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

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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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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