Intelligence Squared Debates

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at Melbourne Town Hall

The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World

For almost two millennia, the Catholic Church has been the author and repository of some of the highest ideals of humanity. Yet, as humanity is flawed, so is the Church. Few would deny that the Catholic Church has dark chapters in its history. So much is expected of an institution that claims to bridge the sacred and the secular. Do these darker moments unfairly obscure the light? Or is the Catholic Church simply the most ancient of wolves in sheep’s clothing?

Speaking for the proposition will be Helen Coonan, Julian McMahon and Sister Libby Rogerson. Speaking against the proposition will be Father Peter Kennedy, Anne Summers and David Marr.

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Portrait of Libby Rogerson

Libby Rogerson

Sister Libby Rogerson IBVM is a Loreto sister currently working with Mary Ward International Australia, the Loreto Sisters’ aid, development and volunteer organisation.

Portrait of Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon

Julian McMahon was admitted to practice in 1992. After working at Sly & Weigall and the OPP, he joined the Victorian Bar in 1998.

Portrait of Peter Kennedy

Peter Kennedy

Father Peter Kennedy is a former Catholic priest who was forced to stand down from his position as parish priest in the South Brisbane diocese of St Mary’s in 2009.

Portrait of Helen Coonan

Helen Coonan

Senator Helen Coonan was a Liberal member of the Australian Senate representing New South Wales from July 1996 to August 2011.

Portrait of David Marr

David Marr

David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Guardian and the Monthly, and been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch.

He is the author of five bestselling Quarterly Essays in addition to the latest, Quarterly Essay 65, The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race.

Portrait of Anne Summers

Anne Summers

Dr Anne Summers AO is a best-selling author, journalist and thought-leader with a long career in politics, the media, business and the non-government sector in Australia, Europe and the United States. She is author of nine books, including the classic Damned Whores and God's Police, Ducks on the Pond, The Lost Mother, and The Misogyny Factor.

Intelligence Squared Debates

The Intelligence Squared debates rage on in 2014 with a whole new range of topics as compelling as they are polarising. In these highly participatory debates, once both sides have had their say, the decision as to who emerges victor lies entirely in your hands.


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