Monthly Archives: June 2011

Benedict reflects

As someone in his mid-30s, the thought of 60 years in any one state of life seems a little hard to comprehend. When you’re 84, though, it’s probably a little easier to grasp. As I mentioned in a couple of posts earlier this week, Pope Benedict has just celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He was ordained on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, June 29, back in 1951. Now, as Pope, one of the big events … Continue reading

The tweet heard around the (Catholic) world

It’s been a pretty big day for the Holy Father. On this day, he commemorates the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination. To celebrate, he decided to issue his first tweet, sent from an iPad. So, on such an auspicious occasion, what did he want to broadcast to the world? Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI. That website has been a little while in the making and … Continue reading

World Priest Day

I had reason to be in the offices of NZ Catholic, the national Catholic newspaper, today. As most of you will know, that’s where I plied my trade for a little over five years. I was having a nosey through some back issues and stumbled across an editorial that I’d written maybe three years ago on the need for Catholics to pray for priests. Well, it seems someone was listening. This Friday is World Priest Day. I know, the idea … Continue reading

Sporting or religious rivalry?

As a child of the late 1970s, it’s hard to fathom some of the things that used to take place in the Catholic Church. I’m not talking about the Mass in Latin. I’m talking about the bans of attending funerals and weddings of non-Catholics, including relatives. I’m talking about the heckling and name-calling that used to take place between kids from Catholic and non-Catholic schools: Protty Dogs and Catholic Frogs (or was it the other way around?) and the like. … Continue reading

Finally: A bureaucrat sticking up for Christians (sort of)

So often it seems that Christians are the last group against which it’s OK to discriminate. We live in a world where it is unacceptable to discriminate against women or people of a non-traditional sexual orientation or people with disabilities. I agree that it’s wrong to discriminate on those grounds. It often appears, though, that some influential people think it’s OK to discriminate against Christians. Here in New Zealand, the discrimination appears in minor and often fairly trivial — although … Continue reading

Smells like Holy Spirit

Sometimes stories that are featured or highlighted on The Soapbox are happy; sometimes they’re sad. Sometimes they’re frustrating or uplifting or perplexing or inspiring or disappointing or encouraging. Today’s story is probably best described as “quirky”. The story from Christian Newswire, reported on the Earned Media website, needs no introduction: Excelsis announced today that it has created a new fragrance made expressly for His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the … Continue reading

Church lurches further into the digital age

I always pay close attention to technological advances as they relate to the Catholic Church. Given it’s the field in which I now work, I suppose that’s wise. I also just find it interesting to see how some Catholic dioceses and organisations are — sometimes painfully slowly — embracing the new technology that the rest of the world has already embraced. The latest development to catch my eye, courtesy of a story on the Washington Post website via the Associated … Continue reading

Godless Pledge of Allegiance

I’ve possibly mentioned on The Soapbox before that golf is one of my passions. I love the game, though I sometimes hate it, such is the nature of the challenge of golf. I love watching the pros make it look easy and hate seeing myself make it look so difficult. But that’s the love-hate relationship most golfers have with the game. Today, while cooped up in bed battling the flu, I was following online the final round of the US … Continue reading

Can you confirm that please

Still not feeling too crash hot, so once again going to rely on some multimedia offering to keep my listeners entertained and hopefully informed. The bad news (or possibly good news?) is that in today’s clip you have to listen to my voice. The good news is that the head of the Catholic Church in New Zealand’s largest diocese is also on the podcast speaking about the sacrament of Confirmation. It’s Confirmation season in these post-Easter — and now post-Pentecost … Continue reading

A little weekend viewing

Feeling substantially under the weather this weekend, but wanted to share a little video treat with you. It’s another useful morsel from the folks at CathNews, extracted from a DVD “Who Cares About the Saints?” It’s a brief look at the life and times of Thomas Merton, one of those Church figures that lots of people haven’t heard about but whose writings may well benefit those same people if they are exposed to them. Click here to watch the 11-minute … Continue reading