Articles on Catholic church

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Pope Francis’ liberal approach to theology is aimed at reforming the church’s attitude towards issues. EPA/Alessandro Di Meo

Revitalising the Catholic Church: is Pope Francis proposing a new way forward?

Pope Francis has made headlines recently with comments about abortion, gay marriage, contraception, work and capitalism. Francis has said that he’s “not spoken much about these things [abortion, gay marriage…
His name was Francis, he was a pontiff - the Pope arrives at the Copacabana. Semilla Luz

Pope Francis: people’s pontiff or sharp politician?

On the flight home from World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis gave an unscheduled, no-holds-barred interview to the journalists travelling with him. He spoke on a wide range of topics including the role…
The Catholic Church has been reticent about its investigations into child abuse. John Shore

Vatican silence on abuse likely to continue despite UN plea

Last week the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) asked the Vatican to disclose details of child sexual abuse cases involving Catholic clergy for the period November 1995 to January 2014. According…
Our attitudes towards religious institutions - in particular the Catholic Church - has changed as scandal and controversy afflicts the former bastion of faith. AAP/Simon Mossman

What place for the Catholic Church in 21st century Australia?

As a young girl in the 1960s, I attended a Catholic boarding school. The nuns could be scary. When they walked the wintry and un-illuminated corridors of the convent, their knee-length rosary beads jangled…
Cardinal George Pell apologised to victims of child sex abuse by the Catholic clergy at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the issue. AAP/Joe Castro

Cardinal Pell and the inquiries into child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell has apologised to victims and survivors of child abuse by Catholic clergy during his appearance before the Victorian parliament’s Inquiry into child abuse by by religious organisations…
Australian cardinal George Pell will be part of the new global panel of advisers, the G8, to Pope Francis. AAP/Dean Lewins

Church reform: will Pope Francis’ G8 change the Catholic Church?

Pope Francis I’s weekend announcement of a new council, the Group of Eight (G8), to advise him on Catholic Church governance and reforming the Church’s central administration (the Roman Curia) has been…
In his first meeting with the media Pope Francis has said he will lead a church “that is poor and for the poor”. EPA/Radek Pietruszka

Back to the future: can the Catholic Church find its way?

The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and the subsequent election of Pope Francis have provoked intense public interest and media attention across the globe. How could it be otherwise? The Catholic Church…
New Pope Francis I has a controversial past in his home country. EPA/Andrea Solero

Pope Francis I’s murky past in Argentina

Today Australia woke up to its first Latin American and Jesuit pope. Although apparently being second choice behind the former pope Benedict when he was elected in 2005, Pope Francis I was seen as an outside…
Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel before the start of the conclave in the Vatican to elect the next Pope. EPA/Osservatore Romano

Cardinal numbers: what in God’s name is happening in the Sistine Chapel?

This morning, Australian Catholics awoke to the news that black smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. The seat remains vacant, there is no Pope. By now many of us will have learned through…
Pope Benedict XVI, who recently announced that he will resign from the papacy this month. AAP/Claudio Peri

Pope’s resignation is a recognition of human frailty in an ageing world

Pope Benedict XVI announced his historic decision to step aside as Pope yesterday. This is the first time in 600 years a Pope has resigned. And in 1415 when Gregory XII resigned, he did so not to retire…
Pope Benedict XVI has announced plans to step down on February 28, citing the job’s pressures and his advanced age. Alessandro Di Meo/EPA

Out with God’s rottweiler: the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

“There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving examination as the Roman Catholic Church.” So wrote Thomas Babington Macaulay in his review of Leopold von Ranke’s…
Justice Peter McClellan (centre), Chair of the Royal Commission into child sex abuse, delivers a media statement with his fellow commissioners in Sydney. AAP/Damian Shaw

Child abuse inquiries as catalyst for deep change in the Catholic Church

The awful record of the institutional Catholic church’s leadership in dealing with the scandal of clerical sex abuse of minors has clearly, and rightly, been a trigger for the federal government’s Royal…
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, Families Minister Jenny Macklin and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have announced the royal commission’s terms of reference. AAP/Stephanie Flack

Explainer: royal commission into child sex abuse

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse were released this afternoon in Sydney. In speeches that emphasised the need to acknowledge the experiences…
The Federal Government will give the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse a special unit to investigate cases but will not have the power to prosecute. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Royal Commission into Child Abuse terms of reference: experts respond

The Federal Government today released the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses Child…
Labor elder Senator John Faulkner has called for a thorough reform of internal party practices. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

NSW Labor, the Catholic Church and the ADF: institutions eating themselves alive

Since its nineteenth century birth, the Australian Labor Party has helped to define the country’s institutional landscape. But according to one of its most respected members, party grandee Senator John…
People who were abused as children are more likely to suffer mental health and substance abuse disorders. Dawn Ashley

Protecting the abused from further trauma during the Royal Commission

There is great support within the community for the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. Many people have high hopes it will right the wrongs of the past and help us, as a nation, to eliminate future…
The Catholic Church’s cover-ups have all the markings of a corrupt organisation. AAP/April Fonti

Royal Commission must treat the church like a corrupt police force

The Catholic Church has constructed a white curtain behind which networks of corruption have been allowed to deepen. Professor Patrick Parkinson, a senior lawyer who formally supported the Church’s “Towards…
Evidence shows sexual abuse is more likely to occur in particular kinds of institutional cultures, such as the Catholic Church. Roger Smith

Rogue priests or a culture of abuse? Investigating paedophilia in the Catholic Church

For victims and their advocates, the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission into the role of institutions in the abuse of children represents a long-awaited shift in the way Australia approaches…

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