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Doctrine & Life

March 2013

Called to Form Consciences, not to Replace Them

Peter Phillips looks at the points made by those critical of the Letter Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis. He shows how, without making any change in Church teaching, Pope Francis wants to be open to the pastoral implications of the fragility of human emotions and relationships, and expects the Church to exercise its ministry with discernment and compassion.

The Enduring Relevance of the Story of the Syrophoenician Woman

David Begg sees in the Gospel story of the encounter between Jesus and a Gentle woman in the region of Sidon, a parable of faith and empowerment for all the parents who, today, have to fight for justice for their children.

Saint Patrick and the Cause of Unity - Read, click here

Billy Swan shows how Patrick, like St Augustine, lived through and in a time of social disintegration. The rich teaching on unity in his writings prompts an examination of whether we have drifted away for the fundamental scriptural affirmation of God as source of unity for all peoples.

The Challenge of Religious Life in a Secular World

Nuala O’Loan details the complex environment in which religious must serve as witnesses to Gospel values. It is to people who wish to belong to the Church but may not be willing to conform to Church teaching that all elements in the Church must respond. Within this context, religious, working in a remarkable number of areas and being willing to tell of how God is part of people’s search, need strategies to handle realities without becoming over-burdened.

Why Christianity Needs the Old Testament

Martin Henry reflects on the efforts, throughout Christian history, to drive a wedge between the Jewish and the Christian Scriptures. He shows how revering both sets of writings provides foundation for recognising Jesus as both the Word of God and the Son of God who illuminates the world and redeems it from sin.


As a Loving Mother

‘Motu proprio’ from Pope Francis providing, in light of the scandals attending the handling of child abuse cases, that a bishop ‘can be legitimately removed from this office if he has through negligence committed or through omission facilitated acts that have caused grave harm to others’.  


Submission to the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Gerry O’Hanlon, S.J., examines the theological, social and historical factors which shaped the pattern of disastrously inadequate response to abuse cases which caused so damage in the Irish Church. These factors included, as well as clericalism and an inappropriate deference, a lack of awareness in both civil and ecclesial circles about the nature and effect of child sexual abuse and paedophilia.


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