RELIGION


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Picking on Muslims is getting dull

22 Comments
11 September 2014 | Ruby Hamad

Weekend Australian front cover 'fight Islam 100 years'The readiness with which some westerners take the most violent and extreme groups as legitimate expressions of Islam betrays the racism that underpins perceptions of Muslims. Whether I like it or not, my religious background and my name tie me to these 'jihadists.' I feel the permanent weight of expectation to publicly apologise for their actions.


Not a good time to be Catholic

34 Comments
27 August 2014 | Kevin Donnelly

Girl lighting a candle Growing up in working class Broadmeadows in a Housing Commission estate with a communist father and a Catholic mother – mass on Sunday and the Eureka Youth Movement on Tuesday – taught me first hand about two of the most influential and powerful forces of the 20th century.


Learning from the homeless

9 Comments
06 August 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Homeless Persons Week PosterContrary to the message of this year's Federal Budget, there is much more to people than their ability to work. When we come to know the disadvantaged well we are often impressed as much by their resilience as by their great need and their fragility. Their worth is not defined by their economic contribution.


Theologians should face Peter Singer's challenge

27 Comments
31 July 2014 | Peter Vardy

Peter SingerAt the least, religious philosophers and theologians should further engage with the challenge to traditional ethics that Peter Singer's position provides. Singer puts forward a powerful case and it is one which, in the current climate where people seek happiness and quality of life above everything else, will find increasing support particularly with the difficulty of funding medical care for those who are old or disabled.


An adequate response to child sexual abuse

14 Comments
30 July 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

'Reckoning: the Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse' by Chris McGillion and Damian GraceWe might expect that research into the causes and history of sexual abuse will continue and increase. As part of its owning of the crimes that have flourished within it, the challenge for the Church is to take such research seriously, particularly when it touches on the part played by such aspects of Catholic life, culture and governance as clerical celibacy, attitudes to women and sexual morality, and clericalism.


Magnanimous memoir of a 'dead canary' bishop

41 Comments
23 July 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

'Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three' by Bill MorrisIn mines, where bad air could be lethal, miners used to bring canaries with them. If they fell ill and died, the miners had warning to get out. The recent book by Bishop Bill Morris, replete with documentary evidence, tells the story of a canary caught in the shafts of Vatican culture. His early expiry date pointed to something amiss in the governance of the church, heralding the larger disclosures in the Royal Commission on sexual abuse.


The preferential option for the poor

1 Comment
22 July 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Rohan provides a detailed and accurate analysis and history of the word games that have gone on between the Vatican and the Latin American bishops and theologians wrestling with the concept of the preferential option for the poor.' Frank Brennan launches The Preferential Option for the Poor: A Short History and a Reading Based on the Thought of Bernard Lonergan, by Rohan Michael Curnow. 


Rules won't restore the Church

20 Comments
22 July 2014 | Chris McGillion and Damian Grace

'Reckoning' by Chris McGillionIt is widely assumed that rules are the solution to transgressions such as those being investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Rules are useful. They can be framed to aid compliance and deter wrongdoing. It is no argument against them to say that people will still offend, but if rules are more legal requirements than the expression of genuine morality, they will have limited effectiveness.


Delma's big wide sigh of pain

9 Comments
08 July 2014 | Steve Sinn

Delma Joy YoungShe was walking up and down the middle of Roslyn Street, wailing. I put my arms over her shoulders: 'It's all-right Delma, its okay.' She turned and looked at me: 'Don't tell me it's all-right. It's not all-right'. It was for all the wrongs, all the anguish, the suffering, the pain, the separation from her family, land, culture, her children. I couldn't leave her. I called an ambulance. As she was carted out, she looked up from the stretcher: 'You betrayed me.'


Ramadan's challenge for all Australians

9 Comments
25 June 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Muslim men prayRamadan fasting is the symbol of a deeper commitment to focus on what matters. For Muslims it is a time to correct bad habits, mend relationships, read the Quran and pray, give alms to the poor, and meet people. It is serious business, but not a private business. The seriousness of this quest to recognise what matters and to live by it is a challenge to all Australians because it invites us to ask how we deal with these questions ourselves.


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