I found the following article interesting after all the ill-informed (dare I say – biased) stuff in the papers recently:  Published: 08 March 2018

Has debate around the Catholic Church become so polarised that it is moving towards irrational extremes, asks Joel Hodge. Source: ABC Religion and Ethics.

By no means am I advocating that the Church be exempt from robust public scrutiny. I am also not wishing to divert attention from historical abuse and grievous cover-ups in the Church. I firmly express support for the survivors who have bravely stood up to seek justice and healing.Rather, I want to avoid prejudicial scrutiny that only leads to misdirected blame. This misdirection allows all parties to avoid proper accountability.

Take the recent six-month investigation by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald into the properties of the Church. The investigation sought to highlight issues around the transparency and accountability of the Catholic hierarchy.Yet, despite the purported aims of the investigation, there were some obvious flaws. These flaws highlight how resources and attention are being irrationally misdirected against the Church and could be better deployed.

For example, the Church was treated as one entity by the investigation, whereas, in fact, it is many different entities in Australia – dioceses, religious congregations, parishes, schools, hospitals, aged care, social services and so on. To lump all these agencies together – like lumping all the assets and agencies of the federal, state and local governments – is misleading.  Without quibbling about the actual valuations given by the newspapers, much of the reported property cannot be liquidated for obvious reasons. There are churches, hospitals, schools, aged care and social services facilities on these properties. They could not easily be liquidated without a significant social cost and, in some cases, political negotiation.

One is left wondering, then, what was the real point of the investigation?  The Age claimed it wished to highlight the Church’s treatment of claims made by survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as question the tax-free status of the Church.
There seems to be a view that, by highlighting the Church’s wealth, it will be embarrassed and pressured into giving more compensation and support to survivors. But it is the federal government that has set the limit on compensation, not the Church.

– Joel Hodge is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.


Malcolm’s claim to fame

“You know, I’m still the only Prime Minister to go to Mardi Gras” thus spoke Malcolm Turnbull the morning after – 4 March. If that is your only victory Malcolm as appears likely, I am sorry for you – enjoy your moment of fame.

The National Party – once the Country Party

I would like to ask National Party members a question:   Can I presume that all of you (half of you , one? ) are family people? Would you cheat on your wives/families? Why then do you condone the actions of Barnaby and his Mistress even to the extent of paying his salary during his campaign after his situation was known.
I wouldn’t like to depend on the morals of the National Party under the present circumstances or even on anything requiring principles.

Balance in Office affairs

Terence Rutter – a SMH contributor – are you really asking that Barnaby or any parliamentarian give his/her full attention to their elected job when they are in the throes of an affair?
With an active affair in an office the recipient of the “boss’s” attentions accrues a tremendous amount of influence and control of office matters to the detriment of the other workers.
Then you will know that that “boss” does not/cannot give full attention to the job he/she was elected to do.  So Terrence there will probably be a balance now between Barnaby giving his attention to “his book” as a backbencher and his previous diversions.

Trade deals with our great and good partner???

Malcolm:   Please…please…please be careful in your dealings re the Infrastructure Scheme being discussed in the USA now.
Nobody has ever called Joe Hockey a brain, or an astute treasurer so if he is pushing this Infrastructure Scheme for us to join with the USA, please beware of the “sharks” in the USA. We seem usually to come out of trade dealings with the USA behind the eight ball. Don’t be flattered Malcolm and Joe – look twice at any scheme with the USA that would involve us in money and/or trade and then …walk away.  The robber barons of America (Vanderbilts, etc.) did not make their money and build their empires out of railways, etc. by giving away anything at all…and we usually seem to come out of deals with the USA with the wrong end of a rotten stick.

Barnaby – again

I am getting so tired of the repetition of “it’s private and should remain Barnaby’s private life”.
I am a taxpayer and as such I HELP PAY BARNABY’S WAGES and so he is responsible to me ,and to his paymasters, for the way he conducts himself. He stood for Parliament to represent the electors… he is responsible to them for his behaviour – it was not a private job he stood for – it was a responsibility to all the electors.


In the current imbroglio concerning The Hon Barnaby Joyce, Leader of the National Party, elected member for Armidale, possible Acting PM of this country, (a bit of irony all of it) I am feeling so angry at the constant refrain “he’s entitled to privacy for personal affairs like the rest of us”. I dispute this.
He was elected to represent people of his electorate; he is paid a healthy salary to sit in Parliament representing them; he is NOT a private person like the rest of us entitled to privacy. In all aspects of his behaviour he has behaved outrageously and without consideration for his position, possibly representing me and others of Australia as Acting PM….and He has failed and he should go.