Monthly Archives: February 2013

Beyond Benedict

There have no doubt been hundreds of special television programs aired around the world looking at the remarkable events surrounding the abdication of Pope Benedict, but I’m naturally more inclined to have seen shows in Australia. And I certainly recommend viewing this show, Beyond Benedict, which was hosted by renowned religion journalist Geraldine Doogue, who does seem to push her own views quite firmly in the program. There was a great lineup — Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, who worked … Continue reading

Benedict’s final farewell

What else could I post about today? Pope Benedict in the past couple of hours has held his final general audience and what is expected to be his last major public appearance as Pope — and possibly in his life, if my expectations that he will live a life of almost total seclusion after his retirement are accurate. SQPN has posted a recording of the audience, with my good friend Father Roderick Vonhogen offering the commentary. I recommend watching the … Continue reading

Cardinal falls on sword; will Mahony follow?

The big conclave news of the past 24 hours was the resignation of Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien — accepted by Pope Benedict with immediate effect — as the cardinal faced allegations of inappropriate conduct and unwanted attention towards men about 30 years ago. Now, these are currently allegations, and Cardinal O’Brien denies them, but the kneejerk reaction is to say he must be guilty if he’s resigned. I don’t subscribe to that theory, though I’m not going to say the … Continue reading

Adopt a cardinal

Pope Benedict’s abdication has sparked a number of new websites and initiatives in this digital age that simply wouldn’t have been possible even eight years ago when Pope John Paul II died. I wrote a couple of days ago about Fantasy Conclave — the online competition to guess who the next pope will be, what name he’ll take and on what day of voting he’ll be elected. It’s a bit of fun, but with education attached in the form of … Continue reading

Fantasy conclave

As I’ve been promoting this week, today was Google Hangout day for the Southern Cross New Media Project folks: Sarah Coppola and Emilie Ng from Cradio and James Bergin and I from Icon Media/Station 15 etc. And we were joined by the very impressive young man Brandon Vogt, who is doing some fantastic work in communicating the Gospel message using new (and old) technology. You can watch our hour-long chat here, in which we predominantly discuss the papal abdication, Catholic … Continue reading

Should Cardinal Mahony vote in the conclave?

Earlier this month, in what appears to be an unprecedented move, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez effectively fired his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, stripping the cardinal of his remaining administrative duties within the archdiocese in the wake of damning reports of the cardinal’s lack of action in response to the sexual abuse crisis under his watch. The move sparked a fairly disappointed, if not angry, response from Cardinal Mahony on his blog, as the Huffington Post reports: In a letter … Continue reading

Hangout time again

You may recall that late last year, some Kiwis and Aussies started a new initiative by hosting Google Hangouts with some of the English-speaking world’s leading new media practitioners in the Catholic sphere. We started with the Podfather, Father Roderick Vonhogen, then were joined by Jimmy Akin and some of the team from, and rounded out the year with the podcasting legends Greg and Jennifer Willits. Now, at the risk of prematurely ageing those fine individuals, we’re excited to … Continue reading

US Catholics like the Pope — now

Before reading down to the next paragraph, take a guess at the results that would come from asking this question of US Catholics: Do you have a very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable opinion of Pope Benedict XVI? The proportion of respondents who gave one of the first two answers — that they view Pope Benedict very or somewhat favourably — was 63 per cent, which is a lot higher than the number I would have guessed. Only … Continue reading

Take that — take two

A few weeks back I shared a fun website that generated random curses from the Bible. Well, there’s a new kid in town with the Lutheran Insulter. Here’s how the website’s creator explains what he was trying to do: This site is meant entirely in good humor. Just as the Shakespearean Insulter was meant in good humor and not as a judgment upon the bard, so this insult generator presents some of Luther’s more crass words in good humor and not as … Continue reading

It’s Lent — get ready

I’m dipping back into the archives a little bit, and felt we needed a bit of a break in what will be a lengthy Pope-a-thon, so I thought I’d share a video from 2010 with Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn talking about Ash Wednesday and Lent. It’s only about six minutes long, but there is a lot of great stuff packed into that short time frame. For my friends in the US, it’s a good refresher as Lent begins. For those … Continue reading