Monthly Archives: October 2011

Agreeing with Keith Locke (again)

For people in New Zealand, such a headline might come as something of a shock. After all, Keith Locke has long been considered one of the more hard-left members of the Green Party. But this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself agreeing with something Keith has said or is standing up for. Back in 2007 (or thereabouts), I met Keith Locke outside Mt Eden Prison. He was there as part of a group of people protesting the ongoing incarceration … Continue reading

Vatican as economic adviser

Whenever the Vatican has something to say about morality and the way people ought to live their lives, most of the world — including tens of millions of Catholics — don’t seem remotely interested in following that advice. That is a cause of concern, because it’s almost certain that the world would be a vastly better place if people did. I don’t expect that to change any time soon, though. So, should we expect the world to pay attention to … Continue reading

Archbishop Dolan on Susan Sarandon

If you’ve not heard why Susan Sarandon is currently in the news, I’m sorry to disappoint you if you’ve seen this blog title and thought that the good Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, had taken on the new role of Episcopal Film Critic. I blogged late last week on the Sarandon saga in my post “Actors with big mouths”. Well, as it turns out, Archbishop Dolan was also on the case on his own blog, The Gospel in the … Continue reading

God loves the All Blacks

In case we needed confirmation that New Zealand is Godzone, we got it tonight. Thank you, Father, for giving Richie the strength and power to guide us to victory. And for making it a close game to keep us humble. That is all…

Dunedin bishop makes some sort of stand

It will probably come as no surprise to people who follow the Church in New Zealand that some of the bishops there don’t agree with some of the things that the Vatican says they should agree with. Some see that as a problem; others see it as healthy. In the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist in 2005 or 2006, two of New Zealand’s bishops — Archbishop John Dew of Wellington and Bishop Denis Browne of Wellington — made the … Continue reading

Actors with big mouths

I shouldn’t be surprised when actors says stupid things. It’s more surprising when one of the Hollywood crowd says something vaguely intelligent. The latest from Susan Sarandon certainly falls into the stupid category. Speaking at a film festival, Sarandon talked about the 1990s flick Dead Man Walking in which she starred. It’s an adaptation from the book by Sr Helen Prejean. Sarandon said she sent Sr Helen’s book to the Pope, and then clarified which Pope she’d sent it to. … Continue reading

Is there a silver lining in the abuse scandal?

Charles Lewis cuts right to the chase in his article on It would seem to be the ultimate in bad taste to look for a silver lining in the dark cloud of the Roman Catholic Church sexual-abuse crisis. To do so would be, in the minds of many, to minimize the damage done to countless children and teenagers who were betrayed by the “holy people” they trusted. But for some of the scholars meeting this weekend at McGill University … Continue reading

I can’t help myself. More sport and religion

Being an interested participant in and observer of religious affairs, particularly Catholicism and more widely Christianity, and a sports junkie, it’s natural for me to find ways to blog about the intersection of the two. I’ve written about these often unlikely bedfellows on several occasions, and I’m back at it. And no, my Australian friends, it’s not going to be a lengthy treatise on how badly the All Blacks smothered the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup last night. (They … Continue reading

Protest the Church, columnist wonders in Catholic publication

You’ve probably seen coverage in the media of the protests that have been taking place on Wall Street in New York opposing some of the practices that people say are the cause of the world’s current economic problems, which are being realised on an individual level through high rates of unemployment. Well, a columnist for the blog of America, a Catholic publication in the country of the periodical’s title, is wondering if it’s time for a similar reaction from Catholics … Continue reading

Divorced and remarried: Should they teach in Catholic schools?

There are some countries in the world that are very hard to categorise in terms of their Catholic orthodoxy. I have read a fair bit about the Catholic unrest in parts of Western Europe over a range of issues from the ordination of women and married men to the new translation to the abuse crisis and homosexuality. As the countries have become more progressive and secularised, many of the Christian values that have been prevalent in those countries for centuries … Continue reading