Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR MAY 2003

   
Feature - Gujarat Church facing growing tide of Hindu Fundamentalism
"We are not afraid," said Bishop Thomas Macwan of Ahmedabad in the Indian state of Gujarat. "The anti-conversion bill approved in Gujarat is unconstitutional. We, the local Catholic Church, together with Hindu and civil organisations, will appeal to the Supreme Court. Our faith is strong."
30 May 2003

Opinion - Devil in detail of South Australian gay relationships bill
The approach of the Bill effectively equates married couples with de factos and same-sex relationships. If accepted, it would be a short step to include the possibility of same-sex relationships being formally solemnised as "marriages" under the Marriage Act. - Fr John Fleming
30 May 2003

Catholic lobbyist questions value of ombudsman's detention inquiry
The Commonwealth Ombudsman's inquiry into conditions at immigration centres across Australia will not make any difference to the conditions of detained asylum seekers, according to the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin).
30 May 2003

Vatican official wants return to traditional theology
US Dominican Fr Augustine Di Noia, a leading member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has said that while the it cannot dismiss advances in scholarship, the Church needs to recover its traditional understanding of theology.
30 May 2003

Bombs found under Pope's stage
Six bombs and two unexploded mortar shells from World War II have been found under a stage where Pope John Paul II is due to celebrate mass during his visit to Bosnia next month.
30 May 2003

Colin Powell to attempt relations patch with Vatican
US Secretary of State Colin Powell will make a lightning trip on Monday to talk to Pope John Paul, following deep divisions between the Vatican and Washington over the war in Iraq.
30 May 2003

Security risks in Iraq frustrating Caritas relief effort
As Catholic organisations gear up long-term relief operations in Iraq, they are being frustrated by rampant lawlessness and looting, an official of Caritas Internationalis has said.
30 May 2003

Church worried about implications of right-to-die go-ahead
The Catholic Church has warned that yesterday's Melbourne court decision allowing the cessation of the artificial tube-feeding of a 68 year old woman, places vulnerable people at risk.
30 May 2003

Bishops fine-tuning sex abuse response procedures
The Australian Catholic Bishops have indicated that the Towards Healing protocol for dealing with claims of abuse by Church personnel is continuing to "evolve in the light of experience".
29 May 2003

Feature - War takes its toll on the Garden of Eden
Paradise is not what it used to be. Dozens of dead fish float by in a river that reeks of sewerage. The graffiti screams in Arabic: "Down with America! Down with Israel!".
29 May 2003

Opinion - What they'll remember when they're older
It's the little things that count with children. The time a parent gives to a child to listen or look at their latest game. Not the amount of money Mum or Dad earned. - Joan Atkinson
29 May 2003

Police interrogate Indian priests on links with Maoists
Police in eastern India have interrogated two Catholic priests concerning their alleged links with an extremist group.
29 May 2003

'Father of liberation theology' wins humanitarian prize
Peruvian theologian and academic Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino has been awarded a prestigious Spanish Government award for his contribution to commnication and the humanities.
29 May 2003

Papal envoy in Iraq to support aid effort
Pope John Paul II has sent Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", to Iraq to see firsthand the country's humanitarian aid requirements.
29 May 2003

Pope urges faithful to rely on Providence, not military force
God's power - not the force of arms - sustains humanity in times of trouble, Pope John Paul II said at his weekly public audience yesterday.
29 May 2003

Church urges Tasmanian Govt to shelve same sex adoption report
Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has called on the State Government not to act on the recently-released Tasmanian Law Reform Institute's final report on adoption by same sex couples.
29 May 2003

Feature - Rainbow Serpent in stations at La Perouse church
"When I came here the first thing I wanted to do was fill the church with Aboriginal spiritual art," says Elsie Heiss of Our Lady of Good Counsel Reconciliation Church, the second Aboriginal Catholic church to be established in Australia. "That was my dream, now it is coming true."
28 May 2003

Opinion - Spiritual dimension of worrying GM scenario
When a handful of transnational agribusiness companies control the production of food, farmers will be forced to buy their seeds and the chemical package that goes with them. The danger of genetically engineered seeds wiping out the natural species is very real, and the importance of the precautionary principle cannot be overstated.
28 May 2003

Catholic schools, churches still open in war-torn Aceh
A priest in the only parish in Aceh says Catholic schools and churches there are operating as usual despite hundreds of schools being burned down during fighting between the Indonesian military and separatists.
28 May 2003

Archaeologist who uncovered St Peter's bones dies at 102
Antonio Ferrua, a Jesuit archaeologist who headed the excavation that uncovered what the Vatican declared to be the tomb and bones of St Peter has died at the age of 102.
28 May 2003

Catholic lobbyist says Telstra cuts will heighten rural disadvantage
PolMin, the independent Catholic lobby group, said yesterday that Telstra's decision to cut 3000 jobs from its infrastructure division could threaten the viability of long-distance higher education.
28 May 2003

Catholic Health says dementia carers need more support
Catholic Health Australia has said that a new report on the Dementia Epidemic confirms its view that the Government's aged care program fails to meet the real costs of caring for people with dementia.
28 May 2003

Bishops promote reverence for Eucharist
Australia's Catholic bishops are looking at ways of enhancing due reverence for Holy Communion, taking particular account of the hardships faced by communities in Australia where regular access to a priest may be difficult.
28 May 2003

Bishop dismayed as gay age of consent bill passes
Last night's passing of the gay age of consent bill by the NSW Parliament represents the "opening of a real Pandora's box", according to Bishop Michael Malone of Maitland-Newcastle.
28 May 2003

Feature - Thanks to the Pope, Iraq war not viewed as Christian Crusade
They may see it as a capitalist plot, an economic ploy, an exercise in paranoia, a grasp at "unipolarism" in the name of God. But thanks to the pope - analysts around the world say - Arabs do not see this war as a Christian plot against their religious tradition or culture. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
27 May 2003

Opinion - On a mission with God
For ten years the remarkable Josephite Sister Carmel Street has been traversing the thousand kilometres from Townsville to Mt Isa and back, giving retreats and spiritual direction, teaching people ways of prayer and supporting and training them to be spiritual companions to one another.
27 May 2003

Aboriginal assembly to focus on theme of rebirth
Lowitja O'Donoghue, the inaugural chairperson of ATSIC and a member of the Council for Aboriginal Reconcilation, will be a keynote speaker at the Sixth Annual Assembly of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Commission (NATSICC).
27 May 2003

Australian Bishops to upgrade web presence
The Catholic Bishops Conference has approved plans for a new web presence, with the construction of what it describes as a "gateway internet site".
27 May 2003

Actor Martin Sheen supports Australian Catholic peace activist
US actor Martin Sheen, who plays the US president in the television program West Wing, has "pardoned" an Australian peace activist facing charges of causing over $4.5 million in damage to a US military jet.
27 May 2003

US Cardinal dedicates chapel to remember sex abuse victims
Cardinal Roger Mahony dedicated a chapel on Sunday in remembrance of victims of clergy sexual abuse.
27 May 2003

Cardinal celebrates Rome's first Latin Mass since 1970
For possibly the first time since 1970, a cardinal has celebrated an old-rite Latin Mass in Rome, with Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos presiding at the event at the Basilica of St Mary Major.
27 May 2003

Catholic Archbishops speak of G-G's "conflicted" position
In the wake of the resignation of Governor-General Peter Hollingworth, the Archbishops of Brisbane and Sydney have spoken separately of the problematic dimension of his holding the office.
27 May 2003

Feature - Shifting focus away from the bad apples
Serra International is a Catholic organisation concerned with the need to foster, promote and sustain vocations to the priesthood and religious life. International President Sue Cicherski comments on the effect of the sex abuse scandals: "The bad apples are such a small minority of the good priests and sisters who have served us, but the good ones don't get the publicity."
26 May 2003

Opinion - Letter from a Baghdad parish
Without a government and a proper police force in the city, both Christians and Muslims live in daily fear of attacks on their property or members of their family. "This is not Ali Baba and the forty thieves. This is Ali Baba and the 40,000 thieves."
26 May 2003

Fire destroys Hobart Salesian college chapel
A fire at the weekend destroyed Hobart's Dominic College chapel with damage estimated to be up to $1 million.
26 May 2003

Estranged priest removed from Sydney parish
The congregation of St Vincent's Parish, Redfern, has won the removal of its priest on the grounds he was estranged from parishioners.
26 May 2003

Schools funding squeeze boosts Sydney class sizes
Catholic schools have refused to follow the NSW Government's lead and cut class sizes for the early years, claiming they cannot afford the extra teachers or classrooms.
26 May 2003

Commission seeks to highlight women's participation in Church
The Commission for Australian Catholic Women has undertaken a major review of national Church agencies.
26 May 2003

Bishops question system of mandatory detention
A number of Catholic Church agencies have joined with other Church, civic and political leaders in calling for an independent inquiry into the management of Australia's detention centres.
26 May 2003

Bishops Committee sees slow growth in Aboriginal Reconciliation
In a Statement for today's National Sorry Day, the Bishops Committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People has said that despite widespread popular support for Reconciliation, the Roadmap "has largely gone unheeded and [is] seldom travelled by policy-makers".
26 May 2003

Feature - The Vatican's negotiator in the Holy Land
Franciscan Fr David Jaeger is credited with being the principal drafter and lead negotiator of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and Israel that took effect in 1994. Jaeger didn't accomplish all this by being meek, and indeed he is not one to mince words when something important is at stake. - John L Allen, The Word from Rome
23 May 2003

Opinion - Theological insight of a five year old
Recently my 5-year-old nephew Benjamin announced, "You know what? Infinity never ends." He smiled his goofy smile. "Well guess what? Jesus never ends." - Demetria Martinez
23 May 2003

Archbishop speaks out against nudity
Archbishop Anthony Olubunmi of the Nigerian capital of Lagos has instructed his priests to join a crusade to counter the "increasing wave of indecent dressing and nudity".
23 May 2003

Pope expresses solidarity with Algerian earthquake victims
Pope John Paul II has prayed for the more than 770 killed and 4700 injured in Wednesday's earthquake in Algeria, and sent a message through Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
23 May 2003

Ugandan seminarians speak about kidnap ordeal
While rebels continue to hold most of the 40 seminarians kidnapped in Uganda last week, the five who escaped have revealed that two were killed because they were too weak to walk on a forced march.
23 May 2003

Cardinal's surprise pro-family speech upsets US university
Vatican official Cardinal Francis Arinze sparked student and faculty protests at Georgetown University in Washington DC with a remark he made about homosexuals in his speech at a graduation ceremony.
23 May 2003

Vatican publishes book to aid in recitation of Rosary for Peace
The Vatican has just published a book on the recitation of the Rosary for peace, a response to John Paul II's petition for this year.
23 May 2003

Pope calls on media to help in peace effort
In a message for World Communications Day this Sunday, Pope John Paul II has decried the "ways of disseminating information, which violate the principles of truth and justice, and injure the reputation of another nation".
23 May 2003

Feature - Raising kids St Rita's way
'We tried to teach them right from wrong. Where did we fail?' St Rita of Cascia, whose feast we celebrate today, handled a major problem she faced as a mother when her husband was murdered and her two sons announced their intentions to exact revenge.
22 May 2003

Opinion - Looking at theology from a woman's perspective
Women add 'a different flavour' to the discussion because they ask questions that come out of real life experiences. An area that women theologians are exploring, for example, concerns the body. - Sr Christine Burke IBVM
22 May 2003

Colin Powell thanks Zimbabwe archbishop
US Secretary of State Colin Powell has expressed his appreciation to controversial Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube for his outspoken opposition to the policies of President Robert Mugabe's government.
22 May 2003

Moscow Patriarch says Pope needs a better excuse for visit
The Patriarchate of Moscow has said that the return of the icon of Our Lady of Kazan is not a reason for a visit by John Paul II.
22 May 2003

Cardinal Kasper issues clarification on 'Eucharistic hospitality'
President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Kasper has confirmed his agreement with Pope John Paul II that Protestant Christians should not receive the Eucharist in Catholic Churches.
22 May 2003

Official calls for Vatican office to preserve sacred music
The president of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music has said that a special Vatican office is needed to work specifically to safeguard sacred music.
22 May 2003

Pope says Christian education should begin as early as possible
Children need to begin learning about the Christian faith as as soon as possible, Pope John Paul II told the Italian bishops this week.
22 May 2003

Bishop urges action on detention centres
The bishop whose diocese includes Woomera has said the allegations concerning the management of the town's detention centre have exposed the human tragedy of Australia's asylum policy.
22 May 2003

Feature - With revised lexicon, Vatican hopes for 'renovatio vigoris' of Latin
If the history of the war in Iraq is ever written in Latin, people will no doubt read about a bellum prohibitivum undertaken to eliminate universalis destructionis armamenta. After 12 years, the Vatican has decided to update its 1991 dictionary of contemporary Latin, the Lexicon Recentis Latinitas.
21 May 2003

Opinion - Deaf to the faithful
All modern companies are keen that their employees should participate in the business. This leads to identification. People then speak of "their" company, and a sense of "ownership". Things are not so different as far as the Christian Churches are concerned. - Paul Zulehner, Professor of Pastoral Theology at Vienna University.
21 May 2003

Priest alleges cannibalism in Congo
Allegations of cannibalism once again circulated in troubled northeastern Congo, with terrified witnesses describing the mutilation and eating of the dead during more than a week of tribal fighting that killed scores and forced thousands to flee.
21 May 2003

Spokesman reveals secrets of Pope's communications success
Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls has paid tribute to Pope John Paul II's skillful manipulation of his personal charisma to communicate the Gospel message.
21 May 2003

Bishops' spokesman calls abuse media coverage 'severely distorted'
Media coverage of clergy sex abuse produced "a severely distorted view of the bishops and their efforts," according to the communications director for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
21 May 2003

Cardinal says Catholics value constancy in the liturgy
The faithful want fidelity at Mass, not novelty, according to the Vatican's top liturgy official Cardinal Francis Arinze.
21 May 2003

Concern mounts for Aceh as Indonesia launches military offensive
The British Caritas agency CAFOD has expressed concern over the situation unfolding in the Indonesian province of Aceh after the Indonesian military launched a major offensive against separatist rebels.
21 May 2003

Jesuit centre calls for independent inquiry into management of detention centres
The Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre has joined other calls for an independent inquiry into the management of Australia's immigration detention centres.
21 May 2003

Feature - First Everest Mass a physical and spiritual high for Brisbane priest
Fr Morgan Batt became the first priest to celebrate Mass on Mt Everest when he led other members of his party in prayer and worship on Easter Sunday. Although he did not reach the summit, he made it to 7200 metres, climbing Everest's North Col with an expedition coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the climb by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay.
20 May 2003

Opinion - Greed and selfishness do not add up to profitability
The unrestrained "free market" reduces life to financial and contractual relationships, and in the words of Pope John Paul II "seriously detracts from the dignity of the human person". Paradoxically an economy motivated mostly by the lust for money will end up less wealthy. - Angelo Matera, former CEO Circle Media
20 May 2003

Holy See divulges Pope's email address
In time for the Pope's birthday at the weekend, the Vatican published the Pope's email address on its its website for the first time.
20 May 2003

Italian journal defends Padre Pio against charges of plagiarism
Although he used the words of an Italian mystic as if they were his own, Padre Pio was not plagiarising her, the Italian Jesuit journal La Civila Cattolica has said.
20 May 2003

Renowned Indian nun doctor killed in train accident
Sacred Heart Sr Alphonsa Chelapurath was one of 38 passengers burned to death on Thursday morning when an Amritsar bound train caught fire.
20 May 2003

Christians attacked in Iraq
The violence which Christians in Iraq have long feared seems finally to have arrived with the brutal murder of two Chaldean Catholic men.
20 May 2003

New Kazakhstan Dioceses provoke sharp Russian reaction
Saturday's announcement of two new dioceses for the central former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, provoked an immediate reaction from the Russian Orthodox Church.
20 May 2003

Sydney CEO welcomes moves to change anti-discrimination laws
The Catholic Education Office in the Archdiocese of Sydney has applauded a move to change anti-discrimination laws so that teaching scholarships can be offered specifically to male candidates.
20 May 2003

Feature - Sacred Heart on a mission for 21 years
Mervyn Keong, a thin man with a shaggy grey beard, has been a fixture at Sacred Heart Mission for nearly all of its 21 years. It began when Melbourne's then St Kilda parish priest Fr Ernie Smith opened the doors of his parish hall and invited people in for lunch.
19 May 2003

Opinion - Poverty increasing around us
The dilemma in Australia is that Australians do not recognise the extent and nature of poverty in our country. Many people relate to poverty as a third world phenomenon where abject, dire poverty is a stark and confronting feature. - Anne Tuohey, Senior Policy Advisor, Catholic Social Services Victoria
19 May 2003

BBC admits bias against British cardinal
The BBC has admitted bias in a story on Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's response to sex abuse allegations, on the Today program on its serious talk outlet Radio 4.
19 May 2003

Congregation rejects priest's disruption of Aboriginal ministry
One of Australia's largest and most historic indigenous church congregations wants its parish priest of eight months dismissed because he allegedly alienates Aborigines.
19 May 2003

Pell believes Catholic school popularity 'a two-edged sword'
The increasing number of non-Catholics who want to attend Catholic schools is a two-edged sword, according to the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr George Pell.
19 May 2003

Catholic Health says hospitals starved of funds
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has said that the latest private health insurance figures "confirm that private hospitals continue to lose their share of the benefits of health insurance".
19 May 2003

Pope receives Australia's new Ambassador to the Holy See
Pope John Paul II has received Dr John Herron as Australia's new Ambassador to the Holy See.
19 May 2003

Pope's improved health aids celebration of 83rd birthday
Pope John Paul II is celebrating his 83rd birthday at a canonisation Mass in a packed St Peter's Square at the weekend.
19 May 2003

Feature - Forging a way for women
Nicole Feely, current CEO of St Vincent's Heath in Melbourne, has held hard-edged posts, including chief-of-staff for Prime Minister John Howard. But she says her present post has been the most fulfilling role in her professional life.
16 May 2003

Opinion - Protecting children from internet predators
I'm convinced that www need not stand for "worldwide worry" over what kids are doing online. The trick is how to get discussion going within the family circle about potential problems posed by the Internet and how to forestall those problems. - William J. Byron, S.J., past president Catholic University of America
16 May 2003

Pope to celebrate 83rd birthday on Sunday
Pope John Paul II will mark his 83rd birthday on Sunday at a ceremony in St Peter's Square during which he will canonise four new saints, including two fellow Poles, and hear Radio Poland's orchestra play "Happy Birthday".
16 May 2003

Employment Commission denies ombudsman investigating Church
The head of the Commission for Employment Relations for the Catholic Church in NSW has issued a statement advising that yesterday's newspaper assertion that the State Ombudsman is investigating the Church and the Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, was incorrect.
16 May 2003

Catholic Health welcomes Labor pledge to revive Medicare
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has given qualified support to Labor's Medicare package as outlined in last night's response to the Federal Budget by Opposition Leader Simon Crean.
16 May 2003

ACU National supports aspects of higher education reform
Australian Catholic University (ACU National) Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan has commended the Federal Government on some of its initiatives to reshape the higher education sector.
16 May 2003

Pope honours Sir William and Lady Deane
Former Governor-General Sir William Deane and Lady Helen Deane have been awarded high Papal Honours in recognition of their exemplary Catholic lives and their contribution to public life.
16 May 2003

Social Justice resolutions dominate Bishops' plenary meeting
Australia's Catholic bishops yesterday concluded their twice-yearly plenary meeting, in which they approved racism as the subject of this year's Social Justice Sunday statement.
16 May 2003

Feature - Mass for Dayak Good Harvest Day in Borneo
Good Harvest Day festivities were markedly Christian among Dayak peoples in Western Kalimantan on the Island of Borneo. The Liturgical celebration demonstrated the progress made in inculturation of the faith in Borneo.
15 May 2003

Opinion - Beware the death of caring
The recent announcement that the Public Advocate will ask the Supreme Court to rule on whether a woman's tube-feeding and hydration should be removed has major implications beyond the distressing events that have led her family to this point. - Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne
15 May 2003

Mother Teresa: The Musical a success on Italian stage
Mother Teresa and her fight against poverty, hunger and sickness are the unlikely protagonists of a stage production gaining popularity across Italy.
15 May 2003

Visiting speaker says God already present in mission territories
A former PNG Divine Word Missionary will tell a Melbourne conference tomorrow that the missionary interacting with people in mission countries increasingly respects that God is "already present in their world in a profound and vibrant way".
15 May 2003

Relief Agency sounds alarm of looming famine in Ethiopia
Catholic Relief Services, the Caritas member organisation in the USA, has said that more than 12 million people are now in immediate need of food aid in Ethiopia.
15 May 2003

Catholic lobbyist warns uni reforms disadvantage rural students
PolMin has criticised the Federal Government's higher education reform package, arguing that its emphasis on specialisation disadvantages students from regional Australia.
15 May 2003

Christian Brothers join call to let Timorese stay
The Province Leader of the Christian Brothers in NSW/ACT has urged the Federal Government to grant 1600 East Timorese refugees a special visa category to allow them to stay in Australia.
15 May 2003

NSW bishop goes public on priest charged with abuse
Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone issued a statement of regret after police yesterday charged one of his priests with sexual assault involving a minor.
15 May 2003

Feature - Study finds newspapers fail on accuracy and context in religious stories
A University of Rochester study reveals gaps in daily newspaper reporting on religion in America's newspapers. Religion pervades America's newspapers, but stories about religion rarely discuss its beliefs, values and practices.
14 May 2003

Opinion - Listening an vital skill for bishops
While it is important to recognise that the Church is not a denicractm kistening and dialogue are necessary for a efficient leadership in the Church. - Fr Mark Francis, Superior General Chierici di San Viatore
14 May 2003

Italian study fuels optimism for future of priesthood
An Italian study has put a positive spin on the vocations crisis, highlighting a rise in the number of seminarians.
14 May 2003

Congo killings raise fears of genocide
Following an assault on a Catholic parish in the Democratic Republic of Congo that killed 48, the Vatican's Fides news service is reporting resident's fear of continuing massacres.
14 May 2003

Vatican paper condemns Saudi terror bombing
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has called Monday's terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia a "ferocious offense against peace".
14 May 2003

Catholic Welfare says Budget victimises Australia's working poor
Catholic Welfare Australia is disappointed that the Federal Government's obsessive focus on a Budget surplus ignores the plight of suffering Australians.
14 May 2003

Catholic Health condemns 'indecent' budget
Catholic Health Australia has described last night's Federal Budget as indecent, saying it ripped nearly $1 billion from public hospitals to put it into doctors' pockets.
14 May 2003

Adelaide Centacare slams Govt deaf ears on child detainee report
The Centacare Catholic welfare agency has condemned the Federal Government for casting doubt on the integrity of a new report on children in detention.
14 May 2003

Feature - Jesuits hoping to reclaim Baghdad College
Al Hicks was a young Jesuit in 1960 when he boarded a steamer in New Jersey for Baghdad College, a Jesuit-run high school that offered a warm hand and rigorous education to both Catholics and Muslims. But real-world politics intruded when Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party expelled the 33 priests in 1969 and seized the school in retaliation for what it saw as America's pro-Israel policy.
13 May 2003

Opinion - 42% of 25-42 year olds too poor to start a family
Recent figures indicate that Australians should be deeply worried about threats to our egalitarian aspirations of a 'fair go' for all. Consider this: 42% of Australian men aged 25 to 44 earn less than $32,000 a year, meaning they are hardly in a position to buy a house or start a family. - Fr Bruce Duncan
13 May 2003

Uganda army searching for 40 abducted seminarians
The Ugandan army is seeking a group of rebels who abducted more than 40 trainee Catholic priests over the weekend.
13 May 2003

UK Caritas organisation loses its 'strategic ally' at Downing Street
The CAFOD Catholic aid and development organisation issued a statement of regret following yesterday's resignation of Britain's influential International Development Secretary Clare Short.
13 May 2003

Former Anglican head suggests all religious leaders report to Pope
Dr George Carey, who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury last year, has recommended that leaders of other religious communities make regular ad limina visits to the Pope, as Catholic bishops do.
13 May 2003

Catholic Welfare urges International Families Day observance
Catholic Welfare Australia is calling on all its Member Organisations to stop at 11:00 on Thursday to do something special to celebrate the International Day of Families.
13 May 2003

Psychologist warns schools must confront sex abuse or die
Schools are the best place to take decisive action against sex abuse, according to a Sydney psychologist and complaints consultant.
13 May 2003

Eight years jail for WA paedophile priest
A 61-year-old priest from the Bunbury Diocese has been sentenced to eight years jail for indecently dealing with five children under 13 years of age.
13 May 2003

Feature - Plans taking shape for JPII Pontificate Silver Jubilee celebration
The pope, who's never made a big deal of personal anniversaries, is planning to upstage himself by beatifying Mother Teresa on 19 October. But others envision a big anniversary party.
12 May 2003

Opinion - Cardinal Etchegaray on why the Pope travels so much
The papal visits are not just intended to give courage ... to recompense communities of believers, but to dialogue with all the civilisations and cultures of the planet. - Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, speaking at Lateran University Conference for the 25th anniversary of John Paul II's pontificate.
12 May 2003

Sin losing its grip on Americans
A recent Gallup poll of 1007 adults in the US found that 84% believe in sin, while 14% do not.
12 May 2003

Thai Cardinal refusing funeral mass for drug traffickers
Amid the Thai government's war on illegal drugs, the president of the country's Catholic Bishops' Conference says the Church will refuse funeral Masses to Catholics who produce or sell drugs.
12 May 2003

Ratzinger assistant denies Pope is authoritarian
Unlike popes who reigned before the 20th century, Pope John Paul II does not simply invoke his authority when teaching about faith and morals, but offers multiple arguments to explain his position, according to the undersecretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
12 May 2003

Sydney Catholics mark first mass in Australia
Australia's 40 bishops gathered yesterday at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the nation's first Catholic Mass.
12 May 2003

Human dimension of Iraq War dominates Australian Bishops' meeting
The Australian bishops' solidarity with Pope John Paul's efforts to avoid conflict in Iraq have given a clear message of the Church's concern for the human dimension in war, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Francesco Canalini said on Friday.
12 May 2003

Welfare cheat witch-hunt concerns Catholic organisation
Catholic Welfare Australia has expressed its "grave concern" with what it sees to be Family and Community Services Minister Senator Vanstone's attempts to ensure media outlets have images of individuals rounded up in a raid near the Snowy Mountains in NSW last week.
12 May 2003

Feature - Catholic schooling 'worth every penny'
Candy Joyce says the decision to send her children, Jessica and Michael, to Catholic schools was never in question. "Catholic schools provide a holistic education, which I feel is very important."
9 May 2003

Opinion - Changing my mind about Mary
I think it is in no small part due to the fact that, having finally been received into the Church, I found myself in an environment surrounded by maternal feminine symbols. For the first time in my life I was made conscious of the relationship between my gender and my faith. - British theologian Tina Beattie, author of God's Mother, Eve's advocate
9 May 2003

Astronomers 'pinpoint time and date of crucifixion and resurrection'
Two Romanian astronomers say their research shows Christ died at 3:00 pm on a Friday, and rose again at 4:00 am on a Sunday.
9 May 2003

Vatican confirms schedule for Pope's trip to Bosnia
Pope John Paul II will travel on Sunday 22 June to the town of Banja Luka, a Serbian enclave in the northern part of the country.
9 May 2003

Youth make presence felt at Brisbane Synod
A statement released yesterday by Brisbane Archdiocese's Catholic Communications office identified the "willingness and contribution made by young Catholics" as a "noticeable trend" at last weekend's Archdiocesan Synod Assembly".
9 May 2003

Hong Kong Bishop says Govt exploiting SARS to legislate for crackdown
The Catholic bishop of Hong Kong has accused the government and pro-government groups of trying to push through a controversial anti-subversion law amid the SARS crisis.
9 May 2003

Sydney Archbishop calls age-of-consent bill "regrettable"
Dr George Pell was one of a number of church officials to expressed concern over the NSW Government's push to lower the age of consent for homosexual males to 16 years from 18, the same age as heterosexuals and homosexual females.
9 May 2003

Pell joins calls for Hollingworth rethink
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell yesterday encouraged Australia's embattled Governor-General Dr Peter Hollingworth to seriously consider his position, but said there does not appear to be "sufficient ground for dismissal".
9 May 2003

Feature - Onward Christian motorists
In February, Archbishop Stephen Fumio Hamao, a Vatican official, told the first meeting of European directors of what is now known as the Apostleship of the Road that "the Church intends to lift the veil on the great drama of suffering caused by road accidents."
8 May 2003

Opinion - Faith is what gives hope to the paralysed
I was involved in a motor vehicle accident which left me paralysed from the neck down. Christopher Reeve is making people aware of stem cell research to provide hope to those who have suffered spinal cord injuries. He is searching in the wrong places for hope. - Anthony Succar, Computer Science student, University of Sydney
8 May 2003

Jesuits support homeless executives in Japan
The Jesuit order in Japan is reaching out to the growing number of middle-aged men who have lost their jobs from failed corporations.
8 May 2003

British bishops urge government to fulfill obligations to refugees
The Catholic bishops in England and Wales have urged the British government to fulfill its obligations under the 1951 US convention on refugees.
8 May 2003

Pope welcomes 32 new Swiss Guard recruits
Pope John Paul II has welcomed a new batch of recruits for the Swiss Guard and thanked them for the protection and service they offer in Vatican City.
8 May 2003

New Vatican project on science and religion
President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Paul Poupard, has announced the inauguration of a new project to explore the ties between religious faith and scientific knowledge.
8 May 2003

Pope appoints Palestinian to Christian-Jewish dialogue committee
Pope John Paul II has appointed Fr Elias Michael Chacour as a consultant to the Holy See committee promoting dialogue between Christians and Jews.
8 May 2003

Pope denounces terrorism after Colombia hostage deaths
Pope John Paul II has once more condemned terrorism and the use of violence for political purposes after 10 hostages were killed in Colombia.
8 May 2003

Feature - The magnetic pull of youth's X communication
How better to outdo Madonna, moreover, than to adopt a name that simultaneously invokes Christ and Hustler magazine? "One reason you're seeing it everywhere is that 'X' has connotations including mysterious, X-rated, and anything extreme," says Barbara Coulon, vice president of Youth Intelligence, a New York marketing firm that tracks youth-culture trends.
7 May 2003

Opinion - Abusing the gift of water
Railing against drought is really a confession that we have overstocked or overcropped the land in inappropriate ways. The flow of water in the rivers raises the issue of justice for this and future generations. - Fr Charles Rue SSC
7 May 2003

Principal wants fair go for refugee tertiary students
One of Australia's most respected high school principals is calling on the Federal Government to allow refugees to be recognised as local students when undertaking tertiary study.
7 May 2003

US Bishops' official identifies "ethic of fear"
Post September 11 2001 jitters are leading the US to embrace a formula of instilling fear of the United States as a protection from catastrophic attacks that echoes the philosophy of the brutal Roman emperor Caligula, acording to the director of the Office of International Justice and Peace at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
7 May 2003

Cardinal says Pope prevented anti-Christian backlash
The Vatican's Congregation for Eastern Churches head, Syrian Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud I, has said the Pope's statements helped to prevent an anti-Christian reaction in the Muslim world.
7 May 2003

Fire destroys 92 year old north Queensland church
A fire took only minutes to rip through St Mary's Catholic Church in the north Queensland town of Bowen after starting about 11:00 pm on Monday night.
7 May 2003

Vic budget puts election promises before social commitments
Catholic Social Services (CSS) has said the politically strong Bracks Labor Government has missed an opportunity to support a social agenda that would seriously address social disadvantage in Victoria.
7 May 2003

Caritas delivers medicines to the vulnerable In Iraq
Caritas Australia supported a convoy of life-saving medicines and supplies into Iraq on the weekend.
7 May 2003

Feature - PolMin's passion to influence public policy
PolMin, modelled on an American Catholic lobby called NETWORK, was started in 1999 by a group of Catholic pastoral workers. "They were frustrated by the system," says Coordinator Victoria Kearney. "They'd been working in pastoral care for years and years and they could see that it was the policies that were blocking necessary changes."
6 May 2003

Opinion - Carpe diem!
A young man once wrote to Rainer Marie Rilke complaining that he wanted to be a poet, but his daily life offered little in the way of inspiration. "If your daily life seems poor to you," Rilke replied, "then you aren't poet enough to call forth its riches." - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
6 May 2003

Blair minders warn: 'We don't do God'
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's most senior advisers have intervened to prevent him discussing his faith in public, according to two new profiles of the Prime Minister.
6 May 2003

Church in India denies reports that Christians converted Kashmir Muslims
The Catholic Church has denounced as "dangerously motivated", a series of media reports that accuse Christians of "converting" Muslims in violence-torn Kashmir.
6 May 2003

Philippine seminarians killed in rebel attack
A seminary rector in the southern Philippines has reported that two seminarians were among some 25 people killed on Sunday when suspected Islamic rebels attacked a remote coastal town.
6 May 2003

Vatican takes control of Padre Pio shrine
Vatican authorities have removed from the control of local Capuchins an Italian shrine devoted to St Padre Pio, angering the order that looks after one the world's most popular pilgrimage sites.
6 May 2003

Pope returns to Rome after Spain canonisation trip
Pope John Paul II has returned to the Vatican after canonising five new saints in Madrid at the weekend.
6 May 2003

Bishop speaks up for need to balance family and work
Bishop Eugene Hurley of the Australian Bishops' Committee for the Family and for Life has said that finding the right balance between family and work can be "the key to harmony both at work and at home".
6 May 2003

Feature - Christian TV and radio outdraw churches in the US
Christians are a devoted TV and radio audience with some very pronounced viewpoints, two new studies reveal. "A greater number of adults experience the Christian faith through the Christian media, such as radio, television or books, than attend Christian services," the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) announced last week.
5 May 2003

Opinion - Good and bad reasons to leave the Catholic Church
These are, in all candor, lousy reasons for decamping, reasons I find it hard to accept, though they often rise from great suffering. They equate the Catholic heritage with the stupidities of its leaders, which have been worse in the past than in the present. - Andrew Greeley
5 May 2003

Castro invokes Christ, pope to rally Cubans against US
Cuban President Fidel Castro last week invoked Christ and Pope John Paul II in rallying Cubans against a possible military invasion by the United States.
5 May 2003

Tridentine rite Mass for Roman basilica this month
Followers of the late dissident Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre have welcomed the announcement that Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos will celebrate a Tridentine-rite Mass in a Roman basilica this month.
5 May 2003

High profile Vatican official to succeed Archbishop of Dublin
Permanent Observer of the Holy See in Geneva, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, has been appointed coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin with the right to succeed 77 year old Archbishop of Dublin Desmond Connell.
5 May 2003

WA church leaders want UN, not US, to rebuild Iraq
Catholic Archbishop of Perth Barry Hickey has joined Anglican Primate Peter Carnley and other local church leaders in calling for the international community to ensure Iraq is rebuilt under the leadership of the United Nations, and not the US.
5 May 2003

Vatican diplomat says peace 'just as fragile in 21st century'
Despite the fact that 188 countries have signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, "peace is just as fragile in this 21st century as it was in any century of the past," Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said.
5 May 2003

Pope canonises five new Spanish saints
A massive crowd in the shape of a cross gathered around Pope John Paul II yesterday as he proclaimed five new saints and urged Spaniards to emulate them.
5 May 2003

Feature - New mission for Sydney's Kings Cross
Former Rosies Youth Mission Brisbane co-ordinator Dominic Mapstone and volunteer Gerry Denton are commencing an outreach program for homeless people and young people in juvenile detention in Sydney later this month.
2 May 2003

Opinion - Saints - more of the same
Many people have been asking in recent years why there are not more saints drawn from the ranks of ordinary married laywomen and laymen - individuals who did not join or found a religious community after the death of their spouse - Richard P. McBrien, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
2 May 2003

Nuns told to shape up
A fitness guru in the US has devised a light workout for nuns aimed at alleviating stress and promoting strength and fitness.
2 May 2003

Missionaries see American eyes on African oil
The Italian Comboni missionaries in Africa have warned that the US is becoming more involved in developing the oil industry in a number of African countries, in order to lessen its dependence on Arab oil.
2 May 2003

Cardinal tells Focolare not to forget real world
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano has told the international Congress of the Focolare lay movement in Rome that while "the vision of heaven casts a powerful ray of light on our earthly existence ... it should not remove us from our daily commitments".
2 May 2003

Mixed response in Germany to Papal encyclical on Eucharist
Pope John Paul II's recent encyclical on the Eucharist has drawn mixed responses in Germany, where two self-styled Catholic reform groups planned a joint Communion service.
2 May 2003

Brisbane Synod opens with Cathedral Mass
The Archdiocese of Brisbane's first Synod in more than a century was inaugurated last night with a Mass in St Stephen's Cathedral celebrated by Archbishop John Bathersby and 100 concelebrating priests.
2 May 2003

Caritas convoy leaving for Baghdad
Caritas Iraq is sending a convoy of trucks packed with life-saving medicines and supplies into Iraq today from its store in Amman, Jordan.
2 May 2003

Feature - Gardening with Mary
During the Middle Ages, the Catholic faithful saw reminders of Mary, the Mother of God, in the flowers and herbs growing around them. Violets were symbols of her humility, lilies her purity, and roses her glory.
31 May 2003

Opinion - Keep holy the Sabbath
In the mind of Benedict, life is not only lived by doing; leisure is an essential part of spirituality as well as work. The real measure of holy leisure, Sabbath leisure, contemplative leisure, has more to do with the quality of life and the depth of our vision than it does with play and vacation. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
31 May 2003

Jesuit peace activist says war cannot stop terrorism
"War cannot, will not, and never could stop terrorism, because war is terror," Fr John Dear told faculty and students at Notre Dame University last week.
31 May 2003

Mongolian Catholics required to wear masks to Mass
The Catholic Church in Mongolia has implemented a government order that requires people to wear masks in public places, to prevent the spread of SARS.
31 May 2003

Vatican newspaper says Big Brother is 'useless and parasitical'
Official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has attacked the Big Brother reality TV phenomenon as "useless" and "parasitical".
31 May 2003

Christian Arts Festival to open with play written by Pope
Carnivale Christi, the Christian arts festival now in its third year, will open at Sydney's Seymour Centre tomorrow evening with a once-only performance of The Jeweller's Shop, written by Karol Wojtyla.
31 May 2003

Weekend papal visit set for Spain
Pope John Paul II is making a whirlwind visit to Spain this weekend to meet with young people and canonise five new saints.
31 May 2003

Pope offers portrait of ideal political leader
The perfect politician is a person of "perfect moral integrity" always ready "to struggle against every form of evil and injustice", according to Pope John Paul II.
31 May 2003