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NEWS ARCHIVE FOR 2002

   
Feature - Privileged communication within the communion of saints
When I was a child we used to pray for a happy death. Not many people get to die like that. Our wonderful, albeit neglected, Christian belief in the communion of the saints tells us that the communication we now have with the dead is free from many of the tensions that coloured our relationship with them while they were still alive. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
29 Nov 2002

Opinion - Advent - a time to wake up
5 year old Joshua would fall into such a deep sleep that waking him was a major effort. And the job wasn't over once Joshua's eyes were finally open. But once fully and resolutely awake, Joshua was a delightful child. For years I thought of Advent primarily as a time of waiting. Now I've come to realise the importance of awareness and wakefulness. Advent is about getting awake. - Dirk Dunfee SJ
29 Nov 2002

Study looks at link between religion and cardiac recovery
Cardiac patients who have a strong religious faith have greater confidence in their ability to perform tasks and complete their rehabilitation, according to a study.
29 Nov 2002

Marist brother admits indecent dealing
A Sydney-based Marist Brother yesterday admitted molesting two girls when he worked as a pastoral carer in Queensland.
29 Nov 2002

Caritas Australia extends its admiration to Bishop Belo
Caritas Australia's National Director, Jack de Groot has extended his admiration and gratitude to East Timor's Bishop Carlos Belo for his contribution to peace and freedom in East Timor.
29 Nov 2002

Lobbyists say mid-year budget outlook highlights urban-rural divide
The mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook revealed this week reflects a lack of sustainable social development across Australia, according to the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin).
29 Nov 2002

Catholic bodies call on Christian women to wear head scarf today
Two Brisbane-based Catholic organisations calling on Christian women to wear a head scarf today as a sign of solidarity with Muslim women who are being abused and attacked in public in the wake of the Bali bombing.
29 Nov 2002

Caritas urges day of prayer today for Holy Land peace
Caritas Australia Chairman Bishop Hilton Deakin has called on the community to pray today for "an end of the violence and suffering in Palestine and for a just peace in the Holy Land".
29 Nov 2002

Feature - Gifts from the heart
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez dedicated his Melbourne Dom Helder Camara Lecture earlier this year to Dr Jane Connor, a 29 year old Melbourne doctor perished in a 1998 helicopter crash while accompanying a critically ill patient to hospital in the wake of Hurricane Mitch.
28 Nov 2002

Opinion - Selective humanity, partial morality
In recent weeks we have seen an outpouring of genuine grief and outrage over the Bali deaths. But I am troubled that last year, 353 poor and desperate people literally went to their watery grave trying to come to Australia to find freedom. We scarcely blinked at this human tragedy. Have we become moral simpletons? - John Menadue, former high-level public servant who was Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs under Malcolm Fraser
28 Nov 2002

Politically correct 'Holiday Tree' threatening identity of Christmas Tree
Christmas is becoming an endangered word in parts of Canada in a rash of politically correct behavior - such as renaming a Christmas tree a "holiday tree" - that even non-Christians dismiss as silly.
28 Nov 2002

Nigerian archbishop says it's OK for Christians to fight back
The Archbishop of the Nigerian capital Abuja said yesterday that Christians are "tired of turning the other cheek" to Muslim attacks and blamed the government for deadly sectarian riots after a newspaper article about the Miss World beauty pageant.
28 Nov 2002

Pope says Church Social Teaching can help in public debate
Pope John Paul II has said that the Church can contribute to political discourse in the way it applies its social doctrine to public questions.
28 Nov 2002

Catholic lobby group urges long-term strategy to help farmers
PolMin yesterday noted Prime Minister Howard's visit to drought-stricken families in northern NSW, but stressed that the rural sector needs more than immediate financial assistance to protect its future.
28 Nov 2002

Compromise struck on Queensland discrimination issue
Queensland religious schools cannot sack or refuse to employ people simply because they are homosexual or live in de facto relationships, but teachers must agree to a code of behaviour that is consistent with church teaching.
28 Nov 2002

Belo resignation stuns East Timorese Catholics
There was widespread shock and disbelief in Dili yesterday after Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo announced that he is resigning as the head of the Catholic Church in East Timor.
28 Nov 2002

Feature - Joe's career decision for the love of God
Twelve months ago, Joe Guinea made the decision that hundreds of other men worldwide make every year: the decision to begin training to become a priest. It was, to say the least, an arduous and courageous decision, one which will certainly impact upon this twenty-three year old for the rest of his life.
27 Nov 2002

Opinion - Time for Australian media to wake up
Church leaders throughout the world have been almost unanimous in their refusal to endorse the justice of such a war, with the US Catholic bishops being among the most insistent that, on the evidence they have seen, war is not justified. The Australian media do not seem to have realised the significance of this yet.
27 Nov 2002

Indonesian religious leaders urge Govt to curb fanatics
Leaders of Christianity, Hinduism and Islam in Indonesia have called on their government to act against radical groups that threaten lives and national unity.
27 Nov 2002

British Cardinal stands up to media on abuse case
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has claimed he is following correct procedure as determined by the Church's Nolan Review, following claims by the BBC that a priest was allowed to remain in his post after allegations that he sexually abused a 17 year old youth 16 year ago.
27 Nov 2002

Church wants to work with Qld Govt to remove flaws in new legislation
Bishop John Gerry, acting for Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby, has said that the Catholic Church wants to work with the Queensland Government to ensure a satisfactory outcome for all on the new anti-discrimination legislation.
27 Nov 2002

Vinnies works with NT Govt to help Timorese appeals
The St Vincent de Paul Society in the Northern Territory is to distribute funds raised to support legal costs associated with assisting long-term the efforts of East Timorese refugees to remain in Australia.
27 Nov 2002

Church leaders declare Sunday a day of prayer for rain
The leaders of Australia's major Christian denominations have asked their faithful to set aside Sunday as a day of prayer for rain to end the current drought.
27 Nov 2002

Bishop Belo steps down for health reasons
East Timor Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, a Nobel laureate and symbol of resistance to Indonesia's 24-year occupation of East Timor, has stepped down from his post as bishop, citing poor health.
27 Nov 2002

Feature - Nigeria's violence not simply Christian vs Muslim
Sister Semira Carrozzo has her own ideas about the turmoil in Nigeria. "It is important to start dividing the inhabitants of this land into 'good' and 'bad,' instead of into Muslims and Christians." Sister Carrozzo, in Nigeria for 16 years, lives in the midst of recent ethnic-religious clashes between Muslims and Christians.
26 Nov 2002

Opinion - Myra: the paper Devil
The Devil has been in the limelight. Or rather, the late Myra Hindley has, but for some people they are apparently one and the same. Confronted with the horror of Hindley's role in the sadistic murders of five children, Britain's secular press has fallen back on biblical imagery as they struggle to put into words their horror. - Writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford
26 Nov 2002

Vatican rejects Matt Talbot sainthood bid miracle file
The campaign to beatify Irish Matt Talbot has been dealt a bitter blow when a dossier on a possible cure attributed to him was rejected by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
26 Nov 2002

Vatican won't rule out bid for UN membership
The Holy See will explore stepping up its presence at the United Nations and does not rule out a bid for membership, according to media reports on Sunday.
26 Nov 2002

Vatican official sends Ramadan greeting, urges joint peace effort
Christians and Muslims have a God-given duty to work and pray for peace, according to Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
26 Nov 2002

Pope stresses parish role in formation of laity
At a meeting with the members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Pope John Paul II stressed the role of the parish as "the heart of liturgical life" in the Church, and centre of doctrinal and moral formation.
26 Nov 2002

Catholic lobbyists want equal access to online education to figure in Telstra sale
Catholic lobby group PolMin yesterday welcomed the deferral of the full sale of Telstra while urging the Federal Parliament to think of equal access to online education when the sale is reconsidered in 2004.
26 Nov 2002

Beattie denies backflip on teacher discrimination
Teachers fear McCarthyist witch-hunts could follow a Queensland government decision to let church schools keep the power to discriminate against teachers who flaunted a gay or defacto lifestyle.
26 Nov 2002

Feature - Down to the last man
In some ways it has been a lonely three years for Ben Wilson. He is the last trainee missionary at St Columban's College, North Turramurra, in Sydney. When Wilson arrived at St Columban's in 1999 to begin his training, he found himself to be the only student at this solid brick building nestling in Sydney's upper North Shore.
25 Nov 2002

Opinion - Palestinian Christians face ethnic cleansing
The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400,000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80,000. We have lost hope, that's why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget. - Dr Abe Ata, Visiting Senior Fellow, University of Melbourne
25 Nov 2002

Fatigue takes toll on school headmaster
Fatigue has been blamed for the abrupt departure of Fr Christopher Gleeson SJ from the position of headmaster of St Ignatius' College Riverview in Sydney.
25 Nov 2002

Vatican to provide chaplains for Yachties
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples has decided to extend the brief of seafarers' chaplains to include participants in events such as the Americas Cup and the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
25 Nov 2002

Vatican wants 'pontifical secrecy' to be applied to sex abuse cases
The National Catholic Reporter has reported that the US bishops' pledge of full cooperation with civil states could be challenged by the Vatican's resolve to apply "pontifical secrecy", a grade of confidentiality just short of sacramental confession.
25 Nov 2002

Perth Archbishop announces inquiry into weeping Madonna statue
Investigators have been asked to prove if a weeping statue of the Virgin Mary in Western Australia is an act of God or a fake religious curiosity.
25 Nov 2002

Nigerian priest, churches attacked in Miss World rioting
A Nigerian priest was in serious condition and two churches and a church center were destroyed during riots in Kaduna, Nigeria, sparked by a newspaper article about the Miss World pageant.
25 Nov 2002

Church persuades Beattie to rethink discrimination issue
Churches have forced the Queensland Government to water down controversial anti-discrimination laws which would have prevented church schools from refusing to hire homosexual teachers.
25 Nov 2002

Feature - Fr Bob and the street kids - 'it's the loneliness that's hard to take'
"I just wish I had someone to talk to," says the 14-year-old, one of thousands of street kids around Australia facing a bleak Christmas. Many kids who face terrible abuse at home, fall prey to violence, drug abuse and crime. But Open Family Australia won't give up on them.
22 Nov 2002

Opinion - The Catholic church must make its own confession
To be a liberal and a Catholic always risked a life of masochism. With priestly, and sometimes episcopal, approval we have picked and chosen among the moral teachings of successive popes. This has always been an uneasy stance. Who are we liberal sinners to be sure what is right and what is wrong? - Hugo Young
22 Nov 2002

Former British airport chaplain jailed for five years
Disgraced priest Michael Hill, was given a five year jail sentence yesterday for sex assaults on boys.
22 Nov 2002

Ruby Wax to voice Pope character in new cartoon series
Actor Ruby Wax is to voice the Pope in a new cartoon series that will launch the new BBC3 youth television station in the UK.
22 Nov 2002

Officials announce plans for May Pope visit to Spain
Pope John Paul II plans to make his fifth pastoral visit to Spain next May, according to church officials in Spain and at the Vatican.
22 Nov 2002

Woomera Detention kids attend first day at Catholic school
Five children of asylum seekers detained at South Australia's Woomera Detentino Centre have attended their first day at St Barbara's Catholic Parish School at Roxby Downs in the state's north.
22 Nov 2002

Victorian bishops tell voters to take state election seriously
The bishops of Victoria have issued a joint statement to remind voters of their responsibility to carefully evaluate social policies of candidates' social policies before voting in this month's state election.
22 Nov 2002

Caritas Australia warns on Iraq War humanitarian disaster
As Australia considers joining a military coalition to enter Iraq if the current United Nations weapons inspection fails, a new report by international aid agency Caritas warns that war must be avoided at all costs.
22 Nov 2002

Feature - What car would Jesus drive?
Ecology, the pope says, is a moral matter. Now Christians have begun asking: "What Would Jesus Drive?" Environmentalism is as much about the Catholic duty to help the poor as it is about protecting the planet, says Dominican Sr Patricia Daly, a key leader in the religious investors' campaign against Exxon-Mobil.
21 Nov 2002

Opinion - Who would put up with this?
Hyperactive, uncontrollable children crawling around my seat and pulling things out of my bag. Who in their right minds would endure this? State school scripture teachers. Comments which we might consider to be badly phrased or even rude are deeply insightful when they come from these children - "Who is this guy anyway?" when referring to Our Lord. - Louise Altham
21 Nov 2002

International Catholic health care group begins operations
18 years after its founding, The International Federation of Catholic Health Care Associations (AISAC) is finally operational.
21 Nov 2002

John Paul II says Church must try to shape culture
The Church's presence in public life depends above all on the contribution that pastors and faithful can make to culture, according to John Paul II.
21 Nov 2002

BBC accuses Cardinal over child sex priests
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales failed to act appropriately when dealing with paedophile priests in his former diocese of Arundel and Brighton, a BBC investigation alleged.
21 Nov 2002

Bishops' researcher signals return of Embryo Bill
A bill described as "authorising the destruction of human life for profit" will return to the Senate for debate on 2 December.
21 Nov 2002

Sydney CEO seeking discrimination law exemption
Sydney's Catholic Education Office is seeking an exemption from sex discrimination laws so it can launch a males-only teacher recruitment campaign.
21 Nov 2002

Church leaders sign plea to prevent asylum seeker deportation
A declaration calling on the Federal Government to stop deporting asylum seekers to their country of origin was launched outside Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral yesterday by a coalition of religious and human rights leaders.
21 Nov 2002

Feature - Sydney Catholics follow Pope in love of bushwalking
Jim Barrett, long-serving member of the Catholic Bushwalking Club, remembers when the Church placed a ban on mixed camping to avoid any scandal. The club was formed in 1943 with the backing of Fr Richard Bede Coughlan, a keen bushwalker and nature lover, who was its spiritual director.
20 Nov 2002

Opinion - Don't blame all the world's ills on globalisation
Thanks to globalisation, in the last half of century, much of the Third World has developed. Progress is evident even in very poor countries such as Bangladesh, while countries governed by socialist dictatorships have not opened to a market economy - North Korea and Burma - have been left behind. - Fr Piero Gheddo, Italian PIME missionary, on the occasion of the recent European Social Forum
20 Nov 2002

Archbishop Milingo returns to ministry
The former head of the Roman Catholic Church in Zambia, Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo - who took part in a Moonie wedding last year - has been given permission to return to his priestly duties.
20 Nov 2002

Vatican toughens standards for canon lawyers
A new decree issued by the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education extends by a year the course of study required for a licentiate in Canon Law.
20 Nov 2002

Death of Perth auxiliary bishop
Perth's Archbishop Barry Hickey has advised of the death of retired Auxiliary Bishop of Perth, Bishop Robert Healy.
20 Nov 2002

New archbishop for Samoa
The apostolic nuncio for New Zealand and nearby Pacific islands has appointed Fr Alapati Mataeliga as Archbishop of Samoa-Apia.
20 Nov 2002

Pell in talks with Pope
Pope John Paul II met yesterday with Sydney's Archbishop George Pell.
20 Nov 2002

Catholic newspaper drawn into discrimination law controversy
The Catholic Leader newspaper has refused to run a Queensland Government advertisement explaining its controversial anti-discrimination laws which will make it illegal for church schools to reject gay teachers or people in de facto relationships.
20 Nov 2002

Feature - Australian Ballet star's love of family, faith and dance
Steven Heathcote says there's more than just physical technique to his work. "I couldn't dance, my body wouldn't co-operate with me, if my spirit wasn't guiding me through the whole experience," he says. His spirit has had a firm grounding in Christianity from his earliest years.
19 Nov 2002

Opinion - Restoring heaven
Human beings are the only animals who have to live for most of their life with the knowledge that they will die one day. Yet today's affluent society prefers to ignore mortality, keeping death out of sight, out of mind. We crave youth, and some of us go to great lengths to arrest or even reverse the signs of ageing. Yet if we could retrieve heaven as a context within which to contemplate death, it could take away some of that fear. - Writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford, whose latest book is 'Heaven: a Traveller's Guide to the Undiscovered Country'
19 Nov 2002

Vatican newspaper 'in complete solidarity' with convicted Italian ex-PM
The official Vatican newspaper has expressed "complete solidarity" with former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, who has been sentenced to a 24-year prison term for having arranged the murder of a journalist.
19 Nov 2002

Nuns arrested during protest of military training centre
At least seven nuns were among nearly 100 demonstrators arrested for entering the Fort Benning military installation in the southern US state of Georgia.
19 Nov 2002

Irish priest found murdered in Cape Town
A priest who came to South Africa from Ireland 14 years ago was brutally murdered in his Johannesburg home at the weekend, police said Monday.
19 Nov 2002

Bishop Gregory says facing sex scandal has improved Church
The US church today is "in a much better place than we were in this past very painful year", according to US Conference of Catholic Bishops President Bishop Wilton Gregory.
19 Nov 2002

Pope condemns 'cowardly' attack on jews at Hebron
Pope John Paul II criticised the "cowardly" killing of twelve Jewish settlers at Hebron on Friday, as they were returning from Sabbath prayers in the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
19 Nov 2002

Bishop to push Govt on asylum seekers in Catholic schools
Bishop Eugene Hurley of Port Pirie Diocese is pressing the Federal Government to let asylum seeker children from the Baxter Detention Centre attend the local Catholic school, saying he is distressed by the messages that emerged from Port Augusta last week.
19 Nov 2002

Feature - Faith in Hollywood
Patt and Jack Shea, co-founders of Los Angeles' organisation for Catholics in the entertainment industry describe a screening for a Catholic audience the movie Dogma. "The people under 35 saw a different show from the people over 35," said Patt Shea. "The younger people thought the movie had something to say about God's loving grace. The older audience," she said, "couldn't get past the scatology - the language was full of f--s - and the irreverence for Catholic symbols and beliefs."
18 Nov 2002

Opinion - Don't blame Press or royals for butler scandal
The scandal has been revelatory, and not just about the Royal Family and its servants, but about the people whose noses are pressed right up against the glass. You needn't blame the press, but the public whose tastes it reflects. Look in the papers, and our own reflection looks right back. - London Evening Standard journalist Melanie McDonagh
18 Nov 2002

Popular support for return of disgraced former Galway bishop
The majority of people in Ireland's Galway Diocese believe former Bishop Eamonn Casey, who resigned in 1992 and left the country, should be allowed to return home, according to the results of a survey.
18 Nov 2002

Jesuit schools take stand to avoid Year 12 comparisons
The headmasters of Australia's Jesuit schools have opposed tables that compare year 12 results, claiming they fail to accurately reflect school performances and could be misleading.
18 Nov 2002

Justice priest tells Tasmanian forest congregation that 'God is a greenie'
Fr Brian Gore, best known for his work for global justice, yesterday addressed an ecumenical liturgy in the Tasmanian Styx Valley forest on behalf of Catholic Earthcare Australia.
18 Nov 2002

Pope's speech inspires Mafia boss to turn himself in
A fugitive Mafia boss turned himself on Friday after seeing Pope John Paul II deliver a historic speech to Italy's Parliament, the suspect's lawyer said.
18 Nov 2002

Kidnapped Colombian bishop freed by soldiers
Colombian soldiers freed the kidnapped Bishop Jorge Enrique Jimenez, president of the Latin American bishops' conference (CELAM), on Friday after a fight with rebels who were holding them.
18 Nov 2002

Church agencies repeat call to let Timorese stay
Two organisations of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference on Friday renewed calls to Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock to grant residency to 1800 East Timorese asylum seekers who are facing deportation.
18 Nov 2002

Feature - Junior ranks swell as Legion of Mary enjoys resurgence
Twenty years ago, the Legion of Mary had fewer than 30 juniors in its ranks. Today there are more than 200 juniors in 20 different praesidia governed by the Sydney senatus, plus a whole new generation of young adults in their 20s and 30s. Joseph Portelli, a Catholic high school teacher and active legionary, says membership has risen steadily in Sydney since the 1980s.
15 Nov 2002

Opinion - Media's 'complicity' in Vatican II reforms
I understood that John XXIII saw the mass media as potential accomplices in his push for the Church's aggiornamento, or "updating". In telling the world what was really happening, the media would figuratively bring the people inside the council, where they could see how the aggiornamento was getting on. The rule-makers in the Curia did not want that, principally because they had no sympathy for any radical change in the Church. - Robert Blair Kaiser
15 Nov 2002

Ukrainian cardinal challenges US to restore its role as moral force
Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Lviv, Ukraine, appealed for the United States, through the intervention of its religious leaders - especially its Catholic bishops - to restore its image as a moral force for the rest of the world.
15 Nov 2002

Churches hope for joint declaration
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has left for Malta to co-chair a meeting of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) with hopes for progress on a draft joint declaration.
15 Nov 2002

Caritas Italy signals health care as casualty of globalisation
There is scarce attention paid by the globalised world to the problems of the health in the developing countries, according to a critique presented at a recent Italian Caritas seminar.
15 Nov 2002

Salesian missionary sounds alarm on Ethiopian famine
An Italian nun at Zway in Ethiopia has written to the General Chapter of her congregation to raise awareness of an "impending disaster of large proportions" caused by a famine that followed the failure of the rains.
15 Nov 2002

Catholic lobbyists warn on new workplace bill
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) yesterday warned that the new Workplace Relations Amendment (Termination of Employment) Bill 2002 undermines the value of work and discriminates against employees.
15 Nov 2002

Pope urges Italians to have more kids
Pope John Paul II delivered a historic speech to the Italian parliament on Thursday, urging Italians to have more children to reverse the country's declining birth rate.
15 Nov 2002

Feature - Which strategy for souls?
It is quite normal in the business world for directors to send in a trouble-shooter who winds it all up, sells off the assets, and uses the proceeds to launch a shining new outfit that promises bigger profits. Something of the sort is happening in the Catholic Church in England and Wales but for "profits" read "a more efficient program of evangelisation".
14 Nov 2002

Opinion - Papal deeds speak louder
Popes rarely speak off the cuff, and when they do, pulse rates in Vatican offices head for the sky. Gestures, on the other hand, are by definition far more ambiguous. A pope can be himself in his actions in a way he never can be with his words. For that reason, often what a pope does is a better indicator of where his heart is than what he says. The pontificate of John Paul II illustrates the point. - John L Allen
14 Nov 2002

US bishops tell battered women not to stay in abusive marriages
Women who are victims of domestic violence should not stay in abusive marriages, and anyone who tells them to grin and bear it is a "false prophet", the US Catholic bishops declared yesterday at their annual autumn meeting in Washington.
14 Nov 2002

Latin American church leaders seek contact with bishop's captors
Bishops in Latin America are making urgent efforts to establish contact with the Colombia rebels who kidnapped Bishop Jorge Enrique Jimenez Carvajal.
14 Nov 2002

Church may fight Queensland discrimination laws
The Catholic Church in Queensland has signalled a possible legal challenge to Queensland's new anti-discrimination laws giving legal rights to de facto and gay couples.
14 Nov 2002

Vinnies calls Govt welfare reform a 'poisoned chalice'
The Acting head of the St Vincent de Paul Society has labelled the Government's Australians Working Together Bill a "poisoned chalice" because it "fails to address the problems of the poorest and most disadvantaged in Australia".
14 Nov 2002

Commission condemns free trade deal for war on Iraq
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace yesterday expressed alarm at the news that the US administration was aiming at rewarding Australia for its participation in a US led war on Iraq by negotiating an Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
14 Nov 2002

US Bishops question Iraq war morality
Hours after the Iraqi parliament voted not to comply with the UN Security Council resolution on weapons inspection, the US Catholic bishops declared their intention to make a new statement reiterating doubts about the morality of going to war with Iraq.
14 Nov 2002

Opinion - We must keep Catholic Education accessible
It is becoming increasingly difficult for many parents to choose Catholic schooling - recently we announced that fees and building levies in Sydney would rise by 5% in 2003. My concern is to continue to keep Catholic education within the reach of ordinary Catholic families. Hence, my nervousness at the suggestion in the Vinson Report that funding to government schools could be increased by reducing the current levels of funding to non-government schools. - Br Kelvin Canavan, Executive Director of Schools, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
13 Nov 2002

Feature - Christian music controlled by secular music industry
In the beginning, there were the Jesus People. They had long hair and short memories and they emerged from the 1960s with a unique fusion of evangelical faith and pop culture. Today, the bottom line is almost always the financial bottom line. While believers lead the companies that dominate Christian music, secular corporations now own these smaller companies.
13 Nov 2002

New Papal Swiss Guard commander named
Pope John Paul II named the No. 2 officer of the Swiss Guard, Lt. Elmar Theodor Mader, as the 100-man force's new commander and promoted him to the rank of captain.
13 Nov 2002

Pope says Charismatic groups play important role in evangelisation
Members of committed Catholic charismatic groups have an important role to play in evangelisation by being living signs of unity and hope in the world, Pope John Paul II has said.
13 Nov 2002

Queensland BoysTown loses top executive
The chief executive of BoysTown, Chris Stoltz, has resigned 12 months into his five-year contract amid controversy over the direction of the charity and a police investigation into fraud.
13 Nov 2002

Family Planning Council aims to become more relevant
The new President of the Australian Council for Natural Family Planning (ACNFP) has pledged to use technology such as the Internet to spread the Council's message.
13 Nov 2002

Bishops' president warns against using scandals to hurt Catholic teaching
US Bishops Conference President Bishop Wilton Gregory insisted yesterday that church leaders are committed to protecting minors even though they are revising their discipline policy for sexually abusive priests over victims' objections.
13 Nov 2002

Pope urges release of kidnapped bishop
Pope John Paul II has expressed "deep pain" over the abduction of a senior bishop in Colombia and is appealing for the prelate's release.
13 Nov 2002

Feature - God's man in County Bondi
Fr Tom Devereux, chaplain to Sydney's Irish community, has no trouble picking out who are the young Irish travellers in Bondi. "The young Irish call this County Bondi," he says. "Ireland is divided into counties and the people are very conscious of their county, and there's so many Irish here that they've just adopted it."
12 Nov 2002

Opinion - Despite crises, survey shows priests are happy
For the last several months, newspapers and television have reported horrible stories of the abuse of the young by priests. One would expect that, under such circumstances, the morale of priests would collapse, that many of them would wonder why they became priests, and yet others would search for a way to escape their discredited profession. - Fr Andrew Greeley
12 Nov 2002

Catholic schools lose in Vic Govt learning program
Victorian Catholic colleges introducing a new Year 12 certificate next year are being short-changed compared with their government school counterparts.
12 Nov 2002

Dominican nuns face federal charges
Three Dominican nuns face up to 30 years in prison following their protest last month at a Colorado missile silo.
12 Nov 2002

Bishop survives fatal Manila plane crash
A bishop and several foreign tourists survived yesterday's plane crash into Manila Bay in which at least 14 people including a Sydney man died.
12 Nov 2002

Ratzinger wary of secular culture
The Catholic faith is open to all that is "great, true and pure in the culture," but that openness should not be interpreted as naiveté, according to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
12 Nov 2002

Pope endorses Year of the Mountain
Pope John Paul II, an avid skier and bushwalker until frail health slowed him down, has called on nature - lovers to protect mountains and their environment.
12 Nov 2002

Vatican admits 1995 Pope assassination fears
Vatican officials have indicated there were credible threats of an assassination plot against the Holy Father in 1995 when he visited the Philippines for World Youth Day, but denied there was any such threat in 1999.
12 Nov 2002

US Bishops to adopt discipline policy
The US bishops headed into a four-day meeting yesterday to adopt a new discipline policy for sexually abusive priests that they hope will end a year of scandal.q
12 Nov 2002

Feature - Edith Stein, saintly thinker waiting to be discovered
The thought and current importance of Edith Stein, a co-patroness of Europe, is yet to be discovered, says Angela Ales-Bello of Rome's Lateran University. 60 years after her death in Auschwitz, Stein - or Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, as she was known in religious life - continues to be one of the most important figures in the field of phenomenology and philosophical anthropology.
11 Nov 2002

Opinion - Democracy versus Religion
We have all heard it said that the war on terrorism pits liberal democracy against religious fanaticism. There is a measure of truth in that. Others say the conflict is between a secular understanding of society and a society defined by religiously based morality. That, I suggest, is both untrue and dangerous. - Fr Richard John Neuhaus, editor First Things
11 Nov 2002

Cardinal says Christians can't hide mission role in talks with Jews
In their relations with Jews, Christians cannot conceal the strong missionary dimension of their faith, but also must recognise that Jews do not have to convert in order to be saved, Vatican official Cardinal Walter Kasper has said.
11 Nov 2002

Sudan's islamic government awards Catholic missionary
A Comboni missionary nun has received an awarded from one of the most fundamentalist Islamist regimes in Africa.
11 Nov 2002

Vatican urges international to halt Mideast violence
The international community must help Palestinians and Israelis to put an end to the spiral of Middle East violence, Archbishop Renato Martino said in an address at the United Nations.
11 Nov 2002

Embryo research opponents look set to lose battle
A last-ditch attempt by opponents of human embryo research to scuttle groundbreaking legislation in the Senate is poised to fail, despite a renewed attack yesterday on Australia's most prominent researcher, Alan Trounson.
11 Nov 2002

Hobart archbishop expresses opposition to same-sex adoption
Archbishop Adrian Doyle has stated his opposition to adoption of children by gay couples by saying there is no legal "right to a child" under Australian law.
11 Nov 2002

Top FBI woman to battle Church abuse
The highest ranking woman at the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation is quitting the agency to take a new role combating child abuse in the Catholic Church.
11 Nov 2002

Feature - Virgin renaissance
If ever there was a hint that a sexual counter-revolution may be afoot among the young who have grown up in an age of unprecedented sexual openness, then it is to be found among a British group of "New Puritans"; young Catholics who are eagerly practising what they preach, including a strict ban on sex before marriage. "Chastity is fundamental to our lives," says Paul Bray, 21. "For us, it means real freedom."
8 Nov 2002

Opinion - Dissent is also a Catholic tradition
Catherine of Siena shows that one can love the church, be a faithful lay Catholic and at the same time challenge the institution and its leadership when they are wrong. In Catherine's time often meant facing the Inquisition, or worse. Today, the measures against "dissenters" may be less severe, but some church leaders seem to need to label and punish anyone urging church reform. - Pat Morrison
8 Nov 2002

Catholic super fund seeks outside custodian
The Melbourne-based Catholic Superannuation Fund (CSF), which has about 30,000 members and over $1 billion in assets, has begun a search for an external custodian and has hired Mercer Investment Consulting's Drew Vaughan to manage the tender.
8 Nov 2002

Vatican archbishop says promoting chastity to prevent AIDS defends life
By promoting chastity rather than condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS, Catholic health care workers are being faithful to their call to defend human life, spiritually as well as physically, said a Vatican official.
8 Nov 2002

Zimbabwe Catholic bishop calls on Mugabe to quit
The Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, has called on President Robert Mugabe to stand down because his controversial land reform program is ruining the country's economy and putting millions at risk of hunger.
8 Nov 2002

Brisbane Justice Commission condemns 'Islamophobia'
The Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Queensland authorities to take firm action to curb discrimination against Muslims in the wake of the Bali bombing and last year's terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre in New York.
8 Nov 2002

Gay law reforms to hit Queensland Catholic schools
Catholic schools in Queensland will no longer be able to refuse to employ a teacher simply because he or she is homosexual, under amended anti-discrimination legislation introduced to State Parliament.
8 Nov 2002

Centacare director pressuring Govt to release detention centre video
The Immigration Department has rejected a request from Adelaide's Centacare Catholic Family Services to publicly release a videotape of last week's incident at the Baxter Detention Centre, in South Australia's north, to clear allegations that guards mistreated detainees.
8 Nov 2002

Feature - Retreat targets a different type of hunger
For people who habitually eat too much, too little, or simply eat wrong, the problem might be that they are feeding the wrong hunger, suggests Louise Sandberg of Tabor Retreat Centre, Long Island (New York). "We all have all kinds of hunger - hunger for the company of other people, hunger for physical touch, hunger for beauty, and most of all hunger for God," said Ms. Sandberg, a registered nurse and a certified spiritual director who runs the Mary & Elizabeth Center at Tabor Retreat Centre, Oceanside.
7 Nov 2002

Opinion - What prompts us to want to learn more?
"I turned away from the Church and my faith become very private and undernourished. Some years later, the death of our infant daughter led me to question the meaning of life and death, and to re-examine my faith." These comments by a Catholic parent reflect an experience that is not uncommon. It's not surprising the number one need that emerged from Brisbane Archdiocese's consultations for its 2003 synod was education in faith. - Margaret Ryan, Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese Centre for Faith and Ministry Development.
7 Nov 2002

Philippine bishops urge new dialogue with Communist "terrorists"
Philippine Church leaders in a broad alliance are pushing the government to continue formal peace talks with communist party leaders, even if other nations condemn the rebel party as "terrorist".
7 Nov 2002

Sydney's Portico wins international Catholic music award
Portico, a Sydney Catholic rock band, has won the best international album award at the United Catholic Music and Video Association Unity Awards held in Washington last month.
7 Nov 2002

Vinnies teams up with Kasey Chambers
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland has teamed up with singer/songwriter Kasey Chambers to produce a series of posters educating people about the issues facing disadvantaged youth.
7 Nov 2002

Irish losing faith in Church but not in God
A national survey has revealed than 90% of people feel the Catholic Church in Ireland has been damaged as a result of clerical sex abuse of children, but faith in God has remained high overall.
7 Nov 2002

John Paul II prays for recently deceased cardinals and bishops
Pope John Paul II has presided over a Mass in St Peter's Basilica for the repose of the souls of cardinals and bishops who died over the past 12 months.
7 Nov 2002

Vatican donation to persuade Holy Land Christians to stay put
The Vatican is giving $A712,885 to Catholic causes in Israel and the West Bank to try to improve life for Christians there and persuade them not to flee the ongoing fighting.
7 Nov 2002

Feature - L'Arche founder reveals face of Christ
The tall, silver-haired Jean Vanier, the 74 year old French Canadian founder of the L'Arche movement that fosters community life with people with developmental disabilities, cuts a dashing figure despite the blue "Maytag repairman" style windbreaker he always wears in public. Vanier is, by any standard, one of the most remarkable people in contemporary Catholicism. Like Mother Teresa before him, he carries the rare burden of being both a public figure and someone widely flagged as a saint in his own lifetime.
6 Nov 2002

Opinion - The modern agony of moral loneliness
What is moral loneliness? It's the pain of feeling alone in one's deepest beliefs. There are various types of loneliness, but this inconsummation is perhaps the most searing. Painful as it is to not have a sexual partner, it is even more painful not to have a moral one. - Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI
6 Nov 2002

Comfort pews luring Americans to Protestant church services
Chairs with cup holders and space and padding are finding their way into some American churches where clergy say the seat can be as important as the message.
6 Nov 2002

Church groups welcome Canadian oil company's decision to leave Sudan
The decision of Talisman Energy Inc. to sell its oil interests in war-torn Sudan is being celebrated as a victory by Canadian church and human rights organisations.
6 Nov 2002

Students study divorce fall-out
Victorian school children are taking classes in divorce to help them cope with their parents' separation through a program developed by the Catholic family services organisation Centacare.
6 Nov 2002

Bishop Belo seeks Portuguese help in East Timor's "war of cultures"
The Indonesians "have retreated politically, but they continue to be there through the language and culture," according to Bishop Carlos Belo during his visit to Portugal last week.
6 Nov 2002

John Paul II celebrates name day
The Vatican went on holiday as John Paul II celebrated his name day by meeting with a group of Polish pilgrims and inviting 11 senior cardinals to a special celebration.
6 Nov 2002

Revisions leave US bishops' sexual abuse norms, charter intact
All key provisions of the US bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People are left intact by the recently crafted revisions in the proposed legal norms to implement the charter.
6 Nov 2002

Feature - Impact of the 'Big Dry'
The current drought is taking a tremendous toll on our farming families, both financially and emotionally. The St Vincent de Paul Society is seeing people they have never seen before, many of them farmers desperate to obtain food for their families. Because of the stress and anxiety many farming family members are suffering as the result of the 'Big Dry', many are seeking comfort from counselling services. - Fr Geoff Costigan, Scone (Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle)
5 Nov 2002

Opinion - Pell's story tells of great struggle within church
The sectarians of yesteryear must have been spinning in their graves when the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, launched a supportive biography of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell, last week. In effect this was evidence of the increasing realisation on both sides that they have more in common than just outward symbols. - Paddy McGuinness
5 Nov 2002

Monks give religion a pop spin
The Benedictine monks of Glenstal Abbey in County Limerick are targeting lapsed Catholics with a forthcoming book titled How to Pray.
5 Nov 2002

Cardinal Dulles corrects "misinterpretation" of Vatican II
US Jesuit Cardinal Avery Dulles said last week that the reformist Second Vatican Council upheld the authority of the papacy, hierarchy and Rome as the "true church", and did not liberalise those beliefs, as commonly believed.
5 Nov 2002

Police arrest managers of fake Mother Teresa bank
Police have charged a Christian family in southern India with fraud after a cooperative bank that it had launched in Mother Teresa's name failed to return money to its depositors.
5 Nov 2002

Papal condolences to families of Vietnam inferno victims
Pope John Paul II has sent a message expressing condolences to the families of victims of a recent fire in Ho Chi Minh City that left at least 60 people dead and another 100 injured.
5 Nov 2002

Adelaide call for YCS to embrace change
An decision of the Archdiocese of Adelaide not to fund the Young Christian Students movement need not spell the end for the youth organisation, according to the Chancellor for Mission, Mrs Kathy McEvoy.
5 Nov 2002

'Little Pebble' to face court next month on sex charges
William Kamm, the leader of a NSW south coast Catholic sect, is due to appear in Nowra Local Court next month, after being excused from a court appearance this morning.
5 Nov 2002

Feature - The story behind George Pell's biography
Publisher Michael Duffy printed on the assumption of not guilty; "if guilty, I'll pulp". Instead, what started as a 50,000-word mini-biog became 100,000 words with a print run of 10,000. A vision of Iris Murdoch's fiction looms. So much religious turmoil in Pell's life, too. He's one helluvafella.
4 Nov 2002

Opinion - Evangelists' actions speak louder than words
Evangelisation is not only knocking at doors, distributing magazines and trying to convert others to your side. Evangelisation is following Christ, putting on the mind of Christ, imitating him and loving others with his love. If the opportunity arises where one has to spread the word of God, then a prayer to the Holy Spirit before doing so will bring more graces than attempting to do it alone. - Adel Haddad
4 Nov 2002

Indian bishops regret Vatican cold feet on inculturation in liturgical texts
Catholic bishops in India's Hindi speaking region say the reluctance of some Vatican officials to incorporate local cultural ethos in liturgical texts could hamper inculturation.
4 Nov 2002

Group says US Catholics have not lost faith in Church
Catholics have not lost faith in their church, they have lost confidence in their leaders, author and newspaper columnist Eugene Kennedy told the conference of the US Catholic group Call to Action.
4 Nov 2002

Halloween overtaking Catholic traditions in Latin America
Halloween customs are mixing with Day of the Dead traditions throughout Mexico, robbing some graves of their marigold-petal decorations and leaving the dead to spend their night on earth alone.
4 Nov 2002

John Paul II offers prayers for Italian quake victims
Pope John Paul II relayed his condolences and promise of prayers to a quake-stricken area of Italy that was stunned by the deaths of 26 schoolchildren.
4 Nov 2002

Adelaide vicar general says 'quick fix' won't achieve world peace
Monsignor David Cappo, Australia's sole keynote speaker at an international peace conference held last month in Vienna, has urged world leaders to avoid the apparent "quick fix" solutions to conflicts throughout the world.
4 Nov 2002

Catholic Health suggests Commonwealth bonds can build aged care homes
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has said that the pressing capital requirements for construction and rebuilding of Australia's nursing homes and hostels are reason enough for the Commonwealth to remain in the bond market.
4 Nov 2002

Opinion - Should our kids celebrate Halloween?
What was once thought to be a harmless holiday is now said — by some — to be a pagan rite dating back to Celtic (and pagan) Druids. The truth is that the origins of Halloween are, in fact, very Christian. Halloween actually falls on 31 October because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety. - Fr Augustine Thompson OP
1 Nov 2002

Influential Catholic journal says US strike on Iraq could be justified
The authoritative Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica has argued that an American military strike on Iraq would be legitimate if there is an imminent danger of aggression by Iraqi regime.
1 Nov 2002

Feature - Antioch inculturates Gospel for Australian youth
"It constantly amazes me that people seem to approve of Mass in a village in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Highlands being accompanied by bongo drums and dancing in grass skirts," said one Antioch parent. "Yet the same people seem horrified when the corresponding inculturation occurs in Australia with electric guitars and noisy modern music." Music is identifiable with youth culture, and thus has been a key component of Antioch - a parish-based youth movement now celebrating 21 years in Australia.
1 Nov 2002

Church faces huge insurance hike
As part of a nationwide trend, Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese reports that its public liability insurance premiums for for schools, parishes and agencies are likely to double next year as the Church's insurer faces the worst year in its history.
1 Nov 2002

Parramatta launches Australia's first diocesan Women's Commission
Bishop Kevin Manning has established a Diocesan Women's Commission in the western Sydney Diocese of Parramatta.
1 Nov 2002

World Tolerance Award 2002 for Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II has received the World Tolerance Award 2002 for his efforts in promoting Peace and Tolerance around the world.
1 Nov 2002

Vatican, bishops agree on new rules
The Vatican has quickly reached an agreement with four US bishops on proposed changes to a sexual abuse prevention policy that church officials say will beef up priests' rights but also protect children.
1 Nov 2002

Holy See names new observer at United Nations
Pope John Paul II appointed Monsignor Celestino Migliore, Vatican undersecretary for relations with states, as new permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.
1 Nov 2002