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NCR ends online comments

Recently the National Catholic Reporter announced that it is ending online comments to its articles because too many are vicious attacks on others who post comments. This follows a similar decision of The Southern Cross last year (which has lately been relaxed again). Reading the NCR posts, and sometimes adding Helping previously using these […]

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Bishop Francis and Women

It has been nine months plus since Pope Francis was elected.  He has made some encouraging statements about women in the Church: that we are needed, that we need to share leadership in the Church, even as he has re-stated the prohibition against women’s ordination.  I wonder how many women held positions of leadership in […]

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A Jesuit Pope Named Francis

The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, formerly Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as Pope Francis is an extraordinary event in the history of the church.  The cardinals could have elected another Latin American, from Mexico or Brazil, for example. pope. These too would have been historic choices. But they elected a Jesuit pope who […]

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Can the Church Move to the Centre?

            Pope Benedict’s decision to resign on 28 February has put the church on the front pages of the media and raised speculation about who the next pope will be and which cardinal  has a good chance to succeed him. After a Polish and a German pope, will the Italians “take back the papacy”? Is […]

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            In his Southern Cross article (19-25 September issue) Cardinal Wilfrid Napier argues that “patriarchy is not the source of all evil”.  Maybe not, but the rule of the fathers—men– which is the meaning of patriarchy, is certainly a central cause of much of the evil in the world, past and […]

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Urbanisation and the archdiocese Of Cape Town

 The Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Town occupies an area of 30 842 square kms, but almost 90% of the population in this area live in the Cape Metropolitan Area (CMA), 2 159 square kms, or 7% of the geographic area. There is much diversity in population density. The average population density in the diocese is 1 460 people […]

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“Product Identity”

What comes to mind when you hear “product identity”? Most probably it is making sure that Coke or Mercedes Benz or Nando’s is clearly identified by the public. This phrase from corporate culture was used this week by Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to describe what the […]

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In the past few months I have been faced, in my pastoral ministry, with three suicides. Just this week I did the funeral of a woman who took her own life after a long struggle with depression. Suicide is a terrible way to die and it leaves a residue of pain, unanswered questions, anger and […]

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The dangers of your faithful babysitter…

Bringing up children is not an easy task. I am often amazed at the glut of magazines available at any chain store – the “what you should know about” or “how to…” of child care. Diet related information, what sun creams should be used, which educational toys are best, which schools are suitable and how […]

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On Ignoring the Sunday Readings

At the liturgy which I attended this past Sunday the priest ignored the readings of the day, including the  beautiful text from John  on the vine and the branches. Instead, he covered a good deal of theological territory: telling us much about Paul, quoting Thomas Aquinas and reflecting on the question Jesus put to Peter, […]

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