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Station XV: Episode 140 — The Conundrum Episode

The 15th Station podcast

It’s an episode of head-scratchers and what analysts often refer to as “wicked” policy problems. How should we — society generally, and Catholics — respond to the plight of desperate people seeking a new home? How should bishops respond to changing demographics and the needs of the faithful? Should the Church allow its facilities to be memorial sites for survivors of child sexual abuse? The seal of Confession and attempts to sanctify a crime-ridden city seem somewhat straightforward by comparison. Join Anna, Donald, James and Gavin for our latest episode.

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Station XV: Episode 133 — Christ, Christmas; Jesus, Justice

The 15th Station podcast

In our December episode, there’s a little Christmas spirit, but there’s a little bit of the Grinch as well. In New Zealand, new research has found that churches — Catholic and Protestant — aren’t all that popular, but Jesus remains so. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte is trying to find out if suggesting people kill Catholic bishops is popular. But don’t worry; it’s just “hyperbole”. On either side of the Tasman Sea, justice is being considered following an overturned conviction for an Australian Catholic bishop and in New Zealand on abortion laws. But, as Christmas approaches, shouldn’t we all be worrying about whether Santa is real or not? Just another month — and another year — for The 15th Station.

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Station XV: Episode 132 — Investigation, Implementation, Immigration and Invocation

The 15th Station podcast

After lobbying from the Catholic Church and others, the New Zealand Government’s inquiry into child sexual abuse in institutions will include faith-based organisations. In the US, the Bishops have delayed implementing new abuse protocols after the Vatican asked them to wait until after the February gathering of presidents of bishops’ conferences. Also in Rome, the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment concluded with calls for the Church to listen more carefully to youth and for young people to trust Church leaders — despite acknowledgements some leaders haven’t always been worthy of that trust. Anna, Gavin and James also consider the case of a Melbourne mum in immigration detention that can’t have her child baptised in a nearby church. In Florida, meanwhile, a church has been barred from serving as an election place in future after the pastor got a bit too political. All in a month’s work for the 15th Station crew!

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Station XV: Episode 131 — Convention, Confession, Confusion and Consternation

The 15th Station podcast

It’s a fairly heavy — and sombre — episode of The 15th Station this month, as Anna, James and Gavin survey the fairly challenging landscape for Catholics in most parts of the world, as the sexual abuse crisis continues to loom large over this era and this papacy. Pope Francis has called a meeting of the presidents of bishops’ conferences, while the Church in Australia has responded to the forensic examination it (and other institutions) received during the Royal Commission. In New Zealand, voices are being raised to defeat euthanasia legislation and there are new stats about annulments — but what do they mean? And, in the Czech Republic, what do spooky, ghostly figures in a Catholic church mean?

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Station XV: Episode 126 — Exhortation, Examination, Information and Profanation

The 15th Station podcast

Pope Francis has issued his third apostolic exhortation, calling on people to consider how they can lead a life of holiness under the title of (in English) “Rejoice and Be Glad”. There’s not much rejoicing in New Zealand, as child abuse again dominates headlines, but an investigation in that country appears set to exclude churches from its scope, despite Catholic and Anglican leaders calling for their inclusion. Back in Rome, a gathering of young people has produced a document that — to a large extent — calls for the Church to better explain why it believes what it believes. In the US, Facebook has acknowledged some errors in deleting Catholic content, while in Brazil, it is others who are calling out the errors of the ways of a parish that went a bit overboard in modernising the liturgy. Join Anna, James and Gavin for a journey through a month of Catholic news and insights.

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Station XV: Episode 120 — Sadness, Solidarity, Social and Celebrity

The 15th Station podcast

Tragedy has struck again, this time in Las Vegas, where the local Catholic bishop urged locals and tourists alike to band together in solidarity to support the mourning, the injured and the suffering. Pope Francis has acknowledged the inadequate response to the scourge of clerical sexual abuse, saying the Church was too late to recognise the gravity of the situation. The Pacific bishops are trying to avoid being too late to support the local economies and a New Zealand-born Australian bishop wants to make sure it’s not too late to reach people’s hearts and minds via social media. If that fails, the power of music and the Eucharist might work — or at least that’s maybe what some Colombian worshippers concluded. Enjoy the musings of Anna, Don, James and Gavin in this month’s episode.

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Station XV: Episode 119 — Electing, Protecting, Translating, Counting and Baptising

The 15th Station podcast

As New Zealanders prepare to vote in their national election, the issue of abortion — and the views of the Catholic Prime Minister — were put front and centre. Meanwhile, Pope Francis is seeking to empower local bishops’ conferences and protect the planet, through separate initiatives. In the US, religious affiliation numbers are seeing a drift away from Christianity and a rise of Latino Catholics. We’re not sure any of those faithful Catholics would choose to baptise their children in a sporting trophy, but an NHL champion has. Enjoy the show

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Station XV: Episode 118 — 10 Years, 118 Shows, One Church

The 15th Station podcast

As The 15th Station celebrates its 10th birthday, there’s time for a little trip down memory lane and a chance to welcome back some friends — old and new. But it’s not all reminiscing, with several big stories to discuss. In New Zealand, there’s celebration to be had as three new priests were ordained for the Diocese of Christchurch. New Zealand is also currently grappling with the possibility of euthanasia, but a new report doesn’t recommend it as the right way forward. There’s also social change on the Australian agenda, with same-sex marriage about to be considered by the people and the Parliament. In the northern hemisphere, a US bishop is calling for humane treatment of migrants. And in Wales, a case of mistaken identity meant it was free drinks all round. Join James, George, Anna, Gabriel and Gavin for opinions and reflections.

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Station XV: Episode 117 — Election, Collection, Reflection and Connection

The 15th Station podcast

Pope Francis has offered the influential world leaders at the G-20 summit some important reflections, including on their responsibility to look after their own people, as well as their brothers and sisters around the world. The New Zealand Catholic Bishops similarly urged their flock to consider the most needy when New Zealanders vote in the national election later this year. There are two big stories from Australia in this month’s episode. The most recent Census has shown that the number of people stating they have “no religion” has increased significantly, meaning Christians are now barely a majority in the country. And in news that grabbed headlines around the world, former Archbishop of Sydney and Melbourne, Cardinal George Pell, has been charged with historical sexual abuse offences. Also in Australia, a motorcycle club is taking to the streets to connect with others and share the story of Jesus. A typically diverse and fast-paced episode awaits. Enjoy the show.

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Station XV: Episode 113 — Praise, criticism, tragedies and comedy

The 15th Station podcast

It’s been a manic first (almost) month in the Trump presidency, and the US bishops have been both praising and criticising the President. In Australia, the bishops have been more focused on repentance, as damning statistics emerge about the extent of sexual abuse in the Church there. Back in New Zealand, there’s more analysis of the changing religious landscape and, internationally, there’s conjecture about a new translation of the Mass. But what would Jesus tweet? Catholic comedian Stephen Colbert offers his thoughts. Join Don, James and Gavin for the latest episode of The 15th Station.