Analysis and Comment

A crucial choice: how the Church selects its bishops

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021

Hard times for bishops! For those who are used to the generally compliant tones that have characterized the Catholic faithful’s relationship to the hierarchy up till now, it must be said that this is changing. Bishops in France are now being directly and harshly criticized by “ordinary Catholics” following the publication of the Sauvé Report, Read more

Catholic Church’s sex education plan hasn’t got a prayer in the digital age

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
Sex education

A programme in 2021 that attempts to instruct children that puberty is a gift from God and “sexual love” is best expressed within the sacrament of marriage might reflect the church’s best hopes for our youth. In reality, it’s about as much use as telling kids they could try using crossed fingers as contraception. It Read more

New Zealand’s climate change regulation is messy and complex – here’s how to improve it

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
climate change

Like other countries, New Zealand has both international and domestic targets to reduce emissions, but they run on different timelines and are based on different assumptions. This week, public submissions close on New Zealand’s first emissions reduction plan which proposes policies for staying within the emissions budget for 2022-25 and keeping on track for future Read more

What keeps couples apart?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021
What keeps couples apart

Several months ago, as my wife’s birthday approached, I was thrilled to discover that a band she likes had plans to play next year in a nearby city. I booked good seats, spending a bit more than I normally would on birthdays, and began anticipating her reaction. On the morning of her birthday, she opened Read more

Covid experience, ‘traffic lights’ and liturgy

Monday, November 29th, 2021
Hope and expectation

Covid is bringing everything to the point of unstoppable change. The pandemic experience is reforming and reconfiguring our presumptions of contemporary life and liturgical practice and community. The constraints imposed through social lockdown have reframed our church life and will influence how we “do” church for years to come. For Catholics, the experience of Covid Read more

Why my church grew during the pandemic

Monday, November 29th, 2021

My church grew during the pandemic; we can’t find seats. The pews are full. This has been my family’s experience at St Rita Catholic Church most Sundays since the pandemic began. Some weeks, there’s barely enough standing room in the vestibule. When other churches were shutting their doors, ours remained open. Sure enough, the faithful Read more

$52 million spent on prayer apps; do they work?

Monday, November 29th, 2021
prayer apps

Hallow, a Catholic prayer and meditation app that claims over a million downloads, has raised over US$52 million in investments. Prayer apps are not new. Silicon Valley startups popularized mindfulness and meditation apps as early as 2010, although many have criticized those apps for being spiritually shallow. Hallow’s young founders – devout lay Catholic millennials Read more

Unique colours together make God visible

Monday, November 29th, 2021

My trusty Oxford dictionary defines the word mosaic as “a picture or pattern made by placing together small pieces of glass, stone, etc of different colours.” A magnificent example of such a mosaic is in the south gallery of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. The mosaic is what as known as the Deesis mosaic. The Read more

Honest evangelisation needs honest journalism

Thursday, November 25th, 2021
honest journalism

Nearly two decades ago, I was asked to become the editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper published by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan. My first reaction was gut-hurting laughter. When I caught my breath, I said to the priest who had been sent to present the proposal, “Look at my face!” It was, indeed, unprecedented Read more

We need a new Church museum

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Pope Francis has warned on many occasions over the past seven years of the danger of the Church being like a museum, full of lovely stuff that’s without any real currency. He phrases it in various ways, but the message is the same. “Keep us from becoming a ‘museum Church,’ beautiful but mute, with much Read more