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Keywords: Clear Thinking

  • RELIGION

    After the Plenary

    • Geraldine Doogue
    • 27 July 2022
    6 Comments

    What did the Plenary mean exactly, and what is next for the church? Secretary to the Council, Fr David Ranson, offers a rich and bracingly realistic set of observations about the Plenary Council. As secretary, Fr David was deeply absorbed in the lead-up, in the events of the week itself and now in assessing what comes next. He might surprise you with his judgements. They're delivered by a man with an acute sense of Church procedures but also with an eye to possibilities. 

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  • RELIGION

    War, truth and Christianity

    • Peter Vardy
    • 21 July 2022
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis recognised that Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine was ‘perhaps somehow provoked’ and said he was warned before the war that Nato was ‘barking at the gates of Russia’. In an interview with the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica the Pope condemned the ‘ferocity and cruelty of the Russian troops’ but warned against a fairy tale perception of the conflict as good versus evil.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When the moaning stops: How porn is damaging young people

    • Melinda Tankard Reist
    • 20 July 2022
    1 Comment

    Exposure to pornography has been linked to an increase in in sexually aggressive behaviour and adolescent dating violence. This mass, industrial-level grooming of our young is causing lasting damage to their social and sexual development and leading to even more women and girls being viewed as less human.   

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The book corner: The Matter of Everything and the Premonitions Bureau

    • Juliette Hughes 
    • 28 June 2022
    1 Comment

    How do we know that what we call knowledge is knowledge? How do we know that we know? The two books I have been reading here are both about kinds of knowing. Suzie Sheehy is a particle physicist from my old stamping ground, Melbourne University. Sheehy’s story is of passionate hunters for nothing less than the meaning of everything. 

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  • RELIGION

    Stray thoughts: On pronouns

    • Michele Frankeni
    • 14 June 2022
    1 Comment

    On social media, business cards and the bottom of emails nowadays you will often find a bracket with people’s preferred pronouns (he/him or she/her or they/them). Without fanfare, gender neutrality has slipped into our 21st century speech and our unconscious, and it is only when we are confronted with the gender specific language that we realise how we’ve changed. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Uluru Statement, the Constitution and the Election

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 May 2022
    3 Comments

    Whoever is Prime Minister after the election on May 21, he will need to address the question of Indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution. This is the sixth election in a row when the question has been a live, unresolved issue during the election campaign. The patience of Indigenous leaders is understandably wearing thin. Trust is waning. There is still no clear path ahead. So where to from here?  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Power but no glory

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 31 March 2022

    People who understand more about international affairs than I do tell me that the Ukrainian/Russian matter is complex, but to me the matter seems simple enough, involving the obsessions of a powerful man, and the suffering of an innocent population. As usual, it is the women and the children who are bearing the brunt of the conflict, while President Putin remains supremely indifferent to their fate. And, as so often, I wonder what makes him tick.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Religious discrimination and equality before the law

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 February 2022
    35 Comments

    In recent days, if you were to listen to the media reports, you could be forgiven for thinking that religious educators want to retain a right to exclude children or teachers from their schools on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Or nothing should be further from the truth. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Insights from Cardinal Newman on Religious Discrimination and Religious Freedom

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 February 2022
    1 Comment

    In recent days, if you were to listen to the media reports, you could be forgiven for thinking that religious educators want to retain a right to exclude children or teachers from their schools on the basis of their gender or sexual orientation.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Or nothing should be further from the truth. 

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  • RELIGION

    Open government for the Church

    • John Warhurst
    • 10 February 2022
    21 Comments

    The Church in Australia has taken a step towards greater transparency with the release by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) of its first ever Annual Report-this one for the 2020 year. This step is welcome, but there is more to be done. Synodality and co-responsibility presumes that those who are walking together have equal access to information upon which to discern the future of the Church at all levels. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Philosophy as a tin opener

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 February 2022
    8 Comments

    My ambivalence about philosophy came from my placing a high value on reason and its desire to test its own limits, but simultaneously being inherently suspicious of reasons. They are the stuff out of which the tin-soldiers of isms are created and so often used to patrol the fence that separates acceptable from unacceptable thought. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Conflict over the conflict

    • Kenneth S Stern
    • 08 February 2022
    12 Comments

    The university campus is really the ideal place to tackle thorny issues. It is a safe place to examine all ideas, even — or perhaps especially — those that people find offensive or disturbing. The sad fact, though, is that there is a push these days to send the opposite message to students — that they should be shielded from intellectual discomfort. 

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