Australia

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

Ironies, Twists and Turns in the Australian SSM Campaign

The current push for same-sex “marriage” in Australia is threaded with ironies in the social, political and religious spheres. When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declared a postal vote—which is now in progress (results will be released on November 15), the “pro same-sex marriage” crowd lambasted the democratic vote as hateful; they prefer an imposed parliamentary [...]

School Memories During the Turbulent Vatican II Years

Let me say at the outset that I am aware that people's recollections of Catholic high schools vary—but the following are some of the memories I have of the 1960s, at the cusp of the Conciliar era and my reflections may resonate with some readers. I attended Brigidine Convent school in Randwick in Sydney, Australia, [...]

Secularism as Religious Indoctrination

Australia has a program in its schools that, at first glance, you’d have to be crazy to be against. It’s called Safe Schools, and it is an anti-bullying campaign. Well, at least that’s how it has been promoted. In reality, Safe Schools has become a pro-LGBTQI indoctrination system designed by one academic Marxist with hopes [...]

Is Gun Control Even Possible in the U.S.?

Catholics have no clear, dogmatic position on guns. The American bishops have occasionally indicated that they are favorable to gun control, although this has never been a major point of emphasis for them. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions that it is permissible to do injury to others in self-defense, or in defense of [...]

On Australia’s New Catholic Prime Minister

In the last fortnight the Australian people elected a new government under the leadership of Tony Abbott, a pro-family Catholic and constitutional monarchist. He has a wife called Margaret and daughters Louise, Bridget and Frances. Abbott was educated at St. Ignatius College, Riverview, the University of Sydney and Oxford University. Riverview is the most prestigious [...]

More Food for More People

One of the problems of a growing global population that needs to be solved is how do we feed all those extra mouths?  We’ve looked at UN reports on this issue. We've also looked at counterviews that actually there is enough food for us all at the moment and the lack of food for many [...]

Are the Sexes Really Complementary?

Following the passage of the same-sex marriage bill in Queensland despite probable public opposition to it, and the widespread publicity given to the change in the Australian Labor Party policy on marriage, the task of arguing against same sex marriage is more urgent in Australia and other countries of the world than ever before. A [...]

Straw Dogs and Same Sex “Marriage”

Heaven and Earth are ruthless; To them the Ten Thousand things are but as straw dogs. The Sage too is ruthless; To him the people are but as straw dogs. A "straw dog" was a ceremonial object used in place of an actual dog in ancient Chinese sacrifices. Sacrificing a dog made from straw fulfils [...]

The Cardinal Down Under

In the Baltimore of the 1960s, my canny pastor devised a neat scheme for getting “Father Visitor” (as the confessional doors read) to fill in during the summer for his vacationing curates: bring over newly-ordained Australians from their studies in Rome. There were no language issues (save for those of, er, accent); by the standards [...]

Coercing Consciences

  During his homily at the Mass pro eligendo Romano Pontifice [for the election of the Roman Pontiff] on April 18, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger cautioned his fellow-cardinals that John Paul II’s successor would have to deal with an emerging “dictatorship of relativism” throughout the western world: the use of coercive state power to impose [...]

Reason Is the Enemy of the Euthanasia Movement

  Facebook can be useful. Browsing through its weekly birthday update, I learned that Nick Tonti-Filippini, a bioethicist who serves on various Australian government committees and teaches at a Catholic institute in Melbourne, turns 55 today. Some of those years must have gone slowly for him, as he is chronically ill. Fortunately, he has the [...]

Big Government Gets Ugly

It's not unusual for the federal government to provoke widespread retching among its citizens, but it rarely does so intentionally. The new warning labels required on cigarette packs, however, have that goal. Designed to evoke disgust with smoking, they may also induce revulsion at excessive uses of power. The old cigarette warnings inform consumers of [...]

Protect Animals, but Don’t Forget about People

  The Australian government has halted all exports of live animals to Indonesia. This means that Indonesian abattoirs will have to find other sources of beef and Australian Aborigines will have to find other jobs. The ban was a hasty response to images of appalling brutality in a few Indonesian abattoirs. Animal welfare activists and [...]

Australia: The Happy Land of Upside Down

  The National Catholic Reporter has their undies in a bunch, as is their custom, over the fact that Pope Benedict XVI (perpetually referred to as "Ratzinger" at NCR) is still Catholic. This week, the pope has dissented from the NCR Magisterium by giving Bishop William M. Morris of Toowoomba, Queensland, his walking papers without [...]

The Papal Pencil

With online availability of education, business, government, and church communications, we wonder what we have begotten. Unprecedented information is available to us at all times, day and night. Every possible cultural, philosophical, religious, or economic source is there. We live in a neighborhood, but we buy our clothing and tickets on the internet. We read [...]

In the classroom: Less stimulation, more meditation?

A Catholic diocese in Australia is trying something new in its school classrooms: meditation time for students. Something tells me that Zoe's "Tiger Mom" wouldn't approve: If children are over-stimulated we rob them of something precious: being allowed to "just be" where children discover their own inner sense of who they are. Hijacked by a [...]

Our Lady, Help of Christians — and presidents?

Well this is interesting: First Lady Michelle Obama said last month that her husband “always carries a picture of Mary Help of Christians in his wallet.” She made her remarks while visiting a house of the Salesian community in Ronda, Spain. Under the title of Help of Christians, Our Lady is the patroness of the [...]

Culture and Catholic Identity in Australia

In a few minutes I will be leaving the Radisson Hotel in downtown Sydney to meet a group of local Catholics Jessica Langrell has pulled together. We will dine and I will talk with them about "Culture and Catholic Identity," using the bruhaha at Notre Dame over Obama has a starting point. I plan on [...]

Portrait of a Pro-Life Catholic from Down Under

"Cardinal Pell is an inspiration to all Catholics in Australia," says Cory Bernardi, a pro-life Catholic senator from South Australia. Bernardi, along with his wife Sinead and two young sons, attends the traditional Latin Mass in his hometown of Adelaide. I spoke with him a few months ago in Washington, D.C., as I was preparing for my trip [...]

Hudson Down Under

Brenda Steele here: Deal is just now arriving in Melbourne, Australia, after a marathon flight. He seems no worse for wear, though I'm sure he's excited to feel the earth beneath his feet after 25 hours in the air. Deal's trip will keep him in Melbourne, visiting old friends of InsideCatholic, Michael and Karen Hall, [...]

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