keywords: Encyclical

  • RELIGION

    Sweet and sour in Pope's exhortation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2013
    24 Comments

    To my knowledge this is the first church document that refers to 'sourpusses'. It must be the first lengthy papal document for some time, too, that refers to the Magisterium only twice in passing. Nor does Pope Francis refer explicitly to clerical sexual abuse. Francis is not interested in radical institutional or doctrinal change but wants to help a dysfunctional church work better at compassionately communicating God's love.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's vision for a bruised and dirty Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 December 2013
    2 Comments

    How refreshing to have a pope write: 'It is not advisable for the pope to take the place of local bishops in the discernment of every issue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound 'decentralisation'.' Vatican monsignori in long flowing robes will be troubled to hear him say, 'mere administration can no longer be enough. Throughout the world, let us be permanently in a state of mission.'

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  • RELIGION

    Churches fight for economic justice

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 29 November 2013
    12 Comments

    In his recent address to the Yarra Institute about Christian social thinking, Fr Frank Brennan expressed the view that 'Christian churches are all but absent from the economic debate other than making the occasional, predictable utterance about ensuring that no one is left worse off as the result of new policy measures'. This seriously understates the public advocacy of the Australian churches and does a disservice to many people and organisations.

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  • RELIGION

    Christian social thinking for Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2013
    1 Comment

    'Many Catholics wonder how we can maintain our Christian faith at this time in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis and the many judgmental utterances about sexuality and reproduction. The Church that has spoken longest and loudest about sex in all its modalities seems to be one of the social institutions most needing to get its own house in order.' Frank Brennan's address to the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy, 8 November 2013. 

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate denial tide is turning

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 04 November 2013
    47 Comments

    With the publication of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Los Angeles Times made the bold decision to no longer publish letters from climate change denialists saying climate change is a matter of fact, not opinion. While this might seem like a small victory, the more substantial issue on the horizon is the global campaign for divestment in the fossil fuel industry. As it gains momentum and fossil fuel companies will be forced to reassess the value of their assets.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis and Australia’s social justice agenda

    • Frank Brennan
    • 24 October 2013

    'Here is a pope who is not just about creating wiggle room or watering down the teachings of the Church. No, he wants to admit honestly to the world that we hold in tension definitive teachings and pastoral yearnings — held together coherently only by mercy and forgiveness.' Frank Brennan's Wallis Lecture presented in Hobart on 24 October 2013 and Launceston on 25 October 2013.

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  • RELIGION

    Catholics' radical alternative

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 October 2013
    4 Comments

    'When confronted with moral evil in public policy, church personnel have a choice: to be prophetic sticking to the moral absolutes, or to be practical engaging in the compromises needed to temper the evil. At the moment, the only political parties not wanting to embrace a short term shock and awe approach are the Greens, the DLP and the Palmer United Party. And neither Christine Milne, John Madigan nor Clive Palmer will ever be prime minister.' Workshop paper from Catholic Social Services Victoria's Listening, Learning and Leading conference, October 2013.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of paternalism in Aboriginal policy

    • Callum Denness
    • 25 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Following the abuse received by Adam Goodes from a teenage spectator in the AFL's Indigenous round, and the subsequent remarks made by Eddie McGuire, the country became embroiled in a debate about racism in modern Australia. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory introduced its Mandatory Alcohol Treatment Bill which, if passed, will see more Aboriginal people incarcerated. We were too busy describing the modern face of racism to notice.

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  • RELIGION

    Why I still love the Catholic Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 July 2013
    6 Comments

    Sean Faircloth, a US director of one of the Dawkins Institutes committed to atheism, raised what has already become a hoary old chestnut, the failure of Francis when in Argentina during the Dirty Wars to adequately defend his fellow Jesuits who were detained and tortured by unscrupulous soldiers. Being a Jesuit, I thought I was peculiarly well situated to respond. I confess to having got a little carried away.

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  • RELIGION

    Continuity in a changing church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2013
    9 Comments

    In the tension between tradition and change, John Paul II is seen as an emblem of continuity, and Pope John XXIII as a symbol for radical change. In the decision to canonise both former popes, Francis has refocused continuity as a way of honouring different perspectives in the name of a greater common mission.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Solidarity on Europe's horizons

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 14 June 2013
    1 Comment

    At present all that seems to unite European citizens is the negative sentiment of 'Euroscepticism'. There's a gulf between citizens' opinions, and the policies pursued to solve Europe's most pressing problems. For committed Europeans the important discussions to be had now aren't just concerned with institutional design, but with 'the fundamental questions'. Enter the philosophers.

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  • RELIGION

    University as an agent of transformation

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2013
    1 Comment

    'Transformation and empowerment will come through the exercise of kindness and tenderness, accompanied by the practical abilities inculcated by a rounded Catholic education.' Frank Brennan's address at the Transformation and Empowerment Symposium marking 50 years of the Signadou campus of ACU, 22 March 2013.

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