Monthly Archives: October 2012

The sky isn’t falling at the Vatican

Over the past five years or so, L’Osservatore Romano — the official or semi-official Vatican newspaper, depending on who you ask — has undergone a pretty radical formation in a lot of ways. The design has changed, the type of stories has changed and the current editor has made a major push into popular culture. The latest foray into such territory was an issue earlier this week that dedicated five articles to the new James Bond film Skyfall, which set … Continue reading

Calling Catholic new media-ns (media-ites?)

Earlier this month, I had my first real experience using the Google+ Hangout technology to its fullest. I’d had a couple of Hangouts previously, but the technology is pretty amazing and actually allows you to live stream straight through YouTube (and maybe other platforms) while you’re having a discussion and then it is recorded and available for others to watch later. I blogged about what we did, having a five-way chat about social media in general and about some specific … Continue reading

More wisdom from Archbishop Chaput

Keen followers of The Soapbox will be aware of my admiration of and respect for Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia (formerly of Denver). Archbishop Chaput is a standout bishop and someone who understands well the important relationship between the Church and the state — not the separation of the two. He knows the Church has a role to play in speaking into society and helping shape thinking and policy, in the right proportions. I blogged recently about Archbishop Chaput’s comment … Continue reading

Of virginity and voting

With only about 10 days to go till the US election, things are definitely heating up. President Obama and Governor Romney can’t be getting a great deal of sleep as they criss-cross the country — well, the battleground states at least — in search of that last burst of momentum that will make the difference between winning and losing in what shapes to be the closest election since the cliffhanger in 2000, and closer than any of the several elections … Continue reading

The elephant in the room

Having been around Catholic journalism and Church communications for the best part of eight years, it’s interesting to watch the way in which some people are dealing with the ongoing effects of the clerical sex abuse crisis. We are all obviously terribly disappointed and shameful that the Church seemed to be a breeding ground for men — albeit a very small percentage — who would abuse children and teens, and also for the role of bishops in minimising or covering … Continue reading

The war on religion

As far as powerful introductions in articles go, this is a pretty good one: In today’s increasingly secular society, the threat to religious freedom comes not at the point of a sword, but from imposed values at odds with the truth that there is a Creator who has given us certain inalienable rights that government is supposed to secure, not supplant. People of faith in America may not be seeing squads of soldiers pounding on their doors in the dead … Continue reading

Ireland defies conventional wisdom

In the last three or so years, the Catholic Church has been — based on media reports — shaken to its core in Ireland as stories of sexual abuse and cover-ups by bishops and senior priests have spread. In a country where Catholicism could not be separated from the fabric of the nation, it appeared the Church was going to collapse under the weight of the crisis and a country that was once considered as Catholic a country as there … Continue reading

Well, there’s a surprise

On a scale of one to 10, please report below your surprise at the following statement: A former Catholic priest who left the priesthood in the 1970s says the Church should allow married priests. Are you at a rating of 1.2 like me? Thought so. As I’ve previously written about on The Soapbox, the Victorian parliament is conducting an inquiry into sexual abuse in religious institutions and other organisations — but largely the Catholic Church. It’s an important inquiry and … Continue reading

A milestone moment for the Church

I remember about three years ago (almost to the day) when Pope Benedict was canonising Father Damien of Molokai, the Belgian priest who volunteered to minister to lepers in Molokai in the Hawaiian islands and died after contracting the disease. We at NZ Catholic hosted a special screening of the movie made to honour Father Damien. As I wrote recently, one of Father Damien’s colleagues who spent time ministering to lepers — Mother Marianne Cope — is being canonised today … Continue reading

Separation of Church and comedy

Last night, in what was a breath of fresh air in a very bitter presidential campaign, President Obama and Governor Romney took a break from that acrimony to rub shoulders with some of the leaders of the Catholic Church in New York, as well as hundreds of others who paid big money to attend the Al Smith Dinner, which serves as a fundraiser for Catholic charities in the Big Apple and surrounding areas. The Al Smith Dinner is named for … Continue reading