Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR SEPTEMBER 2003

   
Feature - Immigration using smuggling tactics to evict asylum seekers
Research provided to ABC TV's Lateline by the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney suggests that Australia's immigration officials have been using the same tactics as people smugglers to rid the country of failed asylum seekers. The evidence presented on last night's program shows false passports have been knowingly used to send detainees overseas, and airline tickets have been purchased by departmental officials to bypass the immigration controls of other countries.
30 Sep 2003

Opinion - Pope adds new perspectives, voices to group selecting his successor
Several of the appointees clearly reflect the pope's doctrinal and pastoral positions on controversial issues, but the new cardinals do not hold uniform opinions. Cardinal-designate Keith O'Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, said recently that while priestly celibacy is a gift to the church he would have "no problem with celibacy withering away".
30 Sep 2003

Archbishop complains about BBC reporters' behaviour
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham in the UK has made an official complaint about the behaviour of BBC TV reporters involved in making an undercover program about old child abuse cases in Birmingham.
30 Sep 2003

Catholic Health welcomes Abbott as new Health Minister
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has responded optimistically to the appointment of former seminarian Tony Abbott to the portfolio of Health and Ageing in the Cabinet of Prime Minister John Howard.
30 Sep 2003

Pope's weakness remains talking point
Pope John Paul II, whose physical health has become a topic of steady discussion around the Vatican, appeared very infirm during a brief public appearance on Sunday.
30 Sep 2003

Vietnam won't recognise Vatican appointment of cardinal
The Government of Vietnam yesterday refused to recognise Pope John Paul's appointment of a new cardinal for Ho Chi Minh City, renewing tension with the Vatican.
30 Sep 2003

Indian Archbishop becomes first tribal Cardinal
Archbishop Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi in northern India has been appointed as Cardinal by Pope John Paul II, becoming the first tribal and the fifth Indian to be elevated to the College of Cardinals in the history of the country's church.
30 Sep 2003

Archbishop Carroll welcomes new Australian Cardinal
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll, yesterday welcomed the elevation of Archbishop George Pell to the College of Cardinals, saying it was an important day for the Church in Australia.
30 Sep 2003

Feature - Chief justice's obsession with St Thomas Beckett
Tonight NSW Chief Justice James Spigelman concludes his lecture series on St Thomas Beckett. He says the medieval Church is so fascinating because it governed the territory covered by the present-day European institutions. "Today the things regarded as important are economic matters like tariffs, trade and competition policy," he says. "In medieval times it was spiritual matters, education, and social welfare."
29 Sep 2003

Opinion - Post-Vatican II architecture 'ugly as sin'
In many cases it was churchmen with an agenda who did the designing. Having decided that Christianity had taken a wrong turn, these architects manqués used it as an excuse to get rid of the sense of holiness and put dullness in its place. - Canadian Catholic commentator Larry Henderson
29 Sep 2003

Zimbabwean church leaders hit out at government
Church leaders in Zimbabwe have criticised the government's "irresponsible, inhuman, violent, partisan" methods of land redistribution, and accused it of fuelling a culture of violence.
29 Sep 2003

Survey reveals fall in number of Irish massgoers
The number of Catholics attending mass in Ireland has fallen significantly over the past five years, according to the results of a study announced last week.
29 Sep 2003

Victoria dominates Catholic Welfare Awards nominations
Centacare agencies in Victoria are prominient on the list of finalists for the 2003 Catholic Welfare Australia Awards, which will be announced in Geelong on Wednesday.
29 Sep 2003

Ratzinger challenges idea of religious tolerance
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has embraced the complex territory of interreligious dialogue in a new book titled Faith, Truth, Tolerance - Christianity and the World Religions.
29 Sep 2003

Pope to give anniversary bonus to Vatican employees
For the 25th annivesary of his election to Pope, John Paul II has decided to give a 500 euro ($A851) bonus to all the employees of the Holy See.
29 Sep 2003

Pope announces Pell elevation to College of Cardinals
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell is one of 30 new cardinals Pope John Paul named last night Australian time at Sunday Mass in the Vatican.
29 Sep 2003

Feature - Helping the elderly embrace self-forgiveness
Sr Francis has comforted the sick and dying for many years in her role as nurse, social worker and nun of the Little Company of Mary. She works at Calvary Hospital, Kogarah, in Sydney, helping the elderly deal with the pain and uncertainty of growing old. "When we get older we tend to reflect on our life, the highs and lows, and carry the feeling of discomfort," she says. "If we can learn to forgive ourselves we can then embrace life, which can be liberating."
26 Sep 2003

Opinion - Living in limbo behind razor wire
"In Iran I was fighting for democracy. In a way, for me, democracy was just a theory from books. Then I saw democracy in Australia. A democratic country imposed this system on us. I wondered: If we had achieved democracy in our country, would we be doing this to people?" - Sutgin, 29 year old Iranian journalist asylum seeker
26 Sep 2003

Gourmands seek reclassification of gluttony sin
A group of French chefs and intellectuals have petitioned the Vatican to reconsider the sin of gluttony, arguing that the French word for the sin - gourmandise - has changed its meaning over the years and is now used to denote a gourmet rather than a glutton.
26 Sep 2003

Priest video strikes gold
Sales of the recent Melbourne-produced vocations video Priests 24/7 have far exceeded the distributors' expectations according to director Peter Thomas.
26 Sep 2003

British priests seek pension scheme
The National Conference of Priests (NCP) in the UK is asking the Church set up a stakeholder pension scheme to ensure 6000 priests have a retirement income.
26 Sep 2003

Cardinal Kasper denies Vatican endorsing Gibson movie
A New York-based Jewish weekly is reporting that the Vatican is distancing itself from the comments of two of its officials who recently praised the controversial Mel Gibson movie The Passion.
26 Sep 2003

Iraq bishop says media distorts coverage to discredit US-led war
An Iraqi Catholic bishop has accused Western media of lying about the postwar state of his country.
26 Sep 2003

Pope urges authentic "church of the Poor"
As Australian Catholics prepare to celebrate Social Justice Sunday, Pope John Paul II has said the Church should be a "Church of the poor" that gives preference to the neediest members of society.
26 Sep 2003

Feature - Off the back of a truck
The back of a truck at a protest rally is good enough for Sister Susan Connelly to deliver her message. Armed with speeches from her own pen, this Josephite nun has delivered many unashamedly forthright and compassionate addresses on the plight of refugees and the war on Iraq, to standing ovations from thousands of protesters.
25 Sep 2003

Opinion - Acknowledge our own complexity
All of us have a number of different persons inside us. One who's spiritual, another who's a hedonist, and perhaps a third who's a dreamer. Sanctity is not a triumph of the "spiritual person", but a wholeness or harmony of all three. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
25 Sep 2003

Jesuit 'collaborators' to become 'partners'
The Society of Jesus will now refer to lay persons working in its ministries as "partners", rather than "collaborators".
25 Sep 2003

Catholic Health supports Labor aged care savings plan
Catholic Health Australia has said that an ALP savings plan for low income people has potential to help with long term aged care costs.
25 Sep 2003

MPs bid to ban prayer in Parliament
Following unsuccessful recent moves in New South Wales, Tasmania's Upper House could break with a 73-year tradition and abolish the reading of prayers before each parliamentary session.
25 Sep 2003

Australian Church official dismisses liturgical 'kite-flying'
Claims that the Pope plans to ban altar girls and clapping in church are utterly specious, according to the Australian church's top liturgical authority.
25 Sep 2003

Pope cancels audience due to intestinal problem
Pope John Paul took the rare step of canceling his weekly general audience yestrday in the face of growing concern over his health, but the Vatican insisted that only a "minor" intestinal problem was to blame.
25 Sep 2003

Adelaide archbishop gives details of $2.1m abuse payment
Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday spelled out the rationale and details of his decision to pay $2.1 million in response to the needs of former St Ann's Special School students.
25 Sep 2003

Feature - Finding peace of mind through the spirit of Taizé
Br Ghislain, who inspired many with Taizé prayer when he visited Brisbane three years ago, has returned to lead evenings of prayer tonight and tomorrow night. He describes the meditation practiced at the Taizé ecumenical community in France as "a form of Scriptural prayer that seeks to promote reconciliation, healing and peace and is open to all".
24 Sep 2003

Opinion - Why the Church goes on about social justice
Jesus said if we do nothing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, we can have no place with God. Until the 18th century, people thought poverty was normal and we could do no more than relieve the distress of poor people. Today we know we have the resources to greatly reduce poverty, intolerance and disadvantage in Australia, and indeed throughout the world. - Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR
24 Sep 2003

Broome Diocese supports WA Govt's Sustainability Strategy
The Coordinator of the Broome Diocesan Office of Justice, Ecology & Peace has warmly welcomed the release of the Western Australian State Government's Sustainability Strategy.
24 Sep 2003

Sydney priest still struggling to win congregation's loyalty
The recently-appointed parish priest of inner-city Redfern has had to stand over a female parishioner to demand she "swallow" the communion wafer.
24 Sep 2003

Magazine says Vatican set to ban altar girls
The Vatican is about to publish a series of instructions banning altar girls and liturgical dancing, according to the Italian Catholic monthly Jesus.
24 Sep 2003

Pope urges AIDS programs that respect church teaching
Pope John Paul II has encouraged Uganda's bishops to undertake initiatives for AIDS care and prevention that are in harmony with Church teaching.
24 Sep 2003

Caritas says it will stay in Iraq
The international Caritas organisation will continue its active presence in Iraq, despite the partial pull-out of the UN from the country.
24 Sep 2003

SA Church offers payout to abuse victims
South Australia's Catholic Church has created legal history by offering an unconditional $2 million compensation package to victims of child sex abuse.
24 Sep 2003

Feature - Solomons women say recovery is mind over matter
6000 people in Solomon Islands attended a reconciliation ceremony at Takwa Parish, Uru Uru School, North Malaita. The event, organised by the Catholic women of Malaita and Guadalcanal is part of the reconciliation process to help overcome years of ethnic tension between the two groups.
23 Sep 2003

Opinion - Why the Pope makes so many saints
I was confronted by the best and the worst of the Mother Teresa brand of compassion, the air still rent with the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds. But would it not be even more compassionate to use penicillin and painkillers? Sometimes love is not enough. Suffering can be alleviated. - Anne Sebba, associate producer of forthcoming British TV documentary Mother Teresa: The Making of a Modern Saint.
23 Sep 2003

Perth Cathedral bag-snatcher faces court
A 21-year-old man appeared in a Perth court yesterday charged with stealing a woman's handbag from a church pew in St Mary's Cathedral.
23 Sep 2003

Vatican helps East Timor with youth centre
A centre for the formation of young people has just been opened in East Timor, with the help of the foundation that supports the activity of Holy See's UN mission.
23 Sep 2003

Lobbyists warn education reforms disadvantage older Australians
Independent Catholic lobby group PolMin supports Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's education form package, but says it needs changes to avoid causing "further social and economic disadvantage", particularly for older Australians.
23 Sep 2003

Irish archbishop condemns intimidation of Catholics on police boards
The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has spoken out against attacks and threats against Catholic members of District Policing Partnership Boards in Northern Ireland.
23 Sep 2003

Archbishop says Beijing plans to outlaw Church in Hong Kong
Hong Kong's Archbishop Joseph Zen has told Vatican Radio that a constitutional change towards the former British colony's full incorporation into the Beijing government would make Hong Kong's Catholic Church illegal.
23 Sep 2003

Holy See could become full member of UN
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano has said the Holy See could become a full member of the United Nations.
23 Sep 2003

Feature - Singer is God's messenger
Amanda McKenna was playing in a rock band - Innocent Bystander - when her world came crashing down in the late 1980s. After time in St John of God Hospital, her zest for life and faith was re-ignited. She left the rock music industry and turned her hand to Christian music instead.
22 Sep 2003

Opinion - Collingwood Magpies: From racism to reconciliation
Around 1993, the Collingwood Australian Rules Football Club chairman said black people were welcome at Collingwood, provided they behaved like white people. To their credit, the club has since learned its lesson, recruiting Aboriginal players and twice visiting Aboriginal communities to conduct football clinics. - Dr Michael Costigan, Executive Secretary, Bishops' Committee for Justice, Development and Peace, speaking at yesterday's 'Multiculturalism in the Current Australian Context' event for MSC Parishes at Randwick, Sydney.
22 Sep 2003

Vatican criticises Georgia over religious freedom
The Holy See issued an unusually strong rebuke to the former Soviet republic of Georgia and its dominant Orthodox Church on Saturday, after the government scrapped an accord guaranteeing religious freedom for Catholics.
22 Sep 2003

Death threat to Indian priest over Staines case
A group claiming to defend Dara Singh, who has been convicted of murdering Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in 1999, has threatened to kill a priest in Orissa if the conviction is not reversed.
22 Sep 2003

Boy's cancer cure could be MacKillop's required second miracle
A seven-year-old Melbourne boy's recovery from cancer could be the second miracle required for the canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop.
22 Sep 2003

Pope tells bishops to be holy
Pope John Paul told 180 participants in a course of formation for bishops of English-speaking mission territories on Friday that holiness is "the urgent pastoral need of our times".
22 Sep 2003

Brothers under fire for not disclosing abuse mediation details
The Christian Brothers are criticised in the Hobart Mercury this morning for failing to reveal details of a 1994 mediation session between a former St Virgil's College cricket coach and a student sexually abused in the 1970s.
22 Sep 2003

Adelaide archbishop talks to MP on confessional confidentiality
Archbishop Philip Wilson met with No Pokies Independent MP Nick Xenophon on Friday to discuss the seal of the confessional and whether priests should be required to break it.
22 Sep 2003

Feature - 'Schoolies' faith patrol
With the HSC exams only a month away, many Year 12 students' thoughts have already moved beyond to the 'schoolies' celebrations on Queensland's Gold Coast and the ready availability of drugs and alcohol. Social worker Dominic Mapstone, director of Rebecca's Community, is organising an outreach that includes two one-week retreats.
19 Sep 2003

Opinion - Guns and missiles will always miss the root of terrorism
Terror is in the human heart, says Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Only with the practice of deep listening and compassion can the root of terror be transformed and removed. Darkness cannot be dissipated with more darkness. - Statement for the International Day of Peace (Sunday 21 September)
19 Sep 2003

Archbishops pay tribute to 'heroic witness' Cardinal Thuan
This week marked the first anniversary of the death of Vatican official Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, and the launch of his biography by Sydney Archbishop George Pell.
19 Sep 2003

Group files lawsuit against Romero assassination accused
A San Francisco-based human rights group filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against a former Salvadoran Air Force officer for his alleged role in the 1980 assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero.
19 Sep 2003

Holy Land Franciscan appeals for return of pilgrims
Fr Ibrahim Faltas, Franciscan Custos of Bethlehem's Basilica of the Nativity, has appealed to Christians all over the world to return to visit the Holy Land.
19 Sep 2003

NZ churches agree to 'abuse office'
New Zealand's religious organisations and the Catholic Church have accepted in principle the need to set up an independent national office to help deal with claims of abuse.
19 Sep 2003

Pope underlines value of sport in spiritual formation
Pope John Paul II has told a group of athletes that sport should be a "school of human formation" inspired by authentic values.
19 Sep 2003

New pope statement on bishop's duties set for October release
Pope John Paul II has confirmed that he will release a new apostolic exhortation on October 16, the 25th anniversary of his papal election.
19 Sep 2003

Feature - Ralph and the Archangel
At a small Benedictine monastery I met a short, bald-headed man called Ralph. I sensed this was someone with a story to tell. Jailed for armed robbery, he had experienced a life-transforming encounter with an archangel and been taken on and hoped one day to become a monk.
18 Sep 2003

Opinion - The struggle to be an authentic priest
It is possible to celebrate sacraments carelessly, to be rough-edged with people and to be deeply responsive to the Lord. But it's not so likely. It is possible to be pastorally caring and eloquent in the pulpit and personally far from attentive to the daily call of Christ. But it's unlikely to last. - Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Birmingham UK
18 Sep 2003

Catholic Health wants super held for aged care
Catholic Health Australia has called for a superannuation-style compulsory saving scheme for people to pay for their aged care.
18 Sep 2003

US Bishops urge Senate vote against nuclear weapons research
Research on advanced nuclear weapons, such as the "robust nuclear earth penetrator", undermine nuclear non-proliferation efforts, according to chairman of the US Bishops' International Policy Committee Bishop John Ricard of Florida.
18 Sep 2003

Dominican returning from Baghdad reports on US weapon rumours
A leading French Dominican expert on the Arab world has returned from an information-gathering visit to Baghdad talking about fears that the US military was contemplating using a "new experimental" weapon during the war with Iraq.
18 Sep 2003

Pope's looks stronger at Wednesday audience
In contrast to his frail health during last week's Slovakia trip, Pope John Paul II looked much stronger at his weekly general audience yesterday.
18 Sep 2003

Deane supports Church's right to speak on politics
Criticism of church leaders who speak out on politically controversial issues such as the treatment of indigenous people and asylum seekers was "misconceived", former Governor-General Sir William Deane said at yesterday's launch of the Bishops' Social Justice Statement.
18 Sep 2003

New threat to confessional seal
Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson will seek a meeting with Independent No Pokies MP Nick Xenophon to discuss legislation introduced into South Australian Parliament yesterday.
18 Sep 2003

Opinion - What's the point of beatification?
Rumours that Pope John Paul II considered proclaiming Mother Teresa of Calcutta a saint without first beatifying her were not a surprise. Beatifications have become almost meaningless, according to some Vatican officials. As the Pope's liturgical MC Bishop Piero Marini says, "we have been losing the sense of the distinction between beatification and canonisation."
17 Sep 2003

Feature - Loreto amalgamation juridically complete
In an era of corporate takeovers with a profit motive, it is refreshing to hear of amalgamation based on common origins and shared purpose. The North American Loreto Sisters have merged with the Irish Loreto Sisters (the branch to which the Australian sisters belong) in a process that reached juridical completion yesterday.
17 Sep 2003

Zimbabwe bishops want youth militia disbanded
The youth of Zimbabwe are being sacrificed to keep President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party in power, according a group of South African and Zimbabwean bishops.
17 Sep 2003

Indian bishops welcome conviction in murders of missionary, sons
The conviction of the murderers of an Australian missionary and his two sons in India is a sign that "a sense of justice and fairness is still prevalent in the country", according to a spokesman for the Indian Catholic bishops.
17 Sep 2003

Ratzinger seeks further explanation from US theologian
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has reportedly asked US Jesuit theologian Roger Haight for a set of explanations regarding his 2000 book Jesus, Symbol of God.
17 Sep 2003

Chaldean Catholics demand role in post-Saddam Iraq rule
The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon, representing the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq, have issued a demand to US civil administrator Paul Bremer that they be included and represented in the country's new governmental institutions.
17 Sep 2003

Catholic teachers to stop work in some states
While tens of thousands of government school students in Victoria, NSW, and Western Australia are expected to be affected by today's strike, some Catholic teachers are taking related industrial action.
17 Sep 2003

Statement challenges racism with 'generous heart'
Today's release of the Australian Bishops' Statment for Social Justice Sunday seeks to foster in Australians a 'generous heart' that can conquer racism.
17 Sep 2003

Feature - Pope's struggles questions about travelling future
More than any previous trip, the visit to Slovakia highlighted the Pope's physical problems and left people wondering whether this might be his last foreign journey. The pope suffers from a neurological disorder believed to be Parkinson's disease, and speaking has become a huge effort over the last two years.
16 Sep 2003

Opinion - The Spirit is a movin'
This 1970s guitar song has come to mind several times over the last two weeks. Bishop Vincent Malone of Liverpool, England, suggested that some of sacraments might be more appropriately administered by lay people. The tone of Malone's writing reminded me of the Milwaukee priests who wrote urging an end to the mandatory celibacy of diocesan priests. - Staff write Dennis Coday
16 Sep 2003

Priest held as 'prisoner of love'
Italian villagers who walled their priest up in his friary to prevent him from leaving have finally been persuaded to let him go.
16 Sep 2003

Vatican official praises Mel Gibson's The Passion
A senior Vatican official who watched clips from Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion" offered enthusiastic praise at the weekend for what he saw.
16 Sep 2003

Failure at Cancun a major blow for the world's poor
CAFOD, the Caritas member agency in England and Wales, has expressed deep regret at the failure of the trade talks held in the past few days in the Mexican city of Cancun.
16 Sep 2003

'Widespread fear' causes Vatican to republish Pacem in Terris
The Vatican has decided to republish Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris because we're now experiencing a time of fear comparable with that of the Cold War 40 years ago.
16 Sep 2003

Death of retired military Bishop Geoffrey Mayne
75 year old retired Military Bishop Geoffrey Mayne died peacefully in hospital yesterday after a long illness, weeks after the consecration of his successor.
16 Sep 2003

Pope accepts resignation of Manila's Cardinal Sin
Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Sin, the Philippines' church leader who helped lead peaceful revolts that ousted two presidents, including longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
16 Sep 2003

Feature - Danusia helped with the deliveries Santa couldn't make
The daughter of Polish migrants, Danusia Kaska saw her parents assist others who were struggling, even sending parcels to people in need back in Europe. "My toys and clothes were always being given away ... so I had the understanding from a small child that people in need need to be helped." The 28 year old newly-apppointed St Vincent de Paul Society vice-president is the first woman and the youngest person to be elected to a senior position.
15 Sep 2003

Opinion - Sexuality and ministry
The starting point for the discussion within churches is their claim to form the body of Christ. The image suggests that Christ welcomes people into the church, and that they commit themselves to honour and aspire to his way of life. The most powerful threats to this are not rooted in sex but in greed, power and violence. — Andrew Hamilton SJ, United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne.
15 Sep 2003

Columban confirms Australians' key role in Philippines under-age sex trade
Irish Columban Fr Shay Cullen, who has lived in the Angeles are in the northern Philippines for 32 years, has told The Age newspaper that the majority of bars in the city are run by Australians.
15 Sep 2003

Sydney hosting international meeting of Benedictine Nuns
Benedictine nuns from around the world are taking part in an historic meeting of the Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum (International Alliance of Benedictine Women), aimed at fostering the development of women's monasticism.
15 Sep 2003

Catholic teachers threaten stopwork
Catholic school teachers in South Australia are considering industrial action for what they see as a failure to address class size and workload issues.
15 Sep 2003

Adelaide archbishop welcomes paedophile's "appropriate" jail sentence
Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide welcomed Friday's court decision to hand a ten year jail sentence to a former bus driver at a Catholic school for intellectually disabled boys.
15 Sep 2003

Pope's sorrow over death of Swedish foreign minister
Pope John Paul II has send expressed his sorrow over the death of Anna Lindh, the 46 year old Swedish official who died on Thursday, following her stabbing on Wednesday by an unknown assailant in a Stockholm department store.
15 Sep 2003

Pope wraps up gruelling Slovakia pilgrimage
Looking drained, an increasingly frail Pope John Paul II celebrated Sunday Mass for 200,000, completing a challenging four-day trip that included the beatification of two Slovaks imprisoned and tortured under the former communist regime.
15 Sep 2003

Feature - Welcome back Catholic!
When it comes to Catholics evangelising, we don't have to look much further than ourselves," says Jan Heath, who has brought the Catholics Returning Home program to Australia. She was once was a returning Catholic and understands their concerns. "I returned to church because three people took time to share their faith with me, to listen to my story, and encourage me to come back."
12 Sep 2003

Opinion - Abuse scandal is a dark night of the soul
We will learn its lesson and undergo its purification only if we are clear that a dark night of the soul comes from God, and contending with a dark night is not a distraction to our ministry, it is our real ministry. - Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI
12 Sep 2003

Eight Catholic school students in NT bus rollover
A bus carrying eight students from a number of Catholic schools including Adelaide's Mercedes College has rolled on an isolated Northern Territory road during a high school excursion.
12 Sep 2003

Solomons warlord finally charged for priest's murder
Solomon Islands rebel leader Harold Keke has been charged with last year's murder of Catholic priest and South Guadalcanal MP Fr Augustine Geve (pictured).
12 Sep 2003

Townsville bishop says victims more important than diocesan finances
Responding to the prospect of a huge monetary payout in a sex abuse case, Bishop Michael Putney of Townsville has said the needs of the victims remain the Church's priority.
12 Sep 2003

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".
12 Sep 2003

Bishops challenge WTO delegates to face moral challenge
The US Bishops have said poverty reduction must be a "key goal" of this week's World Trade Organisation negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.
12 Sep 2003

Frail Pope urges Slovaks to cling to Christian faith
Looking frail at the start of a four-day visit to Slovakia, Pope John Paul II urged the country not to cast aside Christian traditions in exchange for economic advantage in a unified Europe.
12 Sep 2003

Feature - St Peter's Parish: Death and Resurrection at Ground Zero
"Prior to September 11 we were accustomed to look at the Twin Towers as the symbol of America's strength and power in the world of trade, commerce and finance," said Fr Kevin Madigan. "But as those buildings turned to dust before our eyes, we came to look to each other to see where our true strength and power lie."
11 Sep 2003

Opinion - True and false reform
At many times in her history the Church has been threatened by false reforms that, if accepted, would have denatured her. We must energetically oppose reformers who contend that the Church must abandon her claims to absolute truth, must allow dissent from her own doctrines, and must be governed according to the principles of liberal democracy. - Cardinal Avery Dulles
11 Sep 2003

Al-Jazeera to carry Catholic TV documentaries
Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera will transmit a number of documentaries produced by Nova-T, the video production house founded by the Piedmont Capuchin Province in Italy.
11 Sep 2003

Irish theologian supports gay unions as US bishops back Bush legislation
Senior Irish moral theologian Enda McDonagh has called for legal recognition of homosexual unions, while the US bishops have lent their support to President George Bush's attempts to protect the legal definition of marriage as heterosexual.
11 Sep 2003

Boston Archdiocese agrees to settle with hundreds of victims
Less than six weeks after becoming head of the Boston Archdiocese, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley has reached the largest financial settlement in US church history with hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by Boston priests.
11 Sep 2003

Pope chooses prophet's hope message for September 11 anniversary
Looking ahead to today's anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the USA, Pope John Paul II used his Wednesday audience to draw lessons of hope from the prophet Ezekiel.
11 Sep 2003

Belo scuttles Gusmao 'forgive and forget' bid to woo Indonesia
East Timor President Xanana Gusmao's attempt to further his campaign for reconciliation with Indonesia came apart yesterday when Bishop Carlos Belo criticised Jakarta's former foreign minister Ali Alatas during a visit to Dili.
11 Sep 2003

Adelaide archbishop prepared to care for more detainee children
The Catholic Church would be happy to consider a partnership with the Federal Government for community care of detainee children, according to Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson.
11 Sep 2003

Feature - Milestone for priest behind microphone
Last Sunday evening, Fr Gerard Dowling's Melbourne radio talkback program The Family Counsellor completed 30 years of broadcasting. His social work training has enabled him to respond professionally to issues raised by callers, providing a listening ear but also offering purposeful indications where more specific assistance might be forthcoming.
10 Sep 2003

Opinion - Understanding Pell's apparent downgrading of conscience
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell said recently that while individual conscience is important, the 'misleading doctrine of the primacy of conscience should be publicly rejected', and 'conscience has no primacy; truth has primacy'. After Tampa and Iraq, the common insistence among Catholics that truth has primacy is important. But it's important to defend the primacy of conscience over coercion. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ, United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne
10 Sep 2003

Catholic faith losing appeal in Italy
The vast majority of Italians say they are Catholics, but the number who regularly attend church or wed at the altar is falling dramatically, according to a report released yesterday.
10 Sep 2003

Release of Pope's new book of poetic meditations
The Poetry of John Paul II - Roman Triptych: Meditations - Pope John Paul II's new book of poetic meditations - has just gone on sale in the USA.
10 Sep 2003

US bishops urged to cut tolerance of 'dissenters'
Church leaders should stop rewarding so-called dissenting Catholics with choice committee positions and be more forthcoming about homosexual priests, 39 conservative Catholics told five bishops at a closed-door summit earlier this week.
10 Sep 2003

Former Towsville priest in court on abuse charges
A court has heard that former Townsville priest who has admitted to indecent dealings with 20 girls in the Queensland mining town of Mount Isa in the 1970s told one of his victims God had placed his trust in him.
10 Sep 2003

Commission worried about UN withdrawal from East Timor
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has expressed concern about the United Nations' plans to withdraw from East Timor this year.
10 Sep 2003

Pope says economic policy always needs a moral basis
Pope John Paul II has said that national economic policies that consider only the final balance sheet cannot create the peaceful climate necessary to promote the prosperity of an entire country.
10 Sep 2003

Feature - Nutritionist prescribes biblical fundamentalism
"The gluttonous spirit is deadly," said US nutritionist and author Dr Don Colbert. "Why not go back to the Bible, to see what Jesus ate? Jesus essentially ate a Mediterranean diet rich in whole grains, fish, fruit and vegetables and modest amounts of olive oil, meat and wine. Anything the Old Testament blacklists in its dietary proscriptions is out, including shellfish, pork products, horses, camels, birds of prey and other carnivores."
9 Sep 2003

Opinion - Priestly celibacy a supernatural sign
In many parts of the world, a period of decline in priestly vocations, which is simultaneous with consumerism, materialism and sexual licentiousness, seemingly indicates celibacy's ineffectualness. But the polar opposite is true: "where there is sin, grace abounds all the more" (Romans 5:20). Now, perhaps more than ever, the world is in need of the Lord and the witness of priestly celibacy. "He who is able to receive this, let him receive it" (Matthew 19:12). - Fr Michael Hull, St Joseph's Seminary, New York
9 Sep 2003

British know Big Brother winner but not church leader
A new poll has revealed more people in the UK know the name of the winner of Big Brother than know the name of the country's most prominent religious leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
9 Sep 2003

Church probes new Lourdes cure
An almost totally paralysed 60-year-old Italian woman has been instantly cured of her illness in Lourdes in the past week.
9 Sep 2003

Pope thought about same-day canonisation for Mother Teresa
The Italian media is reporting that Pope John Paul seriously considered beatifying and canonising Mother Teresa of Calcutta on the one day next month, breaking with all the ordinary rules and precedents that govern saint-making.
9 Sep 2003

Vinnies commemorates founder's anniversary
Members of the St Vincent de Paul Society marked yesterday's 150th anniversary of the death of their founder Frederic Ozanam, with special services held concurrently.
9 Sep 2003

Pope expresses pessimistic outlook for world peace
Two years after the September 11 attack on the United States, the world remains plagued by both violence and insecurity, with no sign of an end to major conflicts.
9 Sep 2003

Pope urges "uncompromising" Catholic identity in church schools
Pope John Paul II has said that one of the greatest contributions the Church's schools can make to society is their "uncompromising Catholicity".
9 Sep 2003

Feature - Recovering the lost world of oral culture
Along with his close intellectual ally Marshall McLuhan, the late Fr Walter Ong SJ contributed to reorienting Catholic thought toward the modern, media-saturated world, by studying how the traditions of oral liturgy might be revived with the aid of the newest communications technologies.
8 Sep 2003

Opinion - Scandals 'a step in the transformation of the Church'
It is like a family. You might have a wacky uncle or a terrible cousin, but you do stay. To my mind, the scandal is not the end of the Catholic Church. - David Gibson, former Vatican Radio journalist and author of The Coming Catholic Church: How the Faithful Are Shaping a New American Catholicism
8 Sep 2003

Belgian Cardinal's women clergy comments reported
Australian newspapers are today reporting comments of Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels that appear to favour consideration of the issue of women's ordination.
8 Sep 2003

Kenyan Cardinal Otunga Dies at age 80
Retired Archbishop of Nairobi, Cardinal Maurice Michael Otunga, died on Saturday after a long illness.
8 Sep 2003

Archbishop says religion aggravates Asian conflicts
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue President Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald has said that religious differences can aggravate conflicts in Asia, but are not their primary cause.
8 Sep 2003

Slovakian Archbishop sees conspiracy against Church
The archbishop of the Slovakian capital Bratislava has said that media criticism of the Government's $A3.25 million contribution towards this week's papal visit reflects a conspiracy against the Church.
8 Sep 2003

US Church leader says sex abuse a problem throughout society
The sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church must be viewed as a problem throughout society, not one that is specific to the church, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops said on Friday.
8 Sep 2003

Vatican wants ban on all nuclear tests
The Holy See has appealed to the international community to adopt the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, as a step towards "fostering a climate of trust, cooperation and respect between all states".
8 Sep 2003

Feature - Alpha helps inject a new joy into faith
A small group of people, arms around each other, are outside singing at the top of their voices, and it's time to go home. They are 'drunk' on the spirit generated by the Alpha program on Scripture and faith, and their enthusiasm is a sign of the impact the program is having at All Saints' Parish, Albany Creek, in Brisbane.
5 Sep 2003

Opinion - Spirituality and the second-half of life
The foremost spiritual task of the second half of life is to forgive - others, ourselves, life, God. We all arrive at mid-life wounded and not having had exactly the life of which we dreamed. - Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI
5 Sep 2003

Bishops ask India to make holiday for Mother Teresa's beatification
India's Catholic bishops have asked the country's prime minister to declare a national holiday on 19 October, the date of the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta at the Vatican.
5 Sep 2003

Franciscan demand for key to Bethlehem Nativity Church
Church leaders have demanded Palestinian leaders step in immediately in their battle to obtain the keys to Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
5 Sep 2003

Holy Father to visit Slovakia next week
Pope John Paul leaves Rome next Thursday for a three day pastoral visit to the Slovak Republic, the 102nd foreign trip of his almost 25-year papacy.
5 Sep 2003

Pope to meet Anglican leader before crisis summit
The Pope is to meet the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion just weeks before a crisis meeting will take place to prevent the disintegration of the Anglican Communion.
5 Sep 2003

Church offers care of detainees
The Catholic Church would be happy to consider a partnership with the Federal Government for community care of detainee children, Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson said yesterday.
5 Sep 2003

Bishop calls on politicians to address rural unemployment
Toowoomba's Bishop William Morris has issued a statement exposing the problem of unemployment in regional Australia, which is significantly more serious than in the major cities.
5 Sep 2003

Feature - Sectarianism Australian style
In her latest book Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard, La Trobe University Politics lecturer Judith Brett traces the ways in which conservative Liberal politics during the 19th century were shaped by Protestant ideals, and how Liberal politicians saw their Labor counterparts as exemplifying all the vices of the Catholic Church.
4 Sep 2003

Opinion - It's time to appeal to men
Exhortations to meekness, humility and forgiveness are the regular stuff of many Sunday sermons. But less frequently heard-of today are virtues like passion, courage and the necessity for moral combat, all of which instinctively appeal to men, especially young men. - Patrick Kenny
4 Sep 2003

Marist laity unity move
A new organisation - Marist Laity Australia - has been formed to bring a sense of unity to lay Marists around Australia through better communication and collaboration.
4 Sep 2003

Death of Armidale's Bishop Kennedy
Retired Bishop Henry Joseph Kennedy of the NSW regional Diocese of Armidale died in the early hours of yesterday morning at the age of 88.
4 Sep 2003

Pope urges optimism, even amid difficulties
At his regular Wednesday audience at the Vatican, Pope John Paul II said that Christians should always have an optimistic attitude toward life, in spite of all difficulties.
4 Sep 2003

Dublin archbishop vows change for Irish Church
Newly-appointed coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin told journalists on Friday that the Church has been authoritarian and must learn to function in a different manner.
4 Sep 2003

US call for married men in priesthood gets cool reception
American bishops are unlikely to be receptive to a recent request from priests in Milwaukee to discuss opening the priesthood to married men.
4 Sep 2003

Stand-off in Tasmanian abuse case
Co-chairman of the church's National Committee for Professional Standards Br Michael Hill has confirmed that a former Hobart man cannot have his complaint investigated until he accepts the church's Towards Healing investigation process.
4 Sep 2003

Feature - Death of Irish bishop critical of white Rhodesia rule
Bishop Donal Lamont, a Carmelite missionary who fought efforts to create an apartheid state in Zimbabwe after it declared its independence from Britain in 1965, was put on trial in 1976 for allowing nuns in his diocese to give medical treatment to antigovernment black guerrillas.
3 Sep 2003

Opinion - Get a life mate!
It's a profound thought wrapped up in Australian clothing. One of the questions Cardinal Walter Kasper asked during his visit to Australia was 'What is your purpose?' which in its own way can be a very terrifying question. - ABC broadcaster Geraldine Doogue
3 Sep 2003

Greens move to end NSW Parliament prayers
The NSW Greens were scheduled to move a motion in State Parliament yesterday calling for the scrapping of the traditional Christian prayers, including the Lord's Prayer, recited at the beginning of parliamentary sitting days.
3 Sep 2003

Sydney's two new auxiliary bishops for consecration tonight
Sydney's two new auxiliary bishops will be consecrated this evening in a ceremony at St Mary's Cathedral, with Archbishop George Pell as Principal Consecrator.
3 Sep 2003

Lobby says education policy discriminates against older Australians
The independent Catholic lobbyist PolMin has called on Federal Parliament to immediately reform Australia's education policy so that it no longer actively discriminates against older Australians.
3 Sep 2003

Vatican agency reports 5 million central African war deaths
After a visit to eastern Congo, the Italian Catholic relief agency Caritas has called for a summit meeting of leaders from Africa's troubled Great Lakes region, seeking a comprehensive solution to the many violent conflicts there, the Fides news agency has reported.
3 Sep 2003

Baghdad Archbishop says fears rising after mosque attack
Friday's attack in the Iraqi city of Najaf raises fears of "an even more violent future", according to a warning issued by Latin-rite Archbishop Benjamin Sleiman of Baghdad.
3 Sep 2003

Tariq Aziz's wife appeals to Pope
The wife of Iraq's arrested former foreign minister Tariq Aziz has appealed to Pope John Paul II to help win his release from US custody, saying he was not responsible for the crimes of the Saddam Hussein regime.
3 Sep 2003

Feature - Dreaming of a campfire in the Heart
Founder of St Joseph's House of Prayer at Goulburn Sue Woods and husband David have bought a property outside Alice Springs to set up a place of hospitality and retreat. After more than four years in the town they have taken a major step towards their dream of setting up a "Campfire in the Heart".
2 Sep 2003

Opinion - Sorry, Mr Downer, we do need our meddlesome priests
Foreign minister Alexander Downer is unhappy with clerics who rush for "cheap headlines". He's not the first politician to resent religious interference. As Archbishop Mannix observed, politicians like to complain about meddling clerics, but they only really object when the intervention is on behalf of the other side. - Religious affairs writer Barney Zwartz
2 Sep 2003

Vatican promoted diplomat despite abuse charge
The Vatican promoted a US priest through its diplomatic corps despite warnings he had molested a girl in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, according to a newspaper report.
2 Sep 2003

Catholic principal jailed after spending spree with school funds
A Catholic headteacher who stole $A1,216,517 from her South London school to fund a lavish lifestyle has been jailed for five years.
2 Sep 2003

Vatican employee killed in construction accident
A construction worker fell to his death from scaffolding on the front of St Peter's basilica yesterday morning.
2 Sep 2003

Pope tells Egyptian bishops that religions must fight terror
Pope John Paul II told a group of Egyptian bishops on Saturday that the world's religious leaders must unite in the fight against terrorism, insisting that Egypt's small Catholic minority should have the right to live in freedom.
2 Sep 2003

Commission plea for release of Nauru refugee women and children
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is joining other Church and community groups in pleading for the release of 9 women and 14 children detained on Nauru for the past two years.
2 Sep 2003

Vinnies chief says poverty now affects workers
St Vincent de Paul national president John Moore told a Senate inquiry that poverty has ensnared ordinary workers and no longer applies just to the homeless or unemployed.
2 Sep 2003

Vatican to discuss translations with English-speaking church leaders
The Vatican has convened a meeting with church leaders from English-speaking countries to discuss and clarify questions about the translation of liturgical texts.
32 Sep 2003

Opinion - Finding Nemo and the Triune God
The familial love of father and son so plainly shown in Finding Nemo has few parallels in film history. Structurally, the film is a circle. Marlin, a reef-dwelling clown fish, is raising his only son Nemo, in the seemingly safe reality of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
32 Sep 2003

Feature - A small voice in the Pacific
For nearly 29,000 Catholics spread across the 80 islands that make up the Diocese of Vanuatu, Sr Renée Heraud SMSM's bi-monthly publication Eklesia reaches out to unite them in their local faith and the Universal Church.
32 Sep 2003

First black sister takes charge of US nuns' leadership body
Sr Constance Phelps has been elected the first African-American to serve as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States (LCWR).
32 Sep 2003

Vatican releases busy papal agenda
Pope John Paul II's schedule for the next three months includes canonisations and beatifications, as well as the celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.
32 Sep 2003

Tasmania's Catholic education system to be remodelled
Tasmania's Catholic education system is to be revolutionised with a new government school curriculum.
32 Sep 2003

Victims group wants Hobart Archbishop's resignation
Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle should resign over his handling of sex abuse allegations, according to a victims lobby group says.
32 Sep 2003

Catholic Health regrets governments' cave-in on health
Catholic Health Australia expressed strong disappointment following the breakdown in health discussions at Friday's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra.
32 Sep 2003