Monthly Archives: January 2012

This needs to be fixed

Back in 2006 or 2007, when I was working at NZ Catholic, we were lucky enough to break a story on the fact that Masses in Mt Eden Prison, one of the country’s highest security corrections facilities, had come to an end. “Lucky” is probably a strange word, but I use it because the fact we found out about was a tad lucky and when we were able to report that fact, it led to a change in legislation. To … Continue reading

Neeson mulling conversion to Islam

No, New Zealand political junkies, I’m not talking about Brian Neeson, the former MP and councillor. I’m talking about Liam Neeson — y’know, the guy who provided to voice of Aslan in C.S. Lewis Narnia films. Neeson, being an Irishman, is not surprisingly a Catholic. His religious views have raised eyebrows in the past, though, including when he was interviewed about his lending his voice to the character of Aslan. He said the Aslan didn’t simply represent Christ, but all … Continue reading

Catholics and fellowship

A couple of months back, I made my first visit to what most Catholics would call a “happy-clappy” church. In fact, it was the most famous church of its type in Australia. One of the things that struck me — and I still plan to write a more in-depth post on the appeal of Hillsong and similar congregations — was how well they did what would probably be described as fellowship. They were very good at welcoming people and even … Continue reading

Will John Key attend Parachute?

Parachute is a massive Christian music festival held around this time every year just outside Hamilton — a city about 90 minutes south of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city (for our international readers). Last year was an historic one for the event, with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader both attending, which had never happened before. In fact, neither a sitting PM nor an Opposition Leader had done so. My cynical streak wonders if they made the appearance because it … Continue reading

“Wash out your mouth” returns

On rare occasions, I utilise a special section of The Soapbox called “Wash out your mouth”. It’s a section dedicated to people who say stupid stuff, either because it’s untrue or stupid — or both — or slanderous or ridiculous or blasphemous. You get the idea. I think it’s only been invoked on a couple of occasions. But it’s back. This is from the Associated Press, via New Zealand news website Stuff: A Polish court slapped a fine on a … Continue reading

More from the Costa Concordia Catholic chaplain

Last week, I posted on the chaplain of the Costa Concordia and his efforts to save the Eucharist when the ship ran aground. Well, Fr Raffaele Malena is becoming one of the most famous chaplains in the history of the world, showing up in the news media again commenting on the captain’s reaction when things went so terribly wrong. THE captain of the wrecked Costa Concordia “cried like a baby” hours after the crash, a priest says. The captain hugged … Continue reading

The failings of those in public life

As I warned you, dear readers, the 2012 US presidential election will probably get a fair bit of blog time in the next 10 months or so, and I’m back onto it already as the race for the Republican nomination heats up. In the most recent contest, Catholic convert Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary against the odds to throw a cat among the pigeons. That victory has got me thinking about the moral failures of public figures and … Continue reading

I am the king of Canberra

Well, not really. There’s no such thing as king of Canberra. There’s also no such thing as a woman priest in the Catholic Church, but that’s not going to stop the media in Florida running the headline: “More than 200 attend Fort Myers woman’s ordination as Roman Catholic priest” I saw this story developing during the week when it was reported that 74-year-old Judy Beaumont was going to be “ordained” today (Saturday in the US) in a Lutheran-Episcopalian church by … Continue reading

Twitter check

Sorry – we’ve been having some technical challenges with the Twitter connection from this blog.  We’re working through it, though, and hope to have it resolved very soon!

This is why I don’t like the National Catholic Reporter

I’ve espoused the merits of National Catholic Reporter journalist and columnist John Allen several times on The Soapbox, including in the past week or so. I’ve also criticised the publication for which he writes — and its blog authors — for its stance on a range of issues. It is a very liberal-progressive publication that seems to have an axe to grind with the Church over a number of issues. The latest stunt was to use a story on the … Continue reading