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Delma's big wide sigh of pain

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

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.

Why Bishop Morris was sacked

23 June 2014 | Frank Brennan

Illustration of Benedict and Bishop Morris'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.

Vatican perspective on Australia's refugee brutality

05 June 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Francis greets refugees at LampedusaVery 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.

Unheard stories of the sex abuse crisis

01 June 2014 | Frank Brennan

Unheard Story cover imageIn 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.

Who cares if Abbott and Hockey are Catholic?

28 May 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Tony Abbott greets Archbishop Mark ColeridgeTalk about politicians' faith is a trivial indulgence that diverts attention from more important questions. To conclude that a politician is influenced by their faith or is unfaithful to it may give satisfaction to the person who makes the judgment, but it does nothing for those affected by unfair policies. Nor is this kind of judgment one that Christians may make if they wish to be consistent.

The Jesuits' patient, demanding banker

26 May 2014 | Michael Kelly

Julian SlatteryWhen I first proposed what was to become Jesuit Communications, the organisation that now publishes Eureka Street, Julian Slatterie was the first to respond. 'Now Michael,' he said. 'This proposal rests on five assumptions and three presuppositions and if any of them is voided, the project is likely to fail.' He answered that hesitation with 25 years membership of the board. Julian died suddenly of a heart attack last Tuesday.

The role of the faith based organisation

26 May 2014 | Frank Brennan

'Some of us would question Benedict's assertion that the Church "must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot ... replace the State." But we would all agree that the Church "cannot and must not remain on the sidelines".' Frank Brennan's presentation at the Jesuit Social Services Symposium on 'The role of faith based community organisations in contributing to a civil society'.

Lessons from Christian camp's gay discrimination

30 April 2014 | Andrew McGowan

Phillip Island Adventure ResortIn April the Victorian Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that a youth camp run by the Christian Brethren had discriminated illegally against same-sex attracted persons by refusing a booking from a community health service for an event for young gay and lesbian people. This is not an isolated case. It is sobering that churches often seem to need the courts to give them lessons, if not about sex, then about hospitality and fairness.

The peacemaker pope

23 April 2014 | Bruce Duncan

Pacem in Terris book coverQuite striking is the similarity between the warm response to Pope John XXIII half a century ago and to Pope Francis today. Both broke through the gilded cage of outdated conventions and stereotyped expectations. Both stepped over barriers of ideology or religion to evoke bonds of a common humanity committed to promoting the wellbeing of all people, especially the poor and marginalised. The contexts were of course quite different.

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