Indonesian Christians avoid Christmas bloodbath
Indonesian Christians celebrated a peaceful Christmas, thanks to strict security measures that prevented bloodshed threatened by Laskar Jihad militants in Sulawesi. - Fides
Death of Beijing's 'underground' bishop
On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, the unofficial bishop of Beijing - Bishop Matthias Pei Shangde - died at the age of 83. - Fides
Pope stays in Rome for Christmas
In a break from his usual pattern, Pope John Paul II has remained at the Vatican rather than spending a few days to relax after Christmas at his summer residence in Castelgandolfo. - CWN
Vatican official says strong families will protect children
While national laws and international policing, especially of child pornographers using the Internet, are essential in the fight against sexual exploitation of children, the first defence is to strengthen families, a Vatican representative said. - CNS
Argentine bishops say stable economy more important than paying debts
Argentinia's bishops have voiced support for a decision by the country's interim president to withhold debt payments in order to help stabilise the country's faltering economy. - CNS
Virgin Mary goes on display in Indian clothes
A rare 17th century painting of the Virgin Mary dressed in Indian clothes has gone on display at a museum in India. - Ananova
Opinion - The martyrs of 2001
Most of the 33 Catholic martyrs listed by Fides were victims of ethnic or religious fundamentalism. But lying unnoticed, they fertilise the field for new sowing and new harvests. Their determination to live and to die for love of Jesus among the plagues of our planet, is a source of hope for 2002. - Fides
Feature - Pope's peace message to express personal longing
The annual papal message for the World Day of Peace is usually formal and uncontroversial. But the message for tomorrow is a highly personal one, in which John Paul brings to bear his own personal experience of war and peace. - National Catholic Register/catholic.net
New Chairman for National Catholic Education Commission
The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has announced appointed Fr Tom Doyle of Melbourne as the new Chairman of the National Catholic Education Commission.
Death of Australia's first Ukrainian Catholic Bishop
The bishop who was the major force in the establishment of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Australia died on Sunday.
Brisbane archbishop to jointly chair new ecumenical body
Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Archbishop John Bathersby, will jointly Chair the newly established Anglican-Roman Catholic Working Group with Anglican Bishop of Highveld, South Africa, Bishop David Beetge.
Pope surprises church by naming more cardinals
Pope John Paul II, in a highly unusual move, named a further five new cardinals on Sunday following the appointment of 37 last week.
Pope wants more young couples to reproduce
The Church should help people overcome their 'fear of the future' and encourage the younger generations to have children, Pope John Paul II said during his weekly audience at the Paul VI Auditorium in Rome last Wednesday.
Vietnam rejects 'subversive' cries for religious freedom
Four religious leaders in Vietnam have appealed to their government to recognise human rights sanctioned by the United Nations.
Opinion - China's empty gestures on human rights
While economic development continues apace in China, political and religious freedoms still suffer. The matter of human rights has often caused conflict with the international community. Last week, in what some observers say is an attempt to improve its chances to host the 2008 Olympics, China announced it will probably ratify the U.N. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. - Zenit
Feature - Praying with a child
Increasingly parents find it difficult to pass their faith on to their children. How in today's climate can they best teach them to pray? A mother recounts frankly her own efforts, with the successes and failures she has experienced. - The Tablet
New bishop for Townsville
Pope John Paul II has appointed Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Michael Putney as Bishop of the Queensland diocese of Townsville.
Catholics named in Australia Day honours list
Twelve prominent members of the Catholic community were included in the Australia Day honours list announced last week.
Pope expresses 'great sadness' at Indian earthquake
Pope John Paul II spoke Saturday of his "great sadness" for the victims of the earthquake in Gujarat, which is thought to have killed at least 10,000.
Vatican Removes Death Penalty
A revamped Vatican constitution coming out next month officially takes the death penalty off the Holy See's books.
Hackers attack official Vatican Radio web site
Computer hackers broke into the official Web site of Vatican Radio hours after Pope John Paul encouraged the Catholic faithful to embrace new media, an Italian newspaper reported Friday.
Bush meets Catholic Leaders to push faith-based solutions
US President George W. Bush had dinner with a group of bishops in Washington on Thursday to discuss his plans to work with the religious community to implement faith-based solutions to some of America's social problems.
Opinion - Dominus Iesus a blessing for ecumenism
The Catholic Church, under the present Pope, is, contrary to the accepted secularist version, a Church in which intellectual pluralism flourishes as never before: for, secure boundaries are the essential prerequisite for liberty. That must be the basis of the authentic ecumenism of the future: one in which the true nature of the papal office is understood as defending unity above all by defending the truth. - Catholic Herald
Feature - What makes a great parish?
While approaches to spirituality proliferate in contemporary culture, the parish remains the place most Catholics go for sustenance. In fact, two-thirds of all American Catholics are registered parishioners. And while one can find a great variety of religious expression in parishes, the people in the pews are not as polarised as one might think. They are looking for -- albeit in many different ways -- a transcendent connection to God and guidance for their life's journey, a place where they will be at once nurtured and prodded. - NCR
Cardinal accuses euthanasia supporters of 'playing on the emotions'
Any relaxation of euthanasia laws would represent the thin end of the wedge, encouraging the practice to spread out of control as had already happened in the Netherlands, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Edward Clancy, warned on Tuesday.
Catholic aid organisation mobilises to join El Salvador relief effort
Caritas Australia has made an initial contribution of $20,000 from its Emergency Relief Fund to the relief efforts of our Caritas partners.
Australian priest joins Philippine People Power
Australian Columban Fr Brian Gore, who was jailed by Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos in 1983, was among 100,000 people who took to the streets of Bacolod City when people power again led to the overthrow of the mainly Catholic country's president.
Peaceful revolution hailed by Pontifical aide
A peaceful revolution is possible, the secretary of the Pontifical Missionary Works in the Philippines, Aissa P. Bautista, said in a message distributed by the Vatican missionary agency Fides.
Vatican welcomes Bush anti-abortion move
The Vatican, which sharply criticised President Clinton's support of abortion rights, gave prominent attention on Tuesday to President Bush's move to bar US funds to international family-planning groups involved in abortion.
Holy Land theme park in Florida creates controversy
The Holy Land Experience, a theme park created by Christian evangelicals, is to open in Central Florida on 5 February to a chorus of criticism from Jewish and Catholic groups.
Opinion - Ten years on, mission document commands renewed urgency
This month's celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the publication the Vatican mission document Redemptoris Missio, highlighted the prophetic value of this papal encyclical and its profound insight regarding the situation of Christians and the world at large. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago told a Vatican audience that the document is now more relevant than ever because many missionaries focus on social and political work rather than celebrating mass and caring for souls. - Fides
Feature - Listening to the dead cry out for justice
Christians cherish the belief that in death our loved ones are finally at peace. But this is not always the case. When the manner of death is violent, the life torn suddenly apart, there is the necessity to provide closure for those who are left behind. In such cases it is as if the dead cry out for justice and it is their families who must be their advocates. Using the law to fight injustice and champion the cause of the underdog has characterised the career of Newcastle lawyer John Boersig. - Catholic Weekly
Centacare head says Woomera asylum seekers 'trapped' in cycle of abuse
Asylum seekers in the Woomera and other detention centres are trapped in a vicious, abusive cycle which the federal government has created and is unwilling to break, according to Centacare.
Pope John XXIII's body to be transferred from grotto to basilica
Pope John Paul II, recognising the extent of popular devotion to Blessed John XXIII, has decided his tomb should be in St Peter's Basilica rather than in the grotto under the church.
Irish resent Vatican's 'politically insensitive' appointment of cardinal
There has been considerable negative reaction to the appointment to the College of Cardinals of the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Desmond Connell, and the overlooking of Dr Sean Daly, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland.
British archbishop says gene tampering is inhuman
Archbishop Murphy O'Connor has said that tampering with the genes of foetuses raises serious moral questions for the scientists involved.
Salvadoran bishops speak encouraging words after violent earthquake
"Do not lose heart", was the message of the Salvadoran bishops to their country's population afflicted by 13 January's massive earthquake.
Mafia and church join up to oppose naked newscasts
The Catholic Church and the Sicilian Mafia have joined forces in an unlikely alliance to campaign against an Italian TV channel which uses female strippers to liven up the news.
Opinion - What's in an Aboriginal name?
There is a sound in a number of Aboriginal languages which white Australians find difficult to say. This probably explains why most Aboriginal people have had their traditional names replaced by English names. The new name is a sign of alienation from their past. However it's possible to speak an old name, which becomes an invitation to a more ancient way of living and belonging to the land. - Brian McCoy SJ in Eureka Street
Feature - Call waiting: The stories of five women who want to be priests
Discussion of women's ordination hasn't been able to silence the inner voice that many women hear calling them to the priesthood. What do you do when God sends you a message that the church prevents you from answering? - US Catholic
Cardinal Clancy appointed Papal Envoy to the World Day of the Sick
The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Edward Clancy of Sydney his Special Envoy to the IX World Day of the Sick to be held in Sydney on 11 February.
Sydney Cardinal steps down as Chancellor
Cardinal Edward Clancy has stepped down as Chancellor of Australian Catholic University, fuelling speculation that his departure as Archbishop is imminent.
Petition calls for national poverty inquiry
Justice and Peace Promoter for the Archdiocese of Sydney, Sr Aileen Crowe has thrown her support behind a petition calling for a Royal Commission into poverty in Australia.
Pope names 37 New Cardinals
John Paul II named 37 new cardinals yesterday, including 10 from Latin America and three from the United States.
Philippine Church welcomes new president
"This time, it isn't a victory against dictatorship but against immorality, corruption and avarice," exclaimed the Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Jaime Sin.
Jesus and Mary put fear of God into litterbugs
Images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary have been painted on walls in Peru to stop locals dumping rubbish and urinating in public.
Opinion - The Pope, the laity, and the new Pentecost
While churchgoing continues to decline, forms of New Age spirituality permeate the mainstream culture. There is a great deal of religious searching going on. In countries such as Italy and France, a new phenomenon has arisen. Still viewed with suspicion in England, "ecclesial movements" such as Focolare, the Neocatechumenate and Communion and Liberation are drawing thousands, even millions, of young people into vibrant communities of living faith. The Pope has spoken of these movements as a "new Pentecost", as the fulfilment of the Council's hope and as the likely future of the Church. - Cath Herald
Feature - A mission to the heart in Kiribati
Newcastle couple Peter and Sherin Crosbie had wanted to carry out some form of missionary work with those less fortunate than most Australians, but were tied up raising four children and generally dealing with the challenges of everyday family life. With the children grown up, and long service leave available, the Crosbies were able to go. They found those they were helping ended up helping them. - Cath Weekly
Billboard erected in Perth to bring people back to church
Archbishop Barry Hickey has blessed a new billboard in central Perth that is designed to communicate a spiritual message in an environment dominated by commercial values.
Sydney Cardinal honours Cathedral's restoration heroes
Church honours have been given to the three officials most closely associated with the recent restoration and completion of Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral.
Pope worried about continuing religious intolerance in Indonesia
The Holy Father has voiced fears about the fallout from religious intolerance in Indonesia during an audience on Friday with the country's Foreign Minister, Alwi Shihab.
German church official warns against 'bovine holocaust'
The environmental officer of the German Catholic Episcopal Conference, Markus Vogt, has warned against a 'bovine holocaust', as the German government is planning to systematically eliminate all beef cattle suspected of being contaminated with 'mad cow' disease.
Archbishop declines to back Northern Ireland police reforms
The Catholic Primate of All Ireland has said he is unable to give his full support to the proposed new police service in Northern Ireland.
Christian protestors released from jail
A Catholic priest, two lay persons, and a Muslim were released from Malir jail in Karachi last Tuesday.
Opinion - Clinton eliminated government responsibility for the US poor
A significant number of Americans - the poor - was left behind by all the soaring economic indicators and all the talk of limitless prosperity of the Clinton era. Clinton delivered on his promise of 'ending welfare as we have known it'. In order to scrub concern for the poor from their political discourse, Americans first had to scrub away the idea of common good, making it almost un-American to think that government might have a stake in guarding people from the ravages of poverty and the whims of the marketplace. - NCR
Feature - The sins of our fathers
History is reassessing B.A. Santamaria and Frank Hardy, figures behind the Catholic versus communist battles of postwar Australia, writes Gerard Henderson. - Sydney Morning Herald
Council chair regrets lack of inclusive Constitution
The Chairperson of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council, Ms Vicki Walker, has regretted that opportunities to change the Constitution have been missed, and therefore next week's Australia Day will not be an occasion for all Australians to celebrate.
Bioethicists lament frozen generation
Two Australian Catholic bioethicists have called for a halt to the storing of thousands of frozen human embryos worldwide that are waiting for someone to decide their fate.
Archbishop says hedonism is the enemy of good community
Adelaide's Archbishop Leonard Faulkner has said hedonism is a 'real problem facing Australia' that undermines community values.
Cardinal Martini wants more collegiality
In a long and provocative interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini of Milan has called for 'more concrete forms of collegiality' within the Church.
UK Catholic publication on the spirituality of work
This week, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has published 'A Spirituality of Work', which brings together prayers and Church teachings on work.
No media coverage allowed on Congo Catholic peace project
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has sabotaged the media coverage of a peace project, sponsored by the archdiocese of Kinshasa.
Opinion - The Pope of eternal youth
Quite simply, John Paul II is not like anyone else. His latest Apostolic letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte — assessing the achievements of the Jubilee and looking forward to the next thousand years — has all the passion and lyricism, the intellectual vigour and spiritual depth, of his greatest writings. - The Catholic Herald (go to Comment)
Feature - Top 10 people of 2000
In a world where the most popular journals recognise as "People of the Year" rock stars and fashion models, billionaire business tycoons and millionaire athletes, 'Inside the Vatican' magazine believes it can choose 10 people who, in one way or another, are spending their lives on behalf of others. The first is the Holy Father's own inspired choice. - Inside the Vatican
Melbourne bishop challenges Govt to stop funding gays
Melbourne Archdiocesan Vicar General Bishop Denis Hart has called on the Victorian Government to withdraw funding from an allegedly blasphemous event at the city's Gay and Lesbian Arts Festival.
Archbishops join plea for end to Iraq Sanctions
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President and Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Francis Carroll, and Adelaide Archbishop Leonard Faulkner, have joined other prominent Australians in signing a letter to the Prime Minister urging a rethink of Australia's support for economic sanctions against Iraq.
China rules out papal visit, for now
China for now has ruled out any chance of a visit of John Paul II to the country.
Bishop checked by police after sex abuse scandals
A Catholic diocese in England has arranged for scores of priests, including a bishop, and more than 200 volunteers to undergo police checks.
Paris Cardinal orders designer Lenten scarves
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger of Paris has asked a major French fashion designer to make 50,000 purple scarves to be given out to Catholics to wear during Lent.
Israelis to prosecute soldiers who fired at bishop's car
The Israeli army has said it will prosecute soldiers who fired toward the car of a senior Catholic bishop at a roadblock in the West Bank.
Opinion - The world view of a Benedictine, Bible-based feminist
It is precisely a woman's experience of God that this world lacks. God the lawgiver, God the judge, God the omnipotent being has consumed Western spirituality and, in the end, shriveled its heart and swallowed its soul. A spirituality that listens only to the spiritual wisdom of some and not of all, to men but not to women, is no spirituality at all. It is simply the ecclesiastical offshoot of a sinful system. - Sr Joan Chittister, NCR
Feature - Death penalty, abortion opponents call for shift in 'way of life'
Two of the most prominent Catholic voices on the subjects of capital punishment and abortion described both efforts as needing a 'way of life' conversion in the world. Before a packed auditorium, the two women, who have been at the forefront of efforts against capital punishment and abortion, for the first time sat down to talk about how the two issues are connected and, particularly, who they affect. - CNS
Girls lead in Religious Education
Analysis of test results show Catholic pupils are getting better results than pupils from other denominations, but most pupils struggle to answer questions about Mary and Bible parables.
Pope, Russian Foreign Minister avoid discussing papal visit
Despite increasingly warm relations, the Vatican and Russia avoided the sensitive issue of a papal visit to Moscow during meetings on Monday.
Pope sends second message after Central American quake
John Paul II is following closely all news of the deadly earthquake that struck Central America, and has sent a second message to express his closeness to all those affected.
Irish Bishop concerned at sectarian attacks
A Catholic bishop has contacted the head of the Royal Ulster Constabulary following a spate of sectarian attacks in a town in Northern Ireland.
Ban on former Catholic priests entering British Parliament to be repealed
Ministers are to rush legislation through parliament to repeal a series of anti-Catholic laws preventing former priests from sitting in the British House of Commons.
Chinese Government demands rent from catholic school authorities
Hong Kong's Catholic school system is currently facing government claims that the Church owes the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent for school buildings, because they are used for 'religious activities'.
The police, social control and the Almighty
What has the decline in religious belief got to do with the breakdown of law and order in modern society? Clifford Longley examines what has become of the 'soft on crime' approach of religious liberals, beginning with the caricature of an elegant New York liberal lady who looks down at a mugging victim and asks "Whichever poor soul did this to you must need an awful lot of help!"
Ex-ad executive uses corporate tools to attract vocations
Natalie Smith talks about marketing, mismanagement and ``broadening the market.'' But she's just as likely to bring up vocations, the Holy Spirit and 'aggiornamento'. Smith, a Third Order Trappist from Florida, says God is leading her to use the skills she honed as an ad executive for many years to bring more vocations into the Catholic Church. - CNS
Australian Catholic officials leave for timely Pakistan solidarity visit
As Australian Catholic Social Justice Council Member, Fr Paul Devitt and Chief Executive Officer, Sandie Cornish prepare to fly to Pakistan for a solidarity visit to the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan, they received news yesterday of the detention of Church justice and peace workers in Karachi.
Pope leads European reaction to El Salvador quake
Pope John Paul II has prayed for people hit by the devastating earthquake in Central America, and called on the international community to send aid.
Catholic panel to screen British clergy candidates for child abuse
All aspirants for the Catholic priesthood would be vetted by a new national body under proposals being considered by an independent committee set up to root out child abusers.
New York Archdiocese files lawsuit against Sultan of Brunei
The Archdiocese of New York is battling with the royal family of Brunei over rent for land they own across Madison Avenue from St Patrick's Cathedral.
Jewish advocacy group claims new evidence against Pius XII
The World Jewish Congress, which is seeking to prevent the canonisation of Pope Pius XII, on Thursday made available a 1945 report which it said showed the wartime pope's moral double standard toward the Nazis.
Jesuit journal says brothels better than the street
While describing prostitution as 'degrading and contrary to the dignity of the person', the Italian journal Civiltà Cattolica has said the state should admit that prostitution is impossible to eradicate and move it to 'places more protected than the street'.
Opinion - Dominus Iesus is simply a re-statement of the obvious
One priest told a student newspaper that "John Paul is sick and old ... some forces in the Vatican are using this to beat their own drum ... " The document has been called a betrayal of Vatican II. But in fact it affirms perennial Church doctrine, especially Vatican II's construction of a system of overlapping circles the fullness of truth in the Catholic Church, other Christian bodies sharing some of that truth but not all, non-Christian bodies possessing some truth but missing the Gospel. - Adoremus
Feature - The apologetics of beauty: Liturgy should be enjoyable
Beauty illuminates: it overcomes us with brilliant light, says US author and sociologist Fr Andrew Greeley. To say that a liturgy is beautiful means that the joy of the communal meal has so permeated the congregation that many sense that Jesus had indeed joined us at the table and is joyful with us. - Andrew Greeley
Pope warns Mideast is spinning out of control
Pope John Paul II, in his yearly 'state of the world' address, said on Saturday that the Middle East crisis risked spinning out of control.
Pope says Jubilee has changed everything
Pope John Paul II has told Jubilee officials that, now that the Jubilee is over, 'nothing is as before'.
Pope says faith means more than empty rites
To be a Christian means more than simply taking part in rituals, the Pope said during his Wednesday audience.
Indonesian envoys to brief Vatican on bombings
Indonesia has announced it's sending two cabinet ministers to the Vatican to brief Pope John Paul II on the wave of bombings that swept Indonesia on Christmas Eve.
Catholic anti-blasphemy law protestors detained in Pakistan
Fr Arnold Heredia, 60, and Alsam Martin, 44, were among about 50 protestors detained on Wednesday for taking part in an anti-blasphemy laws demonstration organised by the All Faiths Spiritual Movement in Karachi.
Last Holy See appointed Bishop dies at the age of 92
The religious funeral took place yesterday of the last Chinese Bishop appointed by the Holy See.
Opinion - A new mission for a new millennium
The Church is facing its greatest challenge as it enters the new millennium. As Pope John Paul makes clear in his apostolic letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, the just ended Year of Great Jubilee has been a preparation for the new mission Catholics are being asked to undertake in the third millennium. - Catholic Leader
Feature - Catholics 'are running out of priests'
Britain's four million Catholics have been warned that they are running out of priests, and that weekly Mass will soon become a rarity in hundreds of churches. - Independent
Support for Government accreditation of Queensland Catholic schools
The Queensland Catholic Education Commission (QCEC) has welcomed soon-to-be-enacted accreditation laws for non-state schools as "a win for the community, for the Government, and for our schools".
Israeli soldiers fire warning shots at Catholic bishop
Israeli soldiers guarding a roadblock opened fire on the car of a Catholic Bishop travelling from Nazareth into Palestinian territory to meet with a sick priest.
Timor bishops appeal for reconciliation
The Catholic bishops of both East and West Timor have called for the immediate repatriation of refugees from West to East, offered support for the process of reconciliation and the setting up of a special Commission, and made a firm request to the Indonesian government to guarantee security in West Timor.
Zambia pulls AIDS campaign after church opposition
Zambian health authorities have withdrawn a hard-hitting anti-AIDS campaign from state radio and television after church groups said it encouraged promiscuity and moral decay, officials said on Wednesday.
Distribution of new catechism passes one million
'I Believe', the small catechism published by Aid to the Church in Need, has become one of the most read religious books at the beginning of the millennium.
US religious congregations becoming more savvy investors
The financial burden of health care for the increasing number of elderly religious has caused many congregations to develop more sophisticated investment strategies.
Opinion - The historic significance of the Church's 'mea culpa'
The mea culpa which the Pope articulated last March remains one of the most significant events of the Jubilee and was very possibly the most moving. It inspired unprecedented confessions throughout the world, with many local churches seeking forgiveness for past errors. - Zenit
Feature - US President's personal values not an issue
A new survey claims that two thirds of Americans don't know and don't care about the religious values and personal morality of their President. They want people to be more religious, but they hold an almost intuitive aversion to letting religion take too great a hold on political or other areas of life. They are disturbed by civil libertarians who appear to be busily eradicating religion from every sector of public life. - Washington Times
Heritage building costs Catholic nursing home full accreditation
Catholic Health Australia's aged care services director, Richard Gray, believes the Federal Government could have given full accreditation to a Catholic nursing home in Ballarat which was allowed six months to meet Government standards.
Vigorous pope has Australia on his 2001 travel agenda
A papal visit to Oceania, including Australia and the Pacific Islands, perhaps New Caledonia, is being planned for later this year, according to Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
Pope claims success in Jubilee debt reduction campaign
The governments of many creditor nations "have voted for a substantial reduction [in Third World debt]", according to Pope John Paul II.
Muslim youth saves many Christian lives
The Archbishop of Jakarta, Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja, has paid tribute to the Muslims who have supported Christians against Muslim extremists before and after the Christmas Eve attacks on Christian churches.
Nuncio in Britain speaks to anxious priests about paedophile row
The Papal Nuncio in Britain has held an extraordinary meeting with more than 70 priests from south Wales to discuss the conduct of their bishop Archbishop John Aloysius Ward.
Celine Dion says priest told mother not to abort her
Canadian music star Celine Dion has said that she credits her family's parish priest for convincing her mother not to abort her.
Opinion - Mixing pig and human embryos is legal but not moral
A joint US-Australian bioethics venture to fuse human and pig embryos has come to light. Melbourne University law professor Loane Skene said the believed it was not illegal in Australia to insert human DNA into a pig's ovum. There are overwhelming commercial pressures for biotech companies to get this kind of technology on the market, and the Government seems absolutely blind to the dangers of allowing cloning research to continue. - The Universe
Feature - Movement breathes new but controversial life into the Church
The Way (of the Neo-Catechumenate movement) has been the route to a deeper, more meaningful faith for those who belong. In their zeal they cannot help but give the impression that they think it's the only way. The new movements in the Church have the Pope's strong support, but can draw controversy. While admired for its Christian commitment and missionary zeal, the Neo-Cats have been criticised for dividing parishes. - The Tablet
Indonesia Christmas Bomber Infiltrates Franciscan Community
Indonesian Army Special Forces are behind deadly bombings in 10 towns in Indonesia in Christmas Eve that killed 16 people and injured almost 100, according to Christian sources in the Asian country.
Papal thanks for Jubilee volunteers
On Sunday, Pope John Paul II offered his thanks and praise to the 70,000 volunteers who helped greet pilgrims in Rome during the Jubilee year.
Church attacks Zambian anti-AIDS campaign
The Catholic Church in Zambia has criticised a government-funded safe sex advertising campaign aimed at curbing HIV and AIDS.
Tomb of first martyred Latin American bishop discovered
The remains of the person whom experts believe is Bishop Antonio Valdivieso, killed in 1550 for defending the Indians, and regarded as the first martyred Bishop of America, were shown to the press last week by the National Institute of Culture of Nicaragua.
Virgin Mary statue cries tears of oil
Hundreds of pilgrims have flocked to a church in Beirut after a statue of the Virgin Mary cried tears of oil.
Cuban media ridicules Epiphany parade
Cuba's state-controlled media criticised an Epiphany parade on Friday, calling it an imported capitalist show to mislead children.
Feature - Jubilee year rich in signs of reconciliation North/South
The Church in South Korea has never forgotten her mission to serve the people in the North. Her desire to evangelize has gone hand in hand with work to reunite the country, divided for more than 50 years and in a state of fragile peace, if not war.
Opinion - Standing with those left behind
When the president of Italy pardoned Pope John Paul II's would-be assassin last May, some were disturbed by the apparent subversion of Italy's justice system. But Catholic chaplains and thousands of volunteers who serve in prisons - where the need for forgiveness on a daily basis is all too obvious - were inspired. The Pope encouraged the church, through the dramatic pardon of Agca, to look with mercy and understanding on the prison population.
Pope receives US Congressional Gold Medal
The US Congress yesterday bestowed its highest civilian honour on John Paul II.
Chilean Bishops issue report on missing persons
Two Chilean bishops presented a report on Saturday dealing with the fate of individuals who disappeared after their arrest during the rule of General Augusto Pinochet.
British Archbishop challenges Blair's record on family
Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the head of Catholics in England and Wales, yesterday expected implicitly criticised Tony Blair for failing to put marriage and the family at the heart of Government policy.
Clinton did not listen to the Pope, claims surgeon
The Pope found Bill Clinton the hardest person to have a conversation with among all the world's leaders, his surgeon claims.
Italian church entrance fees for tourists raise controversy
The fine line between churches and museums in Italy is beginning to erode.
New York magazine apologises for slur on late Cardinal
The New York edition of 'Time Out' magazine apologised for a reference to Cardinal John O'Connor's death as one of the best things to happen to the gay community during 2000.
Comment - If Pax Christi held sway over America's Catholics ...
War and violence are fundamentally forbidden by the teachings of Christ. Pax Christi has the difficult task of trying to change America's priorities. If its mission and mandate of Pax Christi were to take hold among America's 62 million Catholics, the entire nation could be transformed, according to Jesuit Fr Robert Drinan. - NCR
Feature - Why did so many Victorian decadents become Catholics?
During the last days of Oscar Wilde's life, a friend took it upon himself to send for a priest. The priest asked the already comatose Wilde if he wished to be received into the church. Wilde made a movement with his hand which was taken as assent, whereupon Fr Dunne baptised, absolved and anointed him. The author of this feature claims that his flirtation with Rome had been going on for so long that it contained all of the elements of a lifelong romance. - Catholic Herald - Analysis
Timor bishops conclude refugee talks
Bishops from either side of the Timor border have finished two days of talks focused on the plight of refugees who remain in Indonesian West Timor, saying many are keen to return home.
Pope closes Holy Door
Pope John Paul has closed the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, formally ending the Church's Holy Year.
Pope's apostolic letter invites reflection on Holy Year
At noon on Saturday Pope John Paul II signed his apostolic letter, Novo Millennio Ineunte, closing the Jubilee year.
Surgeon denies confirmation that Pope has Parkinson's
The surgeon who operated on Pope John Paul in 1994 denied on Thursday that he had said the 80-year-old pontiff was suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Irish nun killed in Caribbean remembered
An Irish nun who followed her religious calling to this Caribbean island four decades ago before being beaten to death during Mass was buried on Saturday.
Priest poses nude for fundraising calendar
The Bishop of the Irish diocese of Galway has said he was 'surprised and dismayed' to discover that one of his priests had posed nude for a charity fund-raising calendar.
Opinion - Jesus Christ is the same... for ever
With the closing by the Pope yesterday of the Holy door of St Peter's, the Great Jubilee came to an end. The Holy Father is known to believe deeply that in the new Century the Church will move away from the darkness and confusion of the past into a new age of confidence and growth. - Catholic Herald
Feature - French artist gains entrance to Vatican's closed world
Among the chosen few allowed near Pope John Paul II during Saturday's ceremony to close the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica was an artist who used watercolors to document the Vatican's inner workings, which she has had access to for more than a year. - AP
Surgeon confirms that Pope has Parkinson's disease
Pope John Paul II is suffering from Parkinson's disease, according to one of the doctors on the Holy Father's medical team.
Gay advocates protest at Vatican
Carrying teddy bears, toys and a message for Pope John Paul II, a small band of gay Christians from the US gathered at the edge of St Peter's Square on Wednesday to protest Vatican teachings on homosexuality.
Pope appeals for new efforts to help refugees, displaced people
Calling refugees "among the poorest members of the human family," Pope John Paul II appealed for fresh efforts to protect displaced people and promote their dignity.
Vatican banishes tourists from St Peter's tomb
Vatican officials have announced that the tomb of St Peter will be closed to visitors for the foreseeable future because of damage caused by humidity.
Congolese bishop jailed for allegedly inciting people
A bishop in Congo has been jailed, apparently because the Congolese military believes he has been using his homilies to incite people against the government.
Official says ex-soldiers behind Indonesian church bombings
Indonesia's Defense Minister has said that former soldiers of the National Defense Forces (TNI) were behind the bombings of churches across the country on Christmas Eve.
The Elevation during Consecration: climax of the Liturgy
Though he has only the ability to use one arm of late, the Holy Father still struggles to elevate on high the sacred species at the moment of Consecration. That moment is, and always will remain, the moment of climax in the liturgical celebration, notwithstanding the ever restless liturgists who seek to level everything in the liturgy and deprive it of its climax. - TCR News
Catholic Producer in Hollywood
Steve McEveety, who has produced some of Mel Gibson's most popular films—including the current hit What Women Want—discusses faith, family and career. - St Anthony Messenger
Pilgrims to Rome break records in 2000
The year 2000 was marked by the huge number of pilgrims to Rome, the greatest in the city's entire history.
Cardinal Ratzinger links Christian anti-Judaism to Holocaust
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said it is undeniable that some Christians failed to oppose Nazi atrocities because of anti-Jewish sentiment, but said the tragedy may have awakened the church to a new era of dialogue with Jews.
Vatican moves a step closer to the Euro
The Vatican has signed an agreement with Italy paving the way for it to start using euros from the beginning of next year in conjunction with Italy.
Austin Powers star attacks Catholic church on sex
The star of last year's Austin Powers film, Heather Graham, has condemned the Catholic church for 'stifling sexuality'.
Man arrested following alleged attack on New York archbishop
A man accused of trying to handcuff Roman Catholic Archbishop Edward Egan during a service at St. Patrick's Cathedral explained that he wanted to arrest Egan to publicise his view that Jesus never existed.
Bomb blast at Catholic church in Yemen
A bomb blast outside a Catholic church in the Middle Eastern country of Yemen on Monday did not cause any serious injuries according to local officials.
Opinion - Corporate humility best way to address clergy sexual abuse
What has angered people most during the past decade is not so much clergy sexual abuse itself is the manner in which Bishops and religious superiors dealt with the issue, concerned too much for the good name of the Church. - Studies
Feature - Silly season dining room dramas
Research in Britain revealed that 85% of families no longer sit down together for a daily family meal, with 20% only taking one meal together per year. While the family meal is often a source of tyranny for many people, the ritual of eating together is integral to the institution of the family, which is the 'crucible of our relationships'. - The Tablet
Pope among Australia's Federation well-wishers
Pope John Paul II prayed for Australia on the eve of this week's celebration of the Centenary of Federation.
Pope set new canonisation record in 2000
In a record-breaking year in a record-breaking pontificate, Pope John Paul II declared more saints than he had in any other year of his reign.
Vatican support for 'placenta bank'
The Catholic Church is giving its support to a new research centre which could provide an alternative to the use of human embryos for medical research.
Pope applauds love of one's country
Pope John Paul has said that love for one's country is a value to be fostered.
Russian Patriarch again slams conversions by Catholics
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Aleksei II again lashed out at Catholics on Friday, criticising the Church for seeking converts in the former Soviet Union.
John the Baptist's skull 'found'
A team of scientists in Jordan claims to have found the winter home of John the Baptist and say a skull they have recovered may be his.
Opinion: When words fail, try visual images
Many people find that art is the best way to enter into the mysteries of the Christian faith. One painting in a London gallery is 'as clear an exposition of the Chalcedonian formula concerning Christ's two natures as you will find anywhere'. - Priests and People
Feature: Finding a place for lay people in Rome
The story of a young Catholic American man who goes to Rome to study theology with the intention of remaining a member of the Catholic laity. He lives in a community offering living space and support for lay students in the 'clerical company town' of Rome. - NCR
Lost nun found after three nights in Blue Mountains
A Queensland nun who had been missing for three nights in rugged bushland in New South Wales' Blue Mountains, has been found.
Philippine priest shot dead
A priest has been shot dead in the Philippines by suspected Muslim rebels while on a trip to buy Christmas presents.
Vatican concerned about Indonesian violence
The Congregation for Evangelisation has issued a statement of 'profound concern' about the attacks on Christians in Indonesia during the Christmas season.
Nun killed, 13 hurt in Caribbean church attack
Machete-wielding men stormed a Catholic church Sunday, hacked at worshippers and set some on fire, killing an Irish nun and injuring at least 13 others in the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia.
30 missionaries killed during 2000
30 Catholic missionaries died in the line of duty during the past year, including three who perished while nursing victims of the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in Africa, the Vatican's Fides missionary news service has reported.
Pope makes New Year's Eve appearance on blustery Rome night
Bundled up in a red cloak on an unusually cold Roman night, Pope John Paul II made a midnight New Year's Eve appearance to a cheering crowd and wished the world peace and prosperity.
Opinion: Martyrs, hope can do more than politics
The 30 martyrs of 2000 - and those whose deaths have not reached the statisticians in Rome, are the most precious gift of all in this Great Jubilee. Their blood cries to the world that Christianity lives. - Fides
Feature: Catholic-Jewish dialogue making quiet progress
While 2000 marked a number of well-reported setbacks for Catholic-Jewish relations, there are many initiatives promising a strong future for the dialogue. - CNS