Opinion

Feeling guilty about drinking alcohol? Ask the saints Comments 0

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing matter, but is it sinful to drink and make merry, moderately and responsibly, during a holy season or at any other time? As a historical theologian, I researched the role that pious Christians played in Read more

Depends on meaning Comments 0

Monday, November 20th, 2017

When we were young, no one in our house was allowed to swear. Except Dad, of course. But his oaths were limited to “Damn” and “Hell.” We thought these words very daring and wondered if they were okay with God. On the other hand, Dad could yell at us, “I’ll thrash ye tae an inch Read more

Book review: an intellectual history of Francis Comments 0

Monday, November 20th, 2017

A number of people close to Francis have been looking forward eagerly to a book out this week in Italy that is sure to lay to rest the myth that somehow, he lacks the philosophical and theological ballast to be pope. Massimo Borghesi’s dazzling ‘intellectual biography’ of Jorge Mario Bergoglio shows that this criticism – Read more

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern is wrong Comments 0

Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Prime Minister

Prime Minister, Ms Jacinda Adern repeatedly says the Labour-led Government will be measured by the way it treats its most vulnerable. Right to Life makes no apology for speaking up on behalf of women and the New Zealand’s most vulnerable; the unborn. It speaks for the authentic feminist position, namely to oppose abortion, which is violence Read more

Power in the Church: Women have always had it Comments 0

Thursday, November 16th, 2017
Elizabeth Scalia

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd took the occasion of his triumphant visits to Cuba and the United States to refer to His Holiness as “the perfect 19th-century pope”, largely because he seems disinterested in creating female priests. In her piece, Dowd’s assertions often lack context and the column itself is not particularly interesting, but it was Read more

Atheist Convention cancelled due to lack of interest Comments 0

Monday, November 13th, 2017
no interest in atheist convention

To be honest, I’m disappointed. “Reason to Hope”, the third Global Atheist Convention scheduled for Melbourne in February 2018, has been cancelled because of “lack of interest” (according to my sources). The conference was to be headlined by Sir Salman Rushdie, the highly esteemed – one might even say revered – novelist. In 1989 the Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini Read more

Why the ecumenical movement is a historical event on par with the Reformation Comments 0

Monday, November 13th, 2017
Thomas Reece

A hundred years ago, Catholics were not interested in celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, except to remember how a bunch of reformers led people astray. How times have changed! This year, Catholics, led by Pope Francis, are celebrating the Reformation with their fellow Christians. However, it is important that we not simply Read more

Learning from the Weinstein morality play Comments 0

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

A Hollywood brushfire about sexual misconduct by producer Harvey Weinstein has become a raging forest fire which has jumped the Atlantic. Obviously, criminal allegations have to be proven, but apologies and obscure admissions of guilt show that the flames are spreading far and wide. After Weinstein, other Hollywood figures, including Oscar winner Kevin Spacey, have Read more

A symbol of inhumanity: asylum seeker policy in Australia Comments 0

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

If you had been told thirty years ago that Australia would create the least asylum seeker friendly institutional arrangements in the world, you would not have been believed. In 1992 we introduced a system of indefinite mandatory detention for asylum seekers who arrive by boat. Since that time, we have accepted the idea that certain Read more

Aging Comments 0

Monday, November 6th, 2017

There is a joke that my husband and I revisit with much pleasure. It concerns two elderly men who had memory loss. One said to his friend, “At last I’ve found the solution! I’m going to a wonderful memory school. They give you strategies you can put in place to remember things.” The other said, Read more