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Station XV: Episode 144 — Canberra, Rome, Amazon, Wellington, Whangamomona

The 15th Station podcast

The Station 15 crew was in the courtroom for one of the biggest announcements in the The Station 15 crew was in the courtroom for one of the biggest announcements in the Church’s legal history, as the High Court of Australia agreed that it would hear arguments why Cardinal George Pell’s child sexual abuse convictions should be overturned. It wasn’t quite that exciting for the New Zealand bishops, but they recently made their Ad Limina visit to Rome, meeting with Pope Francis and his key advisers. The bishops were there as the much-reported Synod on the Amazon unfolded, but it was hard to find the facts among the hysteria. Back in New Zealand, there’s a push from a Maori organisation to get Pope Francis to apologise for the Church’s role in colonising the country back in the 19th century. Things have been a bit quieter in Whangamomona, where a 100-year-old Catholic church has seen its last hurrah — as a place of Catholic worship, at least. A typically diverse episode awaits.

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Station XV: Episode 143 — Resignation, Canonisation, Ordination, Consultation and Condemnation

The 15th Station podcast

The resignation of Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan for inappropriate behaviour with a young woman was a great shock to the Church in New Zealand — and the Station 15 panel. That big story leads this episode, which (as always) traverses the globe. This month, the panel ventures to Rome via Oxford, with the canonisation of St John Henry Newman, and then to the Amazon via Rome, as a Synod of Bishops considers the life of the Church in the Amazon. Back in New Zealand, abortion legislation is on the political agenda. But is the Government playing fair? It’s certainly not fair to steal a church’s air conditioner, but is it OK to condemn that person to hell? Yes, it’s an episode as diverse as it sounds. Enjoy 🙂

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Station XV: Episode 142 — Appeal, Schism, Renewal, Technology

The 15th Station podcast

Cardinal George Pell’s unsuccessful appeal on his conviction for historical child sexual abuse leads this month’s episode. Anna, Don, James and Gavin consider the outcome and what might come next. Pope Francis has spoken about the prospect of schism within the Church, while in New Zealand a Marist priest is more focused on renewal. And technology — the Australian bishops’ statement on social media and the emergence of robotic preachers — rounds out the show. Thanks for listening and tell a friend 🙂

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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