New Zealand

Public express concern for Church burying gang member

The Auckland Catholic diocese responded to a small number of calls concerned about St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Grey Lynn, allowing a Catholic funeral to a gang member and alleged criminal. Family and friends were joined at the Church by hundreds of other mourners from patched gangs including the Rebels, King Cobras, Hells Angels, Killer Beez, Read more

Caritas Australia visits Wellington for meeting

Catholic charity Caritas Australia was welcomed to Wellington for a bilateral meeting with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand last week. The two charities’ goal was to reconfirm their commitment to collaborating on their shared objective to address global poverty and inequities. The two Catholic organisations have a long history of both informal and formal collaboration. Their Read more

Analysis and Comment

The end of the oracular papacy

oracular papacy

As the U.S. Catholic bishops conduct their semiannual meeting virtually this week, the big question is whether they will approve a proposal to create a teaching document on the Eucharist that would deny the sacrament to politicians who support pro-choice policies. No one doubts that the proposal is directed at regular Mass-goer Joe Biden, the Read more

Homeless Jesus: responding to those in need

homeless jesus

Copies of the Homeless Jesus statue have spread around the world in the last eight years. The statue is a life-sized representation of a person lying asleep on a public bench. The image is the creation of Canadian artist and sculptor Tim Schmalz, who specialises in art addressing religious themes. He presents the sleeping figure Read more

Faith still shapes morals and values even after people are ‘done’ with religion

faith shapes morals and values

Religion forms a moral foundation for billions of people throughout the world. In a 2019 survey, 44% of Americans – along with 45% of people across 34 nations – said that belief in God is necessary “to be moral and have good values.” So what happens to a person’s morality and values when they lose Read more

Children’s access to online porn fuels sexual harassment

online porn fuels sexual harassment

Curbs on children’s access to online pornography need to be brought in urgently to stop the spread of an activity that is partly to blame for normalising sexual harassment in schools, according to the new children’s commissioner for England. Dame Rachel de Souza is urging governments and tech companies to introduce age verification checks. She Read more

US bishops flout Vatican request

Pope Francis has not commented about America’s Catholic bishops’ vote to deny US President Joe Biden Holy Communion because of Biden’s political support for abortion. The US bishops are drafting new guidance on the abortion-communion issue, which they expect to release in November. Their decision to vote about this matter flouts a letter from the Read more

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  • Austrian bishops invite women to discuss equality issues, decision making

    The Austrian Bishops Conference (ÖBK) broke with tradition and invited women to attend the first day of its plenary assembly last week. They would be listening carefully to their views, as the conference wants to find ways to include more women in Church decision-making, says Archbishop Franz Lackner, the ÖBK president. . The 14 women Read more

  • Secretariat begins discussing new synod process with bishops

    Bishops synod process

    In preparation for the next world Synod of Bishops, leaders of the synod’s general secretariat held online meetings to discuss the process with the presidents and general secretaries of national and regional bishops’ conferences. Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary of the synod, and the office’s two undersecretaries, Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart and Bishop Luis Marín Read more

  • New Vatican laws on clergy abuse not enough

    clergy sexual abuse

    A former member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse said the recent revision of the criminal section of the Catholic Church’s canon law do not go far enough to protect children and vulnerable adults from possible predators. Marie Collins pointed out that the new provisions do not mandate that a priest found guilty Read more

  • Irish bishops choose woman to guide route to national synod

    Irish woman national synod

    Irish Catholic bishops have chosen a woman to head preparations for a national synod, due to be held in the next five years. Nicola Brady is currently General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches, and Joint Secretary of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting. She has been noted for facilitating relationship-building between the Christian churches in Read more