SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Natasha Marsh

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May 15, 2020
There has been only one topic in Australia that has broken through the Covid-19 eclipse, and that is the exoneration of Cardinal George Pell by the High Court on Tuesday, April 7. By a unanimous decision, 7-0, the court acquitted the cardinal of all charges, saying there should have been “sufficient doubt” in the minds
April 02, 2020
On Sunday 29 March, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia would enter stage three lockdown, with public gatherings limited to two people, and Australians over the age of 70 urged to stay indoors. At the time of writing, “non-essential services” are closed: these include hotels, bars, pools, restaurants, beauty salons and places of worship.
December 19, 2019
The long-awaited second draft of the Australian Religious Discrimination Bill was released on December 11 after the first in August received almost unanimous pushback. “The draft is certainly an improvement,” said Monica Doumit, director of public affairs and engagement for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. “It closes a gap that exists in some states, where
October 03, 2019
After a 72-hour debate, delays and the threat of a leadership spill, New South Wales became the final state in Australia to decriminalise abortion last week. Arguably Australia’s most radical abortion law, the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 allows “terminations” for any reason up to 22 weeks and full-term abortion with the consent of
August 29, 2019
On August 21, after nearly three months of deliberation, Victoria’s Court of Appeal handed down its decision to dismiss Cardinal George Pell’s appeal by a 2-1 vote, sending the 79-year-old back to a high security prison. The verdict did not spark the same media euphoria as the sentencing in March, the celebrations marred perhaps by the conclusion
July 11, 2019
Not a day passes in Australia without hearing the latest in the saga of Israel Folau, the sporting superstar sacked by Rugby Australia (RA) on April 11 after he posted a biblical warning to “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and others on the social media site Instagram. In a drama that has stretched from his first transgression
June 13, 2019
Last week, Cardinal Pell’s appeal was heard at the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal, presided by Chief Justice Anne Ferguson and Justices Chris Maxwell and Mark Weinberg. Pell’s legal team appealed the trial-by-jury conviction in December 2018 on three grounds. First, that the jury “on the whole of the evidence, including unchallenged exculpatory
June 06, 2019
Everybody knows that there is still one rule that keeps our civilisation intact: keep quiet about religion and politics. Or at the very least keep them separate. Apparently Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of the Australian, did not get the memo. For some time, the Catholic Sheridan, one of Australia’s most illustrious journalists, has been showcasing God,
June 06, 2019
As political commentators scratch their heads wondering how Labor lost an “unlosable election”, some commentators are suggesting that religious freedom was a crucial factor. Just months ago, Labor launched an attack on religious liberty in the form of two Senate bills proposing to remove all exemption clauses for religious bodies from the Sex Discrimination Act
May 09, 2019
Religious freedom, religious education and pro-life issues are all at stake in the Australian federal election on May 18. Led by Bill Shorten and backed by the ultra-progressive Greens, the Australian Labor Party is spearheading radical, liberal, anti-Christian policy in Australia. If elected, Christian and Catholic communities will be marginalised. Polls show that Labor leads the
March 28, 2019
Hours before 10am on Wednesday, March 13 a media cloud had gathered over the County Court of Victoria, Melbourne. In a first for Australia, Judge Peter Kidd announced that the sentencing of Cardinal George Pell would be broadcast live on national television. The mood was thick with an anticipation which too closely resembled excitement. Several
March 07, 2019
When the McCarrick scandal first broke in America, Catholics began to leave the Church in droves. But when the verdict against Cardinal George Pell was leaked in December, and the suppression order was lifted on February 27, Australian Catholics continued to attend Mass in the same numbers as before. One reason for this is that
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