Opinion

Don’t blame Francis for the confusion Comments 0

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Some self-declared Catholic traditionalists have been complaining bitterly that there is much confusion and division within the Catholic Church. They blame it all on Pope Francis and especially on the challenging program he has launched for ecclesial renewal and reform. In doing so, they are de facto opposing the pope—especially his more merciful and pastoral Read more

Images of St Joseph to inspire you Comments 0

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

It’s taken me years, but I’m really learning to love St. Joseph. Part of it has probably been praying this novena, but a bigger part is art. I’m sorry, but I just can’t get that excited about an old guy with a lily. But with all the traveling I’ve done, I’ve seen a lot of Read more

Historical abuse of children in state care: why an inquiry is needed Comments 0

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Every time Anne Tolley and Bill English talk about the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, or oppose an inquiry into the historical abuse of children in state care, it sticks like a knife in my guts. I am Ngāti Porou through my mother, and I’m Weira — Welsh — through my father. After spending 14 Read more

Find Mass boring? Good! Comments 0

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Praying through the tedium at Mass can be a more authentic way of sharing the divine life. As citizens of late modern life, we seek to avoid boredom. We alleviate the stillness of a quiet moment by turning to our smartphones. We delight in the arrival of new emails, fresh stories and notifications from social Read more

Porn is fine — yeah right! Comments 0

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I was in my teens when a sudden rush of sexual publications became available, thanks to a change in censorship law. The Left-wing bookshop where I worked bought boxes of them, mostly lurid black and yellow-covered paperbacks of Robert Burns’ jaunty poems about fornication, The Kama Sutra, and The Perfumed Garden. We possibly made a profit for Read more

Biggest threat for men of middle-age — loneliness Comments 0

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Let’s start with the moment I realized I was already a loser, which was just after I was more or less told that I was destined to become one. I’d been summoned to an editor’s office at the Globe Magazine with the old “We have a story we think you’d be perfect for.” This is Read more

Messy music Comments 0

Monday, March 13th, 2017

A group of people stood outside the airport waiting for a bus. Behind us, a young worker in an orange jacket was singing a song, a sweet voice, words indistinct. Further back a man whistled a different tune. Sometimes the sounds collided, sometimes they harmonised. They were backed by the percussion of hammers and steel Read more

A guide for processing the latest bombshell from Pope Francis Comments 0

Monday, March 13th, 2017

So many aspects of Pope Francis’s personality either delight or consternate people, depending on their perspective, that it seems almost reductive to single out one element. If you were going to put all those things on a list, however, pride of place almost certainly would have to go to his endless capacity for soundbites. Time Read more

Faith, politics and elections Comments 0

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Keep religion out of politics. As a catch-cry it is nonsensical. Religions and faith have always been in the politics game and vice versa. The Sanhedrin, the body which oversaw the trial of Jesus, was political. And civic institutions which support and uphold democracy across our globe are founded on a Judaeo-Christian understanding of the Read more

The importance of stories in the euthanasia debate Comments 0

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

The pro-euthanasia case is compact and quick and easy to make: It focuses on a terminally ill, seriously suffering, competent adult who gives informed consent to euthanasia and bases its claims to prevail on the obligation to respect that person’s right to autonomy and self-determination and dignity. The case against euthanasia is more complex and Read more