Download the Autumn 2016 PDF

Download the complete Autumn 2016 edition of The Swag in PDF format. If you can’t view the files, try downloading the latest version of Adobe Reader.

From the NCP Chairman

As I write my first article as the newly appointed Chairman of the NCP I am conscious of the privilege and responsibility which has been bestowed upon me.

Learning from The Royal Commission

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2013 and has exhaustively sifted through many thousands of interviews and pages of evidence. Have we reached the time when there is nothing new to learn?

“Let Our Church Doors Be Open”

NCP 2016 CONVENTION: “Let Our Church Doors Be Open”. It’s time to decide, so please consider joining us for the Convention.

Francis calls us to care for the poor for Lent

Pope Francis’ Lenten message calls on Catholics to be aware of the corrupting influence of money and power. He invites us to care for the poor, not just pray for them, if we seek the path of Lenten conversion.

So much history, so little time

The annual conventions of America’s theologians and scholars of religion are great opportunities for non-American academics (like me) to get a sense of what’s happening in the field.

Pat Power: Pilgrim Priest & Bishop

Helping to launch ‘Joy and Hope’ is an unexpected and welcome privilege for me for many reasons. Pat and Geraldine & Paul and I have supported each other and enjoyed lovely friendship over the last twenty years.

The virtues of ministry

Pope Francis spoke to the people of the Curial offices and invited them to reflect on their achievements and shortcomings. He then outlined the virtues that would make the work of the Church more fruitful in the Curia and everywhere offering church service.

How can laity speak out in the Catholic Church?

The last two meetings in Rome of the Synod of Bishops, which were called to address the topic of The Family, had very little direct input from the lay people who generate families and live the day to day experience of family life.


The middle of the 20th Century was a heyday for the Australian Catholic Church. Priests who came of age during that period took its widespread success for granted. But it was not normal. Now, well into the 21st Century, it is in fact, returning to normal.

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