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Howard stresses 'community' contribution of Catholic Church

Prime Minister John Howard has described the Catholic Church as an "integral part of the fabric of Australian spiritual life and has made an enormous practical contribution to the well-being of Australian society".

He said the Church demonstrates "the immense value of a community that works together, both to promote the welfare and well-being of its own members and also to reach out to others in the wider community".

His comments were included in a collection of messages from political and community leaders to mark this Sunday's relaunch of Sydney's Catholic Weekly newspaper.

Howard acknowledged the role of the paper in commenting on current issues that are important to the Catholic community in Australia.

The paper also published messages from Federal Opposition Leader Simon Crean, NSW Premier Bob Carr, NSW Opposition Leader John Brogden, Sydney Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull, and Sydney Archbishop George Pell.

The Federal Opposition Leader commented that Vatican II was said to "throw open the windows of the Church". He suggested the Catholic Weekly opened windows of the Church in Australia, "interpreting the nation to the Catholic community and the Catholic community to the nation".

Aside from a new look, this week's edition includes articles on the history of the Catholic press in NSW. A message from Chairman of the Catholic Weekly board, veteran state politician Johnno Johnson, promises that "new vistas" will open up for readers, including a redesign, new features, better quality newsprint, more colour photos. Some of the new vistas will appear in coming months, which will include the appointment of a new managing editor.

Last night, Sydney Archbishop Dr George Pell hosted a relaunch dinner for the Catholic Weekly in the dining room of State Parliament House.

Catholic Weekly

Editorial: A need to be heard (Catholic Weekly)
Sydney's Catholic press 1839-2003 - A voice for Catholics ... (Catholic Weekly)
Timeline: From Bede Polding to George Pell (Catholic Weekly)
Who's who ... (Catholic Weekly)

12 Sep 2003