New Zealand

NZ’s admired COVID response helps fuel housing crisis

Welfare agencies are concerned about the worsening housing crisis, soaring homelessness and inequality. New Zealand’s pandemic-inspired policies have translated into cheaper mortgages, allowing affluent “kiwis” to upsize their homes and build up portfolios of rental investment properties, fuelling a further surge in house prices. “Inequality was always growing, but COVID-19 is the proverbial straw that Read more

What a brew! Catholic cathedral relics and bones found in coffee jar

Ancient holy relics and bones have been unearthed by demolition workers at Christchurch’s Catholic cathedral. The treasures had been stored in two Greggs coffee jars that have remained undisturbed beneath the building for more than 40 years. The relics and bones are purportedly from saints and apostles of Jesus. They were put in the coffee Read more

Analysis and Comment

Peace, truth and Christian witness

christian witness

Peace is more than just the avoidance of conflict or the absence of a feud, or on a more grand scale, war. Peace is the work for justice and the output of charity. The Church preaches peace because peace is a sign and fruit of the promise of Christ, the Redeemer. Peace is more than Read more

Can the Catholic Church agree to change anything?

change

Sometimes you need to catch your breath when a Vatican official’s speaking echoes a theologian’s writings. Which way is this going to go? Not long ago, the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, echoed a 50-year-old passage from a book by … wait for it … Swiss theologian Hans Küng. Speaking on Spain’s church-owned Read more

Human trafficking: One day I received a letter saying I was married!

human trafficking

Fransiska (not her real name) was only 32 and still working as a babysitter in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta when a group of four matchmakers — two men and two women — introduced her to three Taiwanese men on three separate occasions back in December 2018. She refused to marry the first and second. The third, Read more

Why we must build a new civic covenant

The age of individualism is passing. The past 50 years in the West saw a celebration of unfettered freedom. Citizens on both sides of the Atlantic were encouraged to liberate themselves from the relational constraints of family, history and even nature. Now Covid-19 has highlighted our mutual dependence on one another and a desire for community. President Read more

Religions, together, can fight evil of child abuse

At an April 8-10 online symposium with religious representatives from around the world, Pope Francis expressed his hope that together, religions can fight the profound evil of child abuse. After decades of child sexual abuse scandals the Church is ready to share its successes — and failures — with other religious and lay institutions. Francis’ Read more

  • World

  • No room for COVID patients in India’s Catholic hospitals

    India Covid-19

    Hospitals in India are running out of space with a surge of positive cases during a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our hospitals do not have space for fresh admissions,” said Bishop Jose Chittooparambil of Rajkot in Gujarat state in western India, one of the worst-affected regions. India has been reporting more than 150,000 Read more

  • Pope urges politics rooted in service; attending to local concerns

    A politics that takes the people’s path and is rooted in service and local concerns is the best antidote to populism, Pope Francis says. In a speech to an online conference, he opened up about his thinking on how to combat populist trends. Francis’s vision is for a “popularism” that focuses on “finding the means Read more

  • German Catholic leaders plan huge same-sex blessing

    German same-sex blessing

    Several German Catholic leaders are openly supporting the blessing of same-sex couples and overtly challenging the Vatican. A massive blessing service event called “Love wins, blessing service for lovers” has been scheduled for May 10, in direct opposition to Rome’s chief doctrinal office. Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen said priests in his diocese will face Read more

  • Catholics ‘certainly’ respond to US Bishops on parody Twitter account

    Catholics share experiences on Twitter

    Catholics have taken to Twitter to share personal stories of their church experiences, and many of the tales are not positive. A Twitter account was initially created as a parody of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But it has taken on a new meaning with two invitations for Catholics. In one tweet, it asked Read more

  • Politician’s LGBTQI rights bill divides Catholic schools

    Catholic schools in New South Wales are divided over a proposed anti-trans education bill. The proposal seeks to ban any discussion of gender diversity in the state’s classrooms. The state’s main Catholic education body supports One Nation leader Mark Latham’s the bill. The large Parramatta diocese, however, is lodging a strong objection. Latham’s bill proposes Read more