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NEWS ARCHIVE FOR 2002

   
Feature - Bishops' efforts to fight clergy sex abuse 'not widely known'
Mark Chopko said he gets the same question about clergy sex abuse of minors over and over these days - "Why haven't the bishops done anything?" Chopko, who has worked with the US bishops on the issue for 20 years said there is a whole library of resources built up over that time in the bishops' efforts to deal with clergy sex abuse. "Unfortunately, it's a secret to many Catholics."
28 Mar 2002

Opinion - Little hope for youth of Holy Land
The future belongs to the young, young Israelis and young Palestinians. They have the right not to inherit a heap of dead, rubble, material and moral ruins, a future with no horizon. The Resurrection of Christ is a call not to be overwhelmed by despair, but on the contrary to sow more ever urgently the seeds of charity, forgiveness, justice, peace, solidarity. - Apostolic Delegate for Jerusalem and Palestine, Archbishop Pietro Sambi
28 Mar 2002

Priest installs mobile phone jammer in church
A Spanish priest frustrated by mobile phones ringing during Mass has installed an electronic jammer to keep his flock in tune with God.
28 Mar 2002

US clergy found satisfied with chosen profession
A massive study of US clergy has shown that six in 10 priests and pastors have "never doubted" their call by God, and never considered leaving the profession.
28 Mar 2002

Flying priest killed in crash on way to Mass
73 year old Fr Jim Kelley was killed on Saturday when his plane went down on bad weather while en route to remote parts of southwest Alaska to celebrate Palm Sunday masses.
28 Mar 2002

Premier to meet Melbourne Archbishop to resolve IVF impasse
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks will meet Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop, Denis Hart, after Easter in an attempt to resolve their heated dispute over the use of spare IVF embryos for research.
28 Mar 2002

Missionaries concerned by hasty executions after Irish priest's murder
The Mill Hill Missionaries have expressed their concern at the way two soldiers were tried and executed in Uganda on Monday, for the murder of Fr Declan O'Toole and two parishioners days before.
28 Mar 2002

Pope's Holy Week schedule unchanged despite health concerns
Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the head of the Vatican press office, has assured reporters that Pope John Paul II is not gravely ill, although he is suffering from severe arthritis pain.
28 Mar 2002

Feature - Oblates enter dialogue with corporate America
The long-running Corporate Responsibility program of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate aims to enter into dialogue with large private corporations in order to raise awareness of some issues of social justice, health, and of the improvement of the conditions of life. Concerns include the right of access to medicine for those who are sick with AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and the problem of the laundering money derived from illicit operations.
27 Mar 2002

Opinion - Is increasing frailty of 'sidelined' Pope's reason to retire?
With doctors still undecided whether an infirm Pope John Paul will have to scale back Holy Week activities, a leading Italian writer on Monday re-opened debate over whether the Pope may one day retire. A pope not in top form during Holy Week is like having a soccer star sidelined during a World Cup. Can a pope who may become even more physically infirm as time goes by lead Catholics as well as he once did?
27 Mar 2002

East Timor's constitution protects religious freedom
East Timor's political leaders have approved a constitution that enshrines respect for religious freedom in their soon-to-be-independent country, where Catholics form more than 85% of the population.
27 Mar 2002

School loiterer ignites Sydney defamation case
The Catholic Education Office in the Archdiocese of Sydney is being sued for defamation after releasing a detailed description of a man allegedly seen loitering outside schools and trying to entice children to leave with him.
27 Mar 2002

Pope says missionary martyrs are beacons of faith for young
Pope John Paul II said the example of modern missionary martyrs can inspire young Catholics to follow Christ courageously.
27 Mar 2002

Church and Premiers on collision course over stem cells
A clash is looming between the Church and two state premiers over plans to use leftover human embryos from IVF programs for stem cell research.
27 Mar 2002

Brisbane archbishop joins Euthanasia debate
In light of the renewed interest euthanasia sparked by the Nancy Crick case on the Gold Coast, Archbishop John Bathersby said yesterday that respect for human life is the very foundation of human civilisation.
27 Mar 2002

Vatican aide says eugenics 'among new forms of racism'
New forms of racism include eugenics and the intolerance of immigrants, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Vatican's permanent observer at the UN headquarters in Geneva, told a meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission.
27 Mar 2002

Feature - Head of White House office says Mother Teresa changed his life
Jim Towey, newly appointed director of President Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives had been the legal counsel for Mother Teresa for 12 years and also had lived for one year as a full-time volunteer in her home for people with AIDS in Washington.
26 Mar 2002

Opinion - Advice to media reporting sex abuse story
These are dark times precisely for those Catholics who are most active in their local parishes. They are confused and hurt, but want to see their church make it through this moment. In the final analysis, they will not look kindly upon anyone they seem to feel is trying to tear down their church. - Thomas C. Fox, publisher National Catholic Reporter
26 Mar 2002

Vatican olive branch to Lefebvrist rebels 'not working'
A Roman Curia official has said he sees no quick resolution to the continuing impasse between the Holy See and the Lefebvrist St. Pius X Fraternity, despite ongoing Vatican attempts at dialogue with the group.
26 Mar 2002

Filipino Bishops tell Catholics not to crucify themselves during Holy Week
The Church in the Philippines is appealing to the faithful not to crucify themselves during Holy Week.
26 Mar 2002

New secretary for Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference
Conference President Archbishop Francis P. Carroll has announced that Fr Brian Lucas, Secretary of the Sydney Archdiocese, has been appointed its General Secretary.
26 Mar 2002

Priest and girl killed in grenade attack during Mass in Congo
A priest and an eight-year-old girl have been killed after a grenade was thrown into a church in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
26 Mar 2002

Christian Brothers elect Indian as Congregational Leader
At their 29th General Chapter in Rome, the Christian Brothers have elected a brother from India as Congregational Leader to succeed Irish Br Edmund Garvey.
26 Mar 2002

Bishops update statement on refugees and asylum seekers
Media and community preoccupation with the issue of asylum seekers has prompted the Australian Bishops to issue a supplement to last July's Statement on the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees.
26 Mar 2002

Feature - Locked in, locked out: Behind the wire fence at Curtin Detention Centre
The Avesta family, who had requested my visit, is summoned, not by name, but by number. The two years and three months that the Avesta family has lived in Curtin Detention Camp has been a time of great suffering and distress. Their children have witnessed drastic actions taken by other detainees. The son Parviz has become deeply depressed and withdrawn. - Fr Jim Carty SM
25 Mar 2002

Opinion - Don't forget Australia's modern penal settlements in Pacific
While much of the media spotlight in recent months has been on the asylum seekers being held in Australian detention centres, hundreds more are being incarcerated in neighbouring countries in the Pacific. These countries are being paid many millions of dollars by Australia to stop boat people from reaching our shores.
25 Mar 2002

Pope scales back Palm Sunday role
Pope John Paul II, who recently cancelled several appearances because of knee pain, scaled back his participation in yesterday's Palm Sunday ceremony, taking the unusual step of letting a cardinal celebrate the Mass while he sat back in a chair.
25 Mar 2002

Pope speaks out on treatment of dying
Pope John Paul II has spoken against using extreme measures to keep terminally ill people alive, suggesting the use of medical techniques to preserve a patient's life "at all costs" could be "useless and not fully respectful of the patient".
25 Mar 2002

Pope affirms educational mission of Christian Brothers
On the eve of their 29th General Chapter, Pope John Paul II has told the Christian Brothers that the educational mission entrusted to them is "more important than ever".
25 Mar 2002

Irish missionary killed by Ugandan terrorist faction
31 year old Fr Declan O'Toole was shot dead along with parish workers in an ambush by a lone gunman on their vehicle in the northern region of the African country on Thursday night.
25 Mar 2002

Archbishop opposes extended shop trading hours
Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has opposed plans to deregulate Tasmania's shop trading hours, warning that economics and convenience should not be the only considerations, but that the "special nature" of Sunday should be retained.
25 Mar 2002

Bishop welcomes scrutiny of anti-terrorism bills
Any increased national security arrangements - including those made in the wake of last year's terrorist attacks - should "respect and protect human rights", according to Bishop William Morris, Acting Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.
25 Mar 2002

Feature - Canadians, Vatican officials put final touches on World Youth Day
At a time when terrorism, war and even church shortcomings are making headlines, young people seem to be searching even harder for a personal religious experience - and hope to find it at this year's World Youth Day celebration in Toronto. The Canadians, members of a planning team that met with Vatican officials in mid-March to put the final touches on the World Youth Day program, said enthusiasm for the July megagathering continues to grow.
22 Mar 2002

Opinion - Church teaching not to blame for sex scandals
There is no connection between Catholic doctrine and pedophilia. Rather the current crisis is the result of neglect of Catholic teaching, not its proper practice. The American bishops have much to answer for in the pedophilia mess, including over-indulgence and tolerance of dissent within the Church. - John Mallon, contributing editor Inside the Vatican
22 Mar 2002

Archbishop requests SMS-free Good Friday
An Italian archbishop has asked Catholics in his archdiocese to refrain from sending mobile phone text messages for a day as a sacrifice to God.
22 Mar 2002

Indonesia's Catholic politicians called to inspire political struggle
Catholic scholars and public figures in Indonesia have urged Catholic politicians to inspire a "political struggle for national interest with Christian values".
22 Mar 2002

Colombian archbishop vows to maintain slain colleague's fight
The assassination of Archbishop Duarte is a clear signal that the Colombian Church must continue the struggle against drug-trafficking, said Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro after the funderal of Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino, who was shot dead by gunmen in Cali on Saturday.
22 Mar 2002

Pell urges Catholics to "hold nerve" against secularisation
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell says Catholics in Australia need only stay faithful to the Saviour, hold their nerve and keep talking if they are to overcome the challenge of secularisation.
22 Mar 2002

Pope speaks out on 'grave Scandal' of clergy sex abuse
Pope John Paul II yesterday broke his silence on the sex abuse cases rocking the Church, saying the "grave scandal" was casting a "dark shadow of suspicion" over all priests.
22 Mar 2002

Caritas Australia responds to food shortage in southern Africa
Caritas Australia has quickly answered the needs of those affected by food shortages in southern Africa, with a pledge of $40,000 in immediate aid.
22 Mar 2002

Feature - Bethlehem life continues amidst fighting, curfews, roadblocks
The pews of St. Catherine Church, the parish church of Bethlehem adjacent to the Church of the Nativity, were full for both Sunday morning Masses. That in itself was not strange. What was strange was that the worshippers made it despite an Israeli-imposed curfew, sporadic shooting and tanks rumbling down the city streets last Sunday.
21 Mar 2002

Opinion - Vatican may retrench, but church changing anyway
What's the harm in seeking out a little hope during these months when the news about church can be so discouraging? A study sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious shows the extent of women's influence on the church in the United States and ordinary Catholics doing what they must do to continue to be the church.
21 Mar 2002

Irish prefer pub to church
Going to the pub is a more important part of life in Ireland than attending church, the authors of a survey on social attitudes say.
21 Mar 2002

Pope worried about popular culture's ignorance of Gospel values
Proclamation of the Gospel message is more difficult today because of a cultural environment "submerged in cultural ambiences that are often ignorant of any spiritual or inner dimension", said Pope John Paul II.
21 Mar 2002

Vinnies not sure about school leaving age plan
The St Vincent de Paul Society has reacted cautiously to a Queensland Government proposal to increase the minimum school leaving age from 15 to 17.
21 Mar 2002

Church in South Australia to pay over sex abuse of disabled
The Catholic Church is negotiating compensation with parents of intellectually disabled children in South Australia who were sexually abused by a school employee in the late 1980s.
21 Mar 2002

Catholic lobby group launches asylum seeker campaign on Harmony Day
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) is launching its Community Tolerance campaign today, the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which the Immigration Department is celebrating as Harmony Day.
21 Mar 2002

Church Commission argues workers have right to just wage
Every worker has the right to earn a just wage, and the payment of a just wage is the employer's responsibility, according to the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER).
21 Mar 2002

Feature - Teens' faith in fashion is their cross to wear
Sales of necklaces, earrings and other items bearing a crucifix have increased. "I saw it, and I thought, I've got to get this - for fashion," said 14 year old Lynette Sharlo, who admits she doesn't know much about her religion. "It just looks nice."
20 Mar 2002

Opinion - Let's hand on our wisdom, then die
Resurrection takes care of itself. It's getting people into tombs that's hard. My generation has had its time on the stage. We do not need to hand on our hang-ups to the next generation, but we do need to hand on our wisdom. - Fr Richard Rohr OFM
20 Mar 2002

Philippine Church pushes Govt to abolish death penalty
The Catholic Church in the Philippines made an impassioned appeal to the government for the abolition of the death penalty.
20 Mar 2002

Pope sends telegram of support for World Parkinson's Day
Pope John Paul II, who is believed to suffer from Parkinson's disease, has sent a telegram of support for the sixth annual World Parkinson's Day.
20 Mar 2002

Pope reportedly too ill to deal with sex abuse
Pope John Paul II's silence over the recent explosion of sex abuse scandals involving US Catholic priests is seen within the Vatican as evidence that the pontiff is too ill and disengaged from church business to respond, according to several Vatican officials.
20 Mar 2002

Communications official says clerical sex abuse offends God, children
The Vatican's top communications official has said the real tragedy of clerical sex abuse is not the embarrassment caused to the church, but the grave offense against God and children.
20 Mar 2002

New Roman Missal presented to Pope
Vatican officials have presented the new Roman Missal to John Paul II, two years after he approved it, by Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrino, secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and publisher of the Missal.
20 Mar 2002

PNG bishop condemns Australia's 'Pacific solution'
The Catholic bishop whose diocese covers the Australian-funded asylum seeker processing facility in Papua New Guinea has condemned Australia's Pacific solution policy.
20 Mar 2002

Feature - More US bishops spell out policies on sex abuse of minors
Amid a flood of headlines about sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests, US bishops are issuing stricter policies regarding priest-offenders and many are taking the occasion to review their rules and tell their people about the rules in place. In Chicago, where the late Cardinal Joseph L. Bernardin issued one of the most comprehensive abuse policies in the nation in 1992, Cardinal Francis E. George said the stories of ruined lives told by victims of clerical sex abuse "cry to heaven for vengeance".
19 Mar 2002

Opinion - Break the chains and pray together
The terrorist attacks of 11 September on the United States inaugurated a new stage in history. All the signs of the times indicate that the world must pass through a dark night of purification before coming to the enlightenment that brings peace. Perhaps the human family, now so arrogant and proud of its extraordinary achievements, must come to the state described so vividly by Alcoholics Anonymous whereby it recognises its powerlessness and calls on a Higher Power. - William Johnston SJ, Sophia University Tokyo
19 Mar 2002

Albania to rename international airport after Mother Teresa
The largest international airport in Albania is being renamed after Mother Teresa of Calcutta, an ethnic Albanian.
19 Mar 2002

Pax Christi vigil in Washington urges end to US military actions
Nearly 200 supporters of the Catholic peace organisation Pax Christi gathered at Washington's Freedom Plaza last week to honour lost lives, raise their voices in song and lift up in prayer all those suffering as a result the war on terrorism.
19 Mar 2002

Jesuits call for increased efforts to combat racism in Europe
On the eve of the European-wide week of Action Against Racism, the Jesuit Refugee Service has called on governments to work more pro-actively to integrate refugees and migrants.
19 Mar 2002

Pope tells priests to go to confession more often
Pope John Paul II has told priests that they should frequent the sacrament of reconciliation, not merely to "destroy sin", but also as "a precious exercise of virtue, of expiation and of an irreplaceable school of spirituality".
19 Mar 2002

Pope condemns Colombian Archbishop's murder
Pope John Paul II has condemned the murder of Archbishop Isaías Duarte Cancino of Cali, Colombia, an outspoken critic of drug traffickers, guerrillas and paramilitary forces.
19 Mar 2002

Calls in US for re-evaluation of celibacy
Some opinion leaders in the Catholic Church in the US are suggesting an end to the celibacy requirement for priests, in the wake of the fever that has gripped the country following recent revelations of widespread clergy sexual abuse.
19 Mar 2002

Feature - International recognition for chant nun
Gregorian chant has brought Sr Marie Therese Levey a lot of joy, but when it brought her an unexpected honour from England she was nonplussed. She received a letter informing her that she had been included by the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge on its list of 2000 outstanding musicians for the 20th century.
18 Mar 2002

Opinion - Democratise the church
The Holy Spirit can work through any governmental form, but I'd like to think that democracy gives the Spirit more room. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the first millennium of Catholic history knows that not only religious superiors were elected (as many of them still are), but so too were bishops, the latter by the priests and people of their dioceses (including, incidentally, the bishop of Rome). - Fr Andrew Greeley
18 Mar 2002

Altar at world's biggest mass built on industrial waste
Five million Mexicans are expected to attend the canonisation of Blessed Juan Diego, which will take place on a paved lake bed at the end of July in what's being billed as the world's 'biggest mass'.
18 Mar 2002

Vatican targeting sex abuse in world tourism
The sexual exploitation of children in tourism was the subject of Church scrutiny at a meeting of the World Tourism Organisation on Saturday.
18 Mar 2002

Pope says seminarians who finds chastity difficult should forget priesthood
A seminarian who has continuing difficulties with chastity should not be considered an appropriate candidate for priestly ordination, Pope John Paul II has said.
18 Mar 2002

Bunbury bishop addresses parishioners on sex abuse case
Bishop Gerard Holohan of the rural Western Australian diocese of Bunbury has spoken to congregations in two parishes after their former priest had been charged with sexual offences.
18 Mar 2002

Jesuit Seminar urges Govt to forget 'illegal' Pacific solution
A motion urging the Federal Government to abandon "judicially unreviewable, arbitrary, open-ended" detention of asylum seekers, and the so-called Pacific Solution, was moved from the floor at the Jesuit Lenten Seminar in Sydney on Thursday evening.
18 Mar 2002

Outspoken Colombian archbishop murdered
An archbishop who was a critic of Colombian guerrilla groups was shot several times and killed by two gunmen after he left a church hall on Saturday.
18 Mar 2002

Feature - Modern monk fighting for the poor
"We still have a long way to go to persuade governments that the needs of the poor are not just an adjunct to political policy," said Caritas international director Duncan MacLaren in Sydney recently. The Glasgow-born lay Dominican opted to work in aid and development. "We've been called the modern nuns and monks of the world."
15 Mar 2002

Opinion - Condom debate gagged by ideology, self-interest
The organisation Catholics for a Free Choice says Church condom opposition has caused the deaths of thousands of people by undermining efforts to halt the transmission of the HIV virus. In fact, after years of "safe sex" campaigns, sexually transmitted diseases are more prevalent than ever. Too many people who have either a financial interest in promoting contraception, or an ideological attachment to sexual freedom.
15 Mar 2002

Brisbane's new seminary opens its doors
Training for the diocesan priesthood in Queensland has entered a new era with the opening of Holy Spirit Seminary, which replaces Pius XII (Banyo) Seminary, which has served the five dioceses of Queensland for more than 60 years.
15 Mar 2002

British physicist wins Templeton Prize for Religion
A British physicist who left a Cambridge University professorship to enter the clergy and ponder the relation of science and religion has won a million dollar prize.
15 Mar 2002

Conservationists want Pope to protect turtles
A centuries-old Mexican tradition of eating sea turtles during Lent is killing as many as 5000 of the endangered reptiles each year, say conservationists launching a campaign to end the practice.
15 Mar 2002

Irish Bishops disappointed by referendum result
Ireland's  Catholic bishops have expressed disappointment at the outcome of last week's abortion referendum and "vigorously refute" suggestions that their position on the referendum proposals compromised Church teaching on the sacredness of human life in the interests of political expediency.
15 Mar 2002

Zimbabwean archbishop calls presidential elections 'rigged'
The archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, said he was saddened but not surprised that President Robert Mugabe was re-elected in voting widely condemned by local and international observers.
15 Mar 2002

Cardinal Kaspar slams Russian Orthodox 'ideological' stance
Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, has criticised Moscow's Orthodox Patriarchate for reacting "ideologically" following its suspension of relations with Rome.
15 Mar 2002

Feature - Biblical laments: Prayer out of pain
Prayers triggered by suffering can help guide our way. Lamentation is very common in the Bible. Around 850 BC, the biblical kingdom of Judah was under attack. This sounds painfully similar to 11 September.
14 Mar 2002

Opinion - Catholic Church 'unsafe' for democracy
Because of its efforts to protect the most vulnerable, both in its opposition to abortion and euthanasia and in its work for social justice, the Catholic Church is often singled out for attack in attempts to make democracies like Australia and America into societies where religiously grounded values and arguments have no place in public life. This argument is made despite the fact that over the past 30 years the Church has been the world's foremost promoter of democracy in places like the Philippines, east-central Europe and Latin America. - Sociologist Dr Michael Casey, Australian campus, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family.
14 Mar 2002

Calcutta nightclub street may be named after Mother Teresa
Calcutta councillors want the street with the city's trendiest nightclubs to be renamed after Mother Teresa.
14 Mar 2002

Berlusconi stung by Italian cardinal's criticism
The Catholic church added to criticism of Italy's hardline policy on illegal immigration on Tuesday after a boat tragedy left at least six Albanians dead, less than a week after about 50 Africans drowned off Sicily.
14 Mar 2002

Reform plan upsets Queensland Catholic education
The Queensland Government's proposed education reform package, which would extend the number of years of schooling, has come under fire from representatives of the Catholic and non-government education sector.
14 Mar 2002

Study finds US women exercising jurisdiction in church
A new study reveals that hundreds of women in the United States hold church jobs in which they share in church governance.
14 Mar 2002

Catholic lobby group launches new campaign on asylum seekers
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) yesterday launched a strategy aimed at reforming Australia's Asylum Seeker policy in accordance with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
14 Mar 2002

Book on heroic Josephite sparks controversy
The Queensland Government's proposed education reform package, which would extend the number of years of schooling, has come under fire from representatives of the Catholic and non-government education sector.
14 Mar 2002

Bishop calls on international community to keep pressure on Mugabe
The international community must continue to press the newly re-elected government to respect human rights and stop corruption, according to Archbishop Alick Ncube.
14 Mar 2002

Feature - Respected cardinal 'stripped of moral authority'
Catholic priests did everything for their immigrant flocks, who repaid them with trust, admiration and a protectiveness that gave exempt status to priests in everything from parking tickets to personal foibles. The shadow side of that old respect has fallen now on Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law, who is being pilloried for allegedly shifting a known pedophile priest - John Geoghan - from parish to parish with no warning label attached. - Eugene Cullen Kennedy, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago
13 Mar 2002

Opinion - The myth of the pedophile priest
No one can deny that Boston church authorities committed dreadful errors, but at the same time, the story is not quite the simple tale of good and evil that it sometime appears. Hard though it may be to believe right now, the "pedophile priest" scandal is nothing like as sinister as it has been painted. - Philip Jenkins, History Professor, Penn State University
13 Mar 2002

Priest and parishioner slain in New York
A man opened fire with a rifle during a morning Mass at a Long Island church, killing the priest and a woman worshipper, authorities said yesterday.
13 Mar 2002

Book on heroic Josephite sparks controversy
A biography on Sister Irene McCormack, the Australian nun executed by terrorists in Peru in 1991, has been condemned by her family as despicable and offensive for speculating about her private life.
13 Mar 2002

Rome-Orthodox ties warming as Europe cools to religion
Receiving an Orthodox delegation from Athens on Monday, Pope John Paul II suggested "the hour of collaboration has struck" between the Catholic and Greek churches.
13 Mar 2002

Gujarat bishop denounces Hindu extremist violence
Bishop Stanislaus Fernandes of Ahmedabad has taken to the streets to defend Catholics in his diocese against the attacks of Hindu extremists.
13 Mar 2002

Jesuit sets out vision for 'good asylum system'
The former international director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) says 'good' asylum must protect foreigners 'at risk' while preserving the integrity of the state welcoming them.
13 Mar 2002

Catholic Health calls for a 'spend and save' budget
The coming Federal Budget must focus on meeting the urgent health and ageing needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable people, according to Catholic Health Australia (CHA) CEO Francis Sullivan.
13 Mar 2002

Feature - Lives uprooted in Colombia's ongoing civil war
The 3-year-old boy chewed on a black shoelace as his young mother described why the family fled its rural home and, after eight days of bus rides, ended up in a church-run emergency migrant center in Bogota. When guerrillas and paramilitary organizations moved into the Pacific Coast area, they displaced blacks from their traditional homes, said Monsignor Hector Fabio Henao of the Bishops' Social Ministries Department and Caritas.
12 Mar 2002

Opinion - Religious life - more curious than significant?
The laity keep saying, "If this is poverty, then I would love to see chastity." It is hard for me to see how religious life can have any justification or future unless it challenges the larger structure of society and church. We inside all know it is true, but until we are allowed to say that the emperor has no clothes, nothing is going to change. - Fr Richard Rohr OFM
12 Mar 2002

Philippines bishop welcomes US troops
Zamboanga, on the southern island of Mindanao, has become a base for around 600 US troops taking part in joint operations with the Filipino military against the Islamic guerrilla group, Abu Sayyaf.
12 Mar 2002

Latin American bishops looking at theology from indigenous values
Latin American bishops plan to examine the religious elements of indigenous cultures to form a native theology compatible with Catholicism, said the general secretary of the Latin American bishops' council.
12 Mar 2002

US priests want rights recognised amid abuse scandal
With the Archdiocese of Boston suspending priests on suspicion of child molestation and turning their names over to prosecutors, some are warning that the Catholic church is moving too fast and that priests' rights are being trampled.
12 Mar 2002

Pope recovering from bad knee
A healthier-looking Pope John Paul held two public engagements on Saturday, showing he is apparently recovering from a painful arthritic knee that has forced him to cancel part of his schedule.
12 Mar 2002

Feature - Soprano shares 'a gift of God'
32 year old Australian soprano Clare Gormley may have achieved international success in a fairly short time doing what she loves, but her attitude to fame and fortune is firmly grounded in a compassionate and common sense approach sustained by her deep Catholic faith. "As long as I'm enjoying and committed as I can be to do my work," she says, "then I'm always going to be doing it for the service of others and, thereby, God."
11 Mar 2002

Opinion - Time to demand full disclosure on US war policy
It appears to me more every day that the US government has in effect silenced criticism of its activities in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Revenge or retaliation for the 3000 who died on 11 September trumps every other concern. Attempts to apply the venerable just war theory seem futile since who can possibly make any judgment about one of the seven requirements -- that the good to be achieved will predictably outweigh the harm? - Robert F. Drinan SJ
11 Mar 2002

Religious commitment linked to less suicide
Young Mormon men living in Utah who closely adhere to the dictates of their faith are less likely to commit suicide than their peers who are less active in the church, study findings show.
11 Mar 2002

Florida bishop resigns after admitting abuses
The Catholic bishop of Palm Beach, Florida, resigned on Friday after admitting he had sexually abused a 13 year-old student in the 1970s.
11 Mar 2002

Irish bishops disappointed by narrow defeat of abortion referendum
The Irish bishops are disappointed at the narrow defeat of an abortion referendum, said a spokesman for the bishops' conference.
11 Mar 2002

German bishop breaks ranks with Vatican on abortion counselling
Bishop Franz Kamphaus of Limburg has for the past two years continued to allow church centres to provide counselling to women wanting to terminate their pregancies, despite a papal order for the practice to cease.
11 Mar 2002

Pope appeals for help for all women in difficulty
On International Woman's Day, John Paul II appealed for help for all women in difficulty. The Holy Father made this appeal when he met with members of the Tra Noi (Among Us) movement, which for the past 50 years has been committed to the aid of domestic employees, as well as other marginalised members of society.
11 Mar 2002

Vatican normalises communion under both species
Catholics of the Roman rite will be able to receive Communion ordinarily under both eucharistic species, according to a note published by the Holy See.
11 Mar 2002

Pope strips some authority from German bishop
In a rare disciplinary move, Pope John Paul II has stripped a German bishop of some of his authority, after the bishop refused to follow a direct order from Rome to stop abortion counseling in his diocese.
12 Mar 2002

Catholic Welfare challenges minister to implement report
Catholic Welfare Australia's National Director Toby O'Connor has urged Family and Community Services Minister Amanda Vanstone to adopt report recommendations designed to minimise the risk of penalties for vulnerable job seekers.
12 Mar 2002

Caritas warns of chronic poverty in Europe, urges protection of poor
A report by Caritas said poverty is growing in Europe and urged steps to protect weak and vulnerable social groups.
8 Mar 2002

Feature - Vatican speaks its mind on the Internet
The Vatican set out its "Catholic view of the Internet" last week. Its generally positive view is only slightly tempered by some areas of concern, such as the "digital divide". Quoting the Pope, the Vatican's Archbishop Foley wrote: "As the new global economy takes shape, the church is concerned 'that the winner in this process will be humanity as a whole' and not just 'a wealthy elite." The church is also worried about the Internet's exaltation of freedom to the extent that "the inescapable claims of truth disappear". - Wired
8 Mar 2002

Opinion - Satan's coup in Boston Archdiocese
Satan is having a hell of a good time these days in Boston. He doesn't take down a cardinal every day. He whispers to Catholics and others to continue their campaign to ruin the cardinal's reputation and force his resignation. First he found a priest who lusted after little boys and told him it was OK to touch them sexually. - Scranton Times/Tribute / Catholic.net
8 Mar 2002

Padre Pio statue weeps tears of blood
Thousands of believers have flocked to the Sicilian city of Messina after a statue of Blessed Padre Pio began shedding tears some think are blood.
8 Mar 2002

New home loan scheme to aid Tasmanian Catholics
Tasmania's Catholic Development Fund (CDF) is getting into the business of brokering home loans. The Standard newspaper reports that a link has been established with a leading home loan institution to ensure competitive rates and services for those who take up the deal.
8 Mar 2002

Prayer to blame for Pope's weak knees
Pope John Paul II's doctors believe that the arthrosis he suffers from is due to long hours of prayer on his knees, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported.
8 Mar 2002

Pell says patients are patients, not clients
Catholic health should not become "submerged in finance", the Archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Pell, said on a visit to the Darlinghurst campus of the recently amalgamated St Vincent's and Mater Health Sydney.
8 Mar 2002

Women's Commission monitors church organisations
The Bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women is working out a strategy to monitor the composition of national bodies and agencies of the Church in Australia to help promote a better balance of men, women, clergy religious and laity in decision-making positions.
8 Mar 2002

Feature - Night beat with Rosies
It's Friday night in Brisbane and I've joined the Rosies van to get a taste of what it's like to work with homeless people. Social worker Dominic Mapstone said homelessness has nothing to do with buildings. "Home is about feeling connected to people who care about you," he said.
7 Mar 2002

Opinion - 'Real presence' does not mean real bread
Since the July 2000 release of the new instructions for celebration of Mass, there has been a revival of liturgical experimentation reminiscent of the 1970s. "Last week at Mass I received a lump of something on my tongue that tasted like raisin bread", a reader wrote. "Was this a valid Mass? What should I do?" - Adoremus
7 Mar 2002

German files case against Pope at UN International Court
An artist in Germany has launched a suit against Pope John Paul II for his stand against using condoms.
7 Mar 2002

French church leaders criticise treatment of refugees, asylum seekers
French church leaders have criticised their country's "lamentable" treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers.
7 Mar 2002

Pope takes doctor's advice to rest knee
Pope John Paul II yesterday cancelled his weekly general audience because of a knee problem.
7 Mar 2002

Pope urges bishops to be firm on marriage
Pope John Paul II has focused on the crisis of the family in an address to visiting Argentine bishops, urging that the truth about marriage be taught with "pastoral firmness".
7 Mar 2002

Catholic Health warns against cutting corners on insurance
Catholic Health Australia has said today that health insurance must cover the cost of care to elderly and chronically ill patients.
7 Mar 2002

Adelaide archbishop defends Vatican's new sex abuse process
A new Vatican document for internal processes to be used by the church when dealing with allegations of paedophilia against priests does not seek to sidestep or hinder any civil court action over the issue, Archbishop Philip Wilson has said.
7 Mar 2002

Feature - Papal contender has passion for poor
Cardinal Cláudio Hummes of São Paulo, Brazil, draws respect outside the Catholic church and inspires hope within, especially for the marginalised. He is cautious, striving not to alienate or offend, and this has disappointed some who hoped for more "fire in the belly" from a bishop with leftist friends. Hummes is also the object of serious attention as a papal contender. - NCR
6 Mar 2002

Opinion - Lent an 'intentional journey into powerlessness'
Young Catholics can emerge from the Catholic school system believing that life is about achievement and competition and being in control. Is this individual possibly prepared to understand the Sermon on the Mount or the mystery of the crucified Christ? He will naturally use the church, sacraments, ministry roles and grace itself to advance himself. And when they don't advance him, forget it. - Richard Rohr OFM / National Catholic Reporter
6 Mar 2002

Group lobbies Vatican to recognise gun saint
A group of Catholics from Virginia in the USA is promoting the recognition of St Gabriel Possenti as the patron saint of handgunners.
6 Mar 2002

Italian cardinal condemns gambling, lotteries
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Genoa has taken a strong position against gambling, lotteries, and games of chance.
6 Mar 2002

Nazareth mosque decision pleases Vatican
The Vatican expressed its satisfaction today with the Israeli government's decision to halt the construction of the controversial Nazareth mosque.
6 Mar 2002

Ratzinger denies Christianity 'superior' to Islam
The Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has reacted to "conventional wisdom" that "the Christian faith must give up its claim to truth" in the wake of 11 September.
6 Mar 2002

Bishop says future Australians will regret asylum seeker incarcaration
Australia will look back on its policy of incarcerating asylum seekers at detention centres with as much "regret and sadness" as it views the White Australia Policy, according to Bishop Eugene Hurley of Port Pirie.
6 Mar 2002

Pope sends Assisi peace declaration to heads of state
The Pope has sent a letter to all heads of state and government, along with the Assisi Decalogue for Peace that aims to guide the post-11 September world.
6 Mar 2002

Feature - Longing for God Mother Teresa's letters reveal isolation, doubts
As Fr Brian Kolodiejchuk pores over the letters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the reports of her spiritual directors, he is increasingly struck by the enormous difficulty of all she accomplished. The priest, who is in charge of preparing material for Mother Teresa's beatification, is not surprised by the effort it took to open houses for the dying, the sick and the homeless.
5 Mar 2002

Opinion - Advertising brands are the new religion
Advertising agencies have spotted a new way of marketing their products sell them as if they can fill the void in a faithless world make brands their icons, inviting the faithful to devote themselves to the new religion by buying, the final act of commitment through which the unbeliever is converted. - UK religious studies lecturer Dr Mark Corner / The Guardian
5 Mar 2002

Book reveals Princess Margaret 'considered becoming Catholic'
Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, had seriously considered becoming a Catholic, a new book said.
5 Mar 2002

LA Cardinal praises Hollywood for values revolution
The US film and television industry has undergone a "revolutionary" shift toward programming with positive values since the 11 September 11 terror attacks, according to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles.
5 Mar 2002

Papal spokesman suggests annulment of priesthood for gay clergy
Chief papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls declared at the weekend that gay men should not be ordained as priests, and suggested that the priesthood of those already ordained might be invalidated.
5 Mar 2002

Pope mourns loss of 'genuine religious sense'
Pope John Paul II has stressed the urgency of a recovery of Christian identity.
5 Mar 2002

Brisbane Catholic Archbishop wants fair go for G-G
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has called on Australians to give Governor-General Dr Peter Holingworth a fair go.
5 Mar 2002

Catholic Welfare welcomes Govt compassion for jobseekers
The Church's peak welfare organisation has applauded measures accounced yesterday to protect vulnerable job seekers from the devastating impact of Social Security breaches and penalties.
5 Mar 2002

Feature - With God and a gun on his side
Former Aby Sayaff hostage Fr Cirilo Nacorda comes armed with more than his faith to daily Mass at the Church of St Peter on the southern Philippines island of Basilan. Beneath his flowing vestments the stocky, 44-year-old Catholic priest packs his favourite .45 automatic pistol."Life is so precious. This is God's gift to us and I have to protect it" he says."I believe God understands my predicament and why I need to do this. He knows my heart
4 Mar 2002

Opinion - Clergy sex abuse: The symptom and the disease
Many observers have noted that the problem of pedophilia has been compounded by the inaction of the hierarchy. We would go further. For many years the Church has suffered from an odd but virulent strain of clericalism. Bishops, priests, and laymen alike have focused their energies on the creature rather than the Creator-on the administrative structures of the Church rather than her divine mission.- Philip F. Lawler
4 Mar 2002

Irish bishops urge Catholics to vote in abortion referendum
The Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, Cardinal Desmond Connell, has said that a'yes' vote in Wednesday's abortion referendum would avoid giving the country's law"a fatal bias in favour of abortion"
4 Mar 2002

Formation year returns to Sydney seminary
Sydney's Archdiocesan seminary has restored the formation year for first year seminarians, following an overseas trend and at the request of Archbishop George Pell
4 Mar 2002

Jubilee Australia staging peaceful CHOGM progest
A coalition of Church and community groups was planning to congregate outside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting(CHOGM, opening on the Sunshine Coast at the weekend weekend, to renew a call for the cancellation of Third World debt
4 Mar 2002

Rome censures two more scholars
A German Benedictine who is also a Zen master has been ordered by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's top doctrinal official, to cease all public activities, including lectures, courses and publications
4 Mar 2002

Pope says' make Room for Christ in the Media
Insisting that the Church's voice must not be silenced by the media, John Paul II has urged Christians to take the initiative in countering the problem.
4 Mar 2002

Russian Orthodox leader calls Pope
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has condemned a live link-up between Pope John-Paul II and Roman Catholics in Russia
4 Mar 2002

Opinion - Compassion overload perpetuates clergy sex abuse
The problem is not celibacy but rather an excessive compassion for priests who are in trouble. Like cops and doctors, priests stand by their own, sometimes when they shouldn
1 Mar 2002

Vatican says dialogue not enough to combat religious extremism
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart has called for interdenominational protocols to help in the fight against sex abuse across Church ranks
1 Mar 2002

Feature - Scholars
For most of the 20th century, scholarship and religion were at opposite poles when it came to research- with religion confined to its own department. Religion
1 Mar 2002

Carroll to preach at ecumenical leader
Australlian Catholic Bishops' Conference president, Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra-Goulburn, will be the occasional preacher at the installation of the new General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Australia(NCCA).
1 Mar 2002

Canadian company insuring churches against sex abuse lawsuits
For three years, an insurance company in Canada has quietly sold special insurance to hundreds of Canadian churches and non-profit groups to protect them against"counselling liability" and"sexual-abuse" lawsuits- Report Newsmagazine
1 Mar 2002

Tasmanian Archbishop
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart has called for interdenominational protocols to help in the fight against sex abuse across Church ranks
1 Mar 2002

Vatican says dialogue not enough to combat religious extremism
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart has called for interdenominational protocols to help in the fight against sex abuse across Church ranks
1 Mar
2002