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

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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South African Viewpoint: Pro-birth vs Pro-life - Is there a difference?

Days after the state of Alabama passed a law banning abortion US President Donald Trump tweeted his "strongly pro-life" stance. Ironically, at the same time, Associated Press reported on how a 16-year old Guatemalan migrant (the fifth child!) had died in US custody. He was held for six days, twice as long as federal law permits. In the last week Trump also threatened Iran. "If Iran wants to fig...

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US Viewpoint: Threats of more wars dishonour Memorial Day

Memorial Day is marked across the United States this year on Monday, 27 May,

Flag waving and military parades are synonymous with Memorial Day. It is a day of intense nationalism - highlighting a perceived need for military strength.

But there is a far better way for us to respectfully remember the countless numbers of men and women who have died in past wars - and are dying in present wars.

Instead of making it a day of intense nationalism which accepts ong...

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Viewpoint: Catholic Bishops and the Environment

Catholic filmmaker, broadcaster, environmentalist and journalist, Mary Colwell writes: This month the Catholic bishops of England and Wales produced a statement from their plenary (twice-yearly meeting) called 'Stewardship of God's Creation'. I thought I would give my thoughts on it as someone now deeply immersed in the world of conservation and the protection of life on earth. Of cou...

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South African Viewpoint: Six million youth disempowered?

I am not an expert in figures, but I definitely know that six million people is more than 10% of our nation.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) almost six million youth had not registered by the closing date at the end of January 2019. Was this their way of showing disappointment in their leaders or prospective leaders? The IEC slogan "voting is your way to be heard" ...

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Viewpoint: How Benedict's essay on sex abuse is being weaponized

Massimo Faggioli

Massimo Faggioli, professor of theology and religious studies at Villanova University. writes in Commonweal Magazine

On the evening of April 10, six weeks after the conclusion of the Vatican's summit on the sex-abuse crisis, the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, made known his thoughts on the genesis of that crisis in a five-thousand-plus-word essay sent to a periodic...

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Viewpoint: Praying the Rosary outside Notre Dame


In June 2016, my father and I flew down to Nice. It was a fairly quick one-night stopover to see England play Iceland in Euro 2016.

On the way to our hotel as we were driving along Nice's Promenade des Anglais we decided, in our rather poor French, to try and make conversation with our Uber driver. We asked him if he was following the French team. He replied with an emphatic non! We asked...

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South African Viewpoint: The elephant in the room: The clergy

"It seems the younger priests emerging from seminaries, here and elsewhere, are getting better (or worse!) at demanding full allegiance from the laity," said an email I received this week.

Last Saturday the Archbishop of Johannesburg, Buti Tlhagale, preached about his woes - and sufferings - as a diocesan bishop at the first profession of a religious sister. He reportedly said that that s...

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Viewpoint: What the 'Women Church World' resignations really mean


Rita Ferrone writes in an article titled 'Don't Blame the Patriarchy' in Commonweal magazine: I've never been much enamoured of the idea of a 'women's supplement' to L'Osservatore Romano - What does that say about the main publication? That it's a men's newspaper-and intends to stay that way?

In 2012, out of a desire to promote women, Pope Benedict XVI asked the newspaper's then...

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Viewpoint: Open letter asks Sinn Fein MPs to vote in relation to Brexit

image: ICN/JS

The following open letter has been sent today to Sinn Fein MPs: Órfhlaith Begley, Mickey Brady, Michelle Gildernew, Chris Hazard, Paul Maskey, Elisha McCallion and Francie Malloy.

Dear Sein Fein MPs,

This is a plea to you, the seven elected representatives from NI to take your seats in Westminster and vote according to your constituents' wishes, particularly now in relatio...

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Viewpoint: My memorable and lifelong adventure

Lenny (right) with Scholastica

Lenny Jilo is a teacher who runs six nutritional nurseries, providing meals and basic education for 237 children in Nariokotomo, Turkana, in northwest Kenya. She's been visiting London for the past two weeks with Scholastica Wamaluwa, a nurse in charge of the health programmes at the mission. In this essay Lenny writes about her life and work.

I was 19 years old when I first met ...

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Viewpoint: Pro-life concern over Ireland's aid policy

The Irish government has launched - A Better World - as its new overseas aid policy to be administered by Irish Aid. The policy reminds us that "improving the quality and availability of health services with a strong focus on maternal and child health has been a long-standing component of our development cooperation".

That focus was initiated by Irish missionaries in the 1950s many of who...

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