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31 July 2014 |
At 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.
30 July 2014 |
We 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.
23 July 2014 |
In 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.
22 July 2014 |
'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.
22 July 2014 |
Chris McGillion and Damian Grace
It 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.
08 July 2014 |
She 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.'
25 June 2014 |
Ramadan 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.
23 June 2014 |
'My one new insight from reading Bill's book is that he was sacked because he was too much a team player with his local church ... the Romans hoped to shatter the morale and direction of those who had planned the pastoral strategies of a country diocese stretched to the limits as a Eucharistic community soon to be deprived of priests in the Roman mould.' Frank Brennan launches Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three by Bishop William Morris.
05 June 2014 |
Very few Vatican documents on world events are exciting. But some can be helpful when local response to these events is febrile and anxious. The Vatican guidelines on ministry to forcibly displaced persons provide a helpful mirror to reflect the public Australian response to asylum seekers. It offers a long view of Catholic reflection on refugees and a broad perspective on the human reality of having to seek protection.
01 June 2014 |
In Unheard Story, Fr Padraig McCarthy rightly highlights shortcomings in legal-political-media processes like the Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation. The future wellbeing of children demands that the spotlight be shone on all equally. But there is no getting away from the fact that in Ireland and Australia, the reported instances of child sexual abuse has been greater in the Catholic Church than in other churches.
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