keywords: Pope Benedict Xvi

  • 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

    Judging and fudging Pope Francis

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 September 2013
    18 Comments

    Ever since Pope Francis stepped onto a balcony at St Peter's Basilica, his words have been abbreviated, deconstructed and turned into memes. The attention paid to last week's interview with the Pope, conducted on behalf of by major Jesuit journals worldwide, suggests that the Roman pontiff is still held relevant, even by those who regard religious institutions as anachronistic.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis the smiling revolutionary

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 17 May 2013
    17 Comments

    It is difficult to get into the mind of a person who might have been pope eight years earlier. Would the intervening years have been filled with 'what ifs'? Would he have watched Benedict and wondered how he might have led differently? Whether they knew it or not the cardinals initiated a quiet revolution in electing this man. 

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  • RELIGION

    The difference one pope can make

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 21 March 2013
    7 Comments

    There are 57 cardinals over 72 years of age. If Francis is in office for eight years or more he'll have a direct hand in replacing each of them. Just as John Paul II shaped the college of cardinals for the election of Benedict, so Francis is likely to shape the college for the election of his successor. This is a long term impact.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A wild new pope

    • Barry Gittins, Brian Doyle and B. A. Breen
    • 12 March 2013
    8 Comments

    Man, yeah, I would be pope, if the phone rang, late at night, collect from the Vatican. Yes, I would, if I could do it right. I'd call a meeting of the Curia and say boys, we are letting women run everything for the next five years. Each of you gets a new boss in high heels.

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  • RELIGION

    The fable of Benedict's red shoes

    • Philip Harvey
    • 06 March 2013
    14 Comments

    It's hard to trace the rumour that Benedict's shoes were designed by Prada. Perhaps it was just a mischievous allusion to The Devil Wears Prada. Benedict is a wily fox, which is why we can be sure his red shoes were there to invite symbolic interpretations. Only thing is, red shoes have a life of their own.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Radical Benedict

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 February 2013
    34 Comments

    Benedict's resignation makes him look like a radical in the tradition of Christian radicalism. He wrote that after examining his conscience, he concluded that he should resign because he was no longer adequate to exercise the Petrine ministry. This logic has implications for other conventions and rules such as priestly celibacy. 

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  • RELIGION

    Resignation of a teacher-Pope

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 February 2013
    25 Comments

    When Joseph Ratzinger was elected many Catholics were surprised, some alarmed. They identified him with the stern disciplinary actions and doctrinal intransigence of the Congregation for the Defence of the Faith, and assumed he'd bring the same narrow focus to his leadership of the Church. The reality has been different. 

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's equivocal view of social justice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 May 2012
    27 Comments

    In his reflections on society and aspects of human life, Pope Benedict privileges charity. If any planning or struggle for a just society is to be effective it will depend on people's good will and generosity in the implementation. The Pope also says 'yes' to social justice. But his 'yes' is normally a 'yes, but ...'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's advice for Gillard and Abbott

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 January 2012
    16 Comments

    Last week Pope Benedict said silence and words are ‘two aspects of communication which need to be kept in balance’. This insight could help political strategists charged with explaining why political leaders are failing to connect with voters.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope's theory on clergy sex abuse

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 June 2011
    33 Comments

    Benedict uses large theoretical constructs to reflect on the condition of Western societies and the Church. This can simplify complex realities and provide a focus for reflection and conversation. But the weaknesses of this approach are revealed when he blames bad moral theory for sexual abuse by the clergy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope-hate in broken Britain

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 September 2010
    12 Comments

    Social commentator Frank Furedi wrote that the Pope's UK visit provided Britain's cultural elite with 'a figure that it is okay to hate'. We might regard the angst as a manifestation of the growing pains that are to be expected in a world of emerging pluralism.

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