Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR OCTOBER 2003

   
Feature - Gusmao's faith motivates drive to forgive
President Xanana Gusmao's faith in the East Timorese people's ability to forgive when Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri was not jeered when she attended his new country's independence celebrations in May 2002. "It is not only my faith and not only my personal experience but also the experience of the people in communities and of the guerrillas in the mountains" that leads him to believe the people of East Timor are ready to put the past behind them.
31 Oct 2003

Opinion - Halloween more Christian than pagan
The origins of Halloween are in fact very Christian. Halloween falls on 31 October because of a pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.
31 Oct 2003

Community to celebrate the real meaning of Halloween
While thousands of small ghosts and goblins, skeletons, witches and wizards, celebrate Halloween this evening with well-recognised trick or treat routine, some children in the UK will take part in a much older celebration of All Hallows' Eve, as today was originally called.
31 Oct 2003

Medical students urge doctors to talk to patients about faith
Patients appreciate doctors who talk about faith with them, but most doctors don't, according to two students at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the USA.
31 Oct 2003

Catholic schools unsure on pupil contact
With new child protection laws before State Parliament, the Catholic Church in NSW is yet to reach consensus with the Carr Government on the extent to which teachers are permitted to touch their students.
31 Oct 2003

Pope says prayer can bring peace
Appearing to have recovered strength after a gruelling week last week, Pope John Paul II presided at his general audience on Wednesday with a message that prayer can halt war and terrorism.
31 Oct 2003

Russian President Putin to meet with Pope
Pope John Paul II will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin nex Wednesday, to discuss "bilateral relations between Russia and the Vatican".
31 Oct 2003

Commission warns of free trade threat
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice, Development and Peace has raised concerns about the lack of transparency surrounding the current closed negotiations for the proposed free trade agreement between Australia and the United States.
31 Oct 2003

Feature - Human shield returning to Iraq
The 34-year-old Catholic Sydney woman might have came across as an idealist and naive peace activist. But she says her decision to go to Baghdad earlier this year was based on her solid personal commitment to the ideal summed up in the peace prayer of St Francis of Assisi. Now she is returning to help bring peace to the lives of Iraqi children who have been orphaned and made homeless by the conflict.
30 Oct 2003

Opinion - Tarot - game or gamble?
God did not intend that we should know what our future holds. The use of tarot cards means entering a cloudy world which holds nothing but doubt and is the start of a journey down a road that can only take us away from God. - Cora Molloy
30 Oct 2003

Pope's Jubilee cross rescued from tip
The media is reporting that a cross used by Pope John Paul II to celebrate the Church's Jubilee year in 2000 has been found abandoned in a rubbish tip.
30 Oct 2003

Premier launches Vinnies' Christmas Appeal
NSW Premier Bob Carr yesterday launched the 2003 St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal with a $20,000 State Government donation.
30 Oct 2003

Tasmanian archbishop's remorse for complaints handling
Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle has made a public apology for his handling of sex abuse complaints, saying he is "truly sorry" for what had happened in the Archdiocese.
30 Oct 2003

Pope urges initiatives for "just and sustainable development"
Pope John Paul II has appealed for new programs for the "just and sustainable development" of poorer countries in the context of globalisation.
30 Oct 2003

Cardinal declares China has "one Church with two faces"
The Vatican's Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has moved to stress that the Holy See regards China's "Patriotic" Church, which is loyal to the Government, as part of the universal Church.
30 Oct 2003

Bishop insists most boat people genuine
Immigration Department figures showing that nine out of ten boat people who made it to Australia's migration zone are granted temporary protection visas, confirmed the integrity of their claims for asylum, Bishop Joseph Grech said yesterday.
30 Oct 2003

Feature - A shaky life for young without belief
Hardwired to Connect: The New Scientific Case for Authoritative Communities is the report of a US commission that set out to establish the reasons for young people's increasing mental illness, emotional distress and anti-social behaviour in a context of increasing material wealth. It points to the steady decline of social institutions that foster connectedness and spiritual growth amid the rising tide of individualism and secular materialism.
29 Oct 2003

Opinion - Cleaning up the mess
The Church humiliated and divided needs leadership that emphasises listening and inclusion able to meet the needs of religious seekers on the fringes of the Church. Dismissing such people because their faith is weak or confused or because their lives are not conformed to Catholic teaching in key respects, and even exulting in the prospect of a smaller but purer Church when these people have departed, should be seen as incompatible with the example of Jesus who came to save the lost sheep. - Fr John Langan SJ, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University
29 Oct 2003

Hawaiian nun moves toward sainthood
Mother Marianne Cope, the Franciscan nun whose name and mission have been linked with Fr Damien of Molokai, is now a step closer to being declared a saint.
29 Oct 2003

ACU lecturer receives theological research grant
Australian Catholic University lecturer and Presentation Sister Dr Mary Coloe has received an Australian Research Council grant to further her theological research on the Gospel of John.
29 Oct 2003

US bishops backing small farmer opposition to Free Trade
The Catholic Bishops in the United States are preparing a statement on agriculture that includes support for crop subsidies that preserve the livelihoods of small farmers and their workers.
29 Oct 2003

Vatican official urges advertising that promotes human dignity
Pontifical Council for Social Communications president Archbishop John Foley has stressed the importance of a "good name" in advertising.
29 Oct 2003

Catholic Health says patients deserve better rebates
Catholic Health Australia yesterday called for a greater injection of public funds into patient rebates for visits to GPs.
29 Oct 2003

Holy See seeks UN cloning ban
Vatican representative at the United Nations Archbishop Celestino Migliore has told the UN that embryos are human beings and the organisation has a mandate to uphold the rights of all human beings.
29 Oct 2003

Feature - John Paul's men embrace conservative vision
Atop a steep hill affording sweeping views of St Peter's Basilica, several dozen young Americans have pledged themselves to restore the sanctity of the priesthood. "We've seen a lot of the mistakes that our parents' generation has made," said seminarian David Carter, 24, of Knoxville, Tennessee. "John Paul resonates with where we're coming from. He speaks the truth with that courageous, even radical breaking from the course that society has taken since the 1960s and which has led to so much destruction of human life."
28 Oct 2003

Opinion - Emotions cloud complexities of an issue
The image on the television of a person with a chronic illness demanding the legalisation of physician-assisted suicide is the vicarious experience, out of which comes the call for a simplistic solution to an issue of great complexity. Without a deeper and more distanced knowledge the only way an individual can respond to the complexities of an issue is through their feelings and emotions. - Dr Michael McCabe
28 Oct 2003

Pope thanks world leaders for anniversary congratulations
Pope John Paul II has thanked the many heads of state and government and leaders of other religious faiths who sent him their congratulations this month on the 25th anniversary of his taking office.
28 Oct 2003

Church in Britain receives 150 sex abuse complaints
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has published a report that indicates nearly 150 complaints have been made against priests and church workers since guidlines were introduced 18 months ago.
28 Oct 2003

China arrests priests, demolishes church
Police in north-east China are reported to have raided a religious retreat and arrested about a dozen Catholic priests, while a church in the vicinity was demolished.
28 Oct 2003

Edmund Rice Centre backs landmines petition
The Sydney-based Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education is urging support for an online petition calling on the Australian Senate to renew the country's ten-year commitment to mine action.
28 Oct 2003

Migration Agent industry requires dramatic reform
Australia's policy governing the migration agent industry must be dramatically reformed, the independent Catholic based lobbyist Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) said recently in response to recently aired refugee visa scams and negligence.
28 Oct 2003

Kimberley Diocese warns against irrigation invasion
The Justice, Ecology and Peace Office (JEP) of the Western Australian Diocese of Broome has expressed "grave reservations" about plans to open up new sections of Australia's "pristine" north to irrigators from the south.
28 Oct 2003

Feature - Of movies, morals and ratings
Based on readership surveys at the Los Angeles Catholic newspaper The Tidings, the Bishops' movie reviews are often considered "must reads". But while the past the ratings determined whether or not Catholics saw a film, the bishops' ratings are now taken "under advisement". Catholic film critics have been known to disagree with one another, and nobody's been recently excommunicated for seeing a "morally offensive" film.
27 Oct 2003

Opinion - Teresa's in line, but Mary may need miracle
Canon lawyer Sr Maria Casey, who is handling the processing of Blessed Mary MacKillop, said: "We have lots and lots of files but it is not very easy these days because of threats of litigation. There are difficulties with scientific proof, to be able to say that a cure could not be explained by scientific or medical means. All sorts of people could take legal action. These factors are not present in India."
27 Oct 2003

Italian judge orders crucifix removed from classrooms
A judge in central Italy has ruled that the crucifix must be removed from classrooms in a state primary school near the city of L'Aquila.
27 Oct 2003

Commission concern at Chinese President's visist
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace expressed concern at last week's visit to Australia of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
27 Oct 2003

Sydney priest defies heritage listing on parish church
Bondi Beach parish priest Fr Paul Foley has made changes including the removal of altar rails in defiance of state planning rules.
27 Oct 2003

Boston archbishop supports gay couples to protect children
Boston Archbishop Sean O'Malley plans to support Massachusetts state legislation extending benefits to same-sex couples, for the sake of children with gay parents.
27 Oct 2003

Improved Pope meets with Italian pilgrims
Pope John Paul II appeared in good shape at an audience with Italian pilgrims yesterday, a day after skipping an afternoon Mass to rest after a hectic week.
27 Oct 2003

Tasmanian archbishop backed on sex abuse stance
Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle has said he has no plans to resign over his handling of sex abuse cases in Tasmania.
27 Oct 2003

Feature - Racing chaplain's generous fraternity of saints and sinners
Br Dan Stafford, recently-appointed Catholic chaplain to the Australian Jockey Club, expects to be bombarded by punters looking for a tip for the Melbourne Cup, to be raced on Tuesday, November 4. Many of Br Dan's friends believe he has the inside information when it comes to tipping winners, but at this stage he is struggling to come up with a winner for the Cup.
24 Oct 2003

Opinion - Praise smothers gossip
Unless we're consistently praising somebody or something beyond ourselves we will be consistently speaking words of jealousy, bitterness and anger. We sit around talking with each other and, invariably, unless we're praising someone we're "killing" someone. Gossip, slander, harsh judgment, vicious comment, are often both the tone and substance of our conversations and they're the very antithesis of a doxology, of offering praise to God. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
24 Oct 2003

Population shift challenges Brisbane schools
The Brisbane Archdiocese Education Summit has identified the provision of new Catholic schools in growth areas as a major challenge, given the rapid increase of land prices in south-east Queensland.
24 Oct 2003

Australian bible scholar to head major US theology school
Well-known Australian Salesian Bible scholar and author Fr Francis Moloney has been named dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
24 Oct 2003

British bishops give reassurance on altar girls
A statement from the Bishops of England and Wales has announced that altar girls will retain the backing of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.
24 Oct 2003

Vatican approves new statutes for English-language liturgy commission
The Vatican has approved new statutes for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), giving the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments at the Vatican veto power over ICEL staff and translators.
24 Oct 2003

Newspaper says elderly cardinals seeking vote in conclave
The Italian daily La Repubblica reported yesterday that 59 octogenarian cardinals have written to Pope John Paul II asking him to reinstate their right to elect the next Pope.
24 Oct 2003

Canberra Bishop challenges Bush to wage war on poverty
Canberra-Goulburn Diocese auxiliary Bishop Pat Power yesterday urged US President George Bush to forget about the War on Terror and instead make the world more secure by correcting the imbalance in the distribution of the world's wealth and resources.
24 Oct 2003

Feature - Waugh regretted Vatican II "buggering up the Church"
British author Evelyn Waugh's genius was nurtured by Tridentine Catholicism. He loved its rigidities while transcending them. He died in 1966, a year after the Council concluded its proceedings. "The buggering up of the Church", he wrote to his friend Nancy Mitford, "is a deep sorrow to me".
23 Oct 2003

Opinion - Sydney chief rabbi on Pope John Paul II
I see him as a really great Pope. In many ways, he is the Pope who not only has travelled further than any other Pope in history, but has bridged distances in the metaphorical way, with his constant attempt to achieve rapprochement between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. He has very, very clearly condemned anti-Semitism on countless occasions. But we are sometimes disappointed when it appears we're getting old answers to new problems to problems such as poverty, with motherhood statements, rather than a more sophisticated approach. - Rabbi Raymond Apple, from the Great Synagogue, Sydney.
23 Oct 2003

Pope holy water fails Italian rugby team
Prospects for the Italian Azzuri rugby team are bleak after four players are in doubt for Saturday's vital clash against Wales in the rugby World Cup in Canberra.
23 Oct 2003

Shopkeeper claims discovery of Jesus' bathhouse
A shopkeeper running a small souvenir business in Nazareth claims to have discovered a preserved Roman bathhouse in which Jesus is likely to have bathed.
23 Oct 2003

Malaysian Catholic human rights activist jailed
Activist Irene Fernandez has been sentenced to one year in prison after exposing human rights abuses at immigration camps in Malaysia.
23 Oct 2003

Catholic school teachers threaten strike action
The Independent Education Union says Catholic school teachers in the ACT will take further strike action if their claim for better pay and conditions is not met.
23 Oct 2003

15 years added to pedophile priest's jail sentence
Former Melbourne priest Michael Charles Glennon will spend at least 15 more years behind bars after County Court judge Roland Williams set the minimum sentence yesterday for a string of fresh sex offences against him.
23 Oct 2003

Pope winds up 25th anniversary festivities
Pope John Paul, in the closing act of festivities marking his 25th anniversary, gave rings of office yesterday to new cardinals during a ceremony in St Peter's Basilica at which Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger presided.
23 Oct 2003

Feature - Catholic social and political activist Martin Sheen
Actor Sheen, who is plays the US President in TV's West Wing, is a pacifist, a social and political activist who has put himself on the line, and a devout Catholic. After rediscovering his faith 20 years ago, he began his activist work in earnest. "I learned I had to stand for something so I could stand to be me."
22 Oct 2003

Opinion - The growing cost of mandatory celibacy
US Bishops Conference President Bishop Wilton Gregory's response to the call from 169 Milwaukee priests for a reconsideration of clerical celibacy is emblematic of the two prevailing reactions that church leaders seem to have when the priest shortage is put on the table. The first is to look for the slightest uptick in the numbers -- an ultraconservative seminary that's attracting students. The second is to cite church teaching and practice and conclude that no change should be made in existing rules, thus eliminating the need for any further discussion.
22 Oct 2003

Catholic Mission urges armbands for Children's Mission Day
Catholic Mission is encouraging the wearing of Peace for Life armbands today - Wednesday 22 October - which is Children's Mission Day, part of a week-long promotion which started witih World Mission Day on Sunday.
22 Oct 2003

Wiggles endorse Vinnies Christmas Appeal
Children's entertainment phenomenon the Wiggles took time out from their busy schedule yesterday to promote the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal in NSW/ACT.
22 Oct 2003

Catholic Health welcomes cut to aged care paperwork
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has welcomed Ageing Minister Julie Bishop's announcement that nursing home staff will spend less time attending to bureaucratic requirements and more time caring for residents.
22 Oct 2003

Rockhampton bishop asked to quit
The lawyer for victims of convicted pedophile priest Michael Joseph McArdle has called for Rockhampton Diocese Bishop Brian Heenan to stand down for failing in his duty of care.
22 Oct 2003

Pope creates new cardinals
A largely silent Pope John Paul II last night elevated 31 new cardinals at a consistory of the "princes of the Church" at the Vatican.
22 Oct 2003

Sydney's Pell now 'prince' of Church
Australia's new Cardinal George Pell told reporters after his installation in Rome last night that he is honoured to have been created a cardinal, and last night's occasion represented "a recognition of the contribution of Catholics in Australia to the Universal Church".
22 Oct 2003

Feature - Cardinals suit up in red for big day
When Pope John Paul II installs 30 cardinals today, they must be decked out from head to toe in the crimson colour that symbolises their pledge to defend the church. As soon as the pope announced the names of the new cardinals on 29 September, the phones started ringing at Rome's ecclesiastical shops, with nominees from around the world putting in their orders. More often than not the chosen outfitter is Gammarelli, tailors by papal appointment, whose family has been dressing Catholic clergy since 1793.
21 Oct 2003

Opinion - A measure of greatness
In public liturgies, especially when there are huge crowds, the bishop is so much part of a communal rite that one is hardly aware of his internal prayer. Yet on this occasion the pope had stepped outside the public ritual and, as the faithful watched and waited, he prayed to God as he would, it seemed, in the solitude of his private chapel. He was not praying alone, though, and his prayer deepened our sense of community and helped us to focus our own prayer.
21 Oct 2003

ACU forum to link male teacher shortage to fear of intimacy
A forum at Australian Catholic University's North Sydney campus will discuss the negative consequences of Australian society's repression of positive expressions of caring, support and commitment, including the shortage of male school teachers.
21 Oct 2003

Believers say religion not to blame for violence around world
A new survey of believers of the world's major faiths says religion is not to blame for much of the violence taking place that is often linked to religious beliefs.
21 Oct 2003

Police block final communion for dying woman
A priest tried to give final communion last week to a brain-damaged woman whose feeding tube was removed last week, but he was refused entry by police guarding the entrance to the hospice.
21 Oct 2003

Bishop Power to urge Bush to be less aggressive
Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power will speak at Thursday's protest rally to be held while US President George Bush arrives at Parliament House.
21 Oct 2003

Pope enjoys fireworks display
Pope John Paul, at the end of a long day in which he beatified Mother Teresa, made a surprise appearance at his window in St Peter's Square to thank Romans for a spectacular fireworks display in his honour.
21 Oct 2003

Pope set to elevate 30 cardinals
Pope John Paul II will formally elevate 30 new cardinals, including Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell, at a consistory of the so-called "princes of the Church" at the Vatican tonight Australian time.
21 Oct 2003

Catholic Health says reform should help working poor
Catholic Health Australia has called on all parliamentary parties to amend the Medicare package and changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in the interests of people most disadvantaged in the community.
20 Oct 2003

Bolivian Catholic radio and TV stations bombed
The international Catholic media organisation Signis has expressed its solidarity with Catholic radio and TV stations in Bolivia which were bombed during last week's civil unrest.
20 Oct 2003

Perth Archbishop urges Govt to free children from immigration detention
Archbishop Barry Hickey has called on the Federal Government to release all young children from immigration detention centres, along with their parents or carers so they can live in a normal community setting.
20 Oct 2003

Pell leaves for Rome
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell left Australia for Rome on Saturday to receive his cardinal's the red hat during this weeks consistory.
20 Oct 2003

Pope says he will stay "as long as God wants"
An emotional Pope John Paul said on Friday that he intends to stay on as leader of the Church "as long as God wants".
20 Oct 2003

Crowds cheer Mother Teresa beatification
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims were present in Rome's St Peter's Square last night Australian time to witness the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
20 Oct 2003

Feature - Lay missionary happy to spend the rest of his life in Africa
Terry Hanley has been working in East Africa for nearly 15 years as a lay missionary for PALMS. Studying in Belgium, he was captivated by the 'openness and warmth' of the African students. "A priest I met said a catechist training centre might just be the place for me, and he was prophetic because in 1988 I went to Kenya and was offered work at the training centre in Kitale, in west Kenya."
20 Oct 2003

Opinion - Light and shade in the giant among popes
The imagination and charisma which helped topple tyranny, and which have made Papa Wojtyla so towering a figure on the world stage, have made him also impatient of doubt and questioning. Paul VI was a greyer and more tentative man, but his episcopal and curial appointments were both riskier and more imaginative: in John Paul's Church, the adventurous rarely get mitres. - Eamon Duffy is Professor of the History of Christianity, Cambridge
20 Oct 2003

Pope's liturgist defends liturgical dance in papal Masses
Pope John Paul II's chief liturgist, Archbishop Piero Marini, has defended the use of dance in papal Masses abroad and at the Vatican.
17 Oct 2003

Social Justice Council adds voice to Poverty Forum call
At the conclusion of National Anti-Poverty Week, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) has added its name to the list of Catholic organisations calling on the Federal Government to convene a national forum on poverty.
17 Oct 2003

Tight security for Mother Teresa's beatification
With an estimated 400,000 people expected to attend Sunday's celebration - nearly twice what organizers had originally expected - Italian law-enforcement officials are alert to the possibility of terrorist action.
17 Oct 2003

Pope urges help for abuse victims
Pope John Paul II told bishops during yesterday's Silver Jubilee celebrations that victims of clergy sex abuse must be "protected and assisted".
17 Oct 2003

Pell in Cathedral celebration before departure for Rome
Sydney's Archbishop George Pell last night celebrated Mass for the Pope's Silver Jubilee in a packed St Mary's Cathedral, his final public appearance before leaving for Rome for his elevation to the College of Cardinals.
17 Oct 2003

Frail pope asks for strength to go on
Speaking at a special Silver Jubilee Mass in St Peter's Square overnight Australian time, Pope John Paul II has called on Catholics around the world to pray for his continued strength to lead them.
17 Oct 2003

Feature - World Youth Day 2000: Pope John Paul II's rejuvenation
As a testament to the power of Pope John Paul II, World Youth Day 2000 in Rome was the biggest pilgrimage event ever seen in the Italian city. The Pope chatted, hugged, cheered and cried with the youth of the world. He asked the young people to persevere in their faithfulness to Christ and said they were 'called to go against the tide ... in the circumstances of everyday life'. Pope John Paul II said he left World Youth Day 'rejuvenated'.
17 Oct 2003

Opinion - Giant in a world of pygmies
Pope John Paul II is a giant of the human spirit in a post-modern moment that's full of pygmies. He is an extraordinarily multi-faceted personality, and this has been an extraordinarily prismatic pontificate. In the chaotic decades that followed [World War II], he provided us with a coherent and profound foundation for the future. And in that sense he towers as a witness of hope. - Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Mark Coleridge
17 Oct 2003

Feature - Pope of paradox
He is a man whose life has been a constant push outwards, from the underground seminary into which he was forced during World War II to the 1.2 million kilometres he has travelled to oversee a flock of more than 1billion believers in 125 countries.
16 Oct 2003

Opinion - A defining point in uncertain times
Within the Church, Pope John Paul II has forced Catholics to know what they believe in, why they are Catholics and how they will live their Catholic identity. John Paul II's certainty with regard to positions about women, sexual morality, authority, the role of the laity and liturgy is the fulcrum by which Catholics measure their own sense of certainty as well as their doubts and differences with Catholic teaching. - Fr Stephen V. Sundborg SJ, President, Seattle University
16 Oct 2003

Vinnies says poverty a bipartisan national issue
The St Vincent de Paul Society has welcomed the call from Federal Opposition Leader Simon Crean to stop the "blame game" and tackle the twin scourges of poverty and inequality through a National Summit.
16 Oct 2003

Vatican decides against Mother Teresa exhumation
Deviating from tradition, the Vatican has decided to do away with the process of exhumation of the body of Mother Teresa which it normally goes through with candidates for beatification and subsequent sainthood.
16 Oct 2003

Dissenting voices heard as cardinals meet
Cardinals have come to Rome united to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Pope John Paul II's pontificate, but reports indicate that some issues may divide them when it comes time to choose his successor, such as celibacy for priests and age limits for the pope.
16 Oct 2003

Specialists see pope's illness worsening
Neurology specialists say the extreme rigidity in his face indicates troubles with breathing and swallowing, which can lead to fatal infection.
16 Oct 2003

Pope presides at weekly audience
Pope John Paul II presided at his weekly general audience yesterday before tens of thousands of pilgrims who packed St Peter's Square to pay tribute to him ahead of the 25th anniversary of his pontificate.
16 Oct 2003

Australia sends Silver Jubilee prayers to Pope
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has sent the best wishes of Australia's Catholics to Pope John Paul II on the 25th anniversary of his Pontificate.
16 Oct 2003

DIY parish
Knock on the presbytery door expecting to see Fr Simon, and find that David and Marie-Louise Igoe, a bubbly couple in their mid-30s, and their three children. They're not just staying in the presbytery - they live there, and run the parish. David and Louise are the future of British parishes.
16 Oct 2003

Brother sentenced for killing priest, torching church
A Franciscan brother has admitted killing a priest in Cleveland in the USA last December, and setting fire to a presbytery to cover up the crime.
15 Oct 2003

Cardinal proposes warning on condom packets
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo has suggested condom packages should carry health warning similar to that printed on cigarette packets.
15 Oct 2003

Important book on church attendance wins recognition
The National Church Life Survey (NCLS) publication Why People Don't Go to Church has been confirmed the primary source of current valid data for Australian churches to base their pastoral planning strategies on.
15 Oct 2003

Mother Teresa nuns converge on Rome for beatification
Running out of convent space, members of Mother Teresa's order have set up tents for hundreds of their fellow nuns pouring into Rome this week to join Pope John Paul II in the beatification ceremony.
15 Oct 2003

Cardinals arrive in Rome for Papal Silver Jubilee
Cardinals from around the world began arriving Rome on Monday to mark the 25th anniversary of Pope John Paul II's papacy and for the Consistory that some see as a precursor of the conclave that will elect his successor.
15 Oct 2003

Jesuit Poverty Study confirms budget surplus welfare priority
The latest research by Jesuit Social Services has revealed that a quarter of the Victorian Prison population comes from just 2.1% of the state's 647 postcode areas.
15 Oct 2003

Opinion - JPII's explosive vision evident in first encyclical
The theme of Redemptor Hominis (1979), 'God is love', linked to the absolute necessity of freedom to live the dignity of God's sons and daughters was to become a constant refrain of his pontificate. As he struck a responsive chord in the hearts of all people, especially those behind the Iron Curtain, it was no surprise that the governments of these countries crumbled. - Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby
15 Oct 2003

Feature - Liam Neeson on acting as a form of prayer
Learning to look at work as prayer is something Liam Neeson discovered in the jungles of Colombia, South America, while filming The Mission, the 1986 movie about Jesuit missionaries. His research led him to recognise the connection between the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius and Konstantin Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares, which deals with the profound process an actor should go through to present a part onstage.
15 Oct 2003

Opinion - English Catholic affinity with rugby
Catholics can associate with rugby. On English soil a Catholic is still a left-footer, yet on the continent part of the establishment. Rugby, though English in origin, speaks a similar European language. It demands discipline and passion like no other sport. - Christina Farrell
15 Oct 2003

Insurance blowout forces Catholic school fee hike
Parents of 36,000 Catholic parish primary school students in the Archdiocese of Sydney will be charged an extra $45 per student next year because of a huge blowout in the cost of insurance.
14 Oct 2003

US bishops wary of Arnie's election-time profession of faith
The Bishops of the United States yesterday issued a statement warning against exploitation by political candidates which could have been applied to Arnold Schwarzenegger's claim to be Catholic only hours before winning last week's recall election to become Governor of California.
14 Oct 2003

Order head says give abuse victims benefit of doubt
Br Peter Burke, the Australian and New Zealand head of the St John of God Brothers, has said it is not necessary for religious leaders to demand proof before reaching out to those who claim they have been sexually abused by authority figures in the Church.
14 Oct 2003

New Zealand bishops highlight shame of corporal punishment
The Catholic Bishops of New Zealand last week reaffirmed a Conference resolution intended to highlight the plight of children suffering from verbal, physical and sexual abuse.
14 Oct 2003

Future Scottish cardinal yields to Vatican pressure
Despite official denials, an unprecedented public profession of faith made by Scotland's cardinal designate is being widely interpreted as the result of unprecedented pressure from the Vatican.
14 Oct 2003

Pope struggles for words but does not give up
Pope John Paul II failed in his attempts to speak during an audience with Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle yesterday, as a visiting senior Polish bishop said he was "suffering" but would not give up.
14 Oct 2003

Feature - Vivid childhood memory of 1986 Papal Visit
"There was a raffle drawn in primary school, and my name was picked out of a hat." Marisa was the only St Flannan's Primary School student to receive Communion from the Pope during his visit to Brisbane, and would have been among the youngest. The Pope had made it a custom to personally give Communion to a selected group of people at his outdoor liturgies.
14 Oct 2003

Opinion - Emphasising the 'shadow side of Eucharistic life'
In his Holy Thursday encyclical on the Eucharist (Ecclesia de Eucharistia), Pope John Paul put eucharistic adoration back on the Catholic agenda. Though the encyclical is structured in relation to the Church, and though community is mentioned, the text does not reflect the theological concerns of the Second Vatican Council and of the past 40 years. - Fr Kilian McDonnell OSB, president of the Ecumenical Institute at Collegeville, Minnesota
14 Oct 2003

Pell defends church authority in US keynote address
Sydney's Cardinal-designate George Pell has mounted a rigorous philosophical defence of Catholic orthodoxy, and hailed the "extraordinary achievements" of Pope John Paul II, in his first major speech since he was appointed cardinal.
13 Oct 2003

Melbourne archbishop says don't let Bali anguish breed hate
Archbishop Denis Hart told yesterday's Bali memorial service at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral that Australians should not allow the Bali tragedy to generate fear and hatred of different ethnic groups.
13 Oct 2003

Outcry against "sex monster" priest
The weekend press reported with the headline 'Sex monster may get life', the news that Australia's most notorious clergy sex offender was found guilty on Friday of a further 23 abuse charges.
13 Oct 2003

Vatican fears new arms race
The Holy See has warned the United Nations against the danger of returning to the arms race and the logic of the Cold War to ensure an apparent world peace.
13 Oct 2003

Pope unfazed by Nobel miss
Iranian human rights and pro-democracy activist Shirin Ebadi, whose work has focused on protecting the rights of women and children, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, ahead of the favourite Pope John Paul II.
13 Oct 2003

Pope meets Gusmao after dialysis denial
Pope John Paul II met with East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao, a day after a Vatican spokesman denied Italian news reports that the Holy Father was on dialysis.
13 Oct 2003

Feature - The healing heart of Annalena Tonelli
Before her murder last weekend, she had spent most of her adult life rescuing, treating and curing people with tuberculosis and other diseases in Somalia and Kenya. She was a fearless and tireless person who also seemed incapable of discouragement.
12 Oct 2003

Opinion - Dark nights of the soul temper our faith
When Therese of Lisieux entered the Carmelites at age 15 she was prepared for all the difficulties it seemed she would encounter. But her father became mentally ill and his personality changed completely. Dark nights of the soul strike where you least expect, where you're vulnerable and don't know it. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
12 Oct 2003

Feature - Role for the didjeridoo
Aboriginal people in country areas of NSW are using traditional Aboriginal practices as part of preparation for Catholic sacraments such as Baptism. In Moree, Aboriginal pastoral volunteers help parents prepare for Baptism by visiting their homes and conducting sessions at the parish centre.
10 Oct 2003

Opinion - The Bali Bombings one year on
When people and nations feel oppressed by injustice and tyranny, when they are subjected to violent attacks, the way of the world has dictated that they respond with aggression and violence to promote their own welfare and self-interest. Jesus' message calls us to follow a different path.
10 Oct 2003

Vatican goes half way towards US bishops property request
The Vatican has approved a request from the US bishops to increase the minimum and maximum amounts at which approval is needed before selling or ceding ownership of church property, but limited the increase to half of what the bishops had requested.
10 Oct 2003

Church in Africa continues AIDS fight without condoms
Catholic leaders in Africa have pledged to step up their involvement in the fight against the AIDS pandemic, while continuing to reject the use of condoms to fight the disease.
10 Oct 2003

Top cardinal predicts future popes to 'retire before death'
Beligian Cardinal Godfried Denneels, seen as a possible successor to John Paul II, has said that higher life expectancy means it is no longer right to expect popes to shoulder the burden of office until death.
10 Oct 2003

Pope tipped for Nobel Peace Prize
Despite a last minute shift of opinion towards former Czech president Vaclav Havel, Pope John Paul II is tipped to be named winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize at 7:00 pm tonight Sydney time.
10 Oct 2003

Rockhampton bishop renews apology to priest's victims
Following Wednesday's sentencing of former priest Michael McArdle, Bishop Brian Heenan has renewed his apology and offer of support to victims.
10 Oct 2003

Bali anniversary focus on anti-terrorism education
On the eve of Sunday's Bali Boming anniversary, Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has welcomed plans by the US and Australian Governments to provide funds for government schools in Indonesia as a way to address the causes of terrorism.
10 Oct 2003

Feature - Liberia's child soldiers
Crammed onto the back seat of the jeep, the boys wave out of the window, grinning broadly. They look for all the world like friends leaving on a day out, were it not for the jumble of AK47s and rocket launchers resting on their laps.
9 Oct 2003

Opinion - Life is unfair
At first we are angry, outraged, dismayed, then resigned. We are still baffled as to why God would permit such injustice. Yet there are times when we glimpse the possibility that justice will be done. - Fr Andrew Greeley
9 Oct 2003

Squatter priest challenges new cardinal
A 62 year old Scottish parish priest is refusing to leave his presbytery after he resigned following clashes with parishioners.
9 Oct 2003

Pope presides at General Audience
Pope John Paul II presided at his weekly general audience yesterday, a day after making a trip to a shrine in Pompeii, appearing alert but struggling to read his remarks.
9 Oct 2003

Rockhampton priest molested children in confessional
A priest from the Diocese of Rockhampton molested a brother and sister in the confessional and behaved indecently with altar boys moments before conducting Mass, a court was told yesterday.
9 Oct 2003

Catholic Health calls on doctors to show "good faith"
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has called on doctors poised to withdraw their services in response to to indemnity stalemate, to "remember their calling".
9 Oct 2003

Church calls Charities Bill 'unworkable'
Seven Catholic organisations have made a joint submission to the Board of Taxation to convey the Church's considered view that the proposed legislation of the definition of a charity is impracticable.
9 Oct 2003

Ruddock says no evidence to support Catholic false passport claims
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says the Immigration Department is yet to find any evidence to support the Edmund Rice Centre's claims that its officials encouraged failed asylum seekers to use false passports to enter other countries.
9 Oct 2003

Feature - Sharing Gospel through Rugby's World Cup
It was during the Sydney Olympics in 2000 that sports ministry came into its own in Australia. Christian Churches and organisations, spurred on by a number of Christians with sporting backgrounds, came together to promote the Gospel through sports ministry during the two-week event.
8 Oct 2003

Opinion - Labor's flawed immigration alternative
Addressing the NSW ALP Conference in Sydney on Saturday, Federal ALP Leader Simon Crean presented the Opposition's immigration policy designed to provide incentives for new migrants to settle in regional Australia, "where the nation needs them most". However the proposal fails to recognise that internal and external migration to cities such as Sydney and Melbourne occur because this is where jobs can be readily found. - Independent Catholic lobbyist PolMin
8 Oct 2003

Nigerian Archbishop welcomes reprieve for condemned mother
Nigeria's leading archbishop has applauded the decision of an Islamic appeals court to overturn the conviction of a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.
8 Oct 2003

Beloved lay missionary murdered in Somaliland
60 year old Italian missionary Dr Annalena Tonelli was killed on Sunday night in her home in Borama, Somaliland, the Missionary News Service report.
8 Oct 2003

French Bishops document highlights Domestic Violence silence
A French Bishops Commission has hit out at society's apparent willingness to tolerate domestic violence, making a dramatic contrast with its allegedly easy condemnation of cruelty towards animals.
8 Oct 2003

Catholic Health says indemnity affects hospitals
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has said the issue of medical indemnity is not confined to the medical profession alone, and that indemnity costs for hospitals are "at least as outrageous" as those faced by doctors.
8 Oct 2003

Veteran Vatican diplomat to replace Archbishop Tauran
The Vatican has named Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo Secretary for Relations with States, replacing Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, who has retired due to ill health.
8 Oct 2003

Alert Pope visits Pompei shrine
Pope John Paul II travelled Tuesday to a shrine near the ruins of ancient Pompeii, appearing alert, waving to crowds and asking the faithful to pray for him "today and always".
8 Oct 2003

Feature - Genocide memories endure for Rwanda Catholics
In the end, Charles Kagenza's faith was stronger than the hallowed hall that once stood here. "When the killings began, many of the Tutsis in this village ran to the parish because we had the hope that none would have the courage to attack the church," Kagenza said.
7 Oct 2003

Opinion - Moderation makes chocolate more sublime
We need to be educated into temperateness through the training of our desires. It is much harder for adults who have been over-indulged as children to acquire temperateness later in life. It's about self-control, which is concerned with living, not self-denial, which is concerned with dying. - Margaret Atkins, Lecturer in Theology, Trinity and All Saints University College, Leeds, UK
7 Oct 2003

Catholic Health seeks fair deal for patients in medical indemnity talks
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has said the community deserves all the facts surrounding the medical indemnity crisis, with CEO Francis Sullivan urging the Federal Government to guarantee its review announced on Friday is open and broad in its scope.
7 Oct 2003

Catholic Welfare call to action on poverty
As a matter of urgency, Catholic Welfare Australia has appealed to all Australians to make clear to political leaders that now is the time to implement a nation building project of poverty eradication and social justice.
7 Oct 2003

Catholics join combined religious call to PM on poverty
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has joined with other heads of churches and leaders of the Jewish and Islamic faiths in writing to Prime Minister John Howard to urge his support for a national forum on poverty.
7 Oct 2003

US cardinal appointed church's major penitentiary
Pope John Paul II appointed US Cardinal Francis Stafford the new major penitentiary of the Church.
7 Oct 2003

Bishop leads Tongans in rare protest against king
Tonga's Bishop Sioane Foliaki has led more than 6000 marchers in a protest against changes to the Pacific Island nation's constitution which they say would limit the freedom of the media and give even greater power to King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.
7 Oct 2003

Stronger pope canonises new saints
Pope John Paul was in the news on many fronts over the weekend, as his stamina during Sunday's two-hour canonisation ceremony on the steps of St Peter's Basilica dispelled rumors of his imminent death.
7 Oct 2003

Feature - Jesus through Muslim eyes
Entering the Ka'ba, the square structure which housed the city of Mecca's idols, Muhammad ordered all its icons cleansed or destroyed. Approaching the Christian icon, Muhammad covered it with his cloak and ordered all the others washed away except that one.
3 Oct 2003

Opinion - How to get ready for Mass
Sometimes you get some advice that changes your life. For me, that advice took the form of a simple suggestion to read the Sunday readings before going to Mass. We prepare for lots of participatory events in order to enhance our experience. Before attending the football, we check the team statistics in the newspaper. - Renée M. LaReau
3 Oct 2003

Diocese acts to help overweight and stressed priests
Hong Kong Vicar General Fr Dominic Chan Chi-ming said Catholic doctors who have been checking priests and nuns have confirmed that many priests are overweight and suffer from heart disease because of lack of exercise.
3 Oct 2003

Commission reaches out to women asylum seekers
The Commission for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) has expressed its solidarity with families in detention following a visit and shared meal with women being held in the Woomera Detainee Housing Project in South Australia.
3 Oct 2003

Irish concern over abuse claim fraud
Fraudulent claims and opportunism could be behind some of the submissions being made to the Irish Redress Board, a group of former residents of Church-run institutions in Ireland has warned.
3 Oct 2003

Anglican head set for Saturday audience with Pope
The Vatican is preparing to welcome the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who will take part in scheduled public and private meetings in Rome over the weekend.
3 Oct 2003

Vietnamese Govt warms to idea of new cardinal
Following initial reports that it had refused to recognise the Pope's appointment of Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man as a cardinal, the archbishop met with the Government Committee on Religion, which is now describing the appointment as "an honour for everyone in Vietnam".
3 Oct 2003

Papal secretary backs Ratzinger "bad way" assessment
Following Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's widely reported comment that Pope John Paul II is "in a bad way", the Holy Father's private secretary Georg Gaenswein said yesterday that he could not walk or stand.
3 Oct 2003

Feature - Deek's mum
In her son Robert de Castella's heyday as one of Australia's greatest marathon runners, Ann was knows as Deek's Mum. Now she's the Hawthorn, Melbourne, shopkeeper who sells holy things - statues, religious garments, candles and altar wine.
2 Oct 2003

Opinion - The gift of the ordinary
The commute, the paperwork, the housework, the school run, eat up day after day with mind-numbing regularity. To be considered "ordinary" has become an insult of sorts. But it is only the ordinary that has the ring of hard-won truth to it. Anything else is scam and whipped cream. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
2 Oct 2003

Nuns gather Mother Teresa's 'relics'
Members of the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa. are collecting relics, including her blood and hair, for the beatification ceremony at the Vatican on 19 October.
2 Oct 2003

Family in Media theme for World Communications Day 2004
Pope John Paul II has chosen The Media in the Family: A Risk and a Richness as the theme of his message for World Communications Day 2004.
2 Oct 2003

Federal Opposition calls for Ruddock to stand down
The Federal Opposition has ramped up its attack on outgoing Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock in the wake of revelations of corruption prompted by research conducted by the Edmund Rice Centre and the Australian Catholic University.
2 Oct 2003

Officials reassure Boston archbishop who missed red hat
Vatican officials have moved to stress Pope John Paul II's esteem for Archbishop Sean O'Malley of Boston, even though the Holy Father neglected to appoint him to the College of Cardinals.
2 Oct 2003

Pope has audience, but saves strength
The Pope held his weekly general audience yesterday but skipped reading much of his prepared address, apparently to conserve his strength.
2 Oct 2003

Downer lashes Pell critics
On the eve of a scheduled meeting with Pope John Paul II, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has hit out at those who have criticised the elevation of Sydney Archbishop George Pell to College of Cardinals.
2 Oct 2003

Feature - Priest of the poor
Since he was reported missing in the summer of 1983, the death of Jesuit Fr James Carney in Honduras has been the subject of intense investigations by his family, human rights investigators, Catholic leaders and the poor people he served in Honduras. Government officials told the family they believed he had died of exposure while crossing the mountains, but they soon heard accounts that Carney had been captured by the military.
31 Oct 2003

Opinion - Face critics with wise discernment
Nobody goes through life without facing criticism, opposition, misunderstanding, suspicion, and, at some point, having to experience hatred. In the face of criticism, Jesus did not ask 'Can I live with this criticism?', but 'Can I live with myself?' - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
31 Oct 2003

Vatican news available on handheld devices
This week the Holy See Press Office has launched its daily information service on handheld electronic devices.
31 Oct 2003

Irish abuse claims could reach $A1.71 billion
The Irish Government yesterday revealed that the total bill facing the country to compensate victims of clergy sexual abuse could total one billion euros ($A1.71 billion).
31 Oct 2003

Reprieve for altar girls after Vatican backdown
Rewriting a proposed Vatican document on liturgical norms, Vatican officials have dropped all references to altar girls and are substantially revising other points in the document, a Vatican official has said.
31 Oct 2003

Newspaper continues 'Pell for Rome' speculation
A report in this morning's Melbourne Herald-Sun newspaper repeats speculation that Sydney Archbishop George Pell could be called to the Vatican to replace Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the soon to retire Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
31 Oct 2003

Ratzinger secretary downplays latest Pope health alarm
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has asked Catholics to pray for Pope John Paul II, not out of any new sense of alarm but because the Holy Father continues to struggle with infirmity, the cardinal's personal secretary has said.
31 Oct 2003

Catholic 'false passport' claims spark inquiry calls
The Sydney-based Edmund Rice justice centre has told Federal Police that it is ready to provide investigators witih evidence that immigration officials urged asylum seekers to get false passports so they could be deported.
31 Oct 2003