Pope seeks apology for slave trade
A decade after Pope John Paul II's trip to Africa and request for forgiveness for Christians' role in slavery, the Vatican is urging nations that took part in the slave trade to also consider apologising.
El Salvador priest offers forgiveness to kidnappers
Fr Rogelio Esquivel, who is recovering in a San Salvador hospital after his release by kidnappers following a ransom payment, has sent a taped message to his parishioners in which he forgives his kidnappers.
Wife accepts Archbishop Milingo's decision to end marriage
Following their first meeting in three weeks, the wife of Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo said on Wednesday that she accepts his decision to leave her.
Austrian cardinal says tensions due to diverse nature of church
An ongoing discussion between Austria's laity and church officials represents the diversity among Catholics and not serious tensions among the hierarchy and laity, an Austrian cardinal said.
Call to scrap new detention centre plans
A church worker with refugees has called for the abandonment of plans for a new 200 bed detention centre near Brisbane to house illegal immigrants facing deportation.
Dutch bishop fights plan to turn church into supermarket
Bishop Antonius Hurkmans of Den Bosch in the Netherlands has applied for planning permission to demolish three redundant churches rather than see them used inappropriately.
Opinion - Church must know how to welcome young people
Many young people deal with great family pressure and community pressure as well as their peer groups and many are looking for opportunities to be affirmed and encouraged to not put up with mediocrity and being one of the crowd. - Adelaide archdiocese's newly appointed Catholic Youth Forum coordinator, Julie Trinidad in The Southern Cross
Feature - Ships of shame
For many thousands of today's international seafarers, "life at sea is modern slavery and their workplace is a slave ship", says Peter Morris, chair of the International Commission on Shipping. One of the Church's lesser-known apostolates, the Apostleship of the Sea, is helping exploited sailors. - Catholic Weekly
Bishop appeals to Govt on behalf of genuine refugees on Tampa
The Chairman of the Catholic Bishops' Committee for Migrants and Refugees, Bishop Patrick Dougherty, yesterday expressed great distress that the Norwegian ship Tampa has been refused entry to Australia.
Columban priest murdered in Philippines
An Irish Columban missionary in the Philippines was shot dead by three gunmen during a foiled kidnap attempt.
Caritas says East Timorese remain needy two years after violence
East Timor continues to require Australian community support, two years after the violence that devastated their country, according to Caritas Australia National Director Jack de Groot.
Vatican warns globalisation threatens society's most vulnerable
The Vatican has warned that globalisation and technological advances are threatening to generate new forms of racism against society's weakest members, including immigrants, the poor and the unborn.
Bishops decree Canada's Army of Mary 'isn't Catholic'
The Canadian Bishops have said in a doctrinal note approved by the Vatican that the Army of Mary - a movement founded in Quebec in 1971 - "is not a Catholic association".
Nun charged over blackboard duster 'assault'
A Filipino nun has been charged with assault after throwing a blackboard duster at one of her pupils.
Opinion - G-8 leaders ignored peaceful protests in Genoa
In Genoa, I saw scenes of brutality and destruction that I will never forget -- both police and protester violence. But there were also many scenes, which, sadly, did not make the news, including those of creative, positive parades and open debates. - Activist David Bryden in NCR
Feature - The story of writing the papal biography
"Most writers try to understand me from the outside," Pope John Paul II told his biographer George Weigel, "but I can only be understood from the inside." Weigel describes the emergence of a picture of a fascinating combination of human qualities: the Holy Father as a contemplative, a sportsman, a priest, an intimate friend of the laity, a literary scholar, an analytical writer, and a fun-loving human being. - Franciscan Way (through Catholic.net)
Archbishop urges humanitarian solution to refugee stalemate
Adelaide's Coadjutor Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday called for a humanitarian response to the Federal Government's problem of the Norwegian ship Tampa carrying 438 refugees moored off the Australian territory of Christmas Island.
Catholic Welfare supports fair go for regional Australia
Catholic Welfare Australia yesterday issued seven key principles for promoting equity across Australia's regions and for socially just regional development.
Cardinal Kasper promises to open wartime archives soon
The Vatican intends to open its World War II-era archives to Jewish historians as soon as it is technically possible, Cardinal Walter Kasper has announced.
Historian claims Hitler planned to punish Pius XII for assistance to Jews
Adolf Hitler once ordered his SS troops to level the Vatican with "blood and fire" and kidnap Pope Pius XII, a new book says.
Religion 'strong pillar' of self-esteem
Religious involvement is the best indicator of psychological self-esteem among 14 year olds, an assessment of a national survey in the US has found.
Euro could rob Irish Catholic collection plates
The Catholic Church in Ireland is worried that its income from parishioners' contributions will slump by up to 20 per cent after the introduction of the euro next January.
Opinion - Religion: the hope for change
Both Communism and capitalism have failed to provide a full and abundant life for the majority of humankind. Most people in the world today have to live on less than two dollars per day. In this context some people consider that religion may be our best hope for fundamental change in the world. - Houston Catholic Worker
Feature - The evolving world of parish music
Three-and-a-half decades ago, Catholic church music changed overnight. New post Vatican II liturgy demanded new song, new accompaniment. But the organ, which lost its repertoire of accompaniments and traditional literature when the Latin Mass was retired, has returned with increased stature. - NCR
Pope calls racism and aggressive nationalism sins
Racism, aggressive nationalism and ethnic violence are attacks against the human family and serious offences against God, Pope John Paul II has said.
New Women's Commission now ready for dialogue
The Australian Catholic Bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women has reported that it has its secretariat set up and is now ready to facilitate dialogue between the bishops and Australian Catholic women.
Mourners gather in PNG for murdered Aussie priest
More than 1000 mourners filled a Port Moresby church on Saturday for the requiem mass for an Australian priest slain in his bed by a criminal gang.
Indian priest worried as US company snares Basmati rice patent
The Indian Government's failure to prevent an US company from securing the patent right for Basmati rice has anguished Church leaders and social activists of Bettiah diocese, which is known as the 'Bowl of Basmati Rice'.
Calcutta marks 91st anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth
Hundreds of people gathered at Mother Teresa's tomb in Calcutta on Sunday to commemorate the 91st anniversary of her birth.
New bush bishop for ordination this week
Holy Family Church, Parkes will be filled to capacity for the Episcopal Ordination of the Fr Christopher Toohey as the sixth Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes at 11.30am on Thursday.
Opinion - Drug harm must be eliminated, not minimised
Unfortunately, there are people, influential in the drug debate, who believe that addiction per se is not really a problem. It is only the consequences of addiction that are troublesome. If those consequences can be managed safely, then let the addiction remain. The truth is that an almost exclusive reliance on harm minimisation is seriously flawed public policy. - Dr Gregory Pike and Dr John Fleming of Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, Adelaide, in The Australian.
Feature - New energy at the top for Dominicans
44 year old Argentinian friar Fr Carlos Azpiroz is the new worldwide leader of the Dominicans, the youngest since the 36-year-old Jordan of Saxony. "This shows a certain trust the Order has in the young," he said. He is only the second non-European in the Order's 787-year existence. "I think maybe the electors chose me because Latin America is the continent of hope." - The Tablet
Congregational leaders critical of mandatory detention policy
The Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes (ACLRI) has claimed Australia's mandatory detention policy for asylum seekers amounts to vilification and imprisonment.
Catholic women call for laicisation of priest abusers
Britain's National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW) is calling for all jailed clergy child abusers to be defrocked.
Cardinal says mistrust, polemics doomed Holocaust Commission
A top Vatican official said on Friday a joint committee of Catholic and Jewish scholars studying the history of the Church during the Holocaust was suspended because of "feelings of mistrust" and "divergences of interpretation".
US survey finds young Catholics prepared to stay with the Church
The vast majority of young Catholics have remained Catholic, and probably will stay Catholic, even if they're unhappy and even if they're disconnected entirely from parish life, according to a new study from the United States.
Italian court acquits girl who killed nun 'for a laugh'
A teenager who was accused of being the ringleader of a gang of three Italian girls who killed a mother superior last year "for a laugh" has been acquitted of murder, on the grounds that she had not been able to reason.
Nun recovering from pit bull attack
A nun is recovering after being attacked by two pit bulls while walking the convent's dog in the school yard, authorities said.
Opinion - No priest, no problem
The growing shortage of priests is an opportunity rather than a crisis. This is the conviction of religious sisters who are now leading several parishes in England. Bishops are reluctant to promote lay-led parishes on a wide scale - just yet - but it's inevitable that priestless parishes will make up the Church of the future if there is no move to ordain married men or women. - The Tablet
Feature - Fr Fabian Thom OFM, God's road-runner
Fabian, brutally murdered on 16th August, was always travelling throughout PNG in his work as Vocation's Director, Retreat Master and Spiritual Director. Some called him the "road-runner". As a follower of St. Francis of Assisi, he always kept before him the directive of that saint: "When you travel about the world let your greeting and message be one of peace."
Bishops cut holy days of obligation
The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has announced that the only feast days to be observed as holy days of obligation are Christmas Day, the Feast of the Assumption and all Sundays of the year.
Queensland Catholic schools hit by killer infection
Two Brisbane Catholic school students have died and three others have fallen victim to a frightening spate of meningococcal infections in the past few weeks.
Cardinal says Moon put pressure on Milingo and Wife
The Archbishop of Washington on Wednesday accused the Church headed by Reverend Sun Myung Moon of having applied psychological pressure on both Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and his wife.
Indian Catholics in dialogue with leading Hindu group
The Catholic Church in India held a closed-door meeting with the top leadership of Hindu nationalists on Tuesday at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) in New Delhi.
Kenyan bishops repeat: missionary did not commit suicide
On first anniversary of the death of missionary Fr John Kaiser, the Kenyan Episcopal Conference have issued a statement insisting that the 67-year-old missionary of St. Joseph's Mill Hill Society did not kill himself.
National vocations office set up in Sydney
Catholic Vocations Ministry Australia (CVMA) has established a national office in Sydney and appointed Sr Mary Ryan, RSJ, former vocations ministry coordinator for the Sandhurst Diocese, as its first Executive Officer.
Opinion - Why the Pope wants Milingo back
The Pope has accepted the return of Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo as that of a prodigal son, a decision attributed by Vatican watchers to the fear of a new schism along the lines of that led by the traditionalist Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. A schismatic church backed by the Rev Moon's millions could have appealed to Catholics in Africa, to the opponents of priestly celibacy, and to Afro-American Christians in the US. - The Guardian
Feature - Californian Catholics shaken following priest sexual abuse payout
Priests and members of the church community have responded with outrage and sadness to news of the Orange and Los Angeles Dioceses' almost $A10 million settlement to a man who claims a priest abused him. An Orange church worker said: "I feel saddened for all of those priests who can't walk into a store with their clerical garb without being put under suspicion." A succession of clergy sexual abuse cases has caused priests to feel overworked and overly scrutinised. - Los Angeles Times
Nobel committee member criticises Pope over AIDS
A member of the secretive Nobel Peace Prize committee lashed out at Pope John Paul's opposition to using condoms to fight AIDS on Tuesday, possibly suggesting that the Holy Father has little chance of winning the award.
Sydney CEO acts on teacher shortage
The shortage of teachers is critical, says the Catholic Education Office, which has begun a campaign to attract more young people into the profession.
California diocese pays $A9.7 million to man molested by priest
The Catholic Church in Southern California has paid a man a record $A9.7 million to settle a lawsuit in which he alleged that he was sexually molested by a priest when he was a boy.
Vatican sends inspector to examine Australian seminaries
A Vatican-appointed official has finished a four-week fact-finding tour scrutinising Australia's eight seminaries and their formation methods for the priesthood.
Homeless agencies condemn 'live like a Paris tramp' holidays
Catholic agencies in the UK have criticised the trivialisation of the plight of the homeless through the marketing of 'rough sleeper holidays'.
New Catholic lobby group wants asylum seeker policy change
A new Catholic lobby group known as the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) is campaigning to reform Australia's policy on asylum seekers.
Opinion - Another lamb to slaughter
The Catholic Church supports ethical stem cell therapy because it provides the promise of healing without killing. There are wonderful prospects. Only some will come to fruition, as progress in healing has been slow and minimal, limited to juvenile diabetes and Parkinson's disease. - Archbishop George Pell in The Australian
Feature - Largely Muslim Albania watching Mother Teresa's path to sainthood
There is mounting excitement among Albanians that Mother Teresa will be their first saint recognised by the Vatican. Muslim actor Sulejman Rushiti said she proves that Albanians have among themselves "people who are ready to consume their being for humanity". - Radio Free Europe
Indian Christians criticise PM's anti-christian statement
Christians have back at Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's remark on Saturday that the motive behind Christian charity work in India is conversion.
Church in Chile respected but not frequented
A survey of religious attitudes in Chile has shown that the Catholic Church is regarded as 'very trustworthy' by more than 60% of the population.
Lefebvrists break off Vatican talks
Talks aimed at bringing the followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre back into full communion with the Catholic Church have broken down.
German Church rejects Govt offer of power to grant refugees asylum
The Catholic and Lutheran Churches in Germany have rejected the government's suggestion that churches and other humanitarian organisations would in future be allowed to grant refugees asylum for a limited period provided they shouldered the expense.
Union stands up for stressed clergy in UK
The newsletter of the MSF union - which represents some Catholic and Anglican and clergy - has suggested that overworked clergy might work to rule unless they are relieved of some of their non-pastoral responsibilities.
Catholic bishop urging prayers for rain
Bishop Michael Pfeifer of the Texas Diocese of San Angelo has sent letters to 73 parishes requesting them to observe this coming weekend as "a special weekend of prayer, fasting and sacrifice for the much needed gift of rain."
Opinion - Conservative success
Sydney's new Anglican Archbishop recently warned that conservatism is the only way for the church. Sydney's conservative Anglican churches are brimming with young people and evangelistic fervour. Church attendance has fallen 10% in Australia since 1991, but Anglican attendance in Sydney is growing at 1% per year. There are always groups in society for whom the maintenance of yesterday's prejudices is more comfortable than confronting social change. - SMH Editorial
Feature - Thomas Berry, eco-theologian
Fr Thomas Berry, 84, is one of today's most probing thinkers on the human relationship with the natural world and its implications for religion. His diagnosis of our spiritual condition rings true for many who are willing and able to work for a cure. - NCR
Bishop Belo calls for 'free and fair' elections for East Timor
Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili has appealed for this month's landmark elections to be free and fair, urging East Timorese to vote for candidates who would best serve the new country's interests.
Pope urges Lebanese not to sacrifice democracy after mass Christian arrests
Pope John Paul spoke out on Sunday against the mass arrests of Christian anti-Syrian activists in Lebanon and called for a strengthening of democracy and plurality in the country.
Church in El Salvador seeks to free abducted priest
The Catholic church in El Salvador said on Sunday it is negotiating the release of a priest who was kidnapped after giving a Mass last week.
Church backs Northern Ireland police reforms
Ireland's Northern Catholic Bishops issued a statement on Sunday urging support for the updated version of the Implementation plan for Policing in Northern Ireland.
UK bishops' newsletter calls Vatican rules 'totalitarian'
A newsletter distributed by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has attacked a controversial Vatican document on the liturgy.
Korean ambassador mediates in Archbishop Milingo affair
The South Korean ambassador to the Vatican has stepped in to try to mediate between the Vatican and the Korean-born wife of an African archbishop, Emmanuel Milingo.
Opinion - London insensitive to Irish gesture
It must have come as a relief to many people that the IRA withdrew its offer about arms. You can be insulted too often. The advice that everyone should take a hard line with the London administration and its Irish supporters has proved right once again. - Fr Des Wilson in Ireland Click
Feature - Survival of the Christian family
Family prayer in the evening is a significant way for the family to be "domestic church". Parents must live their faith especially when it is difficult, and be there for the children. Amidst contrary messages, they need reassurance. Mutual forgiveness is important, children will respect us if we apologise. - Mary Shivanandan, author of Crossing the Threshold of Love: A New Vision of Marriage in the Light of John Paul II's Anthropology in National Catholic Register/Catholic.net
Pell rejects claims most priests are gay
Archbishop of Sydney George Pell on Saturday hit back at claims the majority of priests are gay.
Australian priest shot dead in PNG
An Australian Catholic priest was shot dead in his bed on Thursday night after a gang broke into a monastery in the hills outside Port Moresby.
British duke's son forfeits royal line to become Catholic
Another member of the British Royal Family has left the Church of England and become a Catholic.
French allow papal image on Euro coins
The 1998 decision to extend use of the euro to European ministates like the Vatican, Monaco and San Marino, waas complicated when French officials resisted having coins with the image of the pope as legal tender in France, to safeguard the separation of church and state.
Fear on the rise among New Zealanders
A survey of New Zealanders' values shows that belief in sin has almost doubled since 1985, from 30% to 56%, but that their belief in sin remains significantly lower than that of Australians (71%).
Three killed in explosion in Moluccas
An explosive device placed under a motorcycle seat blew up and killed three people in the Indonesian Moluccas islands on Wednesday, a Catholic news agency said on Thursday.
Opinion - Northern Ireland peace process may not need the IRA
The Northern Ireland peace process has been based on bringing the IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein, into a power-sharing assembly and executive in return for an end to violence. But the arrogance of the latest IRA move should at least start the two Governments thinking about possible ways of moving ahead in Northern Ireland without the support of the IRA and its allies. - The Tablet
Feature - Haven for the Unwanted
Amina, who had spent four years in prison for killing her illegitimate child, was regarded as a "bad woman". There was only one place where she was welcome, Snehasramam (Monastery of love), an institution on the outskirts of the Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram, which rehabilitates women whom society discards. - SAR News
New report calls unemployment a 'national disgrace'
The new Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, will this morning launch a report arguing that the social distress of hundreds of thousands of unemployed and very poor Australians is a `national disgrace'.
ACU rejects wider maternity agenda
Australian Catholic University's landmark move on maternity leave was not made to pressure others to do the same, its vice-chancellor said.
Man drives explosives into Lourdes
A Spanish man packed his car with explosives and set it on fire Wednesday after ramming through the entrance to the Lourdes sanctuary, where 40,000 people were attending Mass.
Vatican releases Archbishop's marriage renunciation letter
The Vatican released a letter on Wednesday which it said had been written by Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo in which he promises to renounce the wife he married in a mass wedding in New York in May and to renew his devotion to the Catholic Church.
Church 'got it right' on the Pill more than 30 years ago
The Catholic Church "got it right" when, more than 30 years ago, it predicted that the contraceptive pill would not be good for marriages, the Australian Council for Natural Family Planning's president Susan Berg in a statement for Natural Family Planning Week.
Priest fights to keep nursing homes open
A retired priest is fighting to save two Catholic nursing homes earmarked for closure in Maitland Newcastle Diocese by threatening a campaign against Coalition candidates at the coming Federal Election.
Opinion - Pure fashion
As young Catholics, where do we draw the line between what is appropriate and what isn't? It is true that modesty is a word not often heard in today's society. When you go shopping all you ever seem to find is short skirts, high slits and low necklines? - NZ Catholic
Feature - Hope for family-friendly TV
Over 40 major advertisers in the US are working with the networks to bring more and better family programming. They've listened to concerns of viewers embarrassed while watching television with their family because of the increased amount of sex and violence. - St Anthony Messenger
Attorney-General authorises Bishops to mount IVF challenge in High Court
The Federal Government has followed up last week's announcement that it will be intervening in the Catholic Bishops' challenge to a Federal Court decision allowing single women access to reproductive technology.
Uni staff get year's paid maternity leave
Women staff at the Australian Catholic University have won the right to a year's paid maternity leave in an unprecedented agreement hailed by unions as a pace-setter for all workers.
Philippine Bishops seek Govt protection for threatened priest
The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines on Monday asked the country's government to protect a priest who accused army officers of conniving with Muslim Abu Sayyaf kidnappers.
Pope urged to apologise for Vatican castrations
Revelations that the Vatican encouraged the castration of choir boys in the name of art for hundreds of years have prompted calls for a papal apology.
Brisbane's BoysTown set to close
After serving more than 2000 boys over the past four decades, the De La Salle brothers' training and rehabilitation facility BoysTown at Beaudesert, south of Brisbane, is set to close.
Marist brothers, sisters to set priorities at Rome meetings
The four religious branches of the Marist family - Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Sisters, Marist Brothers and Marist Fathers - will all meet in Rome next month.
Opinion - Teenage jungle
The high school a world of rampant hormones innocent of experience, filled with male predators and female victims, sometimes willing, sometimes pushed into it by their peers. Many young men have yet to learn to respect women, and many young women have yet to learn how to brush men off. - Fr Andrew M. Greeley in Daily Southtown
Feature - Raising Responsible Children
How can parents help children understand the connection between behaviour and consequences? Clinical psychologist Dr Darrell Burnett suggests: be consistent, say what you mean and mean what you say; don't rescue; don't give in and look for the positives. - Magellan
Council explains asylum seeker status determination processes
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council yesterday released a background paper providing what it believes is a much needed explanation of the way in which Australia's refugee status determination processes work.
Bombay churches close in protest after priest attacked
Nearly 200 Catholic schools and colleges in Bombay and the neighbouring Thane district of western India closed on Monday to protest at an attack last week on a Catholic priest.
Sydney priest a finalist for Senior Australian of the Year Awards
Vincentian Fr Hugh Murray OAM was named on Monday as one of the three NSW finalists at the Senior Australian of the Year awards.
Priest abducted in El Salvador
Three heavily armed men kidnapped a priest in a suburb of the capital San Salvador, police said on Monday.
Loss of faith 'increases risk of dying'
Christians whose faith is shaken when they fall ill are at greater risk of dying, according to a study in two American hospitals.
'Missing' Moonie archishop fires journalists' imaginations
The bizarre saga of Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has taken on a new twist, with the Vatican strongly denying the he is being kept in the papal palace.
Opinion - Theological disputation in the Roman Curia
Journalists are saying the Pope has turned towards Cardinal Kasper, and away from Cardinal Ratzinger, to give liberal theology more prominence. Such utterances are as uninformed as they are misleading. But practically everyone in Rome is concerned about the so-called "Kasper-Ratzinger" debate, and particularly what it means for papal primacy and ecumenism. - Inside the Vatican
Feature - Chastity: The new counterculture
Heather Gallagher is a single, 25-year-old brunette with a quick, big smile who is employed by the St Louis Archdiocese as America's only full-time Catholic 'chastity educator'. The archdiocese created the job recently to help the church deliver an old message in a new way: Don't have sex until you get married. - Beliefnet
Vinnies says Govt welfare crackdown making jobseekers poorer
St Vincent de Paul's national research and policy officer has supported claims in a welfare bodies report that a crackdown on welfare recipients is widening the gap between rich and poor.
Catholic charity concerned by Pakistan death sentence on 'blasphemous' Christian
The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need yesterday expressed its dismay at the news that the Pakistan High Court has ratified a death sentence imposed by a lower court on a Christian accused of blasphemy.
Mother Teresa's miracles to be revealed this week
Followiong a two-year investigation, details of miracles attributed to Mother Teresa will revealed at a ceremony in Calcutta tomorrow.
CEO seeks equal Govt funding for disabled students
The Director of the Catholic Education Office in the ACT has called on the Government to fund disabled students in Catholic schools at the same level as their counterparts in the state system.
Dominicans call for end to 'three great injustices'
'Three great injustices' - the death penalty, economic sanctions and HIV/AIDS in developing countries - were highlighted by the Dominican General Chapter, during their recent meeting in Providence, Rhode Island.
Priest trains parishioners to shoot rebels
A priest in the southern Philippines is training parishioners to use automatic rifles and pistols to repel attacks by separatist rebels.
Opinion - Some ideas about community
Bishops and priests should pay attention to 'the ancient pastoral wisdom which, without prejudice to their authority, encouraged pastors to listen more widely to the entire People of God.' In the Pope's view layfolk cannot sit aside, leaving work and responsibility to clergy. - Archbishop Denis Hart in Kairos
Feature - Will the Church allow mass for Brooklyn crime figure?
After crime boss "Big Paul" Castellano was gunned down outside a Manhattan steakhouse in 1985, the Catholic Church declined to let his family hold a public funeral Mass. Will the same fate befall his executioner, John Gotti, who is now dying of throat cancer. - AP
US bishops react to Bush betrayal on embryo research
Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement of regret criticising President George W. Bush's announcement of support for research that "relies on the destruction of some defenseless human beings for the possible benefit to others".
Married archbishop 'set to rejoin Church'
The Vatican has announced that Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the former head of the Catholic Church in Zambia under threat of excommunication for breaking his vow of celibacy, intends to return to full communion with the Church.
Indian nun shot as threats to Indian Christians grow
A nun from Madya Pradesh has been shot in the face at point blank range by four men believed to be militant Hindus.
US priest arrested in anti-nuclear protest
A Catholic priest from Iowa was arrested on Thursday for a seventh time for protesting against the nation's nuclear weapons.
Groups vow to keep CHOGM protest peaceful
Two Church and community groups against Third World Debt and globalisation are emphatic that their protests at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Brisbane in October will be peaceful.
Church endorses Massachusetts child abuse law
A bill in the US state of Massachusetts that would require clergy to report suspected child abuse has gained an eleventh hour crucial endorsement from the local Catholic Church.
Opinion - Work for the Dole - a hard pill to swallow
The involvement of some Catholic Church agencies in running Work for the Dole schemes has created much internal angst within the church. The underlying political theory behind Work for the Dole is to placate those people who believe anyone on the dole is a bludger - a deep-seated Australian prejudice. - The Southern Cross
Feature - Pre-christian shark-calling ritual survives in Christian society
Selem, a resident of New Ireland Province off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea, is a Catholic who wears a Virgin and child medallion around his neck. There is no conflict in his mind between the seemingly supernatural relationship with his shark god and his Catholic faith. - The Tablet
Council urges vote for social justice in Federal Election
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council has prepared a set of guidelines to assist voters at this year's Federal Election to choose candidates likely to legislate for a more just society.
Australia fails Rome refugee rights test
An international charter of rights of displaced people released for this year's Refugee and Migrant Sunday rejects a number of the policies on asylum seekers embraced by Australia.
Sydney advocate for homeless says welfare system lacks heart
Australia's welfare system, athough necessary, plays a part in the sense of isolation often felt among our poor, according to Brian Stoney of the Cana Communities in inner Sydney.
Priest reports fresh violence in Moluccas
There has been a renewed outbreak of religious violence on the island on Ceram in the Moluccas, according to Fr Agus Ulahaiyanan, who heads the Crisis Centre of the diocese of Ambon.
Pope challenges Knights to defend life
Pope John Paul II has challenged the Church's largest fraternal service organisation - the Knights of Columbus - to defend life.
UN court action against Rwandan priest angers Florence Archdiocese
The Archdiocese of Florence in Italy has protested publicly about the way in which a UN Court in Rwanda presented accusations against a Rwandan priest living in Italy.
Opinion - Grappling with new vocations vision
The church has to come to grips with a new vision of vocations that goes beyond the traditional view of priests and religious to realise that everyone has a vocation and a "call to holiness". - Sr Clare Condon SGS of the Adelaide Archdiocese leadership team, in The Southern Cross.
Feature - When it costs your life to feed the poor
Ten years ago, Marxist guerrillas in the mountain village of Huasahuasi, Peru, executed Irene McCormack, Josephite Sister and Australian missionary. Sr Irene had been found guilty of the crime of feeding the village poor. Now Sr Irene's faith inspires others who carry on in her name. - ACLRI Newsletter/Catholic Weekly
Catholic body pledges to continue fight for a fairer health system
The body representing Australia's Catholic health and aged care services has pledged to continue to advocate a fairer system during the coming year.
Cloning row doctor attacks 'criminal' Pope
The Italian doctor proposing to clone human beings accused the Pope and President Bush of being "criminals" during a scientific conference on Tueday that descended into chaos.
Vatican suspends threat to excommunicate Moonie archbishop
The Vatican has suspended its threat to excommunicate an archbishop who was married in a Moonie mass wedding.
Vatican hits back at Jewish Historians
The Vatican denounced what it called a "slanderous campaign" mounted against the Catholic Church over the Holocaust-era pope, Pius XII, accusing some Jewish historians on Tuesday of "clearly incorrect behaviour."
Death of Australia's oldest priest
100 year old Monsignor George Crennan passed away in Sydney on Tuesday.
PM praises Catholic schools
After receiving an honorary doctorate at Perth's Notre Dame University, Prime Minister John Howard has praised Catholic education and made an assurance that current Government funding would be maintained.
How the Australian Church suffers persecution
The persecution of churches in Eastern Europe was based on physical violence, the withdrawal of privileges. Our persecution arises from the fact that our faith is regarded as irrelevant and that people live, act and promote life in Australia as if we have no need of God. We've been schooled by a culture that says that what we believe has to be wrong. - Archbishop Philip Wilson in The Southern Cross
Feature - Teaching 'uncool' values to today's kids
How do parents wisely decide what to allow when children insist, "But everybody's doing it!"? Unfortunately, no magical list exists, nor should there be one. Rather, parents can fortify themselves by focusing on raising children with the right values and asking some pointed questions. - Our Sunday Visitor/Catholic.net
Archbishop warns on recklessness of suicide pill
Adelaide's Catholic Archbishop Leonard Faulkner has warned that pro-euthanasia advocates of a so-called "suicide pill" are sending a reckless message to vulnerable groups in the community, particularly among young people.
Archbishop tells Pope why he joined the Moonies
Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who earlier this year defected to the sect of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon and married a Korean woman, met with Pope John Paul II yesterday in an attempt to explain his actions.
Cardinal says racism is biggest obstacle to human rights
Racism "is more alive than ever, under different guises," Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has told a UN round table in Geneva.
Philippines missionaries remain in kidnap territory but urge prayers
The Claretian missionaries will not pull out of Basilan in the southern Philippines, despite the aggressive terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in the province, but they ask for prayers to support this courageous decision.
Colombian guerrillas urged to free ailing priest
The Archdiocese of Cali has appealed to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to release an ailing 62-year-old priest who was kidnapped a year ago.
Kazakhstan waiting for the Pope with wonder and enthusiasm
The Government and local religious leaders in Kazakhstan are keenly anticipating Pope John Paul's pastoral visit to the country at the end of next month.
Opinion - Death of human dignity in the modern city
Signs of death are visible in our cities. The megalopolis kills human dignity. When cultures, languages and remembrances are heaped up onto one another, men and women are stripped of their identities and family relationships, and these are replaced by new types of belonging, of which the mafia is the most vicious model. - Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, delivering the Caritas Australia Helder Camara Lecture in Melbourne on Monday evening.
Feature - Dominos pizza king keeps the faith with ethical investment
Thomas Monaghan is channeling profits from his privately owned pizza empire into a mutual fund called the Ave Maria Catholic Values Fund which screens out companies involved with abortion, contraception, pornography, or so-called anti-family practices. "If I could be just a small part of a beginning of a change," he says, "that would be using my money for more than just a return." - Fortune
Pope John Paul II remembers his predecessor's 'difficult years'
John Paul II on Sunday recalled Pope Paul VI as a witness of Christ in difficult times for the Church.
Chinese bishop reappears 18 months after abduction
Vatican sources have revealed that Bishop Joseph Zhang Weizhu was released last month, a year and a half after his disappearance following an altercation with police.
Paedophile priests to be treated in safe houses
Catholic and Anglican clergymen in the UK jailed for sexual offences are to be treated in halfway houses after their release.
Priest accuses parishioners of smuggling sermons
An Italian priest has complained about his fellow priests who he's accused of copying his sermons.
Fundamentalist mobs attack Christian schools
Two Christian schools in the western state of Gujarat are reported to have been the target of fundamentalist groups.
Death of leading Tasmanian church educator
One of Tasmania's best known nuns, much loved and respected educator Sr Barbara Duggan died in Hobart on Sunday night after a long illness.
Opinion - Genoa mob didn't speak for the poor
One must grieve for the 22-year-old rioter who died in the Genoa confrontations. One must grieve also for the Genovese cops whom the media vilified as the cause of the riots. No one elected the Genovese mob as spokespersons for the poor. They assume their moralistic role on the grounds that they know what the poor want and need without presenting evidence other than their enthusiasm. - Fr Andrew M. Greeley in the Chicago Sun-Times
Feature - The Jews' man in the College of Cardinals
"I was born Jewish and so I remain, even if that's unacceptable for many," Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Archbishop of Paris who is currently visiting Melbourne, said when he was made a cardinal in 1983. "For me, the vocation of Israel is bringing light to the goyim. That's my hope and I believe that Christianity is the means for achieving it." - The Age
Pope insists on rejection of all middle east violence
During a 25 minute audience in his Castel Gandolfo summer residence on Thursday, Pope John Paul II stressed to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat the "absolute necessity" of an end to all violence as an absolute condition for peace.
Vinnies plea on bank fees
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland has called on the major banks to reduce the transaction fees they charge "battlers" or to increase the number of free transactions they offer them.
Death of Tasmania's oldest priest
Fr John Wallis, one of Tasmania's best known priests, died in Hobart on Friday at the age of 91.
New archbishop stands firm against communion for gay activists
Melbourne's newly-installed Archbishop Denis Hart was yesterday confronted by members of the gay Catholic Rainbow Sash movement demanding to receive Holy Communion.
North Korea may allow permanent presence of priests
There are signs that the North Korean Government may allow South Korean Catholic priests into the country to work on a permanent basis.
Church calls for amnesty for Europe's illegal immigrants
Amnesty should be granted to illegal immigrants in Europe, according to the president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences.
Opinion - What makes a real leader
Civil or ecclesiastical leaders can easily become administrators or politicians. Former Governor-General Sir William Deane showed a pastoral leadership, understanding that his authority came from the people. In each of the national tragedies during his term, he was there saying with heartfelt emotion the things that we knew had to be said but that we could not say ourselves. - Fr Andrew Murray in The Catholic Weekly
Feature - Caritas Africa programs making a difference
While it is home to the world's poorest, most disadvantaged people, Africa is too far away for most Australians to think about. Caritas Australia Africa program co-ordinator Wendy Ngomo says things are beginning to slowly improve in Africa, that the traditional, fatalistic attitude among Africans is finally being usurped by a sense of empowerment. - Catholic Weekly
Council suggests simple actions to help asylum seekers
Yesterday the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council released a leaflet providing suggestions for how individuals and small groups can show hospitality to asylum seekers.
Catholic agencies call Govt detention measures politically motivated
Catholic organisations in Brisbane and Adelaide have called for a judicial enquiry, and for the release of some detainees into the community.
Mother of three wins bishops' justice award
Andrée Rice, an English teacher and religious education co-ordinator now on maternity leave from Geelong's Sacred Heart College, is the fourth recipient of the Australian Bishops' Social Justice Scholarship.
Vatican sounds alarm on fundamentalist groups in Guatemala
The Holy See denounced what it sees as an aggressive campaign by fundamentalist religious groups to infiltrate Guatemala in recent years.
Pope feted at 1000th audience at Vatican
Pope John Paul walked out into a sun-baked St. Peter's Square on Wednesday for his 1,000th general audience and was feted by crowds of cheering young faithful.
Indian churches worried by new controls on foreign support
Christians in India are alarmed that their educational and public welfare work may be curtailed by a plan to enact a new law to prevent "misuse" of foreign funds.
Opinion - Women refugees need support to prevent AIDS
Armed conflict and natural disasters often result in the displacement of large numbers of people, increasing women's vulnerability to HIV. Many refugees are women alone, responsible for the care of children and old people. Women should have a say in the allocation of resources in refugee camps in order to prevent women without resources being forced to barter sexual favours for their own or their family's survival. - National Board of Catholic Women (UK)
Feature - Blessed are the risk-takers
"Parishioners seemed to love just being there." After two years of researching churches that produced life-changing results, three university scholars in the US found successful parishes are not afraid to try new projects, programs and liturgy, although they are sometimes unsuccessful. - Beliefnet
Vinnies challenges Govt on mentally ill
A damning St Vincent de Paul Society social justice statement says the mentally ill "have been virtually abandoned by the mental health system" and calls for a threefold increase in government spending.
Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart installed
The eighth Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, was last night installed before a St Patrick's Cathedral congregation of laity, heads of Churches and Government, archbishops, bishops and priests.
Melbourne congregation flees man wielding crucifix
A man brandishing a crucifix smashed church property in front of horrified worshippers in Melbourne's west on Tuesday.
Pope calls youth to 17th World Youth Day
In his message for World Youth Day 2002 released by the Vatican on Tuesday, Pope John Paul II told young people that they are the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world."
Venezuela Catholics condemn church bomb incidents
Venezuela's Catholic Church on Tuesday condemned a recent bomb attack and threats against churches in Caracas and ordered the capital's main houses of worship closed for three days in protest.
Opinion - Pope John Paul II's critique of globalisation
"Globalisation is a phenomenon which is intrinsically ambivalent, half way between a potential good for mankind and social damage with serious consequences... The Church's doctrine teaches that economic growth must be integrated with high values... Man must be the protagonist, not the slave, of the means of production." - Houston Catholic Worker
Feature - Pacific communicator following Don Bosco's footsteps
Former Salesian Provincial Fr Julian Fox found himself in the middle of a vast ocean with scattered islands and atolls with different cultures, national boundaries and histories. Here was a group that was seeking convergence on many issues, but especially on mission and their understanding of their consecrated lives. - Australian Salesian Bulletin
African bishops reject condom use in AIDS fight
Catholic bishops from southern Africa on Monday condemned the use of condoms to fight the AIDS pandemic gripping the continent.
Embryo research has caused 'unheard of rupture in humanity'
Bishop Elio Sgreccia, vice president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has told Vatican Radio that destructive research on human embryos has caused "an unheard of rupture" in humanity.
Chicago cardinal cracks down on Third Rite of Reconciliation
Two years after the issue was dealt with in Australia, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George is seeking to restrict the use of general absolution to situations of genuine emergency.
Indian diocese lays foundation for church on "roof of world"
The foundation for a church located at one of the highest altitudes in the world was laid on Sunday in the Ladakh region of India, known as the "roof of the world" at 3520 metres above sea level in the Jammu-Srinagar diocese in the Himalayan range.
Govt cuts force Catholic schools to charge extra for development
Parents of Catholic school students in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese are expected to face $300 annual building levy fees from next year.
German theologian advises against restoring diaconate for women
The church should not restore the ancient church ministry of deaconesses because modern proponents of women deacons would not be satisfied and Catholics in the pews would be confused, a German theologian said in a Vatican publication.
Opinion - Church tribunal only a witness to invalid marriage
By declaring invalid those marriages that fall below the minimum standards set by canon law, the Church protects the dignity of marriage for those couples who have a valid marriage. The Tribunal itself does not annul marriages, any more than a cricket umpire bowls batsmen out. - Associate Judical Vicar (VIC/TAS) Fr Tony Kerin in Kairos
Feature - Make a difference with your dollars
We can invest our money in corporations that enhance economic opportunity and life or diminish it. The Maryknoll Sisters are one example of how a Religious Congregation uses its investments to achieve its mission. "Many of our Sisters have experienced war or the effects of war on the people in developing countries," says Sister Anne Callahan, the Congregation's treasurer in the US. - Catholic Digest.