‘Recent Developments’ Category Archives


CASHLESS “HEALTHY WELFARE CARD”: working well, now what?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Health, Justice, Lifestyle, Money, Politics, Recent Developments

The Australian federal government’s Healthy Welfare Card, trialled in Kununurra and Ceduna, transmits 80 percent of welfare payments by means of a cashless debit card, not spendable on alcohol or gambling.
In both centres ambulance call-outs to alcohol-related violence and spending on gambling have significantly fallen.
The Mayor of Ceduna says communities troubled by results of alcohol and gambling excesses “would be silly not to trial the Card”.
I believe my community certainly needs to do it.
Yours, dear reader, probably does, too.
It might be a good move to all tell our federal MP to please set up a trial locally, and soon.

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THE STATE OF VICTORIA: the inalienable right to kill children now under threat?

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Australia, Politics, Recent Developments

The state of Victoria, Australia, has arguably the world’s worst laws regarding abortion.
Unborn Victorian babies may be legally aborted at any stage, right up to the moment of delivery.
The Andrews government seems quite smug about that.
However, Victoria’s Legislative Council is to debate a new Bill — the Infant Viability Bill — to protect babies of more than 20 weeks’ gestation, probably on May 25.
The Bill has been initiated by Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins.
In the USA, in March 2016, the South Carolina Senate passed a similar Bill known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, by 36 votes to 9.
Isn’t it about time Victoria modified its laws to something a bit more humane?


POPE FRANCIS’S NEW STATEMENT ABOUT FAMILY LOVE: does “amoris laetitiae” make Catholic teaching clearer?

by Arnold Jago in Family, Modern Church, Recent Developments, Sacraments

The Pope’s recent “exhortation” on family issues is long – nine chapters, broken down into 325 paragraphs and covering 256 pages.
A lot of it is good thoughts emphasising that we should love each other, especially family members.
He reaches the key contentious issue — whether people living in adulterous relationships, having been divorced and later re-married, should receive Holy Communion – in chapter eight, paragraphs 299-304.
Paragraph 299 says such people “need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities . . . Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services . . . Such persons need to feel, not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members . . . .”
Is not-feeling-excommunicated the same as not-excluded-from-receiving Communion?
He doesn’t quite say. It all seems a bit ambiguous. You could take it either way.
Paragraph 304 goes on to be even more ambiguous: “It is true that general rules set forth a good which can never be disregarded or neglected, but in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations. At the same time, it must be said that, precisely for that reason, what is part of a practical discernment in particular circumstances cannot be elevated to the level of a rule.”
It seems like stating a rule and providing a loophole to justify ignoring the rule all in one breath.
A loophole through which one could drive a Mack truck.


MORE ABOUT THE IRISH REFERENDUM: a spiritual banana skin?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Family, God, Recent Developments, Truth

When Ireland voted to abandon the usual definition of marriage, I wondered how the Pope would react.

So far nothing from him personally on the internet.

But last Tuesday his number two, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, did comment:

“I was deeply saddened by the result. The Church must take account of this reality, but in the sense that it must strengthen its commitment to evangelisation . . . .

“You cannot just talk of a defeat for Christian principles, but of a defeat for humanity.”

It’s being described as the end of an era.

No, not really.

The era of men needing God can’t end — no matter how bad a job the Church is doing.

The Church may even learn a lesson from all this and start doing better.

There’s no major problem with Catholic religion itself. The intellectual debate was over ages ago.

The problem is getting people’s eyes off their TV’s, computers, mobiles etc. and letting their defeated brains seek and find a path back to sanity and humanity.



CARDINAL BURKE AND THE SYNOD ON THE FAMILY: divorce and catholic holy communion

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Family, Modern Church, Recent Developments, Sacraments

At the moment an “extraordinary” Synod of Catholic bishops is meeting in Rome — its theme being simply “The Family”.

The media hint that the Synod may decide to “relax” the Church’s law of refusing divorced-and-remarried persons eligibility to receive Holy Communion.

But Cardinal Burke says that topic isn’t appropriate and should be “taken off the table”. (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1404066.htm)

He is Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, a senior position with the Vatican.

But such a decision couldn’t be taken by this Synod anyway.

The 2014 Synod merely prepares a suggested agenda for the definitive 2015 Synod, which will make formal recommendations to the Pope who then issues his instructions to the Church worldwide.

Today’s biggest need isn’t a formula for balancing compassion and justice re this almost impossible problem of divorce . . . .

. . . but to find ways to avoid divorce in the first place.


(1) the Church must provide more excellent preparation instructions to couples contemplating marriage.

So that they understand Matrimony as a Sacrament — with supernatural power enabling couples to cherish their marriage lifelong despite the inevitable problems.

Catholic families thus becoming living examples to other families to note and emulate.

(2) the issue of priestly child abuse against children shouldn’t be side-stepped.

Until that is addressed properly and visibly at top level, the Church won’t have the authority and credibility that the world needs to be able to accord it.



AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE AND BERNARD GAYNOR: injustice, hypocrisy, persecution, law-breaking etc.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, crime, Justice, Politics, Recent Developments

The Australian Defence Force has terminated the commission of Major Bernard Gaynor as a Reserve Officer in the Australian Army because he opposed uniformed military participation in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

In addition, Gaynor is now required to defend himself in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Tribunal against claims of homosexual vilification and demands for $100,000.

Under present Australian law it is illegal for government organisations to engage in religious vilification and discrimination.

Yet Defence breaks these laws every time they give support to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

On 16 April 2013, an Australian Defence Force (ADF) Quick Assessment Report concluded that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras vilified Christianity and was a political event.

The ADF is guilty of double standards. This year they refused to allow pro-life and pro-family members to march at the (anti-abortion) “March For Babies” in uniform.

Many Australians are proud of the ADF and its history — trusting it to protect us and the laws of our land.

Such confidence is now shaken.

It is also difficult to see how the military can address ongoing issues of sexual abuse when soldiers are permitted to attend an event promoting nudity and sexual licentiousness.

More about this may be accessed at www.bernardgaynor.com.au