Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR MARCH 2003

   
Feature - New treatments give frail Pope more vitality
John Paul II seems to have become John Paul III. A year ago he was frail and his speech was slurred, but now he speaks clearly and forcibly, improvising and interacting with his audiences. - Desmond O'Grady
31 Mar 2003

Opinion - Why I made that speech
Something had to be said at the Oscars about the war. A word of advice to future Oscar winners: don't begin Oscar day by going to church. That is where I found myself last Sunday morning. My problem with the Catholic Mass is that sometimes I find my mind wandering after I hear something the priest says, and I start thinking all these crazy thoughts like how it is wrong to kill people. - Michael Moore
31 Mar 2003

Students with no place to call home
South Australian schools will be ordered to alert social workers to more than 1000 homeless students under a new State Government plan.
31 Mar 2003

Catholic Health wants better organisation of Community Care
Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the Commonwealth's consultation paper, A New Strategy for Community Care as it signals a long awaited acknowledgement that reform is essential and urgently required.
31 Mar 2003

Vinnies identifies three million Australians living in poverty
Three million Australians are in poverty and one in five households lives with constant financial stress, a federal parliamentary inquiry has been told.
31 Mar 2003

Catholic Welfare says new law gives with one hand, takes away with the other
Catholic Welfare Australia has described the Federal Government's Australians Working Together legislation is a mixed blessing, with some benefits eroded by lack of respect for parental choice about labour force involvement.
31 Mar 2003

Pope makes fresh appeal for end to Iraq war
Pope John Paul, making a fresh appeal for an end to the war in Iraq, said on Sunday the conflict is undermining humanity's hope for a better future.
31 Mar 2003

Pope reminds priests to be faithful to Magisterium in confession
John Paul II reminded priests about their need to go to confession frequently and to be faithful to Church teaching when they administer the sacrament.
31 Mar 2003

Feature - Movers and Shakers to tap leadership skills
Young people from all over Queensland are gearing up for the 12th annual Movers and Shakers Christian leadership training program in the Sunshine Coast hinterland from April 22-27. Movers and Shakers, an initiative of the Queensland Catholic Diocesan Youth Co-ordinators, has been running each year for over a decade with a total of about 800 graduates.
28 Mar 2003

Opinion - Skeptic historian should explore new ways of counting Aboriginal dead
Over the last few years historian Keith Windschuttle has accused a generation of historians of grossly exaggerating the number of Aborigines killed by Europeans in the occupation of the continent. But he ignores vital and subtle analyses of cross-cultural relations, and returned us to an old language of conflict.
28 Mar 2003

Marriage celebrations for the socially conscious
The Church in Italy is promoting simple marriage celebrations that highlight the sacrament with austerity and keep in mind the needy.
28 Mar 2003

School strap payout halved
A man who sparked outrage when he was awarded $2.5 million for strappings he received as a schoolboy yesterday had his payout halved.
28 Mar 2003

Pope Tells Latin American Church to answer sects by evangelisation
Pope John Paul II yesterday met with the members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and told them that the region needs more effective evangelization to counteract "the insidious problem of sects."
28 Mar 2003

Peace deacon forced to resign from teaching job over protest
A deacon teaching at a Christian Brothers school in New Jersey resigned from his job rather than follow the school's directive that he remove the 'peace buttons' he was wearing as a protest action.
28 Mar 2003

Baghdad Archbishop says people didn't expect market bombing
The missiles that hit a Baghdad market earlier this week "caused widespread dismay among the population," according to local Latin-rite Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman.
28 Mar 2003

Charity says Iraq situation becoming critical
The secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature in Amman/Jordan informed the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that bombs have rained down on Bagdad for the past three days.
28 Mar 2003

Feature - Iraqi Jesuit explains Christians' fears about the next Iraqi regime
The regime of Saddam Hussein has friendly relations with church leaders. On the whole, relations between Christians and Muslims are OK. Saddam has specially favoured the Christians with his generous initiatives towards churches.
27 Mar 2003

Opinion - Liberation theology and the Iraq War
Liberation theology focuses on the story of the people of Iraq, rather than on abstract philosophical and legal categories. Bearing in mind Jesus's prophecy that 'the last shall be first and the first, last', the telling of the story gives preference to the voices of the Iraqi oppressed. - Fr Seamus Murphy, lecturer in philosophy at Milltown Institute, Ireland
27 Mar 2003

Diocese urges sick to stay away from Mass
In the wake of the SARS outbreak, the Diocese of Hong Kong has issued special guidelines for church activities to prevent the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, an atypical pneumonia that has killed at least 10 people in Hong Kong.
27 Mar 2003

Death of 'knockabout priest'
Fr John Brosnan, known as "the knockabout priest", died peacefully yesterday morning in Nazareth House, Melbourne, aged 83.
27 Mar 2003

Pax Christi says diplomacy failure caused war
The war in Iraq demonstrates a tragic failure of international diplomacy, according to a statement from the international Catholic peace organisation Pax Christi.á
27 Mar 2003

Military archbishop says troops can carry out duties in good conscience
The head of the US Archdiocese for the Military Services said in a letter to his priests on Tuesday that members of the armed forces should carry out their duties in good conscience because they can presume the integrity of the leaders who decided to go to war in Iraq.
27 Mar 2003

Pope says he's following Iraqi war with 'heavy heart'
Pope John Paul II yesterday urged the faithful to pray for peace, saying that he's following the news of the war in Iraq with a "heavy heart".
27 Mar 2003

Caritas treating injured on streets of Baghdad
Caritas Iraq has been treating injured civilians on the streets of Baghdad and transporting the seriously wounded to local hospitals, according to a British Catholic aid agency.
27 Mar 2003

Opinion - Interreligious dialogue must begin with human rights
Interreligious dialogue must begin with human rights and use precise procedures that make recourse to gathering data, analysing the situation, and creating trusting relationships and a solution for the conflict. - Fr Ignatius Ismartono, Secretary of the Episcopal Commission for Interreligious Dialog in Indonesia
26 Mar 2003

Feature - Exploring Springsteen's spirituality
Ask believers their favorite religious music and you'll get a range of answers - triumphant Christmas hymns, the deliriously joyful anthems of gospel, perhaps Gregorian chants for those of classical bent. For the Fr Jim Symynkywicz, it's Bruce Springsteen.
26 Mar 2003

Sydney Archdiocese announces Church funding for adult stem cell research
The Archdiocese of Sydney yesterday announced a $50,000 grant made by Archbishop Pell to support adult stem cell research has been awarded to a research team at Griffith University, led by Professor Alan Mackay-Sim.
26 Mar 2003

Melbourne Church warning on stem cell bill before State Parliament
Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart has commented on the Embryo Experimentation Bill that is likely to be passed this week by the Victorian Upper House.
26 Mar 2003

Pope says truth in media serves cause of peace
Yesterday Pope John Paul II stressed the importance of the media in building a culture of peace.
26 Mar 2003

Graphic TV war images threaten children with secondary trauma
Catholic Welfare Australia has commended Federal Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Larry Anthony's for his foresight concerning the possibility of secondary trauma amongst Australian children from graphic images of the Iraq War
26 Mar 2003

Caritas Australia launches Iraq Appeal
Caritas Australia yesterday launched its Humanitarian Crisis - Iraq Appeal as its major contribution to the Caritas network's provision of first aid to wounded civilians and assistance to displaced people in Iraq and in neighbouring countries.
26 Mar 2003

Pope tells military chaplains of his anguish at War suffering
The current war on Iraq is of a type that has been rejected by the conscience of humanity, Pope John Paul II said yesterday, expressing "deep concern and great anguish" at the suffering caused by the conflict.
26 Mar 2003

Feature - Romero still revered 20 years later
More than two decades after he was slain while celebrating Mass, the most prominent victim of El Salvador's bloody civil war is still stirring controversy as a candidate for canonisation.
25 Mar 2003

Opinion - US Catholics who are both pro-war and pro-Pope
The parishioners of "St Perpetua's", Staten Island, New York, are more Catholic than the Pope - and they wanted war. Several of them asked me not to name their church, and so I use a pseudonym. But they were otherwise very forthcoming with their views on the second Gulf War and on the Pope. They were enthusiastic about both.
25 Mar 2003

UK Catholics angry over BBC's pogoing Pope
More than 6000 British Catholics have signed a petition condemning a new BBC cartoon, Popetown, in which Ruby Wax provides the voice of a wide-eyed pontiff who bounces around the Vatican on a pogo stick.
25 Mar 2003

Pope beatifies five for lives of inspiration
Pope John Paul II beatified four founders of religious organisations and a Hungarian doctor on Sunday.
25 Mar 2003

NZ MP and bishops speak out against assisted suicide
An MP and former geriatrician, a Catholic ethicist and Catholic bishops are among those speaking out against a New Zealand parliamentary bill for the legalisation of assisted suicide.
25 Mar 2003

Bombs explode near Chaldean Patriarchate
Bombs damaged the Chaldean Patriarchate in Baghdad, but auxiliary bishop Emmanuel Karim Delly was not wounded by the explosions.
25 Mar 2003

British Cardinal joins Archbishop of Canterbury in condemnation and prayer
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, described the war in Iraq as "wrong and evil" on Sunday as he urged members of his flock to pray for a swift end to the hostilities.
25 Mar 2003

Australian priest pours blood on US consul's carpet
A Dominican priest and a Catholic worker yesterday took their anti-war message inside the US consulate in Auckland, making a cross on the carpet with their blood.
25 Mar 2003

Feature - Interview with Franciscan human shield
Interviewed after hostilities began on Thursday, 65 year old Fr Jerry Zawada from Chicago said he also hadn't really expected to end up staying in Baghdad. "But I didn't want to leave once the threat became imminent," he said. "They've been so gracious, even the soldiers. Everybody greets us warmly."
24 Mar 2003

Opinion - This IS a religious war
To many a Muslim radical, the West seems open to be defeated. Due to our theories of dialogue, liberalism, and diversity, we are almost incapable of understanding a mind that thinks that Islam is the true religion and that it ought to rule the world. - Fr James V. Schall SJ, Georgetown University
24 Mar 2003

Same-sex adoption seen as threat to marriage
A conscience vote on same-sex couples adopting children is needed in a bid to avert a serious threat to marriage, Tasmanian Catholic leaders said on Friday.
24 Mar 2003

Vic MPs debate cloning ahead of conscience vote
Victorian state MPs will tomorrow start debating the controversial human cloning and stem-cell research Bill, which will lead to the Bracks Government's first conscience vote.
24 Mar 2003

Iraqi Christians consecrate country to Mary Queen of Peace
On Friday afternoon, a number of Christian Churches in Iraq consecrated the country to the Virgin Mary.
24 Mar 2003

Jesuit human rights advocate says war 'not in our national interest'
Lawyer Fr Frank Brennan has said the Australian Government transported Iraqi asylum seekers to remote detention centres in Australia, and now it's party to the bombing of the relatives in Baghdad, "all in the name of Australia's national interest".
24 Mar 2003

Caritas network assists wounded civilians in Iraq
The Caritas Catholic aid and development agency network is working in Iraq and neighbouring countries to provide needed first aid to wounded civilians and refugees.
24 Mar 2003

Pope says Iraq war threatens humanity
Pope John Paul, in his first public comment on the outbreak of hostilities in Iraq, said on Saturday that the war threatens the whole of humanity, and that weapons could never solve mankind's problems.
24 Mar 2003

Feature - Bougainville - after the war is over
Bougainville experienced a devastating civil war between 1989 and 1998 that claimed up to 20,000 lives and destroyed much of the island's infrastructure. Thousands of Bougainvilleans were forced to flee their homes and formal schooling ceased as the civil war escalated.
21 Mar 2003

Opinion - Transforming our distress into the joy of Easter
This year, the Friday a week after Good Friday is Anzac Day. Maybe that can be another good Friday, if we recall the sacrifice and non-warlike spirit of the Anzacs. - Fr Andrew Bullen SJ
21 Mar 2003

New Vinnies head says spirituality underlies Society's work
The new national president of the St Vincent de Paul Society has said that nurturing the spirituality of its members is an essential aspect of the Society's work.
21 Mar 2003

Pell leads Vatican liturgy Committee meeting on translations
English-speaking bishops appointed to advise the Vatican on liturgical translations have continued their examination of a document that will provide detailed translation principles and specific translation suggestions, the Vatican has said.
21 Mar 2003

Caritas Australia joins relief effort of international network
Caritas Australia is supporting local partner, Caritas Iraq, to prepare to help the thousands of Iraqi civilians in the strike targeting Iraq.
21 Mar 2003

Australian engagement dismays Social Justice Council
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council issued a statement noting "with great sadness and deep regret" the decision to declare war on Iraq, expressing its dismay that Australia is now engaged in a war that does not have the support of the United Nations and the international community.
21 Mar 2003

Australian Bishops pray for quick end to Iraq conflict
Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has urged a renewed commitment to prayers for peace as diplomatic efforts to resolve the Iraq crisis give way to imminent military action.
21 Mar 2003

"Deeply pained" Vatican faults both sides in Iraq War
The Vatican expressed "deep pain" yesterday over the start of war against Iraq, faulting both sides for failing to find a peaceful solution.
21 Mar 2003

Feature - The scars of war
Guillermo sits comfortably at his newspaper kiosk in central Melbourne as he reflects on a civil war more than 14 years ago that led him and his family to flee El Salvador. "There are things that are so painful that I have lived through I would prefer not to remember them. The only thing I can say is that I am a witness, victim and protagonist of what happened in El Salvador."
20 Mar 2003

Opinion - Take it to the Lord in prayer - right now
"Prayer is lifting mind and heart to God," according to a classical definition of prayer. The problem is we rarely do that. Instead, we treat God as a parental-figure or as a visiting dignitary and tell God what we think God wants to hear rather than what's really on our minds and hearts. - Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI
20 Mar 2003

Philippine bishop predicts attacks on Christians if US invades Iraq
US President George W. Bush's ultimatum to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was not a surprise, but a war on Iraq could result in "fearful and rampant terrorist attacks" in Asia, according to a Philippine bishop.
20 Mar 2003

Irish bishop says US should be denied Shannon Airport facilities
The Catholic Bishop of Kerry has called on the Irish Government to withdraw facilities at Shannon Airport from the US military due to its decision to launch a unilateral, pre-emptive war against Iraq.
20 Mar 2003

Missionaries of Charity Nuns refusing to leave Baghdad
Sisters of the Mother Teresa-founded Missionaries of Charity congregation have vowed to remain in Baghdad to care for Iraqi orphans during hostilities expected to begin today.
20 Mar 2003

Military bishop voices support for Australian troops
Australia's Catholic Military Ordinary has written a pastoral letter to members of the Australian Defence Force who have been "called upon to fulfill their vocation and respond to the call of duty" in Iraq.
20 Mar 2003

Canberra bishop says God's grace "vital for this dark time"
God's grace is vital for this dark time, said Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Power of Canberra and Goulburn as Australian troops prepared to go to war against Iraq.
20 Mar 2003

New document critical of 'contrived and misleading' war initiative
Australia and the United States' reasons for going to war are "contrived and misleading", says a position paper to be released today by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC).
20 Mar 2003

Feature - The whispering desert
For millennia the desert has been the place favoured by prophets and shamans seeking divine inspiration. Moses, Jesus and Muhammad all began their ministries after extended periods in the Egyptian, Palestinian and Arabian deserts.
19 Mar 2003

Opinion - Educating ourselves to judge the morality of war against Iraq
Unlike the US bishops, the Australian bishops and clergy, and people generally, have not been through an education process on interpreting the just war tradition today. The US bishops' 1983 pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace informed US Church people and nurtured a community of scholarship. - Fr Bruce Duncan CScR, lecturer in history and social ethics at Yarra Theological Union and author of 'War on Iraq: Is it just?' (ACSJC March 2003)
19 Mar 2003

Catholic Enquiry Centre moves to inner city
The Sydney-based national Catholic Enquiry Centre has been "reborn" in what its director calls a "vibrant" location in inner-city Surry Hills.
19 Mar 2003

Aboriginal centre sets up makeshift mosque for Afghani refugees
Adelaide's Otherway Centre for Aborigines and Afghanis has temporarily transformed a hall into a mosque to help Afghani refugees and asylum seekers during a special time of prayer and mourning.
19 Mar 2003

Ratzinger says Church becomes a museum without Eucharist
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who worked closely with John Paul II in the forthcoming encyclical on the Eucharist, has just published a book on this sacrament.
19 Mar 2003

Australian bishops respond with sorrow to Howard troop commitment
Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle expressed "deep sorrow" following yesterday's news that the Australian Government has committed the country to war and that President George Bush has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq.
19 Mar 2003

Papal Nuncio to remain in Baghdad despite risk
The Pope's representative in Iraq will remain in Baghdad despite the imminent threat of an American bombing campaign.
19 Mar 2003

Caritas says Iraqi children the most vulnerable
The initial bombardment of Iraq with thousands of "precision-guided" bombs and missiles will have devastating consequences for Iraqi civilians, especially children, according to Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Duncan MacLaren.
19 Mar 2003

Feature - Human shields waiting for Bombs in Baghdad
People ask me if I am afraid. I have to say "yes." I don't want to die. I want to come home to Art and the boys and all my family and friends.
18 Mar 2003

Opinion - The coalition of the unwilling
John Howard probably committed Australia to a coalition of the willing two or three months before the Opposition suspects he did, but his enthusiasm for a conflict has been declining from the time that the Opposition brought United Nations assent into the equation. - Canberra Times editor-in-chief Jack Waterford
18 Mar 2003

Hot cross buns banned to avoid offence to non-Christians
Schools across Britain have been ordered by local authorities to abandon the ancient tradition of serving hot cross buns on Good Friday so as not to offend children of non-Christian faiths.
18 Mar 2003

Pell biography launched in UK
A packed committee room at the House of Commons reportedly heard a "ringing defence" of Archbishop George Pell last week when author Tess Livingstone launched the British publication of her biographer biography of the Archbishop of Sydney.
18 Mar 2003

Priests in India call for pre-nuptial blood tests to fight AIDS
Priests in the Indian state of Kerala want the Church to require compulsory blood tests before marriage as a way to curb the AIDS threat.
18 Mar 2003

Killer flu halts pastoral visits to Hong Kong hospitals
The recent outbreak of a virulent strain of pneumonia has caused serious disruption to pastoral services in Hong Kong hospitals.
18 Mar 2003

Commission says Howard looking at free trade reward for war
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace (CCJDP) has said there is a clear connection between the Australian Government's support for a US war on Iraq, and US support for Free Trade Negotiations taking place this week.
18 Mar 2003

Envoy reveals Pope's fears for an "ungovernable" Middle East
The Pope is worried that the Middle East will be destabilised and that the almost certain war against Iraq will mark the beginning of an "ungovernable situation", according to Cardinal Pio Laghi, the papal envoy who recently met with George W. Bush in Washington.
18 Mar 2003

Feature - Gathering to sip a different spirit
About 100 Catholics are gathered for a midweek meeting, but there's something odd. Many of them are holding a glass of beer or wine, they're here to talk as well as listen, and the venue is a suburban hotel. They're here at the Kingston Club in Mordialloc for the bi-monthly meeting of Spirituality in the Pub (SIP).
17 Mar 2003

Opinion - John Paul vs. George W.: Conservative Catholics in a bind?
We have an American president who seems determined to go to war with Iraq and a Pope who is doing all in his power to avert that war. What is the conservative US Catholic to think? - Tom Bethell, Washington Correspondent, The American Spectator
17 Mar 2003

Parade organiser says St Patrick's Day is not about St Patrick
The chief executive of Dublin's St Patrick's Festival has said that the St Patrick's Day Parade is not about St Patrick.
17 Mar 2003

Church in NZ offers $A3.67m abuse payout
56 men allegedly abused as boys at a Christchurch Catholic residential school are being offered compensation payments totalling $A3.67 million.
17 Mar 2003

Lobbyists call super policy "the cause of a growing social evil"
Australia's superannuation policy is the cause of "a growing social evil" according to Catholic lobby group PolMin.
17 Mar 2003

Queensland Union rejects Catholic call for more male teachers
The Queensland Teachers Union has rejected Catholic Education Commission calls for more male teachers, saying that "diversity" among teaching staff is more important.
17 Mar 2003

Catholic Health welcomes health insurance premium increase
Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the federal Government's decision to permit health insurance premiums to increase by an industry average of 7.4%.
17 Mar 2003

Pope makes strongest public appeal yet to Saddam
Pope John Paul II, in one of his strongest appeals yet against war, implored Iraqi President Saddam Hussein yesterday to avoid giving the West reason to attack.
17 Mar 2003

Feature - Catholic Women's league lifts spirits in bush
Money raised by the Catholic Women's League has provided much appreciated hampers of food and other goods for farming families in the Brewarrina district of NSW suffering from one of the harshest droughts on record.
14 Mar 2003

Opinion - The effort to beat life's conspiracy against prayer
Our present culture constitutes a virtual conspiracy against the interior life. Thomas Merton was once asked what he considered to be the major spiritual disease in the Western world. His answer: "Efficiency". - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
14 Mar 2003

Mel Gibson Jesus film antagonising Jewish groups
Concerns that a new film, directed and financed by actor Mel Gibson, may revive the "scurrilous charges" that the Jews are collectively responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus have been raised by Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.
14 Mar 2003

St Peter loses keys to Kingdom of Heaven
Vatican authorities were searching yesterday for the left hand - the one holding the keys - of a 13th-century marble statue of the apostle in St Peter's Basilica after the hand and keys mysteriously vanished.
14 Mar 2003

Indian Bishops critical of Govt survey of Christians
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) has expressed its "serious apprehension" about a Government survey that singles out Christian families and institutions in Gujarat state.á
14 Mar 2003

Italian Jesuit journal condemns intercommunion
The influential Jesuit magazine CiviltÓ Cattolica is issuing a clear condemnation of the practice of sharing the Eucharist with non-Catholics.
14 Mar 2003

Lobbyists welcome closure of Woomera Detention Centre
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) yesterday welcomed this week's annoucement by Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock of the closure of South Australia's Woomera Detention Centre.
14 Mar 2003

Bishop Power unconvinced by Howard assurance to churches on Iraq
Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday that he respected and listened to the views of the churches on the question of Iraq, but said there were a variety of such views, reflecting differences within the community.
14 Mar 2003

Feature - Pope encourages Catholic young people to pray rosary in public
Pope John Paul II has encouraged Catholic young people to pray the rosary in public without shame, saying Mary would help them reach the true happiness offered only by Christ. He said: "Humanity has a decisive need for the witness of free and courageous young people who dare to go against the current."
13 Mar 2003

Opinion - Show clergy abuse victims the money
My campus priest's sexual exploitation damaged not only me, but my family. Settlements can't heal victims, but they're a start.
13 Mar 2003

British insurers say churches safer unlocked
Churches left all open all day are half as likely to be robbed than those that are locked according to advice given to an Anglican group by insurers.
13 Mar 2003

Nairobi archbishop to join ritual cleansing of torture centre
Religious leaders in Kenya are planning to perform a cleansing ceremony at a building in the capital where secret torture chambers were discovered last month.
13 Mar 2003

West Timor bishop tells Govt it's time to act on refugees
The bishop of Atambua in Indonesian West Timor says the Government needs to resolve the situation of East Timorese in refugee camps set up there in western Timor Island, or it may be faced with violence.
13 Mar 2003

Catholic Health warns gap plan would push up cost of visit to doctor
Catholic Health Australia has warned of a cost explosion following claims that the Federal Government is considering the introduction of gap insurance to cover higher GP consultation.
13 Mar 2003

Sydney CEO seeks review on male teacher ruling
The Catholic Education Office wants the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to take another look at its decision not to allow the office to offer special inducements to attract more male teachers into Catholic primary schools.
13 Mar 2003

Martini emerges from retirement to urge peace
A lasting peace only comes at the cost of "turning the other cheek", according to former Archbishop of Milan Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.
13 Mar 2003

Feature - Missionary in a land where children bury their parents
For Sr Christine Martin OLSH, immersion in the daily struggles of children in South Africa's Tzaneen diocese, the country's poorest rural area, which borders Zimbabwe, is often overwhelming. Each day she must cope with death, disease, poverty, injustice and people's heartbreaking and dangerous misconceptions about AIDS, all written on the faces of Tzaneen's orphans.
12 Mar 2003

Opinion - Pleasures OK in Lent, but not excess
Aquinas took the view that all created things are good; what is lacking in vice is a sense of proportion. Our lusts, for instance, are simply a disproportion in our perfectly wholesome sensual appetites. - London Evening Standard journalist Melanie McDonagh
12 Mar 2003

Italian priest opens church to Saturday night clubbers
An priest in the northern Italian city of Trieste is opening his church late on Saturday nights to get closer to young people.
12 Mar 2003

Necropolis proves headache for Vatican car park builders
Tombs from the time of the Roman emperor Nero have been unearthed as the Vatican tried to clear space for a multi-level underground car park.
12 Mar 2003

Vatican denies involvement in Saddam exile bid
The Holy See has denied reports that Pope John Paul II in involved in an effort to persuade Iraq's Saddam Hussein to go into exile.
12 Mar 2003

PNG Church lobbying gets reprieve for Papuan asylum seekers
Papua New Guinea has postponed plans to repatriate hundreds of asylum seekers from the Indonesian province of Papua lobbying from the Catholic Church, the United Nations refugee agency, and a number of foreign embassies.
12 Mar 2003

Premier says Catholic University at home in the "smart state"
Opening the new Australian Catholic University (ACU) Banyo campus in Brisbane yesterday, Queensland Premier Peter Beattie commended the institution on its "progressive" approach to education.
12 Mar 2003

Catholic Health argues all must have access to health cover
Catholic Health Australia has reiterated its stance that Australia's health system must be founded on a universal insurance entitlement to essential care for everyone.
12 Mar 2003

Catholic Employment Commission urges inquiry into needs of low-paid
The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) has called for an inquiry into the needs of low-paid employees.
12 Mar 2003

Feature - From disco to convent: the story of Anna Nobili
After years as a disco dancer, Anna Nobili opted for the religious life and dedication to the needy. I was in church for no particular reason. I began going to church on Sunday.. My heart was filled with an indescribable joy. I began dancing, but this time not to attract men, but to thank God and praise him."
11 Mar 2003

Opinion - Dextera Domini: The Declaration on the Pastoral Care of Left-handed Persons
Sinistrals, that is left-handed people, should always be made to feel the depth of compassion that the Church wishes to extend to all contemptible deviates. It is deplorable that sinistral persons have been the object of malice, prejudice and bigotry in the past; the dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
11 Mar 2003

Scottish Bishops urge Queen to honour Catholics
Scotland's bishops have called for an inquiry into why members of the Catholic Church appear to have been excluded from the Order of the Thistle, the ancient order signifying the highest honour the Queen can bestow on her subjects in Scotland.
11 Mar 2003

New National President for Vinnies
West Australian John Meahan has been elected President of the National Council of the St Vincent de Paul Society to succeed outgoing President John Moore.
11 Mar 2003

Confessional seal under attack in United States
The clergy sex abuse crisis in the US Catholic Church has sparked a variety of state legislative initiatives to strengthen child abuse laws, including efforts in five states to force a priest to violate the seal of confession if he learns about abuse of a child during a sacramental confession.
11 Mar 2003

Pontifical Council backs groups opposed to death penalty
The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace gave his support to a US delegation of movements that oppose the death penalty and work to reform the judicial system for minors.
11 Mar 2003

Vatican confirms al-Qaida man involved in Pope plot
The Vatican has confirmed that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the second in command to Osama bin Laden, arrested in Pakistan last week, was the leader of a group of Islamic militants which plotted to kill Pope John Paul II on a visit to the Philippines.
11 Mar 2003

Pope brokering deal for Saddam exile
Vatican officials have confirmed that Pope John Paul II, in addition to praying daily for peace in the Middle East, is trying to broker a deal to have Saddam Hussein accept exile and this avoid an Iraq-United States war.
11 Mar 2003

Feature - The evolving theology of George W Bush
We are witnessing a shift in Bush's theology--from talking mostly about a Wesleyan theology of "personal transformation" to describing a Calvinist "divine plan" laid out by a sovereign God for the country and himself. This shift has the potential to affect Bush's approach to terrorism, Iraq and his presidency.
10 Mar 2003

Opinion - Sydney seminary growth based on orthodoxy, fidelity
An increasing number of vocations are emerging not from a solid Catholic culture, but rather out of a personal conviction of faith akin to conversion. They look particularly to Pope John Paul II, the only pope they have ever known, as representing what they seek from the Church. - Fr Julian Porteous, rector Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Sydney
10 Mar 2003

Cult slur angers Mel Gibson
Actor Mel Gibson has reportedly gone "ballistic" over a magazine article depicting him as an adherent of a loony, cult-like offshoot of the Catholic Church.
10 Mar 2003

Dutch Church sending Lent mobile phone text messages
The Catholic church in the Netherlands has launched a special SMS (mobile phone text messaging) service to facilitate spiritual preparation for Easter.
10 Mar 2003

Fidel Castro attends convent blessing
Cuban leader Fidel Castro has made an unprecedented appearance at the blessing of a convent in Havana.
10 Mar 2003

Vatican schedules 12 canonisations for this year
The Church is about to recognise 12 new saints, the Vatican announced on Friday following a public ordinary consistory held in the presence of John Paul II to vote on the cases.
10 Mar 2003

Pope requests publication of concise Catechism
Following a request by bishops, Pope John Paul II has ordered the preparation of a shorter, simpler official version of the 865-page Catechism of the Catholic Church.
10 Mar 2003

Nun spells out Australia's landmines obligations
Australia risks breaking humanitarian laws if it helps its allies unleash landmines as part of a joint attack against Iraq, according to Mercy Sister Patricia Pak Poy of the Australian Network of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
10 Mar 2003

Feature - TV or not TV
Since their marriage over 23 years ago, Paul and Julie Maguire have not felt the need for a television. "We're part of 0.8% of the population!" This was the conclusion of Grace Maguire when she read recently that 99.2% of Australian households have TV.
7 Mar 2003

Opinion - Claims that youth are embracing orthodox Catholicism need scrutiny
This book applies the formula perfectly: the young are in rebellion again against their elders -- and again in the cause of freedom, novelty, and cutting-edge activities leading, with a little luck, to societal upheaval. - Jim Bowman, reviewing "The New Faithful: Why Young Adults are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy", by Colleen Carroll (Loyola Press)
7 Mar 2003

Catholic parents fear Greens' "Robin Hood" education policy
The Council of Catholic School Parents has expressed regret that the NSW Greens' policy of shifting public funds for education away from Catholic and independent schools into the Government sector.
7 Mar 2003

Pedophile victim speaks out against sacked choirmaster
One of the alleged victims of an incidence of sex abuse in a Sydney home in the 1980s has spoken out against sacked St Mary's Cathedral choirmaster David Russell, alleging he witnessed the abuse and had done nothing about it.
7 Mar 2003

Pope's peace messenger has face to face with Bush
Pleading for peace, an emissary from Pope John Paul II has questioned US President Bush on whether he's doing all he could to avert what the envoy called an "unjust" war with Iraq.
7 Mar 2003

Visiting author says humanities education will give riches to homeless
Earl Shorris, author of the landmark book Riches for the Poor, has been in Sydney this week to assist the St Vincent de Paul Society in developing their unique homelessness program Charles O'Neill House.
7 Mar 2003

Migrant and Refugee Office urges Senate to let East Timorese stay
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office yesterday urged Senators to support a move which would allow about 1600 East Timorese asylum seekers to stay permanently in Australia.
7 Mar 2003

Landmark social justice statement revisted after ten years
A new document being launched today by the Australian Social Justice Council assesses whether the gap between rich and poor has widened since Common Wealth for the Common Good was released in 1992.
7 Mar 2003

Feature - Retreat to a quiet place
"Service of God in one's life requires total involvement in the world and also at times withdrawal from the world to be with God alone," says Fr Tom O'Hara. "The reason for a retreat is not just to go away and do something different, but to create more of a rhythm of life."
6 Mar 2003

Opinion - Clearing the clutter: Lent and moving house
As you get older, you have more stuff but less strength with which to shift it. Moving house means sorting out what to take and what to leave. The days of Lent offer us a similar opportunity.
6 Mar 2003

Brisbane archbishop inspired by new Anglican leader
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has returned from the enthronement of the new Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, with a renewed awareness that their challenges are similar.
6 Mar 2003

Bioethics Centre critical of Beattie ploy to undermine conscience vote
Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is under fire for refusing to split a bill on human cloning and embryonic stem cell research.
6 Mar 2003

Pope speaks out on solidarity with the aged
Pope John Paul II has urged Catholics to practise positive discrimination in favour of the elderly, in a message to the President of the Brazilian Bishops Conference.
6 Mar 2003

Catholics concerned about PNG repatriation plans
The Catholic Church is seeking assurances that asylum seekers who have crossed the Indonesian border into Papua New Guinea will not be forced to return.
6 Mar 2003

Queensland schools to press ahead on gender balance
Catholic schools in Queensland plan to discriminate in favour of male student teachers to redress a gender imbalance in its teaching ranks in Queensland.
6 Mar 2003

Spokesman denies rumour of papal dash to UN in New York
An Italian newspaper reported on Tuesday a Vatican rumour that Pope John Paul II might fly to New York to make a dramatic appeal for peace before the United Nations.
6 Mar 2003

Feature - Hoodwinked by sin
"Sin speaks to the sinner in the secret of his heart," the psalmist writes in Psalm 36. There in the Taco Grande, the possibility of sin had held my larcenous heart in rapt attention.
5 Mar 2003

Opinion - Rationality reigns but prayers can still serve a need
Until recently, people were praying for rain to break the drought. They prayed in their churches, in the privacy of their homes. Then, two weeks ago, the rains came. Miracle or coincidence? - Chris McGillion
5 Mar 2003

Change in direction for Australian Jesuit magazine
The Jesuits have appointed a new editor for their flagship Eureka Street publication who will oversee significant new developments in coming months.
5 Mar 2003

Archbishop says Ireland losing a generation to drink
The Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Sean Brady has warned that Ireland is becoming enveloped in a dangerous drink culture.
5 Mar 2003

Online reservations open for Mother Teresa's beatification ceremony
Tickets for the 19 October beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta can now be reserved at the official website of Mother Teresa's cause for beatification.
5 Mar 2003

Human Rights Commission rejects Catholic male teacher solution
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has refused to give leave to the Sydney Catholic Education Office to specifically seek out male teachers.
5 Mar 2003

Pell launching major Caritas appeal with peace call
Today Sydney's Archbishop George launches the Caritas Australia annual Project Compassion Lenten Appeal by echoing the Pope's call on Catholics to offer up their Ash Wednesday prayer and fasting for peace.
5 Mar 2003

Australian bishops support Pope call to observe international law
In an Ash Wednesday peace message, Australia's Catholic Bishops have amplified the Pope's call for political leaders to observe international law in their efforts to disarm Iraq.
5 Mar 2003

Feature - Tiwi Islands ministry - one people, two islands
The Tiwi Islands, comprised of Bathurst and Melville Islands, lie 80 km north of Darwin. In 1942, the Catholic mission was the first place in Australia to experience war when Japanese bombers, on their way to Darwin, strafed Nguiu.
4 Mar 2003

Opinion - Remember, Jesus is our personal saviour
20 years ago, renowned Scripture scholar Raymond Brown said those parishes and worshipping communities that most stress good theology and proper liturgy as a healthy corrective to privatised and devotional spirituality, often find they are losing parishioners to religious groups that stress a personal relationship to Jesus. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
4 Mar 2003

Filipino bishops reject text confessions
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has responded to requests to consider the use of mobile phone text messaging and other technologies to expedite reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
4 Mar 2003

Milan cardinal cautions against postmodern subjectivity
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi has warned Catholics about the risk of living faith in a purely subjective dimension, which might sever it from the Gospel.
4 Mar 2003

Adelaide Church calls for restraint on Easter trading hours
Adelaide's Vicar General Monsignor David Cappo has welcomed the prohibition of Easter Sunday trading in the city and Glenelg.
4 Mar 2003

Catholic Health says palliative care missing from Govt Aged Care Review
Catholic Health Australia yesterday called on the Federal Government to do more for aged care services struggling to care for the dying and people with dementia.
4 Mar 2003

Muslim and Vatican officials united against terrorism
Vatican and Muslim representatives have agreed on the need to foster knowledge of religions, to make distinctions among sacred texts, and to condemn terrorism.
4 Mar 2003

Momentum gathers for tomorrow's Day of Prayer for Peace
The Pope's call for an Ash Wednesday "fast with intensity for peace" has touched Catholics and other Christians around the world.
4 Mar 2003

Feature - What to do about babies crying during Mass
Some priests and parents welcome the sounds as signs of parish vibrancy. Others think parents are shirking their duty to teach children how to behave at Mass. The third favour nurseries and cry rooms as a way to keep the peace.
3 Mar 2003

Opinion - Celibacy in corporate America
Having spent 15 years in a monastery as a Catholic priest, I now work for a Fortune 500 company in NYC. For days on end, I'm as celibate now as I was as a monk. Many of my peers couldn't have a sex life if they wanted to. Large numbers of the high-earners are divorced or single.
3 Mar 2003

Bishop denies political influence in Kiribati
The Opposition Leader of the small Pacific nation of Kiribati has accused the head of the local Catholic Church of involvement in the re-election campaign of President Teburoro Tito.
3 Mar 2003

Sydney Church sued over St Mary's choirmaster allegations
The Catholic church will today be served with legal papers initiating a $2 million lawsuit after allegations it ignored violent bullying at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral College and sexual abuse within the grounds of St Mary's Cathedral.
3 Mar 2003

Zimbabwe police caution outspoken archbishop
Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube, was cautioned by police on Friday over a service he held during which victims of torture gave testimonies.
3 Mar 2003

Sept 11 "brain" linked to anti-Pope cell
The suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks now in US custody was part of a cell of Islamic militants accused of plotting to kill Pope John Paul in the Philippines in 1995, intelligence officials have said.
3 Mar 2003

Pope launches veiled attack on Blair
In the week he celebrated mass in the Vatican with the Blair family, the Pope on Friday appeared to attack Tony Blair over Iraq.
3 Mar 2003

Pope sending special envoy to meet with Bush over Iraqi crisis
Intensifying his diplomatic efforts to avert a war against Iraq, Pope John Paul II is sending a special envoy to Washington to meet with US President George W. Bush, the Vatican said on Saturday.
3 Mar 2003