Search Results: Royal Commission

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  • RELIGION

    In defence of Cardinal Pell

    • Frank Brennan
    • 21 April 2014
    30 Comments

    I write to defend Cardinal Pell in the wake of Elizabeth Farrelly's claim in the Fairfax press that Pell, when appearing before Justice McClellan at the Royal Commission, proposed a 'priestly child abuse insurance scheme'. Pell is not one of my fans, and neither am I one of his. But I think Farrelly has unfairly kicked him when he is down, and muddied the waters about what is a critical issue for the victims of child sexual abuse.

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  • MEDIA

    Racial hatred laws 20 years on

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    5 Comments

    In 1994, a year before the Parliament enacted the present section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, I wrote in Eureka Street: 'At this time, in this part of the world, thought-police armed with criminal sanctions are not the answer' to racial discrimination. Senator Brandis has now circulated a proposal to amend the existing provisions. What he has produced is the racial hatred law you have when you don't want a racial hatred law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human Rights, the national interest and the will of the people

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    1 Comment

    'Whether or not we have a bill of rights, much of our human rights jurisprudence remains partial, failing to extend rights equally to all. Once we investigate much of the contemporary discussion about human rights, we find that often the intended recipients of rights do not include all human beings but only those with certain capacities or those who share sufficient common attributes with the decision makers. It is always at the edges that there is real work for human rights discourse to do.' Frank Brennan's Blackfriars Lecture

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is our morality at sea with the refugees?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2014
    8 Comments

    'We should abandon talk of taking Australia off the table. We should also abandon talk of taking the sugar off the table. The collateral damage of that is too great. The best we can do ethically and practically is to put the sugar out of reach while leaving it on the table for those who make it here with a visa or in direct flight from persecution.' Frank Brennan contributes to a Palm Sunday panel at St Michael's Uniting Church, Melbourne.

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  • RELIGION

    Church honours market over Gospel in abuse cases

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 April 2014
    51 Comments

    It seems most Sydney Church leaders did not see Ellis primarily as a vulnerable person to whom they should reach out in compassion, but as a threat to the financial wellbeing of the Church. Even though it was recognised that he had been abused by a Catholic priest, the callous treatment he received was inspired by the desire to avoid large payouts. These leaders effectively accepted that human worth can be measured by economic price.

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  • RELIGION

    Deeper dysfunction behind the Ellis case

    • Tim Wallace
    • 02 April 2014
    12 Comments

    In 2004, two years into the Sydney Archdiocese's botched handling of a sexual abuse complaint against Fr Aidan Duggan, the executive director of the Church's National Committee for Professional Standards did something extraordinary: he inquired into whether Duggan, prior to joining the Archdiocese in 1974, had form. It is the only evidence of a Church official actively attempting to check Duggan's past — an attempt destined to fail.

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  • RELIGION

    Commission hearings' trail of collateral devastation

    • Neil Ormerod
    • 02 April 2014
    21 Comments

    Damage was done to the reputations of Pell's secretary Dr Michael Casey, and to the solicitors from the his chosen legal team Coors, who would have heard clearly the warning of Justice McClellan that saying they were following their client's instructions would be no defence. There is the damage done to the Australian Church as a whole, and, of course, the damge to Pell himself. This is not how he wanted his reign in Sydney to end.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 March 2014
    82 Comments

    As an institution, the Catholic Church has been dragged kicking and screaming. Cardinal Pell has been put through the wringer, though admittedly nowhere near to the same extent as was John Ellis when the Church decided to unleash the legal attack dogs on him in litigation which was euphemistically described as vigorous and strenuous.

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  • RELIGION

    Church abuse crisis and the law

    • Carmel Ross
    • 13 March 2014
    23 Comments

    Reports from the Royal Commission this week have focused on the efforts of John Ellis to have his experience of sexual abuse as a teenage boy, perpetrated by a Catholic priest, acknowledged and adequately addressed by the Church. The finding by the High Court that Australian law as it stands does not allow an individual to sue the Catholic Church is an untenable situation if our nation believes justice for individuals is important.

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  • RELIGION

    Pastoral priests decry clerical culture that fostered abuse

    • Pat Power
    • 13 February 2014
    49 Comments

    Most priests believe the Royal Commission was very much needed to face up to a terrible episode in the Church's history. They also believe that sexual abuse took place in an environment of clericalism which was imposed by the highest authority in the Church, and which they felt powerless to confront. 'Father is always right' operated from the Pope down and any questioning of it was seen as disloyal or even heretical.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Silence won't answer the Woody Allen abuse allegation

    • ZoĆ« Krupka
    • 04 February 2014
    22 Comments

    On Saturday Dylan Farrow accused her adoptive father, the filmmaker and actor Woody Allen, of sexual assault for the second time. She first made these allegations when she was seven years old. There is a real ethical concern when allegations that have been denied in court continue to be raised publicly. We need to be able to forge a difficult balance between making space for ongoing doubt and fuelling public vilification.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: The unknown unknowns of the sexual abuse royal commission

    • Ray Cassin
    • 12 January 2014
    3 Comments

    It can't be denied that the chief impetus for the creation of this royal commission has been the appalling record of concealment of abuse in Catholic institutions. If that record did not exist, the royal commission would not exist. And Catholics — especially bishops and major superiors — cannot evade this fact by complaining.

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