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National security laws threaten freedom of government whistleblowers and journalists

FREE speech in Australia is increasingly under threat with public-servant whistleblowers and journalists unfairly targeted by the government under the guise of national security, according to an annual report released by Human Rights Watch. Refugee rights, Indigenous rights and aged care are among other issues raising concerns in the 30th edition of The World Report, released on January 14. In ... Read More »

Roman holiday becomes a photographer’s dream

Brisbane Catholic Alan Edgecomb gives an impression of Rome’s superb Basilica di Santa Maria in words and photographs. FROM the moment one walks into the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Italy, one is struck by the opulence and grandeur of this magnificent 12th century minor basilica on the right bank of the river Tiber. This was one of the ... Read More »

Law body wary about legislative moves against religious confession

Confession line

QUEENSLAND Law Society President Luke Murphy warned proposed legislation to scrap the seal of confession could pave the way for the removal of other confidential privileges like lawyer-client privilege. Mr Murphy, who wrote the Queensland Law Society submission to the State Parliament, outlined six flaws in removing the seal. “Removing the privilege associated with religious confession will set a dangerous ... Read More »

A Dorrington Christmas is about being one family

CHRISTMAS was about the coming of Christ and Dorrington parish proved it, inviting Catholic communities across Brisbane to join its One Family One Community Mass at St Michael’s War Memorial Church on December 22 last year. Parish priest Congregation of the Holy Spirit Father Tom Kessy, Fr John Huynh, and Scalabrinian Father Ignacio Gutierrez concelebrated the Mass, and were assisted ... Read More »

Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge stands up to protect Catholic confession rights

STRIPPING Catholics of the seal of confession made priests “less a servant of God than an agent of the state”, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a submission to Queensland Parliament published early in January.  Archbishop Coleridge was clear – the violation of the seal of confession ran the risk of forbidding the celebration of the sacrament in Queensland.  “The state ... Read More »

Townsville Bishop Tim Harris calls out extreme left and right for confusing public on climate change

Great Barrier Reef

TOWNSVILLE Bishop Tim Harris criticised both extreme left and extreme right political narratives for misleading the public from finding a reasoned and nuanced understanding of the costs and effects of climate change. Bishop Harris said this reasoned and nuanced understanding was essential to enacting our “God-given” responsibility to care for creation. He said both the hard-left and hard-right stifled the ... Read More »

Marie Downes has played for four decades but still not an organist

MARIE Downes has been playing the organ at Sacred Heart Church, Sandgate, for more than 45 years but she’s been keeping a secret from her fellow parishioners – she’s not an organist. “I’m not an organist … I’m a pianist,” Miss Downes said late last year as she prepared for a special celebration the Sandgate Brighton parish held to pay ... Read More »

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