July 27th 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Fixing Australia: Can we trust the Morrison Government?

ENERGY Yallourn early closure more than a mere challenge, Mr Premier

CANBERRA OBSERVED Can Labor learn a lesson or is it unredeemable?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS High power prices lead to more deaths of elderly

GENDER POLITICS Catholic Ed's document strong on doctrine, weak on protocols

ENERGY Renewables do push up power price: Chicago economists

OBITUARY The eminence of Dr Joe Santamaria

HISTORY OF SCIENCE Faith and reason and Father Stanley Jaki, Part 6: Medieval Christendom sparks a revolution

ENVIRONMENT As many Pacific islands are rising as are sinking

ASIAN AFFAIRS Uyghurs lose in ethnic power play

POETRY AND HISTORY The epic of the White Horse

HUMOUR On patrol with Father Bruce

MUSIC Joao Gilberto: Carrier of melodies

CINEMA Crawl: Toothful entertainment

BOOK REVIEW America's postwar boom and its end

BOOK REVIEW The story of the drafting of a great document

BOOK REVIEW The facts behind an undying distortion



FOREIGN AFFAIRS Boris Johnson and the EU: Crash through or just crash

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On patrol with Father Bruce

by Paul Nicholls

News Weekly, July 27, 2019

Australia. Present day. Two media gangs surf it out for airwave superiority.

On the left, the ABC (Assiduously Broadcasting Communism), dedicated to delivering the Grim News of a frustrated journo, the miracle-less master of misery, Karl Marx. On the Altar right, the Church (Catholic+Protestant), com­mitted to delivering the Good News (pronounced Goooooood Neuse, if you are a priest from Venezuela) about Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

In a strange twist, the curl of a monster wave, Marxism mouthpiece ABC gets raided by the Feds. It’s hard to muster any sympathy for them, they’re so one eyed. Unlike the Church, which admits to being 100 per cent biased – Jesus is Lord – the ABC, by charter, is supposed to be impartial. It’s expected to cover all facets of life in Australia, from Anarchy to Zoroastrianism.

As a quarter of our Great South Land is Catholic, you might expect, once in a while, that a feel-good story about the Church would emerge from Aunty. Alas, the only time you’ll ever see a positive Catholic news item on ABC services, will be if one of our priests tests positive, to steroids: “Bemused parishioners decided to contact the Archbishop when, during Mass, a bulked-up Father Bruce began whirling the incense dispenser above his head like a hammer thrower! Christian Sledger, ABC News.”

A raided ABC, sandal on the other foot, took a hit (not a successful show). “Don’t cry for me, Abracadabra!” You wouldn’t know it, if the ABC was your only source of information, but the Catholic Church is part of the Fourth Estate too. Unlike the rest of the media, however, the Church only prints the Good News (Gospel, in Old English). Our main paper, The Bible, has been around for ages, with a stable of star journalists – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – and super-talented feature writers like Moses, Isaiah and St Paul.

After the raid, the ABC howled: “Freedom of the Press. Journo+Whistleblower=sacrosanct team!”

What of whistleblowers who blow the whistle on themselves, in the confessional? The ABC didn’t defend priest and penitent. In fact, the ABC argued the media has a right to protect sources but the Church does not. Illogical! Part of penance, if criminality has been confessed, involves handing yourself in to authorities, else no absolution. Confession only has power, with contrition.

The ABC got caught in a rip! Clueless about Christ’s Sacrament. Perhaps the ABC wants priests to make the arrest?

In a small, dimly lit booth with a burgundy curtain, a nervy voice coughs: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”

From behind the curtain, a gruffer, steadier larynx responds: “Well, have ya, Punk?”

“It’s been six months since my last confession.”

“You’re gonna get longer than six months, Sunshine!”

Bulked up DI Father Bruce, deftly chewing gum, smoking a cigarette and a toothpick, kicks in the confessional door! The Sacerdotal Sheriff, wearing a leather Bible holster over his crumpled cassock, cuffs the confessional stoolpigeon with his stole, but not before the publicity shy “perp” pulls the curtain over his head! Father Bruce throws the fugitive into the back of the diocesan divvy van.

“Listen up, Punk! You had the right to go to confession but whatever you have said I’ve recorded and used against you. Your orange-stealing days are over!”

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TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm