Monthly Archives: March 2011

They’re using this Internet thing too…

As I’ve written about before, Icon Media — the company that I started with two friends — has a goal of using the various communication tools that are available today to try to spread the Gospel message. We do that using podcasts and blogs and various other initiatives in conjunction with like-minded groups. There’s a problem, though; the “enemy” seems to have caught on to this Internet phenomenon as well. From The Telegraph in the UK: A surge in Satanism … Continue reading

Pope becomes manga hero — whatever that is…

OK, first of all, a confession. When I was reading Cathnews this morning, I had no idea what a manga hero was or is. All I know was that Pope Benedict was about to come one such manga hero. I have subsequently discovered that manga is a style of drawing used in comics and cartoons that originated in Japan and has apparently taken the world by storm. I must have missed the revolution. So, how does Pope Benedict come into … Continue reading

Courtyard of the Gentiles

No longer being immersed in the daily scouring of Catholic news websites for stories of interest as editor of a Catholic newspaper, I sometimes am a little behind the play on some important developments. Such was the case with the Vatican initiative called “Courtyard of the Gentiles”, a programme — first suggested by Pope Benedict himself — that seeks to bring believers and non-believers together and open up dialogue. In 2009, the Holy Father talked of the importance of creating … Continue reading

Christchurch earthquake: Act of God?

That’s the question that a journalist at The Press, Christchurch’s main daily newspaper, went asking over the weekend. Speaking to many Christian leaders in the city, including Catholic Bishop Barry Jones, the article offers the nitty-gritty details of which churches were damaged and what various people were doing when the quake struck, but also dips its metaphorical toe into some of the deeper theological questions that surround the deadly February 22 quake. Were the people of Christchurch being punished from … Continue reading

Gather around the table

I’ve just arrived home from a weekend away. I was attending a wedding and also got a chance to catch up with some good friends, including a close priest friend of mine. I observed what I felt was a very unfortunate incident when I was attending the nuptial Mass of the wedding yesterday. Like most weddings in New Zealand, the congregation that gathered to celebrate the marriage of the happy couple was made up of Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, people of … Continue reading

Feast or Solemnity?

I’m down in Christchurch today for the start of a three-day visit here for a wedding. I caught up with a priest friend of mine today, which was nice. Today is, as devoted Soapbox followers no doubt know, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. That got me thinking about the difference between feasts, solemnities, memorials and optional memorials. I used to be very confused by it all. I went through a phase of thinking all days related to Our Lord … Continue reading

Wannabe movie buff

Now, I’d hardly call myself much of a movie buff. I’m a big fan of historical movies, with two from different eras — The Social Network and The King’s Speech — my two favourite films of 2010. In fact, they were probably two of my favourite movies of the past five years. If you haven’t seen one or both of them, I highly recommend you do. As I say, though, I’m not a movie buff. I’ve mentioned a couple of … Continue reading

The Bible: Atheist challenges Catholic

I gathered this morning — as I do every Wednesday — with a group of friends of mine who are all Protestant. The eight-man group, which I’ve mentioned before on The Soapbox, is made up of professionals, as well as people who work in a religious context. We often talk about things of particular interest to Christians, but equally often talk about more worldly issues, always trying to examine those issues through a Christian lens. The news of the day … Continue reading

On anti-Christian prejudice

I suspect it is the height of arrogance to quote myself on my blog, but I’m going to go ahead and do it anyway. This is from my blog post on March 4. It appears that being anti-Catholic — or even anti-Christian — is the last acceptable prejudice. Well, based on a report that has just been released, I may have been right. You see, the Catholic organisation Aid to the Church in Need has found that the vast majority … Continue reading

Something in the water

No, this isn’t a post on the latest single by New Zealand singer Brooke Fraser. That song has the same title as this blog post. Yesterday, I wrote about the breakthrough in Malaysia, where the government agreed to release to Christians thousands and thousands of Bibles that had previously been confiscated. Sure, it would have been preferable that they were never seized, but at least the release of the books has been granted. Now, also from the “never should have … Continue reading