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Did Pope Francis get what he wanted?

SINCE the end of the October 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family, news outlets have portrayed the outcome as a “setback” or “loss” for Pope Francis – even a “rebuke” to him. Journalists have pointed to the absence, in the synod’s final report, of an earlier version’s conciliatory language toward people with ways of life contrary to Catholic teaching, ... Read More »

Syria’s war is part of humanitarian crisis


A CHURCH official who just returned from a visit to Syria said “the humanitarian situation is worse than I thought”. Secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum Monsignor Giampietro Dal Toso told journalists in Beirut on November 1 that he had seen “the concrete face of suffering” as a result of war. He also said the humanitarian crisis in Iraq ... Read More »

Sex, marriage and freedom of religion

By Martin Hanson MARRIAGE is defined in Australia’s Marriage Act 1961 as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”. Like a romance novel, the legal definition implies but does not refer explicitly to sexual relationship. This is understood in the context of “union”. The relationship in marriage has ... Read More »

Leading a parish

By Dr Anthony Gooley A PARISH is a portion of the local church (diocese) and a local church is first and foremost a Eucharistic assembly gathered around its bishop. In every diocese there is only one bishop who is the head of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church that gathers there. Auxiliary bishops, if there are any, are bishops ... Read More »

Putting your faith into action

Homeless man sleeping

By Brian Moore RECENT research that was published in national newspapers found that one in seven  Australians were living in poverty. Nearly 18 per cent of children live beneath the poverty line, one-third of them in sole-parent families. On September 27 each year the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia and in countries across the world celebrated the Feast ... Read More »

Belief in Purgatory in the early Church

Person lighting candle

I was talking recently with a Protestant friend about praying for a mutual acquaintance who had passed away and she denied there was any need for it since there is no Purgatory. Is there any evidence in the early Church of prayer for the faithful departed? I answered a similar question many years ago, which appears as question 25 in ... Read More »

Taking the path of realistic compassion


By Steve Jorgensen MENTAL Health Australia invites all who “… care for someone with a mental illness; know someone with a mental illness, to be part of this year’s Mental Health Week campaign”. Despite extensive media promotion of this event, there is no mention of “caring for’ the Government induced Asylum Seeker mental illness, the outcome of its immigration policy which ... Read More »

Guardian Angels

I was talking recently with a friend about the importance of teaching our children about guardian angels, and she showed herself extremely sceptical about the very existence of angels. Is this something old-fashioned or is it still important? We can be absolutely certain about the existence of guardian angels and they are not old-fashioned. We see them mentioned in the ... Read More »

Euthanasia extends its scope

By Fr John Flynn LC Restrictions on the use of euthanasia are increasingly bent or simply eliminated. The most recent example of this is in Belgium. Prison inmate Frank Van Den Bleeken is now cleared for assisted suicide. In prison for nearly 30 years, Van Den Bleeken asked to die as he is unable to overcome his psychological problems that ... Read More »

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