I frequently feel disappointed with the Southern Cross so I decided to do a mini survey. I studied the first three issues in March 2015 and this is what I noted: clerics are the subject of the headings of all the articles on all three front pages, e.g. Pope’s favourite dishes, priest’s burglary, Bishop calls for priests (why not lay people?) to serve prisoners. Of the Local News on pages 2 and 3, the headings of 10 out of 18 articles are about clerics, e.g. Pope’s tour, priest found dead, Archbishop blesses Little Eden (again). Even on the International pages, 14 of the 20 article headings are about clerics or religious, the Vatican, and ‘institutional’ topics like the Holy Land collection on Good Friday, and St Gregory of Narek (is he important?).

How relevant are these topics for lay Catholics whose daily lives are rather different? Does the Southern Cross help us to think critically about the particular challenges we face, or inspire us with examples of what lay people can achieve?

Brian Robertson