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Keywords: Religion

  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council fails to embrace Pope Francis’s wider social vision

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 21 June 2022
    3 Comments

    Some 278 Catholic bishops, clergy, religious personnel and lay people will meet as members of an unprecedented Plenary Council during 3-9 July to finalise the resolutions of their first assembly last year. However the May working document ‘Framework for Motions’, despite much worthy content, especially on Indigenous affairs, relies on a narrow notion of mission overly focused on inner-church issues at the expense of the wider social engagement that Francis emphasises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    On remembering the forgotten

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 June 2022
    1 Comment

    In his initial speech as leader of the Liberal Party Peter Dutton committed himself to care for the forgotten voters, echoing a foundation document of the Liberal Party: Robert Menzies’ speech after an electoral defeat in 1942 refers to forgotten people to point the way forward for the new party. The phrase was central to a re-imagining of Australian society. 

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  • RELIGION

    Roe vs Wade: The Bishops’ dilemma

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 26 May 2022
    5 Comments

    News leaked earlier this month that the US Supreme Court plans to overturn its most famous decision, that in Roe vs Wade (1973) which protects a pregnant woman's freedom to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. The decision has attracted much criticism both in the past and now on account of its dubious legal reasoning – in particular, its attempt to link the right to abort to a right to privacy which itself was notional and not specified in the US Constitution.

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  • EDUCATION

    Teal candidates and the Catholic vote

    • Chris Middleton
    • 23 May 2022
    3 Comments

    Perhaps the most dramatic individual result of the Federal election was that Menzies’s seat, Kooyong, has fallen to a Teal independent, Dr Monique Ryan. Xavier College sits in the Kooyong electorate, and Dr Ryan is a parent at the College. Dr Ryan proved to be an impressive candidate who ran as a good a local campaign as I have ever seen. It was marked by a strong engagement by many locals, and especially among professional women, and older residents.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ties that bind: How negative campaigns eclipse community focus

    • Julian Butler
    • 12 May 2022
    2 Comments

    Election campaigns can be defined by all sorts of things. Gaffes, negative ads, international incidents, public policy. It is trite but no less true to say that this federal election campaign has been much more about the first three rather than the last. The policy discussion has been edged into the election mix most seriously by various interest groups and by some of the macro party and independent candidates seeking election.  

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  • RELIGION

    Elections and the Episcopal gaze

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 03 May 2022
    6 Comments

    We should not underestimate the difficulty that people who represent independent branches of the same organization face when drawing up an agreed statement on contentious issues. Even the widely applauded Uluru Statement from the Heart did not secure the support of all Indigenous groups. If the Bishops Statement was to be effective it had to be supported, or at least tolerated, by all members of the Conference, despite their differing views about political and church issues and the priority that should be given to them in advocacy. 

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  • RELIGION

    Distinctive Catholic voices in the election campaign

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 April 2022
    10 Comments

    The Church must speak up to be relevant, but those who seek to ‘speak for the church’ must be brave. They risk exposing themselves to claims of bias unless they stick to a very narrow agenda and speak in extremely measured terms. Yet if they are too bland they risk being irrelevant to the sharp end of political debate and their intervention becomes little more than a symbolic ritual.   

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  • RELIGION

    Losing certainty, keeping faith

    • Barry Gittins
    • 14 April 2022
    1 Comment

    As a kid, all I wanted was answers. As soon as I’d get one, I’d chase the next. Nowadays, I’m happy with holding onto questions. Rephrasing, examining, thinking. The answers I have don’t always add up, and my mania for meaning, for definitive proof, is abating. I am increasingly aware that all of us, regardless of creed, creditworthiness, consciousness or credentials, lack definitive answers to life’s mysteries. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Inconsistency in the treatment of foreign fighters

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 12 April 2022

    In a space of 40 years, Russia has been our enemy, then our friend and now is an enemy again. Russia is again attacking Ukraine. We are convinced the Ukrainian cause is just. But we also know that we face a domestic far-Right terrorism threat at home. What if young impressionable foreign fighters with little knowledge of Ukrainian history, politics and internal conflicts find themselves fighting with and influenced by anti-Semitic and Islamophobic neo-Nazi groups?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    For every silver lining there’s a cloud for refugees in Australia

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 05 April 2022

    Recently the Government announced a special visa program for Ukrainians fleeing the war in their home country. The desperate situation in the Ukraine has dominated news for the last month, and already many tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled their country seeking safety in nearby countries like Poland, Hungary and Rumania. Whilst Ukrainian migration to Australia is relatively small numerically, the response was quick and seemingly generous — a three-year visa with Medicare and work rights.

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  • RELIGION

    Facing the final innings

    • Joel Hodge
    • 17 March 2022

    While we have been (barely) coping with a pandemic and natural disasters, the death of a larger-than-life figure like Shane Warne — an ordinary-bloke-cum-sporting-legend, an ever-present companion to Australian audiences, and seemly untouchable — has really brought home the fragility of life. It has drastically reminded us of our mortality: that we don’t live forever.

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  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis in war and peace

    • Miles Pattenden
    • 15 March 2022
    9 Comments

    Even as he sustains the papacy’s now traditional opposition to all forms of war and its emphasis on the extreme suffering war brings, especially to the innocent, Pope Francis has, in recent weeks, taken a different, more partisan approach which he and others must feel is justified.

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