Monthly Archives: November 2012

Confession — the untold story

It’s only a few days since I last wrote about confession, but today’s discussion of the sacrament is quite a different one. Last week I was writing about the efforts of some to completely alter the nature of the confessional by saying priests who hear confessions from other priests who admit to having interfered with children must report that to the police. The problem? That never happens, according to a number of senior priests, for a variety of reasons, so … Continue reading

Catholics in Scotland, be brave

I have often written of the plight of Christians generally, and Catholic specifically, in many parts of the world, especially in countries with large Muslim and Hindu majorities. I’ve also spoken of the less dangerous levels of persecution that exist in what have traditionally been Christian countries, either in name or understood to be such because of the overwhelming number of Christians who lives in those countries. Well, it seems Scotland is a “shining light” in that latter category, as … Continue reading

More Brandon Vogt

Brandon Vogt is becoming one of my must-read Catholic bloggers these days. He is a pretty prolific blogger, writer and speaker in the US and, like many of the leading Catholic new media exponents, he’s a convert to the Catholic Church. And like most adult converts, he’s very knowledgeable and very committed to the teachings of the Church because he made the conscious choice to sign on to the Faith rather than inheriting it and, as often happens with cradle … Continue reading

Don’t tell me nuns aren’t “hip”

If you were talking about many religious orders and something to do with the word “hip”, you’d probably be discussing hip replacements, such is the ageing nature of most religious orders. Not all groups of religious women are suffering the same fate. In the past, I’ve blogged about the Nashville Dominicans (Dominican Sisters of St Cecelia) and the Sisters of Life as two orders that are attracting a lot of vocations. I’m obviously familiar with the Salesian order, but hadn’t … Continue reading

‘Tis the season to see folly

(After a bout of illness earlier in the week and then an overzealous ISP later in the week, apologies for the lean patch of blogging.) Well, I’ve just watched some of the coverage of the Black Friday sales in the US. And while I must admit I miss the sleep-inducing turkey feast, mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pie extravaganza I enjoyed for seven Thanksgivings, I can say — hand on heart — that I don’t miss the craziness that … Continue reading

Women clergy and the Anglican Communion

News flash!! The Anglican Communion has voted — once again — not to allow women to be made bishops. Three groups were called upon to vote — current bishops, current priests and the laity — and two-thirds of each group had to approve of a change to allow women bishops. The bishops were almost unanimous in their support. Priests were also very supportive, but not quite as convincingly. But the laity fell short of the necessary two-thirds majority by just … Continue reading

The seal of confession

One of the secondary (or tertiary) discussions that arose following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a Royal Commission to investigate institutional responses to child sexual abuse was around the seal of confession and whether priests who hear a fellow priest confess to having interfered with a child have a duty to report such admissions to the police. Over the first day or two of this debate, there once again seemed to be unanimity of thought with political leaders — including … Continue reading

Who’s that girl?

These stories pop up from time and time and I have to admit they always have me a little sceptical. A group of Catholics in Malaysia are convinced that an apparition of Our Lady has shown up in a window in a local hospital. You can have a look here yourself and see what you think. It was just a few short years ago that a parish in Wellington though they might have had their own apparition of Our Lady … Continue reading

A tragic outcome — but who’s to blame?

While the latest escalation of violence between the Israelis and Palestinians has rightfully been the dominant international news story in the last couple of days, another story that has received a lot of attention is that of a woman who died in Ireland after apparently asking for her unborn baby to be induced at 17 weeks during a miscarriage. Her husband says she was refused several times and was told it was because the child still had a heartbeat, and … Continue reading

Time for something uplifting

It’s been a rough couple of days here in Australia as the Catholic Church gets beaten around the head, knocked to the ground and then kicked in the ribs as the story of the Prime Minister’s announcement of a royal commission into the institutional response to child sexual abuse — in any and all institutions — is covered incessantly by all forms of media. One might be forgiven for thinking the Church was the sole target of the commission based … Continue reading