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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Embracing new arrivals helps Australia evolve

    • Vincent Long Van Nguyen
    • 24 June 2021
    15 Comments

    With the average length of detention in Australia now at an historic high, it is timely to review how immigration detention is used. It should be a last resort that is used for the shortest practicable time so that people who pose little risk to the community are not unnecessarily deprived of their liberty, and that they are able to contribute to the community.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The true quiet Australians

    • Brian Matthews
    • 03 June 2021
    6 Comments

    Red gum, this ‘smooth-barked large tree that gives watercourses all over Australia their Australian feel’, seemed intent on bobbing up in my life one way or another, sometimes as a result of sheer luck or coincidence.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate crisis, displacement and solidarity

    • Stephen Minas
    • 13 April 2021
    2 Comments

    On 30 March, the Holy See engaged with an important aspect of displacement with the publication of its ‘Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced People’. The intersection between climate change and human displacement is a still emerging area of concern. Nevertheless, we know that climate change is already a factor in various forms of human mobility.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An incarnation of chiaroscuro

    • Ian C Smith
    • 13 April 2021
    3 Comments

    I flip his collar, air chill, damp, my quick fists burrowing into jacket pockets. I long for an angel with Edie’s face, convent-innocent, unlike mine, who might understand, even share, my boyish dream of making the big time.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Mates, spies and silence

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 March 2021
    4 Comments

    The military police were waiting for us in Gallipoli and they were not happy. Approaching in darkness, when we rolled to a stop we were immediately surrounded by uniformed figures. A group of men playing cards outside a café watched this drama unfold and one shouted something which made them all laugh. The military police, however, did not laugh.

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council must address structural inertia and church decline

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 February 2021
    56 Comments

    Two documents from and about the church in Australia issued in December last year should be compulsory reading for all Plenary Council (PC) delegates. They offer crucial insights into the state of the church in Australia, and taken together they paint a picture of church inertia and decline.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Property has a social license, too

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2021
    16 Comments

    Discussion of housing usually focuses exclusively on its relationship to the economy. Housing is seen as property, and the most important questions are seen as having to do with buying and selling. This transactional aspect is important. It needs, however, to be seen in the light of the larger human good. From that perspective housing in all the various forms it takes in different cultures is not a possession but a human need.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Halki Summit highlights care for creation amid pandemic

    • Stephen Minas
    • 18 February 2021
    2 Comments

    The COVID-19 pandemic has provoked difficult questions about the links between the simultaneous health and ecological crises. These questions were examined in late January at the virtual Halki Summit, the latest in a long series of environment-focused events convened by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Crossing borders in a Kombi van

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 February 2021
    6 Comments

    The border-obsessed times we live in reminded me of some really tough borders I encountered in years past. It is October 1961, the place: rural Turkey. Where you would have expected to roll on down the deserted dusty road, there is a boom gate and four sentries. This can’t be a border, however.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The continuing crisis in immigration detention

    • Nicola Heath
    • 17 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Many refugees in Australia live in conditions that the rest of the population would find unacceptable. Most of the 192 refugees who were transferred to Australia under the Medevac legislation between February and December 2019 are currently held at hotels in Melbourne and Brisbane, known as ‘alternative places of detention’ (APOD), where they have had no access to the outdoors or fresh air for more than 12 months.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Reflecting on the inalienable humanity of martyrs

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 December 2020
    17 Comments

    This week is the fortieth anniversary of the death of Ita Ford and Maura Clarke in El Salvador. An event distant in place and time, but worth remembering and honouring in its distance. And also worth reflecting on for its significance for our own time.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Jesuit Refugee Service: '40 years of accompaniment'

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 November 2020
    7 Comments

    Stories of volunteers who went to help in foreign crises used to focus on the impact on the people helped. Today they explore how both parties are changed through the experience. That was also true in Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) whose 40th anniversary occurred last week.

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