Brennan lecture to expand on religion and politics comments

Professor Frank Brennan SJ AO will explore Prime Minister John Howard's comments on "individual" and "Catholic" viewpoints at a public lecture at the Australian Catholic University North Sydney Campus tomorrow evening.

CLICK HEREA statement from the University says the 6:30 pm lecture will take place at the Leone Ryan Auditorium, and then in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Fr Brennan, Professor of Law in the Institute of Legal Studies at ACU National, will question Mr Howard's recent claims that "there's no such thing as a Catholic or Anglican view on anything; it depends on individuals".

Mr Howard's statement was in response to concerns expressed by Catholic Archbishop George Pell and Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen about the impact on families of the Federal Government's proposed industrial relations changes.

"There is such a thing as a Catholic or Anglican view on the morality of war or the morality of government funding for education or on the morality of industrial relations changes impacting on families," Professor Brennan said.

"While the bishops confine themselves to statements of principle true to their faith traditions, they do express an Anglican or Catholic view. As for the application of the principles and the assessment of the detail of proposed laws or policy, there is much room for individual judgment made in good conscience."

Earlier this month, Professor Brennan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from UNSW in recognition of his eminent service to the community. A lawyer and Jesuit priest, he is a leading commentator on legal and public policy issues, and an outstanding advocate for the rights of Australia's indigenous people and asylum seekers. Created an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1995 for services to Aboriginal Australians, particularly as an advocate in law, social justice and reconciliation, he was named a "National Living Treasure" by the National Trust in 1997.

ACU National's Institute of Legal Studies is Australia's only academic centre dedicated to the exploration of the intersection of law and faith, offering a unique contribution to the pressing legal issues of our day. While it advances its students across an array of professions, it also focuses on issues of justice and truth within the Anglo-Australian legal tradition.

Professor Brennan will also deliver the lecture at ACU National's Melbourne Campus (St Patrick's) on Thursday, 29 September in the Christ Lecture Theatre, 115 Victoria Parade, Fitzroy at 6.00pm for 6.30pm; and in Brisbane on Thursday, 13 October, at the Francis Rush Function Centre, Cathedral Precinct, Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, at 6.00pm for 6.30pm.

Free public lecture on Religion and Politics at ACU National (Australian Catholic University 19/9/05)

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ACU National

20 Sep 2005