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Donald Trump Is Not Going to Sue Pope Francis. PRODonkeyHotey. flickr cc.

Consternation over Trump

Mr Trump continues to cause consternation with his humiliating obsequiousness to the leaders of Saudi Arabia (hey – he won a huge arms deal worth $US110 billion!), even though the Saudis have been pouring money into spreading their fundamentalist version of Islam, in large part responsible for the upsurge in Islamist terrorism.


Ideas for social reform:
Race Mathews with Paul Smyth

Dr Race Mathews wished to reinvigorate co-operative movements in Australia by alerting social justice groups, especially about the origins of many reform programs in the churches. He hoped for a renewed engagement of intellectual currents such as the Fabian Society with social reform movements inspired by religious belief.

For his part, Paul Smyth emphasised the possibilities in recent social thinking, such as that of Maurice Glasman and the Blue Labour movement in Britain, which opens Catholic social thought into a wider circle of conversation with ecumenical, inter-faith and secular partners in efforts to devise more inclusive and participatory systems of social policy.

Dr Race Mathews

Reflections on Dr Race Mathews & Professor Paul Smyth discussing Of Labour & Liberty

David Moloney

Mondragon, says Mathews, is simply the new “light on the hill” for a democratic social order. Its successful implementation of “labour employing capital”, in the process realising personal dignity as insisted upon in Catholic social thought, is an alternative model to neoliberalism, now widely held to be failing. Race Mathews’s story of Distributism offers a credible alternative to a failing neoliberal economic model.


Bishop Vincent Long launches Hilton Deakin’s Bonded through tragedy, united in hope

At the Knox Centre in Melbourne on 1 June, more than 200 people heard Bishop Vincent Long, now of Parramatta Diocese, launch this striking account of Bishop Hilton Deakin and his involvement with the struggles in East Timor.

Written by prominent educationalists, Therese D’Orsa Professor of Mission & Culture at the Broken Bay Institute in Sydney, and her husband Dr Jim D’Orsa, in close collaboration with Hilton, Bonded through tragedy, united in hope chronicles how Hilton became deeply involved in the saga of East Timor, and played such an important role supporting key figures in the independence movement, and communicating with an international audience about what was happening in Timor L’Este.

Hilton Deakin arriving to launch a scholarship fund for orphans in East Timor, the OANKIAK Fund. John Casamento.

Hilton Deakin’s memoir: faith, justice, & East Timor

Reviewed by Rowan Ireland

Australian Catholic bishop, Hilton Deakin, now aged 84, has given us a remarkable memoir. It was produced over several years, with the assistance of Jim and Therese D’Orsa, who worked with Hilton on the project as one of their many contributions to the Yarra Institute for Religion & Social Policy. The memoir focuses on Hilton’s years of involvement with East Timor, but it speaks to all involved in the faith-inflected search for justice, peace, and development, at home and abroad.

For activists in the search, it provides inspiration in the stories it tells about the likes of Dili’s Bishop Belo: here, Christian faith is shown nourishing heroic courage, resilience, and strategic wisdom in a struggle for justice and peace as intense as any in the developing world.

Bonded through tragedy united in hope: The Catholic Church & East Timor’s struggle for independence, a memoir, by Hilton Deakin with Jim and Therese D’Orsa (Melbourne Garratt Publishing 2017).

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive to the Murabba Palace, escorted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. Nina Reid. flickr cc.

Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia, & the hypocrisy Olympics

Peter Rodgers

The breathless hypocrisy of Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia should leave us all reeling. Bad enough is the new president making his first overseas journey to the very country he previously castigated, rightly, as the motherlode of 9/11. But the sycophancy he displayed to his hosts, especially King Salman, demonstrated just what a dangerous chameleon Trump is.


A treaty would be an agreement rather like that of host and guest, with rights and responsibilities for each party. AAP/Joel Carrett.

After Uluru, we must focus on a treaty ahead of constitutional recognition

Gaynor Macdonald

The Indigenous National Constitutional Convention concluded with the Uluru Statement. In contrast to the political expectation that it would simply support symbolic recognition of Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution, the convention went much further, asserting Indigenous sovereignty, and making two demands.

First, for a First Nations “voice” to be ensured in the parliament and enshrined in the constitution. Second, for the establishment of a Makarrata Commission “to supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First Nations and truth-telling about our history”.

A significant demand is the Makarrata/treaty process. The whole nation has much to gain from the treaty route. However, if delegates prioritise the less politically controversial constitutional change, they risk derailing the more urgent need for treaties.

SPC Video Selection

Professor Paul Smyth
The nexus of wages & welfare





Race Mathews & Paul Smyth
Cooperatives as a means to fight inequality





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