In the May 2013 episode of The 15th Station, James, Helen, Don and Gavin talk about the latest statistics that show the Catholic Church is growing faster than the rate of population growth, and the number of seminarians, priests and bishops is growing with it. Another thing that’s growing is the number of relationships New Zealanders can consider marriage, with the passage of legislation allowing same-sex marriage. Some of the arguments against such moves are outlined in this piece, What is Marriage?, which Don mentions in the show. The panel also discusses Pope Francis’s upcoming trip to South America, the Church’s view on economic matters and the story that’s gone viral — a three-year-old Colombian boy who celebrates Mass.
It’s been just over a month since Pope Francis took the helm of the Barque of Peter as leader of the Catholic Church. In this month’s episode, papal musings dominate the show, with Helen, James, Don and Gavin talking about his first Easter Triduum, his first discussion of the sexual abuse crisis and also the Argentinian connection — tenuous as it may be — between Pope Francis and Diego Maradona. The panel also chats about the likely passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New Zealand. Could anything stop it from becoming law?
There’s really only one story to talk about this month, and it’s the election of Pope Francis. What a momentous occasion for the Church and what great interest it received from around the world. James, Marcus, Shannon and Gavin talk about the announcement, the man himself, the name he chose, their (very) early reactions, the big priorities he faces and even find some time to mention a light story, with a US TV show seeking to demonstrate the ignorance of the average Joe or Joanne on the street asking what they thought of the new Pope — days before he was announced. Enjoy the show, and tell your friends
To cover possibly the biggest story in the history of The 15th Station, we had to think big. So we went even more international than normal, with Lucy in Asia and Gavin in Australia joining studio-bound James and Brendan to discuss the Pope’s surprise announcement, start a bit of crystal-ball gazing and reflect a little on Benedict’s papacy. The Los Angeles archbishop’s decision to relieve his predecessor of his duties, a milestone Mass in New Zealand and an unusual Catholic school oath also fill a bumper episode — complete with technical difficulties.
It’s been a big month for Pope Benedict — the man himself, and a caricature of him in New Zealand. The panel chats in this Christmas episode of The 15th Station about the Pope’s new book on Jesus, Benedict featuring in an ad for a power company that seems to promote gay marriage (and the reaction from the Church to that), as well as his new document looking at Catholic identity. There’s also reflection on a New Zealand Anglican bishop getting a new post at the Vatican and a new take on the New Evangelisation.
In this month’s episode, James and Gavin discuss the big news out of Australia: the establishment of a Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, with the Catholic Church currently public enemy #1 in the country. There’s even a question over the possibility of a similar New Zealand inquiry. What has happened in New Zealand, though, is the “quiet” opening of a new abortion clinic. There wasn’t much quiet in the northern hemisphere, though, with the canonisation of seven new saints and the US bishops speaking on moral issues making a fair amount of noise. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, is this an apparition of Our Lady?
Brendan and Gavin perform a verbal autopsy on last week’s presidential election, looking at the impact of Hurricane Sandy, the campaigns each candidate ran, the changing demographics of the electorate, the economy, the role of the media and so much more. Where does the conservative movement and the Republican Party go from here? Was this a disaster for the party? Was this a ringing endorsement of President Obama and the progressive agenda? With the election now in the rear-view mirror, we’re also having a think about the future of The View from Down Here and we’d love to hear from you about what you’d like. We’re leaning towards a monthly show with an ongoing focus on US culture, religion and politics from a Kiwi perspective. Email us on podcast at station15 dot co dot nz and let us know if that sounds good, or if you have other thoughts.
After months and months of anticipation and expectation, we’re now less than 48 hours away from the first polls closing as the US elects its next president. Three New Zealanders try to read the tea leaves from thousands of miles away, looking at the state of the race at this late stage, analysing how last-minute events can — or did — change the race and finally making a prediction on who will win. Join Brendan, Tim and Gavin as they break it all down with a distinctly New Zealand flavour. And if you think some Catholic leaders are being tough on the Democratic Party and its policies, watch this video we mentioned in the show. Enjoy the election, y’all. Whatever the outcome, we’ll be back to analyse it next week and see who was right and who was wrong.
With under two weeks to go until the presidential election, that naturally dominates this week’s show, covering the story from many angles — the final debate, the polls, the campaigning, the reaction in swing states and the Al Smith Dinner, to name but a few. But Brendan and Gavin also find time to talk about a couple of other important stories, including an analysis of the “War on Religion” in the US and the canonisation of the first Native American saint (see awesome photo) and another woman whose ministry to lepers in Hawaii laid the path for her canonisation. Enjoy the show, and check back next week for another View from Down Here.