Opinion

Bishop Drennan’s Chrism Mass homily Comments 0

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

The greatest pastoral challenge facing New Zealand today is to keep the distinction between what is essential and what is secondary. We risk substituting God with good things… Faith continually evolves. How we understand aspects of our faith today is different from a year ago or five or ten. We grow in insight (cf. Dei Read more

Love the stranger Comments 0

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Terry and I were in a rental car in Jordan. We’d driven from Amman to the site where Moses stood to view the Promised Land. Narrow roads wound through wilderness with occasional habitation: some Bedouin tents, boys with a few sheep or goats walking behind them, a small town with a roadside stall where aromatic Read more

Pope Paul’s encyclical, King’s speech, more relevant than ever Comments 0

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Fifty years ago, Blessed Pope Paul VI gave to the world a truly prophetic encyclical letter Populorum Progressio (“The Development of Peoples), and just days later Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his powerful speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence.” As kindred spirits in Christ, they both knew the grave dangers facing humanity Read more

Will this be our last Holy Week? Comments 0

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Is Holy Week really worth the effort? If you talk to pastors, liturgists, choir directors, leaders of RCIA, etc., Holy Week is a time of frenetic activity, the culmination of much planning and lack of planning, and somehow—at least sometimes—inspiring. And then…? Well, a few weeks of lilies and extra “Alleluias!” and then back to Read more

The power and problems of Pentecostalism Comments 0

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

John Allen has reported here on the surge of Pentecostalism across Africa and the threat it presents to established Catholicism. Here is what he has to say: Today the primary competition stems from Africa’s sprawling galaxy of Pentecostal and Evangelical churches, some part of global denominations but most home-grown. In many parts of the continent, Read more

Ignore commercial TV’s deluded work-life balance advice Comments 0

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

As with most bulk-billing clinics, there was an old TV in the waiting room. A lifestyle program blared at full volume, to drown out the wheezing pensioners and wailing toddlers. First, the panellists interviewed a washed-up pop star. Then, a demonstration of how to cook spaghetti in your microwave (hint: don’t). But it was the Read more

In the image of God Comments 1

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

There is a saying, “Pray as you can, not as you can’t,” and I’m one of those people who can’t pray some of the words in the changed liturgy. The problem is not ‘consubstantiation’ and a sprinkling of clumsy English, but a couple of statements that have no meaning for me. For example, I can’t Read more

Four ways to finish Lent well Comments 0

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

As we near the end of Lent, it’s a good time to stop and assess how we have done thus far. Before the revision of the Roman Missal in 1970, this coming Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, was referred to as “Passion Sunday” and marked the beginning of Passiontide. In his incredible fifteen-volume work Read more

Doing violence in God’s name Comments 0

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Blaise Pascal once wrote: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” How true! This has been going on since the beginning of time and is showing few signs of disappearing any time soon. We still do violence and evil and justify them in God’s name. Read more

Oppressed teenage boys unlikely to show respect to others Comments 0

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

I went for a run in the Domain – well a schlep, really. Yes, I know, exercise is vile but turns out to be less vile than taking antidepressants. Anyway on this particular day I found myself in the midst of hundreds of teenage boys in matching kit being made to run around, disconsolately. It Read more