New Zealand

The “High Sparrow” takes on the role of Pope Francis Comments 0


A New Zealand-born novelist, filmmaker and playwright Anthony McCartin has written a play examining the unusual situation in which there are two living Popes. In a soon-to-be-made Netflix movie version of the play, Jonathan Pryce, who played the role of the High Sparrow in season 6 of The Game of Thrones, will play the part Read more

DHB tells employee not to attend Social Justice forum Comments 0

social justice

MidCentral District Health Board instructed a Palmerston North social worker not to attend a social justice workshop. The forum was run by the Palmerston North Catholic Diocesan Justice, Peace and Development Commission in collaboration with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand as part of Social Justice Week activities. As part of a general election candidates’ debate, social Read more

Asia Pacific

Pacific Caritas agencies set a direction for the future Comments 0

Representatives from Caritas agencies in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga attended a forum in Cairns last week. Also present were representatives from countries not yet members of the Caritas network, reflecting the forum theme of ‘Our Family, Our Future’ and strengthening ties with French- and English-speaking peers. Forum delegates were Read more

Ordination of Dr ‘Afa Vaka as Tonga’s first Anglican bishop fulfils long-held dream Comments 0


The ordination of Dr ‘Afa Vaka as the first Anglican bishop of Tonga is the fulfilment of a long-held desire among Anglicans there for a greater level of autonomy within the Diocese of Polynesia. Vaka, who was consecrated and installed on Sunday, is actually the third Anglican bishop to serve in Tonga. Its first Anglican missionary Read more


Personal values matter this election Comments 0

The term ‘personality politics’ has been thrown around this election more than in others. I can see why people don’t want politics to be all about personality. Our age is dominated by a celebrity culture that’s often superficial. People rightly Read more

The Western bias inherent in disaster reporting Comments 0

In his classic 1986 study of mainstream American media’s coverage of natural disaster reporting around the world, William C. Adams concluded that the death of one Italian equalled that of three Romanians, nine Latin Americans, 11 Middle Easterners or 12 Read more

A challenge at election time: Pope says pray for all leaders Comments 0


Pope Francis recently asked his congregation for a favour. Make an examination of conscience and ask yourself if you pray for your leaders. Not just the ones you like, but all leaders. “And if you find in your examination of conscience that you have not prayed for your leaders, bring it to confession. Because not Read more

  • Features

  • Matt Talbot: a drunk on the path to sainthood

    Matt Talbot was a drunk. His father was a drunk. Nearly every one of his brothers was a drunk. He was uneducated and unskilled, and he died in obscurity. And someday soon, God willing, Venerable Matt Talbot will be a saint. Talbot (1856-1925) was the second of 12 children born to a working class Dublin Read more

  • The end of white Christian America. What will that mean?

    America is a Christian nation: this much has always been a political axiom, especially for conservatives. Even someone as godless and immoral as the 45th president feels the need to pay lip service to the idea. On the Christian Broadcasting Network last year, he summarized his own theological position with the phrase: “God is the ultimate.” And Read more

  • World

  • John Paul II Institute on marriage and family updated for modern life Comments 0

    Pope Francis has updated the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. One of the most obvious changes Francis has made is to the Institute’s name. It is now called the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family. Francis says the Institute needs Read more

  • Spending hospital donations on Cardinal’s apartment Comments 0

    Spending hospital donations to renovate a cardinal’s apartment is defensible, says the former president of the Vatican’s children’s hospital. Giuseppe Profiti and the former treasurer of Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital have been charged with embezzlement and are on trial in the Vatican’s criminal court. They are accused of diverting 422,000 euros from the hospital foundation Read more

  • Paramatta bishop says show respect in gay marriage vote Comments 1

    Individual opinions about Australia’s gay marriage postal survey are personal, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta Diocese says. In a pastoral letter published on the Catholic Outlook website last week, Nguyen said “when voting there must be a deep sense of respect for all concerned, and for the opinion and decision that each person Read more

  • Vatican makes statement on Emanuela Orlandi kidnapping Comments 0

    Claims of a stolen Vatican document about the 1983 Emanuela Orlandi kidnapping are “false and ridiculous,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke says. Orlandi was the daughter of a Vatican employee. She was 15 when she vanished from the street in 1983. Her fate has been the subject of much speculation. In the latest round of speculation Read more

  • Let’s talk sex youth tell Vatican Comments 1

    Young people helping the Vatican hierarchy prepare for next year’s Synod say the bishops should be open to hearing young people talk about sex, love and sexuality. The theme for the October 2018 conference is “Young people, faith, and vocational discernment”. To involve young people in planning and preparation for the conference, the Secretariat General of Read more