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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 134 — Security, Celibacy, Identity and Charity

The 15th Station podcast

The Church in the United States, New Zealand and Germany is grappling with a number of big issues, with the southern US border and the impending New Zealand Royal Commission into child sexual abuse headlining this month’s show. The German bishops are looking at the issue of celibacy, framing their rethink of the discipline as a response to the abuse crisis. In New Zealand, Catholic schools are trying to find authentic, pastoral responses to the issue of gender dysphoria, while back in America, a priest is enjoying spreading some Christmas joy — all year long. Join Anna, James and Gavin, and the returning Don, for this globetrotting episode.

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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 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.

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Station XV: Episode 103 — Communion, Commission, Closures and Contributions

The 15th Station podcast

The Pope’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia leads off this month’s episode and — spoiler alert — there are some strong feelings on the document. Pope Francis’s Holy Thursday initiative to wash the feet of refugees of different faiths and the possible Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in New Zealand also feature, and Don, James and Gavin have a mix of sadness and support for the closure of three parishes in Dunedin. Maybe if they’d been receiving tithes via a new app, the parishes could’ve stayed open. Just joking. Mostly. Enjoy the show.

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Station XV: Episode 93 — On Popes, the planet, populations and pitying (the fool)

The 15th Station podcast

In this month’s episode, the upcoming papal encyclical on ecology and the environment, to be released on June 18, takes top billing. As Vatican-watcher John Allen points out, there are likely to be a number of false claims in the media when Laudato Sii is released. The panel — James, Helen, Don and Gavin — also talk about the changing demographics of Kiwis, new measures to hold bishops accountable for failing to protect children and the “Yes” vote to same-sex marriage in Ireland. And the show ends with a reflection on TV’s 1980s hard man Mr T and his Christian faith. Enjoy the show.

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Station XV: Episode 84 — Matrimony, Electioneering and Technology

The 15th Station podcast

The Pope conducting a mass wedding ceremony is usually grounds enough for big news, but when some of the couples are announced to have been cohabiting and having had children before tying the knot, it creates even more headlines. Lucy, James and Gavin are on the case, wrestling with the tricky issue, as well as looking at Archbishop John Dew’s reflection on the state of New Zealand politics, a willingness for more NZ victims of clerical sex abuse to come forward and Pope Francis’s latest first — an international Google Hangout with a group of young people. The show concludes with an uplifting story of grace under difficult circumstances. Enjoy the show.

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Station XV: Episode 78 — Alarms, anniversaries and alcohol

The 15th Station podcast

It’s March 15 — so we’re in the week marking the anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. The interview the Holy Father conducted recently is a topic for discussion, along with the latest statistics on Catholics in New Zealand — nominal and practising — and the promotion of Cardinal George Pell to head the Vatican’s new economic secretariat. James, Helen and Gavin also talk about a small New Zealand town fighting the departure of a group of religious sisters, as well as the drinking habits of those who live at the Vatican. Thanks for listening; tell your friends.