Personal opinion pieces on a wide range of Catholic issues by different writers.

November Memories

John Neville Dixey

November is very much a month of memories. The year is winding its way to its darkest days and the jollifications of Christmas are not yet in sight. So this is the time when in Catholic tradition, we remember our deceased loved ones - and of course we will be marking the awful loss of life in wars of the past hundred years or so when we come to Armistice/Remembrance Day.

This year was the...

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Viewpoint: On children in prison worldwide

Philippine child prisoners

It is astounding that developed, civilised, nations like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, South Africa, Hong Kong, Fiji and the United States have 10 years as the minimum age of criminal responsibility for children. It's a mark of shame. The United Nations Committee on Children's Rights says that 16 is the ideal but 14 years of age for criminal responsibility is the minimum. Most ...

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South African Reflection: Is the Church obsessed?

A thought struck me while I was sitting through Holy Mass last Sunday. What if Christianity was as obsessed about social justice as it seems to be about sexual morality?

It is probably best to state it upfront: I am not asking the Church to be indifferent to sexual morality or to change its doctrine regarding matters related to sex and interpersonal relationships. I am in no way asking fo...

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Viewpoint: Every trader can be just and fair

Fr Shay Cullen

In the dangerous southern island of Mindanao in the Philippine archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, martial law reigns. It is a place forbidden to non-Filipinos by many embassies. It is troubled with social and political unrest. Mindanao is in a state of fear and tension and the economy in decline. Nevertheless, Donard Angeles, the Preda Fair Trade staff connects with the Preda or...

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Viewpoint: Falling in and out of love with the motor car

My story begins in the early 1950s. in a small town in rural Ireland where I was born and brought up. Ireland was beginning to awaken from years of being a poor, backward country and the modern world was beginning to make its presence felt. Peoples' aspirations were growing and the motor car was making its presence felt. Few people were able to purchase one but the fascination with this mir...

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Viewpoint: Peace & climate justice is needed to save the planet

Fr Shay Cullen

The world is afire again, the flames heartbreakingly consume shrubs, trees and forests in Australia, Portugal, Brazil, and recently in California and Siberia and elsewhere too, Fr Shay Cullen writes. The world community has reacted in protest to the hundreds of fires burning the Amazon rainforest. These are destroying the habitat of thousands of endangered species and the communities o...

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Viewpoint: The Pope pays the price for breaking silence

I have had the privilege of observing Pope Francis up close on two apostolic voyages this year. In March he travelled to Morocco and, this past week, he visited Mozambique, Madagascar and Mauritius - I was present in Port Louis for his eight-hour visit to the Island.

I was struck, once again, by how easily Pope Francis relates to people. The excitement of the crowd and their joy at seeing...

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Viewpoint: The Amazon needs us now


The Amazon is burning. The images sear into our hearts as we watch millions of years of wondrous forest succumb to flames, fanned by greed and political ambition. Within the inferno countless millions of unique life forms are being destroyed - monkeys, birds, reptiles, insects and plant life are no more, and the flames surge ever onwards.

This great forest, 55 million square kilometres, r...

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Viewpoint: On the meaning of freedom in Trinidad & Tobago

Leela Ramdeen

Leela Ramdeen, Catholic Director for Social Justice and Director, Trinidad and Tobago (TT), is also chair of the Greater Caribbean for Life. and an Attorney-at-law, education consultant and Chair of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. She writes:

On August 31 we will celebrate 57 years of Independence. Firstly, let us give thanks to Go...

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Viewpoint: The Anti-Catholic roots of Trump's immigration rules

Image: Catholic Charities

In his article entitled 'Penalizing Poverty' Paul Moses writes in Commonweal Magazine:

Donald Trump was in the federal courthouse in Manhattan, and very happy to be there. It was 1988, and his wife, the former Ivana Zelníčková of Gottwaldov, Czechoslovakia, was one of 142 immigrants just sworn in as US citizens. By then, the Trumps had been married for eleven years and had th...

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Viewpoint: Fighting back against academisation

Paul Donovan

Teaching is a noble profession. I come from a family of teachers. The work of teachers in educating the young and not so young is vital. If we achieve anything in this life it must surely be to be more knowledgeable and informed about its workings than when we came in.

Teaching has always been a self-less profession, with those involved giving far more in unpaid time than would be expecte...

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South African Viewpoint: From Amazonia to …. the World?

Even before it has started, the up-coming Pan-Amazon Synod has generated theological heat in the Catholic Church. Its working document - or Instrumentum Laboris - has already been denounced in some circles as heretical. Others welcome it as a sign of hope for change in the Church.

The Instrumentum is too detailed to analyse here, but a few key points are worthy of mention. It focuses on t...

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Viewpoint: Who will call out the President's racism?

President Trump

Racism is a sin that has been biblically established. It was and is America's original sin. Jim Wallis writes in Sojourners magazine. Racism is notoriously both implicit and explicit, but covert and overt racism must be acknowledged and repented. When racism is made explicit and overt in the public arena, it must be named and called out for what it is - especially when the comments com...

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Viewpoint: Crimes against humanity

Nyamata Memorial Site

It's a grim gruesome record of murder, assassination and massacre that we must condemn, denounce and learn from. The man, a leader accused of giving orders to target and kill civilians with impunity, is legendary. He convinced them that they were doing a "good" thing killing any suspect to save their nation from being destroyed. A majority approved without question or hesitation the ...

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