Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JUNE 2002

   
Feature - Bishops start dealing with new rules on sex-abusing priests
Within days of their historic meeting on clerical sex abuse of minors earlier this month, some US bishops began implementing the new national charter they established in Dallas. Several priests with past records of abuse who had been restored to ministry or church-related office jobs following treatment were removed from those posts, including eight in Chicago. Some retired priests were informed they could no longer wear clerical garb, present themselves as priests or say Mass publicly.
28 Jun 2002

Opinion - 'Good old days' are starting now
Faced with the manifest evil of clerical child abuse, many Church members lament the disappearance of 'the good old days'. Yet it was during 'the good old days' that the crimes of child abuse were being perpetrated and covered up. In my opinion the good days are just emerging. A cancer discovered causes anxiety but joy comes with its excision, however painful. - Dublin-based priest-psychologist Fr Desmond O'Donnell OMI
28 Jun 2002

Sudan bombs two church compounds
Sudanese government planes bombed two church compounds in rebel-held southern Sudan, injuring at least four people, the Sudan Catholic Bishops Regional Conference said yesterday.
28 Jun 2002

Neocatechumenal Way statute approved by Vatican
The Vatican has announced the approval of the Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way, the spiritual renewal movement born in the mid-1960s in Spain.
28 Jun 2002

Vinnies sends SOS as winter cold strikes
Calls for assistance to the St Vincent de Paul Society are increasing, compared to this time last year, with volunteers and staff working overtime to meet the demand of people in desperate need.
28 Jun 2002

Catholic enquiry commissioner to lead Brisbane Anglican probe
Peter O'Callaghan, QC, the independent commissioner whom the Catholic Church in Melbourne appointed to investigate similar complaints in Victoria, will lead the the Anglican Church's past handling of sexual abuse complaints in Brisbane.
28 Jun 2002

Bishops to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge to promote Catholic Earthcare
Four of its Bishops will attempt the Sydney Harbour Bridge Bridgeclimb today to publicise the formation of a new agency of the church, Catholic Earthcare Australia.
28 Jun 2002

Catholic Health challenges Parliament to be consistent on ethics
Speaking after the introduction of the Research Involving Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill 2002 by the Prime Minister yesterday, Catholic Health Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Francis Sullivan, called for a consistent ethic to be applied to complex issues involving the treatment of human life.
28 Jun 2002

Feature - More workers seek to worship God at work
More employees are seeking to worship God at work. Expressions of faith range from voluntary prayer meetings and Bible studies at company headquarters to providing a conference room for prayer. Former executive and investment banker David Miller, who leads Avodah Institute, a group that researches work-and-worship issues, said factory closings and layoffs have shaken many workers' faith in business, and the Enron scandal deepened the distrust.
27 Jun 2002

Opinion - Dorothy Day's approach to scandal would be useful today
If Catholic Worker movement founder Dorothy Day were still around, she would have something to say about the scandals besetting the Catholic church in America. But something that great Catholic woman said before her death in 1980 applies to the current crisis. "I loved the church for Christ made visible," she said. "Not for itself, because it was so often a scandal to me." - author David Yount
27 Jun 2002

Arizona: bogus priest arrested
A man posing as a priest was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona last week, after celebrating Mass, presiding at a funeral, weddings and baptisms during his three weeks in the pulpit.
27 Jun 2002

Death of Duke of Norfolk, Britain's 'leading Catholic layman'
The 17th Duke of Norfolk, hereditary earl marshal, chief butler of England and the country's premier earl and duke - among his eight titles - died in his sleep at the age of 86 on Tuesday.
27 Jun 2002

Vatican supports to Convention against Torture
On the occasion of yesterday's International Day of Support for Torture Victims, the Holy See published a 'note' to indicate its 'adherence' to the Convention against torture, other punishment and inhumane and degrading cruel treatment.
27 Jun 2002

Catholic Cathechism celebrates 10th anniversary
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is one of the most heavily translated books in world history.
27 Jun 2002

Committee head praises role of media in sex abuse scandal
The media focus on sexual abuse within the Church has had positive benefits by encouraging some people who have been hurt to come forward, according to Sr Angela Ryan of the Church's Professional Standards Committee.
27 Jun 2002

Australian Religious Institutes leaders elect new president
Sr Bernadette Keating PBVM has been elected President of the Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes (ACLRI), the peak body representing Catholic and Anglican religious congregations in Australia.
27 Jun 2002

Feature - Actor calls Fr Damien role 'uplifting'
David Wenham will never forget the leper colony of Molokai in Hawaii. "Seeing people with no hands, no skin and no thumbs … it was a life changing experience," says the award-winning Sydney actor. Three years ago he took on what is arguably the most challenging assignment of his career, playing the role of the Belgian Catholic missionary Fr Damien, who volunteered in 1873 for a calling that was to cost him his life - serving as priest to the community of lepers on the island of Molokai.
26 Jun 2002

Opinion - Our responsibility as bishops...
I'm convinced that we have to accept the reality that this [child sex abuse] is a problem for us and we must deal with it not just by looking at the associated issues but by setting up a culture where it becomes more and more difficult for events like this to occur again. We have to very seriously acknowledge the reality of what we've experienced and then look at setting up good systems to deal with it once it has occurred but also to work out the positive way to make our church community and all our institutions safe for our children. - Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide
26 Jun 2002

Tasmanian Catholic site first to publish sacred texts
A Catholic website based in Tasmania has become the first in the world to secure rights to publish sacred texts online, despite opposition from US bishops.
26 Jun 2002

Pope says tourism must respect environment
Pope John Paul said yesterday that humanity is living an "environmental emergency" caused in part by unregulated tourism that had been allowed to rape nature.
26 Jun 2002

Study identifies impact of fees on poor
Many people are forced to choose between basic necessities such as health care and education because they did not have enough money for all they needed, according to a report prepared by Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services.
26 Jun 2002

Abbott defends Church on sex abuse
Workplace Relations Minster Tony Abbott has defended sex scandals in the Catholic Church, saying pedophilia is no more prevalent there than in other organisations.
26 Jun 2002

Embryo cell row clouds PM's visit to Pope
Pope John Paul II should snub John Howard during his European tour in protest at his plans to allow embryonic experiments, a Labor MP said yesterday.
26 Jun 2002

Catholic agencies speak out for torture victims
Torture is a profound attack on human dignity that makes both the victim and the perpetrator less human, according to a statement released for today's International Day in Support of Survivors of Torture, by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office.
26 Jun 2002

Feature - Theologian's feisty faith challenges status quo
Duke Divinity School ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas appeared in the edition of Time that hit newsstands on 11 September, in a story that seemed by divine design. As a shocked, angry and grieving nation yearned for bloody revenge, along came Hauerwas, a Christian pacifist who spoke in Time of his disdain for nationalism, and his utter disappointment with an American church that fails to instruct its adherents in basic gospel values.
25 Jun 2002

Opinion - Abuse protocol needs compliance agency, not lip service
The "Protocol" has been waved incessantly as if it is the answer to every new complaint. As if it washes the hands of moral culpability, and of remorseless inaction. It is just not believable anymore. The public perception is that the Protocol is simply not being applied. I recommend urgent consideration of proposals including a centrally administered National Compliance Agency, and local complementary jurisdictional committees with membership from the Laity. - Open letter to the Australian Catholic Bishops from solicitor and attorney Geoff Cahill, former NSW ALP General Secretary, inaugural NSW Commissioner for Equal Opportunity and a Chairman of a NSW Government Appeal Tribunal.
25 Jun 2002

Italian newspaper reveals churck attack plot
Suspected Islamic militants are plotting an attack on a northern Italian church that has been the subject of protests by Muslims in the past, an Italian newspaper reported on Sunday.
25 Jun 2002

Teacher charged with sale of drugs in schoolgrounds
A female teacher and her de facto husband will face court charged with selling marijuana to students in the schoolgrounds of a Toowoomba Catholic boys' high school.
25 Jun 2002

Bosnia bishop says ethnic cleansings 'have become permanent'
Almost seven years after the end of the war in the former Yugoslavia "the ethnic cleansings have become permanent", according to Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka.
25 Jun 2002

Pope makes personal plea to Putin about bishop expelled from Russia
Pope John Paul II has personally appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to allow a bishop barred from the country to return — but Putin hasn't responded, the Vatican said on Saturday.
25 Jun 2002

Pope urges help for quake victims in Iran
John Paul II has made an appeal for international aid for the victims of Saturday's deadly earthquake in northern Iran.
25 Jun 2002

Vatican observer says common good demands globalisation scrutiny
An Independent Commission on the Social Dimensions of Globalisation should focus on results rather than ideology, the Holy See's permanent observer at the UN, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
25 Jun 2002

Feature - Russia and Rome - the big chill
President Putin of Russia would welcome the Pope in Moscow. But Patriarch Alexis still would not. Putin is aware of the need to strike some kind of compromise with the Orthodox hierarchy, which is an influential player on the Russian scene. Few people think that the papal visit will happen any time soon. But a meeting between Pope and Patriarch - perhaps in Austria or Switzerland - could be an option.
24 Jun 2002

Opinion - Definition of 'crisis' gives hope for change
The church is in crisis. A crisis is literally a turning point. It is a moment or stage in which a process of whatever kind can go in two or more different directions. It is a time of separating out, of deciding, of making a choice (krinein). To be in a state of crisis - whether political, medical or religious - is to be at the threshold of decisive change, usually, but not always, attended by considerable risk and suspense. - Fr Richard P. McBrien, professor of theology, University of Notre Dame
24 Jun 2002

World Youth Day visa trouble for Latin American youth
Latin American young people hoping to attend World Youth Day in Toronto in July are facing a seemingly insurmountable roadblock: their inability to obtain a visa to enter Canada.
24 Jun 2002

Archbishop Of Canterbury visits Pope
Pope John Paul II welcomed the archbishop of Canterbury on a farewell visit to the Vatican Friday and paid tribute to their mutual commitment toward closer relations.
24 Jun 2002

Gerry Adams tells Vatican his side of Ulster peace process
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gave the Vatican his version of the progress in Northern Ireland's peace process.
24 Jun 2002

New Zealand Catholic Church sorry for sex abuse cases
The Catholic Church in New Zealand said it knew of 38 cases of sexual abuse by church officers in the past 50 years and offered victims an "unreserved" apology.
24 Jun 2002

Pell denies he was warned about paedophile
Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell has no memory of being warned about a paedophile teacher at Ballarat's St Patrick's College in 1974, 20 years before the teacher, Br Edward Dowlan, was charged with sexually molesting young boys.
24 Jun 2002

Catholic Health calls for delay in embryo research bill
The introduction of legislation allowing research using human embryos should be delayed until the facts are clear about the usefulness of adult stem cells, according to Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan.
24 Jun 2002

Feature - Mining the Archival Mind
The archives is that mine of primary sources promising of turning over the nugget that will prove the difficult thesis, or bring the dead vividly to life, and in their own words too. Sydney Archdiocese archivist Br Lex Hall CFC, 75, credits a head for timetabling and management developed over more than 40 years of teaching in Christian Brothers' schools as his foundation for the requisite skills of archiving. "I suppose my bent is towards organisational systems, including information organisation."
21 Jun 2002

Opinion - Small, long-smothered voices shake the walls of the Church
Pedophilia has finally unmasked for all to see the operational principles of an organisation that has been able for years to ignore, reject - even disdain - the cries of multiple other groups of the ignored and abused. Like the survivors of clergy sexual abuse, whole streams of people have been crying out for ages to be listened to, to be heard, to be seen, to be included. The Church calls itself "the people of God", but hearing is not its strong point. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
21 Jun 2002

Scholarship in Pope's name to be given at Ground Zero
A Vatican aide will offer a scholarship in John Paul II's name to one of the "orphans of the victims of the 11 September tragedy".
21 Jun 2002

Police to quiz pedophile priest
Pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale will be investigated over more claims of sexual assault at St Alipius in Ballarat.
21 Jun 2002

Quick Vatican approval likely for US sex-abuse policy
The Vatican is likely to give prompt approval to the new sex-abuse policy adopted by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops last week.
21 Jun 2002

New temporary visa rules attacked
Catholic agencies have criticised a Federal Government announcement that Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) holders will have to apply for another visa if they don't want to return to the country they came from.
21 Jun 2002

Catholic lobby group says Iraq strike plans explain exclusion zone urgency
The Australian Political Ministry Network Ltd (PolMin) yesterday suggested Federal Government support for the excising of thousands of small islands off northern Australia is related to its endorsement of the US Government's first strike policy against Iraq.
21 Jun 2002

Jesuit Refugee Service concerned about xenophobia in rich nations
In a statement marking World Refugee Day on 20 June, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has said that wealthy nations are denying proper funding to humanitarian programs aimed at assisting the world's most vulnerable people - refugees.
21 Jun 2002

Feature - Priest-scientist's mission to renew the face of the earth
"We bring an awareness that the world is bigger than this place. That's what catholic means." From this modest house in Kentucky, 69-year-old Jesuit priest and scientist Al Fritsch runs Appalachia-Science in the Public Interest (ASPI). Fr Al has written on the theology of the earth and the healing of the earth. He says tillers of the earth are "few in words, mighty in deeds, patient in waiting." Sustainability is Father Al's scientific credo: cisterns, composting toilets and solar energy.
20 Jun 2002

Opinion - Getting music right might attract young people to Mass
Today, music is a spirituality for most young people. Better training in music and singing in general could make a world of difference in the life of our parishes. People might be more "ready" for the celebration of the Eucharist through the 'agape spirit' generated by the singing. We still need to get our music right 40 years after Vatican II began. - Christopher Clancy
20 Jun 2002

Church in Zimbabwe may resort to legal action to restart feeding scheme
The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe is considering legal action against war veterans who have halted its feeding program for children and expectant mothers in the drought-prone Binga District.
20 Jun 2002

Lecturer says church stands alone in war on poverty
The Church stands alone in its efforts to highlight "the moral imperative" of addressing poverty, according to Harvard Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who has been in Australia to deliver the Caritas Helder Camara Lecture.
20 Jun 2002

Perth Catholic university scores five stars
The University of Notre Dame in Western Australia has performed strongly in a national university guide, outrating three of the state's public tertiary institutions.
20 Jun 2002

Vatican official spells out conditions for supporting Internet
Truth, the dignity of the human person, and promotion of the common good are necessary principles that need to be respected in the use of new information and communications technologies, according to Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
20 Jun 2002

Poll says new US Bishops' abuse policy not good enough
An overwhelming majority of US Catholics say their bishops still have not gone far enough to protect children from abusing priests, and they are deeply divided over the new guidelines adopted by bishops to deal with sexually abusive clergymen, according to a Washington Post survey.
20 Jun 2002

Israel suicide bomb provokes strong papal terror condemnation
At his regular public audience yesterday, Pope John Paul II responded to the latest terror bombing in Israel by saying that those guilty of such "barbarous actions" will "answer before God".
20 Jun 2002

Feature - A new beginning for Tampa refugees
Tampa refugees Mohammed and Sharafat Bakhtary and their children - Toobah, left, and Nasibullah - enjoy the peace and freedom of life in their new country, New Zealand. New Zealand's Tampa refugees arrived in Auckland last September and were accommodated in a reception centre while their claims for refugee status were processed and approved. The Government made a house available to each refugee family and each group of volunteers was given the task of preparing the house, using furniture and homewares that had been donated - in large quantities - by Christchurch people.
19 Jun 2002

Opinion - Sex abuse: Church leaders' image of decency has prevailed too long
Most journalists until recently have failed in their scrutinising role because they have too readily deferred to church leaders and their assumed decency. What is being exposed is a pattern in which personally decent men have performed, gone along with or condoned indecent actions in order to protect themselves, their institutions or their colleagues. Church leaders did not act on the issue because they didn't really see it as serious. Changes have come about through external pressures and public scrutiny that churches have been unable to resist. - Rev Dr Peter Horsfield, RMIT University Melbourne
19 Jun 2002

Bishops' Women's Commission reports interest in community building
The Commission for Australian Catholic Women has reported "considerable success" in its efforts to build networks of groups and individuals in the Australian Church.
19 Jun 2002

Pope to forge ahead with 10-day trip to Americas
Pope John Paul will go ahead with a grueling 10-day visit to Canada, Guatemala and Mexico next month, but for the first time will take time off for rest at the beginning of the trip, the Vatican said yesterday.
19 Jun 2002

Religious meet to examine decline of institutions
The leaders of Australia's Catholic and Anglican religious congregations are gathering in Hobart today to look at implications of the erosion of membership in a range of institutions including political parties, unions, and the churches.
19 Jun 2002

Caritas seeks funds to fight starvation in southern Africa
As more than 10 million people are at risk of starvation in southern Africa's worst agricultural disaster in a decade, Caritas Australia National Director, Jack de Groot has described the situation as critical.
19 Jun 2002

Catholic Health supports Democrats call for Govt rethink on pharmaceutical cuts
Catholic Health Australia has joined the Australian Democrats in their call for the Government to amend the private health insurance rebate to make the proposed budget savings, rather than impose cuts to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
19 Jun 2002

Catholic Social Justice Council speaks up for International Criminal Court
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council has voiced its "strong support" for an International Criminal Court, and urged all Members of Parliament to work towards Australia's ratification of the Rome Statute.
19 Jun 2002

Feature - Blogging - the latest trend in faith-sharing
If you haven't yet heard of blogging, you soon will. The latest Internet trend in personal journalism is currently undergoing an explosion among Catholics. Blog - short for Web log - is a cross between a traditional Web site and an online diary. The ease of the technology makes it possible for almost anyone to publish. "People are feeling a lot of strong emotion about the clerical sexual abuse scandal and people want to speak up," said Californian Catholic blogger Peter Nixon.
18 Jun 2002

Opinion - Priests also victims of the church
At a deeper and more problematic level, this priest's lonely, celibate lifestyle meant he had no obligation to live within deep human relationships. Spouses and children can be the best psychotherapists. They give us instant feedback about our more irrational sides. We can learn to be self- reflective, to have a properly founded sense of self-worth. - Melbourne writer and parish council chairman Terry Monagle
18 Jun 2002

Abbey to receive giant cross in memory of cardinal
The largest cross in Britain, which has stood outside Westminster Cathedral since December 2000, has been moved to a remote monastery in honour of the late Cardinal Basil Hume.
18 Jun 2002

Research shows priests and religious live longer
New research shows that priests and religious live longer, with Benedictine monks having a mortality rate almost half that of the laity.
18 Jun 2002

Vatican aide says future of religious life needs more prayer
The new Vatican instruction on religious life urges the renewal of the spiritual life of members or religious orders, according to Fr Eusebio Hernández, head of the office of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
18 Jun 2002

Insurance executive says churches can afford payouts
Australian church dioceses would be unlikely to be bankrupted by sexual abuse payouts because they were fairly asset rich, the country's biggest church insurer EIG Ansvar has said.
18 Jun 2002

Church bans NSW South Coast cult 'miracle worker'
After a four-year investigation involving the Vatican, the church yesterday officially outlawed Order of St Charbel, a sect operated by purported visionary Mr William Kamm, also known as the Little Pebble.
18 Jun 2002

Australia's Catholic population tops 5 million
2001 Census data released yesterday shows the Catholic population has topped five million for the first time, but that Catholics as a proportion of Australia's population declined by 0.4% to 26.6%.
18 Jun 2002

Feature - Fr Damien - no Plaster Saint
The many Catholic men in Australia named Damien, or who took that name at confirmation, attest to the impact that the story of the Leper Priest had on the Catholic Community here. Australian director Paul Cox was one of them. The film Molokai - the Story of Father Damien (opening this Thursday) is the portrait of a saint, but Cox is not interested in a plaster saint. Based on Hilde Eynikel's thoroughly researched biography, the screenplay by John Briley brings alive a man who is transparently holy, not perfect. - Fr Richard Leonard
17 Jun 2002

Opinion - Denial, and the disgrace of a dying culture
US Bishops Conference Chairman Bishop Wilton Gregory said: "The crisis, in truth, is about a profound loss of confidence by the faithful in our leadership as shepherds." In Australia I suspect most of us long ago stopped paying much heed to what Father might have to say about the things that trouble. The [clerical] culture has been dying for a generation or more in countries such as Australia and the United States, where the combination of a democratic ethos and an educated laity - now often much better educated than their priests - has made the mystique that once attached to the priesthood impossible to sustain. - Ray Cassin
17 Jun 2002

Catholic Welfare co-sponsoring major conference on families
The International Commission on Couple and Family Relations (ICCFR) begins its annual conference in Sydney today, with the theme "Distance, Diversity and Dislocation - Families Facing Globalisation".
17 Jun 2002

Victorian church gambling taskforce backs State Govt strategy
Victoria's Inter Church Gambling Taskforce, which includes representation from Catholic Social Services, has expressed qualified support for the Government's Gambling Research Panel's 2002-03 Research Plan.
17 Jun 2002

Big crowds at Vatican for Padre Pio canonisation
Pope John Paul formally declared 20th century Italian mystic monk and miracle worker Padre Pio a saint on Sunday at a solemn ceremony attended by hundreds of thousands in a sweltering St Peter's Square and watched on screen by millions in Italy and around the world.
17 Jun 2002

Public apology for Rockhampton priest's sex abuse
A long-serving Catholic priest, who has confessed to sexually abusing young children, says the church is aware of his sins but has never alerted police or parishioners.
17 Jun 2002

Pell says cover-up accuser has 'false' memory
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell believes David Ridsdale, the man who accused him of covering up sexual abuse on Channel 9's 60 Minutes two weeks ago has a "false" memory.
17 Jun 2002

US Bishops vote to strip priest abusers of their ministry
Vowing new vigilance against those who "exploit the priesthood for immoral and criminal purposes," the US Catholic bishops voted on Friday to remove from his ministry any priest who sexually abuses a minor, including reformed and repentant clerics who decades ago engaged in a single act of molestation.
17 Jun 2002

Feature - Prayer 'cells' to revive ailing parishes
Fr Pi Gi Perini said his parish of St Eustorgio, Milan, had formerly had a "quite dull spiritual life" with low Mass attendance only by the elderly. But it became "on fire" after parishioners embraced the method of parish cells Fr Pi Gi had seen working in a parish in Canada. Now around 1500 people of all ages are actively involved in cells in his parish, and many have been inspired to take up voluntary community work outside the parish as well.
14 Jun 2002

Opinion - Church needs to find its voice
The Catholic Church must speak with a single, clear and consistent voice on the issue of sexual abuse involving clergy. It is not satisfactory to have different regimes in different parts of Australia for dealing with clerical sexual abuse. Nor is it good enough that individual dioceses depart from those regimes, often at the behest of their lawyers.
14 Jun 2002

Vatican marks 150th anniversary of postal service
The Vatican yesterday issued a round stamp for the first time in its history to commemorate the 150th anniversary of papal stamps.
14 Jun 2002

Survey reveals women more religious than men
A survey of young Irish adults shows women's religious beliefs seem to be of a higher quality than those of men and that they have more demanding moral standards.
14 Jun 2002

Cardinal Kasper sees new hope for ecumenical relations
The joint signature on the Venice declaration earlier this week by Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Bartholomew is a new stage in the ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox, said Cardinal Walter Kasper in an interview with the Italian newspaper Avvenire on Wednesday.
14 Jun 2002

Rome braces for Padre Pio canonisation
The canonisation of Padre Pio, planned for Sunday in St Peter's Square, will mobilise both pilgrims and security forces, with nearly 400,000 people expected to come fort the ceremony.
14 Jun 2002

Silence clause in Queensland nuns abuse settlement
A Queensland woman was barred from revealing details of her abuse by nuns after receiving a $6000 settlement, a document obtained by a victims' support group shows.
14 Jun 2002

US Bishops work overnight on sex abuse policy
US Catholic bishops, under fire for shielding priests accused of molesting children, worked into the early hours on Thursday to craft a national policy on handling pedophile priests that they hope will restore their credibility as spiritual leaders.
14 Jun 2002

Feature - Towards Healing works well with difficult issue
The Catholic Church may be copping a hammering in the media on the issue of sexual abuse, yet according the Church's National Committee for Professional Standards, Towards Healing - the national protocol for dealing with sexual abuse - is working well. Sr Angela Ryan, executive officer of the Church's National Committee for Professional Standards, says: "We are learning and doing our best to deal with each case and are willing to constantly learn and refine the protocol."
13 Jun 2002

Opinion - US bishops policy must not yield to panic
Zero tolerance will have the support of bishops for whom the first priority is to shield the church against disrepute and liability. But is it fair to remove priests from the ministry if the accusations against them are unproved and if they protest their innocence (as did Cardinal Joseph Bernardin when he was falsely accused a decade ago)? - Cardinal Avery Dulles commenting before this week's US Bishops' meeting in Dallas
13 Jun 2002

Zimbabwe bishop halts feeding program for fear of workers' safety
A church feeding program has stopped feeding 35,000 Zimbabwean children and pregnant women after threats to workers.
13 Jun 2002

Vatican newspaper criticises Israeli plan to build wall
The Vatican's semi-official L'Osservatore Romano newspaper has condemned decision of the Israeli government to set up a wall "to protect itself from the terrorists" in the Palestinian territories.
13 Jun 2002

Bishop announces Australian delegates to world Families meeting
The Chairman of the Bishops' Committee for the Family and for Life, Bishop Eugene Hurley, has announced the selection of a couple to be the official delegates of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference to the Fourth World Meeting of Families.
13 Jun 2002

Indigenous appointment to the Commission for Australian Catholic Women
The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has appointed Mrs Joan Hendriks to the Commission for Australian Catholic Women.
13 Jun 2002

Pell holds debriefing for Sydney priests
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell delayed planned travel to Rome to hold a three hour meeting with his priests late yesterday at the city's St Mary's Cathedral House.
13 Jun 2002

St John of God Brothers to pay out $3.6 million
The Hospitaller Order of St John of God will pay more than $3.6 million to victims of sexual abuse at boys' homes in Melbourne following an out of court settlement released yesterday.
13 Jun 2002

Feature - Bishops in the crossfire
It would be hard to exaggerate the historic choices facing America's 400 Catholic bishops who begin meeting tomorrow in Texas after months of scandal over clerical sexual abuse. They hope to resolve the sexual scandal that has been eating away at the morale of the 63 million Catholics in the United States, and inflaming public perception of the Church. At the end of their plenary assembly the bishops want to be able to say, in the words of the Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington DC: "This ends here."
12 Jun 2002

Opinion - Loss of healthy affection is the hidden tragedy
"Can I give my pastor a hug?" the woman asked the priest as he made his way, greeting people, through the parish hall. "Sure, I'll take hugs from anybody," the priest replied, "as long as it's in front of 300 people." Everyone within hearing range laughed. But afterward, several parishioners commented that the dark humour is one of the sad byproducts of the recent sex abuse scandals.
12 Jun 2002

Catholic board members receive Queen's Birthday honours
A number of members of boards of Catholic organisations are prominent in the list of Catholic recipients of Order of Australia honours published on Monday.
12 Jun 2002

Pope, Orthodox leader sign document on environment
Joined by a video link, Pope John Paul II and the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians signed a declaration pn Monday stating that protecting the environment is a "moral and spiritual" duty.
12 Jun 2002

'God Bless Indonesia', Pope tells Megawati
The leader of the world's largest Muslim country had a brief private audience with Pope John Paul II on Monday.
12 Jun 2002

Queensland bishops announce contribution to abuse fund
The Catholic and Anglican Bishops of Queensland yesterday announced their intention to make a financial contribution to the Forde Foundation trust fund set up by the Queensland Government in response to the findings of the Forde Inquiry.
12 Jun 2002

Silencing by Bishops 'unanimously banned'
The failure of bishops to adhere to the Catholic church's revised sex-abuse protocol is both inexplicable and inexcusable, says one Sydney bishop.
12 Jun 2002

Adelaide's 'healing bishop' to help US priests
Adelaide Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson has been asked to help US bishops cope with an unprecedented sex-abuse crisis.
12 Jun 2002

Feature - Vatican expects record crowds for Padre Pio canonisation
Blessed Padre Pio da Pietralcina's canonisation looks set to go down in Rome's history as one of its largest religious ceremonies. Spiritual and logistical preparations for Sunday's event are reminiscent of those for the liturgical megagatherings that were a hallmark of the jubilee year 2000.
11 Jun 2002

Opinion - Pell has no case to answer
The often heroic dedication of so many priests has been spoiled by the evil of a few. The Australian clergy, and Archbishop George Pell in particular, was quick to respond, setting up mechanisms for counselling and compensation. Enter 60 Minutes and Richard Carleton, desperately trying to resurrect a fading reputation.
11 Jun 2002

Pope names five cardinals to Vatican appeals court
Pope John Paul II has named five cardinals to a Vatican tribunal that hears appeals for marriage annulments and Vatican City criminal and civil cases.
11 Jun 2002

Two monks among three dead in murder-suicide at abbey
A gunman opened fire at a Benedictine Abbey in the US yesterday, killing two monks and wounding two other monks, before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
11 Jun 2002

Media revel in abuse scandal, says cardinal
A Latin American cardinal tipped as the next pope has launched an extraordinary attack on the US media by comparing its coverage of church sex scandals to persecution by Nero, Hitler and Stalin.
11 Jun 2002

US Catholic leaders expect changes
Several in the Church in the US have said the sexual abuse policy proposal that will be discussed in Dallas this week needs to be strengthened.
11 Jun 2002

New bishop returns from Rome to questions on sex abuse scandal
Melbourne's newest bishop jetted in from Rome at the weekend, vowing to ``do whatever -- whatever -- is necessary'' to clean up a church reeling over the scandal of sexual abuse and hush money.
11 Jun 2002

'Tyranny of distance' led to silence clause
Confusion in the Catholic Church over confidentiality clauses in compensation agreements with abuse victims appeared to be the result of "tyranny of distance problems", according to Catholic barrister John McCarthy QC.
11 Jun 2002

Feature - Celibate and loving it
James Stack felt a profound peace in his decision -- even though he had no real clue how life without sex, physical intimacy, children would be tolerable. He just had a simple faith. "Why would God call me to something I would be frustrated in?" Stack, 42, now pastor of St. Jerome's Church in Hyattsville, says he has no regrets. He found that "celibacy is a gift" from God, and a celibate life over time will "blossom and become beautiful".
7 Jun 2002

Opinion - Our Lady of Social Justice
Devotion to Our Lady is deeply instinctual in Catholic cultures, yet until recent decades she has rarely been revered under the title of Our Lady of Social Justice. This is curious, given how insistent the Scriptures and Jesus are on justice and social concern. Moreover, the Gospels present Mary not as a symbol of passivity in the face of human suffering and injustice, but as the valiant woman sharing the liberating mission of Jesus. Mary sings in her great Magnificat prayer: "He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly." - Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne
7 Jun 2002

Pope receives new popemobile from auto company
John Paul II received the gift of a new popemobile at the end of his General Audience in St Peter's Square on Wednesday.
7 Jun 2002

Canadian bishops' official questions poll on pope, church teaching
A Canadian bishops' conference official questioned the results of a survey that said the pope should retire and that the church was out of touch with society.
7 Jun 2002

Cardinal calls for just and generous treatment of migrants
Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State of Vatican City, has appealed for rich countries to treat migrants from poorer parts of the world with justice, tolerance and generosity.
7 Jun 2002

Vatican claims it is not ignoring scandal
The Vatican has reacted cautiously to proposals by U.S. bishops to stamp out sex abuse, but is making clear it is not ignoring the scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church for months.
7 Jun 2002

Tasmanian church defends car for sex assault priest
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart has defended a decision to provide a car to a retired priest found guilty of sexual assault.
7 Jun 2002

Archbishops apologise to abuse victims
Archbishops Pell of Sydney and Hart of Melbourne issued a joint "sincere and unreserved" apology to those who have been hurt, while Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday stated that widespread media coverage of sexual abuse and the Catholic Church this week has highlighted the intense anger of victims of abuse.
7 Jun 2002

Feature - Nuclear shadow over the Himalayas
Once again the heavy artillery shells have begun thudding across the front line which carves through the disputed Himalayan peaks of Kashmir. Kashmir, with its fabled turquoise lakes and snow-glossed peaks, has been fought over for centuries. When Britain suddenly pulled out of the subcontinent in 1947, all the Muslim-majority princely states were expected to join Muhammad Ali Jinnah's Pakistan. But Hari Singh, the autocratic Hindu maharajah of the largely Muslim Kashmiri people, acceded to India, and Pakistan has felt cheated ever since.
6 Jun 2002

Opinion - Think 'new springtime', not crisis
The Church has entered a new era as many groups burst forth like a new spring. There is a virtual explosion of ideas and commitment as Catholics develop and utilize their skills in living out the faith in their daily lives. Many young people know that there is more to life. Making a living so we can buy things and care for our children is necessary, but not the ultimate goal. Amassing wealth and wealth creation may not be the goal for studying economics.
6 Jun 2002

Vatican denies Pope retirement report
The Vatican yesterday denied a report that Pope John Paul, who is in frail health, would announce in August that he will step down.
6 Jun 2002

Neocatechumenate Way faces Vatican questions
The Vatican is not ready to approve official statutes for the NeoCatechumenate Way, informed sources have indicated, because of questions regarding the role of priests within the community.
6 Jun 2002

Vatican announces Day of Prayer for Sanctification of Priests
In the wake of sex abuse scandals in the US and elswhere, the Vatican has proclaimed tomorrow - the Feast of the Sacred Heart - as a World Day of Prayer for the Sanctification of Priests.
6 Jun 2002

Pakistani bishops urge India, Pakistan to seek peace, avoid war
The Pakistani bishops' Justice and Peace Commission has called on India and Pakistan to strive for peace and not to pursue war.
6 Jun 2002

Brisbane bishop to keep tabs on child molesters
Church workers convicted of sex crimes should be formally monitored by the Catholic archdiocese when they leave jail and re-enter the community in Queensland, a Brisbane bishop said yesterday.
6 Jun 2002

PM calls Pell "man of great integrity"
Prime Minister John Howard has staunchly defended embattled Sydney Archbishop George Pell, describing him as a man of "great integrity".
6 Jun 2002

Feature - Oceania - My (vanishing) Island Home
Earthrise, the photo snapped by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders on Christmas Eve 1968, raised the consciousness of the world peace and environment movements. It made redundant the old classroom globe with its colour patched countries and singularly popularised the synonym "the blue planet". The following year, Pope Paul VI might have been describing Anders' photo when he declared: "The image of the Creator must shine forth ever more clearly, but not only in his creature man, but in all of his creation in nature." His words signalled a reawakening within the Church of creation theology.
5 Jun 2002

Opinion - Checks and balances will set us free
Bernadette McMenamin was horrified to discover there were paedophiles working alongside her in some of the many overseas and Australian organisations where she worked that were supposed to making life better for children who had hit hard times. And now the Adelaide Archdiocese will implement Choose With Care, following meetings between Archbishop Philip Wilson and Ms McMenamin. Checks and balances are so crucial for children and adults alike.
5 Jun 2002

Israeli army destroys holy site
A Palestinian Greek Orthodox priest said over the weekend that Israeli forces had destroyed a Christian pilgrimage site, but Israel's army said it did not know the small cave had religious significance.
5 Jun 2002

Religious Leaders urge Govt to ratify Kyoto Protocol
In a statement released for World Environment Day today, the Leaders of Australia's religious congregations have urged the governments of Australia and the US to join the European Union and Japan in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
5 Jun 2002

Melbourne tribunal upholds Catholic schools' right to exclude non-Catholics
A Catholic school's right to exclude a four-year-old non-Catholic boy has been upheld after a tribunal ruled the discrimination was legal because it came under exemptions in equal opportunity law which say a religious school can exclude students who are not of that religion.
5 Jun 2002

Priests' minder says all priests suffering from abuse stigma
The new spiritual "minder" for Australia's Catholic clergy says it's a tough time to be a priest, a bishop or a deacon and he says many clergy are angry and saddened by the current child sex abuse controversy facing the church.
5 Jun 2002

US Bishops formulate strategy for action on sex abuse
The Church should defrock any priest who sexually abuses a child in the future, and those who molested one time in the past could continue in the ministry under certain conditions, a church panel recommended yesterday.
5 Jun 2002

Compensation for sex abuse 'not hush money'
The independent commissioner investigating allegations of sex abuse by Melbourne's Catholic clergy said last night that claims that compensation to victims amounted to "hush money" were baseless and unfounded.
5 Jun 2002

Feature - Declining timber looking to Mary McKillop for inspiration
A Year of the Outback event planned to coincide with Blessed Mary MacKillop's feast day on 8 August is the veiling of McKillop's Bridge, near Orbost in Victoria's Far East Gippsland. Local resident Sr Helen Barnes of the Josephite Rural and Justice Network says it is a "symbol of communal love and hope". Orbostis struggling for survival since many jobs in the traditional timber industry disappeared.
4 Jun 2002

Opinion - Asian and African culture to drive new reformation
It is not enough for bishops to expel errant priests, compensate victims, screen future priests, and return to a Church dominated by celibate priests. Such a Church, modelled on the Roman Empire, will not be valid. Catholicism will learn from the cultures of Asia and Africa, while remaining faithful to the New Testament and the Christian tradition. Reform will come through the prayer and aspirations of the people of God throughout the world. - Fr William Johnston SJ, Tokyo
4 Jun 2002

Airport chapels more popular since 11 September
Airport chapels in the US have seen more traffic since 11 September, but security measures put in place since the terrorist atrocities ironically have made it more difficult for travelers to spend time in them.
4 Jun 2002

Archbishop Milingo expected to return to full ministry
A top Vatican official said he expected Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who has been in an undisclosed location since reconciling with the church last year, to return to Italy and full ministry at the end of summer.
4 Jun 2002

Ailing Pope delays Croatia visit
Pope John Paul II has postponed a third visit to Croatia until spring 2003. The visit had been tentatively planned for September.
4 Jun 2002

Cardinal wants end to ban on Catholic royals
An ancient law banning the monarch from adopting Catholicism or marrying a Roman Catholic should be withdrawn, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has said.
4 Jun 2002

Fanaticism stoking India-Pakistan Conflict says Ratzinger
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has suggested that a "very alive" fanaticism is a key problem in the India-Pakistan conflict.
4 Jun 2002

Pell stands firm as media frenzy continues
Controversy over sex abuse in the Catholic Church has intensified with Sydney Archbishop George Pell denying he offered victims hush money.
4 Jun 2002

Feature - As pope becomes more frail, talk of resignation no longer taboo
When Pope John Paul II was healthy, talk of papal resignation was taboo. Now, as the 82-year-old pontiff struggles with his physical frailty, even top aides like Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the doctrinal congregation, are discussing the possibility that the pope may one day choose to step down.
3 Jun 2002

Opinion - Let's give thanks for decision that's part of the landscape
Today the nation has just cause to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mabo decision which recognised native title for the first time in Australia. This ground-breaking decision, which changed the fundamental law of the land by discarding the 200-year-old terra nullius mindset, was the cause of much public debate a decade ago. Now it is simply accepted as part of the nation's legal landscape. - Fr Frank Brennan SJ, associate director Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre
3 Jun 2002

No shortage of priests, researcher says
A researcher at Catholic University of America says the shortage of Catholic priests is a fallacy, because there are plenty of priests to serve parishioners who actually attend Mass.
3 Jun 2002

Catholic Welfare announces awards to promote work of member organisations
The Board of Catholic Welfare Australia has announced the establishment of the Catholic Welfare Australia Awards to highlight achievements and encourage excellence among its member organisations.
3 Jun 2002

Oceania bishops evaluate Ecclesia in Oceania document
The Bishops of Oceania have sent a message of greetings to the Holy Father at the conclusion of their fourth Plenary Assembly held last week in the Papua New Guinea coastal city of Rabaul.
3 Jun 2002

Former Milwaukee Archbishop seeks Forgiveness for "inappropriate relationship"
After acknowledging an "inappropriate relationship" with a 30-year-old theology student and begging for forgiveness, former Archbishop Rembert Weakland turned his back on congregants at a prayer service and knelt before the altar to pray.
3 Jun 2002

Cathedral Dean calls Pell cover-up claims 'outrageous'
The congregation gathered at Sydney's St Marys Cathedral for mass yesterday was told the cover-up claims made against Archbishop George Pell were "outrageous".
3 Jun 2002

Pell sex cover-up allegations take media by storm
The cover-up crisis enveloping the Catholic Church deepened yesterday, with further claims Archbishop George Pell should have been aware of paedophilia activities among priests in his social circle.
3 Jun 2002