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Station XV: Episode 163 — Consultation, Cardinal, Canada, Canon Law

The 15th Station podcast

Pope Francis has just announced that there will be a three-year buildup to the next Synod of Bishops, inviting Catholics around the world to share their thoughts on Church affairs. Will it be a valuable process? Or just set people up for disappointment? In Germany, there was a mix of excitement and disappointment when Cardinal Reinhard Marx offered his resignation, but Pope Francis didn’t accept that offer. Anna, Don, James and Gavin tackle those topics, as well as the news of more than 200 bodies being found at a Canadian residential school the Church helped run and changes announced to canon law. In the light story for the month, the panel marvels at a Scottish shed that’s a spiritual home for Catholics — in many parts of the world. Enjoy the show and, if you like it, tell your friends about The 15th Station.

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Station XV: Episode 161 — Sorrow, Surety, Suffering, Shrine

The 15th Station podcast

New Zealand’s Royal Commission into abuse in care continues to dominate the Church’s agenda, with Cardinal John Dew issuing an apology on behalf of dioceses and religious orders. In Rome, there has been some clarity offered around the Church’s inability to bless same-sex unions, as well as a plea for greater openness to support people affected by environmental challenges. Back in New Zealand, the country will be re-dedicated to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven on her feast day this August, following a pilgrimage through the country. And in “entertainment news”, it appears the Borat sequel might have had a positive impact on one Christian community that was the butt of the mockumentary’s jokes. Another month, another journey around the Catholic world with Anna, Don, James and Gavin.

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Station XV: Episode 157 — Commission, Coronavirus, Cardinal, Christmas Card

The 15th Station podcast

In a year when COVID-19 has dominated people’s lives, it’s fitting that it features in the final episode of 2020. Pope Francis has warned that the pandemic shouldn’t be exploited for political point-scoring, but the panel concludes that the horse might have bolted on that front. The New Zealand Royal Commission into Abuse in Care has held its first hearings into faith-based organisations, and it hasn’t been easy listening (or reading). Anna, Don, James and Gavin also discuss the elevation of the first African-American to the College of Cardinals and his take on the new US President, before they mull over Pope Francis’ planned trip to Iraq next year. If that slate of topics hasn’t scandalised you enough, this Christmas card might 🙂 Wishing all our listeners a blessed and safe Christmas.

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Station XV: Episode 156 — Referendum, Result, Report and Recipes

The 15th Station podcast

The election of just the second Catholic president in US history hasn’t been universally welcomed even within Catholic circles, while in New Zealand, the euthanasia referendum has certainly disturbed many Catholics. Two diverse but also highly disturbing events — the terrorist attack in Nice and the report on former cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s inexplicable rise up the Church’s ranks — also feature in this month’s episode. In the countdown to Christmas, there’s at least a little to cheer about in the form of a new Vatican cookbook. Stay safe and God bless.

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Station XV: Episode 150 — COVID, Courage, Conscience, Confession

The 15th Station podcast

In a bumper 150th episode of The 15th Station, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic dominates the show. This month, the focus is on the return to public worship in New Zealand (or lack thereof), as well as the courage of priests and medical staff in providing bodily and spiritual care to COVID sufferers. Anna, Don, James and Gavin also look at attempts to refuse to administer euthanasia if legislation is passed in New Zealand and consider Pope Benedict’s latest biography. Maybe what we all need is a bit of confession by delivery. Enjoy the show — and stay safe out there.

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Station XV: Episode 147 — Exhortation, Celebration, Consecration and Conversion

The 15th Station podcast

Two big moments from Pope Francis — his new apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia and his decision to turn a Roman palace into a homeless shelter feature in this month’s episode of The 15th Station. Two New Zealand issues fall in between those: Cardinal John Dew’s case for religious freedom and the decline in the number of religious sisters in the country, although that picture is complicated. What’s also complicated is a decision to grant “ethical vegans” the same rights as people of faith. Join Anna, Don, Gavin and James for a typically robust discussion.

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Station XV: Episode 145 — Sorrow, settlement, synod, Scripture

The 15th Station podcast

It’s truly a bumper episode of The 15th Station for our Christmas episode, as the panel considers some of the big stories from home and abroad. The White Island volcano tragedy leads the show, as New Zealand tries to deal with another disaster. In Australia, one debate over religious freedom has concluded, with a rugby player and his employers reaching a settlement over a social media post paraphrasing Scripture. In Germany, the Church has embarked on a “synodal journey” that is offering both hope and concern, depending on who you ask. And back in NZ, plans are coming together for the construction of a new Catholic cathedral in Christchurch. From the 15th Station family (Anna, Donald, James and Gavin) to you and yours, we wish you a happy and holy Christmas.

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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 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 139 — Cardinal, Pope, Politician, King

The 15th Station podcast

Cardinal George Pell was convicted last December on child sexual abuse charges. The panel discusses his appeal process, which unfolded this month (without an outcome) and what might happen next. In Italy, changes to the translation of the Our Father have caused some consternation — mostly in English-speaking countries, where no change is expected. In New Zealand, a proudly Catholic MP has worn his faith on his sleeve in his first speech in Parliament, while the Maori King, visiting the Vatican, has invited Pope Francis to come to New Zealand. Maybe that can happen with the Holy Spirit’s help, assuming said Spirit isn’t too busy assisting drivers in Europe. That’ll make sense when you listen to the show.

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Station XV: Episode 138 — Sri Lanka, Paris, Israel and the Vatican

The 15th Station podcast

There are some heavy topics to cover this month, with Anna, Don, James and Gavin discussing the horrific Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the heroism that emerged from the Notre Dame fire and the battle over religious freedom in Australia. Pope Francis has also issued new guidelines on investigating and reporting child sexual abuse. Do they go far enough? And this month’s “light” story shows that even good deeds can sometimes have negative unintended consequences. Thanks for joining us for another episode of The 15th Station.