"If I cannot listen to the subtle manifestation of rich reality in my environment, I will necessarily try to impose my wilful codes on others. If I am not open to reality and do not obey the voice of reality, a terrible distortion takes place. Sooner or later I will turn the whole relationship around: Instead of listening to reality in people and events, I become convinced that reality in people and events should listen to me."

[Adrian van Kaam, The Art of Existential Counseling, Dimension Books, 1966, 80.]


Comment on Pope Francis Encyclical

Comment by Elise Harris

JPopeFrancisencyclicalIn his new encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis slams attacks against human life such as abortion, embryonic experimentation and population control – saying that respect for creation and human dignity go hand in hand. Read more See also The Guardian and The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and Robert Mickens of Global Pulse and National Catholic Reporter. For interview with sociologist and philosopher Edgar Morin click here. For Massimo Faggioli's reflection click here. Reada comments by Dalai Lama.


Laudato Si' - Full Text of Pope Francis Encyclical

JPopeFrancisencyclicalLAUDATO SI', mi' Signore" – "Praise be to you, my Lord". In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. "Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs". Read the encyclical


Laudato Si': A Seismic Event in Dialogue Between Catholic Church and Ecology

Comment by Damian Howard SJ

JPopeFrancisencyclicalLaudato si' has been billed by many as Pope Francis' intervention in the climate change debate, but it is so much more than that, says Damian Howard SJ. In this detailed analysis of the Pope's first encyclical, he sets the text in its cultural and political context, and asks how it fits into the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching. Read more

Global Issues in a Secular and Sacred World - Fr. Michael Czerny SJ

JPopeFrancisencyclicalA talk on the environment in a religious context - a twenty minute video by Fr Michael Czerny SJ. Watch the video

Francis Puts Environment Above Short Term Politics

Comment by Paul Collins

JPopeFrancisencyclicalSometime in April 1226, lying acutely ill in the grounds of St Clare's San Damiano convent, St Francis of Assisi wrote the Cantico di fratre sole, the Canticle of Brother Sun. Read more

Q & A on Papal Encyclicals

JPopeFrancisencyclicalFor some frequently asked questions about encyclicals click here


Fr Joseph Ratzinger on the Possibility of Communion for Divorced and Remarried Catholics (1972)

Jratzinger-congar medIn 1972 Fr Joseph Ratzinger - later Pope Benedict XVI - pictured here with Fr Yves Congar OP, wrote a scholarly essay entitled, "On the question of the indissolubility of marriage". In that essay he raises a very interesting point: "The Church is the Church of the NewCovenant, but it lives in a world in which the “hardness of heart” (Mat 19:8) of the Old Covenant remains unchanged. It cannot stop preaching the faith of the New Covenant, but it must often enough begin its concrete life a bit below the threshold of the scriptural word. Thus it can in clear emergency situations allow limited exceptions in order to avoid worse things." Read the whole essay.

Seamus Heaney's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech


The video is not available but the audio is - listen to the audio.

Debate On God: Richard Dawkins v John Lennox

JLennoxCDawkinsOxford Museum of Natural History hosts this fascinating and controversial debate on the existence of God. Professor John Lennox explains how science points to an intelligent creator and Richard Dawkins offers a counterargument.

When Dawkins was asked if he ever considered God, he said, ""Yeah maybe I have, but if I have, so what? It doesn't make it true. That's what it matters."

To this I'd like to ask him, how does he know if "it" is not true? Haven't seen any evidence? How does it matter to the very existence of God? Does God disappear just because you think you haven't seen any "evidence?" Someone is appealing to his own ignorance here if you ask me. ;) BTW, why would God have any need to create any other gods anyway?

Wtach the video

A Meditation on Human Rights: Responding to Sexual Abuse Within the Catholic Church

Gerard Webster

JGerardWebsterGerard is a Counselling and Forensic Psychologist who has worked with both victims and perpetrators of sexual abuse for thirty years. Over the last two decades, he has worked with many survivors of clergy abuse and with priests and religious who have sexually abused. Throughout this time, Gerard has lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate courses, has published articles, practice guidelines and training packages in the fields of child protection, abuse prevention, developmental psychology and human rights. Gerard is a court expert in the Criminal, Family, and Children's Court jurisdictions and he is an Honorary Fellow of Australian Catholic University. He is in his final year of training in the Doctor of Psychoanalysis programme and is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles (USA).

Read more ...

Francis Sullivan Ballarat Presentation

FrancisSullivanFrancis Sullivan is the chairman of the Truth and Justice Council established by the Catholic Biishops Conference of Australia. The purpose of this council is to liaise with the public in matters pertaining to the Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse. pdfClick here to download the PDF367 KB.