Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR MARCH 2004

   
Feature - A test of Kerry's faith
The last time a major political party put forward a Catholic candidate for US President, he had to confront bigotry and suspicion that he would be taking orders from Rome. 44 years later, the Democrats' Catholic candidate bearing the initials J.F.K. is sparking controversy over his religion within the Catholic Church itself.
31 Mar 2004

Opinion - Struggle is the gift of new life in disguise
My ad limina visit to Rome recalled earlier bishops' pilgrimages to the tombs of the Apostles. But despite absorption in the history, I was very aware of the news reports of violence and devastation. Spanish mystic St John of the Cross experienced hope in the midst of struggle, recognising that the dark night is always for the sake of liberation, light and love. - Bishop Michael Malone's Message for Easter
31 Mar 2004

The Passion's UK opening breaks record
Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ has gone to number one at the UK box office, taking $A4.86 million in three days over the weekend.
31 Mar 2004

British push to brief politicians on Church teachings
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has launched a Public Policy Digest to provide legislators with information on the work of the Catholic Church in public policy areas.
31 Mar 2004

Bishop says forgiving priest abusers easier said than done
Sydney auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, whose pioneering healing work with clergy sex abuse victims was recognised last week, has said that forgiveness often involves a struggle between a victim's feelings and his or her will to forgive.
31 Mar 2004

Pell to host Muslim cleric at Cathedral Interfaith Prayer
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney will welcome Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to St Mary's Cathedral tomorrow for a lunchtime Interfaith Prayer Service.
31 Mar 2004

Commission highlights plight of environmental refugees
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has said an estimated 25 million people have already been forced to leave their homes because of environmental crises such as rising sea levels.
31 Mar 2004

Pope plans full Holy Week schedule
Although the Holy Father's physical frailty has forced some concessions, John Paul II plans to preside as usual at all of the traditional services for Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.
31 Mar 2004

Feature - Patriarch says Holy Land needs new leaders
The top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land is Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah. He says there are no signs that the current Israeli government is heading toward compromise. "The (Israeli) government is preparing for permanent war," he said.
30 Mar 2004

Opinion - Israel takes the militancy option
Israel's assassination Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is a dire omen. Sanctioning suicide bombings, he was no Mandela, certainly no Gandhi. But he offered Palestinians redemption of their nation from Israeli occupation and, even more importantly, the salvation of their souls.
30 Mar 2004

Australian bioethicists debate letting life end
The British Catholic newspaper The Tablet has reported that the recent Vatican conference on the "vegetative state" has brought to light a lack of consensus among bioethicists on when to withdraw nutrition from patients living in a persistent vegetative state.
30 Mar 2004

Former Catholic official appointed child abuse watchdog
The Victorian Government yesterday appointed Catholic Welfare Australia former national director Toby O'Connor as its first watchdog for children at risk.
30 Mar 2004

Pope condemns use of child soldiers
Pope John Paul has deeply regretted the use of child soldiers in world conflicts, saying they were "victims twice over" and were "overwhelmed by the hatred of adults".
30 Mar 2004

Pope calls for prayer to avoid repeat of Rwanda genocide
Ten years after the outbreak of the conflict that led to genocide in Rwanda, Pope John Paul II has called for prayer and peace initiatives to prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
30 Mar 2004

Pope urges weekly Confession
Pope John Paul II has called attention to the importance of sacramental Confession in the spiritual lives of all Catholics, especially priests.
30 Mar 2004

Pell lobbies for World Youth Day Sydney 2008
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has confirmed that he has been talking with Vatican officials about the possibility of Sydney hosting World Youth Day in 2008.
30 Mar 2004

Cardinal Sodano urges hope in times of terrorism
Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sondao has said Christians must face terrorism by recalling the moral values that constitute the basis of human coexistence.
29 Mar 2004

Feature - Northern landing
I can picture the red dirt, the pandanus and the towering spear grass nourished by wet season rains. My husband David and I and our two boys, three-year-old Dom and two-year-old Darcy, were heading to live and work on Nauiyu Aboriginal community, located on the banks of the Daly River at the top end of Australia. - Louise Crowe
29 Mar 2004

Opinion - Selfish defence of our right to be at home
We are gathered together in our shared anger against the accused: immigrants, foreigners, sinners. If we chuck them out, then we shall be at home again. Of course it does not work, and soon we shall need other scapegoats. The violence is without end. - Timothy Radcliffe OP, preaching on yesterday's readings
29 Mar 2004

Vatican scientist joins effort to define new object in solar system
One of the Vatican's top scientists has been chosen to be part of a five-man team of international astronomers to decide if Sedna - the most distant object yet seen orbiting the sun - is really a planet.
29 Mar 2004

Carey says Vatican could have secured Anglican "go slow" on women
Former head of the Anglican Communion Archbishop George Carey has suggested that Anglicans might have been persuaded to "go slow" on the women's issue if the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had not "taken the steam out of the ecumenical movement".
29 Mar 2004

Catholic Welfare alarm at talk of Govt welfare cuts
Catholic Welfare Australian chairman Fr Joe Caddy has expressed concern at Federal Opposition claims that the Government is looking to cut welfare payments for single mothers and disability pensioners.
29 Mar 2004

Abbott defends Pope on secular Australia worry
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has supported Pope John Paul II's criticism of the growing level of secularism in Australia, suggesting that people with religious beliefs are often wrongly criticised for expressing their opinions.
29 Mar 2004

Pope backs Australian bishops on refugees, social justice
Pope John Paul II has used his ad limina address to the Australian Bishops to acknowledge the leadership of the Catholic Church in Australia in defence of asylum seekers and indigenous peoples, while urging strength in the face of growing secularism.
29 Mar 2004

Feature - The disappearing act of contrition
"Between 1965 and 1975, the numbers of American Catholics going to confession fell through the floor," said historian James O'Toole, who has done extensive research on the history of US confessional practice for a book to be published later this year. "Historians rarely get to see trends or phenomena begin and end so sharply."
26 Mar 2004

Opinion - Why not full Government funding for Catholic schools?
With more lower-income people forced out of Catholic schools and into the public system, the Church and indeed all parties could have done much better than the recent $352 million Commonwealth Government grant by resurrecting a proposal that was put to the Catholic church about a decade ago, offering if you like, full funding. It's a great mystery that the Catholics didn't ask for full funding. - Dr Michael Furtado, University of Queensland School of Education
26 Mar 2004

CathNews celebrates fifth birthday
Today marks the fifth anniversary of this news service, which was established by Fr Michael Kelly SJ, CEO of Catholic Telecommunications, now known as Church Resources.
26 Mar 2004

Australian bishops honour Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan
A group of Australian bishops has celebrated an intimate and moving Mass in honour of Vietnamese Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, whose life of love and hope in the face of extreme adversity made him one of the most inspiring Church figures of the 20th Century.
26 Mar 2004

Study shows US bishops' increased consultation with laity
The Catholic bishops in the United States are making greater use of consultative bodies that include laity, and are more supportive of diocesan pastoral councils and parish councils than they were six years ago, according to a new survey of bishops.
26 Mar 2004

Pope's new book describes confrontations with communists
In a soon-to-be-published book about his 20 years as a bishop in Poland, Pope John Paul II tells of almost daily confrontations with communist authorities and describes his efforts to adopt a new and more open style of pastoral ministry.
26 Mar 2004

Church body urges $26.60 per week Minimum Wage increase
The Minimum Wage should be increased by $26.60 per week, the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) has told the Safety Net Wage Review hearing yesterday.
26 Mar 2004

ACU refuses to raise HECS fees
The Australian Catholic University will not increase HECS levels next year, bucking the pattern of universities raising fees by 25%, the maximum allowed under the Federal Government's higher education changes.
26 Mar 2004

Feature - East Timor's Mother Teresa
When Sister Lourdes shared the Gospel with militiamen who were guilty of horrific crimes, they broke down in tears and joined her in encouraging the return home of the refugees they had been holding hostage.
25 Mar 2004

Opinion - Encountering the homeless
My daughter and I had been amazed at the number of beggars who approached us. Her response is to march those willing to the local McDonald's to buy them a meal. Few accept. Are their needs genuine? - Melbourne historian Jane Mayo Carolan
25 Mar 2004

New President as Institute passes milestone
As it celebrates 50 years as Australia's only Roman Theological Faculty, the Catholic Institute of Sydney has appointed Dr Gerard Kelly as its new President.
25 Mar 2004

Irish College reception follows Bishops' John Lateran Mass
Australia's Bishops have celebrated Mass at St John Lateran Church, which is regarded as the oldest and first among the four great patriarchal basilicas of Rome.
25 Mar 2004

Vic Education Commission acts to stop school fee rises
Victoria's Catholic Education Commission has asked principals of the state's 476 Catholic schools to temporarily stop raising fees as a way of providing extra relief to poorer families.
25 Mar 2004

Holy Land nuns, priests "treated like illegal immigrants"
For the first time in over 50 years, Israel's government has refused to renew visas belonging to some one hundred nuns, priests and other religious.
25 Mar 2004

Refugee increase wins Church praise
Fr John Murphy of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office has welcomed Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone's announcement this week of an increase in the humanitarian program for 2004-05 from 12,000 to 13,000 places.
25 Mar 2004

Pope entrusts terror-stricken world to Virgin Mary
On the eve of today's Feast of the Annunciation, Pope John Paul has reconsecrated to Mary a world that he says is "frighteningly characterised by hatred".
25 Mar 2004

Feature - Hmong Catholics see bishop after more than a century
Having travelled six hours through 20 kilometres of mountainous terrain on horseback and foot, Bishop Antoine Vu Huy Chuong is the first bishop Vietnam's Hmong Catholics have seen in more 100 years.
24 Mar 2004

Opinion - Why the church's hierarchy isn't working
Despite the ubiquitous fax machines and computers in Roman Curia offices, the organisation of the Vatican has not changed much since the late 18th century. Many in Rome and Catholics elsewhere say the church has the Holy Spirit and therefore does not need social science. - US sociologist and author Fr Andrew Greeley
24 Mar 2004

NZ Idol finalist began singing at Mass
A Catholic teenager who first sang in public when he was a pre-schooler is in the finals of the New Zealand version of the international "idol" music contest.
24 Mar 2004

Italian police break parishioners' church sit-in
Police in balaclavas have broken into a church in an Italian mountain village to let a new priest take up his job.
24 Mar 2004

Pope receives NSW bishops
Yesterday Pope John Paul met with Sydney's Cardinal George Pell together with his two newest auxiliaries in the Archdiocese, then three other NSW bishops in separate audiences.
24 Mar 2004

Vatican media official talks up role of Latin
Pontifical Council for Social Communications head Archbishop John Foley has given a forceful defence of the place of Latin in the Mass.
24 Mar 2004

Taiwan Cardinal wants fair end to election dispute
Catholic leaders in Taiwan have called for a fair and reasonable approach in the dispute over the presidential election.
24 Mar 2004

Lay leader says terrorists are not martyrs
The founder of the Rome-based St Egidio lay movement has taken exception to the use of the term "martyrs" in connection with Islamic terrorists.
24 Mar 2004

Feature - New life for Cambodian congregation lost under Khmer Rouge
A Cambodian congregation of nuns whose members all perished at the hands of the Khmer Rouge or disappeared nearly 30 years ago has been revived, with the profession of two new sisters. On Sunday, Sisters Ang Songvat and Bouang Buntharin professed their temporary vows as members of the Lovers of the Cross Congregation of Kompong Cham apostolic prefecture.
23 Mar 2004

Opinion - Values keep our lives and society on track
Despite Government rhetoric about 'values neutral' education, both state and private schools are working to enunciate clearly the specific values they wish to teach and promote. Values are different from attitudes which can change with seasons. They are permanent, giving meaning, direction and purpose like the rails that keep a train on track. - Fr Christopher Gleeson SJ, former Headmaster St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, and Xavier College Melbourne.
23 Mar 2004

Bishops host reception for Curial officials
Australia's Bishops have hosted a reception for some of the Vatican's top curial officials, including a number of Cardinals, as a formal thank-you for their hospitality during the ad limina visit.
23 Mar 2004

Regional Queensland racism alert
A Toowoomba Diocesan official has spoken of an African refugee family's life of fear amidst "consistent attacks from local residents".
23 Mar 2004

ACU delivering higher education Thai/Burma border refugees
The Australian Catholic University has launched a project to deliver higher education to the Karen people on the Thai-Burma border.
23 Mar 2004

Bid to end Catholic schools rift
Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart is taking the unprecedented step of creating a committee to deal with a "growing power struggle" between priests and principals in Catholic schools, according to a report in The Age today.
23 Mar 2004

Honesty tops Australians' values list
Above all Australians value being open and honest with each other, according to the Australian Community Survey (ACS) project backed by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
23 Mar 2004

Vatican condemns Hamas leader assassination
The Vatican immediately condemned yesterday's killing of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin, saying that such assassinations are "unjustifiable in any state of law".
23 Mar 2004

Feature - Caviezel makes acting an act of faith
During the filming of The Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel suffered his own injuries as he acted out Jesus' sufferings. He was actually struck twice during the scourging at the pillar. In acting the part, Caviezel said to himself: "I don't want people to see me; I just want them to see Jesus."
22 Mar 2004

Opinion - Jean Vanier's peace through empowering the weak
Reflecting on how his l'Arche handicapped communities have handled aggression, Jean Vanier talks of "a trickle of peacemakers in a world of war". An experience of communion with the oppressed, rejected, and the despised characterises this unnamed "sort of movement".
22 Mar 2004

Catholic soldier refuses to fight in Iraq
An US soldier who went missing while on leave after six months' active service in Iraq has pledged not to fight there again.
22 Mar 2004

Bishops take pilgrimage to Assisi
Australia's Bishops have taken a pilgrimage to Assisi where Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide presided at a special Mass before the tomb of St Francis.
22 Mar 2004

Cardinal Pell takes possession of his Roman Church
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has taken possession of his titular church on the outskirts of Rome - Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello - named after the founder of the Salesian Order of nuns.
22 Mar 2004

Pell says "liturgy wars" nearing end
Cardinal George Pell has told the National Catholic Reporter's Rome correspondent that the Vox Clara is close to fixing the bitter impasse chiefly over the issue of inclusive language and use of the word "man" in the liturgy.
22 Mar 2004

Pope calls removing feeding tubes immoral
Pope John Paul II said on Saturday that the removal of feeding tubes from people in vegetative states is immoral, and that no judgment on their quality of life could justify such "euthanasia by omission".
22 Mar 2004

Catholic male teaching scholarships allowed
The Federal Government says it will still push to amend sex discrimination laws even though the Catholic Education Office agreed on Friday to complement its proposed male-only teaching scholarships with a similar number of female-only scholarships.
22 Mar 2004

Feature - Catholic schools and the battle for public funding
Among Cardinal Pell's words of appreciation at the major funding announcement at a Sydney Catholic school on 29 February, there was a line indicating the Church's gratitude to both sides of politics, present and past - an acknowledgment of the long and difficult battle that has taken place.
19 Mar 2004

Opinion - Grateful for the Mystery
So often religion is evil and greedy and bloody, faith so quixotic and unreasonable, "spirituality" a word as overloaded with connotation. As a grace before a meal, a friend bowed his head, in the guttering candlelight, steam rising from the food before him, the fingers of the cedar outside brushing the window, and said "We are part of a Mystery we do not understand, and we are grateful." - US Catholic writer Brian Doyle, visiting Australia this month, from his book Revelations and Epiphanies.
19 Mar 2004

Caritas fight for computer component workers' rights
A campaign organised by CAFOD, the Caritas affiliate for England and Wales, has forced IBM to respond to demands for better conditions for electronics workers in Mexico, Thailand and China.
19 Mar 2004

Archbishop Carroll signals 'interesting' election campaign
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has suggested on Vatican Radio that this year's Federal Election campaign will be "very interesting".
19 Mar 2004

Religious warned against Internet sex addiction
A psychologist from the Combonian order has highlighted the relatively new phenomenon of religious priests, brothers and nuns isolating themselves from their communities to seek new friendships and stimuli in Internet chat rooms.
19 Mar 2004

Adelaide school issues statement on child-sex claims
Blackfriars Priory School principal Dr Paul Hine issued a statement yesterday stressing that the college is cooperating with a police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse involving former students about 20 years ago.
19 Mar 2004

Pope praises Neocatechumenal Way's formation work
Pope John Paul II has recognised the "abundant good fruits" produced by the Neocatechumenal Way's work in seminary formation.
19 Mar 2004

Report shows ACU's prophetic role in paid maternity leave
A new report documents the impact the Australian Catholic University's maternity leave provision has had on the public debate on parental leave as well as the broader debate on family-friendly workplace policies.
19 Mar 2004

Feature - US churches take leap of faith with TV ads
Faced with decline or slow growth, America's mainline denominations are set to pour hope and millions of dollars into TV advertising, a technique once regarded as distasteful self-promotion.
18 Mar 2004

Opinion - Youth spirituality goes beyond religion
Young people growing up in this kind of society have a stronger appreciation that religion is truly a universal experience. It is not just something that the Catholic Church, for instance, is 'into', while the rest of the world doesn't bother with such things. - Professor Terry Lovat, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Arts), University of Newcastle
18 Mar 2004

Hans Küng tells why Jesuit college rejected young Wojtyla
Banned Swiss theologian Hans Küng has told the ABC that Pope John Paul II failed to gain admittance to Rome's Gregorian University in his student days because he lacked a strong background in modern exegesis and theology.
18 Mar 2004

Bishop Belo could stand for President of East Timor
East Timor President Xanana Gusmao's announcement that he will not stand for re-election in 2007 has put the spotlight on Retired East Timor Bishop Carlos Belo, who has indicated he might run for president.
18 Mar 2004

Bishop honours promise to take detainees' message to Pope
Port Pirie Bishop Eugene Hurley yesterday fulfilled a promise he made to detainees at South Australia's Baxter detention centre to convey their love and prayers directly to Pope John Paul II.
18 Mar 2004

Abbott on his own in Federal Cabinet over abortion
Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has distanced himself from anti-abortion remarks made by Health Minister Tony Abbott, in an effort to avoid abortion becoming an election issue as it is in the USA.
18 Mar 2004

Fresh Vatican condemnation of fertility treatments
The Vatican has this week issued a broad condemnation of fertility treatments such as in-vitro fertilisation, calling the destruction of embryos in the process a "massacre of the innocents".
18 Mar 2004

Heightened security at Vatican
Security was noticeably tighter than usual yesterday for the 12,000 people who attended Pope John Paul II's weekly general audience in St Peter's Square.
18 Mar 2004

Feature - Patrick uncompromising in service of the faith
Patrick was so certain that he had been specifically called by God to return to the land of his captivity and convert the barbarians to Christianity. In this certainty, Patrick finds his strength — strength sufficient, in fact, to overcome every obstacle he will encounter in the remaining years of his life.
17 Mar 2004

Opinion - The Celtic cross and the crescent
The position in which Islam finds itself in Britain today bears many similarities to the Irish in Britain as they arrived in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Like Muslims, Irish Catholics, in particular, were very loyal to their religion. - Jack O'Sullivan
17 Mar 2004

Major palliative care conference at the Vatican
Doctors, research scientists, and ethicists from 49 different countries have gathered in Rome for a four-day Holy See-sponsored conference on the treatment of patients in a "vegetative state".
17 Mar 2004

Chinese bishop freed from detention after foreign visitors depart
An 'underground' bishop in north-eastern China whose detention prompted the Vatican to demand an explanation was reportedly released on Sunday afternon after ten days in captivity.
17 Mar 2004

Pope meets with 'Passion' star Caviezel
On Monday Pope John Paul II met with Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
17 Mar 2004

Australian Bishops concelebrate Mass before St Peter's tomb
The Australian Catholic Bishops gathered in Rome for their ad limia visit yesterday concelebrated Mass before the tomb of St Peter, in the presence of a small congregation of Australians who live and work in Rome.
17 Mar 2004

Aspiring Catholic university names first President
Campion College Australia, a Catholic institution of higher learning being established in Sydney, has appointed well-known Adelaide bioethicist and Anglican turned Roman Catholic radio priest Fr John Fleming as its inaugural President.
17 Mar 2004

Abbott stirs Christians on abortion complacency
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott said that he's often challenged on moral grounds over his Government's asylum seeker detention policy, but had never been asked by an Australian Christian why he can "preside over a Medicare system which funds 75,000 abortions a year".
17 Mar 2004

Feature - Celibacy formation's growing role in seminary programs
Celibacy formation in seminaries has improved markedly, following Pope John Paul II's 1992 document "Pastores Dabo Vobis", which called for more attention on emotional, psychosexual and social maturity. In evaluating a seminarian's readiness to embrace celibate lifelong chastity, faculty members review the seminarian's ability to relate celibacy to issues such as prayer, friendship, obedience.
16 Mar 2004

Opinion - South Africa shows peace can be achieved against the odds
As South Africa prepares to celebrate ten years of freedom since the first democratic elections in 1994, the peacefulness of the transition and the spirit of reconciliation that has reigned in South Africa since then have been hailed as a miracle and a sign of hope. - Albert Nolan OP
16 Mar 2004

House Pope slept in breaks sale record
A mansion once slept in by Pope John Paul II has become Adelaide's highest priced residential sale.
16 Mar 2004

Townsville bishop predicts Christian unity surprise
Bishop of Townsville and co-chair of the international Roman Catholic-Methodist dialogue, Bishop Michael Putney, has said he believes firmly that the Christian churches will eventually be one.
16 Mar 2004

New Eucharist rules set for April publication
The Vatican will publish strict new norms on the Eucharist next month, permanently changing the way Mass is celebrated throughout the world.
16 Mar 2004

Pope raises refugee question with Hobart archbishop
Archbishop Adrian Doyle of Hobart said that Pope John Paul II raised the question of refugees during an audience at the Vatican yesterday.
16 Mar 2004

PNG Bishops secretary criticises Australia's "insult"
The General Secretary of Papua New Guinea's Bishops Conference has described an insistence that Australian police and officials in PNG be immune from prosecution as an insult to PNG that could undermine grassroots support for the plan.
16 Mar 2004

Jesuit says dishonest politics making Australia a terror target
Human rights lawyer Fr Frank Brennan has said Australians must question the Prime Minister's denial that last week's Madrid train bombs demonstrate that Australia is a special target of terrorist groups.
16 Mar 2004

Feature - Pouring oil on troubled waters
After 25 years at sea as an engineer, Richard Lloyd is back on dry land but the sea and the seafarers who brave it still play an important part in his life. As South Australian director of the Apostolate of the Sea, the father of eight children is concerned with the welfare of up to 4000 seafarers who pass through the doors of the Seafarers' Centre every year.
15 Mar 2004

Opinion - Pope's weakening grip on Vatican decision making
Despite his age (83) and infirmities, John Paul maintains a busy schedule. But in other ways the church he heads is not a church he leads. Day-to-day decisions - including, close observers suspect, even decisions about major appointments involving bishops - have been delegated. - religion writer Chris McGillion
15 Mar 2004

Schools acting to protect their trade marks
Some high-profile Catholic schools are registering their trademarks, even before the result is known of a protracted court battle between the Sydney private school Cranbrook and a schoolwear retailer, for ownership of the school's brands on clothing.
15 Mar 2004

Ratzinger assistant clears Rahner orthodoxy doubts
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith secretary Archbishop Angelo Amato praised the Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner at a recent Rome conference to celebrate the centenary of his birth, declaring that he was "an orthodox theologian".
15 Mar 2004

Vatican diplomat Cardinal Koenig dead at 98
Austrian Cardinal Franz Koenig, who helped set Vatican policy toward other religions and postwar communist regimes, died in his sleep on Saturday morning.
15 Mar 2004

Ad limina visit underway with Italian TV appearance
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has begun his ad limina visit to Rome by putting his linguistic skills to the test in a live appearance on Italian television.
15 Mar 2004

John Paul II becomes third-longest-serving pope
As he became history's third-longest-serving pontiff yesterday, Pope John Paul II displayed renewed strength in his weekly Angelus address in St Peter's Square.
15 Mar 2004

Spanish bishops counsel against excessive anger
While declaring that terrorism can never be morally justified, the Spanish bishops have counselled against excessive anger, warning that hatred could "divide the nation, to the advantage of the terrorists."
15 Mar 2004

Feature - Parishes coping with great change
Parish priest Fr Dean Marin and his flock in the newly amalgamated Modbury and Para Hills parishes represent the human face of the Adelaide archdiocese's Pastoral Action Plan, a strategy to address declining numbers of priests and lower Mass attendance.
12 Mar 2004

Opinion - Jesus' disciples too sorrowful to stay awake
Despite Jesus Garden of Gethsemane plea to his disciples: "Stay awake, watch!" they fell asleep - disconsolate, disappointed, confused, depressed. Nothing to do with the long day or too much wine. Most times when we give in to weakness it's not out of bad intent, but despair. - Fr Ron Rolheiser
12 Mar 2004

Social Action Office gearing up for Federal Election
The Social Action Office (SAO) of the leaders of Queensland's religious congregations is planning an extensive lobby on social justice issues during the federal election campaign later this year.
12 Mar 2004

Adelaide scholars in joint dig at Colossae
Archaeologists and bible researchers and Christians and Muslims are coming together as part of a project to dig up the riches of the past at the ancient site of Colossae in Southern Turkey.
12 Mar 2004

Religious ban hits prayer site poster campaign
The Church has been knocked back in its attempt to book train and outdoor advertising for a new website containing prayer resources.
12 Mar 2004

Vatican please explain to China on bishop's arrest
The Vatican has challenged China to reveal its accusations against Bishop Wei Jingyi, who was arrested last week at Harbin airport, in north eastern China.
12 Mar 2004

Vinnies shocked by growing rich/poor divide
The St Vincent de Paul Society was disturbed by yesterday's Senate Inquiry findings that the gap between rich and poor is widening, and also that the scope of poverty is more than merely low income.
12 Mar 2004

Pope condemns Spain terror attacks
Pope John Paul II has expressed his "firm and absolute condemnation" of the "abominable attacks" on Madrid trains that claimed over 190 lives and more than 1200 injuries during Thursday's morning rush hour.
12 Mar 2004

Feature - The ministry of architecture
In medieval times craftsmen used their gifts in the service of the church, their soaring cathedrals are still sacred sites and gathering places for worship. Architect Geoff Troup uses strategies to promote both the safety and dignity of the residents in his designs for special care units for residents with dementia in the facilities of Catholic Care for the Aged in Maitland-Newcastle Diocese.
11 Mar 2004

Opinion - Problem of ageing parents of disabled children
Since the development of antibiotics, ageing parents being outlived by their adult intellectually disabled children has become a problem, according to Sr Gen Secker RSJ, recently retired director of the Ain Karim community in Adelaide. "Some parents are fairly desperate," but living with ageing parents is not always fair for the person with the disability either "because they're still young and wanting to go places and do things and the parents are just happy to sit and be".
11 Mar 2004

Pope wants "humane spirit" to "animate" media
Pope John Paul II has encouraged cardinals, bishops and Catholic media professionals to help everyone involved in the media "animate it with 'a humane and Christian spirit.'"
11 Mar 2004

Interchurch call for reflection on Redfern riots
An ecumenical Indigenous body yesterday called for a period of national reflection in the wake of last month's tragic death of 17-year-old Thomas 'TJ' Hickey, and the riots that followed in the Indigenous neighbourhood in Sydney's inner-city Redfern.
11 Mar 2004

NZ Church petition censors to shift ground on The Passion
The media office of the Catholic Church in New Zealand has urged the country's Film & Censorship Board of Review to lower its "R16" classification for Mel Gibson's The Passion to "R15".
11 Mar 2004

CEO head appeals to minor parties to back male teachers
Sydney Catholic Education Office head Br Kelvin Canavan is urging minor parties to support amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act that would open the way for male-only scholarships to address the problem of gender imbalance among teachers in Catholic schools.
11 Mar 2004

Catholic Health says Govt safety net won't catch all
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has welcomed the Government compromise that enabled yesterday's passing of Medicare legislation, but the universal insurance scheme needs more funding so that some people don't fall through the gaps.
11 Mar 2004

Bishop says it's time to face up to the big picture on abuse
Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has commented on the John Jay Report on clergy sex abuse in the US, saying the Australian Church's focus on particular cases has obscured the larger context of the problem.
11 Mar 2004

Feature - Vatican has nothing to show after 10 year Israel relationship
After Israel's request for diplomatic relations with the Vatican, it never transformed the "Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel" into law. In August 2003, Israel withdrew from talks that would reach agreement on issues including safeguarding Church property and tax exemption status. Church personnel are denied entry visas and stay permits for Israel.
10 Mar 2004

Opinion - 'More attend church than football' assertion proves nothing
While many sports devotees won't make it to a game though they remain passionate supporters of their team, the 19% of the population who attend church once a month are probably the sum total of Australians with any degree of serious commitment to institutional religion. - Religion writer Muriel Porter
10 Mar 2004

Haitian bishops voice fears as island spirals into chaos
Haiti's Catholic bishops' have described the worsening situation in the country as a 'nightmare', according to a report received by the charity Aid to the Church in Need.
10 Mar 2004

Most 'Patriotic' Chinese bishops approved by Rome
About two-thirds of the bishops of China's state-sanctioned Catholic Church are recognised by the Holy See, according to an article in the Italian Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica.
10 Mar 2004

Vatican tells bishops how to do their job
The Congregation for Bishops has issued a 258 page manual offering advice and setting forth norms regarding the use of episcopal authority and the proper responses to contemporary problems.
10 Mar 2004

Pope orders top gear evangelisation to counter sects
Pope John Paul II has said the Catholic Church must step up its efforts to match the "spreading" evangelical force of the modern sects that are targeting "those who find themselves in difficulties and loneliness".
10 Mar 2004

Vatican plea at UN for greater role for women
An increased role for women will benefit a society that is "organised solely according to the criteria of efficiency and productivity or of brute force," the Vatican said in a statement presented at United Nations headquarters in New York last week.
10 Mar 2004

CEO chief backs Minister's action on male teachers
Sydney Catholic Education Office executive director Br Kelvin Canavan has welcomed Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson's efforts to overturn sex discrimination laws in order to open the way for gender-specific scholarships to encourage more men to become teachers.
10 Mar 2004

Feature - Argument for Italian Pope as preferred option
An event in Rome last week illustrates the pastoral logic that still leads many cardinals to think of an Italian. The successor of Peter is, first of all, shepherd of the Christians in Rome, and hence, as one cardinal put it to me recently, "I think you first of all have to look around for an Italian who could do the job." - John Allen
9 Mar 2004

Opinion - The Passion of the Christ on our doorstep
Our staff see the violence and abuse inflicted those who live on the fringe of our city. If this movie is faithful to the Gospel then it should provoke a response for justice and a commitment to non-violence. - Tony Robertson, St Mary's Social Justice program, South Brisbane
9 Mar 2004

Lectures assessing post September 11 human rights compromise
Jesuit lawyer and human rights advocate Fr Frank Brennan is the main speaker in the Fair Go in an Age of Terror a national lecture tour that commences in Adelaide tonight.
9 Mar 2004

Church fights reemergence of euthanasia legislation
The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, and Catholic Health Australia, have commented on separate "misguided and unnecessary" minor initiatives in the UK and Australian parliaments intended to bring euthanasia back on to the public agenda.
9 Mar 2004

Martino says market a friend but not an idol
Cardinal Renato Martino has said that business has a key role in the common good and should not be seen as "the enemy".
9 Mar 2004

German President gives Pope credit for reunification
Meeting with Pope John Paul II on Saturday, German President Johannes Rau gave the Holy Father credit for the reunification of his country.
9 Mar 2004

Vatican appoints first female theologians
The Church has named two female theologians as members of the International Theological Commission, but denied the appointments have anything to do with their gender.
9 Mar 2004

Jesuit study confirms postcode influence on social divide
Some areas of Victoria and NSW have far greater numbers of disadvantaged persons than others, according to a new report released today by the policy office of the Melbourne-based Jesuit Social Services.
9 Mar 2004

Feature - Friends in need
Marilyn Harvy and her husband own Pine Point station near Broken Hill. Recent rain has brought hope to the local community, which has experienced the longest drought that Marilyn can remember. Daily difficulties and dependence on the elements for survival mould country dwellers into robust and resourceful people.
8 Mar 2004

Opinion - Youth workers' opinions differ on The Passion for teenagers
California youth minister Nancy Longo found a mixed reaction in teenagers she took to see the film. "For kids struggling with their faith, the movie didn't help at all," she said. But it seemed to help those engaged in their faith to appreciate the resurrection by understanding more deeply Christ's suffering beforehand.
8 Mar 2004

Pope appoints successor to East Timor's Bishop Belo
Pope John Paul has named 60-year-old Alberto Ricardo da Silva, who has been rector of the seminary in Dili since 2000, to succeed Bishop Carlos Belo as Bishop of Dili.
8 Mar 2004

Vic minister says non-Government schools "lack accountability"
Private and Catholic school groups have reportedly expressed surprise at comments from Victorian Education Minister Lynne Kosky suggesting the state's non-government schools are not accountable enough to parents or taxpayers and should be subject to freedom of information laws.
8 Mar 2004

Pope says Common Good demands business ethics
Pope John Paul II has issued an urgent call for sound ethical practices in the financial and commercial sectors are needed in order to safeguard the common good.
8 Mar 2004

Australian bishops set for ad limina visit to Rome
The bishops are preparing to leave for Rome for their five-yearly ad limina Apostolorum visit, which is designed to "celebrate and strengthen their communion with the universal Church and the Successor of Peter, Pope John Paul II".
8 Mar 2004

Bishop alarmed by 'designer baby' IVF use
Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher has expressed disquiet following a fertile Tasmanian couple's use of in-vitro fertilisation technique to create a "designer baby" free from a likely inherited genetic disease.
8 Mar 2004

Commission says boat arrivals no excuse for scaremongering
Public faith in the integrity of the refugee program is being put at risk by its scaremongering about boat arrivals, according to the Commission for Justice Development and Peace of the Melbourne Archdiocese.
8 Mar 2004

Feature - Nun who shaped education in Australia
This month marks the birthday anniversary of Ellen Vincent Whitty, an Irish migrant Sister of Mercy who came to Australia with James Quinn, the first bishop of Queensland. A street has been named after her in Canberra in recognition of her contribution to Australian education but her name eludes most.
5 Mar 2004

Opinion - The uses and abuses of intelligence
I am certain that we could have handled Iraq much better if we had abided by "just-war" teaching. It is clear now that the US set a date for war and we went along with it. The significant mistakes in Iraq were political - not intelligence mistakes. - Clare Short, British Labour MP and former Secretary of State for International Development
5 Mar 2004

Cardinal Dulles calls for 'rebirth of apologetics'
Cardinal Avery Dulles issued a call on Tuesday for "a rebirth of apologetics", the defence of Christian faith by reason, because "the time is ripe, the need is urgent."
5 Mar 2004

Ten hurt in Sydney Catholic school blast
Nine Year 7 students and their pregnant teacher ended up in hospital yesterday after a science experiment went wrong in south-western Sydney.
5 Mar 2004

Jesuit defends Catholic voice on AIDS subcommittee
Fr Michael Kelly SJ has told a Sydney gay community newspaper that Catholics have a right to representation on Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott's HIV/AIDS subcommittee.
5 Mar 2004

New record for Pope
On 14 March, Pope John Paul II will become the third-longest serving Catholic Pope in the history of the Church, outlasting Pope Leo XIII, whose reign lasted 25 years and five months (1878-1903).
5 Mar 2004

Pope's speech reflects concern over privatisation of water
Pope John Paul II has called water a "gift of God" and a "right of all", insisting that it is "necessary to pay attention to the problems that derive from its evident scarcity in many parts of the world".
5 Mar 2004

Iraq Catholic leaders urge unity after attacks on Shiites
Iraq's Catholic leaders have condemned the multiple attacks that left scores of worshippers dead and hundreds more wounded at Shiite Muslim holy sites in their country.
5 Mar 2004

Feature - A catholic call to alms
State funding of Catholic schools has been a vexed issue since settlement, but the decisive move came in 1872, when Victoria - quickly followed by the other colonies - passed its education act, stating that education was to be "free, compulsory and secular". The Catholic Church decided to fund its own schools.
4 Mar 2004

Opinion - Jesus suffered as a lover in Gethsemane
To speak of the physical suffering of Jesus' passion partly misses the point. Jesus' passion should be understood as passio, passivity, a certain submissive helplessness he had to undergo in counter-distinction to his power and activity. A helplessness extremely fruitful for him and for us. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
4 Mar 2004

Pope's surprise visit to contemplative nuns at Vatican
The nuns of the cloistered convent in the Vatican received an unexpected visit from John Paul II one night last month.
4 Mar 2004

Ukrainian archbishop still seeks patriarchate
The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has made it clear that he will continue to press for the recognition of a Ukrainian patriarchate, despite opposition from Orthodox prelates.
4 Mar 2004

Caritas standing by for for news on Vanuatu
Caritas Australia is awaiting assessment of the needs of the people of Vanuatu, which has been battered by Cyclone Ivy, according to national director Jack de Groot.
4 Mar 2004

US Bishops regret Bush U-turn on landmines ban
The Catholic Bishops have responded to the US Government's decision to pull back on its earlier commitment to join more than 150 other nations in banning the use of antipersonnel landmines in war zones.
4 Mar 2004

Bishops study new Mass text
Bishops in English-speaking countries are studying the draft of a new English translation of the Ordo Missae (Order of the Mass) which has been approved by the episcopal board of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.
4 Mar 2004

Pell explains no reply to lesbian cousin
Cardinal George Pell has told The Bulletin magazine that he failed to reply to letters seeking acceptance from his lesbian second cousin Monica Hingston because he felt cornered and wanted to avoid an argument.
4 Mar 2004

Feature - How the education deal was brokered
When the Prime Minister John Howard and Cardinal George Pell shook hands after Mass on Sunday, they put the public seal on a deal which had been secretly brokered 12 months. Howard and Pell played minor roles. It was a genial, quietly spoken Melbourne-based parish priest, Monsignor Tom Doyle, who had done much of the complex number crunching and hard bargaining with federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson and his advisers.
3 Mar 2004

Opinion - Coming home to meditation
I had a wonderful childhood, great memories of running on the rocks at Fairlight, light-footed, free. But after these foundational moments, school presented me with a version of religion based on obligation and fear. The time of coming home began with the discovery of meditation when a friend gave me taped talks of Benedictine monk Laurence Freeman. I immediately experienced connection. - Judi Taylor
3 Mar 2004

Cause opening for Opus Dei second saint
A tribunal in Rome will open proceedings on Friday for the cause for canonisation cause of Bishop Álvaro del Portillo, a longtime collaborator of Opus Dei's first saint, founder Josemaría Escrivá.
3 Mar 2004

California court tells Church to provide birth control
The California Supreme Court has ruled that the Catholic Church's charitable institutions in the state must provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance plans for employees.
3 Mar 2004

Catholics say Iraqi constitution favours Islam
Catholic leaders in Iraq are deeply concerned about a new national constitution that gives special privileges to Islam.
3 Mar 2004

Bishop says gay marriage advocates flattering "real" marriage
Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher has said the desire of gay marriage advocates to "ape genuine marriage" with "some sort of socially recognised commitment with equivalent status and privileges" is "testimony to the importance of real marriage".
3 Mar 2004

Flack for Abbott after recruiting Church Resources boss
Federal Health and Ageing Minister Tony Abbott has angered HIV-AIDS community groups by excluding them from the Government's top advisory panel on sexually transmitted diseases in favour of Church Resources CEO Fr Michael Kelly.
3 Mar 2004

Honoured advocate says Pope against detaining children
Adelaide Centacare director Dale West, who will receive a papal honour next month, says he believes Pope John Paul II clearly opposes the federal government's policy of mandatory detention of the children of asylum seekers.
3 Mar 2004

Feature - Aristide raises then shatters Haiti's hopes
Jean-Bertrand Aristide rose from his priesthood in Haiti's slums to its presidential palace by preaching democracy. But once in power, he dashed the hopes of many who had hailed him as a champion of the oppressed and the man who ended decades of dictatorship. He could not practice what he preached.
2 Mar 2004

Opinion - Evil in the virtual Eden
Some time before my husband was sentenced for viewing child pornography on the net and is now serving a three-month prison sentence, he wrote: "In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve that they must not eat the fruit from a certain tree. With the internet, there is no supreme being telling us what we can and cannot access." - Elena Curti
2 Mar 2004

NZ religious leaders condemn Brash's race comments
In a rare joint statement, 20 Anglican and Catholic bishops in New Zealand have condemned the views on race of the country's Opposition Leader Don Brash, who believes that Maori people get too many special rights and government handouts.
2 Mar 2004

Abbott says new stem cells book goes beyond religion
Federal Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott has launched a new book on the ethics of stem cell technology, saying that it reflects "not just religious truth but human truth".
2 Mar 2004

Six held over nun's murder in Mozambique
Six people have been arrested over the murder of a Brazilian nun in northern Mozambique, where missionaries have received death threats since that alleging an organ trafficking network is operating in the area.
2 Mar 2004

Pope asks for prayers before start of annual retreat
Pope John Paul II appealed to the faithful worldwide to join him in prayer this week as he cancels all public meetings and audiences and joins his aides in the Roman curia for his annual retreat.
2 Mar 2004

Papal jesting sparks Italian political fight
Pope John Paul II's playful banter in the local Roman dialect Romanesco last Wednesday built new bonds of affection with the Romans, but alienated Reforms Minister Umberto Bossi, whose political base is in northern Italy.
2 Mar 2004

Study shows fees forcing poor students out of Catholic schools
Poorer Catholic families in Victoria are struggling to send their children to the state's Catholic schools in the face of rising fees due to lack of state government funding.
2 Mar 2004

Feature - Personal experience grounds healing ministry
A survivor of incest, rape and sexual assault, New York Dominican Sr Ave Clark, now shares what she learned on her long road to recovery with others who suffer from the emotional and spiritual debilitation caused by similar unbearable violations. She does it with love and prayers in the Heart to Heart Ministry she founded several years ago.
30 Mar 2004

Opinion - Abbott's faith in a pragmatic ministry
Federal Health Minister, former seminarian Tony Abbott, has firmly decided his job should be to get legislation through the Parliament, not sinners through the gates of Heaven. He has written for a new book Church and Civil Society (ATF Press, edited by Francis Sullivan and Sue Leppert), to explain his personal separation of church and state.
30 Mar 2004

Catholic Health welcome's health insurance premium increase
Catholic Health Australia said on Friday that the Federal Government's decision to approve health insurance premium increases is sensible in the current climate of rising health costs.
30 Mar 2004

Melbourne Archdiocese rethinking pastoral planning
The Archdiocese of Melbourne has decided to remove Fr Maurie Cooney from his position as director of the Catholic Research Office for Pastoral Planning (CROPP) and review the activities of the office.
30 Mar 2004

Pope says same-sex unions 'degrade' marriage
Pope John Paul II urged authorities on Saturday to stop approving gay marriages, saying they "degrade" the true sense of marriage between a man and a woman.
30 Mar 2004

Haiti crisis stirs concern at Vatican
Vatican's secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano has issued a statement expressing grave concern about the political turmoil that is causing a serious humanitarian crisis in Haiti.
30 Mar 2004

NZ bishop disputes liability for sex abuse
Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland has reached a $A133,229 settlement with three brothers sexually abused by a priest, but told the brothers that the Church was not legally responsible.
30 Mar 2004

Pell says school funding changes 'fit with church values'
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has welcomed an additional $360 million dollars in federal funding for the Catholic school system, saying that the socio-economic funding model "fits in well with the church's concern to make education available to all Catholics".
30 Mar 2004