Keywords: St Augustine

  • RELIGION

    The Plenary Council: Consulting the faithful

    • Bill Uren
    • 30 August 2021
    26 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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  • RELIGION

    The Eucharist is a schooling for sinners, not a reward for the just

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 July 2021
    38 Comments

    Looking from outside at the debates among American Catholics about whether President Biden should be refused communion has been a little like watching the crowd in a Rangers v Celtic game in Glasgow. Much that was said and done fervently in the name of faith showed little familiarity with it. To understand the issue we must enter the Catholic imaginative world in which the Eucharist is central.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Giving up the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor dichotomy

    • Barry Gittins
    • 29 June 2021
    27 Comments

    We are all beholden to our story of origin and the systemic realities we are born into. Regardless, now and historically, politicians, preachers and pundits sporadically look to reintroduce the discredited dichotomy between the ‘deserving poor and the undeserving poor’. The embodiment of that second label, historically, has been the Jobseeker (Newstart) recipient.

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  • FAITH DOING JUSTICE

    Appeal to merit is hollow without an understanding of gift

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 April 2021
    19 Comments

    The debate about quotas based on gender has been well canvassed. The wider issues raised about merit and meritocracy, however, merit further reflection. Far in the background to both conversations lies a sophisticated body of reflection on merit among Christian theologians. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Wikileaks, Assange and freedom of speech

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 January 2021
    10 Comments

    A serious discussion of freedom of speech must move beyond it as an individual right to see speech as communication. It will then consider all the relationships, personal and public, involved in communication. It presupposes that people share a common commitment to truth. Freedom of speech flows from that deeper human responsibility and freedom to seek truth.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The ecology of words

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 March 2020
    8 Comments

    To speak of the ecology of words can be illuminating because it evokes the wide range of relationships that words embody. It also invites us to ask broad questions about the healthy and unhealthy use of words in a society.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    St Augustine's parable of the deer

    • Ted Witham and Eric D. Nelson
    • 29 April 2019
    3 Comments

    'Another thing you should note about the deer,' Augustine gestures to the crowd. 'They cross a stream in single file. One deer lays its head on the back of its forerunner, and the leader changes place often. In these ways they carry one another's load and show us how to bear burdens of our sisters and brothers.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Law works within darkened understanding

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 November 2018
    5 Comments

    Debate about the independence and the dignity of the law has always been present. Nevertheless most societies take pains to reinforce trust in those who administer justice. Some elements in our culture, however, put that trust at risk. They deserve reflection.  

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  • RELIGION

    It is time to stop equivocating about domestic violence

    • Sean Lau
    • 01 August 2017
    17 Comments

    As the responses poured in to the ABC’s story on domestic violence in evangelical churches, I was reminded of the discomfort Saint Augustine showed, in The Confessions, towards his father beating his mother. But he still praised his mother for placating her husband to avoid beatings, and for criticising wives who were beaten. Augustine, then, while possibly opposing domestic violence, had no idea what to do about it, and endorsed behaviour that made it worse.

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  • RELIGION

    Larger fears fuel cardinals' divorce beef

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 November 2016
    30 Comments

    Four cardinals wrote to the Pope demanding yes or no answers as to whether his reflection Amoris Laetitia was faithful to Catholic tradition in its treatment of the reception by divorced Catholics of communion. On not receiving a reply they published their letter, and one followed it up with murmurs about impeachment. The incident prompts reflection on the propriety of cardinals questioning a pope in this way and the reasons why discussion of communion for the divorced should raise such passion.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Just War or just butchery in expanding Syria conflict

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 08 December 2015
    15 Comments

    The 'Just War' doctrine has made a reappearance, in the form of an endorsement from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. The occasion was the debate in the British House of Commons to expand the air conflict against ISIL into Syria, in what is already a horrendously crowded airspace. The endorsement was filled with doubts, however, and rightly so. For all the surmising that has taken place, it is very difficult to see how one might bring the various enemies to the prosperity of peace.

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  • Social activist will be sadly missed

    • John Falzon
    • 23 July 2015
    3 Comments

    Tony Thornton, former National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, was a great lover of humanity and fighter for social justice. The persistence of poverty and homelessness in prosperous Australia affected him deeply. He was never willing to accept a status quo that included the wholesale rejection of people who were made to feel the sharp edge of inequality.

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