New Zealand

NZ abortions on the rise

Otago Daily Times

Changes to New Zealand legislation in March 2020 has resulted in a three per cent rise in abortions. After a decade of falling numbers, the Ministry of Health says 13,246 abortions were performed last year. This number compared to 12,857 in 2019 and 16,630 in 2010. The mean age of those having an abortion last Read more

Priest’s house gutted in early morning fire


A Westport priest’s house was gutted in an early morning fire on Saturday. Father David Gruschow was out with his dogs when the fire started. He came back to a burned out shell, with all his possessions destroyed. Gruschow bought the house when he moved to Westport three and a half years ago. He is Read more

Analysis and Comment

Priest shortage: Your bishop needs your advice

priest shortage

Thank you for coming! My name is Bishop Pascal. I am the ordinary in the Diocese of Heartlands, and I need your help. Let me first tell you my situation and some of the options that are being proposed to me for dealing with it. Then I’ll welcome your suggestions or proposals. Our diocese has Read more

An apology to the Afghan girl

apology to afghan girl

Oct. 11 was the International Day of the Girl Child, a day to empower young girls and promise them a better future. However, today, I am sorry to say to girls that I do not have good news for you. You have grown up with the promise of a better future. Throughout your life, you Read more

God: The latest subject of woke pronoun wars

woke pronoun wars

This memo is a twofer, offering both a lively story theme to pursue and an issue that is now affecting the work of every stylebook and copy editor in the American media. An older campaign by feminists, including those working in the world of liturgy, sought to shun male pronouns — particularly when either gender Read more

Brown Sugar: why the Rolling Stones are right to withdraw the song from their set list

brown sugar

The decision by the Rolling Stones to remove their 1971 song Brown Sugar from the set list for their upcoming US tour has drawn both praise and criticism. Read by some as a surrender to the “woke brigade” and by others as a reasonable response to the accusation the lyrics glorify “slavery, rape, torture and Read more

Increased chaplaincy services needed at University

Delphis Learning

A sharp increase in demand for mental health support has helped spur the University of Otago’s push to improve student support services. Counselling and chaplaincy services, especially for the university’s burgeoning Maori student population are in particular need of extra support. The costs of the additional services will be met from student fees. To achieve Read more

  • Oddly

    • James Bond thought about being a preist

      In the last Bond film, Spectre, 007 tell his love-interest, Madeleine Swann, that if he had not joined the intelligence service he would have become a priest. Many critics have felt he’d become too far removed from Fleming’s initial character. Read more
  • World

  • France’s bishops will now uphold confessional seal

    ESSCA Alumni

    In a quick turnaround from news reported last week, France’s bishops’ conference says it will uphold the confessional seal, regardless of what has been confessed. Last week it was widely reported that the conference would break the seal in abuse cases. “One cannot change the canon law for France as it is international. A priest Read more

  • Once strongly Catholic city allows Muslim call to prayer


    Cologne has become the first major city in Germany to allow the “call to prayer” for Muslim worshipers. Municipal officials in Cologne say after consulting representatives of the city’s 35 mosques, a two-year pilot project would be implemented. The project will then be re-evaluated and may be extended. A few municipal rules have been developed Read more

  • Vatican warns of cryptocurrency use in migrant smuggling

    cryptocurrency in migrant smuggling

    The Vatican has called for increased regulation of the cryptocurrency industry due to its growing use in migrant smuggling and the exploitation vulnerable persons. Janusz Urbanczyk, the Vatican representative to UN agencies in Vienna, said the use of cash to avoid transparency “has shifted into the even less transparent world of digital payment and cryptocurrencies.” Read more

  • Catholic Church must respect all cultures; not impose itself

    Catholic Church embraces all

    Christian freedom means respecting other cultures and traditions rather than finding ways to impose “one’s own model of life as though it were the most evolved and the most appealing,” Francis said. “This is the meaning of calling ourselves Catholics, of speaking of the Catholic Church: it is not a sociological denomination to distinguish us Read more

  • Punishment for abuse cover-up lopsided, Polish bishops tell Vatican

    Polish bishops abuse punishments

    According to a Polish church leader, in a meeting with Vatican officials, several Polish bishops criticised the Vatican for its handling of sex abuse cases. In particular, they highlighted the “disproportionate punishments” inflicted on bishops accused of cover-ups in comparison with convicted abusers. Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference, told Poland’s Catholic Read more