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  • RELIGION

    St Francis Xavier, disability, and examining our limits

    • Justin Glyn
    • 02 December 2020
    10 Comments

    3 December has a couple of interesting resonances for this blind Jesuit. It is the feast day of St Francis Xavier — Jesuit missionary extraordinaire. It is also the International Day of Persons with a Disability. It seems to me that the two anniversaries have more than a little in common — both in what they tell us about the limits and the promise of human life in the image of God.

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  • CARTOON

    On the rocks

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 01 December 2020

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Parallels between the military and the church

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 December 2020
    31 Comments

    The Australian community and its government are struggling to come to terms with the extremely serious allegations against members of the SAS for their alleged criminal misconduct during the war in Afghanistan. At the same time, we Catholics are experiencing a bad case of déjà as there are many echoes of how we felt when the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (RC) began in 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    The seamless garment of life

    • Ross Jones
    • 01 December 2020
    6 Comments

    Approaching the walled and caged building where the sentence was carried out, our young fellows have always been struck by something of a paradox proclaimed in two signs at the door: ‘Bureau of Corrections’ alongside ‘Lethal Injection Chamber’. They were quick to seize upon it. ‘How can you correct and rehabilitate a person after you have killed him?’ they would ask.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The lives of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees are still at risk

    • Peter Coghlan
    • 26 November 2020
    10 Comments

    The continued persecution of Tamils has led to many fleeing Sri Lanka over the past ten years, with some landing on Australia’s shores — they have literally fled for their lives. The Australian government’s response to the inhumane treatment of refugees returned to Sri Lanka has been to praise the Sri Lankan government’s efforts to thwart any asylum seeker attempt to leave Sri Lanka.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Are we respecting our elders?

    • Cristy Clark
    • 26 November 2020
    5 Comments

    This past weekend, I visited my grandparents in their residential aged care home. As usual, it was both lovely and utterly heartbreaking. Lovely, because I feel so lucky to be able to spend time with them, that they are still alive, their home is accepting visitors, and they still remember who I am. But, also, heartbreaking, because aging is tough, and living in residential aged care is tougher still, and this year, well, this year has made it all so much harder.

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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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  • RELIGION

    Halima Aden and shaping one's own hijab journey

    • Najma Sambul
    • 26 November 2020
    8 Comments

    Aden was a first and a trailblazer for a group of people who before her were long ignored in the mainstream fashion industry. She has many regrets and admits she made mistakes, but for a fresh-faced teenager who was given this huge responsibility, she says, she did good. I say different, she did bloody brilliant.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The shadow of responsibility: Australian war crimes allegations in Afghanistan

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 November 2020
    21 Comments

    The discussion in Australia as to how such atrocities are to be approached is telling. The call for responsibility has varied by degrees. Most tend to some variant of the rotten apple theory: a few particularly fruits that may be isolated and extruded from the barrel. Culpability can thereby be confined, preserving the integrity of other military personnel and, importantly, political decision makers.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tis the times' plague

    • Brian Matthews
    • 24 November 2020
    5 Comments

    In measures now sadly familiar in 2020, theatres were closed once the number of weekly deaths exceeded 30, later 40, but because actors and the theatre world itself were so economically vulnerable, actors, understandably intent on earning a living, soon legally or otherwise cut themselves some slack by taking liberties with the rules governing performances and quarantine — again, a phenomenon that is now, against all previous odds, familiar to people of 2020.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Or else an eagle

    • John Allison
    • 24 November 2020
    4 Comments

    You are transfixed, steering your car but so captive to the bird’s powerful flight that you could readily follow it as it breaks away and lifts above the forest into the setting sun. Sometimes you do not want it to end. The eagle soars into the light. Away and up into the sky. And here is the corner, down towards the dirt road leading home. You are there.

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  • CARTOON

    The unhelping hand

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 24 November 2020

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