Monthly Archives: September 2011

More on Mormon

Three weeks ago, some of the Australian newspapers were writing about rising rugby league star Will Hopoate’s decision to go on a two-year Mormon mission at the end of the season. There were some who expressed surprise or incredulity that someone with such talent could choose any other path, least of all a religious path. I blogged about the stories and opinion pieces then. In fact, it seems they were so sceptical that they didn’t actually believe he would go … Continue reading

God, Defend New Zealand

I’ve just arrived in Sydney for a weekend with my Dad and two brothers (and some other hangers-on) to take in the NRL Grand Final. For American readers, think the Superbowl. If you’re in the UK, think the FA Cup. And my team, the New Zealand Warriors, has made it through to the final against all odds. It’s going to be a great weekend. But that’s not ALL I want to blog about today. It does set the stage for … Continue reading

Pulling no punches whatsoever

Sometimes one has to tiptoe lightly around a topic. Discretion is sometimes the better part of valour. Diplomacy is sometimes the way to go. But not always. Fr Frank Brennan, SJ, is a highly regarded man here in Australia. He is a strong advocate for the rights of indigenous Australians and is a human rights lawyer. He has launched a stinging attack on Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in particular over her attempts to pass legislation that would see refugees and … Continue reading

If the Soapbox isn’t enough for you

It’s long overdue, but I’ve finally got around to compiling a list of some of my favourite Catholic blogs. Well, most of them are blogs, but some might best be categorised as websites; others are really podcast networks. Whatever you want to call them, they’ve been lumped together on a page on The Catholic Soapbox creatively named “Websites I Like”. There are some sites that are quite serious, whether it’s in the area of liturgy or philosophy or moral issues … Continue reading

Too late for regrets

I have some good news. Senator Nick Xenophon, the self-promotion king from South Australia, has finally expressed some semblance of regret for his outrageous decision to name a priest accused of raping a man about 50 years ago. The man (I had a different word there initially) who used parliamentary privilege to tarnish the name of a monsignor, though, said he regretted his decision because he didn’t know the priest in question was about to go on leave for a … Continue reading

Male-only priesthood compared to apartheid

There are few things more attractive for mainstream journalists than someone defying the long-held teachings of the Catholic Church. Politicians who can be shown to be total hypocrites might be a better story, but only just. So, when a former religious sister who now claims to be a Roman Catholic bishop is in Australia, you can bet she’s going to be all over the newspapers and broadcast media. And so it happened that way. Patricia Fresen, who’s from South Africa, … Continue reading

Jesus as an All Black?

Anyone who’s followed the Anglican scene in New Zealand in recent years will be used to a few odd publicity stunts, most commonly at St Matthews in the City church in Auckland. Renowned for its commendable work for some of the poor and marginalised in Auckland’s inner city, St Matthews has also had some quite peculiar — some would argue heretical — billboards displayed outside their Church. One showed Mary and Joseph, yes THAT Mary and Joseph in bed with … Continue reading

AIDS and the Catholic Church

It’s a favourite refrain from secularists and atheists: The Catholic Church has a lot to answer for when it comes to the spread of AIDS. The argument is that because the Church doesn’t allow the use of contraceptives, and because condoms in particular are believed to be an invaluable tool in the fight to slow the spread of AIDS, the Church is putting people at risk. If I had a dollar for every time I read that argument on a … Continue reading

Fr Forrest, as in Gump

Ok, so his name might not be Forrest Gump, but a story I read on the BBC yesterday certainly reminded me of the great Tom Hanks films of the mid-1990s — still one of my favourite flicks of all time. The scene in particular is the one in which Forrest one days decides to go for a run. Well, he runs for months and months on end all across the United States, gaining a band of loyal followers along the … Continue reading

Not-necessarily-Catholic soapbox

It doesn’t happen all that often, but every once in a while I stumble across something online that I enjoy a great deal and feel like sharing with people. What better way than on The Catholic Soapbox, right? Well, because I think it’s my best way of sharing info with the world, I’m going to use it to share a YouTube video that I think is sheer briliance. It has no Catholic flavour at all, so that’s why I used … Continue reading