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He didn’t get Rush Limbaugh’s vote, that’s for sure. Agência Brasil

Person of the year Pope Francis reminds us of our nobler side

Pope Francis has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for “pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets”. He beat nine others including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Bashar…
Not since the papacy of Paul VI in the 1960s has a pope openly declared the need to rebel against unjust capitalism. EPA/Claudi Peri

Pope Francis prioritises the poor, channels Marx in new ‘manifesto’

Pope Francis has openly attacked capitalism in his recently released Apostolic exhortation, which for all intents and purposes is the Pope’s “manifesto”. While Francis has called for the radical decentralisation…
Understated as ever. ANSA/Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis brings religious subtlety to Catholic dogma

Liberals are enthusiastic, while conservative Catholics express deepening dismay. The Pope must be giving interviews again. Reactions to Francis’s sit-down with Antonio Spadaro, editor in chief of La Civilt…
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…

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