New Zealand

New Auckland City Missioner with strong Catholic connections

The new Auckland City Missioner is well known in Catholic social justice circles. Helen Robinson, who is stepping up to the post from her role as Auckland City Mission’s social services general manager, will start her new role this month. Robinson’s experience includes working with Catholic youth development organisation The Logos Project and with Challenge Read more

Iconic Wellington monastery to help solve housing crisis

st gerards

Although Wellington icon St Gerard’s church and monastery has been declared earthquake-prone and will close next month, it is unlikely to be pulled down. While St Gerard’s future is ultimately up to the owners, the church – built in 1908 for the Redemptorists – could be deconsecrated so it could be used for events like Read more

Analysis and Comment

A blessing is more than a blessing

bless people

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s (CDF) Responsum concerning the blessing of same-sex unions brings into focus the important theological question of how homosexuality is to be understood within the order of creation and within Scripture. On the basis of its understanding, the CDF concluded that the Church cannot officially bless people in Read more

In search of the immortal soul in a modern world

immortal soul

Immortality has become the great question mark. The answer used to be provided at Easter, with the Christian climax in death by crucifixion, followed by resurrection. The Jesus story wrestled with death not being merely death. Today, however, the sacred meaning of Easter is little more than a dusty relic. For the secular modern age, Read more

Goodies and baddies

joy cowley

If you have listened many times to the Palm Sunday Gospel readings, you will know the hush that descends on the congregation. It is not the silence of peaceful meditation. Rather it contains the crushing horror of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Once again, we walk with Jesus to Golgotha and feel helpless as Read more

Hans Küng, the theologian who wanted to stand tall

hans kung

Hans Küng, the contentious Roman Catholic theologian who died at 93 on April 6, once explained his combative nature by pointing out that he was Swiss. “I come from the land of William Tell and we weren’t brought up to be subservient,” he said. “Why should we always crawl? Standing tall suits a theologian too.” Read more

Education pioneer Fr Antoine Garin’s Chapel to be restored

A tiny earthquake-prone church, Father Garin’s chapel in Nelson’s Wakapuaka Cemetery will be restored – but it’s a long-term project, the Catholic Church says. The building is listed as a category one historic place, with “special or outstanding historical or cultural significance or value.” Garin arrived in Nelson in 1850 and worked for nearly 40 Read more

  • Oddly

    • Teens abandon BBQ causing fire at Dunedin church

      A group of teens built a campfire and started to cook sausages on the grounds of First Church In Dunedin. They fled at the first sign of trouble, leaving the fire unattended and the sausages to burn. The communications adviser Read more
  • World

  • Accused Australian bishop may return to ministry

    Tensions are building over whether the Vatican will allow a bishop accused of sexual misconduct and bullying to return to his diocese. The move is seen to possibly setting an international precedent. Bishop of Broome, Christopher Saunders was sent on a six-month sabbatical in November. The Vatican has used this time to assess an internal Read more

  • Modern day Way of the Cross radical feminists beat Christ

    A modern day reenactment of the Way of the Cross held on Good Friday in southern Mexico has drawn criticism in local media. The reenactment depicts militant feminists beating Christ, who had fallen to the ground. The ceremony was organized and broadcast on Facebook by Life Online Oficial. Life Online Oficial is an evangelization platform Read more

  • Sad loss of reason in Europe

    Europe faith and reason

    The Vatican Secretary of State has said that euthanasia and abortion laws in Europe represent not only a loss of faith but also a loss of reason. “These anthropological changes that are taking place, losing the identity of the human person. Before a loss of faith, I would say that it is a loss of Read more

  • Vatican observatory’s new website showcases Church’s support for science

    The Vatican astronomical observatory’s new website has a mission: to show the world the Catholic Church’s support of science and scientific research. The new website has hundreds of resources on faith and science. The observatory has also started a podcast that explores “the wonder of God’s universe”. Vatican astronomers and expert guests contribute to the Read more

  • Youth hurl bricks, fireworks gasoline bombs in Northern Ireland

    violence Northern Ireland

    Catholic and Protestant religious leaders have put on a demonstration of unity to urge an end to the recent violence. After a week of disorder across the region which has left 74 police officers injured, a Catholic and a Church of Ireland bishop were among those who came together for an ecumenical service before walking Read more