Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR AUGUST 2003

   
Feature - Salvadorean Bishop pays a visit to his brethren in Brisbane
Monsenor Rosa Chavez's visit to the local Salvadorean Community was timely given National Refugee and Migrant Sunday will be celebrated in parishes around Australia on 31 August. "Do not forget who we are and where we've come from," he said. "We are a people with a tremendous sense of family."
29 Aug 2003

Opinion - To live with the stranger can be challenging
We in Australia recognise that the arrival of economic, religious and political refugees is not without problems. There are real issues of security, border protection, and social harmony. More fundamentally we are confronted with our own deep-seated hostility and latent racism towards the stranger, the other, the one who is different. - Sr Patty Fawkner, Director Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre
29 Aug 2003

Priest on leave after sexual misconduct claims
A Tasmanian priest accused of sexual misconduct 15 years ago has been on leave since April this year, the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart Adrian Doyle said yesterday.
29 Aug 2003

Catholic Health issues urgent call for on health reform
Catholic Health Australia has issued a joint statement with the Australian Healthcare Association calling on State and Federal leaders to keep alive the option of reforming the health system when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meets today.
29 Aug 2003

Bishops says let women hear confession and grant absolution
Women should be permitted to hear confessions and grant absolution, according to Bishop Vincent Malone of Liverpool in England.
29 Aug 2003

NSW private schools defend building subsidy scheme
Nine Catholic schools established since 1987 would not have been built without the NSW Government's interest subsidy scheme, according to the Director of the Sydney Archdiocese Catholic Education Office.
29 Aug 2003

Commission sounds alarm as Ruddock tightens visa rules
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace yesterday expressed fears for refugees who will lose their right to permanent protection in Australia under an extension of the Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) program announced yesterday by Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock.
29 Aug 2003

Pell says Downer had a point
Sydney Archbishop George Pell went against the tide of church opinion yesterday in praising Foreign Minister Alexander Downer's Wednesday lecture which criticised church leaders for speaking out on public issues while neglecting their pastoral duties.
29 Aug 2003

Feature - Young and yearning for God
Among the signs of hope are a boom in parish youth ministry and a determination in the Catholic church's focus on its young people at the parish level. "Youth ministry is a growth industry," explained Robert McCarty, executive director of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association in the USA.
28 Aug 2003

Opinion - God doesn't hate your body in a swimming costume
Jesus, how can you love someone who is in this shape? I have failed to take care of the temple you have given me to house my soul. I am ashamed that I am not doing a better job of keeping in shape. "Do you not know, Daughter, that I love you just as you are? Indeed, I see your interior features and they are on the whole pleasing."
28 Aug 2003

LA Archbishop says Bob Hope lived up to his name
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has said that comedian Bob Hope's humour brought hope to people that "led to inner joy and peacefulness".
28 Aug 2003

Priest defends comments on crucifixion
A Sunshine Coast priest has been accused of undermining church teaching by arguing that the crucifix should never have become the symbol of Christianity and that Jesus would have been crucified naked.
28 Aug 2003

Church on the hill hosts football legend's farewell
Yesterday St Ignatius Church Richmond, in Melbourne, played host to the funeral mass for Australian Rules football legend "Captain Blood" Jack Dyer.
28 Aug 2003

Vatican Radio criticises ABC homemade bombs report
Vatican Radio has commented on a feature broadcast on Monday night's ABC TV 7:30 Report that demonstrated how easy it can be to make a bomb.
28 Aug 2003

Hobart Archbishop accuses State Govt of deception on same-sex relationships
Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle yesterday suggested gay marriage is the Tasmanian Government's "real agenda" against giving homosexuals legislative protection against discrimination.
28 Aug 2003

Caritas head hits back after Downer slur on Church
After Foreign Minister Alexander Downer yesterday accused the Catholic bishops of hypocrisy, Caritas Australia national director Jack de Groot said Downer is "misguided" if he thinks churches have no role in speaking out on moral and social issues.
28 Aug 2003

US pedophile priest's murder sparks comments from Vatican official
In the wake of the weekend prison murder of former Boston priest John Geoghan, a senior Vatican official has said the intense coverage of the issue of clergy sex abuse in the US is an attempt at "sullying the image of the Church," as if "someone wants to take away its moral force".
27 Aug 2003

Missionaries of Charity celebrate Mother Teresa's 93rd birthday
Members of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity Congregation around the world celebrated her 93rd birthday yesterday.
27 Aug 2003

John Paul I's election commemorated
Yesterday's 25th anniversary of the beginning of Pope John Paul I's 33 day pontificate was marked by a ceremony in the town of his birth, Canale d'Agordo near Venice.
27 Aug 2003

Dynamite attack on Colombian Archbishop's residence
Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin appealed once more for national reconciliation following a dynamite attack on his residence.
27 Aug 2003

Caritas delivers desperately needed food to Liberia
Caritas Liberia distributed desperately needed food to newly displaced persons along the highway between Monrovia and Gbarnga last weekend, with the help of the World Food Program.
27 Aug 2003

Catholic lobby supports water quality inquiry
The Catholic lobby group PolMin has welcomed the inquiry into Salinity being undertaken by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Innovation.
27 Aug 2003

Feature - High Mass
Fr Morgan Batt is the first priest to celebrate Mass on Mt Everest, "a place where heaven meets earth". He has also celebrated Mass on Mt Kosciusko and Mt Kilimanjaro as part of his dream of celebrating Mass on the highest mountain on every continent.
27 Aug 2003

Opinion - Deacons not an easy solution to priest shortage
One of the fastest-growing ministries in North America is the restored permanent diaconate. But the church must address the present pastoral situation which tempts many bishops to expand the diaconate into ministries more proper to a priest, namely the current shortage of ordained priests. - Richard R. Gaillardetz, University of Toledo
27 Aug 2003

Feature - Modern medicine works wonders but God works miracles
When Elizabeth found a lump on her neck and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma stage 4, we were understandably shocked and distressed. However, the oncologist assured us it was 'fixable'. Our family pinned our hopes on this statement, as well as relying on our Catholic faith to see us through this difficult time.
26 Aug 2003

Opinion - God's mercy includes people who take their own life
In most cases, suicide, like any terminal illness, takes a person out of life against his or her will. The death is not freely chosen, but is an illness, far from an act of free will. If this is true, and it is, then we should also give up the notion that suicide puts a person outside the mercy of God. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
26 Aug 2003

US Catholics prepare for change to Communion ritual
American Catholics are about to experience major changes in the Communion rite as dioceses begin implementing updated General Instruction of the Roman Missal.
26 Aug 2003

Ratzinger attributes sex abuse crisis to "weakness of faith"
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said that clergy sex abuse is the result of a "weakness of faith" that can only be overcome by "clear moral teaching".
26 Aug 2003

Church 'never persecuted Galileo Galilei'
Citing a letter recently discovered in the Vatican's archive, a senior Curia official has denied that the Church persecuted Galileo Galilei for pointing out that the earth goes round the sun.
26 Aug 2003

Tasmanian plan to educate poorer children
Hobart's Catholic Education Office is considering an education fund to help low-income patents give their children a Catholic education.
26 Aug 2003

Indian bishops condemn terrorism on Mumbai streets
Expressing shock following the deaths of more than 44 people, India's Catholic bishops condemned those responsible for the two powerful explosions that struck Mumbai (formerly Bombay) within minutes of each other yesterday afternoon.
26 Aug 2003

Bishops welcome release of detention centre children
Port Pirie Bishop Eugene Hurley, whose South Australian diocese includes the Baxter Detention Centre, described a court decision to release five children until their parents' asylum claims are processed, as a win for human dignity.
26 Aug 2003

Feature - Martyrs of Peace
Christian de Chergé, drafted halfway through his seminary studies, was a peacekeeper in Algeria in 1959. A Muslim friend who saved his life was killed for his courageous act. Almost forty years later, de Chergé made a similar sacrifice, dying at the hands of men who did not understand his love for the Muslim people.
25 Aug 2003

Opinion - Salvation by media
The media's has beaten down morale among priests to an all-time low. Depression or hypersensitivity are natural responses, but it can also help us to a clearer discovery of our true purpose and mission, to a kind of spiritual liberation from public opinion. - Benedictine meditation guide Dom Lawrence Freedom
25 Aug 2003

6 month sentence for Bosnian's email threats to Pope
A Bosnian Muslim was sentenced to six months in prison by a court of Zenica for sending emails threatening to kill John Paul II during his trip to Croatia last June.
25 Aug 2003

Church incense sparks Irish health alert
Dr Jim McDaid, medical doctor and junior minister in the Irish Government, has warned that the health of altar boys and girls is being put at risk from the use of burning incense, particularly at funeral services.
25 Aug 2003

Prosecutors probe sex abuse priest's jail death
Prosecutors were yesterday investigating how an anti-gay convicted murderer managed to strangle fellow inmate pedophile priest John Geoghan inside one of Massachusetts' most secure prisons.
25 Aug 2003

Speculation puts Pell in Ratzinger job
The Weekend Australian newspaper gave space to talk that Sydney Archbishop George Pell could be imminently "summoned to a senior post in the Vatican", which might be that of the soon to retire Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.
25 Aug 2003

NZ parishes oppose GMO release
While media reports indicate Vatican support for genetic modification, several New Zealand Catholic parishes are voicing their opposition to their Government lifting its moratorium in October on the release of genetically modified organisms.
25 Aug 2003

Former Vatican rep urges support for UN in Iraq
The former Vatican representative at the United Nations in Geneva has called for support of this institution's work in Iraq, especially after the bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad.
25 Aug 2003

Feature - Vatican astronomers get a rare close-up of Mars
As the Pope slept downstairs, Br Guy Consolmagno manoeuvred the viewing deck into position. "Anyone see Mars?" he asked the four off-duty Swiss Guards standing around him. It was just before midnight on a Friday at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope's lakeside summer residence and the home of the Vatican Observatory.
22 Aug 2003

Opinion - American Catholicism is in trouble
Absent an energetic response by Catholic leadership, a soft slide into a kind of nominal Catholicism is quite foreseeable. At the outside, there is even the possibility of a sudden collapse, in a single generation or two — such as has been seen in Ireland and, earlier, in French Canada — of what appeared to be a virtually impregnable Catholicism. - New York Times columnist Peter Steinfels, quoted in Garry Wills' review of his book 'A People Adrift'
22 Aug 2003

Women hymn-writers exerted "subversive" influence on Church
Although they lacked public voice during Victorian times, women wrote most of the top 100 hymns sung today in British churches, according to a BBC radio feature broadcast this week.
22 Aug 2003

Melbourne priest returns to court on fourth abuse charge
A retired priest was yesterday given a suspended three-month jail term after admitting to the indecent assault of an altar boy almost 45 years ago.
22 Aug 2003

Pope says God revealed love through beauty of creation
Pope John Paul II has told his weekly General Audience that God revealed his love to humanity through the beauty of creation, and through the Bible.
22 Aug 2003

US Bishops prod Bush on Africa promises
The President of the US Catholic Bishops Conference has warned President George Bush that the "commitment" reflected in his recent trip to Africa "could be lost" if Congress fails to find the money for a variety of initiatives including the fight against AIDS.
22 Aug 2003

Catholic Health says frail elderly not political pawns
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has condemned a decision by Victoria's Aged Care Association to place public hospital patients last on the admission priority lists of aged care homes.
22 Aug 2003

Installation today for new Military Bishop
The installation of Bishop Max Davis as the new Military Bishop for the people of the Australian Defence Force will take place this morning in Canberra's St Christopher's Cathedral.
22 Aug 2003

Feature - Church enjoying vocations boom
The bottom line is that there are far more seminarians worldwide today than there were 25 years ago. In 1978 the total number of young men studying for the priesthood was 63,882. In 2001 it was 112,224.
21 Aug 2003

Opinion - Blow to UN is setback for world peace
The Holy See's view of how to preserve world peace is clear. The United Nations is the only forum. Archbishop Renato Martino has said that if humanity "does not succeed in giving itself institutions that are really effective in eliminating the scourge of war, the risk is that the law of force will prevail over the force of law". - Lord Daniel Brennan, president of the Catholic Union of Great Britain
21 Aug 2003

Awards aim to expose Catholic welfare employee excellence
Catholic Welfare Australia is looking for nominations for its 2003 Awards that aim to uncover excellence and innovation within the sector.
21 Aug 2003

Election of new Patriarch amid Baghdad chaos
Bishops from 20 or more dioceses around the world have travelled to Baghdad for the synod to elect the leader of Iraq's largest Christian denomination, the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church.
21 Aug 2003

US priests urge optional celibacy
More than 160 priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese have signed a letter urging the US bishops to allow married men to be ordained for the diocesan priesthood.
21 Aug 2003

Irish priests fear false abuse allegations
Priests are becoming more worried about false accusations of child sex abuse, according to a letter sent to clerics of the Dublin Diocese by the head of Dublin's Council of Priests.
21 Aug 2003

Vatican report fuels GM debate within the Catholic church
Catholic leaders in developing countries are reportedly worried about GM technology and the contents of a Vatican statement expected to come down in favour of FM foods as a possible solution to world hunger.
21 Aug 2003

Church diplomats remember UN envoy as champion of people
Mourning the death of UN Iraq envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello, Vatican diplomats remembered him as a highly efficient champion of people whose rights were being trampled.
21 Aug 2003

Feature - The many problems of liberated Baghdad
"Life here is becoming really very difficult, the population suffers very much the lack of electric power," says Archbishop Sleiman. The aggressiveness of the US troops heightens by the hour, there is the building up of Islamic integralism. A plumber arrives to repair a sink "convinced that the marines did such works for us Catholics".
20 Aug 2003

Opinion - Development workers know every village has a different story
An agency offering micro credit came to the Cambodian village looking for participants in its project. The organisers had the best of intentions; their aim was to help the poorest of the poor. The end result for the most destitute in the village was deeper shame and marginalisation than before. - Sr Joan Healy and Dr Meas Nee in Towards Understanding: Cambodian Villages Beyond War (published by Sisters of St Joseph, Sydney, August 2003).
20 Aug 2003

Catholic women face up to human trafficking
The stark reality of the growing stream of trafficked women and children into Australia for slavery and sexual servitude was tackled by delegates at last week's National Biennial Conference of the Catholic Women's League.
20 Aug 2003

First Bishop Named for Mongolia
Pope John Paul II has named Fr Wenceslaw Padilla of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Congregation as the first bishop of Mongolia.
20 Aug 2003

Vatican official calls cloning a "crime against humanity"
Attempts to clone human beings should be banned internationally as a "crime against the human person," according Pontifical Council for the Family head Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo.
20 Aug 2003

Cardinal Stafford blames church crisis on dysfunctional parishes
The clergy sexual abuse crisis has highlighted the longstanding need to renew parish life, according to Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
20 Aug 2003

Cathedral Dean defends basis for sacking choirmaster
The Sydney St Mary's Cathedral Dean who sacked his choirmaster for failing to prevent child sex abuse in his home in the 1980s told NSW Industrial Relations Commission yesterday that he acted on the "balance of probabilities" rather than conclusive evidence.
20 Aug 2003

Catholic schools request more state funds for disabled students
Catholic schools in Victoria say they are being forced to take money out of class programs and other resources to redress State Government funding shortfalls for disabled students.
20 Aug 2003

Feature - Oceania - My (vanishing) island home
Earthrise, the photo snapped by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders on Christmas Eve 1968, raised the consciousness of the world peace and environment movements. It made redundant the old classroom globe with its colour patched countries and singularly popularised the synonym "the blue planet". The following year, Pope Paul VI might have been describing Anders' photo when he declared: "The image of the Creator must shine forth ever more clearly, but not only in his creature man, but in all of his creation in nature." His words signalled a reawakening within the Church of creation theology. - Best Feature Story, Australian Catholic Press Association 2003 Awards
19 Aug 2003

Opinion - Dialogue key to resolving gay-Catholic impasse
In February, Canberra-Goulburn Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power and Rainbow Sash activist Michael Kelly were interviewed on ABC Radio. Power promised, and did, raise the issue at a meeting of the Australian Bishops Conference, which agreed to talk further about the pastoral impact of the church's teaching on homosexuality. The two have since engaged in a fruitful correspondence. - Chris McGillion
19 Aug 2003

'Bite-sized goodness' in prize-winning NZ Catholic paper
New Zealand's national Catholic newspaper NZ Catholic has won the Bishop Phillip Kennedy Memorial Prize for Newspapers, announced at the annual Australasian Catholic Press Association conference in Canberra.
19 Aug 2003

Priest voted France's favourite again
A Catholic priest who has spent most of his life championing the poor, homeless and unemployed has again been voted France's favourite personality, French television reported.
19 Aug 2003

Priest, nuns killed in African countries
An elderly Congolese nun was killed by rebels last weekend, while two Comboni missionaries have been killed by Karamojong fighters in Northwest Uganda.
19 Aug 2003

Pope looks to expanded Europe for spiritual revival
Pope John Paul II said on Sunday that Europe is suffering a crisis in values and expressed hope that the addition of 10 more countries to the European Union next year would be an occasion for the continent's renewal.
19 Aug 2003

Rumours suggest Pell could be named cardinal soon
Italian journalists have stepped up their speculation that Pope John Paul II might convene a consistory, and elevate new members to the College of Cardinals, in October.
19 Aug 2003

New GG calls for more religion in schools
More religion should be taught in schools to lift the nation's ethics and values, according to Australia's recently installed Governor-General Michael Jeffery.
19 Aug 2003

Feature - The chaplains who kick goals for God
The Victoria Racing Club introduced a chaplain more than 20 years before other sports. The current chaplain, Fr Brendan Dillon, says this was probably because it is such a dangerous sport. "I have been there when fellas have been in ambulances and said a little prayer over them."
18 Aug 2003

Opinion - Religious must must radiate joy, not misery
Living in the shadow of the two crises - September 11 and the explosion of the sexual abuse problem - maybe we can bring alive people's dreams again? We religious have an amazing opportunity to reach others through the signs and gestures that we may make. We can provide signs of a new kind of happiness, we cannot be preachers of the kingdom if we are miserable. - Former Dominican Master General Fr Timothy Radcliffe, speaking to last week's Assembly of Major Superiors of Men in the USA in Louisville, Kentucky
18 Aug 2003

Franciscans draw UN attention to human trafficking
The Franciscan office at the UN in Geneva has successfully introduced into a UN document its major points of concern on human trafficking and exploitation, including a request that the UN General Assembly declare a special Year Against Trafficking in Persons.
18 Aug 2003

New figures reveal steady decline in funds for Private Hospitals
Catholic Health Australia has pointed out that Friday's release of the latest private health insurance statistics shows the steady decline in the share of payments to hospitals since the introduction of the 30% health insurance rebate.
18 Aug 2003

Unions likely to reject South Australian CEO maternity leave offer
Catholic school teachers and support staff in South Australia have been offered six weeks' paid maternity leave in enterprise bargaining talks.
18 Aug 2003

South African nuns receive apology for mistreatment
A group of South African priests has apologised to African nuns for a range of mistreatment, including sexual abuse.
18 Aug 2003

More media attention for 1962 Vatican instruction to cover up sex abuse
The Vatican instructed Catholic bishops around the world to cover up cases of sexual abuse, according to a 40-year-old confidential document that has received widespread media coverage over the weekend in the UK and the US.q
18 Aug 2003

Vicar General concerned about gays importing surrogate babies
Melbourne Archdiocesan Vicar General Monsignor Les Tomlinson has expresed alarm at reports of gay male couples paying overseas women to have babies for them to bypass strict state laws against commercial surrogacy.
18 Aug 2003

Opinion - When people leave the Church to find God!
Use it or lose it. Your parish needs you there Sunday by Sunday, willing and ready and serving in some way. Your parish needs you to invite people back and it needs you to change if necessary to make people welcome home. - Fr Kevin Neale, New Zealand
15 Aug 2003

Feature - YCW puts faith into daily action
The Young Christian Workers organisation is about far more than "just going to church on Sunday," says its national president, Sarah Taylor. "It's about practising your beliefs in the ordinary acts of your life. It's about your faith and the action that you take."
15 Aug 2003

UK marketers tell churches to ditch crucifixion
Churches in the UK are being urged to drop the image of the Crucifixion and instead highlight the social benefits of filling the pews in an effort to boost Sunday attendance.
15 Aug 2003

Church in Indonesia implements pastoral strategy with caution
Catholic Church workers in Indonesia have decided to go ahead in implementing the Asian Integral Pastoral Approach (AsIPA) program for Church neighbourhood groups, despite warnings that the method is unsuitable for Muslim majority societies.
15 Aug 2003

PNG archbishop seeks prayers for murdered Anglican Melanesian Brothers
Catholic Dioceses in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands have been asked to renew prayer this week for the six Melanesian Brothers and other victims of violence in the Solomon Islands.
15 Aug 2003

Morning after pill a 'threat to women's welfare'
The proposed over-the-counter availability of the Morning-After Pill Postinor-2 poses a threat to the physical, psychological and spiritual welfare of women, warns bioethics Adelaide Catholic bioethicist Dr John Fleming.
15 Aug 2003

Pope feels the heat during weekly general audience
Pope John Paul II appeared fatigued by Italy's scorching heatwave during his weekly general audience on Wednesday in the courtyard of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.
15 Aug 2003

Pell says Vatican gay unions document meant for all people
The "strange" proposal to legalise homosexual unions should be opposed consistently, and not just by Catholics, according to Sydney's Archbishop George Pell.
15 Aug 2003

Feature - From Interdominion Cup to church chalice
When parishioners at one country church take Holy Communion little do they realise the Sacrament of the Eucharist is being administered using a chalice originally presented as a horse racing trophy.
14 Aug 2003

Opinion - Church must proclaim teachings in more sensitive ways
The nub of the problem is not so much in the teaching itself, but in the manner in which our Church exercises its leadership role. At the end of every teaching is a human person struggling with the mystery of his or her own complexity. - Martin Tierney
14 Aug 2003

Order says don't blur distinction between poverty and extreme poverty
Franciscans International has urged the United Nations to give explicit attention to the issue of extreme poverty and not relegate it to a discussion on poverty in general.
14 Aug 2003

Catholic bishops back government AIDS plan
The leadership of South Africa's Catholic Church on Wednesday welcomed the government's undertaking to mount an anti-retroviral HIV/Aids treatment program.
14 Aug 2003

Liberian Catholic leaders seek more aid after Taylor exile
Catholic leaders in Liberia welcomed the news that President Charles Taylor had left the country on Monday as promised, but continued to call for international help for emergency relief aid, peacekeeping and efforts to restore democracy.
14 Aug 2003

Pre-order sales of book on Pope John Paul II set records
Officials in Catholic dioceses in the US have ordered more than 10,000 copies of John Paul II: A Light for the World, weeks before its appearance in bookstores.
14 Aug 2003

ACU awards ethics prize to health issues researcher
A Melbourne research fellow who has proposed an ethical framework for health research reporting has taken the $10,000 prize in the Australian Catholic University Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics.
14 Aug 2003

Pell sees larger role for lay leaders
Lay Catholics leadership will become increasingly important in Sydney parishes over the next decade, according to the Archbishop of Sydney Dr George Pell.
14 Aug 2003

Feature - Jean Vanier on why we're frightened to be fully human
At age 75, L'Arche disabled communities founder Jean Vanier continues to be a beacon of hope for society's most vulnerable people. He said: "God has chosen the weak and the foolish of this world to confound the so-called wise people, the clever people and the powerful people."
13 Aug 2003

Opinion - Give the priest a break
People want to relieve the priest of many of the burdens he carries unnecessarily, and allow him to be a true minister and pastor, praying and celebrating the sacraments properly. This will demand first of all that the priest allow people to take burdens from him. - Bishop Kieran Conry, Diocese of Arundel and Brighton (UK)
13 Aug 2003

Polish university offering degree in Pope Studies
A newly opened Catholic university in Poland is offering a postgraduate degree on the study of Pope John Paul II's contributions "to modern Poland, the Roman Catholic Church and the world".
13 Aug 2003

US Bishops official says Anglican gay bishop appointment a setback for ecumenism
A spokesman for the US Catholic bishops has said that the appointment of an openly gay Anglican bishop will cause "new ecumenical challenges."
13 Aug 2003

Sydney CEO reports success luring teachers with laptops
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney have attracted almost 200 applications from aspiring teachers by offering computers and cash as incentives.
13 Aug 2003

Victim hits church silence on sex attack
The Catholic Church in Tasmania was under fire yesterday after it was revealed authorities failed to disclose the fact of a priest's sexual assault to his parishioners because "the community was unaware of the event and had therefore not been harmed".
13 Aug 2003

Political tension causes dip in Caritas North Korea donations
Caritas Internationalis has called for more relief assistance to North Korea amid a fall in donations following political tensions sparked by the communist country's nuclear weapons program.
13 Aug 2003

Catholic Mission supporting Liberians
As the hope for an end to the violence draws closer in Liberia with yesterday's resignation of former President Charles Taylor, Catholic Mission has issued a statement confirming its continuing support for projects for children.
13 Aug 2003

Feature - Gifts from the heart for the Pope
More than 400 objects given to the pope - most from his fellow Poles - are part of an exhibit that opened at a Polish hostel in Rome in late July in preparation for the pope's silver jubilee in October. The hostel is home to the John Paul II Documentation Centre, which houses gifts given to the pope, as well as books and newspaper articles written about him and by him, and even photocopies of articles he has read and made notations on.
12 Aug 2003

Opinion - Should some hymns be laid to rest?
I love hymns. Old school Lutherans take their hymns very seriously. Most Catholics don't. Instead we settle for hymns musically indistinguishable from Les Mis, of saccharine textual sentimentality and, to put it bluntly, heretical. - Papal biographer George Weigel
12 Aug 2003

New investigation of missionary's 'suicide'
A fresh inquest into the death of US-born priest has begun, two years after Kenyan attorney-general Amos Wako said an FBI report stating that Mill Hill missionary Fr John Kaiser had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound was "definitive".
12 Aug 2003

Catholic Women's League seeks inspiration from outback mother
Self-described "wife, mother and cattlewoman" Terry Underwood is the keynote speaker at this week's National Conference of the Catholic Women's League Australia in Sydney.
12 Aug 2003

Commission welcomes Federal Government commitments on land clearing
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has backed the continuing commitment of the Federal Government to both a fair deal for primary producers and to the introduction of sustainable practices with respect to land clearing in Queensland.
12 Aug 2003

Pope urges prayers for rain
Pope John Paul II urged people to pray for rain on Sunday to ease Europe's seemingly relentless heat wave, expressing concern about the bushfires devouring large sections of forests on the continent.
12 Aug 2003

Pope to meet with Palestinian leader
Pope John Paul II will meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas later this month aat his summer residence outside Rome, Palestinian officials said yesterday.
12 Aug 2003

Aid groups defy Liberia carnage as President goes into exile
Church aid workers are defying ferocious fighting and horrific conditions to continue providing aid to helpless civilians in Liberia.
12 Aug 2003

Feature - Walking all the way with the condemned
"I am a servant," says Sr Helen Prejean, who has been in Australia for a fortnight and spoke during a visit last week to Adelaide's Yatala jail. "I came to help the opera [adaption of the film Dead Man Walking], because I want people to go through the journey of the story."
11 Aug 2003

Opinion - Removing the prejudice blocking our vision
Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien challenged his friend and fellow author C.S. Lewis: "Your inability to picture for yourself the mysteries of Jesus' life is a failure of imagination on your part!" Lewis was stung by that remark, but realised its truth. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMIq
11 Aug 2003

Viewers stunned as Vatican TV goes blank
The Rome transmission of a Catholic television station was blacked out by city authorities during a televised Mass last week.
11 Aug 2003

New Boston Archbishop's humble home
Boston's new archbishop has decided to live in a cathedral presbytery rather than the expensive residence used by his predecessors.
11 Aug 2003

Pakistan minority leaders criticise police over murder investigation
Religious and ethnic minority leaders in Pakistan have criticised police for not arresting the culprits responsible for the recent "gruesome murder" of a Catholic priest.
11 Aug 2003

Catholic lobbyist says water reform 'beyond politics'
The Catholic lobby group PolMin has welcomed the bipartisan approach to water resource problems, in evidence at a major meeting last week in Northern New South Wales.
11 Aug 2003

Catholic Health fears Govt ideological gag on charities
It has emerged that the Federal Government commissioned a so-called right-wing think thank to conduct an audit of non-government organisations (NGOs) with direct access to federal departments and taxpayer funds.
11 Aug 2003

New church abuse claim
Tasmania's Catholic Archdiocese is responding to new allegations of child abuse, with a newspaper report today documenting the standing down of a senior parish priest.
11 Aug 2003

Feature - Plan for parents to help fill gaps at Catholic schools
The biggest association of Catholic parents in Queensland is proposing the formation of school community councils to help fill the gap left by the declining number of priests and nuns.
8 Aug 2003

Opinion - Harry Potter can help us explain Word of God
Harry Potter books play into the hands of a cynical press that is only too happy show the Church in a negative light. The truth is of course that the Harry Potter books have about as much to do with witchcraft and wizardry, as the Three Wise Men have to do with astrology. JK Rowling's books are as good a set of moral tales as any I've read. - Fr Ray Lyons
8 Aug 2003

Actress "honoured" by role of Mother Teresa
Renowned English actress Olivia Hussey has spoken of her delight at being chosen to play Mother Teresa of Calcutta in a new television series.
8 Aug 2003

Bishop-elect Fisher to debate Australia's 'Dr Death'
Bishop-elect Anthony Fisher OP will debate Dr Philip Nitschke, one of the world's most outspoken euthanasia advocates, on Monday at Sydney University.
8 Aug 2003

Commission urges separate Indigenous Affairs ministers
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane this week called for separate State and Federal Indigenous Affairs Ministers.
8 Aug 2003

Irish Council warns against using Vatican document to promote hatred
The Vatican's recent document opposing legal recognition for homosexual unions could be used to promote hatred, according to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
8 Aug 2003

US TV network brings 1962 'cover up' document into the open
A confidential Vatican document drafted more than 40 years ago set out a policy that demanded total secrecy in cases of sex abuse by priests, CBS News reported yesterday.
8 Aug 2003

Last-minute cancellation of Jesuit's visa to Nauru raises concerns
Lawyer and human rights advocate Fr Frank Brennan had his visa cancelled on Tuesday, 24 hours before he was due to depart for Nauru to gain understanding of the situation of the asylum seekers Australia diverted there for processing.
8 Aug 2003

Feature - Retail therapy at St Paul's Book Centre
As the decibel and stress levels rise, a few smart people step off Charlotte Street and enter into an oasis of calm and contemplation. A smiling Italian gentleman greets them, as does the soothing music, subtle lighting and sight of other unhurried customers.
7 Aug 2003

Opinion - Same-sex union doesn't need to include sex
The Vatican document says it would be wrong to discriminate against homosexual people. Take for example a couple who say "we want to split our incomes". I don't think there can be any objection to laws of that sort. Whether or not they are engaged in sexual relations is incidental. - Jesuit human rights lawyer Fr Frank Brennan`
7 Aug 2003

Gibson film well received by Jewish reviewers
An orthodox Jew who is one of America's best-known film reviewers says Mel Gibson's film about the death of Christ is the best adaptation of the Bible in Hollywood history.
7 Aug 2003

Bishop organising moral formation of soldiers to prevent abuses
The Military Bishop of Argentina has visited the head office of the charity Aid to the Church in Need to request resources to assist military chaplains in the ethical formation of his country's military personnel.
7 Aug 2003

Missionary speaks of frustration with Ugandan rebels
A Comboni missionary assisting in peace negotiations in Uganda said he has been frustrated by a lack of concrete answers from rebel leaders.
7 Aug 2003

Jesuits in India say Hindu zealots behind sex-abuse charges
A Jesuit priest has been arrested on sodomy charges in India's troubled Orissa state, but Church leaders say the charges are "concocted as part of a conspiracy to malign the Christian community" in a region where religious conflicts have been commonplace.
7 Aug 2003

Pope pays tribute 25 years after death of Paul VI
Honouring Pope Paul VI on yesterday's 25th anniversary of his death, Pope John Paul II celebrated a memorial Mass and dedicated much of his weekly general audience to the anniversary.
7 Aug 2003

Archbishop Pell announces Blessing for the infertile
Sydney Archbishop George Pell has announced the promulgation of a new official Order of Blessing of Couples Imploring the Gift of Children, approved for use in the archdiocese by the Congregation for Divine Worship.
7 Aug 2003

Feature - Tribute to the man in the bus shelter
Sisters of Charity nuns, St Vincent's Hospital staff and Darlinghurst locals gathered at the bus shelter outside Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital. They were there to pay tribute to Karl Kulper, the "old gentleman" who called the bus shelter home for 25 years.
6 Aug 2003

Opinion - We need to recognise limits to tolerance
Consider domestic violence, abuse of children, suicide and drug abuse. This picture does not reflect a healthy respect for human beings or the truth. When a society values wealth and strength at the expense of truth and human beings, plurality becomes a weak permissiveness that allows wickedness to flourish. There are some things it's better not to tolerate. - Carmel Taffa, Sydney University Chaplaincy Team
6 Aug 2003

Vinnies says recreation programs can combat homelessness
St Vincent de Paul Society Homeless Services President Pat O'Flynn has said that educative programs such as art and creative writing can give homeless persons the confidence to move beyond crisis towards independent living.
6 Aug 2003

Commission supports establishment of Poverty Task Force
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission told the Senate Community Affairs Committee Inquiry into Poverty and Financial Hardship on Monday that Australia needs a task force charged with placing the issue of poverty "firmly on the national agenda".
6 Aug 2003

John of God Order condemns tactics of NZ law firm
The St John of God Brothers have criticised a prominent lawyer in Christchurch for intimidating clients over an unpaid $A62,722 legal bill.
6 Aug 2003

Melbourne CEO to shed workers
Almost 20 positions have been abolished in Melbourne's Catholic Education Office, with officials setting 5 September as a deadline to determine how many of these staff will be made redundant in the first job cuts of their kind since the 1930s.
6 Aug 2003

Bishops Conference head welcomes Howard comments on gay marriage
President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Archbishop Francis Carroll has voiced his support for yesterday's statement from Prime Minister John Howard that ruled out any moves from the Federal Government to legalise same-sex marriage.
6 Aug 2003

Education Commission accuses ABC of neglecting charter
The National Catholic Education Commission has said the ABC's decision to axe the long-running primary school TV program Behind The News "appears to go against the Charter" of the national broadcaster.
6 Aug 2003

Feature - Clare of Assisi's collegial model of religious leadership
As cofounder of the Franciscan movement, she supported Francis. Together with her sisters, she wrote the first Rule written for religious women by a woman, modelling the ability for the authority or power of a group to be held by the entire group (collegiality).
5 Aug 2003

Opinion - Sex selection of embryos to balance families a slippery slope
Every week, it seems, reproductive technology faces us with new ethical challenges. Is it right to use embryo screening techniques to replace a child who has died by one of the same sex? - Former Archbishop of York John Habgood
5 Aug 2003

Kenyan archbishop warns condoms will not prevent AIDS
Catholic Church leaders have warned that condoms are not an answer in the war against the HIV/AIDS in Kenya, where 700 people die every day from the disease.
5 Aug 2003

Top Cardinals' retirement rumoured
While Pope John Paul II is likely to remain active for some time, rumours suggest that two of his key deputies - Cardinals Joseph Ratzinger and Angelo Sodano - are about to step down.
5 Aug 2003

Church faces class action by parents for damages
The Catholic Church in South Australia faces a large compensation claim over a former school bus driver who sexually assaulted intellectually disabled children.
5 Aug 2003

Cardinal hits out at "false" media coverage on Vatican gay marriage stance
Chicago's Cardinal Francis George angrily hit out at a newspaper for reporting that last week's Vatican statement on same-sex unions represents a "global campaign against gays".
5 Aug 2003

Vatican believes GM food could solve world hunger
The Vatican has surprised opponents of genetically modified foods by declaring they hold the answer to world starvation and malnutrition.
5 Aug 2003

Toowoomba Catholics urge family values in asylum seeker policy
Toowoomba Diocese's Social Justice Commission took part in a "detention centre prayer breakfast" this morning outside the Toowoomba Mayoral Prayer Breakfast, where Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson was the keynote speaker.
5 Aug 2003

Feature - Liturgical changes that link us with Christ
Church architecture speaks volumes about relationships. Over the centuries, churches have looked like fortresses. But post-Vatican II churches have been built on the recognition that Christ is present in the liturgy.
4 Aug 2003

Opinion - Are the bishops sorry at all?
They may express verbal apologies. They sorry that they have attracted unfavourable media attention and that they have to pay a lot of money to the victims. However they do not seem to have any sense of the suffering of the victims nor any real guilt that they were personally responsible for this suffering. - Fr Andrew Greeley
4 Aug 2003

Vatican euros worth a mint
The special version of the euro issued by the Vatican is proving a huge hit with collectors and faithful alike.
4 Aug 2003

Vinnies assisting refugees to learn banking
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Queensland is providing assistance to refugees challenged by the complexities of the banking system.
4 Aug 2003

Victorian Catholics push for funding
More than 150,000 Victorian Catholic school students have taken home a brochure explaining why they get a raw deal.
4 Aug 2003

Missionary says hungry Liberians walking to streets looking for food
Following United Nations approval for intervention in Liberia, a missionary superior has described the dominant image in the capital Monrovia as "million or more tired souls with empty stomachs wondering around in search of something to eat".
4 Aug 2003

Caritas Australia representatives arrive in Solomon Islands
Staff from Caritas Australia arrived in the Solomon Islands on Friday to discuss the implications of the regional intervention with the country's political and church leaders.
4 Aug 2003

Australian politicians resisting Vatican pressure on gay marriage legislation
Prominent Catholic MPs, including Labor's Laurie Brereton and Liberal Christopher Pyne, have responded to the church's cry to repeal any gay marriage laws by suggesting the Vatican stay out of government matters.
4 Aug 2003

Feature - Capuchin friars' voices from the past
Australian Capuchin Fr Paul Hanbridge is translating the 'core spiritual wisdom' of 16th century Italian Franciscan authors who were able to 'put their finger on the heart of the Gospel'. He said: "There are things in there when I first read it that impressed me and I hope they might help others."
32 Aug 2003

Opinion - Poverty more 'understanding gulf' than 'income gap'
There is a gulf of incomprehension between the poor and the comfortable in our society. The poor have no language or common identity through which to express their need. As a recent Vinnies newsletter said, homelessness is but one stage in lives marred by poverty. - Jesuit Provincial Fr Mark Raper, responding to last week's Ozanam lecturer Helen Johnston, of Irish 'Combat Poverty' agency.
32 Aug 2003

Italian churches stand up to sacriligious tourists
Visitors can no longer use the grand entrance at Rome's Basilica of St Mary Major after it was roped off to curb loitering by inebriated and amorous tourists.
32 Aug 2003

Priest saves children then drowns
An Italian parish priest jumped into the sea and saved seven children before drowning.
32 Aug 2003

Aboriginal Catholic leader urges wholistic response to violence
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council chair Vicki Walker is hoping the Federal Government will adopt a wholistic approach as Prime Minister John Howard pledges to tackle the problem of domestic violence in indigenous communities.
32 Aug 2003

British Caritas supports US move for Liberian peace
Following weeks of bloodshed in Liberia, the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) has been quick to welcome signs of intervention, stressing that the urgency of the situation cannot be understated.
32 Aug 2003

Apology to abuse victims is new Boston archbishop's first act
At Wednesday's installation ceremony, Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley thanked clergy abuse victims for attending, and once again apologised for the harm done by priests and bishops.
32 Aug 2003

Vatican tells lawmakers to oppose 'immoral' same-sex unions
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith yesterday issued its anticipated directive against gay marriage, telling politicians and lawmakers that they are "morally bound" to oppose "gravely unjust laws" intended to allow such unions.
32 Aug 2003