Category Archives: Religion

Breaking the confessional seal is a bet on rogue priests

The very sharp Waleed Aly has joined the debate over whether Catholic child abuse justifies a legal requirement for priests to break the confessional seal. Aly’s take: it’s an argument with almost no practical consequences, because most priests see excommunication … Continue reading

Posted in Politics - national, Religion | 14 Comments

The danger in Pell’s dubious anti-media script

To my astonishment, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell spent part of a press conference today claiming that the news media are exaggerating the scandal of Catholic Church child abuse in Australia. There was “a persistent press campaign against the … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics - national, Religion, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Is Catholicism in rude health?

Looking at the newspapers you’d think Catholicism is having a hard time with philandering priests and cover-ups of their doings being found out on a weekly basis. Dutch and German newspapers kept track for a while of the regional frequencies … Continue reading

Posted in Geeky Musings, History, Life, Religion, Society, Uncategorized | 57 Comments


Samuel Sewall (1652–1730) is the man with the bowed head in this picture. He has much to feel remorseful about. Amongst eight other judges, he’s sentenced nineteen innocent people to death for being witches in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. When January 14, was established … Continue reading

Posted in History, Religion | 18 Comments

Me and the Catholic Church: A Roger and two Franks

I was deeply disturbed by Monday’s Four Corners program on child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy, not because it’s any news as such but because very little seems to have changed despite almost 20 years of similar appalling revelations. I’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Law, Life, Religion | 33 Comments

The spooky facts about the sun and moon

Here’s a picture of the moon and the sun juxtaposed. They cycle between being the same size in our heavens and being a bit bigger or smaller than each other. It’s spooky.  Just the right size to deliver a total eclipse, … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Science | 5 Comments

Giving to the wealthy

I’m not much of a fan of giving to wealthy causes. Like private schools for the well healed. I was asked to attend an interview to see if I’d go on the Council of my daughter’s private school – which … Continue reading

Posted in Bargains, Economics and public policy, Political theory, Religion | 22 Comments