New Zealand

Call for Matariki to be a public holiday Comments 0


Wellington’s mayor is calling for Matariki to become a public holiday. Justin Lester is suggesting the Māori New Year could replace the Queen’s Birthday holiday, which was not meaningful for many who saw it as just a day off. Last year Wellington City Council cancelled its 2018 Guy Fawkes Sky Show, moving the fireworks display Read more

New Safeguarding Lead to oversee national roll out of training Comments 0


The National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) has welcomed Pamela Arthurs as the new National Safeguarding Lead. She will provide support to dioceses, congregations and Catholic organisations in the continued implementation of safeguarding practices around New Zealand. NOPS is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Catholic Church’s policy and procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable Read more

Analysis and Comment

504% increase in Marijuana-related Colorado hospitalisations Comments 0


The 5-year experiment that is Colorado’s pioneering legalization of recreational marijuana now has enough data for more than conjecture to debate its success. The state’s first dispensaries began legal recreational sales on January 1, 2014. In 2014, combined recreational and medical sales totaled $683.5 million, and are expected to top $1.5 billion in 2018. Over Read more

13 Reasons Why: And a significant spike in male teen suicide Comments 0

13 reasons why

When the Netflix series ‘13 Reasons Why’, which features teen suicide, first aired in 2017, mental health professionals expressed concerns that the show could have a contagion effect, triggering an increase in suicides among teens inspired by the show. A new study suggests these fears were not unfounded. According to a study published in the Read more

Girls – Forced conversions and marriages spike in Pakistan Comments 0


Sixteen-year-old Suneeta and her 12-year-old sister were walking home in March when they were kidnapped. The men who took them forced the girls to convert to Islam. “We were walking back to our house after working on the farm when men in a car came out of nowhere and dragged us in with them,” said Read more

The impossible future of Christians in the Middle East Comments 0

Middle East

An ancient faith is disappearing from the lands in which it first took root; the Middle East. At stake is not just a religious community, but the fate of pluralism in the region. The call came in 2014, shortly after Easter. Four years earlier, Catrin Almako’s family had applied for special visas to the United Read more

Jean Vanier honoured at Christchurch service Comments 0


On Saturday 8 June, over 100 people joined with L’Arche (Kapiti), Mount Tabor (Auckland), Marralomeda (Christchurch) and Faith & Light communities to honour the memory of Jean Vanier who died in Paris on 7 May. Participants in the service included people from all Christian faiths with and without intellectual disability. A joyous atmosphere prevailed as Read more

  • Oddly

    • The human cost of your chocolate

      The world’s chocolate companies have missed deadlines to uproot child labour from their cocoa supply chains in 2005, 2008 and 2010. Next year, they face another target date and, industry officials indicate, they probably will miss that, too. As a result, the odds are substantial that a chocolate bar bought in the United States is Read more
  • World

  • Vatican formally opens discussion on married priests Comments 0

    married priests

    The Vatican has officially thrown open the question of the Catholic Church ordaining married men. It is the most direct mention ever by the Vatican of the possibility of married priests. The proposal, released around 10 pm Monday, NZ time, comes in a working document prepared for the Synod of Bishops in the Pan-Amazon. In Read more

  • Pope talks oil companies into supporting carbon pricing – right now Comments 0

    Many of the world’s leading oil producers announced their support for carbon pricing schemes following Pope Francis’s plea for a “radical energy transition” during a climate summit at the Vatican on Friday. The Vatican joined oil companies, investors and environmentalists in signing a statement endorsing “carbon pricing” and so-called “climate disclosures” to shareholders. Francis, oil Read more

  • Bigger parishes with fewer priests Comments 0

    Although there are fewer parishes in the US (3,363 of 17,007) without resident priests than there were 14 years ago, parish sizes have grown. The latest data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) says 10 percent of parishes without priests are entrusted to a deacon, woman religious or layperson. The 341 Read more

  • Catholics and secular feminists fight against commercial surrogacy Comments 0

    In an unusual alignment of views, both Catholics and secular feminists in New York state are opposing a bill that would legalise commercial surrogacy. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s bill has already passed the state Senate. However the bill is stalled in the state Assembly (which is the other ‘half’ of the state Legislature). This is because Read more

  • Hard-hats de rigueur at Notre Dame’s first Mass Comments 0

    Everyone sported hard hats at the first mass at Notre Dame since fire broke out beneath its roof on 15 April. The archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, led the service which was held in an undamaged side-chapel behind the choir. Saturday – the day the mass was celebrated – is the anniversary of the church altar’s consecration. Read more