Opinion

Donald Trump has met the new leader of the secular world – Pope Francis Comments 0

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Trump

It’s an odd sight to see the Pope Francis – with his anti-war, anti-corruption, anti-violence and pro-environment beliefs – greeting President Trump whose policies are not those of the Western people he claims to represent says Robert Fisk. “After two days lecturing a collection of head-choppers, dictators, torturers and land thieves, Donald Trump at last Read more

Pope Francis gives President Trump a back-handed gift Comments 0

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Trump

In the course of their meeting Pope Francis gave President Trump a signed copy of his 2017 peace message entitled “Nonviolence — A Style of Politics for Peace,” and a copy of his 2015 encyclical letter on the need to protect the environment from the effects of climate change. “Well, I’ll be reading them,” Trump Read more

This sin business Comments 0

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

When I read the church fathers’ teaching about sin, I acknowledge the principles but interpret them a different way. Many women do this because feminine spirituality tends to be a little different, although complementary to the male model. Our spiritual paths are shaped by our biological roles. Most men achieve spiritual growth through information and structure. Read more

Tribute to a good father Comments 0

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

One benefit of bearing an unusual name is that anybody I meet who knew my father is liable to ask, “Are you any relation to Vaughan Roughan?” Though he was a primary school principal whose career was spent in Southland and Canterbury, his former pupils and colleagues are everywhere. “He was a nice man,” they Read more

Fatima: can a scientist take the miracle of the sun seriously? Comments 0

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

The question in the headline implies that the expected answer is “no”, but as a former particle physicist, my response is “Why not?” Contrary to a common prejudice, a scientific perspective does not rule out miracles, and the event at Fatima is, in the view of many, particularly credible. As regards miracles in general, the Read more

Interreligious dialogue with Mammon? Comments 0

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Shortly after my ordination and assignment to Japan, an elderly Japanese priest told me about an experience he had as a young man sometime before World War II. A European bishop was visiting Tokyo, and the then-young priest was assigned to be his tour guide for a day. In the morning, they went to the Read more

Mana and mullet — remembering Pā Tate Comments 0

Monday, May 15th, 2017

When I met Pā Henare Tate in 1990 at his home marae, Motuti, on the north side of Hokianga Harbour, he told me a story about mullet. I was editor of New Zealand Geographic magazine, then only a year old. The 150th anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti was coming up, and I decided to Read more

The phones we love too much Comments 0

Monday, May 15th, 2017

We have an intimate relationship with our phones. We sleep with them, eat with them and carry them in our pockets. We check them, on average, 47 times a day — 82 times if you’re between 18 and 24 years old, according to recent data. And we love them for good reason: They tell the Read more

Check your perspective before you check the facts Comments 0

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

To be Catholic in a post-Christian age is to suffer many misconceptions. One example is the idea of papal infallibility. Many assume the doctrine requires Catholics to hold that the Pope makes no mistakes. But the actual terms of papal infallibility is narrowly defined. So much so that it hardly ever applies. In fact, there Read more

Despair as weakness rather than sin Comments 0

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Classically, both in the world and in our churches, we have seen despair as the ultimate, unforgivable sin. The simple notion was that neither God, nor anyone else, can save you if you simply give up, despair, make yourself impossible to reach. Most often in the popular mind this was applied to suicide. To die Read more