keywords: The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    • Frank Brennan
    • 23 March 2015
    17 Comments

    Through the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

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  • MEDIA

    Death of a disability dynamo

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 December 2014
    6 Comments

    Death loses its abstraction when a person like Stella Young dies. It becomes material. It makes itself manifest in the silence, which it somehow solidifies: the unwritten word, the unspoken retort, the unmade joke. 'Disability doesn't make you exceptional,' she told a TED audience in Sydney last April. 'But questioning what you think you know about it does.' Stella flipped what we thought we knew about many things.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ritual procrastination as part of the grieving process

    • Jim Pilmer
    • 05 December 2014
    10 Comments

    Personal grief, complicated by group dynamics, is a volatile mixture. Phillip Hughes' death reminds us that personal stories highlight the huge variety of needs and perceptions surrounding a death in the workplace. When do we tidy the desk of the colleague who won't be back? There is a time, but maybe it's not yet. 

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