Author: Andrew Hamilton

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's G20 hospital pass to Abbott

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 November 2014
    18 Comments

    The news that Pope Francis has written a letter to Tony Abbott makes one pause. It is usual for Popes to write such letters, and luckily this one is no shirtfront. Instead it will probably be treated as a hospital pass. The trouble with swerving away from hospital passes, though, is that the watchers may see you as cowardly.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Slain El Salvador Jesuits paid price for their advocacy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2014
    13 Comments

    Before the killing of five Jesuits and two of their employees in San Salvador exactly 25 years ago, the Jesuits had been advised to hide from the death squads. They decided it would be safe to stay at the University because it was surrounded by the army. But it was an elite army squadron that had been entrusted to kill them. The Salvadorean defence minister later described the decision to kill the Jesuits as the most stupid thing the Government had done. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    There's more to identity than flag-waving

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 November 2014
    8 Comments

    In anxious times, people often think about identity in a way that is limited and excluding. But our identity is actually layered, and may include regional, religious, philosophical, professional, sports, social, racial, sexual, and more. If we isolate ourselves in homogeneous and non-interactive groups, any larger national identity we have will be brittle.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Weighing ANU's coal play

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2014
    11 Comments

    When the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them. 

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  • RELIGION

    Pope warns punishment is not a way to peace

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 October 2014
    6 Comments

    Pope Francis warns perceptively that the urge to create peace by punishment leads to the search for more targets. The best way to peace and security is not to wage war on people but to be curious about them – what leads them to criminal acts, and how we can intervene to help them make good connections with society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cash for refugees shames both Australia and Cambodia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2014
    24 Comments

    Cambodia's agreement with Australia to receive refugees from Nauru is moving to implementation. The UN and other critics are saying it breaches Australia’s responsibility to provide protection for refugees. Clearly the Australian Government is doing it for the political benefit and Cambodia is in it for the money. It can be compared to surrogacy agreements in which poor Asian women are paid to bear children for wealthy Australian couples. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Synod affirms Francis' vision of church governance

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 21 October 2014
    15 Comments

    The Synod was reported in some media as a defeat for Pope Francis at the hands of conservative bishops. Yet for one who had suffered a defeat, the Pope seemed remarkably buoyant at the end of the event. It's likely that he saw it as a victory for his vision of church governance, as it allowed participants to engage in open discussion in which nothing was put off bounds.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fix poverty by getting to know a poor person

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 October 2014
    19 Comments

    Ultimately people will be prepared to accept responsibility for those who are poor only if they know them as persons and not as media fodder. If we do not have some personal acquaintance with the lives of people who are disadvantaged we shall come to see them as an abstraction or a problem to be solved.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A pope of blurred boundaries

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 October 2014
    41 Comments

    Pope Francis is a leader out of his time. In Western society the times are sombre and fearful, and governance emphasises control, security and strong leadership. There is a desire for clear boundaries marking who is in and who is out. The Synod on the Family will  show how far Pope Francis' open and inclusive style can be reflected in the Church's instruments of control.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What IS has to do with evil

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 October 2014
    27 Comments

    IS - the Islamic State - is getting a bad press. Deservedly so, for its brutality and totalitarian instincts. In the headlines, references to 'evil' and 'pure evil' have been dominant. This characterisation is unhelpful for a number of reasons. We must be careful not to empty the word 'evil' of any meaning.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Anti-Islam is the new Anti-Catholicism

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 September 2014
    40 Comments

    The justified insistence that Muslims should not constantly be called to account for the vicious behaviour of Islamic State is a reminder of the attitude towards Catholics in an earlier generation. They combined suspicion of anything Irish in the aftermath of the 1915 Uprising and more traditional judgments of Catholics on the basis of their beliefs and practices.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Liberty and equality's forgotten sibling

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 September 2014
    12 Comments

    The way to a better society does not lie simply in defending either liberty or equality, still less in the victory of one of these values over the other. It lies in bringing together a passion both for liberty and for equality and holding them together.

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