Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR SEPTEMBER 2002

   
Feature - They call him the man who should have been Pope
At Westminster they play a parlour game which might be called "The Best Prime Minister We Never Had", identifying politicians who inexplicably just failed to reach the top. In Rome at the moment the talk is of the Man Who Should Have Been Pope: Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who stepped down at the weekend after 22 years as Archbishop of Milan. - Richard Owen
30 Sep 2002

Opinion - A simple bridge for the church's great divide
In some respects the Catholic Church in Australia bears resemblance to the textbook description of a crumbling imperial regime. The forces of reaction control the central organs of government and the channels of communication. However, their capacity to command obedience is failing. Rebels control broad swathes of the countryside. The vast bulk of the peasantry raise their heads indifferently from their daily struggles in work and family. Still, in surprising numbers, are those who flock to every rumoured weeping statue and magic healer. - Melbourne parish council chair Terry Monagle
30 Sep 2002

Vatican document on women deaconesses nears final vote
The International Theological Commission is now scrutinising the final draft of a document that addresses the issue of the ordination of women deaconesses.
30 Sep 2002

New twist in the case of murdered bishop
The sentences of the four people condemned last year for the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala could be overturned this week.
30 Sep 2002

Archbishop calls Tasmanians to make 'personal choices' in favour of ecology
Personal choices such as recycling, avoiding waste, composting, tree-planting, car-pooling, prudent use of water and energy are the key to fulfilling human responsibility to the environment, according to Tasmanian Archbishop Adrian Doyle.
30 Sep 2002

Washington Archbishop cautions lawmakers on Iraq war
Restating the position of the US bishops' conference, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington has urged lawmakers to avoid war with Iraq unless American life is in immediate danger.
30 Sep 2002

Australian Catholic Social Justice Council shocked by Pakistan shootings
The Australian Bishops' social justice agency has had strong links with the Pakistan Justice and Peace Commission which lost seven staff members in last week's shooting incident.
30 Sep 2002

Pell sex abuse hearing to take place today
The inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse by Sydney Catholic Archbishop George Pell in the early 1960s begins in Melbourne today.
30 Sep 2002

Feature - O'Neill House gives hope to homeless
Peter is the human face of Charles O'Neill House. As a child, he was molested and raped. From the age of nine, he was addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling. For most of his life, Peter has been living on the streets and in and out of institutions. Eight months ago, Peter, 33, walked into the St Vincent de Paul Society's Charles O'Neill House in a final attempt to get his life back on track.
27 Sep 2002

Opinion - Why weepest thou?
Why is this statue - at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes - weeping? Perth's Catholic newspaper, The Record, makes an interesting observation: The ongoing story about the statue has appeared in the secular media alongside anti-life stories, including one arguing in favour of using embryos for stem cell research.
27 Sep 2002

Algerian archbishop says evangelisation 'possible' in Muslim countries
Archbishop Henri Teissier of Algiers has said it is possible to proclaim the Gospel in a Muslim country, if it is a witness of love.
27 Sep 2002

Increased flock isn't at mass
Sydney priest Fr Paul O'Donnell has told The Australian newspaper neither the rising number of Catholics reflected in the 2001 Census, nor the high-profile conversion of public figures such as Malcolm Turnbull (pictured) and Mike Willesee, has not caused an increase in mass attendance.
27 Sep 2002

Christian Brothers' school 'sorry' for rampage
The headmaster of Waverley College in Sydney's eastern suburbs has apologised after drunken students went on an end-of-year rampage at Bondi Beach, smashing cars, breaking windows and ripping up road signs.
27 Sep 2002

Moral theologian speaks out agains discarding embryos
Melbourne moral theologian Fr Norman Ford has spoken out against a radical 'pick-a-baby' program that has been 'credited' with the births of eight 'perfect' babies this year.
27 Sep 2002

Pell knew 'abused' boys
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, has revealed that he knew two altar boys he is alleged to have sexually assaulted on Phillip Island more than 40 years ago.
27 Sep 2002

8 Catholic Justice Commission staff shot dead in Pakistan
Gunmen raided the offices of the Justice and Peace Commission in Karachi, rounded up staf members and then shot them one by one, according to police.
27 Sep 2002

Feature - Christian missionaries to Russia carry on regardless of harassment
In the wake of recent controversies over Catholic priests being denied Russian visas, religious groups could be forgiven for taking the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom in this country with a grain of salt. But despite the challenges they face from the government, the Russian Orthodox Church and even skinhead groups, Moscow's missionaries are quietly going about their business and say the Russian people are receptive to their work.
26 Sep 2002

Opinion - The varieties of 'holy obedience'
Some who watched the struggle between the Vatican and the prioress responsible for outspoken US nun Sr Joan Chittister were surprised by how the Benedictine style of obedience - of patient listening and face-to-face consultation - differs from the top-down model invoked by Rome. While some in the church saw her stand as defiant, Vladimiroff's decision plumbed the core tradition lived by Benedictine women for more than a thousand years. - Patricia Lefebrvre
26 Sep 2002

Ratzinger urges compassion for dissident theologians
When a theologian appears to stray from a truth of the Catholic faith, his bishop must react with prudence, attempt to read the theologian's work in a positive light, and spend time personally discussing the issues with him, said Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
26 Sep 2002

Palestinian Catholics worried about possible removal of Arafat
Some Palestinian Christians fear Islamic extremists could gain control if Palestinian National Chairman Yasser Arafat is removed from power.
26 Sep 2002

Nuncio shocked by international silence after Burundi massacre
The papal nuncio in the troubled central African nation is disappointed that a massacre of possibly more than 1000 civilians has caused little international outcry.
26 Sep 2002

Holy See urges comprehensive ban on cloning
Archbishop Renato Martino, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations, reiterated the Vatican's position in New York on Monday when he addressed the UN's Ad Hoc Committee On An International Convention Against The Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings.
26 Sep 2002

Indian Bishops condemn attack on Hindu temple
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) has condemned Tuesday's attack on the Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar that killed 40 and injured more than 60 people.
26 Sep 2002

Vatican UN observer wants Iraq military action considered
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, permanent observer of the Vatican at the United Nations in Geneva, has said that options for a US-led attack on Iraq should be considered.
26 Sep 2002

Feature - Mix of cultures in a sea of trauma
"The girl had to flee with her mother from Iraq without warning because her father had been killed," says Virginia Casanova, principal of the Catholic Intensive English Centre in Sydney. "She had had to leave all of her toys under a bridge. It's not until the end of their time here, when they've got the language to talk about it and they've developed the trust and the relationship, that those things often come flooding back," says Virginia. "When it's time for them to move from here, which is quite a safe environment, to go back to their high school, the feelings that have been displaced can often arise."
25 Sep 2002

Opinion - Military aggression so far fails to put down terrorism
The terrorist attacks of September 11 that destroyed places considered symbols of economic and military power have placed in evidence the fragility of the world situation. The President of the United States has begun to combat the number one enemy of humanity: terrorism. The US military campaign struck hard and quick. But Bin Laden cannot be found, and Al-Qaeda does not seem yet reduced to silence. The threat of terrorism has not yet been distanced from us. - Presentation by His Beatitude Cardinal Ignatius Moussa I Daoud to the "Religion and Cultures: Between Conflict and Dialogue" summit in Sant'Egidio, September 1-3, 2002.
25 Sep 2002

Vatican moves Mother Teresa nearer to canonisation
Mother Teresa of Calcutta cleared the first hurdle to sainthood yesterday when the Vatican formally declared her to possess "heroic virtues" and thereby opening the way for her canonisation.
25 Sep 2002

Church in Uganda caught in real estate scandal
The Catholic Church in Uganda is caught up in a real-estate scandal - which observers characterise as the worst scandal in over 100 years of Catholic history in the African country.
25 Sep 2002

New Hong Kong Catholic leader 'thorn in authorities' side'
Hong Kong's 230,000 Catholics have a new leader - an outspoken bishop who has clashed with both the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong governments over issues of religious freedom and social justice.
25 Sep 2002

Pope warns against 'clericalising' the laity
John Paul II has warned against the tendency to "clericalise the laity", which he says has resulted from erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council.
25 Sep 2002

Pope seeks end to attacks on Palestinian authority
Pope John Paul II has appealed to Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (pictured) for a suspension of Israeli aggression that has further diminished hopes for peace for the region.
25 Sep 2002

Vatican expected to back US bishops on abuse strategy
The Vatican is leaning toward giving the go-ahead to the US bishops' plan to curb sexual misconduct among clergy, accepting the proposals on an experimental basis, a senior Vatican official said on Monday.
25 Sep 2002

Feature - Teenager who followed a saintly path
She was a fun loving teenager brimming with life and vitality. She loved music and dancing, sports and taking part in amateur dramatics. And like most teenagers, she could be, at times, impatient and quick tempered. Montserrat Grases died at the age of 17 but her short life contains a powerful message for the modern world and for people of all ages. She could soon become a saint, for her Cause of Beatification and Canonisation is making progress in Rome.
24 Sep 2002

Opinion - How Catholic Was Shakespeare?
Recently, a number of scholars have revisited the question of Shakespeare's religious impulses. Scholars long ago accepted, perhaps begrudgingly, that religious belief can serve as a powerful stimulant for the creative process. His Catholic imagination also helped to create the fictive worlds of Denmark, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Illyria. - Prof Paul J. Voss, Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville Florida
24 Sep 2002

Pope remark inspires Gerard Depardieu to follow St Augustine
Pope John Paul II remark to French actor Gerard Depardieu two years ago two years ago that he looked like St Augustine has inspired him to work on plans for a film on St Augustine.
24 Sep 2002

Colombia violence claims life of another priest
A priest who worked for peace in Colombia's Medellin area was killed in cold blood on Friday by members of a militia group.
24 Sep 2002

Police investigate BoysTown finances
Queensland Police have been called in to investigate suspicions of embezzlement from the BoysTown charity.
24 Sep 2002

Hong Kong Cardinal dies
Cardinal John Baptist Wu, who as head of Hong Kong's Catholic Diocese led the church through the sensitive transition from British to Chinese rule, died on Monday at the age of 77.
24 Sep 2002

Cardinal Ratzinger says unilateral attack on Iraq not justified
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger does not believe that a unilateral military attack by the United States against Iraq would be morally justifiable, under the current circumstances.
24 Sep 2002

Family unaware of Pell abuse claim
The family of one of the men alleged to have been sexually abused by the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, have revealed they know nothing about the alleged abuse.
24 Sep 2002

Feature - Latin America's new star
He is dynamic, an outspoken advocate of social justice, a gifted and bold communicator. At the age of 59, Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez de Maradiaga is tipped as a candidate for the papacy. Rodríguez made a vigorous case to the heads of the IMF and the World Bank that world leaders should remove what he called the "funeral stone" of indebtedness from the world's poor countries.
23 Sep 2002

Opinion - A just war?
Iraq lacks the delivery systems to be a serious nuclear threat to the United States, even if it develops atomic bombs. Its biological and chemical weapons have existed since before the Gulf War. That it has not turned them over to al-Quaida suggests that it will not. It does not, then, seem to be a serious threat to the United States. As for the imminence of such an attack, one wonders how the gang of four knows that it might happen in three years? If they have such evidence, they should certainly reveal it to the American people. - sociologist and author Fr Andrew Greeley
23 Sep 2002

Scots pray for a miracle for 'Patron of the Unemployed'
Archbishop Keith O'Brien, standing at the tomb of the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, has appealed to Scottish Catholics to pray for a miracle which could be attributed to the former factory girl who died a member of the Poor Clare Community in London, 77 years ago.
23 Sep 2002

Vatican scientists accused of destroying Turin Shroud particles
Microscopic particles that could have proved whether or not the Shroud of Turin could be dated to around the time of the death of Christ have been destroyed by Vatican scientists.
23 Sep 2002

Pope presides at Vatican funeral for Vietnamese cardinal
Pope John Paul II led the funeral service on Friday for Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, praising the Vietnamese church official's heroism and recalling his days in a communist prison.
23 Sep 2002

Vatican UN observer speaks out against ageism
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said that longevity and ageing are often regarded as a problem, but are in reality "a gift of God, to be enjoyed and utilised fruitfully".
23 Sep 2002

US priest at Vatican says gay men should not be ordained
Fr Andrew Baker of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops has argued that if a man has a predominant or exclusive same-sex attraction, that in itself is grounds for bishops to have "a prudent doubt regarding the candidate's suitability" for receiving the sacrament of orders.
23 Sep 2002

Vatican set to pronounce on US bishops' abuse strategy
The Vatican next month will make known its position on the new US bishops' strategy to eradicate sex abuse among clergy, a policy expected to raise objections at the Holy See.
23 Sep 2002

Feature - A volunteer's life between borders
After completing university and working a couple of years in social services, Francis Leong had earned a break. He also felt the need 'to work out what life was really like outside of Perth', where he'd grown up. Like many young Australians, he bought an overseas airline ticket. En route to Europe, a stopover in Singapore provided the opportunity to sample from the world of refugees. Accompanying his uncle for one month in a refugee transit centre had a tremendous impact on Francis. 'I somehow identified with where the people were at. Perhaps it was the refugee in me—I'm not sure. I felt an affinity I'd never felt before. I wanted to know more, how I could get involved.'
20 Sep 2002

Opinion - Abused by the media
There was a newspaper in upstate New York edited by a man fascinated by reports of people struck by lightning. Every time the news agencies carried a story about someone struck by lightning he slapped it on page one. Since about 100 people are killed each year by lightning in the United States, this town could well have confronted a headline about death or injury by lightning about every third day. Between 6 January, when the Boston Globe began publishing stories on the paedophile ex-priest John Geoghan, and the news in mid-April that American cardinals and officers of the bishops' conference would meet the Pope and Vatican officials - a period of 100 days - the Boston newspaper published over 250 stories, many on page one, about the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests. - New York Times columnist Peter Steinfels
20 Sep 2002

Pope appears weak at weekly audience
Pope John Paul appeared very tired and frail during his audience. He read only a small portion of his catechetical talk, leaving the remainder to be read by an aide.
20 Sep 2002

Brisbane Catholic principal tells Lord Mayor to improve behaviour
A Brisbane school principal has hit out at the city's Lord Mayor and politicians in general after her students heard him call a fellow councillor a "wanker" during a school excursion to City Hall.
20 Sep 2002

Deal reached in Boston pedophile priest case
All 86 alleged victims of one of Boston's most notorious pedophile priests have tentatively agreed to a $A18.23 million legal settlement with the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, their lawyer said on Wednesday.
20 Sep 2002

Towards Healing architect expresses confidence in process
People "are being helped, families are supported and they're able to move on with their lives", says Adelaide's Vicar General, Monsignor David Cappo.
20 Sep 2002

Vatican repeats call for elimination of landmines
The Vatican has appealed once again to the international community to eliminate and prohibit antipersonnel landmines, which cause 20,000 deaths a year.
20 Sep 2002

Catholic agency worried about 'untold suffering' in Iraq war
Britain's Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) has called upon the country's MPs to press for a peaceful solution to the crisis over Iraq.
20 Sep 2002

Feature - Latin just won't die
Indeed, after centuries of decline and declarations of being dead, Latin as a living, spoken language is making a comeback of sorts. US Carmelite Fr Reginald Foster is papal Latinist and a professor at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, where he takes the unusual approach of teaching Latin as a living language. He also runs a separate intense eight-week summer session for advanced students, which included the recent romp in the Roman hills at Horace's villa.
19 Sep 2002

Opinion - Quality of life at the end of life
Palliative care refers to nursing care towards the end of life. The aim of palliative care is to achieve quality of life at the end of life. It involves preparation and care at the time of death for the individual including the physical needs such as pain and symptoms management, and the emotional, psychological and social needs of the person. - Anne-Maree Quinn, masters student at John Paul II Institute, Melbourne
19 Sep 2002

US religion survey finds growth among evangelicals, Catholics
A Catholic research group in the United States has found that the country's Mormon church and evangelical faiths grew during the past decade while more liberal Protestant denominations shrank.
19 Sep 2002

Catholic spokesperson urges retailer restraint on early Christmas
Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne spokeswoman Geraldine Capp has criticised this year's early roll out of Christmas in the city's retail stores.
19 Sep 2002

Blair urged to intervene in IRA priest controversy
British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing demands to investigate claims a top policeman helped shield a Catholic priest accused of being behind one of the IRA's worst atrocities.
19 Sep 2002

Chinese bishop under arrest
Human rights groups have expressed concern over the whereabouts of a Chinese bishop who was arrested last week.
19 Sep 2002

Pope stresses need to pray for souls in purgatory
John Paul II has written a message to encourage prayer for the souls in purgatory, stressing the special need that the deceased have and the 'boundless' nature of Christian love.
19 Sep 2002

US bishops oppose 'pre-emptive, unilateral' force against Iraq
Any "pre-emptive, unilateral use of military force to overthrow the government of Iraq" cannot be justified at this time, the US bishops have told President George W Bush.
19 Sep 2002

Feature - My captors, my friends: Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan
If I was serious about Christianity, I knew I had to love my captors, said Vietnam's Cardinal Van Thuan, while in Sydney visiting his family. The friendships that grew between himself and his guards eventually grew so strong that they began smuggling pieces of paper into him so he could write. On these he wrote his book, The Road to Hope, his little book of reflections on hope that kept his mind active and helped preserve his sanity.
18 Sep 2002

Opinion - Just war theory is about defence, not pre-emptive strike
The classic doctrines on the morality of war, he said, dealt with the justification to go to war. But World War II raised some serious questions, eventually leading Pope Pius XII to say all wars of aggression are prohibited. The just cause became restricted to defence. One cannot take the initiative. Developments since Vatican II and Pope John XXIII's encyclical, Pacem in Terris, have served to constrain and restrict war, not enable it. - Associate professor of social ethics at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Fr John A. Coleman SJ
18 Sep 2002

US dioceses report men entering seminary are younger
Anecdotal reports indicate that new seminarians this year are younger on average than in recent years, the Department of Communications of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has said.
18 Sep 2002

Pope receives Europe's champion soccer team
John Paul II highlighted the moral values fostered by sport when he received the players, trainers and directors of Real Madrid, the champion soccer club of Europe.
18 Sep 2002

Superman star attacks church over embryonic stem cell research
Superman star Christopher Reeve, who has been battling paralysis since a riding accident in 1995, has blamed the Catholic church and President Bush for obstructing medical research which might help him.
18 Sep 2002

Accused Sister of Nazareth denies abuse claims
Sr Bernard Mary, a Sisters of Nazareth nun accused of child abuse and who was subsequently claimed to be dead, said yesterday she was bewildered by the accusations.
18 Sep 2002

Ruddock rejects new Church call for asylum seeker compassion
Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock has dismissed as costly and irrelevant yesterday's call by Catholic religious orders for reform of asylum seeker detention practices.
18 Sep 2002

Death of Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan
74 year old Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan of Vietnam, who could have become the first Asian Pope, died in Rome on Monday.
18 Sep 2002

Feature - Against all odds, Palestinian Christians seek resurrection in Bethlehem
Many Christians who support Israel out of a fundamentalist Zionism forget that they have Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer under the occupation. Collective punishments through fences, walls, checkpoints, and curfews fail to distinguish between the violent and the nonviolent. Israeli soldiers often do no better, as civilian casualties mount in their war on terror.
17 Sep 2002

Opinion - God's alive and well in Springfield
Last year Pope John Paul beatified a husband and his wife, praised for leading an exemplary life. Luigi and Maria Crosini were described as model Catholics, they were apparently always faithful and never argued. They slept in separate beds for the last 26 years of their marriage. Two of their sons became priests and a daughter became a nun. Obviously they were a saintly couple, but as a model of marriage, they may be as far removed from ordinary family life as Mike and Carol Brady of TV's Brady Bunch. Today, one of the few normal TV families is a cartoon family, The Simpsons. - Matthew Abraham
17 Sep 2002

Plan to alleviate Irish priests' loneliness
Ireland's priests are feeling increasingly isolated, especially in country parishes, Bishop William Walsh of Killaloe warned delegates on the closing day of the National Conference of Priests of Ireland (NCPI) earlier this month.
17 Sep 2002

Portugal considers tampering with religious holidays
The Portuguese government is in talks with the Catholic Church about changing the dates of religious holidays as part of a crackdown on the cherished Portuguese custom 'throwing in' Monday or Friday to create a four-day weekend.
17 Sep 2002

Catholic Health welcomes aged care pricing review
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has welcomed the terms of reference for the Review of Pricing Arrangements for Residential Aged Care, released yesterday by Minister for Ageing Kevin Andrews.
17 Sep 2002

38 pilgrims killed in Argentina bus accident
A bus carrying Catholic pilgrims plunged into a gorge in western Argentina, killing 38 people and injuring 27 others, authorities said yesterday.
17 Sep 2002

Two killed in Kenya church attack blamed on political rivalry
Two people were killed and at least seven others injured when a gang attacked worshippers on Sunday at a church in Kisii Diocese in western Kenya.
17 Sep 2002

ACLRI statement says Kirsty Ruddock speaks for many Australians
The Australian Conference of Leaders of Religious Institutes (ACLRI) has issued a statement in support of Kirsty Ruddock, the daughter of Federal Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock who spoke out on national television last night against her father's defence of the Government's policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
17 Sep 2002

Feature - End times? Church officials aren't counting down to apocalypse
To judge by bumper stickers, best-selling books and magazine covers, interest in humanity's "last days" has surged in recent times, especially since the September 11 attacks of 2001. So when Pope John Paul II spoke in early September about the biblical vision of the end of the world, ears pricked up in the Vatican's audience hall. But to the growing number of sign-hunting, rapture-ready Christians, the pope's words probably lacked the thunder and the thrill that has marked recent popularisations of the apocalypse.
16 Sep 2002

Opinion - Popular art need not be anti-God
There have been times during my university career when I have felt obliged to avoid certain films. A friend decided that a good Catholic girl couldn't watch, read, or listen to anything that did not have the bible, purity or saints in it. After innumerable readings of The Lord of the Rings and a third viewing of the first film, I have decided that this isn't so. I would say that Tolkein proof that faith and enchantment can go hand in hand, that our imaginations don't have to starve.
16 Sep 2002

Pell tops Ernie Awards
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell has been declared this year's worst offender in making sexist public comments, with a raucous crowd of women awarding him a "Gold Ernie".
16 Sep 2002

Church in US meeting resistance to reforms
Three months after US Catholic bishops promised to aggressively discipline priests who molest children, observers suggest that resistance to their policy is intensifying and the plan could be coming undone.
16 Sep 2002

Catholic Health urges pricing review for private health care
Catholic Health Australia has called on the Federal Government to put in place a pricing review of private health insurance.
16 Sep 2002

Ratzinger answers contraception advocates in new book
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger says in his new book that blaming the world's perceived population problems on the Church's anti-contraception stance is "complete nonsense".
16 Sep 2002

Pope says ecotourism is good if controlled
Pope John Paul II has praised ecotourism but warned that it must respect the rights of local cultures to survive and develop and control their own destinies.
16 Sep 2002

Uganda raiders release priests
Reports from Uganda say rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army have released two Italian priests who were abducted during an attack on a Church mission in the north of the country on Saturday.
16 Sep 2002

Feature - Wayside welcomes
Recently we enjoyed a spectacularly beautiful walk in Italy's Amalfitana region. Here, limestone mountains and ravines plunge down into the Mediterranean, and the towns cling to the steep slopes like limpets keen not to fall off. Up above, walking tracks and steeply stepped paths connect isolated farms and villages with the towns below.
13 Sep 2002

Opinion - 'Best of human spirit' shines in terrorism tragedy
Terrorism is built on contempt for human life. In the face of this hateful evil, and amidst the smoke of destruction and pall of death, the best of the human spirit also shone brightly. Heroic firemen and rescue workers exhausted themselves and risked and lost their lives. Many turned to God in prayer and searched deep in their hearts to review their lives and priority of values. In human solidarity, people around the world offered compassionate support. Thoughtful men and women pointed to the need not only to eliminate terrorism but to address all forms of need, injustice and violence that breed hate and fanaticism. Some dared to speak of Christian forgiveness. - Homily by Archbishop Francis Carroll, at the National Gathering For Prayer and Recollection Marking the Anniversary of 11 September
13 Sep 2002

Vatican censures Russia for restraints on Catholics' religious freedom
The Holy See has sent a public appeal to the Russian government, calling for Moscow to respect the religious freedom of Catholics living there.
13 Sep 2002

Anti-terrorism fight must respect laws, says Vatican
The Vatican has stressed to the international community that terrorism cannot be combated by violating the laws and bases of democracy.
13 Sep 2002

Anglican reacts to Catholic bishop's 'abusive' e-mail
A leading Anglican has complained to Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop, Denis Hart, about allegedly insulting and misogynist e-mails sent to her by one of his bishops, apparently over her views on child abuse in the Catholic Church.
13 Sep 2002

Tests on crying Madonna fail to show hoax
Perth scientists said yesterday there is no obvious scientific explanation for the flower-scented tears seeping from a statue of the Virgin Mary, a phenomenon that has drawn thousands of pilgrims to a church in Rockingham.
13 Sep 2002

Consultation result surprises Brisbane archbishop
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Brisbane have chosen education in the faith as the top priority for next year's archdiocesan synod.
13 Sep 2002

Bishops call for "green' Church
Salvation is not just for humankind but for all of creation, according to the annual Social Justice Sunday Statement by Australia's bishops.
13 Sep 2002

Feature - Dominican Sister organises Rolling Requiem to commemorate September 11
The idea for the Rolling Requiem was sparked by a simple comment from a Seattle concert patron in January, but it has now gained international momentum. Dominican Sister Mary Jo Knittel was one of the first to hear the idea. Choral groups from around the world performed Mozart's Requiem on September 11, 2002, beginning at 8:46 am (the time the first plane struck the World Trade Centre) in their respective time zones).
12 Sep 2002

Opinion - Can a culture of peace arise from September 11?
We ask ourselves what have we learned from what happened on September 11, 2001? The year has seen ongoing violence and threats of violence in many parts of the world, as if the use of force will bring a lasting peace. The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council is using "cultivating a culture of peace" as a unifying theme for its work. Using the language of "cultivating" rather than "building" a culture of peace helps communicate the idea of allowing peace to grow out of who we are and what we do. Cultivating a culture of peace takes time and requires our means to be in harmony with our aims. - September 11 Statement from Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
12 Sep 2002

Irish author calls for an end to fear in the Church
Irish theologian and author Fr Daniel O'Leary, who is visiting Australia, has called for an end to fear in the Church.
12 Sep 2002

Bishop Fulton Sheen's cause for sainthood advances
The Diocese of Peoria in the US state of Illinois is seeking sainthood for Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who pioneered religion on television in the 1950s.
12 Sep 2002

Former Catholic brother charged with schoolboy assaults
A former religious brother has been charged with indecently assaulting three schoolboys in Melbourne's northern suburbs more than 30 years ago.
12 Sep 2002

Catholic Health says real care costs demand special health CPI
Catholic Health Australia yesterday called on the Federal Government to implement a separate health CPI for the purposes of meeting what it calls the "real costs" of essential health care.
12 Sep 2002

Pope asks god for mercy for September 11 attackers attackers
Pope John Paul, marking the anniversary of the attacks on US cities, branded terrorism "ferocious inhumanity" but asked for prayers that God would show mercy and forgiveness for the attackers.
12 Sep 2002

Archbishop says revenge dishonours memory of September 11 victims
Archbishop Francis Carroll told yesterday's Canberra ecumenical commemorative service for September 11 victims that we must treasure the memories of those who died, as the spectre of war haunts the world.
12 Sep 2002

Feature - Firefighter chaplain's ministry at Ground Zero
One year ago, Fr Mychal Judge died while serving New York City's firefighters. Now another Franciscan friar carries on that tradition. Fr Chris Keenan, after many doubts and an initial "No," was installed as an official chaplain to the New York City firefighters last November. His flock may be as wounded as they come. There are 343 dead.
11 Sep 2002

Opinion - Media missed surprising story of calm response to September 11 terror
The media got the story all wrong because the panic paradigm is still pervasive. They reinforced the propensity of those currently running the country not to trust the good sense and social concern of ordinary folk. Rather, they want to control everything with such ditsy ideas as the proposed Homeland Security Department. You can count on it: In the orgy of self pity in which the media will engage this week, no one will pay any attention to why there was no panic in the evacuation. - Fr Andrew Greeley
11 Sep 2002

Caritas teaches students to act for global concern
Senior secondary school students from across Australia came together last weekend to express and share their hopes and concerns about the theme A Place to Call Home.
11 Sep 2002

Papal spokesman says Russia deporting priest amounts to persecution
Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls has suggested that the deportation of yet another priest from Russia signals that the Catholic Church in Russia is subject to 'true persecution'.
11 Sep 2002

Vatican official says attack on Iraq is for UN to decide
Only the United Nations can approve the possible use of force against Iraq, according to Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states.
11 Sep 2002

Australian bishops petition PM on Iraq
Seven Catholic bishops have joined leaders of other Churches in urging the Federal Government to use its influence to turn the US away from any course of military action against Iraq.
11 Sep 2002

September 11 remembrance for Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral
St Mary's Cathedral community will host a ceremony of remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, including prayers for those who died and a commitment to reconciliation among all peoples.
11 Sep 2002

US Bishops' September 11 statement urges peace, not just safety
In a statement on the eve of the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the US Bishops mourned the loss of innocent life, but insisted that Catholics' faith calls them "to find the right ways to seek justice, to become peacemakers".
11 Sep 2002

Feature - In midst of grief, anxiety, testimony to grace still pours from ground zero
Nearly a year after the World Trade Centre towers collapsed, the aftershocks of the terrorist attacks are still being felt in the hearts and psyches of millions of New Yorkers and others affected around the US. Yet amid the tears and anxiety, many who have ministered to the fallen and those who attempted to rescue them from the burning ash and crushed steel testify even today to the presence of the Spirit of God and the outpouring of grace emanating from ground zero.
10 Sep 2002

Opinion - Where's the red hat?
When Jean Jadot left his native Belgium to become a papal diplomat in 1968, he took his instructions from Pope Paul VI, who saw an evolving role for his nuncios after Vatican II - "not to be the Pope's eyes and ears, but his heart". Jean Jadot's predecessor received a red hat; so did Jadot's successor. Jadot never did. In fact, he is the only Vatican diplomat assigned to the United States who was never made a cardinal. What harm had he done? - Robert Blair Kaiser
10 Sep 2002

Former Vatican aide pleads guilty in fraud case
An priest with expertise in canon law pleaded guilty last Thursday to money laundering for his role in an international insurance scam orchestrated by disgraced financier Martin Frankel.
10 Sep 2002

Brazilian Cardinal dies in Rome
Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves of Brazil, once a top Vatican official considered a papabile, or possible successor to Pope John Paul II, has died at the age of 76.
10 Sep 2002

Mel Gibson to produce film on Christ's Passion
Actor Mel Gibson is in Italy to finalise details for the production of a film on the passion and death of Jesus, according to Variety magazine.
10 Sep 2002

Cardinal expresses outrage at Venice Film Award
Retired Italian Cardinal Ersilio Tonini denounced the Venice Film Festival on Monday for honouring a British movie that depicts cruelty and abuse in an Irish Catholic institution.
10 Sep 2002

John Paul II now No. 5 on long-reigning pope list
The reign of Pope John Paul II is now the fifth longest in the 2000-year history of the pontificate.
10 Sep 2002

Pell accuser stands by his claim
The Melbourne man who has accused Sydney's Catholic archbishop, George Pell, of sexual assault stands by his complaint and will co-operate with the private church inquiry into the allegations, his legal spokesman announced yesterday.
10 Sep 2002

Feature - Papal conclave to be first 'live on the Internet'
On the eve of the first of two papal conclaves in 1978, a group of North American journalists published an "instant book" of cardinal dossiers, in an attempt to fill an information vacuum about the world's most secret election. Whenever the next conclave is held, it promises to be different. It will be the first papal election in the Internet age, and Web sites are already gearing up for the event.
9 Sep 2002

Opinion - Where was God on 11 September?
A few days ago in midtown Manhattan, I bumped into a tourist looking for some sightseeing advice. "I've done Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Ground Zero and Times Square." I remember blinking in disbelief, amazed at how quickly the area around the World Trade Centre, which only a year ago was a place of limitless suffering, had been folded neatly and apparently effortlessly into one tourist's list of "Things to Do". For most Americans, one year after 11 September, the events of that day resist such easy assimilation. - Fr James Martin SJ, Associate Editor, America Magazine
9 Sep 2002

Miracle tears claims draw hundreds to church statue
Hundreds of people have descended on a Perth suburban church to witness a phenomenon that some say is a miracle.
9 Sep 2002

Pope's potential successor bows out
Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who for many years topped the short list of candidates to succeed Pope John Paul II, celebrated his last public mass as the Archbishop of Milan yesterday.
9 Sep 2002

Archbishop Milingo's book confesses on Moon marriage
72 year old Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, who shocked the Church last year by marrying in Rev Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, says he may have been brainwashed.
9 Sep 2002

Pell's accuser weighs up his options
The man at the centre of allegations levelled at the Catholic archbishop of Sydney remained unsure on Friday as to whether he would pursue his complaint against George Pell.
9 Sep 2002

Vatican can live with Johannesburg's plan of action
The Vatican has not expressed reservations regarding the plan of action adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development.
9 Sep 2002

Pope says roots of terrorism must be addressed
Pope John Paul II said on Saturday that injustice and oppression can lead desperate people into terrorism and urged the world to address the "underlying causes" of hatred and violence.
9 Sep 2002

Feature - Young priest at Vatican II dreams of a bright future
It's 40 years since Michael Parer worked at the Vatican as Theological Adviser to Archbishop Leonard Raymond of Nagpur, India. It was in the 1960s during the final session of the Second Vatican Council and the halls were filled with intellectual debate, inspiration and promise of change. Michael, a young parish priest from Victoria, was caught up in the hope.
6 Sep 2002

Opinion - Britain's Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor speaks out against war on Iraq
A key section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church urges us, because of the evils and injustices that accompany war, to pray and to do all we can not to be drawn into armed conflict. Indeed it goes further: "All citizens and all governments are obliged to work for the avoidance of war". The Catechism sets out a number of rigorous conditions for an act of self-defence - in this case a possible pre-emptive strike - to be regarded as legitimate. One is that "the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated". It notes that "the power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition". - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor in 'The Times'
6 Sep 2002

Colombian bishop leads dramatic hostage rescue bid
A Colombian bishop staged a bold mission to obtain the release of hostages held by rebel forces, leading 500 people from his diocese into a dramatic confrontation with the guerillas, a Bogota journal has reported.
6 Sep 2002

Archbishop Carroll names new social justice executive
Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll yesterday announced the appointment of John Ferguson of Catholic Welfare Australia as the National Executive Officer of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC).
6 Sep 2002

Priest speaks up for character of Australia's most wanted man
Fr Ron Flack, a parish priest in the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, has described the gunman being sought for the abduction of two German tourists in the Northern Territory last Saturday as a "gentle person" who "was not a callous man".
6 Sep 2002

Bishop Power clarifies his call for reform
Canberra-Goulburn Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has denied calling for the abolition of priestly celibacy as the answer to the Church's sexual abuse problems.
6 Sep 2002

Pope says men with 'deviant affections' can't be priests
Pope John Paul II said yesterday that Church leaders must be much more careful not to let men with "deviations in their affections" enter the priesthood.
6 Sep 2002

Pell lawyer steps down amid talk of impropriety
The inquiry set up to investigate allegations of sex abuse levelled against Sydney's Catholic Archbishop, George Pell has suffered a setback with the resignation of Dr Pell's legal representative, Melbourne barrister Michael Rozenes.
6 Sep 2002

Feature - Pauline sees 'God and us as partners'
Pauline Frick takes no chances in her role as head of Centacare Adelaide's Family Relationships program. "When it comes to where money and other things are going to come from, I'm a firm believer that if it's God's will and it's a good thing then it will happen," she says. Pauline has been awarded the first Catholic Welfare Australia annual Perkins Award in recognition of her outstanding and exemplary commitment to service that contributes to the overall goals of Centacare.
5 Sep 2002

Opinion - Demoralised priesthood a contradiction in terms
There is a deep contradiction between priesthood and depression. You can be a good and depressed banker or taxi driver, a gloomy but effective accountant or lawyer. But one cannot be a preacher of the gospel and be plunged in gloom. It makes no sense. We can only be credible bearers of the good news if we are fundamentally, if not always, joyful. This joy is deeply linked with sorrow and even with anger. These are the passions of those who are alive with the gospel. - Fr Timothy Radcliffe, former Dominican Master General, speaking to UK National Council of Priests
5 Sep 2002

Catholic Social Services supports Vic Govt's mental health direction
Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV), the peak body for Victoria's Catholic welfare organisations, has applauded the State Government's New Directions for Victoria's Mental Health Services announced yesterday by Health Minister John Thwaites.
5 Sep 2002

Catholic Weekly 'source' answers Pell abuse enquiry critic
The Church would much have preferred a police inquiry into the allegations against Archbishop George Pell rather than conduct an inquiry itself, according to a response from an anonymous Church source to criticisms of against to enquiry into allegations of sex abuse levelled against Sydney Archbishop George Pell.
5 Sep 2002

Peru Cardinal denies allegations of death squad inaction
Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima has defended himself against allegations that he knew about a 1992 massacre by a paramilitary death squad before it became generally known but remained silent.
5 Sep 2002

Religious leaders see role for nonbelievers
World leaders have concluded a three-day meeting in Palermo, Italy, with a resolve to include nonbelievers in the quest for world peace.
5 Sep 2002

Vatican Calls for 'ecological conversion' at Johannesburg Summit
The Vatican has urged "ecological conversion" at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, saying this requires putting the human person at the centre of development and protection of the environment.
5 Sep 2002

Archbishop warns against using aborted foetuses
The proposed use of aborted foetal tissue to aid the culture of embryonic stem cells is a "dangerous link between two immoral activities", Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson has warned.
5 Sep 2002

Feature - Mass exodus - handle with care
It's Sunday morning and you're running late for Mass. In between making toast, brushing teeth and having a quick cuppa, your eldest announces that he doesn't want to go to Mass - not today, not tomorrow and not next week. It's a scene most Catholic families with adolescents have played out at some stage. So what do you do when your teenager throws this one at you?
4 Sep 2002

Opinion - What the Bulldogs can teach the church about crisis management
'Take our points, never our pride," read a banner held aloft by Canterbury-Bankstown rugby league fans. Take our administrators, too, said the thousands of Bulldogs fans who signed a petition. "Give ordinary members a much greater say in club management". Why is it that a football club can produce this response to institutional meltdown but a church cannot? - Chris McGillion
4 Sep 2002

37 priests ordained for Opus Dei
Opus Dei's bishop has ordained 37 new priests for the Opus Dei personal prelature, urging them to be "pious, learned, joyful".
4 Sep 2002

Pope nominates parish youth centres as priority for Church
Parish youth centres, or "oratories" as St. John Bosco called them, are the workshop of an active faith, a "place of education" and a "school of service" to others, according to Pope John Paul II.
4 Sep 2002

John Paul II seeks halt to all wars during 2004 Olympics
John Paul II has called for a truce in all wars during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, suggesting the event offers "the possibility of a new experience of fraternity to vanquish hatred, to bring individuals and peoples closer".
4 Sep 2002

New LA Cathedral opens doors amid protest
America's newest cathedral opened on Monday accompanied by incense, prayers and controversy as protesters condemned its $A354 million cost and the faithful continue to struggle with priestly sex abuse.
4 Sep 2002

Vatican envoy pushes solidarity at Johannesburg Summit
The Vatican's chief representative at the World Summit on Poverty and Environment has argued that sustainable development requires a change of heart, not merely laws.
4 Sep 2002

Accused nun in talks on NZ sex cases
A nun at the centre of allegations of sexual and physical abuse of children at a Brisbane orphanage is the head of a New Zealand order and involved in negotiations with alleged New Zealand victims, according to a report in The Australian today.
4 Sep 2002

Feature - Travelling with the Pope
When Pope John Paul II decided not to go to the Philippines this January, it seemed that an era of papal travel was drawing to a close. The decision leaves no trips on the pope's calendar for the foreseeable future. It's doubtful the 82-year-old pontiff has permanently unpacked his suitcase, but future trips -- to places like Croatia or Belarus -- are likely to be shorter and less taxing on his stamina.
3 Sep 2002

Opinion - Much done in East Timor but much still to do
As I returned from a recent pastoral visit to the countryside and isolated border villages that were among the chief victims of the 1999 violence, the voices of my people echoed in my ears with questions I could not answer. When will we have justice? When will we find work? When will our towns be rebuilt? What will we eat if the harvest fails? And, perhaps most insistently, will we be safe now? There are no simple answers, but much must be done in response to these cries for help. - Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili
3 Sep 2002

Vatican rejects Capuchin Provincial elect who is not a priest
Following intervention from the Congregation for the Institutes of the Consecrated Life, a priest is to take the place of Br Robert Smith as Provincial elect of the Detroit Province of the Capuchin Friars Minor.
3 Sep 2002

Veteran missionary impressed by youthful church in Malaysia
A missionary visiting his former mission has praised the active participation of youth in the eastern Malaysia Church, in contrast to the situation in his native England.
3 Sep 2002

Catholic officer sues US Air Force for religious discrimination
A Catholic soldier has brought suit against the US Air Force, saying that he has been punished for seeking an accommodation of his religious beliefs.
3 Sep 2002

Irish archbishop insists priests are 'normal'
An archbishop in Ireland has attacked the state broadcaster for treating lesbians as normal but regarding priests as 'freaks'.
3 Sep 2002

Parkinson's remedy easing Pope's condition?
A noted AIDS researcher has hinted that Pope John Paul II might have benefited from his prescription for an antidote to Parkinson's disease.
3 Sep 2002

Sisters of Nazareth shield accused sister
The Sisters of Nazareth yesterday moved to protect a senior nun accused of sexual and physical attacks on children at a Brisbane orphanage many years ago, refusing to reveal her whereabouts.
3 Sep 2002

Feature - 'This is God's earth', say Christian groups at Green summit
While the official Vatican delegation has attended the inter-governmental summit, a range of Christian groups have played a lobbying role and taken part in other events. "We have organised advocacy on just trade, debt cancellation and environmental standards to the inter-governmental summit, plus a seminar and lecture series outside it", Neville Gabriel, said the director of the Justice and Peace Department of the South African Catholic Bishops' Conference.
2 Sep 2002

Opinion - Attack the crisis, not the critics
The paedophilia scandal has provoked a crisis of authority, just as the Reformation did. It is not about the authority to proclaim doctrine, as the Reformation was, but about the way in which authority is exercised in the church. In the early church, people elected their bishops. It is time we started doing so again. - Ray Cassin
2 Sep 2002

'Bullied' nun banished from convent
A Dublin nun who has been ordered to leave her congregation, the Sisters of Jesus and Mary, has accused the sisters of her community of bullying.
2 Sep 2002

Canadian bishop stands by priest's refusal to marry pro-abortion couple
Calgary Bishop Fred Henry has supported the stand of one of his priests in denying the request of a Planned Parenthood employee to be married in his parish.
2 Sep 2002

Nun-doctor missionary in Pakistan honoured for work with lepers
Dr Ruth Pfau, a Catholic woman religious who led the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre in Pakistan for many years, has been honoured by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation with the most prestigious prize in Asia in the field of social service.
2 Sep 2002

Pope urges Church to make Sunday Mass more relevant to people's needs
Pope John Paul II says the liturgy must be attentive to the expectations of the faithful, but also to the needs of the baptised who do not participate regularly in liturgical and sacramental life.
2 Sep 2002

South Australian church leaders don't want anti-discrimination law
Churches and religious groups in South Australia have complained to the State Government about a proposed racial and religious vilification Bill that aims to protect them.
2 Sep 2002

Detention of missionaries a "terrible misunderstanding"
A "terrible misunderstanding" is how Church sources in Uganda described the 24-hour detention of three Comboni missionaries by the country's army.
2 Sep 2002