Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR NOVEMBER 2003

   
Feature - A place of pilgrimage for all Australians
A place of pilgrimage and coming together of Australians many of whom don't much like going to church. That's the simple vision Prof James Haire has for the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Barton.
28 Nov 2003

Opinion - The habit of a lifetime
I think it is a good life. As long as it is done out of passionate love for Our Lord, it cannot be regarded as simply oppressive. For many centuries the convent was the only way out of oppressive marriages and they were often very epicurean places where nuns made great music, put on plays and saw the best of everything. There is no reason why it should not be like that again. - Germaine Greer - an extract from her book "Convent Girls"
28 Nov 2003

Pope reveals he's a Liverpool supporter
Struggling British soccer team Liverpool has been boosted by the news that the Holy Father is a celebrity fan, after the team's goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, a fellow Pole, was invited to meet the Pope.
28 Nov 2003

Journalism award for Jesuit Provincial TV report
An ABC TV 7:30 Report feature that precipitated a change in Jesuit Provincial Fr Mark Raper's attitude to following legal advice in sex abuse cases last night won the coveted Walkley Award for Television Current Affairs Reporting.
28 Nov 2003

Cardinal proposes encyclical on migrants
Reflecting what he called the Catholic church's duty to defend the world's 175 million migrants and 40 million refugees, Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has called on Pope John Paul II to issue an encyclical letter on the subject.
28 Nov 2003

Pope says Advent a time to watch out
Advent is a time of vigilance when Catholics prepare not only to mark Christ's birth, but to honour him as king of heaven and earth, according to Pope John Paul II.
28 Nov 2003

Teachers union complaining to archbishop about interfering priests
Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart will be asked to intervene in what The Age reports today as a "growing conflict between parish priests and principals in Catholic schools".
28 Nov 2003

Vatican gives Dalai Lama visit low profile
Pope John Paul met the Dalai Lama yesterday but the Vatican, which has very thorny relations with China, gave the visit a low profile.
28 Nov 2003

Feature - Cricketer sees faith as path through despair
Queenslander Matthew Hayden, with the highest test score ever, says his Catholic upbringing has given him hope. His faith got a decent workout when his boat was sunk miles from the shoreline on one fishing trip and he had to swim to safety through shark-infested waters.
27 Nov 2003

Opinion - Church still unsure about how to relate to modern world
The trouble with the Church is that the secular world has too often been ahead of Christians in establishing human rights and democratic freedoms. Vatican II sought to reckon with all this. Archbishop Marcel Lefebre interpreted the result as letting the French Revolution into the Church - liberty, equality, religious freedom. - John Wilkins
27 Nov 2003

Gibson film moves Billy Graham to tears
Mel Gibson has given veteran Christian evangelist Billy Graham a personal preview of his film The Passion of the Christ.
27 Nov 2003

Parishioners request bishop to discuss priest's removal
The faithful at Our Lady's Parish at Wangaratta in north-east Victoria have requested a visit from Sandhurst Diocese Bishop Joe Grech to discuss the planned removal of their parish priest.
27 Nov 2003

MacKillop saintmaker calls doctor miracle denial "unscientific"
The procurator for the cause of Blessed Mary MacKillop - Australia's first saint - has criticised the attitiude of doctors who deny the possibility of a miracle because they fear professional embarrassment.
27 Nov 2003

Georgian Catholics prayed for peaceful change during protests
The Catholic minority of the former Soviet republic of Georgia prayed for a peaceful change of government during the so-called velvet revolution at the weekend.
27 Nov 2003

Ratzinger criticises Islam for mixing politics, religion
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has criticised what he sees as a tendency among Islamic leaders to identify politics and religion, insisting on the importance of respect for religious freedom.
27 Nov 2003

Nuncio's message to focus on essentials of the faith
The Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Francesco Canalini yesterday urged Australia's bishops to focus on the essentials of the faith as they go forth in unity to meet the challenges posed by an often fragmented modern society.
27 Nov 2003

Feature - Writing an icon
Because the artistic language of iconography is so exact, icons are said to be "written" rather than painted. Icon writer Marek Czarnecki says: "We can compare an icon to a carefully constructed poem. Every 'word' or element of it fits very concisely and precisely to contribute to the overall meaning and integrity of the whole."
26 Nov 2003

Opinion - You can't reduce religion to liberal and conservative
Instead, using three, four or five categories to analyse religious groups or controversies stimulates thought and counters stereotypes. That is true whether one is describing the papal sweepstakes, Anglican reaction to the ordination of a gay bishop living openly with his partner, or the stances of religious groups on abortion, euthanasia, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage. - Religion columnist Peter Steinfels
26 Nov 2003

Little Pebble to face trial
NSW South Coast cult leader the "Little Pebble" - whose real name is William Kamm - was this week committed to stand trial on charges that he sexually assaulted teenage followers.
26 Nov 2003

Papua New Guinea seeks help for education project
The Diocese of Vanimo accepted a regional PNG Government invitation to head a new educational plan for young women in Papua New Guinea.
26 Nov 2003

Harassment charge prompts Manila bishop replacement
Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop Teodoro Bacani as head of the suburban Manila Diocese of Novaliches, nominating Bishop Antonio Tobias of San Fernando de La Union as his replacement.
26 Nov 2003

Christians in Turkey fear being next target
The Christian community in Turkey has expressed fears that it will be the next target of terrorist actions.
26 Nov 2003

Dalai Lama to visit Pope tomorrow
Pope John Paul II will meet with the Dalai Lama tomorrow, after the Tibetan Buddhist leader indicated his desire to congratulate the Holy Father in person on the 25th anniversary of his election, and to thank him for his work for world peace.
26 Nov 2003

Pope assigns new cardinals to Vatican congregations
Pope John Paul II has given the newest group of cardinals their assignments as members of Vatican congregations and councils in a series of appointments that highlights the role cardinals play in governing the Church.
26 Nov 2003

Feature - Pass on what you've learnt
15 year old David from Moree in northern NSW said he came to last month's Emmanuel Youth Outreach conference so that he could help keep his parish's youth movement going. "We won't have a team next year so I am learning about different types of leadership and how to get events up and running so I can take it back to the parish."
25 Nov 2003

Opinion - Tend your garden of 'moral loneliness'
Therese of Lisieux was much photographed. Interestingly, in all her photographs, Therese is always alone, somehow by herself, even in a group shot. her loneliness there radiates a particular quality: It's not the pain of someone at odds with family and community, but rather a 'moral loneliness' - something that Jesus suffered from. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
25 Nov 2003

Barcelona archbishop bans theologian Küng
Banned Swiss theologian Hans Küng has challenged the Archbishop of Barcelona to a public debate after he was denied permission to use church property during a recent speaking tour.
25 Nov 2003

Decline of Catholicism in Belgium troubles Pope
During a meeting with the bishops of Belgium, Pope John Paul II described the decline of religious practice in the country as "particularly troubling."
25 Nov 2003

Improving Pope plans regular Christmas schedule
Pope John Paul II appeared to be continuing his physical recovery as he presided at his final Sunday audience of this liturgical year over the weekend.
25 Nov 2003

US Caritas calls Govt funding for aid agencies 'double-edged sword'
When Catholic aid organisations operate with government funding in places like Iraq, they must take pains not to be identified with military operations, the head of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the US told a Vatican meeting.
25 Nov 2003

SA priest travels to Canberra to plead TPV holders' case
Fr Tony Pearson of Adelaide's Otherway Aboriginal and refugee ministry in Adelaide was in Canberra yesterday with temporary protection visa (TPV) holders to ask the Federal Government to reassess their cases.
25 Nov 2003

Bishops says free trade threatens sovereignty and democracy
Canberra auxiliary Bishop Pat Power is speaking on behalf of Catholic organisations in a coalition of church, welfare, trade union and health groups that is arguing that any free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States will undermine Australia's sovereignty and democratic rights.
25 Nov 2003

Feature - Remembering the Kennedy grieving
They had chosen St Matthew's Church because Jackie could walk there from the White House, accompanying the caisson and the casket that held her husband. It was forty years ago this week that the first and only Catholic First Family resorted in their grief to their religion.
24 Nov 2003

Opinion - Violence in the Church
The Church no longer employs physical coercion. But the other forms of violence - moral and psychological - continue, in an exercise of power which ignores both legitimate diversity in the Church and the Gospel insistence on dialogue. I have had intimate knowledge of this violence, above all as exercised by a number of Roman departments. - Discalced Carmelite Camilo Macisse, former president of the Union of Superiors General
24 Nov 2003

England takes Rugby World Cup with cardinal's support
Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor sent a message of support to the England Rugby team on Friday as they prepared for victory in Saturday's World Cup Final in Sydney.
24 Nov 2003

Philippine priests urged to adopt healthy lifestyle
The central Philippine Archdiocese of Cebu is following up on a Priests' Congress resolution aimed to persuade clergy to play sport and work out at the gym, while cutting smoking and alcohol consumption.
24 Nov 2003

Hindu leader points finger at Pope on conversions
A right-wing Hindu leader has accused Pope John Paul II and Christian missionaries of encouraging religious conversions in order to undermine India's integrity.
24 Nov 2003


Pope says charity work has higher purpose

Citing the example of Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II has said the Church's humanitarian efforts should be motivated by a "lively and evangelical faith".
24 Nov 2003

Australian Bishops meeting in Sydney
Australia's Catholic Bishops gather in Sydney today to begin their twice-yearly Plenary Session, a set of meetings on all aspects of the life of the Australian Church.
24 Nov 2003

Cardinal warns gay marriage ruling undermines democracy
The Massachusetts Supreme Court's recent decision to reverse the state's ban on gay marriage could undermine people's faith in the democratic process, according to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.
24 Nov 2003

Feature - Cult of sainthood: democracy at work in the Church
Catholic theology of sainthood holds that everything begins with a cult. When it works properly, it is the most democratic process in the church. Few cases illustrate this democratic ethos better than St. Thérčse of Lisieux, popularly known as "the Little Flower of Jesus." - John L. Allen
21 Nov 2003

Opinion - What we do not grieve we cannot reclaim
US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has forbidden media images of the return of caskets from the battlefield, including the solemn march from the back of the plane to the back of a hearse and the procession of flag-draped coffins. We are not seeing, or even hearing, about the effect of this war on civilians in Iraq. If we did, we might want to change things. - Joan Chittister OSB
21 Nov 2003

Rome scotches Fatima multifaith rumours
A top Vatican official has quashed rumours that the world-famous Fatima shrine is to be turned into a multi-faith pilgrim centre.
21 Nov 2003

Brisbane Catholic Education absorbs insurance fee rises
Brisbane Catholic Education has decided absorb a 30% rise in public liability insurance, and will restrict 2004 school fee increases in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
21 Nov 2003

Australian motifs in vestments on show at ACU
Australian Catholic University is exhibiting the work of a student who has designed a Pentecost chasuble incorporating Australian bushfire imagery.
21 Nov 2003

Bishop says mob violence no way to fight corruption
Bishop Darius Nggawa from Indonesia's East Flores region this week expressed regret over the actions of a mob objecting to a court verdict against the head of the diocesan Justice and Peace Commission.
21 Nov 2003

Vatican officials say migration brings opportunities for Catholics
Migration brings with it an opportunity for Catholics to experience the universality of their church, to forge bonds with other Christians and to discover the way God is at work in other religions, Vatican officials have said.
21 Nov 2003

Vatican condemns terrorist bombing in Turkey
A statement released by the Holy See Press Office late last night has regretted the loss of innocent life in yesterday's terrorist attack in Istanbul.
21 Nov 2003

Feature - The last retreat
Newcastle's Redemptorist monastery is closing because of declining numbers. "Sadly it is part of a trend," said Fr Keith Teefey. "The Redemptorists closed the monastery in Brisbane in 1985, and then further houses were closed in Townsville, Yarraville and Penrith. Our largest monastery in Ballarat closed five years ago."
20 Nov 2003

Opinion - Call to move beyond the comfort zone
We live in an age when the temptation to stay at home is greater than ever. Why bother climbing trees when you can stay at home and watch it all on TV. Campaigning is a fundamental part of democracy. However uncomfortable it feels to stick your neck out for those who have no voice, speak out boldly. - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, addressing Vincentian Conference on Economic Injustice
20 Nov 2003

Vic bush school closure highlights continuing rural hardship
The Director of the Ballarat Catholic Education Office has blamed a board's decision to close a remote high school on falling enrolments caused by sustained population and economic decline in farming communities resulting from the a number of factors including the drought.
20 Nov 2003

Church sends message of peace to Muslims
The Catholic Church in Australia has marked the Islamic holy month of Ramadan by sending prayerful greetings to Muslims and reaffirming a shared commitment to peace, built on the four pillars of truth, justice, love and freedom.
20 Nov 2003

Vatican tells UN religious freedom necessary for peace
In an address to the United Nations, the Holy See has highlighted the violation of the fundamental human right of religious freedom in many countries and stressed its damaging effect on peace.
20 Nov 2003

Indian Bishops hear Pope condemn caste system
John Paul II has told a group of Indian bishops that the Church has the duty to foster conversion of hearts to overcome every form of racial, sexual or religious discrimination.
20 Nov 2003

Recovering Pope lingers after Wednesday audience
An improving Pope John Paul II held an unusually long public audience on Wednesday, lingering in the Paul VI auditorium to greet and bless several young children.
20 Nov 2003

Survey says Catholic school parents don't care about religion
Religious education rates poorly among parents' reasons for sending their children to Catholic schools, according to a survey commissioned by the Toowoomba Catholic Education Board in Queensland.
20 Nov 2003

Feature - Australia's answer to Jean Vanier
Many people have heard of Canadian Jean Vanier, the founding father of L'Arche family-style households for people with an intellectual disability. Perhaps not quite so well known is Australia's own 'Jean Vanier' figure, Eileen Glass, who was one of the founding mothers of L'Arche in Australia and a driving force in its leadership ever since.
19 Nov 2003

Opinion - Mel Gibson's The Passion: the agony is real
Mel Gibson met with me briefly after the screening and I was able to have some discussion with him about the film. My attitude was very positive. It offers a credible, naturalistic Jesus whose sufferings of body and spirit are real. There is the challenge of seeing pain and torture, which are easier to read about than to see. - Australian Sacred Heart Missionary Fr Peter Malone, president SIGNIS, The World Catholic Association for Communication
19 Nov 2003

Perth's Notre Dame commended for staff-student bond
Notre Dame University in Western Australia has passed its first government quality audit, following the Australian Universities Quality Agency reviewed the private Catholic university in May.
19 Nov 2003

Scholar says Jesus' brother artefact may be genuine
An ancient Holy Land burial box with the controversial inscription "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" may be authentic, according to Fr Joseph Fitzmyer, a noted Jesuit Scripture scholar.
19 Nov 2003

Israel Govt silence follows Pope criticism of security wall
The Israeli government remained silent on Monday, following Pope John Paul II's weekend suggestion that it should be building bridges with the Palestinians, rather than a security wall that will only lead to further isolation.
19 Nov 2003

Commission appeal for farmers afflicted by ongoing drought
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane has appealed for understanding and concrete support for Queensland farming communities still in the grip of drought.
19 Nov 2003

Minister defends private school funding
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson has said the Government has increased funding for Catholic and independent schools because enrolments in the private system are "increasing at a rate 15 times higher than those in Government schools".
19 Nov 2003

Catholic Health says package shows health not Govt priority
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan believes the Federal Government's $2.4 billion injection of funds to bolster Medicare fails to demonstrate its commitment to health care for all Australians.
19 Nov 2003

Feature - Miracle needed for Mary's sainthood
Vatican bureaucracy, recalcitrant doctors, red tape and "the lack of a culture of miracles in Australia" are all combining to delay the canonisation of Bl Mary MacKillop, says Jesuit priest Fr Paul Gardiner, the postulator for Mary MacKillop's cause. By contrast, the active support of Pope John Paul II has fast-tracked the sainthood of Mother Teresa - largely because she is an international figure.
18 Nov 2003

Opinion - Walking tall smothers the small talk
We heal not by confronting all of our wounds and selfishness head-on, which would overwhelm us and drown us in discouragement, but by growing to what St John of the Cross calls "our deepest centre". When you walk tall there will be less and less room for what's small and petty to manifest itself. - Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI
18 Nov 2003

Bishop shares Catholic experience at end of Ramadan dinner
Speaking at an Islamic Friendship Dinner, Parramatta Bishop Kevin Manning has paralleled the current attitude of Australians toward local Muslim communities with that of Irish Catholics in this country before the Second World War.
18 Nov 2003

Bus fees close Central Victorian Catholic school
A major Catholic secondary school in regional Victoria will close next month because a fall in enrolments means the school is unable to pay its share of the cost of school buses.
18 Nov 2003

CEO appeals Canberra school discrimination case
The Catholic Education Office in the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn has lodged an appeal with the Federal Court after the court found a Canberra high school had discriminated against a profoundly deaf student.
18 Nov 2003

Pope says Church can assist depression sufferers
Pope John Paul II has called depression a "spiritual trial", and suggested that those suffering from the illness should receive special support from their priests and parish communities.
18 Nov 2003

Monk wants quick handover of power to Iraqis
A leading Chaldaean religious figure has expressed gratitude to the US-led forces for Iraq's 'liberation' from Saddam Hussein, but appealed to the United States to fast-track the turning over of power to Iraqis.
18 Nov 2003

Bishops to address Australia's worst ecological disaster
The Australian Bishops will release a pastoral statement next year on concerns for the Murray Darling Basin, to promote the health of the ecosystems.
18 Nov 2003

Feature - Finding contentment in a small country parish
Queensland's Gayndah parish celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Mass in the Burnett region yesterday. Parish priest Fr John Khoai, the Vietnamese refugee priest who spent three years in a Communist prison, says he has found contentment. He replied to Archbishop John Bathersby's enquiry about whether he liked being in a small country parish: "God himself puts me where I am. He alone sees diamonds in the rocks all around us."
17 Nov 2003

Opinion - Email from deported refugee student
Dear Father Headmaster, I cannot say in words the bad and worse situations of the Afghanistan, especially of my own village. Let me tell you a sad story of my close friend who was arrested with four co-workers by the Taliban. He got bullits but God saved him. - Safar Fidaie, one of two Afghan teenagers released from immigration detention to study at St Ignatius' College, Adelaide. The Australian Government sent them back to Afghanistan last month, but last week announced it had granted them student visas
17 Nov 2003

Women's Commission shares deputy position among three contenders
The Bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women has announced it will share the leadership position of Deputy Chairperson among three commissioners, in order to "honour the commitment, energy and gifts of its members".
17 Nov 2003

Catholic Women's League in drive for Iraq appeal funds
With a new report issued in the past week showing the damage caused to ordinary Iraqis by the recent war on Iraq, the Catholic Women's League (CWL) is urging Australians to give to its Gold Coin Appeal.
17 Nov 2003

Cemetery worker jailed over crypt fraud
A Brisbane woman pocketed almost $700,000 in cash paid to the Catholic Church for 167 burial plots and crypts during a five-year period, a court was told on Friday.
17 Nov 2003

Court ruling angers pedophile priest's victim
A victim of convicted pedophile, Neville Joseph Creen has lashed out at the Court of Appeal's decision not to increase the former north Queensland priest's jail time.
17 Nov 2003

US Bishops put popular devotions in their rightful place
The Catholic Bishops in the United States last week encouraged popular devotions as a form of spiritual activity that should support rather than replace the church's worship and sacramental life.
17 Nov 2003

Pope condemns terrorism in Iraq, Turkey
Pope John Paul II condemned what he called terrorist attacks in Iraq, Turkey and the Holy Land, and also criticised Israel for building a wall between Israel and the Palestinian territories.
17 Nov 2003

Feature - Proselytism with aid sparks debate
Gentle sparring between two of Catholicism's leading thinkers had Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue president Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald arguing that the current Catholic approach to evangelisation does not start with the direct preaching of Jesus Christ to non-Christians, but helping people of different religions to live together in peace and harmony. But Cardinal Avery Dulles regretted that Catholics "dialogue but don't proclaim," while Christian evangelicals "proclaim but don't dialogue."
14 Nov 2003

Opinion - Economics as test of faithfulness to God
One of the most fascinating and underacknowledged aspects of Jesus' life is his preaching of an economic spirituality, an integration of who persons are with how they use their resources. He teaches that all resources are ultimately God's, and that they are to be used for the good of all. - Tom Beaudoin, visiting assistant professor of theology, Boston College
14 Nov 2003

Press Council backs church official on unfair "traitor" headline
Senior church official Dr Michael Costigan has had his complaint about use of the word "traitor" in media coverage of Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks upheld by the Press Council.
14 Nov 2003

Melbourne archbishop spots loophole in trading hours legislation
Archbishop Denis Hart, who is urging the Bracks Government to "put families before further economic profit", has re-stated his strong opposition to Victoria's Shop Trading Reform (Simplification) Bill, which is under consideration by State Parliament.
14 Nov 2003

Bishop Fisher calls morning after pill a "cop out"
A decision to allow a so-called "morning after" pill to be dispensed by pharmacists without a doctor's prescription is a "cop out", according to Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher.
14 Nov 2003

Vatican cardinal condemns Israel security wall
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has said the Israeli "security wall" that is being built through Palestinian territories "inevitably creates a geography of apartheid, which provokes rather than controls violence".
14 Nov 2003

Caritas workers injured in Iraq suicide bombing
Caritas Iraq has suspended operations in Nasiriya following injuries to its aid workers in the suicide bomb attack on the Italian police headquarters on Wednesday.
14 Nov 2003

US Bishops back ban on gay marriages
Stressing that they do not intend to offend homosexuals, and calling discrimination against gays unjust, the US Catholic Bishops have overwhelmingly approved a statement urging states to withhold recognition of same-sex marriages.
14 Nov 2003

Feature - Home altars creating sacred space
The popularity of home altars is undergoing a revival in the USA, driven by an influx of new immigrants from Latin America as well as the attention given them by feminists. Home altars function as sites of historical memory and teaching tools for families.
13 Nov 2003

Opinion - Chastity over promiscuity a realistic choice
I think that the Church always has to take a more optimistic view of human nature, and keep encouraging people to be responsible, rather than acquiescing in promiscuity or irresponsibility and then saying "well, given that we're all going to be behaving like animals, how can we limit the harm that we do to ourselves and each other?" - Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, discussing Catholic Church rejection of condom-based anti-AIDS strategies as portrayed on the BBC documentary Sex and the Holy City
13 Nov 2003

Caritas Australia remembers the Santa Cruz Massacre
Yesterday Caritas Australia recalled East Timor's Santa Cruz massacre, urging Australians to continue to provide financial support for the people of East Timor as their new nation struggles to provide for its people.
13 Nov 2003

Poetical ribs take religious art prize
Shoufay Derz, a 24-year-old Sydney art student, has won this year's $10,000 Australian Catholic University-sponsored Blake prize for religious art for a work inspired by the Sufi poetry of ancient Persia.
13 Nov 2003

Pope's health improving
While Sydney Cardinal George Pell told ABC Radio yesterday that Pope John Paul II was "not well, not at all well" when he saw him during last month's consistory in Rome, former Polish President Lech Walesa has said Pope John Paul II's health has improved "incredibly" since last month.
13 Nov 2003

Vatican GM seminar under fire
A Vatican organised international seminar on genetically modified foods has run into controversy, after being criticised by priests working in Africa for failing to include Church personnel opposed to the crops.
13 Nov 2003

Bishop says Govt can do more for Hicks and Habib
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council chairman Bishop Christopher Saunders has written to Attorney-General Philip Ruddock calling on the Government to do more to secure natural justice for the two Australians detained by US Authorities at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
13 Nov 2003

Pope condemns attack on Italian police in Iraq
Pope John Paul II has voiced his sorrow at the "vile attack" on an Italian police base in southern Iraq which reportedly left 14 Italians dead.
13 Nov 2003

Feature - Helen finds a voice through suffering
'Helen', whose self-expression was discouraged in her younger days, is suffering debilitating physical problems. Living in a nursing home, her feelings fluctuate daily. But she has discovered a way to explore ideas and invite longed for communication.
12 Nov 2003

Opinion - The ME Generation's crisis of intimacy
Young people live in a world without values as reference points. We're all driven toward some meaningful connectedness - intimacy. But if I alone am the arbiter of my entire existence, how can I afford to let go of my absolute self-possession and risk any sense of the mutuality and vulnerability? - Clinical psychologist Br Michael Hill, at last week's Australian Catholic University public forum on Fear of Intimacy: The Problem and its Consequences
12 Nov 2003

Former official says Roman Curia blocks dialogue with Pope
The former president of the International Union of Superiors General of religious congregations has said that "centralism" in the Roman Curia prevents direct dialogue between religious orders and Pope John Paul II.
12 Nov 2003

Commission urges church recycling effort
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane has challenged all Catholic parishes, schools and agencies to take the Pope's call for ecological conversion seriously by making concerted efforts to recycle resources more diligently.
12 Nov 2003

Japanese Story Catholic Film of the Year
In a year where quirky comedies dominated the output of the Australian film industry, the Australian Catholic Film Office has given its Film of the Year to a poignant drama set in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
12 Nov 2003

Pell breaks tradition for sake of ecumenism
In a departure from tradition, last night's St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney celebration of Dr George Pell's elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals started with evening prayer instead of mass.
12 Nov 2003

US Bishops consider sanctions for politicians
The Catholic Bishops of the United States are talking about recommending sanctions for Catholic politicians who favour policies contrary to church teaching on abortion and other issues.
12 Nov 2003

Pope denounces terrorism in all its forms
Meeting with Christian members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Pope John Paul II strongly criticised "all forms of terrorism", because terrorism represents "treason for our common humanity" and lacks the moral foundation necessary for freedom of people.
12 Nov 2003

Feature - How the Capuchins are suddenly hip
The Franciscan order has turned around decades of contraction, seen their favourite son Padre Pio canonised, and watched as Archbishop Sean O'Malley strode into Boston sporting his brown Capuchin habit. They're revamped their internal life to foster the ideal of fraternity, and to build an alternative economy based on transparency and participation. - John L. Allen, The World From Rome
11 Nov 2003

Opinion - Anglican-Roman Catholic unity work in the balance
When the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) proposed its final report in 1981, leading Anglicans thought reunion between Rome and the Anglican Communion might come in their lifetimes. But if the autonomy of the various Anglican provinces is upheld in the wake of the present crisis in the Anglican Communion, then ARCIC is dead and the Roman Catholic strategy of holding dialogue with the whole Communion instead of individual Churches will look to have been a lamentable mistake.
11 Nov 2003

Vatican recruiting lay saint-makers
The London Times is reporting that Pope John Paul II is creating so many saints that the Vatican is having to recruit women and lay people to work as postulators, or what the paper calls "saint detectives".
11 Nov 2003

Priest and fellow activists arrested in Kenya
Fr Gabriel Dolan and three human rights activists were released from police custody last week after being arrested for obstructing the Vice-President's motorcade.
11 Nov 2003

Scottish archbishop says safe sex advice encourages teenage sex
Glasgow's Archbishop Mario Conti has attacked the so-called values-free safe sex advice that is readily available to school children from family planning clinics.
11 Nov 2003

Official welcome home for Cardinal Pell
Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell will be officially welcomed to the city's St Mary's Cathedral this evening following his elevation to the College of Cardinals last month in Rome.
11 Nov 2003

Bishop says church has 'turned corner' on sex abuse crisis
President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Bishop Wilton Gregory said on Sunday that the Church has "turned the corner" on the sexual abuse crisis, but that the process of restoring trust will take years.
11 Nov 2003

Vatican opens talks on GM foods
Yesterday the Vatican invited scientists, health experts, UN officials and farmers' groups to a conference on genetically modified foods, which some Vatican officials have said could help alleviate world hunger.
11 Nov 2003

Feature - The high flyer from Honduras
60 year old Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez de Maradiaga can master a brief rich in statistics and argue with the verve of a politician; he is also multilingual, a gifted communicator, media-friendly, well versed in social doctrine, admired in the Vatican as well as in Latin America - and tipped as a candidate for Pope.
10 Nov 2003

Opinion - To die and not have loved is a tragedy
There are only two potential tragedies in life and dying young isn't one of them. It's tragic to die and not have loved, and it's just as tragic to die and not have expressed your love to those around you. Sometimes only death can teach us that. - Fr Ronald Rolheiser OMI
10 Nov 2003

Jesus Christ "better known as a profanity than a deity"
A researcher with Australia's National Church Life Survey has highlighted implications arising from the fact that the current generation of school-aged children is likely to be the first where the majority has had no experience of church.
10 Nov 2003

Jesuit says Pauline Hanson prison shock is real
Fr Peter Norden has said Pauline Hanson, former leader of the One Nation political party who was released from a Brisbane prison after winning her appeal on Thursday, now has a rare first-hand experience of the inadequacies of our criminal justice system.
10 Nov 2003

Pope speaks of his love for the Irish
Pope John Paul II has spoken of his "deep affection for the Irish people", suggesting Ireland has an "essential role" to play in affirming Christian identity in the soon to be enlarged European Union.
10 Nov 2003

New face of poverty on Gold Coast tourist strip
Homeless single fathers and their children, who are sleeping in cars or on the beach each night, are the new face of poverty on the Gold Coast, according to the St Vincent de Paul Society.
10 Nov 2003

Tasmanian Catholic agency accused of forcing adoptions
A Tasmanian man and his mother have raised concerns about the Catholic Church's adoption practices in the 1970s, with a claim that the man was adopted out without his mother's authorisation.
10 Nov 2003

Politician urges Hobart archbishop to step aside for inquiry
A Tasmanian Liberal politician has called on Archbishop Adrian Doyle to stand aside while an independent inquiry is held.
10 Nov 2003

Feature - Advertising's affair with porn
Pornography is well and truly out of the closet. It no longer carries the stigma of reclusive misdemeanour or even the transgression of illegality. To the New Lad generation, beloved of the beer and ice cream manufacturers, using "standard" pornography is not only the norm but confers a strange badge of honour.
7 Nov 2003

Opinion - How does a secular society know something is wrong?
The NSW District Court found last month that, provided she is not otherwise hurt, it is not grievous bodily harm to kick and stomp on a pregnant woman's stomach to procure a miscarriage. Like the rest of us, our judges are at sea when it comes to providing a basis for knowing why some things are good and some things are evil. - Dr Michael A. Casey, Private Secretary to Cardinal Pell, in The Politics of Meaninglessness, a paper delivered to the Sydney Institute, 5 November 2003.
7 Nov 2003

US archbishop calls partial-birth abortion ban a 'vital step'
In what a US archbishop called "a vital step in the right direction for our nation", President Bush signed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act into law on Wednesday at a Washington ceremony attended by many Catholic leaders.
7 Nov 2003

Vatican aiming at 'sacred vernacular language' for liturgy
An official at the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has enunciated the Vatican's vision for a "sacred vernacular language" that avoids "slavishly reflecting the development of local speech".
7 Nov 2003

Putin unable to deliver Pope's invite to Russia
Pope John Paul II met with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday afternoon, and told him that he was "praying for Russia".
7 Nov 2003

Melbourne Archbishop opposes Victorian trading reforms
Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday expressed opposition to a Victorian government move to soften trading restrictions on religious holidays.
7 Nov 2003

Catholic levy to fight child abuse
Every employee and volunteer in the Archdiocese of Adelaide will be required to undergo training in child protection, under a plan announced yesterday by Vicar-General Monsignor David Cappo.
7 Nov 2003

Catholic Refugee Office 'wait and see' after Govt change of heart
The Bishops' Migrant and Refugee Office has welcomed yesterday's news that the Federal Government will now grant a visa "on compassionate grounds" to an Iranian asylum seeker whose children are stranded in Indonesia.
7 Nov 2003

Feature - Faith 'gives me a focus', says Katich
Faith "gives me a focus in how I lead my life and go about my cricket", says Simon Katich. "In cricket, you have to believe in your ability otherwise you get yourself into trouble."
6 Nov 2003

Opinion - Asylum seeker "firebreak" does its political job
In my wanderings around the corridors of Parliament House, I met with Howard Government member Mr Bill Heffernan, a local councillor and farmer. "You have to build a firebreak. You have to choose someone's property as the firebreak. Destroying their property, you will save the neighbourhood. Bill said, "It's not pretty. These are hard moral decisions. But you have to do it." The government's boast two years later is that the firebreak has worked, at least for the moment. - Jesuit human rights lawyer Fr Frank Brennan in yesterday's address to the National Press Club, Canberra, to launch his book Tampering with Asylum (University of Queensland Press)
6 Nov 2003

Catholic Welfare in stunt to alert politicians to needs of poor
Australia's largest fridge magnet was delivered to Parliament House in Canberra yesterday, in order to convey a call for Parliament to adopt a strategy to reduce poverty in Australia.
6 Nov 2003

Bishops and wellwishers back Hobart archbishop
Bishops from around the country have rallied to support Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle, amid calls for his resignation.
6 Nov 2003

Vatican urges UN to use mideast 'road map'
A Vatican statement to the United Nations on Monday called for use of the "road map" as a way to move toward an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
6 Nov 2003

Pope pleased with ecumenical efforts of pontificate
Pope John Paul II has indicated his satisfaction with the ecumenical efforts undertaken during his pontificate, but asked the faithful to pray that remaining obstacles to Christian unity can be overcome.
6 Nov 2003

Perth archbishops disagree on when life begins
Perth Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey yesterday challenged the assertion of Anglican Primate and Archbishop of Perth Peter Carnley, that human life begins 14 days after the sperm meets the egg.
6 Nov 2003

Office slams Govt kneejerk reaction to boatpeople arrival
The Bishops' Migrant and Refugee Office says the Federal Government's decision to remove more islands from Australia's migration zone is an overaction that will do nothing to fix border security.
6 Nov 2003

Feature - Man of cloth rubs shoulders with silks
Sydney-based Brother Dan Stafford is one of six state Catholic chaplains whose parishioners are the weird and wonderful racing fraternity. His job description involves the onerous task of making friends in the industry so by his presence they are reminded that God is part of their lives.
5 Nov 2003

Opinion - Catholic take on the latest Matrix movie
The descent of Jesus into 'hell' or 'hades' or 'to the dead' is an article of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. Since Neo is the saviour, he is pictured in Matrix Revolutions going down into his own 'hell'. He is betrayed by Bane, blinded by him. But his inner vision leads him to guide Trinity above the machines to a safe vision of clear and beautiful skies before he descends to do battle with Mr Smith. - Australian Sacred Heart Missionary Fr Peter Malone, President of SIGNIS World Catholic Association for Communication
5 Nov 2003

Boom times for "new" church on Sydney urban fringe
The Catholic Weekly reports this week that school enrolments are up, more and more people are going to Mass, and the number of weddings and baptisms is increasing steadily, in what it calls the "vibrant new communities" on the edge of the Sydney archdiocese.
5 Nov 2003

Cardinal Pell welcomes Lech Walesa
1983 Nobel peace prize-winner and former Polish President (1990-95) Lech Walesa joined the congregation for Mass at St Mary's Cathedral on Sunday.
5 Nov 2003

Pope to beatify virgins and priest on Sunday
John Paul II plans to beatify five holy men and women, including three founders of religious congregations, this Sunday.
5 Nov 2003

Putin visiting Pope to boost Orthodox-Catholic ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits Pope John Paul today to gently nudge the Orthodox and Catholic churches towards improving ties soured by a decade of post-Communist suspicions.
5 Nov 2003

Beseiged Tasmanian archbishop speaks out
The Hobart Mercury reports this morning that Archbishop Adrian Doyle believes there is a "campaign" in the Tasmanian Catholic community to have him removed.
5 Nov 2003

Support for Sydney Peace Prize recipient
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has called for people of good will to support the controversial awarding of this year's Sydney Peace Prize to Dr Hanan Ashrawi.
5 Nov 2003

Feature - Painting aids priestly ministry
For former refugee from the communist regime in Vietnam Fr Joseph Tran his life as a priest and his skill as an artist are closely linked. Fr Tran sees his art as a way into pastoral care for people. "Art is a language; it reaches beyond cultural differences and language barriers. It means I find it easy to make friends here, not only with the Catholics of our parish."
4 Nov 2003

Opinion - Why I miss 6:30 am Mass
I stopped going to daily mass because somewhere along the way someone told the priests they had to "say something" at every Mass: "Give 'em a word every day about the Word for the Day." The fact is that most priests don't have anything to say worth listening to at about 6:40 in the morning. - Arthur Jones
4 Nov 2003

Australian Rugby League team in Caritas goodwill visit to PNG
The Junior Kangaroos Rugby League Team recently played a two game series against Papua New Guinea in Darwin and Port Moresby.
4 Nov 2003

Indian Marxists resist Mother Teresa festivities
Catholic leaders have expressed surprise and disappointment at the resistance of Marxist state officials in West Bengal state to popular sentiment in favour of celebrating last month's beatification of Mother Teresa.
4 Nov 2003

Local Catholics and Anglicans urged to "pray through the storm"
In encouraging participation in tomorrow's Australian day of prayer for reconciliation between Catholic and Anglican churches, organisers have alluded to "new issues threaten our unity and create new possibilities for misunderstanding".
4 Nov 2003

Catholic no comment on Anglican gay bishop consecration
The consecration of openly gay Episcopalian Rev Gene Robinson in the US early yesterday Australian time has provoked widespread condemnation from from Anglican Communion churches, but so far no comment from within the Catholic Church in Australia or overseas.
4 Nov 2003

Pope speaks about afterlife in All Souls' Day address
On Sunday, Pope John Paul II urged the faithful to pray for the dead and consider death as merely a step toward eternal life.
4 Nov 2003

Jesuit says terrorists don't arrive on refugee boats
Lawyer and human rights advocate Fr Frank Brennan has suggested it's not surprising that the Al Qaeda operative Willie Virgile Brigitte came to Australia on a tourist visa and not as a boat person.
4 Nov 2003

Feature - Little miracle from Lourdes pilgrimage
Brain injured Brisbane mother, Susan Gunderson, is back from Lourdes still hoping for a miracle, but a fellow pilgrim believes his six year-old son has been blessed with a 'little' one.
3 Nov 2003

Opinion - The (politically incorrect) Nicene Creed
Many Christians know that deadly moment at a party when their friends realise they actually believe something everyone has merrily been belittling. For Modernity, belief in a creed is a sign of intellectual failure. Creeds involve faith, and faith makes statements about reality that can't be tested. - Luke Timothy Johnson, author The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why It Matters
3 Nov 2003

Polish bishops defend regulations that would restrict clergy comments
Poland's bishops have defended new regulations that would oblige priests to obtain a bishop's permission before speaking to the media.
3 Nov 2003

Rome journalist says Bishop Fisher commands wide respect
Rome correspondent for the US National Catholic Reporter John Allen has commented that Sydney's new auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher OP "commands respect across ideological lines".
3 Nov 2003

Letter reveals Pell concern for refugee children
A letter written to former Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock by now Cardinal George Pell in support of the two children of Iranian asylum seeker Sammaki-Hassan-Kiadeh.
3 Nov 2003

Vatican prevails on the English Missal translation
The stalemate over the revised English translation of the Roman Missal appears settled following a meeting between Vatican officials and the presidents of the world's English-speaking bishops' conferences.
3 Nov 2003

Pope speaks out against "contamination of memory"
Pope John Paul II has said that world peace requires the purification of the memory of individuals and peoples through forgiveness.
3 Nov 2003

Doyle stands firm amid calls for resignation
Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle said on Saturday that he will not "take the easy way out" of the sex abuse crisis in the Tasmanian Catholic Church by resigning.
3 Nov 2003