Amplifying that still, small voice (PDF)
‘Frank can say things that no Bishop can say, and to audiences which would invite no bishop to speak.’ Bishop Greg O’Kelly, SJ, Diocese of Port Pirie.
Frank Brennan has been a long time advocate for human rights and social justice in Australia. This collection of essays brings together some of his major addresses and writings on justice in the Catholic Church and in Australian society. Placing the individual’s formed and informed conscience as the centre piece in any work for justice, he surveys recent developments in the Catholic Church including the handling of child sexual abuse claims and the uplifting effect of the papacy of Francis, the first Jesuit pope. He then applies Catholic social teaching and the jurisprudence of human rights to contested issues like the separation of powers and the right of religious freedom, and to the claims of diverse groups including Aborigines, asylum seekers, the dying, and same sex couples. At every step, he is there in the public square amplifying that still, small voice of conscience, especially the voice of those who are marginalised.
Frank Brennan is a Jesuit priest, professor of law at the Australian Catholic University, and adjunct professor at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, as well as the College of Law and the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the Australian National University. In 2014-5, he was Gasson Professor at Boston College Law School. He has written a number of books on indigenous issues and civil liberties. His most recent books are Acting on Conscience (University of Queensland Press, 2007), which looks at the place of religion in Australian politics and law and No Small Change (University of Queensland Press, 2015) which puts the case for indigenous recognition in the Australian Constitution. He contributed to Social Justice and the Churches: Challenges and Responsibilities (ATF Theology, 2014). In 2009, he chaired the National Human Rights Consultation. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to Aboriginal Australians, particularly as an advocate in the areas of law, social justice and reconciliation. Labelled ‘the meddling priest’ by Paul Keating and ‘an ethical burr in the nation’s saddle’ by Kevin Rudd, the National Trust has classified him a Living National Treasure.
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