Keywords: Seal

  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel stories of the security state

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 December 2015
    19 Comments

    The pastel coloured domesticity of the images of Jesus' birth does not do justice to its context. Herod's sending out first his spies to find where the Messiah was to be born, and then his soldiers to eradicate the threat the child posed to national security, may not appear on Christmas cards, but they frame the story of Jesus' birth. The disjunction between the tenderness of the Christmas stories and the brutality of their public context is mirrored in the conflict between the humane values of the Gospel and the harsh instrumental values of the public world in any age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Aboriginal Australians' year of action

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 16 December 2015
    5 Comments

    At the end of 2014, the scene for Indigenous politics in 2015 was set. While it is rare to see a year where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people don't take to the streets to challenge government policies, Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett's announcement in November 2014 of the proposed closure of remote communities led to a large scale movement. It was one of several events that mobilised Indigenous communities during 2015. Next year is shaping up to be just as action packed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The flight into Egypt

    • Grant Fraser, Anne Ramsay and Rory Harris
    • 15 December 2015
    1 Comment

    Behind them that beast of prey, that Herod, was still glaring doom from his trees of thorn, eyes bulging like a fox. And so, by night, Joseph squired their secret way, prayed the morning kind, prayed empty the brigand-haunted roads. Each day they made another cold remove, with the infant swaddled close, and their way marked by quiet nurseries of straw. Joseph kept close his thoughts, measured each horizon, always with the rumour of dark hoofbeats thrumming in his mind.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Working mum contemplates balance amid chaos

    • Jen Vuk
    • 27 November 2015
    1 Comment

    The tweet I sent that afternoon pretty much summed things up: 'Running late for work-life balance seminar. Why? Life, of course.' The irony was not lost on me. While officially I work part-time, I also freelance as a writer, volunteer regularly at my kids' primary school, have increasingly frail elderly parents who I feel terribly responsible for, and try to keep fit and maintain some semblance of a social life. On the day of the seminar on work-life balance, I'd managed to fill my schedule to breaking point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Winter chill has a purpose

    • Megan Graham
    • 03 June 2015
    2 Comments

    I can't hate the season entirely. Perhaps winter gives the sun the due reverence it’s owed - a chance for its power to be known intimately through its absence. Over a book, warmed by the words on the page and the cup of tea in your hand, you can muse about what it all means to be alive. Sometimes a little hibernation is what it takes to heal.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Raul Castro's diplomatic love match with Pope Francis

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 13 May 2015
    2 Comments

    They spoke in Spanish and there was genuine Latin American warmness between them during Sunday's historic 55 minute meeting at the Vatican. They will meet again when Francis visits Cuba in September. Castro promised Francis that he would be attending every one of his masses, reminding him that he is a Jesuit alumnus: 'I'm as Jesuit as the Pope'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 24 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pope's Romero move could heal Latin American divisions

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 10 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Forces inside the Vatican stalled and blocked it for 20 years. But earlier this month, Pope Francis issued the declaration that Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered 'in hatred of the faith' and not for political reasons. He is no longer officially suspected of being a Marxist sympathiser. In fact liberation theology itself has been undergoing a quiet rehabilitation during Francis' pontificate.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Nation building by force in Ukraine and the Middle East

    • Justin Glyn
    • 28 October 2014
    2 Comments

    Syria and Ukraine are just the latest in the roll of civil wars where ossified Cold War rivalries exacerbate conflicts and prevent the forging of a just peace which is in all parties’ interests. Current insurgencies grew out of disenfranchisement. But the relevant powers have declined to involve United Nations to act as independent broker, knowing that each party has the support of a permanent member of the Security Council, whose veto will hamstring any proposed action by the others.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The legal fiction that sealed Baby Ferouz's fate

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 21 October 2014
    8 Comments

    Successive Australian Governments have created fictions that aim to exclude asylum seekers. The latest example is the case of Baby Ferouz, whose protection visa application was refused in the Federal Circuit Court last week. Normally, a child born in Australia is considered to have the same visa as their parents. But Ferouz’s parents had no visa, so lawyers in Brisbane arranged for her to apply for a protection visa.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David Walsh's Catholic guilt

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 26 September 2014
    6 Comments

    A Bone of Fact is one part love letter and two parts plea bargain. That’s how Walsh can take a stab at Catholicism one minute and the next admit that in the 'thrall' of Michelangelo’s Pieta he loses all faculties. And for someone who’s gleamed much from betting, gambling gets short shrift.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Finding a just oil and gas settlement between Australia and Timor-Leste

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 September 2014
    1 Comment

    There is nothing to be gained for Australia and Timor as neighbours airing dirty laundry in exalted international fora.  It is time for both countries to agree to put the unresolved boundary issue to bed, seeking an agreement or determination by conciliation of the differences between them concerning the Timor Sea.  The situation is similar to neighbours agreeing not to settle the boundary of their back fence.  That is all very fine unless and until there is a problem. 

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