • 13 June 2007
    16 Comments

    This year's anniversaries are reminders of the importance of "sorry" in the reconciliation process. Why is it so hard to admit that most human of qualities, fallibility? Regret, atonement and forgiveness lie very much at the core of spiritual values.

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