Analysis and Comment

The humanity of Jesus

Thursday, December 7th, 2023

This month, we celebrate the sacred birth in an animal shelter. Why such a lowly place? Our views about status miss the message, and we must wrap this birth in splendour – angel song, an unusual star, three kings coming to bow before the child. The wrapping continues until Jesus is lost under layers of Read more

How Pope Francis’ unorthodox governing style is likely to impact the next conclave

Thursday, December 7th, 2023
Pope Francis

Pope Francis was supposed to be in Dubai this weekend to attend the UN climate change conference COP28. But his doctors forcefully insisted that he not make the trip. They told him it would be too risky for a man of his age who has been fighting a bronchial infection and shortness of breath for Read more

Hitting rock bottom

Thursday, December 7th, 2023

Sometimes the darkness of the world, not to mention of our personal lives, can overwhelm us. When we hear of children killed unrepentantly, for example, human rights routinely denied, the cooking of the world locked in, and nations entrusting power to wilful children. How do you deal with such a dark vision? After the ABC’s Read more

The friendship between Catholics and Jews goes deeper than diplomacy

Thursday, December 7th, 2023
Catholics and Jews

Recently, we have been hearing Israeli and diaspora Jewish voices expressing disappointment at the Catholic Church’s reaction to the terrorist attacks of Oct. 7. The claim is that the pope has not sufficiently condemned the crimes of Hamas and, furthermore, that he has created a symmetry between Hamas and Israel in his comments. If that Read more

Six decades of Sacrosanctum Concilium in New Zealand

Monday, December 4th, 2023
Sacrosanctum Concilium,

The promulgation of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, stands as a pivotal moment that ushered in a new era for the Catholic Church. Sixty years hence, we can reflect on the impact of this document on New Zealand’s theological landscape and liturgical practices. Sacrosanctum Concilium is the cornerstone of Vatican II because Read more

Demystifying COP: What is it, and why should I care?

Monday, December 4th, 2023

COP, or the Conference of the Parties, represents an annual global gathering dedicated to addressing the dire existential threat posed by the climate crisis. This intergovernmental event, however, is a source of considerable controversy, primarily due to the perceived lack of substantial progress in combating the climate catastrophe. Since its inception in 1995, each COP Read more

Demasculinise the church Francis asks theologians

Monday, December 4th, 2023

Speaking to members of the International Theological Commission at the Vatican on Thursday (Nov. 30), Pope Francis asked theologians to “demasculinise” the church in an unscripted remark. “There is something I don’t like about you, if you excuse my honesty,” said Pope Francis, pointing out that there were only five women among the 30-plus theologians. Read more

Māori atheism on the rise: the legacy of colonisation is driving a decline in traditional Christian beliefs

Monday, December 4th, 2023

Religious beliefs among Māori have shifted significantly over the past two decades. The number of Māori identifying as having “no religion” in the census between 2006 and 2018 increased from 36.5% to 53.5%. Māori affiliation with Christianity has fallen from 46.2% to 29.9%. Are Māori simply rejecting Christianity? Or are they rejecting all supernatural phenomena, Read more

Advent – is your go-bag ready

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

I’ve just turned 70! Thursday 26th October 2023 to be exact. As if in a state of disbelief, I told everyone of this milestone stopping short in asking for a gift – as someone suggested! I have a broken handled mug by the kitchen landline that holds biro’s, pencils etc that reads: – life begins Read more

Theology goes out with the tide

Thursday, November 30th, 2023

Last week, Pope Francis issued a short Apostolic Letter revising the scope of a Vatican Institute. It seemed hardly newsworthy. The Pontifical Institute of Theology was founded in 1718 for the theological formation of priests, and later for bringing theologians together to discuss theological topics. More recently it has held an occasional conference, mainly with Read more