Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JUNE 2003

   
Feature - 938 killed, 629 injured, 100,345 arrested for their faith
Aid to the Church in Need has released its fifth annual report into violence against Christians around the world in the year 2002. The 247 page report is available on-line.
30 Jun 2003

Opinion - Unleashing the power of the feminine
Sr Joan Chittister OSB argues: "Everybody wants to know, in a world ravaged by war, what can possibly be missing in the multiple attempts being made to stop it. Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, points to the voices invariably absent in every set of deliberations: the voice of spiritual leaders and the voice of women. Like you, I have been reading about the tension, suffering and competing claims for land and power in the Middle East. This week I walked into the middle of it and saw both women and spiritual concepts in action."
30 Jun 2003

Mel Gibson's film on Christ condemned as anti-Semitic
Mel Gibson's controversial film, The Passion, has been condemned by influential Catholic and Jewish groups in America for its alleged anti-Semitism and extreme violence.
30 Jun 2003

Student saved in blazing Catholic College
A student was rescued from a blazing university residential college in Perth after being trapped in her room by thick smoke and flames.
30 Jun 2003

Manila Archbishop, Jaime Cardinal Sin to retire
Manila Archbishop, Jaime Cardinal Sin, has announced his intention to tender his resignation on his 75th Birthday on 31st August.
30 Jun 2003

Bishop Ingham's plea to schismatics...
The Bishop of Wollongong, Peter Ingham, explains the excommunication that Malcolm Broussard has brought upon himself through a claimed ordination as a bishop and issues a plea to followers of the "Little Pebble" to be "reconciled with the Church".
30 Jun 2003

Catholic Health Australia launches strong attack on Aged Care funding
Francis Sullivan, CEO of Catholic Health Australia, has launched a strong attack on the paucity in a funding increase for aged care.
30 Jun 2003

Pope's response to European Synod: “Ecclesia in Europa”
The big religious news story around the world this morning is coverage of the Pope's response to the European Synod of Bishops. Most of the secular coverage highlights his comments on no relaxation on celibacy but there is much more in this document.
30 Jun 2003

Feature - Help still needed in Timor Leste ... Salesian
Timor Leste (formerly East Timor) may have celebrated its first birthday as a nation, but assistance is still badly needed. In this feature article in The Catholic Leader, Salesian Br Michael Lynch provides an update.
27 Jun 2003

Opinion - The Morning After Pill controversy
Miranda Divine writes in the SMH on the problems associated with the Morning After Pill. "Anything that lowers our abortion rate is welcome. But too little is known about the morning-after pill for it to be casually sneaked onto the pharmacy shelf."
27 Jun 2003

Pope pays tribute to Pope Paul VI
The Pope's General Audience on Wednesday turned into a tribute session to his predecessor, Pope Paul VI.
27 Jun 2003

Irish Diocese bans private priest-child contact
Reuters reports this morning that the Diocese of Ferns, Ireland, has "issued a policy statement effectively telling priests they should never meet children alone".
27 Jun 2003

US birthrate falls to record low
Associated Press reports that the US birthrate has fallen to lowest level since records began to be kept at the turn of the 20th Century.
27 Jun 2003

Tourism not for hedonism, says Pope
In his message for World Tourism Day, the Pope says that tourism should promote human dignity rather than encourage hedonism.
27 Jun 2003

Anglican controversy deepens
The BBC and other media are reporting a deepening of the Anglican crisis. A high level meeting of evangelical Anglicans from around the world has pledged to split the Anglican communion if the ordination of a gay bishop proceeds.
27 Jun 2003

US abuser priests face "voluntary or forced laicisation"
CNS carries a comprehensive report on what Archbishop Harry Flynn told the American Bishops at their meeting last week. Priests who abuse minors "should undergo voluntary or forced laicisation" except in cases of advanced age or infirmity.
27 Jun 2003

Feature - Why are people talking about the end-times?
There is a rising mood of end-time thinking in some evangelical churches and in sections of the Catholic Church. Here's a starting point to find out what the authorative thinking is in the Church on these matters.
26 Jun 2003

Opinion - Half empty or half full? Latest Church statistics
John Thavis of CNS seeks to interpret the latest statistics released by the Vatican. There are now an estimated 1.06b Catholics in the world but the rate of growth now lags world population growth.
26 Jun 2003

Bishops warn on "end-time" books and videos
The Bishops of Illinois have issued a statement warning of "false prophets" predicting that civilisation has entered an end-time.
26 Jun 2003

Former nun wins $A2.5m at Casino
Former nun, Catherine Foy (56), won nearly $A2.5m at Caesar's Atlantic City casino. She had only put nine coins into the machine that delivered the bounty.
26 Jun 2003

Charismatics get heavy praise
The secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity described ecclesial movements as an "enormous gift of the Holy Spirit for the Church in our time," hailing their missionary creativity.
26 Jun 2003

New Zealand legalises prostitution
New Zealand's Parliament passed a law yesterday decriminalizing prostitution despite efforts by pro-family and faith-based groups.
26 Jun 2003

Bush backs Church on disciminatory hiring policies
The Washington Post reports that President Bush backs the churches in discriminatory hiring policies.
26 Jun 2003

Fr Mark Raper SJ responds to 7.30 Report
The Australian Provincial of the Jesuits, Fr Mark Raper, has sent a letter to the parents of all children in Jesuit-run schools responding to the allegations raised on the 7.30 Report on Monday night. He has reinterated his apology to Mr Lucien Leech-Larkin and his family and his desire to meet with them. Fr Raper says he regrets not appearing on the television program under pressure of legal advice. The full text of the letter is here.
26 Jun 2003

Feature - Archbishop Migliore on the Need to Reform UN
50 y.o Archbishop Celestino Migliore is the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN. Zenit today carries an interview with him on how the UN needs to be reformed. The Archbishop says the limitations of the present structure "are due, to a large extent, to its original approach, which was in keeping with criteria dictated by the Cold War."
25 Jun 2003

Opinion - Cherie Blair's lecture: "A Catholic perspective on Human Rights"
Cherie Booth (wife of British PM) delivered an important lecture at Tyburn Convent in London last week. The Tablet this week carries the text of her address. If you don't have time to read all the opinion and features we publish here, make sure you find the time to read this address. As The Tablet says: "Cherie Booth QC is uniquely placed to observe the interaction of government, law and Church in respect of human rights."
25 Jun 2003

Vatican Museums now accessible by internet, palm pilot and mobile phones
The Vatican yesterday unveiled further developments on the impressive web site that has been in development almost since the birth of the internet.
25 Jun 2003

US seeks Vatican approval of genetically modified food
US diplomats are pressing the Vatican to approve genetically modified foods according to a report from Italy carried in a report from CWN this morning.
25 Jun 2003

Urgent call to remove juveniles from adult prisons
17 y.o. boys and girls do not belong in adult prisons, according to the Brosnan Centre which today challenged the Bracks' Government to fulfil its election promise of raising the jurisdiction of adult courts to 18.
25 Jun 2003

ACLRI Leaders meet in Melbourne: "We mustn't lose hope"
Leaders of Religious Congregations from around Australia and the Pacific region are meeting in Melbourne this week for their annual conference. A major focus "is to have a no-holds-barred forum to name responses to the 'crisis' or challenges to change in the Catholic Church today" says the President.
25 Jun 2003

Catholic Bishops support Family Court on refugee children
Two agencies of the Australia Catholic Bishops today joined with other Church, civic and political leaders in supporting the Family Court declaration that the detention of children is illegal.
25 Jun 2003

Anglican Church Crisis
The SMH reports this morning that the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has done a U-turn on his threat to blacklist the Archbishop of Canterbury from Sydney. The Bishop of North Sydney, Glenn Davies, triggered the about face.
25 Jun 2003

Feature - Should Christians Convert Muslims?
Religion is the consuming issue in the secular media it seems. Time Magazine this week devotes its cover to the question: "Should Christians Convert Muslims?: A new flock of missionaries has launched a campaign to take the Gospel to Islamic countries. But will they inspire more backlash than belief?"
24 Jun 2003

Opinion - President of Voice of the Faithful speaks his mind in Newsweek
Newsweek carries a frank interview with Jim Post, President of the American lay group, Voice of the Faithful on the new landscape the Church is facing. Post says: "I don't think the church will be reformed from within without strong pressure from the laity."
24 Jun 2003

Did a meteor in 312AD "save" Christianity
The BBC carries an interesting story this morning of the discovery of a meteorite that struck Italy in 312AD which may have had a big influence in shaping Christianity.
24 Jun 2003

Cardinal Cassidy takes possession of his titular Church
The Vatican Information Service in its bulletin last night mentioned that Cardinal Cassidy will take possession of his titular church (Santa Maria in Via Lata, Rome) on Wednesday night at 7.30pm.
24 Jun 2003

Sydney Anglican Bishops lament appointment of gay bishop in UK
Archbishop Peter Jensen and the five regional bishops of the Diocese of Sydney have released a statement on the "crisis in the Anglican Communion".
24 Jun 2003

Vatican pushes rights of Disabled at UN
The Vatican's permanent representative at the UN yesterday spoke up for the rights of people with disabilities. It is 27 years since the U.N.'s Declaration on the Rights of the Disabled.
24 Jun 2003

Pope begs forgiveness for crimes against Serbs
Pope John Paul celebrated Mass in the Serbian capital of Banja Luka on Sunday on the spot where more than 2,000 Serbs were executed in 1942 after being forced to take communion.
24 Jun 2003

Another humiliating abuse lesson for the Church on national television.
The ABC's 7.30 Report last night broadcast the story of Lucien Leech-Larkin who was abused in the late 1960s by a lay teacher at St Aloysius College, Sydney.
24 Jun 2003

Feature - Death—it's a part of life
This cover story from the current issues of US Catholic is an interview with Myles Sheehan – a Jesuit priest and doctor specialising in aged care. The information in this article shatters some misconceptions Catholic people have about the process of dying. It provides practical advice from the "coal-face" for all people dealing with aged care.
23 Jun 2003

Opinion - Speak up for God's sake
Marian Tolley, writing in The Tablet this week, argues that lay people need to improve their delivery of the Liturgy of the Word. She writes: "People offer themselves to read, but in many parishes lack any guidance about their role. ... Readers should understand that God speaks through them; that God actually uses the reader's voice to communicate with his gathered people. This startling idea takes a little while to register; once it does, the reader stands up straighter, which in turn makes the congregation sit up."
23 Jun 2003

7 out of 10 terminally ill people die by euthanasia in Switzerland
A European Union-sponsored study by the University of Zurich has found that Switzerland, with seven out of ten terminally ill people ending their lives with euthanasia, has the highest euthanasia rate in Europe.
23 Jun 2003

Insults and eggs greet abortion ship in Polish port
A hail of eggs, red paint and shouted insults greeted a shipborne Dutch abortion clinic on Sunday when it sailed into a Baltic fishing port in staunchly Roman Catholic Poland for a two-day wait.
23 Jun 2003

Catholic Proportion Drops in Irish Census Figures
The percentage of Catholics in Ireland has dropped, while the number of Protestants has risen, according to the 2002 census figures released last week.
23 Jun 2003

Redfern Church without a priest, but no loss of spirit
The Catholic community of Redfern, with the largest indigenous congregation in Australia, prays without a resident parish priest. But this could not stop yesterday's celebration.
23 Jun 2003

Approval of Morning after pill draws criticism
Despite the objections of the Catholic Church and the AMA, the National Drugs and Poisons Committee made a preliminary decision last week to let pharmacists sell an emergency contraceptive over the counter.
23 Jun 2003

Catholic Education in the News
In both Sydney and Melbourne this morning Catholic education is in the spotlight in Fairfax papers. The Age carries a report with the Director of Catholic Education, Susan Pascoe, and the Victorian Independent Education Union seeming of one voice in calling for more equitable funding. The SMH carries a string of stories linked to the general growth in demand by parents for values and religious education. All links provided in our detailed coverage.
23 Jun 2003

Feature - What's going on in the Church? Behind the Keating resignation...
The appointment of a lay board set up by the American Bishops' to monitor their compliance with their own policies was a radical step in Church history. The resignation of its Chairman, Frank Keating, 12 months later has been a bombshell. Many commentator's around the world have been trying to make sense of what is going on within the Church. Laurie Goodstein in this New York Times feature story provides one of the best commentaries we have come across so far.
20 Jun 2003

Opinion - Kids lose as dads fear to coach
Miranda Devine in the SMH yesterday argues that the stigma of paedophilia is deterring parents from acting as role models in children's sport. Children are the losers "as more families break down and male teachers disappear, coach dads, especially, can be among the few positive male role models in a little boy's life."
20 Jun 2003

A thousand Masses for the Pope
A London family is having success in a world-wide campaign to have a thousand Masses celebrated on 16 October for PJPIl's 25th Anniversary as Pope. Five Australian parishes have signed up so far. Register your parish here.
20 Jun 2003

Background to Balkans visit by Pope this weekend
Associated Press carries a report exploring some of the background as to why the Pope is going back to the former Yugoslavia two week's after his previous visit.
20 Jun 2003

US Bishops' meet amidst continuing challenges
Coverage and comment is beginning to emerge in the media this morning from the US Catholic Bishops' Conference being held in St Louis, Missouri.
20 Jun 2003

Campaign against Sex Slavery beginning to bear results
The efforts of social justice agencies to get society to take sex slavery seriously are beginning to pay off: A NSW couple are the first people to be charged under new laws to outlaw slavery. Another Australian has been arrested in Thailand in a separate police crackdown.
20 Jun 2003

Justice agencies laud progress on World Refugee Day
In media statements for World Refugee Day (celebrated today), two Catholic agencies reflect that progress is being made in the fight for justice for refugees but much work remains to be done.
20 Jun 2003

Court challenges harshness of Government refugee policy
The Family Court has mounted a major challenge to the detention of children under Australian immigration laws and claimed the right to order their release. CCJD&P hails decision.
20 Jun 2003

Feature - Will All Be Saved?
Our mention of Cardinal Dulles' article here yesterday led Maggie on our own CathNews discussion board to mention an article by Richard John Neuhaus asking a similar question. Neuhaus writes: "Balthasar's is a very careful argument, clearly distinguishing between universal salvation as a hope and universal salvation as a doctrine. He supports the former and rejects the latter. In sum: we do not know; only God knows; but we may hope."
19 Jun 2003

Opinion - “Do you want to be well again?” – Jesus as Holistic Healer
Writing in Australian Religious, Sr Helen Clarke RSC argues that Jesus provides a model for holistic healing. "All of us still crave the sense of calm and balance we recognise as being the essential ingredients of 'good health'."
19 Jun 2003

The Official Logo for the XX World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne
A design by German Jšrg Zimmermann has been chosen for the logo of World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne.
19 Jun 2003

Experts call ossuary of Jesus' brother a fake
An ancient burial box purported to have held the bones of Jesus' brother, James, is a fake, Israel's Antiquities Authority said on Wednesday.
19 Jun 2003

Same-sex marriage to be recognised in Canada
The Canadian government signaled its acceptance of gay marriages on Tuesday, deciding not to appeal a landmark Ontario provincial court decision that opened the door to such unions.
19 Jun 2003

Sydney Marist Brother for trial on school sex assault charges
A Marist Brother will stand trial accused of a series of sexual assaults on 11 y.o. boys at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, almost 20 years ago.
19 Jun 2003

Catholic Welfare supports PM's call on custody debate
Catholic Welfare Australia yesterday issued a statement strongly supporting the government's proposed changes to custody laws in Australia.
19 Jun 2003

Vatican Accepts Bishop O'Brien's Resignation
The Vatican has accepted the resignation of Phoenix Bishop Thomas O'Brien, who was arrested on Monday in connection with a fatal hit-and-run accident.
19 Jun 2003

Feature - The Population of Hell
A popular and regular topic on the CathNews discussion board over the last couple of years has been the question of the meaning of Hell. Avery Cardinal Dulles in this article provides a movingly argued exposition of the theologically conservative position on the subject. Genuine liberals though will also value this article for the understanding and courtesy that Cardinal Dulles extends to their point of view as it has been expressed by the great liberal theological thinkers down through history. Great reading when you're in a reflective mood.
18 Jun 2003

Opinion - We're richer and meaner than we think
Adele Horin puts forward some provocative insights in this SMH piece on the growing divide between the rich and poor in contemporary society.
18 Jun 2003

Postlethwaite charms young Loreto ladies
The Age reports this morning that actor Pete Postlethwaite ended up charming the young ladies at Mandeville Hall, Toorak, yesterday morning. Initially though the famous actor was mistaken for a priest.
18 Jun 2003

Religion not merely an “optional extra” – Archbishop Rowan Williams
Zenit today reports on the first major address on inter-religious dialogue by Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams.
18 Jun 2003

Science-Religion: “Let us dialogue, not oppose” – Pontifical Academy
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has called for a new humanism in which science, ethics and faith work in dialogue and not in opposition.
18 Jun 2003

PM backs dads in custody overhaul
A dramatic shift in family law could see divorced parents given automatic shared custody of their children.
18 Jun 2003

Embattled US bishop arrested on hit-run charge
A Catholic bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse by United States priests was arrested yesterday on a hit-and-run charge. Thomas O'Brien, Bishop of Phoenix, Arizona, has acknowledged he was driving the car.
18 Jun 2003

“Poverty isn’t inevitable”, says Vatican Official
Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told the 91st International Labor Conference that we need to “abandon the mentality that considers the poor – people and nations – as a burden“.
18 Jun 2003

Feature - Tapping into teenage faith
Avril Baigent is diocesan youth ministry coordinator with the diocese of Northampton, UK. This article in The Tablet is part of series on renewal of parishes. When she asked one group of 17 year-olds, "if you could change one thing about church, what would it be?", they replied "Cheer up!" Church seems to present itself as a depressing business in the minds of young people.
17 Jun 2003

Opinion - So why does the Pope travel?
Veteran Pope and Vatican watcher, Robert Blair Kaiser's latest Rome Diary was published last night. He is questioning the remoteness of the Pope from the ordinary person in the street despite all the pilgrimages the Pope makes around the world.
17 Jun 2003

Nun arrested for hiding chickens
A nun has been arrested in Holland after she refused to tell police where she had hidden her 18 chickens.
17 Jun 2003

Mixed reaction after Keating quits abuse panel
The international media is carrying further reaction this morning to the resignation of Frank Keating as chair of the American Bishops' inquiry into clerical abuse.
17 Jun 2003

Evangelists pour massive investment into digital radio
Two big evangelical Christian broadcasters begin digital radio transmissions from Northern Australia this week.
17 Jun 2003

Aboriginal men die 20 years before white men
An Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander health workers' conference has heard that the life expectancy for Aboriginal men is 20 years lower than it is for white men in Australia.
17 Jun 2003

Refugee situations: "a serious offence against god" ...Pope
To focus attention on the World Day of Refugees on June 30th, Pope John Paul said yesterday: "every situation in which people are forced to flee their own land to seek refugee elsewhere is a serious offence against God and all men."
17 Jun 2003

Catholic Welfare submission to Poverty Enquiry
Catholic Welfare Australia will argue to the Senate Poverty Inquiry that "poverty is not a simple fact of life but the result of the way we choose to structure our society. We can choose to reduce poverty if we decide to."
17 Jun 2003

Feature - Obituary: Sir Bernard Williams
Professor Sir Bernard Williams, who died on Tuesday aged 73, was one of the most influential British philosophers of the 20th century, best known for his work on moral philosophy, questions of personal identity and the history of philosophy. This Telegraph obituary gives an overview of his influence on contemporary civilisation or you can view a video of his October 2002, Walter E. Edge Lecture at Princeton University on "The Human Prejudice" at the Princeton link below.
16 Jun 2003

Opinion - Christian Brothers' study into young adult attitudes
Peter Nicholson is Coordinator for the National Edmund Rice Formation Team sponsored by the Christian Brothers. This report, "Beyond the Comfort Zone", is a landmark survey of the attitudes of young adults written from a Catholic perspective. It has been based on extensive interviews with young people in various degrees of attachment to the Church.
16 Jun 2003

Doctors illegally sterilising disabled girls: claim
Four Corners tonight explores the fraught moral issue of whether, and in what circumstances, disabled people should be sterilised. Meanwhile, the Victorian Public Advocate this morning is reported in The Age as saying that doctors are already doing it illegally.
16 Jun 2003

Call for Queen to lose title as head of Church
The UK Observer reported on Sunday that a major report due out in the next two weeks is recommending that the Queen should relinquish her title as head of the Church of England.
16 Jun 2003

Head of US Abuse Inquiry Quits
Just days after his comparison of some Catholic bishops to the Mafia sparked a wave of criticism from church leaders, the former Oklahoma governor who was appointed to lead a panel examining the abuse scandals says he's going to resign.
16 Jun 2003

Pell fears church could topple -- Herald-Sun
In an interview in the Herald-Sun, Archbishop Pell has warned the Australian Catholic Church will topple over unless young men heed the call to the priesthood.
16 Jun 2003

Catholic teachers to strike for 25% pay rise
The SMH reports this morning that teachers from 550 Catholic schools across NSW will join state teachers in industrial action next month for a 25% pay rise. The teachers are pushing for the increase through the Independent Education Union.
16 Jun 2003

Vinnies to put blunt message to Poverty Inquiry
"21% of Australian households are living on under $400 a week". "The poor are silenced, but we will not be silenced!" These are the blunt messages the St Vincent de Paul Society is taking to the Senate Inquiry into Poverty later this week.
16 Jun 2003

CWL initiative against Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation
The Catholic Women's League wants the Feast of St Maria Goretti (6th July) observed as a Day of Prayer against the trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children. Maree Triffett, National Social Issues Convenor, CWLA says "It is horrifying that one million children throughout the world are victims of sexual slavery".
13 Jun 2003

ASIO Bill opposed by ACSJC
The ACSJC has repeated its call for Senators to oppose the ASIO Bill to be debated next week "if basic freedoms enjoyed by all Australians cannot be safeguarded". The Council says "last minute amendments proposed by the Government do not allay major concerns with this Bill".
13 Jun 2003

Why I travelled so much? ... Pope tells
Pope John Paul yesterday met with 200 people involved in planning his world trips. In his address he provided an insight into why he has undertaken these trips: "Right from the day I was elected as Bishop of Rome I heard the echo of Jesus' command: 'Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all of creation'. I thus felt the duty to imitate the Apostle Peter...".
13 Jun 2003

Gap between rich and poor widens
Social Trends: The Age this morning carries a report on new Sydney University research which shows the gap between the rich and poor is continuing to widen. Australia has one of the world's most prosperous economies but most of its citizens are not sharing the wealth. Meanwhile, in Brisbane, a suicide prevention conference is debating the place of spirituality in helping prevent suicide.
13 Jun 2003

Alarm at new Indonesian law on RE
A controversial new law in Indonesia requiring children to be taught their own religion by a teacher of their own faith is causing concern in Christian schools. It may cause concern further afield if other countries adopt similar laws.
13 Jun 2003

US Archdiocese to Pay $38.74m Settlement
243 people will share a $38.74m ($US25.7m) settlement from the Archdiocese of Louisville for clerical sex abuse. This Associated Press story is being widely reported around the world today.
13 Jun 2003

Feature - Understanding the situation in the Congo
Declan Walsh has written this story for Catholic News Service to provide an overview of the tragic situation in the Congo from a Catholic perspective. The strain has taken its toll on the local Missionaries of Africa. Of the 14 missionaries working in Ituri two months ago, just five remain today. Rivalry between the Hema and Lendu tribes has existed in Ituri for generations, but it is only since the current war started in 1998 that the conflict has degenerated into mass killings. One of the local civic leaders interviewed says that what has caused the deterioration has been the increased availability of modern weapons, including AK47s. The United Nations is in the process of sending in a stronger multi-nation peace-keeping force led by French soldiers to restore order.
13 Jun 2003

Opinion - "Why religion matters" by Leader of British Conservatives
The Tablet this week carries a Vatican Radio interview with Iain Duncan Smith, the leader of the Conservative Party in Britain. Duncan Smith, a practising Catholic, thinks there is a "huge and growing interest in religion" in Britain. At the local level, he says, "a lot more young people are getting involved, and a lot of it takes the form of rebuilding communities and whilst they're doing it, bringing a sort of Christian message as well". He sees also "a growing interest in the application of some of those principles and beliefs in practical ways". Duncan Smith argues for a "rethinking of attitude" in the ways government relates to religious groups.
13 Jun 2003

Feature - The Indonesian bishops' religious conflict troubleshooter
As executive secretary of the bishops' commission on interreligious dialogue, Ismartono he flies into religious conflict zones and advises the local bishop on how to react.
12 Jun 2003

Opinion - The sexual-abuse crisis in historical perspective
We now have well-meaning Catholics telling us that the answer is fidelity, that a reassertion of Catholic teaching on sexuality and authority will resolve this crisis. This is a simple answer to a complex problem, and like most simple answers to complex problems, it is wrong. - John T. McGreevy, chairman history department, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
12 Jun 2003

Pope calls neglect of the earth a 'moral problem'
Pope John Paul II has warned of the dire consequences for the environment "when man turns his back on the Creator's plan".
12 Jun 2003

Pope's frailty 'an instrument of his mission'
A weary Pope John Paul II ended his third trip to Croatia still determined to travel, according to Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls.
12 Jun 2003

Jesuit Social Services questions logic of prison expansion
The head of Jesuit Social Services (JSS) has asked why Victoria is building extra prison cells while Victoria has the lowest crime rate in Australia.
12 Jun 2003

Melbourne Religious Education vicar echoes Pell stars warning
Horoscopes are a greater danger to young Catholics than attacks on their faith by science, according to Sydney Archbishop George Pell.
12 Jun 2003

Children hearing Christian Story in classroom, not home or church
Many students in Catholic schools will hear the Christian story for the first time in a classroom, and not in a church or in the home, according to Gerard Sullivan, head of religious education, Catholic Schools Office, Newcastle.
12 Jun 2003

Catholic Women's leader says education the key to unlock 'feminine genius'
Education and the recognition of women's dignity are important in rising to the Pope's challenge to give more priority to the "feminine genius", according to the worldwide head of the Catholic Womens' League parent organisation.
12 Jun 2003

Feature - Vatican Radio saves a life
English Programs Director Sean Lovett recalls a nun on air appealing to anyone thinking of having an abortion to firstly visit her hospice. A young girl had her appointment at the abortion clinic that morning and instead of going there, she went to the hospice. "So I know there's one person living today thanks to a radio broadcast."
11 Jun 2003

Opinion - Jubilee doesn't go away when the calendar changes
Didn't the international effort to cancel the debts of the world's poorest countries end with the end of the year 2000, the so-called "jubilee year"? We often hear this question. People seemed surprised to learn that "Jubilee-Zambia" is still very active, very public, very pushy, in calling for cancellation of debt. - Fr Peter Henriot, Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, Lusaka
11 Jun 2003

Priest denies marriage to French couple not planning children
A French bishop has defended a parish priest in northern France who refused to officiate at a marriage because the couple planned not to have children.
11 Jun 2003

Pope speaks out against gay marriage
During his visit to Croatia, Pope John Paul II voiced his strongest condemnation to date of same-sex unions, stating that a marriage must consist of only a man and a woman.
11 Jun 2003

Austrian Cardinal favours keeping churches open all night
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has praised an initiative to keep churches open round the clock so that the "faithful will have available at any time a place of silence and prayer."
11 Jun 2003

School principal identifies 40 troublemakers after lockout
The principal of St Edmund's College, Canberra named 40 students as troublemakers at an assembly yesterday - five days after he "suspended" the entire senior body.
11 Jun 2003

Jesuit spells out lessons of stockbroker Rivkin's detention
The plight of high profile weekend prison detainee René Rivkin draws attention to that of Australia's 24,000 prison population, with whom Rivkin shares much in common, according to former prison chaplain Fr Peter Norden of Melbourne's Brosnan Centre.
11 Jun 2003

Wollongong bishop excommunicates sect priest
Bishop Peter Ingham has announced the excommunication of a priest who is the offsider of the NSW South Coast cult leader known as the Little Pebble.
11 Jun 2003

Feature - Fr Ryan: an umpire in football heaven
When Catholic priest Denis Ryan isn't guiding the spiritual health of parishioners in Victoria's Western District, he can be found providing on-field direction to footballers across the region.
10 Jun 2003

Opinion - This is a Sacrament?
Fashion shows, matching jewelry, and limo rides to fancy hotels for post-parties have parents wondering. Indeed, suddenly First Communions have become extravaganzas, rivaling in many ways the pomp and circumstances once first experienced on one's wedding day.
10 Jun 2003

Zimbabwe police detain outspoken Archbishop before peace service
Archbishop Pius Ncube was detained briefly on Friday in his Bulawayo chapel, by state security agents, who warned him to desist from discussing political issues before the start of interdenominational prayers for justice and peace in Zimbabwe.
10 Jun 2003

Brisbane Archbishop reacts to gay choir's use of Catholic Church
Arcbishop John Bathersby has indicated that he is offended by the use of a Brisbane church for a gay pride event.
10 Jun 2003

Australian Catholic University receives government grants
Australian Catholic University (ACU National) has received three research grants, totalling $466,455, as announced by the Australian Research Council through the Government's Linkage Program.
10 Jun 2003

Pell urges young Catholics to forget horoscope
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell has warned that supersition poses a greater danger to the faith of young Catholics than science and reason.
10 Jun 2003

Catholics on Queens Birthday Honours List
The Queens Birthday Honours announced yesterday named as Officers of the Order of Australia (AO), a Catholic media personality, the Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor, and a nun prominent in the implementation of palliative health care.
10 Jun 2003

Pope holds up during grueling pilgrimage
Fighting fatigue but determined to carry on, Pope John Paul II wrapped up his 100th foreign pilgrimage yesterday .
10 Jun 2003

Feature - Mission an oasis for Thai AIDS children
I decided to dedicate my time and gifts to a Catholic mission in Thailand, where I lived in an orphanage which provided support for children whose parents had died of AIDS, many infected by HIV themselves. - Gina Basile
6 Jun 2003

Opinion - Let people fall in love with religious life
A large number of men became monks because of a romantic ideal that Thomas Merton's autobiographical Seven Story Mountain triggered. The absence of this kind of romantic ideal is one of the main reasons why in the Western world today fewer men and women are responding to the call to priesthood and religious life. - Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI
6 Jun 2003

Irish eyes on Queensland cult
An Irish cult specialist and academic has come from Dublin to investigate the teachings and beliefs of Helidon self-proclaimed visionary Debra Geileskey and the effect she has on her followers.
6 Jun 2003

NZ Bishops issue Ethics Code for church volunteers
The Church in New Zealand has published a set of guidelines designed to protect volunteers, the Church and those for whom they are providing their services.
6 Jun 2003

Suspended jail term for Queensland teacher
Brisbane Catholic Education former deputy director Ron McKeirnan was yesterday given a further three years' wholly suspended jail for sex offences he committed 25 years ago.
6 Jun 2003

Missionary says Iraq Catholics facing persecution
Catholics in Iraq are feeling persecuted by Muslim fundamentalists, and Baghdad has turned into a lawless city, according to a Spanish missionary.
6 Jun 2003

Vatican official has high hopes for Middle East Peace Summit
Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, has described this week's Israel-Palestine summit in Aqaba, Jordan, as a "great hope" for the future of the Middle East.
6 Jun 2003

Pope begins landmark 100th foreign trip
Pope John Paul II yesterday began his a five-day visit to Croatia, landing at at an Adriatic island airport where the ex-Yugoslav republic's president and top church leaders were on hand to welcome him.
6 Jun 2003

Catholic Health says withdrawing treatment requires case-by-case decision
Ethical decisions about whether to treat, withhold treatment or withdraw treatment still need to be made on a case-by-case basis, according to a Catholic Health Australia (CHA) statement released yesterday.
6 Jun 2003

Feature - The best days, the worst days
Melina Marchetta's new book, Saving Francesca, is set in a world she knows well. As in Looking for Alibrandi, the book which made her name, she explores the lives of young people in their final years of Catholic schooling.
5 Jun 2003

Opinion - Pilgrimage drew me closer to God
Seeing first hand the site of miracles and martyrs allowed me to focus on the universality of our faith and to be inspired by the heroic nature of people such as St Thomas More. I believe travel and especially pilgrimages help us as Catholics to look outside of ourselves and beyond the problems of daily life, as we begin to see life from a very different perspective. - Louise Altham, University of Sydney Chaplaincy Team
5 Jun 2003

Catholic Earthcare set for Brisbane launch
Catholic Earthcare Australia will be launched by Archbishop John Bathersby on Queensland's Gold Coast this morning.
5 Jun 2003

Vinnies soup van still missing after two days
Police have yet to locate the St Vincent de Paul Society's Melbourne Soup Van stolen from a suburban Footscray service station earlier this week.
5 Jun 2003

Pope criticises anti-conversion laws in India
Pope John Paul II has spoken out against new anti-conversion laws in some Indian states and urged the church in India to "courageously" proclaim the gospel.
5 Jun 2003

Catholic intellectual group wants independent inquiry into war decision
The Australian Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs says that a public inquiry into Australia's decision to go to war in Iraq is neacessary to determine what the Government knew or ought to have known about the true status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
5 Jun 2003

Pope set for Croatia trip
Pope John Paul will board yet another plane today, for the short flight across the Adriatic to Croatia, to start the 100th foreign trip of his pontificate.
5 Jun 2003

Archbishop Carroll welcomes East Timor visa decision
Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll, yesterday described Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock's decision to allow 379 East Timorese asylum seekers to stay in Australia as a happy outcome of a 10-year battle.
5 Jun 2003

Feature - Sr June's ministry of tattoo removal
A 78 year old Dominican nun runs a tattoo removal clinic in Mission Hills, California. The project helps prevent clients from becoming random victims of violence because they still carry signs of past gang affiliation. "They have a hard time getting a job or being promoted."
4 Jun 2003

Opinion - Right to die could become duty to die
Experience in the Netherlands has shown that once a [euthanasia] law is passed, social attitudes start to change. Older people begin to feel themselves a burden and ask whether they should end their lives to save their families the burden of caring for them, even if their families have no desire for this at all. - Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff, in Open Letter to British Lords.
4 Jun 2003

Taiwan Cardinal says SARS brings "new Lent"
Cardinal Paul Shan of Taipei has told his constituency in a pastoral letter that they are "living a new Lent" with their struggle against the SARS epidemic.
4 Jun 2003

Arizona bishop preempts legal censure over sex abuse cover-up
Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien of the Diocese of Phoenix will relinquish some of his responsibilities following an admission that he covered up allegations of sexual abuse by priests for decades.
4 Jun 2003

Polish Catholic radio defying Pope and Govt on EU referendum
Poland's powerful Catholic radio station Radio Maryja is strongly urging a No vote in the coming weekend's referendum on membership of the European Union.
4 Jun 2003

Pope's envoy reports on trip to Baghdad
Returning from a visit to Iraq, Vatican envoy Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes said that Iraqis are grateful for the Pope's efforts on their behalf but Christians are concerned about threats to religious freedom.
4 Jun 2003

Catholic agency says G8 results worth nothing to Africans
The British Caritas aid organisation CAFOD has said this week's G8 meeting in Evian, France, did nothing to alleviate the hunger, poverty and HIV/AIDS experienced by African nations.
4 Jun 2003

Ruddock about-face signifies breakthrough for East Timorese
Following more than a year of lobbying from Church and other community groups, Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said yesterday he would intervene to grant 379 East Timorese asylum seekers permanent residency in Australia.
4 Jun 2003

Feature - Living life to the full
Paralympic Gold medallist Libby Kosmala's spinal cord at the centre of her back is as thin as the lead in a pencil but that hasn't stopped her leading an extraordinary life.
3 Jun 2003

Opinion - Parish groups 'fired by the Spirit'
When I was a curate in Portsmouth, a group of people invited me to join their monthly meetings. They met together in different houses to pray, to read a passage of the Gospel and to reflect on the circumstances of their daily lives. It was my first lesson in the value of a basic Christian community. - Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster
3 Jun 2003

Weigel tells US Catholic press to focus on good news
Papal biographer and commentator George Weigel has challenged Catholic journalists to focus on a series of underreported church trends that he said illustrate the great vitality of US Catholicism today.
3 Jun 2003

Brisbane Archbishop working on future of schools
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has called a planning summit to negotiate the future shape of Catholic schooling in the Archdiocese.
3 Jun 2003

Top Vatican official heading for Australia
Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Pope's right-hand man on ecumenical issues, will visit Australia next month.
3 Jun 2003

China tightening its grip on Catholics
China expert and former director of the Vatican's Fides missionary agency Fr Bernardo Cervellera, has said that three recent official documents formalise stricter control over the lives of Chinese Catholics.
3 Jun 2003

Pope spells out Mideast peace wish list
Meeting the new Israeli ambassador to the Holy See yesterday, Pope John Paul II voiced his approval for the renewed peace talks in the Middle East but expressed continued concern over the status of Christians in the Holy Land.
3 Jun 2003

Bush calls Pope "one of the greatest moral leaders"
US President George Bush has described the Pope as "one of the greatest moral leaders of our time". Later, the Holy Father uttered: "God bless America".
3 Jun 2003

Feature - Watching the puddles join
In the first month I was in awe of everything. Once off the plane, the heat and humidity hit me like a barrage of beggars; and it was unending. I would wake up more tired than when I went to bed. - - Grant Morgan, who spent a year and a half working in Indonesia
2 Jun 2003

Opinion - Church strength prevails in secular storm
Over two thousand years the Catholic Church has weathered persecutions, storms and trials, enemies from within and outside. Secularism will prove a more enduring challenge than Communism and the lethal influences on Catholic life, the acid rain, are coming from the society around us. - Archbishop George Pell (from 'Vatican Two to Today: Address to Catalyst for Renewal's Bishops Forum')
2 Jun 2003

Suburban Council slams "greedy" Melbourne Archdiocese
A Melbourne mayor has accused the Catholic Archdiocese of "sheer greed" over church plans to sell a vacant land donated in 1925, for a shopping centre development.
2 Jun 2003

Bishop speaks up for character of convicted principal
A convicted pedophile jailed on four counts relating to indecent dealings with an 11-year-old girl was given a pre-sentencing character reference by the Catholic Bishop of Cairns, James Foley.
2 Jun 2003

Prayers for accused hijacker at his parish church
The congregation at St Peter's in the Melbourne suburb of East Bentleigh yesterday bowed their heads in prayer for a fellow parishioner who stands accused of attempting to hijack Qantas flight 1737.
2 Jun 2003

Catholic Health says aged care homes don't need hotel-style room service
Speaking after last week's announcement of "extra services" for aged care homes by Federal Ageing Minister Kevin Andrews, Catholic Health Australia (CHA) dismissed the initiative as "just another opportunity to charge residents more".
2 Jun 2003

British Caritas targets hypocrisy of G8 leaders
The British Caritas affiliate CAFOD says the G8 leaders must not be distracted by the Iraqi conflict and the war on terrorism from tackling the scandal of poverty in Africa.
2 Jun 2003

Catholic call for Govt to lobby Indonesia for Aceh humanitarian access
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace has called on the Australian Government to assert the rights of aid agencies and journalists to do their work unhindered in Aceh.
2 Jun 2003