Priest says prisons being used as asylums for mentally ill
The Director of Jesuit Social Services (JSS) has criticised the Victorial Government's move to provide an additional 900 prison cells while it says there has been a decrease in serious crime in Victoria.
Pope set to receive lecture from Greek Orthodox Archbishop
Greek Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos will not pray with John Paul II when he visits Athens later this week, but instead lecture the Holy Father about 1000 years of disputes between the two Churches.
Bishop Joe Grech installed in Sandhurst Diocese
Bishop Joseph Grech was installed on Friday night as the sixth Bishop of Sandhurst, based in the Victorian regional city of Bendigo.
Pope asks Bush to spare McVeigh
Pope John Paul II has asked President Bush to spare the life of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who is scheduled to be executed on 16 May.
Pope prays daily for end to Iraq embargo
Pope John Paul greeted Iraq's new ambassador to the Holy See on Saturday and told him he prayed for his country every day and longed for the lifting of an international embargo.
Turin Shroud 'shows priest not Christ'
An academic says the "face of Christ" on the famous Turin shroud may belong to a priest who inspired Robert the Bruce.
Opinion - New cardinals' appointment signals end to Ratzinger's 'spiritual monopoly'
The diplomatic correspondent and former editor of the German weekly Die Zeit argues in The Tablet that the elevation of 44 new cardinals earlier this year was 'an institutional setback to Roman centralism' and 'a farewell ceremony for a whole era - the era of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger'.
Feature - Dominican Master speaks his mind
In his long, white Dominican habit, Fr Timothy Radcliffe has the look of an imperial Roman figure from 2000 years ago. But there is something about his gait and ruddy cheeks that suggests he is not from Rome. At 55, he is also Master of the Dominicans worldwide, and with the publication of his book I Call You Friends he is about to create waves that will extend well beyond the Vatican. - Electronic Telegraph
Diocese criticises Minister's refugee quota decision
Broome Diocese has expressed regret at the Immigration Minister's decision to cut 'offshore' refugee numbers in response to increased numbers of 'onshore' applications.
Bomb found hidden near bishop's residence in Indonesia
A bomb was found hidden among banana trees some 50 metres feet from the bishop's residence in Atambua, the second such incident in five months.
Vatican theologian warns against atheistic environmentalism
Stripping references to God when trying to protect and save nature will only benefit "hidden or manifest powers", according to moral theologian Fr Gino Concetti
Greek groups objecting to papal visit
Waving Greek flags and wooden crosses, more than 1000 demonstrators protested on Wednesday against the forthcoming visit to Greece by Pope John Paul II.
Jesus loincloth spares blushes at New York airport
An artist has been forced to paint a loincloth onto a nude figure of Jesus on the cross in a mural at Kennedy International Airport, in New York, after complaints from construction workers.
Saint's relics to tour Australia
Relics of St Therese of Lisieux will tour Australia for the first time in April 2002.
Opinion - Australian outback needs Third Rite of Reconciliation
In recent travels around Queensland, I have been saddened to find that families who have traditionally travelled many miles to attend Mass and the sacraments, are now travelling up to 200km further, and have little chance of receiving the First Rite of Reconciliation. In Italy, there are churches on every corner. I can see that Vatican officials would have absolutely no concept of the distances involved here, which has been acerbated by the shortage of priests. - Catholic Leader (letter to the editor)
Feature - Women lead peace initiatives in Israel
A nun has written to Independent Catholic News in London of Israeli women who are monitoring the Israeli Defence Force roadblocks, intervening in cases of urgent medical relief and reporting verbal or physical violence towards Palestinians.
Nun recovering in Brisbane after PNG shooting
An elderly American nun is recovering in Brisbane after being shot in the head at point blank range by robbers in Papua New Guinea's northern Madang Province.
Women's Commission developing strategy for building bridges
Members of the Commission for Australian Catholic Women began developing a Vision, a Mission and a Strategic Plan, with the facilitation of Kathleen Hughes, management consultant, during their second meeting held in Sydney last Friday.
US theologian barred in book controversy
A Jesuit theological school has placed a priest on leave because the Vatican says several parts of his award-winning book may contradict church teachings.
Argentine Archbishop tells Catholics to disobey new law
A leading archbishop has said that Argentines don't have to obey a new birth control law approved by the House of Representatives and now waiting for approval by the Senate.
Study reveals clergy's struggle to maintain holiness
New research conducted by an Adelaide university shows that many pastoral leaders are struggling to maintain meaningful relationships with their people and their God.
Educators urged to boost teen girls' self-image
Sexualised and superficial media images of girls and women can damage the self-image of adolescents, according to two authors in the US.
Opinion - Our 'soul sickness' over Aboriginal people
The review of the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Royal Commission, which has just been published, shows our country to be soul sick. We have been living a lie for 200 years - the lie of Terra Nullius - that there was no one living here when the First Fleet arrived in 1788. We can't get rid of the lie by intellectual turnaround. This is a lie in which we have a real vested interest as it is in our material interest to keep on pretending that there was no one here. - Catholic Weekly
Feature - Celibate chastity: an affair of the heart
What does it mean to live as a chaste celibate in a cynical world? Irish Marist Brother Seán Sammon, author of An Undivided Heart, says: "Does it surprise you to learn that some of the most sexual people I know also live lives of celibate chastity? Spend time with any one of them, and you will be left with this lasting impression: here is a person who is deeply spiritual and profoundly human." - Priests and People
Bishop Belo calls for international court action on 1999 East Timor violence
Dili's Bishop Carlos Belo last night called for an international court of justice to prosecute those responsible for the bloody rampage against the East Timorese people in September 1999.
Catholic spokesman dispels concerns over Anglican Archbishop's appointment as G-G
Sydney Archdiocesan spokesman Fr Brian Lucas has expressed the opinion that Archbishop Peter Hollingworth's status as a churchman is unlikely to conflict with his role as Australia's next Governer-General.
German church leaders criticise Dutch euthanasia decision
German church leaders have criticised a recent decision by the Netherlands to legalise euthanasia.
Praying Christians flogged and imprisoned in Sudan
The leaders of ten Christian denominations have protested to the Sudanese premier for the treatment of Christians over the Easter period.
Bhutanese Christians told to leave the faith or leave the country
The tiny Christian minority in Bhutan - just 0.33% of the population - has been told to either renounce their faith or leave the country.
Rwandan priest says nuns aren't killers, but trial is good
A Rwandan priest who knows the two Rwandan nuns on trial in Belgium on charges of participating in genocide said he does not believe the sisters are killers, but the Catholic Church should not be afraid of the trial.
Opinion - Rules against remarriage driving souls away
One reason that Catholics take their souls to other churches is that they feel they have forfeited their membership in the Roman church because they violated one or more of the complex marriage laws. Their numbers are growing faster than some other branches of the tree of Christianity. But the church does not seem inclined to relax the rules. - NCR
Feature - The priest and the swami
The French Benedictine monk known as Swami Abhishiktananda was one of the great Christian explorers of Indian spirituality and of interfaith dialogue. He devoted himself to contemplation. An Anglican priest who became a close friend of his shared his memories with a writer, who wrote the biographer of the late Dom Bede Griffiths and is now researching Abhishiktananda's life. - The Tablet
Bishops to officially recognise Mary Help of Christians as Patron of Australia
Australia's Catholic bishops will this week hold a special ceremony next week to renew the patronage of the Virgin Mary under the title Mary Help of Christians as Patron Saint of Australia.
Indignation at FBI suggestion of suicide in US Kenya missionary's death
Church and humanitarian spokespeople in Kenya have reacted with indignation following an FBI agent's suggestion that US missionary and human rights defender Fr John Kaiser committed suicide last August.
Bishop Belo thanks South Australia for Timor aid
Dili's Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Carlos Belo, has made a flying visit to Adelaide to thank South Australia for its support during his country's struggle for independence.
Pell finally consecrates church after 150 years
Archbishop George Pell on Saturday belatedly consecrated St John's Church, in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg, which had escaped earlier consecration due to an oversight.
Call for Catholic parents to enter schools debate
A meeting of Catholic school parent organisations held in Melbourne recently called for national representation of Catholic school parent groups to give Catholic parents a say in school funding and other issues.
Former New York Cardinal's blood distributed as 'relic'
A medical practitioner in the US has been accused of distributing samples of the late Cardinal Terence Cook as 'relics' of a possible saint.
Opinion - Publicity helps solve problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests
The turmoil of the betrayed is certainly evident in the rush of responses that has followed in the wake of recent widespread publicity of the sexual abuse of nuns by priests, mainly in Africa. Some have argued the such a scandal should not be publicised. But as reports of abuse in the United States and Europe have shown, such incidents don't get dealt with in any substantive way until the wider community is notified. - NCR
Feature - Irish tour of St Thérèse's relics provoking public fervour and liberal alarm
Striking scenes of public piety, reminiscent of the Fifties, continue to greet the Irish tour of the bones of St Thérèse of Lisieux, which arrived in the country last Sunday by ferry from France. For the next nine weeks the remains will tour cathedrals and main churches in every Roman Catholic diocese in Ireland as part of a world pilgrimage which, to date, has included the US, South America and Russia. - The Observer
Sudanese airforce attacks bishop's aircraft
Sudanese air force bombers attacked an airstrip in the country's remote Nuba Mountains on Monday, narrowly missing a plane carrying human rights advocate Bishop Macram Max Gassis.
Ethicist says Catholic Social Teaching requires US action on climate change
Basic common morality, as well as Catholic Social Teaching, dictates that the United States make sacrifices for the sake of battling global climate change, a Jesuit social ethicist told a Washington conference.
Committee told families the key to evangelisation
An Australian follow-up to Pope John Paul II's World Meeting of Families has been told that a major part of evangelisation can and should take place through the family.
John Paul II Institute to take students from July
The new Melbourne campus of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family will take its first students in July.
Benedictine superiors support nuns accused of Rwanda genocide complicity
The Benedictine Order has defended the women religious currently being tried in Belgium for alleged complicity in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Disgraced Irish bishop returns from exile for family wedding
The former Bishop of Galway, Dr Eamonn Casey, returned quietly to Ireland this week to officiate at a family wedding in Limerick.
Opinion - The case against lay ministry
In a pastoral letter convoking an archdiocesan synod for Los Angeles, Cardinal Mahony calls for an officially recognised "lay ecclesial ministry". This new ministry is essentially intended as a formal means of having the laity replace the priest with respect to most of his traditional duties, including the administering of some of the sacraments. Certainly the past thirty years since Vatican II serve to indicate that the advancement of lay ministers has accomplished little more than promote dissent within the Church. It has disrupted the unity necessary for achieving the new springtime in the Church called for by Pope John Paul II. - Catholic Insight
Feature - One Nation spectre gave birth to Unity
The emergence of One Nation as a political movement shocked Chinese-born Catholic convert, and now member of the NSW Upper House, Peter Wong. His daughter urged him to form a political party, Unity, which was subsequently successful at the 1999 NSW State elections. He said: "I don't think John Howard understood the feelings of the migrant community at that time. That's unfortunate. He probably thought Hanson would go away, but she didn't go away." - Catholic Weekly
Immigration Minister takes on Catholic Social Justice Council
Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock has attacked the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC), accusing it of uninformed speculation and hearsay over comments made in an ACSJC article on immigration detention centres.
Vatican views British church hardline on paedophilia as test-case
Vatican officials have welcomed British Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's "courageous initiative" in setting up a review on the problem of paedophile priests, adding that it could become a model for other Catholic authorities seeking to address "this grave issue".
Pope urges caution on Neocatechumenate Way
Pope John Paul II has cautioned the Neocatechumenate Way about the importance of "submission" to the authority of the Church.
Catholic charity says Burmese Christians facing severe discrimination
Burmese Christians continue to face heavy discrimination according to a report released yesterday by representatives of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Catholics sue to build church in Malaysia
The Catholic Church in Malaysia has filed a lawsuit to receive permission to build a new church, despite repeated denials by a state government.
One third of Britons believe in Resurrection
Only a third of the British population still believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus according to a national poll published over the Easter break.
Opinion - NZ bishop gives lead on supporting women
New Zealand has always been ahead of its time as far as women are concerned. It was the first country to give women the vote. Now 38 Kiwi women have chosen to accept Auckland's Bishop Patrick Dunn's offer of aid so they don't have to have an abortion. The bishop has 'put his money where his mouth is'. Australia to its shame now boasts 100,000 abortions a year. We are failing Australian women and their would-be children.
Feature - Brain donor nun's 'ultimate act of love'
Sr Georgianne Segner who dedicated her whole life to helping others, did so after death as well. In what has been called an ultimate act of love, a former teaching nun in the US donated her brain to science when she died last October at the age of 86. The Dallas nun's gift is intended to help unlock the mysteries of aging and Alzheimer's disease, a progressive, degenerative neurological disorder that is the most common form of dementia in adults. - CNS
Centacare welcomes SA Govt moves to protect incarcerated children
Catholic welfare agency Centacare has welcomed the South Australian Premier's call for State authorities to be given access to detention centres to check on the well-being of incarcerated children.
British Catholic report urges 'culture of vigilance' against pedophilia
A review commissioned by the Catholic Church in England and Wales has recommended police checks should be carried out on Church staff in an effort to stamp out paedophile activity.
Church Life Survey to include Catholics and international congregations
A cross-section of Catholic parishes is being represented for the first time in the National Church Life Survey involving 2.3 million church attenders in 17,300 congregations throughout Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.
Priests call for consultation before appointments
The National Council of Priests (NCP) is to study canon law on the appointment of bishops at the request of concerned priests in Victoria and NSW, following Archbishop George Pell's appointment to Sydney from Melbourne.
Nuns being tried for complicity in Rwandan genocide
Two Benedictine nuns are among four Rwandans who went on trial yesterday in Belgium charged with taking part in the 1994 massacre of at least half a million people in Rwanda.
Laity Committee announces logo design competition
The Committee for the Laity of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has announced a competition to design a logo for its official communications.
Opinion - Growing papal power provokes Orthodox Churches' anger
It is shocking to note bitter hostility to the coming papal visit to Greece and the Ukraine. It is equally troubling to note that Pope John Paul II, even as he professes eagerness to improve relations with Christian Orthodox churches, continues a process of centralisation of authority. That process of appropriating authority traditionally vested in local dioceses is at the root of tensions with the Orthodox. - NCR
Feature - Media scramble to capture conclave smoke
The world's media are discreetly tussling over the best vantage point in Rome to capture on camera the puff of white smoke that will herald the eventual successor to Pope John Paul II. Unknown to many of the pilgrims present, several of the apartments and hotel rooms around the square have been secured by broadcasters since fears of the Pope's impending death first arose in 1993. - Guardian
Frail Pope presides over Easter Vigil
Pope John Paul II marked the approach of Easter on Saturday night with a candlelight vigil in St. Peter's Basilica.
Jerusalem pilgrimage only for brave few
Only the boldest of foreign pilgrims made their way to Jerusalem for the Good Friday procession, which was overshadowed by six months of violence.
Burma human rights campaigner re-enacts crucifixion
British-Australian Catholic human rights campaigner James Mawdsley has appealed for help for the world's oppressed at a re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion.
Archbishop Clancy spends Easter in hospital
Retiring Sydney Archbishop, Cardinal Edward Clancy, spent the Easter weekend in hospital recovering from surgery.
Pope too busy to take an Easter holiday
Despite the marathon of Holy Week celebrations, Pope John Paul II has decided not to take a break.
Gay protesters accuse Pell of homophobia
Angry gay rights activists hung nooses outside Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday and chanted for Archbishop George Pell to "go to hell" as he greeted Easter churchgoers.
Opinion - Jew's 'heavy heart' during Passover celebrations
The Passover feast celebrates liberation from oppression. But the director of a Jewish studies centre in the US contends that Jews are not free until Palestinians are free. Today, with Israeli gunships daily firing rockets into defenceless Palestinian towns, cities and refugee camps, it is difficult to accept the deepest implications of the Passover narrative. Jews are free, are in Jerusalem, but it is not a true freedom if it has been obtained at the expense of others. - The Tablet
Feature - Singing nuns achieve success on UK charts
A recording released by group of British nuns has from Essex has gone to number three in the UK Classical Charts. The sisters from the Priory of the Resurrection at New Hall in Chelmsford put together a compilation of harmonious chant and hymns on an album entitled Eternal Light. Sr Margaret Mary told the BBC: "We're just delighted that the music which is our prayer is being shared and enjoyed by other people." - BBC
Brisbane priests urge Good Friday sport boycott
The erosion of Good Friday and other holidays has sparked an outcry from the Council of Priests in Brisbane Archdiocese.
Pope's frailty forces change in his Good Friday plans
John Paul II will not walk the full length of the Stations of the Cross in the Colosseum this Good Friday, as planned.
Dominican head denies vocations crisis
Dominican Master General Fr Timothy Radcliffe has said his order is not experiencing a problem of a fall in vocations, and that 'most of the candidates' are from Western countries.
Cardinal Clancy undergoes surgery
The retiring Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Edward Clancy, has undergone surgery after suffering severe abdominal pain.
Christians denied right to vote in Indian state
Church leaders in the southern Indian state of Kerala are accusing the Communist state government of denying them identity cards required to be able to vote in state elections.
Philippine President suspends death penalty for three years
The Catholic Church has prevailed upon Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to approve a three-year moratorium on the death penalty, the Vatican missionary agency Fides reported.
Opinion - Interreligious dialogue the key to world peace
Pope John Paul II in his recent apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte speaks of "the great challenges of interreligious dialogue to which we shall be committed in the new millennium". Interreligious dialogue is vital in a pluralistic global culture. Theologians pursuing dialogue between world religions should be given a freer rein. Without peace among the world's religions there will be no peace among the nations. - Cardinal Franz König of Vienna in The Tablet
Feature - Madeleine Delbrel, model for postmodern holiness
During a talk on holiness to French youth in Rome last August, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray mentioned the virtually unknown laywoman Madeleine Delbrêl (1904-1964) alongside Saints Augustine, Francis of Assisi, both Teresas and Pope John XXIII. Madeleine learned to love the atheist as her neighbour, bringing Jesus' gospel of love into the hearts and minds of those who were certain that Christian faith was a well-meaning but misguided form of idealism. - Houston Catholic Worker
World Catholic population grows by 16 million in 1999
From 1998 to 1999 Catholics worldwide increased by 16 million, according to data released this week with the publication of the Annuario Pontificio.
Bishop warns on sects political ambitions in Latin America
A Latin American bishop visiting Germany has waarned that religious sects are organising themselves to manipulate governments on the continent.
NZ women choose the bishop's money over abortion
38 women have accepted financial and other aid from Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn in return for choosing against having an abortion.
Marlon Brando likely to play the 'good pope'
Acting legend Marlon Brando has been approached to play the part of Pope John XXIII in a new movie.
Vatican Radio compromises on radiation
The Vatican, in an effort to stop Italy from cutting off electricity to its radio station following a dispute over electromagnetic radiation, says it will cut some of its transmissions after Easter.
Eastern and Western Christians celebrating Easter together
Christians everywhere will celebrate Easter on the same day this year because of a calendar quirk, a coincidence that has revived interest in trying to set a universal date for the observance.
Opinion - A West Country parish priest ponders Foot and Mouth
A local hotel has shut, perhaps not to reopen. Part-timers are being laid off from local shops. At the Vigil Mass a regular whispered the news a confirmed case of the disease barely ten miles away. Foot and mouth has seeped into some strange corners of the mind. Foot and Mouth may remind us of the fragility of life and help us to grasp the concept of that which is here and yet to come. - Independent Catholic News
Feature - Irish writer says look to the mystics for nourishment
Best-selling Irish author and theologian John O'Donohue's books weave Celtic spirituality with Greek, Roman and Buddhist mythology and philosophy, German speculative philosophy and Catholic theology. Visiting Australia to promote his new book Conamara Blues, he said: "One of the lonely things in the Catholic Church over the past 30 years has been the attention devoted to morality and the neglect of the mystical." - Catholic Weekly
Catholic commission welcomes Senator Ridgeway's appointment
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council (NATSICC) Chairperson Ms Vicki Walker took the opportunity to congratulate Senator Aden Ridgeway's on his appointment as the deputy leader of the Australian Democrats.
European Parliament condemns Vatican over abuse cases
The European Parliament has made an unprecedented attack on the Vatican, approving a motion blaming it for the rapes suffered by nuns in Africa in the 1990s.
Korean clergy donate part of salary to unemployed
The bishops and clergy of the Diocese of Inchon are digging into their own pockets to help support the education of the children of unemployed autoworkers.
Colombian archbishop wants a truce for Holy Week
Rubiano Saenz, Archbishop of Bogota, has called on the country's armed groups to agree to a Holy Week ceasefire.
Holy Week opens in sombre Jerusalem
Security blockades and a scarcity of pilgrims in Jerusalem put a damper on liturgies as Holy Week opened.
Spanish Church to excommunicate ETA terrorists
Spain's Catholic Church plans to excommunicate all members of the Basque separatist terrorist organisation ETA.
Opinion - New sins for the 21st century
When I was a small child they gave me a primer on how not to break the Ten Commandments. Now I'm afraid There are lots of new sins, far subtler and more wide reaching than the sins that little book worried about. People are hurting others in ways we couldn't have imagined in earlier days. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB in Beliefnet
Feature - Ex-nun tells of rape by African priest
Laura went into religious life in West Africa with high ideals. Despite the warnings of the novice mistress, she was unprepared for what happened after she took her final vows. "The priests were always asking us for sex, I would tell them, 'I am a nun, I took vows,' and they would say, 'It's all right to do that as long as we don't have children.'" - NCR
Diocese says asylum seeker riots a sign of desperation, not criminality
In the wake of last week's riots by asylum seekers at WA's Curtin detention centre, the Broome Diocese has called for the Government to take a new approach to detainees in its Detention Centres. - Broome Diocese JEP
Sydney priest speaks out against Pell appointment
The selection of the new Archbishop of Sydney was "corrupted" by a lack of consultation and by undue influence from the conservative Opus Dei group, a local priest told the Sydney Morning Herald. - SMH
Pope urges loyalty from Jesuit-run university
Pope John Paul II has told 2000 staff and students of the Gregorian University in Rome that he would like them to rekindle the loyalty to the Church's magisterium which motivated its founder St Ignatius of Loyola. - Zenit
Archbishop says McVeigh execution tests death penalty opposition
The impending execution of comvicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh "tests the mettle of the emerging Catholic view about the inappropriateness of capital punishment" like no other case, according to the archbishop of Indianapolis, in whose state the execution will take place. - CNS
Parents to sue after child refused place in UK Catholic school
The parents of a 12 year old boy are suing the Catholic school that refused his admission to a Catholic school on religious grounds. - ICN
Late bishop's burial waits for Church leaders' agreement
Catholic Church leaders and an executor of a dead bishop's estate are haggling over his body in a macabre dispute about burial arrangements. - Herald-Sun
Opinion - Vaticanwatcher on why the Pope picked Pell for Sydney
George Pell was almost certainly hand-picked by Pope John Paul II. Pell fits the model for new church leaders that the Pope has been applying to key appointments. And conservatism is not the prerequisite for promotion. The most important quality he seems to seek is strength of personality. - Desmond O'Grady in The Age
Feature - Priests struggle to evangelise war-torn southern Sudan
In the midst of the world's longest-running civil war, Fr Peter Obore is fighting to present Jesus to a land crying out for love, healing and reconciliation. Parishioners come and go as the war changes, and people are hungry, sick and tired. Church workers repeatedly told the recent visiting delegation that, while emergency aid remains important, meeting the peoples' pastoral needs should not be overlooked. - CNS
Church urges Israeli PM to halt Nazareth mosque
The custodian of the Holy Land, Franciscan Fr Giovanni Battistelli, has sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Prime Minister Mr Ariel Sharon calling on him to interrupt "without further delay" the building of a mosque in Nazareth.
Catholics threatened as Bosnia develops into Islamic state
The international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has reported that the situation of Catholics in the Bosnian-Croat federation is becoming more and more difficult.
Vatican says 20% of priests who leave ministry eventually return
20% of the priests who leave the ministry eventually return to full service, according to the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy.
Pope to lead all Holy Week ceremonies
The increasingly frail Pope John Paul II will preside over all the liturgical ceremonies in Rome during Holy Week, as he has done over the 22 years of his pontificate, the Vatican said this week.
Pope makes plea on behalf of the mentally ill
John Paul II appealed to all Christians to give special attention to the mentally ill, the subject of Saturday's World Health Day 2001, overseen by the World Health Organisation.
Updated Roman Martyrology nears publication
The Vatican will soon complete a project that has been awaited since Vatican II - the publication of a new martyrology for the Catholic Church.
Opinion - Pell promises to heal divisions in Church
We would do well to look to the Second Vatican Council's Constitution of the Church, Lumen Gentium. It tells us what the task of bishops is: "To safeguard the unity of faith and discipline common to the whole Church." He says, for instance, that he is concerned with "promoting and safeguarding unity" and that he is here to unify and not divide the Catholic Church. A mighty task, as Archbishop Pell himself concedes. - Catholic Weekly
Feature - Adoption of daughter from Korea a 'Passiontide/Easter experience'
After a year and a half on the adoption waiting list, Mary Jo and Mark received notice that their child was ready to be collected from a Korean orphanage. After years of dealing with the heartache of infertility, they had chosen the path of overseas adoption. 'She has made us a family and filled a great hole in our lives'.
Profiteers pushing aside Catholic aged care
New residential bed licences won by Catholic aged care providers reflect barely half their market share and have sparked speculation that the Howard Government is favouring commercial providers.
Ratzinger calls Lefebvrist schismatics narrow-minded
Talks between the Church and followers of traditionalist Marcel Lefebvre have failed to end the 12-year-old schism.
South Australian Govt recognises all gambling can hurt
Adelaide's Centacare Catholic Family Services director Dale West has praised the State Government for its adoption of a reform package that recognises that gambling can destroy people's lives.
Guatemalan church rejects offer to drop priest's murder charge
The Guatemalan church refused a government offer to drop the murder charge against a priest in the 1998 killing of his bishop if the church agreed to stop pointing the finger at the army.
Church leaders alarmed over effects of gambling in South Africa
The growth of casinos in South Africa, a country relatively new to legal gambling, is having an alarming effect on families and communities, according to a bishops' spokesman and others concerned with social welfare.
Church welcomes report on temporary visas
A Brisbane Church worker with refugees has welcomed a Queensland report looking into the plight of temporary protection visa holders (TPVs).
Opinion - It's time for the Lefebvrists to get real
Despite all initial hopes, it appears the Society of St Pius X is not yet prepared to get real with the Church. Instead of looking inward with a view to seeing how it has, time and time again, misrepresented the teachings of the Council and Pope, Bishop Fellay, the Superior General of the Society, has instead made unseemly and arrogant demands. - TCR News
Feature - Avenging angel who puts people and justice first
Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Allan Fels, who seeks a competitive economy with built-in safeguards for society, has come a long way in the way he thinks about economics. He freely admits he's moved away from pure, market-driven solutions to economic problems. While he moved away from the Church in his younger days, Allan Fels now has a renewed respect for the Christian principles of putting the public interest first and of acting properly and in accord with the dictates of natural justice. - Catholic Weekly
Tasmanian media reject job ads for Catholic teachers
Tasmania's Catholic Education Office has had its teacher recruitment advertisements knocked back for requesting that applicants understand and support the philosophy and ethos of Catholic schools.
Pope urges frequent confession in Holy Thursday letter to priests
Pope John Paul II has urged priests to lead the faithful by example by going to confession more often.
Catholic Commission supports parental leave for casual workers
Australia's Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) has argued that parental leave for long-term casual employees is essential for a healthy balance between work and family life.
Date set for installation of Archbishop Pell
Thursday 10 May has been set as the date for the Solemn Mass and Liturgical Reception of Archbishop George Pell as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney.
Pope to discuss Mideast peace process with Assad
Pope John Paul II and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will discuss the Middle East peace process during the Holy Father's visit to Syria in May
French satanist on trial for priest murder
A Satanist went on trial on Monday for the 1996 murder of a Catholic priest, as the local archbishop called for mercy.
Opinion - The Church is more than the 'people of God'
Many of the abuses in the liturgy since the Second Vatican Council, such as insistence on cultural adaptations and selective changes, point to a misunderstanding of the Church and what liturgy really is. To confine the Church to a "People of God" limits its understanding and essence. Any concept of Church has to be closely related and understood in terms of Christ, for the Church is not made up of a collection of believers, but is the "Body of Christ" much more than a simple sum of all her members. - Bishop Kevin Manning in AD2000
Feature - Understanding God through movies about death
Georgetown University theologian Theresa Sanders uses the dead body as a tool to pry into life and into theology. She examines a photograph from the war in Bosnia. Corpses "hopelessly entangled among each other". She doesn't take her students to a cemetery, but to the movies. She has them view movies about death, movies like "Romero," the biographical account of the life of Bishop Oscar Romero, assassinated after standing up for the poor of El Salvador. "In film," she said, "you see theology written in experience. I think film does have the power to change people's lives - in a way Karl Rahner might if they read Rahner." - NCR
Vatican to publish two documents about Internet
The Vatican is set to publish a document on ethical issues arising from the Internet, along with another more pragmatic text on pastoral opportunities for the Church on Internet.
Report reveals British Catholics 'in denial' about vocations crisis
When asked to rate the 10 most important issues facing the Church, British Catholics put the shortage of priests at number seven.
US Archbishop objects to artwork depicting Mary in floral bikini
Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan of Santa Fe has protested against the "trashing of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe" in a photo collage that depicts her dressed in a bikini made of roses and held up by a bare-breasted angel.
Belgrade gets new archbishop
A few hours before former Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic was arrested on Saturday, Pope John Paul II appointed a new archbishop for Belgrade.
Demonstrators confront Vatican Radio
Several hundred people demonstrated on Sunday outside the studios of Vatican Radio, accusing it of polluting the air with electromagnetic waves.
Australian actor to perform Gospel in London church
Australian actor Donald Macdonald will be giving a special performance of the Gospel of St John on Saturday at a North London church.
Opinion - CDF must 'dismantle without delay' its investigation procedures
The US catholic review America has argued the methods used by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are out of date and do not respect human rights. It claims that "a long list of eminent Catholic theologians" have been harrassed, and calls on the Vatican to "dismantle without delay" the procedures it uses to investigate theologians. It says the terms it uses when it judges the works of theologians - such as "erroneous" or "dangerous" - are too broad and too vague for comfort. "Only totalitarian states use such expressions." - BBC
Feature - Coming papal trips pose major ecumenical test
At the age of 80 and with most of his travelling days behind him, Pope John Paul II is set to embark on a bold series of trips that could have lasting ecumenical consequences for the church. Visiting Greece, Syria, Ukraine and Armenia over the next six months, the pope will travel to countries where no modern pontiff has been and where Catholics are a small minority. - CNS
Cardinal says Rome doesn't understand Australians
Sydney's retiring Cardinal Edward Clancy last night acknowledged the existence of a 'spy network' within the Australian Catholic Church, which he claims has been exercising 'undue influence' on the authorities in Rome. - ABC
Pax Christi says Palestinians missing out on Israeli justice
The Catholic peace organisation Pax Christi has highlighted injustice in Israeli courts and serious cases of violence against Palestinians by Israeli settlers in a report presented on Thursday to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. - Fides
Opus Dei establishing presence in Melbourne
Opus Dei has been invited by Melbourne Archbishop Dr George Pell to supply a priest to run St Mary's Star of the Sea parish in West Melbourne. - Sunday Age
Philippine President acknowledges Church's 'moral influence'
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has articulated her vision of government by integrity, suggesting the Church does not exert power as much as it does 'moral influence'. - AP
Oil from seized mafia estate to be blessed
During the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, a cardinal will bless oil produced in Sicilian lands confiscated from the Mafia, and will allocate the oil to the administration of sacraments. - Zenit
Japanese bishop explains why Catholicism doesn't work in Japan
Bishop Berard Toshio Oshikawa of Okinawa told Vatican Radio that there are only 447,000 Catholics in Japan's population of 130 million because it is regarded as a 'Western product'. - Zenit
Opinion - Violence in Australian schools 'only a matter of time'
Almost every few weeks, there are fresh reports that another child has been injured or killed as a result of a schoolyard shooting in the United States. Australian schools have been spared so far from this horror, but it is only a matter of time before it happens on our shores, despite tighter gun controls than in the US. - The Catholic Leader
Feature - Moving from corporate purgatory to the novitiate
In his new book, Fr Jim Martin describes his journey from a high-powered, high-paying corporate position at General Electric to the Jesuit priesthood and a vow of poverty. "I was running from many of the things the corporate world stood for.. The lack of compassion, the glorification of money and acquisitiveness, the emphasis on competition, the lack of respect for human dignity."