keywords: The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom

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  • Homily for the Feast of St Ignatius Loyola

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 August 2015
    1 Comment

    I am one of those Jesuits who sometimes has been perceived as not being sufficiently loyal to the church hierarchy. From time to time, people of good will have urged me to consider Ignatius' rules for thinking with the Church which are appended to his Spiritual Exercises. The stereotypical view of those rules is often summed up by quoting the first sentence of the 13th rule: 'To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What I see as white, I would believe to be black if the hierarchical Church would thus determine it.' But life was not ever that simple, even in the time of Ignatius. Feast of St Ignatius homily by Frank Brennan

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  • The challenge of education for social justice

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 July 2015
    3 Comments

    I suspect Pope Francis had some of our Jesuit alumni in mind when he wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si: 'A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth... True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty'.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 01 July 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    All deaths great and small

    • Brian Matthews
    • 26 June 2015
    1 Comment

    Many deaths of course are not small deaths. They evoke distinction, achievement, leadership, innovation, creativity or, in some cases notoriety, quixoticism or eccentricity. Yet placing some names above many, some in a class of their own, others in a ruck of the scarcely memorable, one indispensable criterion unites all the characters and places them beyond our imaginative, intellectual or descriptive reach: they are dead.

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 12 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • Meddling priest's witness to the primacy of conscience

    • Paul Bongiorno
    • 09 June 2015
    9 Comments

    'In discussing Australia's asylum seeker policies Frank laments the government's deaf ear to calls from the churches, his own included, for a greater measure of compassion and a better way of dealing with the issue of boat people. Frank wryly comments: 'If only the Abbott Government with its disproportionate number of Jesuit alumni cabinet ministers could listen.' Paul Bongiorno launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Canberra, 8 June 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The generosity of Joan Kirner

    • Moira Rayner
    • 05 June 2015
    15 Comments

    Joan's outstanding quality was her generosity, which gave her interactions great warmth. She remembered names, faces, and the back-stories of her constituents and supporters as well as her opponents. She stayed politically alert on the issues dearest to her heart, notably public and private respect for the unique perspectives of women and girls. I will miss our great, sometimes squabbling relationship.

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  • Romero answers the question of who a pastor should side with

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 June 2015
    4 Comments

    We recall that Oscar Romero was chosen by the Vatican to be the new archbishop of San Salvador in 1977 because he was regarded as a safe spiritual leader who was acceptable to the politically powerful in El Salvador.  It was thought that he would not challenge the status quo.  Such predictions came to nought given the events of 12 March 1977 when his friend, the Jesuit Fr Rutillio Grande SJ was killed with two of his companions.

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  • The spirit of Redfern's Ted Kennedy a decade on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 25 May 2015
    7 Comments

    There are many things different from Ted's day, but he would have spoken of them without fear or compromise. A pope from the South who asks 'Who am I to judge?'; a 62 per cent Irish people's vote in favour of expanding the definition of civil marriage;  the long awaited beatification of Oscar Romero whose identification with the poor did not win immediate Vatican approval; the call by civic leaders for an Australian cardinal to return home and answer questions posed by a royal commission; and the election of a black US president.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Grandmother is dying

    • Brian Doyle
    • 06 May 2015
    4 Comments

    There are two chairs flanking Grandmother’s bed and I am to sit in the chair by the window. That is the chair in which children sit and I am a child so. Grandmother is in the bed sleeping. I am keeping vigil. Mother says Grandmother is dying but she looks like she is sleeping to me.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Kids fight exploitation in one of the world's most dangerous cities

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 30 April 2015

    The boys possess the steel and resourcefulness that must come from living on the streets of one of the world's most dangerous cities, along with the fragility and artlessness that are hallmarks of youth. It is heartbreaking to witness the ease with which they are exploited or degraded, and inspiring to see the fervour and ingenuity with which they are able to fight back.

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  • The death penalty is always political

    • Frank Brennan
    • 31 March 2015
    10 Comments

    Some of the Australian commentary on the Indonesian justice system has been understandably very critical.  But living here in the USA for a year, I have come to realise that the death penalty infects every justice system no matter how good and robust it is.  In the end, the death penalty is always political.  That’s why I am very grateful to Pope John Paul II who changed his position.

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