Monthly Archives: May 2012

Turn the Cradio up

At the recent Catholic Media Congress in Sydney, I was lucky enough to catch up with some good friends and also make some new friends from the ranks of the people who have answered the call to be involved in the business of Catholic communications in one way or another. It’s always a diverse group of people at such gatherings, with a wide range of skills, but they’re invariably a great bunch of folks. This year, I met a young … Continue reading

What’s Jesus got to do with religion?

We often hear people say things like “I love God, but I can’t stand the Church” or, at the very least, “I believe in God, but the Church isn’t for me”. It’s true that we can all sometimes despair at the failings of people within the Church — often people who are in positions of influence in the Church. One person who decided to makes his views on this apparent disconnect between religion (the Church) and Jesus has become a … Continue reading

Did this newspaper pull this story?

I was away over the weekend — hence no posts on the Soapbox. I was in the Blue Mountains, a lovely area about 90 minutes west of Sydney. If I hadn’t already arranged that weekend away with a group of my closest friends in Canberra, I would have been in Wagga Wagga attending a men’s gathering led by Catholic speaker extraordinaire Patrick Madrid. As I said to one of my friends tonight, he’s probably in the top five, or certainly … Continue reading

The tide has turned

Continuing a fairly remarkable trend over the past 17 years, the latest survey from Gallup — a very reputable company — found┬áthat 50 per cent of Americans consider themselves to be pro-life, while just 41 per cent say they are pro-choice. That has reversed the “balance of power” since 2009, when pro-choice Americans outnumbered pro-lifers 49-45. Since 1995, though, coincidentally the year I moved to the United States, the trend has been even more drastic. In that year, pro-choice Americans … Continue reading

Bishop: Don’t mess with marriage

In the past, I’ve made it fairly clear that I’ve got a lot of time for Bishop Anthony Fisher, OP, of Parramatta. I first came to know of Bishop Fisher when he was named as the head honcho for the planning of Sydney’s World Youth Day to be held in 2008, so it was probably 2005 or 2006 when he first entered my consciousness. He impressed me back then, and I also came to learn of his great knowledge in … Continue reading

George Weigel stole my thunder

Well, I suppose if someone is going to steal my thunder, the man who wrote a biography of Pope John Paul II is probably a good candidate. Last night, I tweeted that I was planning to post tonight on the decision of 43 Catholic entities, including the archdioceses of New York and Washington, DC, to file a law suit against (essentially) the Obama administration over its mandate that would force employers to provide coverage for contraception and sterilisation procedures in … Continue reading

A week in the life…

It’s fair to say that most Catholics wouldn’t have a great understanding of what a priest does on any given day, let alone what the duties and opportunities are that he would encounter over the course of a week. If that’s true, then imagine how little a non-Catholic would know. The Archdiocese of Sydney is seeking to change that, with the vocations director for the diocese featured in a 10-minute YouTube video that travels through a typical week. Naturally, the … Continue reading

Protests can’t stop Lady Gaga’s concerts in Philippines

Lady Gaga is an amazingly talented musician. That is without question. What is also without question is that some of her songs are offensive to some people 0f faith and some of her costumes are a bit too risque for many people. As a result of those latter issues, people in some Asian countries have been protesting her current tour because they say she’s “blasphemous”. And it appears to be a cause that crosses denominational and faith lines, with Christians … Continue reading

Helping people say “goodbye”

It won’t surprise anyone — I wouldn’t think — for me to write that I’m a big fan of Catholic newspapers and magazines. As the former editor of a Catholic newspaper, that just makes sense. But the collective voice of Catholic publications in Australasia is a strong one. The publications have a range of frequencies from weekly through to quarterly, but if all the publications were printed on the same, there would be more than 1 million newspapers and magazines … Continue reading

Showing the world a contemplative life

So much about the Catholic Church is anathema to the secular world, and that’s part of the reason why some people find the Church a bit weird. It’s also a reason why many people who are put in charge of reporting on the Church are so inept at covering it — they just don’t understand and don’t seem interested in trying to understand. As they say, though, a picture says a thousand words. In that case, the 18,000 words that … Continue reading