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Keywords: Sir Francis Gerard Brennan

  • AUSTRALIA

    The justice of Sir Francis Gerard Brennan

    • Michael Kelly
    • 16 June 2022
    1 Comment

    The Court in Mabo, where Brennan J led majority, put an end to the notion of Terra Nullius, by which the British could claim that land in Australia was ripe for the picking because it belonged to no one, and opened the claims to land ownership to a much wider group including the traditional owners. The follow-up judgement in Wik took that understanding even further.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A pro-life crossroads in Australian politics

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 15 June 2022
    4 Comments

    One would assume that the Victorian Liberal Party has looked at the numbers, and believes that religious conservatives no longer make up a significant proportion of their constituency. Certainly, the moral authority of the Catholic Church and other Christian denominations has taken a battering in the state over the last decade, with many remaining openly hostile to religious perspectives. If the pro-life movement was ever a significant force in Australian politics, that’s no longer the case.

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  • MEDIA

    Why bother about trying to communicate?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 May 2022
    2 Comments

    It is unfortunate that World Communications Day is celebrated in the middle of an election campaign. We have seen the worst of partisan media coverage, of shouting as a preferred form of communication, of endless experts promising Armageddon if the result is not to their taste. And yet we have also seen the best of media informing us of the issues that concern people in different parts of Australia. Without such public communication, for all its defects and excesses, our society would be the poorer.

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  • RELIGION

    What is to be done?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 March 2022

    Any program of church reform will have soon to ask Chernyshevsky’s question, What is to be done? It is a dangerous question — he wrote his novel from jail and spent much of his life in exile or imprisonment. Discussion of Church matters is mercifully less perilous today, but the question does invite a radical repiecing of the connections and tradition and energies that constitute Catholic life.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When ‘Good Refugees’ are admitted

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 21 March 2022

    While Australia has developed into a multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan state based on immigration and humanitarian intakes, the country has never gotten away from the sense that some are simply more welcome than others. Be they migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers, preferential treatment abounds.

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  • RELIGION

    Facing the final innings

    • Joel Hodge
    • 17 March 2022

    While we have been (barely) coping with a pandemic and natural disasters, the death of a larger-than-life figure like Shane Warne — an ordinary-bloke-cum-sporting-legend, an ever-present companion to Australian audiences, and seemly untouchable — has really brought home the fragility of life. It has drastically reminded us of our mortality: that we don’t live forever.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Russian view on Ukraine: An international law perspective

    • Justin Glyn
    • 07 March 2022
    9 Comments

    Ukraine, a site of conflict over many centuries, is once again the scene of battle. First thoughts must be with the civilian population and Pope Francis’ call for prayer is probably the most practical course for most of us far from the action. Unfortunately, while it is clear that there have been casualties, both military and civilian, on both sides, the fog of war makes it very difficult to say more. 

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  • RELIGION

    When Pope Francis comes of age

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 16 December 2021
    4 Comments

    Pope Francis turns eighty-five this week. His pontificate has seen him emerge from obscurity in Argentine Church politics to become, late in life, a global cultural icon and one of the most popular popes in living memory. Over the past nine years he has invigorated the Church and, according to papal biographer Austen Ivereigh, has made the papacy ‘much more human, much more accessible, much less remote’.

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  • RELIGION

    The tangled strands of Christmas

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 December 2021
    1 Comment

    Christmas is always a mixture of nostalgia, weariness, connection and hope. This year the strands that compose it are even more tangled. We hope to return to the pre-Covid normal of celebration without anxiety. We look forward to the New Year as a gate to freedom to travel, work and plan our lives without hindrance. At the same time, however, our plans are conditional.  We realise that Covid has not left us, and that its mutations may lead to more interruptions and restrictions.

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  • RELIGION

    Assessing the Plenary: A work in progress

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 15 November 2021
    38 Comments

    How do I assess our Plenary Council thus far? Or make sense of its related word-of-the-moment, synodality? With apologies to Churchill, dare I hope it is the ‘end of the beginning’? But of what precisely? A priest-friend distilled the challenge rather well last week to me: what would success look like?

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  • RELIGION

    Is it time to re-think seminaries?

    • Gideon Goosen
    • 23 September 2021
    48 Comments

    The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse identified clericalism as a significant contributor to abuse across religious institutions Australia-wide. Clericalism is rooted in a theological belief that the clergy are different to the laity, having undergone an ‘ontological change’ at ordination, and feeds the notion that the clergy may not be challenged. And according to the report, the culture of clericalism is on the rise in seminaries in Australia.

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  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Consulting the faithful

    • Bill Uren
    • 30 August 2021
    31 Comments

    One might submit that a Plenary Council is a cumbersome instrument to ascertain the genuinely representative views of the Catholic Church in Australia. Many of the canonical strictures regarding the membership, agenda and process of the Council will dampen the original enthusiasm for the Council that provoked over 17,500 submissions.

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