A society that forgives wins
Almost all public conversation quickly turns to transgressors. At the Olympic Games competitors growled about proven and suspect drug users. Many people believed that all Russian athletes should have been excluded from the games. They wanted people found to have used drugs named, shamed and shunned.
This insistence that transgressors should definitively lose their good name and the right to participate is not confined to sport. It is found also in controversy about penal policy, and particularly in the populist cry to lock criminals up and throw away the key.The three strikes' policy, Read more ...
Women Deacons & Subsidiarity in a Fragmenting Church
Nearly three weeks after the Vatican’s announcement of the commission on women deacons, we still do not know much about its agenda or schedule. Nor do we know what it might result in: a report, a study, a recommendation to the pope? Will it be made public? But even if the commission does result in a female diaconate, does it necessarily mean there will be women deacons throughout the Catholic Church?
This is one of the interesting questions arising from my reading of America’s editorial in favor of a female diaconate. Read more ...
A solution to our refugee crisis
Illustration: Jim Pavlidis
There are two powerful arguments about the plight of the refugees dying a slow death in the offshore processing centres Australia has established and which it maintains on Nauru and Manus Island.
The supporters of the present policy argue that we cannot bring these refugees to Australia because to do so would act as a signal to people smugglers, allowing their trade to begin again.
Those who hold this view point to the experience following the Rudd government's abandonment of the policies of offshore processing and naval turn-backs. Read more ...
US Lutherans recognise agreement with the Church
The largest Lutheran denomination in the US has approved a declaration recognising “there are no longer church-dividing issues” on many points with the Church, reports the Religion News Service. The Declaration on the Way was approved 931-9 by the 2016 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly held last week in New Orleans.
ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton called the declaration “historic” in a statement released by the denomination following the vote on August 10.
“Though we have not yet arrived, we have claimed that we are, in fact, on the way to unity. Read more ...
Time to defuse Nauru and Manus Island time bombs
Frank Brennan. On the weekend, I joined Robert Manne, Tim Costello and John Menadue in calling for an end to the limbo imposed on proven refugees on Nauru and Manus Island. I think this can be done while keeping the boats stopped. I think it ought be done. Appearing on the ABC 7.30 program last Thursday after The Guardian's release of 2000 incident reports from Nauru, Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, told presenter Leigh Sales, 'I would like to get people off Nauru tomorrow but I have got to do it in such a way that we don't restart boats.' Read more ...
Sisters open LCWR 2016 assembly
On Tuesday night — from a stage lined with LED candles and backlit with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious’ signature green and blue — LCWR president Sister of St. Joseph Marcia Allen officially kicked off the conference’s 2016 annual assembly in Atlanta.
LCWR leadership planned for contemplative dialogue to be the focus of this year’s assembly, and the opening night was no exception. Read more ...
Forgiveness is 'direct route' to Heaven
Pope Francis has visited Assisi, central Italy, to mark the 800th anniversary of the Franciscan feast of the Pardon of Assisi. Francis marked the feast with a pilgrimage to the Porziuncula chapel in Assisi’s Basilica of Mary of the Angels, where the feast originated. After praying silently in the chapel, Francis moved into the main basilica to offer a reflection on Matthew 18.21-35. In this Gospel passage, Christ tells Peter to forgive his brother “not seven times, but seventy times seven”, Read more ...
The changing face of the law across generations. Frank Brennan. In July 1863, 153 years ago, the David McIver, a migrant ship, arrived in Hervey Bay carrying 404 immigrants, there having been only one death at sea Read more.
Francis mandates changes for contemplative women religious. Joshua McElwee. Pope Francis has issued a new wide-ranging set of guidelines for how the tens of thousands of Catholic women religious living in contemplative communities around the world should regulate their lifestyles, Read more.
Pope's new step in dialogue with Al-Azhar. Less than two months after one of Sunni Islam’s highest authorities came to the Vatican following several years of icy relations, Pope Francis has sent a representative to Egypt’s Al-Azhar University Read more.
Vatican ratchets up defense of pope’s family document
The Vatican is striking back at conservative critics of Pope Francis’ landmark document on family life, ratcheting up its defense of the pope with new vigor as bishops begin implementing the document around the world. Read more ...
Pope's new step in dialogue with Al-Azhar
Vatican City, Jul 13, 2016 - Less than two months after one of Sunni Islam’s highest authorities came to the Vatican following several years of icy relations, Pope Francis has sent a representative to Egypt’s Al-Azhar University in a bid to relaunch dialogue between the two. In accordance with “the explicit wish of Pope Francis,” Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, is currently in Egypt for an official visit to the Al-Azhar University, Read more ...
Homeless Services Guidebook
Sydney Homeless Connect is a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers who donate their time, energy, love and resources to making a positive impact on homelessness in Australia. Learn more about them by visiting their online Guidebook which shows 60 pages of helpful information for both those who are homeless and those who want to help.
Information Evening: Pilgrimage to India, February 2017
Photo: Bede Griffiths
Aquinas Academy, Tuesday 5 July 2016 at 6pm
After three successful pilgrimages to India led by Fr Michael Whelan SM, Marie Fonseca is now organising a fourth spiritual tour, "Abide in My Love" with Sr Valda Dickinson RSM as Chaplain. Tour dates are 7 - 28 February 2017.
Words, words and holy words in Shakespeare
‘The size of Shakespeare’s vocabulary was a direct reflection of what he wrote about – which was virtually everything.’ For the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death, David Crystal explains why counting the number of words in the Shakespearean canon can never be an exact science. Nevertheless, we can still identify the semantic field of which Shakespeare made more use than any other: religious language. Read more ...
Book Launch - Aquinas Academy 1945-2015: A very personal Australian Story
Author Julie Thorpe
To be launched by Geraldine Dooge.
Where: The Crypt of St Patrick's Church, The Rocks
When: 1:30pm, Sunday, 1 May 2016
Father Jens Petzold, monk, builder, refugee worker
Top Ten takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia”
Pope Francis’s groundbreaking new document “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”) asks the church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. ... Here are ten things to know about the pope’s groundbreaking new document. Read more ...
Inside Pope Francis’ Statement on the Family
For those who appreciate (love?) Flannery O’Connor
In October 1970, six years after Flannery O'Connor died, The Atlantic surfaced one of her unpublished stories and ran it beneath an almost apologetic preface from her literary executor: "I have consented to this publication with a note making clear ... the earliness of the story and its apparent standing in the estimation of the author." Its standing was, apparently, not very high: Read more ...
No, Not Trump, Not Ever
The voters have spoken.
In convincing fashion, Republican voters seem to be selecting Donald Trump as their nominee. And in a democracy, victory has legitimacy to it. Voters are rarely wise but are usually sensible. They understand their own problems. And so deference is generally paid to the candidate who wins.
And deference is being paid. Read more ...
How an atheist became a leading Christian scholar
As a young teenager, Michael Bird was so anti-religion he would write poetry mocking belief in God. He saw Christianity “as a way of oppressing people, a purely human construct.” He has travelled so far from this view that he is now a heavy hitter in the world of New Testament scholarship, an expert in the origins of Jesus’ divinity. Read more ...