Monthly Archives: July 2012

Tolerance — whatever that means

It’s been a busy few days in New Zealand since the MP Louisa Wall had her bill to allow same-sex marriage pulled from a ballot of possible pieces of legislation to be debated in Parliament. And we’re starting to see just how heated the debate is going to be. Today, Bob McCoskrie of the Family First organisation launched a website to promote marriage as an institution that should remain as the union of one man and one woman. As we … Continue reading

God supports Manchester United

Now, of course my headline isn’t true. Well, I don’t know if it’s true or not. But how can one know what God supports or doesn’t support? Well, the only way we can know is really to go back and look at what God — in his three persons — has actually said. To do that, we obviously go to Scripture to read what he said, especially in the person of Jesus. Others, though, don’t necessarily subscribe to that theory. And, … Continue reading

Gay marriage debate heats up in NZ

Thanks to the joy of private member’s bills in New Zealand, with Members of Parliament able to push their own agendas in legislation, the Parliament in my homeland will soon be discussing the possibility of changing what marriage is. Sure, “marriage equality” sounds like something that we should all want, but as I’ve said in plenty of other places — including podcasts — any attempt to change marriage is a genuine redefinition of a concept that has been held to … Continue reading

The View from Down Here returns

One of the problems with being involved in podcasting and blogging as a “hobby” — albeit a serious one — is that we can sometimes end up getting sidetracked from this little venture because it frankly doesn’t pay the bills and the work we do that does pay the bills obviously has to take precedence. Well, after three weeks or more of being unable to gather around our respective microphones, Brendan and I were able to record a new episode … Continue reading

The confessional seal — again

Not for the first time, the idea of forcing priests to break the seal of Confession if they hear admission of crimes — and specifically sexual abuse by clergy — has been raised. In the past week or so, it has been aired in Australia in the context of a parliamentary inquiry in Victoria into sexual abuse in religious organisations and the recent investigative report into decades-old abuse cases involving a former priest. Many people, including the Victoria premier, have … Continue reading

Gun control: A pro-life issue?

Fr James Martin is one of the best known priests in the US. The Jesuit writes regularly on topics of religion and culture, and often in secular publications like the Huffington Post. He’s also considered the chaplain of The Colbert Report, the satirical show on Comedy Central, so he is exposed to the mainstream culture more often than almost all priests in the US. In the wake of the tragic shooting in Colorado that killed a dozen people and has … Continue reading

The Church’s Olympics

Sure, when the London Olympics get under way in a few days, it’s going to be a celebration of the world’s greatest athletes. But it’s also a celebration of humanity and, naturally, the Churches are a big part of that. In the United Kingdom, the Catholic Church and other Christian churches have been working to ensure that these are not Godless times in and around London. Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, which incorporates the London area, spoke with the Vatican … Continue reading

Where does the buck stop?

I’ve written a few posts in recent weeks about sexual abuse, stemmed from the case of “Father F”, a priest who ruined the lives of a number of boys and their families after a series of incidents of abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. There has been a steady stream of stories and opinion pieces on the specifics of the case, the role of senior priests, the onus of reporting accusations and admissions to the police, the possibility of a … Continue reading

In case you missed it…

I’ve been under the weather the last couple of days, so didn’t get a chance to blog about the vote on the Auckland Pro-Life club by students at Auckland University. I previewed the vote a couple of days ago. And I did tweet the result of the vote the other day, so if you’re not following The Soapbox, tut tut, and go to www.twitter.com/catholicsoapbox and rectify that situation I’m pleased to report that the club comfortably survived attempts to disaffiliate … Continue reading

A defining moment tomorrow

Tomorrow at Auckland University, students will have the chance to decide whether they think a pro-life group should continue to be affiliated with the university’s student association. I blogged about this several weeks ago, and I’m hoping that this little reminder will serve as a prompt for people to remember this event in their prayers over the next 18 hours or so. The row between some people who found a pamphlet the group distributed offensive and Pro-Life Auckland has become … Continue reading