In these reflections on leadership in Church and State, Frank Brennan states ideals and proposes practical challenges in addresses ranging from his non-partisan 'Light on the Hill' address to the Australian Labor Party after the 2013 federal election to his address to the representatives of the world's Jesuit universities. He reflects on the leadership of past prime ministers Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser. He offers insights into tested leadership with his ANZAC Centenary Address in the Harvard Memorial Chapel. He challenges church leaders to be more transparent and compassionate in their responses before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He draws inspiration from leaders like Pope Francis, El Salvador's Archbishop Oscar Romero and Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy.
Frank writes with the conviction that we the people are seeking spiritual and political leaders who can inspire us to dedicate ourselves to taking up the burdens of the fallen in the Great War and, with the same high courage and steadfastness with which they went into battle, to setting our hands to the tasks they left unfinished (some of which they could not possibly have imagined a century ago), and giving our utmost to make the world a better and happier place for all people, through whatever means are open to us. As well as being bloodied and tested, our new leaders need to be nurtured, encouraged, and espoused. They need strong moral contours to navigate the modern demands of leadership when taking on the big issues like climate change and entrenched inequality.
The People's Quest for Leadership in Church and State by Frank Brennan was published by ATF Theology in September 2015. The ISBN for The People's Quest for Leadership in Church and State is 9781925232585.