Monthly Archives: March 2013

Papal continuity

There have been hundreds and hundreds of photos circulating around the Internet of Pope Francis, of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict and even some of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II. Some have been funny, some have been a bit silly and others have been quite apt. I place the following image in the latter category, which came via Facebook courtesy of The Youth Evangelization page: The sheer length of John Paul II’s pontificate meant that he … Continue reading

The preferential option for the poor

The concept of the Church being a friend of the poor and its services having been founded with a particular desire to help those who are poor, vulnerable and marginalised is long established as part of Catholic Social Teaching. It is demonstrated most clearly in Catholic aid and social service agencies, and in my work these days with Catholic hospitals and aged care providers, it’s certainly what was the motivation for the religious sisters who opened the first facilities in … Continue reading

Staff cuts at the Vatican

When you become accustomed to doing things for yourself, it can often become a hard habit to break. I remember the first time I was working somewhere that I had a secretary or someone to do administrative work for me, it was quite counterintuitive for me to ask her to do some tasks that I’d been doing for myself for years — mundane tasks like stuffing envelopes and responding to emails that frankly didn’t need my attention as a senior … Continue reading

And so it continues…

Sure, there has been a limited amount of negative media coverage of Pope Francis’s election and elevation to the highest position in Christianity, in religion. But it’s been journalists few and far between who have been focussing on what Bishop/Archbishop/Cardinal Bergoglio did or didn’t do during some of the more horrendous periods of violence in Argentina. For every critical story, there’s been one (or more) praising the new Pope for his work to save the lives of those he could. … Continue reading

Take a bow, James Bergin

He’s the man you’ve probably read about on The Soapbox or heard me speak about in other forums I’m involved with as the man responsible for my entry into the world of new media — blogs, podcasts, Twitter etc. Today, the impressive young man James Bergin was introduced to the world with his first national television interview, appearing on New Zealand’s leading Sunday morning current affairs show: Q&A. James was invited on the show to speak about the election of … Continue reading

Epic communications fail

It’s been such a joyous almost three days for the Church since the election of Cardinal Bergoglio, his emergence onto the balcony and his first engagement with the world as Pope Francis. There have been a lot of great stories, including praise for his humility and his humanity, positive stories from those who know him, and just generally a heck of a lot of good will. There have been some negative stories as there always will be, including some quite … Continue reading

Kiwis’ reaction to Pope Francis

It’s been a massive couple of days, and it came to something of a conclusion tonight with the recording of this month’s episode of The 15th Station podcast. It’s got reaction from a group of four young(ish) — I’m the oldest — New Zealand Catholics to the big news of the month. Download the show to your iPod or smartphone or stream it through your computer to hear another viewpoint. Or maybe just to hear some funny accents

The good, the bad and the ugly

It’s been a long day in this part of the world after my early wakeup call — or text message — to rise and watch the announcement of Pope Francis and his first public appearance and blessing. What a momentous occasion, and I shared my instant reaction and analysis in this blog post this morning. During the course of a busy work day, I was trying to keep my eye on the coverage that was being sent around the world … Continue reading

Papa Francesco

At 5.16am this morning, I got the first message from a friend in New Zealand that white smoke had billowed from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel. That first message was followed by a couple more, so I jumped out of bed to be firmly plonked in front of the TV to see who would emerge onto the balcony above St Peter’s Square. As you no doubt know by now, that man is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Buenos Aires, … Continue reading

Our man on the scene

Rome is currently crawling with journalists from every corner of the globe, most of whom are spending large chunks of their day staring at a chimney, waiting for smoke to billow from it. We’ve now had our second plumes of black smoke, signifying another two votes have passed without one of the cardinals receiving the required two-thirds of the vote to become the next pope. It’s now several hours before the next round (or two, if necessary) of voting will … Continue reading