Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR APRIL 2004

   
Feature - Merton and Nouwen: Pilgrims with open eyes
For all their differences, these two 20th century spiritual masters had much in common. Both were Europeans who made their home in North America, priests responsive to the suffering of others and suspicious of popular political ideologies.
30 Apr 2004

Opinion - Reclaiming the Rosary
It belongs not to conservatives, but ordinary middle of the road Catholics like the ones who used to pray the Rosary daily. These people somehow lost the practice, and usually did not fill the gap with any other form of prayer. - Fr Vince Hobbs, administrator Rosalie, Red Hill and Bardon parishes, Brisbane.
30 Apr 2004

Ordination of former Longreach rouseabout
A 36 year old Western Queensland man was ordained a deacon in Longreach on Wednesday evening, and is expected to be ordained as a priest later this year.
30 Apr 2004

Expert says Europe's identity loss could aid Islamic 're-conquest'
A Jesuit professor in Beiruit has said the apparent Muslim desire to 'regain' the Mosque of Cordoba - a Cathedral since 1236 - is a sign of the Muslim desire to "re-conquer" Europe.
30 Apr 2004

Eucharist focus for Pope's Mission Day message
The Vatican yesterday released the text of Pope John Paul II's message for World Mission Day later this year, which will stress the role of the Eucharist in animating and sustaining missionary activity.
30 Apr 2004

Children's release from detention "unlawful"
Five asylum seeker children whom Centacare South Australia has supervised living in a suburban Adelaide home for several months could be forced back into a detention centre after Australia's highest court ruled their release into the community was unlawful.
30 Apr 2004

Vinnies sees tax cuts as WMDs for society
St Vincent de Paul has described the tax cuts tipped for next month's election year Federal Budget as "nothing short of WMDs - weapons of mass destruction for society".
30 Apr 2004

Bishop attacks sham economic prosperity statistics
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council Chairman Bishop Christopher Saunders has said that statistics boasting Australia's lowest unemployment rate since 1981 mask an actual decline in full-time employment.
30 Apr 2004

Feature - Vatican correspondent debunks myths about Vatican
John Allen, Vatican correspondent for National Catholic Reporter told an audience at Marquette University this month that "most public conversation about the Vatican is unrealistic" because it is driven by mythology and the misperceptions of "lazy popular journalism".
29 Apr 2004

Opinion - No avoiding ethical issues surrounding human organ donation
In 2000, Pope John Paul II called the donation of a loved one's organs heroic. Many patients die in Intensive Care Units because of lack of available donor organs. But ethical issues such as informed consent and establishing brain death must be worked through. Like human embryos, human organs must never be reduced to the status of commodities. - Fr Michael McCabe, Director The Nathaniel Centre, Wellington NZ
29 Apr 2004

Caritas intenational appeal for Sudanese Refugees
Caritas Internationalis has responded to the desperate situation of the Sudanese refugees spilling across the border with Chad by launching a $A661,000 appeal for aid.
29 Apr 2004

Queensland Diocese backs farmers suffering under deregulation
The Toowoomba Diocese Social Justice Commission is calling on all consumers of milk to stand in solidarity with dairy farmers suffering the impact of de-regulation.
29 Apr 2004

Catholic body commends Vic Govt low-income family support
Catholic Social Services Victoria, peak body for the sixty-five Catholic community-based welfare organisations working throughout the State, yesterday commended the Bracks Government on its pre-budget announcement expanding and reforming concessions for low-income Victorians.
29 Apr 2004

New Mass translation draft leaked to ABC
ABC Radio's Religion Report program yesterday broadcast a commentary on a new draft English translation of the Mass currently circulating for comment among bishops in Australia and other English-speaking countries.
29 Apr 2004

Abbott calls Catholics to action over abortion
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has called on Catholics to campaign for a change in abortion laws by stating 'repeatedly and indefatigably' the Church's traditional position on the killing of children in the womb.
29 Apr 2004

Dublin Archbishop warns against politicisation of Eucharist
New Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin expressed concern about interpretations of Vatican instructions that could lead to the Eucharist becoming a "political battleground".
29 Apr 2004

Feature - Process underway for first Kiwi saint
A French Catholic nun who defied her parents to come to New Zealand, she cared nothing for religious affiliation, unfashionably aligned herself with Maori and unmarried mothers, commercialised bush medicine a century before The Body Shop and started New Zealand's only local religious order.
28 Apr 2004

Opinion - Preparing the ground for a gentler, deeper message of God's love
Mel Gibson's The Passion is a good movie, though it's not particularly deep - not retreat material for the spiritually mature. In an age obsessed with celebrity, reality TV, entertainment as an anaesthetic, perhaps this kind of portrayal of Jesus is a wake-up call, intended to rouse us from sleep.
28 Apr 2004

Swiss Guard equipped with Wi-fi
America's Motorola Corporation has provided approximately 100 guards with Wi-fi-enabled laptops and personal digital assistants, enabling them to prevent vehicles with unauthorised number plates getting into the grounds of the Holy See.
28 Apr 2004

Caritas Australia salutes 10 years of democracy in South Africa
As the world celebrated 10 years of majority rule in South Africa yesterday, Caritas Australia congratulated the people of South Africa for their peaceful transition to democracy.
28 Apr 2004

War fears resurface in Ambon
Religious war in Ambon looks set to flare again, with Muslim leaders threatening to send 7000 jihad warriors to the strife-torn Indonesian island after two days of conflict that left at least 14 people dead and up to 100 wounded.
28 Apr 2004

Top US bishop says Eucharist ban for politicians a "last resort"
Denying Communion to a politician such as likely Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry, who supports legalised abortion, must be the last resort in a process to convince the politician to uphold moral truths when voting, according to US Bishops' Conference President Wilton Gregory.
28 Apr 2004

Ratzinger preparing concise version of Catechism
The Vatican has said that plans are well underway for the publication early next year of a compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
28 Apr 2004

Pope says only ethics can rescue democracy from extinction
Democracy is in danger of deteriorating and disappearing if its foundations are not built on ethics and Christian values, according to Pope John Paul II.
28 Apr 2004

Feature - Funding crisis threatens lay missionary's Uganda work
Financial shortfalls have left a Ugandan archdiocese unable to honour its commitment to pay the living costs of Queenslander Kerrie Iozzi, a volunteer with the PALMS lay missionary organisation.
27 Apr 2004

Opinion - Nothing new emerges from hype before liturgy instruction
The new Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum is in marked contrast to the pre-publication opinions which seemed to indicate a radical change from the liturgical reform of the Vatican Council. Stressing that "(any) report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop...in truth and charity", the Instruction provides a helpful re-statement of the principles underlying that reform, and a contemporary evaluation of any "shadows" that may be emerging. - David Orr OSB, lecturer in liturgy Catholic Institute of Sydney
27 Apr 2004

Dublin's new archbishop assumes post
Former head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican Archbishop Diarmuid Martin took over as Archbishop of Dublin yesterday after the Pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal Desmond Connell.
27 Apr 2004

Catholic agency rushes aid to North Korean blast scene
Caritas Internationalis is rushing aid to victims of last week's train explosion in Ryongchon County, North Korea.
27 Apr 2004

Cardinal condemns Israeli Arafat threat
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano has condemned a threat against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, urging the application of international law to the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
27 Apr 2004

Vatican appoints woman to senior post
The Vatican has appointed a nun to the number three position in one of its departments, the highest position held by a woman within the Church's hierarchy.
27 Apr 2004

Pope presides at beatification of six
Tens of thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square on Sunday as Pope John Paul II beatified a Polish Salesian priest, a Portugues lay woman, and four nuns, from Colombia, Mexico, Spain, and Italy.
27 Apr 2004

Vatican insisting on liturgy norms observance
The norms for celebrating Mass must be followed exactly to ensure reverence for the Eucharist and to preserve the unity of the Catholic Church, according to a new Vatican document released on Friday.
27 Apr 2004

Feature - Vili's dreams prove to be no pie in the sky
Vili Milisits, a Hungarian immigrant who arrived with his family in Adelaide in 1959 as an eight-year-old, has gone on to build a thriving business selling his pies to 16 countries. With his wife Rosemary active in the Cathedral parish, he is involved in many acts of philanthropy including work with Missionary of the Sacred Heart Fr Sean Smith's charity kitchen.
23 Apr 2004

Opinion - God made a world capable of healing itself
God doesn't need to intervene like a superhero at the end of a Hollywood movie and use a morally superior violence to kill the bad people so that the good are spared pain and death. God lets the universe right itself the way a body does when it is attacked by a virus. The immune system eventually does its work, even if, in the short term, there are pain and death. q
23 Apr 2004

Philippine Bishops issue elections pastoral statement
The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines have issued a statement highlighting the value of elections as a "crucial moment in [the] continuing task of nation-building".
23 Apr 2004

Catholic Health backs bureaucracy cut
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan supported moves by State Health ministers to consider setting up a single national agency to take control of the health system.
23 Apr 2004

Catholics back freedom of conscience for doctors in US states
The Michigan Catholic Conference has backed four bills which allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform abortions or other procedures they object to.
23 Apr 2004

Caritas responds to Bangladesh deaths
Local Caritas directors have responded to the death and destruction caused last week by a series of tornadoes that struck parts of northern Bangladesh.
23 Apr 2004

Pope recommends trust in God, not "external success"
Pope John Paul II has said the believer might be ridiculed by others for trusting in God rather than the values of the world, but this does not affect their experience of interior peace.
23 Apr 2004

Chaldean Church mediating in release of Iraq hostages
Baghdad Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni says the Chaldean Church is trying to mediate in the release of the three Italian hostages who remain after the last week's killing of fellow hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi.
23 Apr 2004

Feature - Third time lucky for Adelaide seminarian
It's been a long and winding road to the priesthood for Matthew Retallick, but he is at peace with how his journey has unfolded. The 37-year-old is currently in the final stages of ordination to the diaconate - having twice joined and then left the priesthood before applying for candidacy again late last year. He knows this time it will be third time lucky.
22 Apr 2004

Opinion - Sunday Mass not an Anzac Day Memorial Service
While our Sunday worship cannot be divorced from the realities of the world, we cannot let special intentions - even Anzac Day (this Sunday) and Mothers Day - take over the liturgy. If a particular theme or appeal overshadows the character of the Sunday Mass, or takes precedence over the prayers and readings, then a disservice is done both to the liturgy and the community, which assembles to celebrate something much more profound and fundamental - the paschal mystery. - Elizabeth Harrington, Archdiocese of Brisbane Liturgical Commission education officer
22 Apr 2004

Mother Angelica now on cable TV in Canberra
Canberra cable TV provider TransACT has begun providing a feed of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) from Alabama in the USA.
22 Apr 2004

Franciscans petition Gibson for Francis of Assisi movie
A group of Franciscan friars in the US has asked Passion of the Christ director Mel Gibson to make a movie biography of their founder St Francis of Assisi.
22 Apr 2004

Polish priest wins case against newspaper that insulted Pope
A 96 year old Polish priest has won a defamation case against the country's main ex-communist newspaper after suing it for describing Pope John Paul II as a "simpleton curate".
22 Apr 2004

Pope says seminarians should know History, Latin and Greekq
Pope John Paul II has said candidates for the priesthood need a sound formation in Church History, and a solid knowledge of Latin and Greek.
22 Apr 2004

Vatican says Pope will not make return visit to Rome synagogue
Pope John Paul II will not make a return visit to Rome's synagogue this spring to help celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Vatican said.
22 Apr 2004

Bishop says we've been misled on embryo research
The community has been misled into believing that 'excess' human embryos will be used to find cures for Parkinson's disease, and other medical conditions, according to Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher.
22 Apr 2004

Feature - Holy cards coming back into fashion
An popular institution for much of the 20th century, holy cards began losing some of their popularity in the 1970s when they became "very much image without sentiment ... "They might have just a plain, gold chalice instead of a Gothic-style chalice inset with jewels." But it appears they have come back into fashion, growing in popularity, with a much greater variety available.
21 Apr 2004

Opinion - Conquering the demon drink
We seem to face an insurmountable mountain in the task of creating a culture in our society where drinking enriches our experience of living rather than undermine or destroy it. We can, I believe, take courage from the peace movement in Northern Ireland. After almost 30 years of suffering violence and death in the North, gradually, through a variety of small initiatives, a culture of peace began to develop and take root. - Dr John Fleming, Bishop of Killala, Co Mayo, Ireland
21 Apr 2004

$100,000 to restore Geelong church spire
Australia's tallest bluestone spire at a Catholic Church in Geelong, Victoria, is one of 72 historic sites across Australia to share $3.5 million in Federal Government heritage funding this year.
21 Apr 2004

Campaigners celebrate as IBM unveil code of conduct
IBM has adopted a code of conduct for their suppliers following the British Caritas organisation's campaign on extreme working conditions in computer factories in the developing world.
21 Apr 2004

Hindu Nationalist Party woos voters in Catholic stronghold
Ahead of this month's Indian election, a pro-Hindu political party ventured into a Catholic stronghold in Goa to mine votes, but Church leaders declared it was not a "real worry".
21 Apr 2004

Biologist says papal appointment a boost to science
Melbourne biologist Suzanne Cory, whom the Pope appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences last weekend, suggested her appointment is a vote of confidence in science, given the "increasing distrust of scientists among some parts of the public".
21 Apr 2004

NZ ethicist says euthanasia calls ignore real needs of terminally ill
Calls to legalise euthanasia fail to recognise the real needs of the terminally ill and their caregivers, according to Fr Michael McCabe, director of the Nathaniel Centre, the New Zealand Catholic Church's bioethics centre.
21 Apr 2004

Pope says death penalty won't defeat terrorism
Pope John Paul II has said that the promotion of respect for the dignity of the human person - and not the death penalty - will overcome terrorism.
21 Apr 2004

Feature - New life breathed in to funeral ministry
In 2002 Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Michael Malone commissioned the first 28 Parish Funeral Ministers. Their training course is now known as Stepping Stones and has its focus shifted from funerals towards working with the sick, dying and bereaved.
20 Apr 2004

Opinion - Why real men don't go to Church
Going to church for the majority of men is an exercise in unwanted effeminacy. The current lack of strong men within the Church, both in the numeric and leadership sense, has crippled our cathedrals and has helped devastate our nation ethically. - Doug Giles
20 Apr 2004

Hawaiian Catholics still waiting for Damien sainthood
There is disappointment that Rome has failed to act following the completion of an investigation a year ago into a purported miracle associated with Molokai "leper colony" missionary Father Damien.
20 Apr 2004

Honorary doctorate for diva Joan Carden
The Australian Catholic University awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Miss Joan Carden AO OBE at a graduation ceremony at the Sydney Town Hall last week.
20 Apr 2004

Vatican observer says human trafficking "worst rights violation"
The Vatican's permanent observer at the UN in Geneva Archbishop Silvano Tomasi has highlighted the "forced expulsions and violent conflicts" that make up the growing phenomenon of human trafficking.
20 Apr 2004

Broome Diocese speaks out against ATSIC abolition
Coordinator of the Office of Justice, Ecology and Peace in Broome, Br Shane Wood, strongly regretted the decision of the Howard Government to replace the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission with an appointed body of Indigenous advisors.
20 Apr 2004

Pope appoints Australian to Pontifical Academy
Pope John Paul II has appointed Professor Suzanne Cory of Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
20 Apr 2004

Commission says Australia 'bullying' East Timor
Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace jas accused the Australian government of making a "greedy grab" for the Timor Sea oil revenue to the detriment of East Timor.
20 Apr 2004

Feature - Sudanese Christians suffering the way of the cross
"There are many people who want to stop Christianity in this country but it will never die. I want to keep it going. I want to serve the people of God as their priest." Daniel and his family had left their home in the south of Sudan as the bombs began to fall, they struggled by foot to Khartoum and moved into the shanty town.
19 Apr 2004

Opinion - Eastern rite married priests face their own challenges
The wife has to be mother, sacristan, chairperson of committees and sometimes choir director. The family was closely watched by the people, and critical eyes often found some real or concocted topics for gossip. Eastern Rite colleagues told me, "In fairy tales, the couple falls in love, gets married and lives happily ever after. That's why they are called fairy tales." - Fr Robert Fin
19 Apr 2004

Harradine looks to life beyond Senate
Tasmanian Senator Brian Harradine, considered by many to be a model Catholic politician, has indicated he might not contest the next election.
19 Apr 2004

US Catholic hospitals to uphold living wills
Catholic hospitals are reassuring patients they'll honour living wills in the wake of a papal pronouncement that hospitals should never remove feeding tubes from patients in persistent vegetative states.
19 Apr 2004

Call to end police pursuits in Victoria
The death of a motorcyclist west of Melbourne on Friday showed the need for an immediate end to high-speed police pursuits, according to Jesuit Fr Peter Norden.
19 Apr 2004

Church officials criticise US support for Israeli PM
A Jerusalem Catholic official said the Palestinians' right of return to their homeland was a basic human right that cannot be taken away by the US president and Israeli prime minister.
19 Apr 2004

Caritas continues its presence in Iraq
The international Caritas agency is continuing its presence in Iraq, despite a deterioration in the relationship between the coalition forces and certain groups in Iraq in recent weeks.
19 Apr 2004

"Uplifting" Sydney weekend gathering celebrates family life
Families from across Australia converged on Sydney at the weekend for the Second National Catholic Family Gathering, which was hailed as "the most wonderful, uplifting, inspirational celebration of family life".
19 Apr 2004

Feature - Cardinal for a new Europe
If the Church's cardinals were cars on an autobahn, Christoph Schönborn - tall, handsome, aristocratic, multilingual, fine-tuned theologically and molto papabile - would surely be the 12-cylinder Mercedes purring in the fast lane.
16 Apr 2004

Opinion - Euthanasia by omission
Pope John Paul II has issued a statement that water and food, even when administered artificially, are "a natural means of preserving life, not a medical procedure", and that their use is therefore morally obligatory. The statement is directly relevant to the situation of a Melbourne woman, known as BWV, who died as a result of the withdrawal of food and water following a Victorian Supreme Court decision.
16 Apr 2004

Conference told teachers critical in preventing abuse
Catholic educators can play a critical role in making sure that sexual abuse of children doesn't happen, according to a workshop panelist at the US National Catholic Educational Association convention in Boston.
16 Apr 2004

Survey says US evangelicals prefer Pope to Robertson and Falwell
A new survey commissioned by two US media outlets has found that Pope John Paul II is liked more than prominent evangelical Protestant leaders Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.
16 Apr 2004

Australian ecumenical leader says world body too bureaucratic
Head of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) Rev John Henderson has said the World Council of Churches (WCC) must find new ways of relating to Christians in southern hemisphere nations if it is to remain relevant.
16 Apr 2004

Caritas Australia pledges assistance for Fiji
Caritas Australia will provide funds to help people devastated by last week's floods in Fiji.
16 Apr 2004

Papal nuncio gives grim report from Iraq
Papal nuncio in Iraq, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, has said the Americans are "no longer in command of the situation", and he does not know whether they will regain control.
16 Apr 2004

Bush fatherhood guru to speak at Sydney gathering
US President George W. Bush's top adviser on the family will bring his controversial message on fatherhood, extra-marital abstinence and marriage education to Sydney this weekend as a key speaker at the National Catholic Family Gathering.
16 Apr 2004

Feature - Devotion to food and close community
For celebrity chef Maggie Beer, preserving tomatoes is something akin to what she imagines the more devout among us feel in church. She also loves living in the Barossa Valley because the locals are passionate about food—and for Maggie, an important element of good food is a close community to share it with.
15 Apr 2004

Opinion - Vinnies catches up with its Pakistani twin
In the St Vincent de Paul Society, twinning - developing overseas partnerships - is an established way of extending the Society, particularly in developing countries. Members of the Society can support one another spiritually, financially and through mutual encouragement. - John O'Neill
15 Apr 2004

Actor Plummer to play disgraced Cardinal
Christopher Plummer has been cast as Cardinal Bernard Law in Our Fathers, a TV film about the Church's sexual abuse scandal in the US.
15 Apr 2004

Priest tells politicians JFK was a bad example
A US priest addressing the House Floor on Tuesday told legislators that too many politicians have followed the example of the nation's first Catholic president by pledging to separate their faith from politics.
15 Apr 2004

Vatican official on solidarity visit to Jerusalem
Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud arrived in Jerusalem yesterday for a five day visit designed to show solidarity with the Christians in the Holy Land.
15 Apr 2004

Chinese bishop released from Easter detention
Underground Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo from the diocese of Zhengding was released yesterday, following harsh Vatican criticism of his arrest.
15 Apr 2004

Pope defies medical advice to rest
Pope John Paul II read part of his prepared addresses at an audience in St Peters Square yesterday against the advice of his doctors, but he reportedly looked in better health and spoke clearly.
15 Apr 2004

Bioethicists urge psychiatry not surgery for gender identity treatment
Two Catholic bioethicists have hit out at the decision of Family Court Chief Justice Alistair Nicholson to allow a 13-year-old girl to take a course of drugs designed to make her a boy.
15 Apr 2004

Feature - Meddling activist or Catholic 'saint'?
Hong Kong's Bishop Joseph Zen has been labelled a political activist, a pathological saint and a Vatican agent by his detractors. "We never advise people to vote for this or that party because the clergy must be impartial," he said. "But we can give some guidance by saying, 'vote for the party which cares for the people, which defends justice and human rights'."
14 Apr 2004

Opinion - Need to rebrand the Catholic Church
"If so much of US culture is focused on building brands among the young, it is worth considering how well the Catholic church performs among this critical demographic as a brand. The news is not good," said pollster John Zogby in a recent Catholic University of America address. The Catholic brand has taken a hit. Brand loyalty is slipping. The things we used to use to shore it up in the past are no longer available. - Cincinnati teacher Michael Daley
14 Apr 2004

Italian scientists find image on back of Turin shroud
Italian scientists using sophisticated mathematical and optical techniques have found a ghostly image on the back of the shroud of Turin, exposing the faint imprint of the face and hands of the figure on the front of the cloth.
14 Apr 2004

Catholic Health says PM's aged care boost must be more than one-off
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has responded to news of a $1.6 billion Howard Government boost to aged care funding by insisting that any funding package must include a "generous increase in recurrent funding" to nursing homes.
14 Apr 2004

Sydney education office helps Solomons rebuild
The Sydney archdiocesan Catholic Education Office has linked with the Gizo diocese in the Solomon Islands in a bid to put that beleaguered country's Catholic education system back on its feet.
14 Apr 2004

Adelaide Archbishop talks up resilience of family unit
Archbishop Phillip Wilson recently told Rome's Zenit news agency that despite suggestions that the institution of the family is dying, it is actually "a pretty tough nut ... hard to crack".
14 Apr 2004

Israel promises to fix Church personnel visa problem
The Israeli Embassy to the Holy See has told the missionary news agency AsiaNews that a backlog of paperwork will be cleared "immediately after Easter", to enable Church personnel to obtain visas to live and work in the Holy Land.
14 Apr 2004

Liturgy abuse document set for release
The long-awaited Vatican document on liturgical abuse has been signed by Pope John Paul II and is could be released by the end of this month.
14 Apr 2004

Feature - Holy Land's secret Passion
Easter week in Jerusalem and about 20 people, most of them strangers drawn by word of mouth, have assembled in a dark vaulted room in the Arab east of the city. Their host is anxious that his name and the name of his premises should not appear in print. He is afraid that if they did his clandestine nightly gatherings would be shut down by the Israeli Government. Or perhaps by Mel Gibson.
13 Apr 2004

Opinion - Last words
"My God, My God, why have you forsaken me". Last words are especially fascinating. Death is not just the cessation of bodily life. It is silence. Ned Kelly, the Australian bank robber, managed, "Such is life" just before he was executed. - Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP
13 Apr 2004

Perth statue weeps again
A statue of the Virgin Mary that has been drawing crowds since 2002 when it apparently began weeping rose-scented tears reportedly started crying again last week.
13 Apr 2004

Brisbane program aiming to empower laity
The Archdiocese of Brisbane is trialling a new program to empower parishioners to take a greater role in ministry.
13 Apr 2004

US hospitals in dilemma over vegetative patients
Pope John Paul II's insistence that health care providers are morally obliged to continue to give water and food to patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) has left the United States' vast Church-run health sector uncertain how to proceed.
13 Apr 2004

Palestinian Christians barred from Easter pilgrimage
Palestinian Christians in the West Bank accused Israel of sabotaging their annual Easter pilgrimage to the site of Christ's crucifixion.
13 Apr 2004

Tired Pope greets pilgrims on Easter Monday
Clearly fatigued after completing a heavy public schedule of events during Holy Week and Easter, Pope John Paul II repeated his Easter greetings to the faithful yesterday during a short public audience.
13 Apr 2004

Big jump in numbers at Easter services
High turnouts for services throughout Easter at Australian churches have been attributed to the increased public profile of the events surrounding Christ's death and resurrection created by Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ.
13 Apr 2004

Feature - A scientific view of the pain that killed Jesus
"Any serious Christian has to take an active interest in the passion of Jesus Christ," says Pittsburgh surgeon Jack McKeating, reflecting on a 1986 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association that gathered the descriptions of crucifixion from ancient sources. It analysed the skeletal remains of crucified men, and it considered all the data in light of current medical research.
8 Apr 2004

Opinion - Gore and sweat is the point
Among the many faults theological critics have found, they have accused Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ of being false to the Gospel by wallowing in the gore and sweat of the Passion at the expense of the Resurrection. That criticism surely misses the target. In the Gospels, Christ rises only after fully testing the devastating power of death.
8 Apr 2004

Caritas director says Rwanda anniversary challenges all
Caritas Australia director has said the tenth aniversary of the Rwanda Genocide should prompt all people to consider what they can contribute to communities split by violence.
8 Apr 2004

Preparation on schedule for family gathering
Families from across Australia are gearing up for the Second National Family Gathering in Sydney this month where they will hear from international keynote speakers and participate in hands-on workshops in a joyful celebration of family life.
8 Apr 2004

China arrests another Catholic bishop
Chinese rights campaigners report the arrest of another underground Catholic bishop, with security police arriving unexpectedly on Monday at Bishop Jia Zhi Guo's home in Zheng Ding, Hebei province, and taking him away without explanation.
8 Apr 2004

Martini says Church should be more democratic
Influential former Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, has said the Church should be more democratic, allow women to be deacons, and give laypeople a say in selecting bishops.
8 Apr 2004

Vatican reports slight increase in priest numbers
Vatican officials sought this week to correct what they called the "false illusion" that there are fewer priests, saying numbers are up worldwide and fewer seminarians were abandoning their vocations.
8 Apr 2004

Pell says Gibson film will heighten Good Friday observance
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has said many who attend Easter ceremonies this year will come with a clearer vision, thanks to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.
8 Apr 2004

Feature - The Knights as they were
It was in about 1960 that I became aware of the existence of the Knights of the Southern Cross or the Black Knights as they were sometimes called. At that time I was a member of the local Catholic youth club.
7 Apr 2004

Opinion - Who is Good Friday about?
This day is not about you. It is not about me. Of course, in a very real sense, this day is very much about us. To put it bluntly, without us humans, God would not need to die. And so this day, this holy day, is about us as we are present in all the different characters of the Passion story. - Robin Koning SJ
7 Apr 2004

Opus Dei head says love terrorists, hate terrorism
Bishop Javier Echevarría, the second successor of Opus Dei founder St Josemaría Escrivá has said that Christ would have responded to terrorism by looking at the terrorist and praying for him.
7 Apr 2004

Cardinal encourages pilgrimages to the Holy Land
Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud has called for Catholics adopt an attitude of "prudent determination" in the face of danger, and travel to the Holy Land.
7 Apr 2004

Philippine bishops fear imitation of Christ's crucifixion
While bishops in the Philippines are encouraging Catholics to go to the cinema to see Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" movie, some are worried about renewed enthusiasm for the custom of Filipinos re-enacting the death of Christ by crucifying themselves on Good Friday.
7 Apr 2004

Perth Archbishop says preserve religious character of Good Friday
Archbishop Barry Hickey has urged members of his community to be vigilant in order to prevent Good Friday from becoming too secular.
7 Apr 2004

SA Catholic teachers prepare to strike
Catholic school teachers are planning to walk off the job next month in what would be the first group strike in Catholic schools in South Australia's history.
7 Apr 2004

Pope says Eucharist celebration will attract vocations
Pope John Paul II has prayed that the more than 400,000 Catholic priests in the world will never take for granted the mystery and blessing of being able to celebrate the Eucharist.
7 Apr 2004

Feature - Rebuilding Rwanda: ten years on
As many Christians commemorate the Holy Week leading to Easter, thousands of quiet, sad memorials will be held across Rwanda as the people of that country re-enact their own passion story. Ten years ago, on 6 April, 1994, a raging genocide was unleashed which claimed more than 800,000 Rwandan lives in 100 days. This densely populated and beautiful central African country was decimated and two million of its people displaced. The world was shocked but also paralysed. - Fr Mark Raper, Jesuit Provincial, Former International Director Jesuit Refugee Service
6 Apr 2004

Opinion - Statistics can obscure human face of poverty
Commenting on an earlier poverty survey, Professor Ronald Henderson warned against becoming overly preoccupied with measurements and statistics - "The results so far have all been stated in terms of an artificial concept, the income unit. As a consequence perhaps they may have lost meaning and impact, and it may help to restate them in terms of people, for it is human beings, not concepts or theories, that are the ultimate concern in our study of poverty." - John Ferguson, National Executive Officer, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
6 Apr 2004

Gentrification challenging 'basic human right' of affordable housing
The Office for Peace and Justice of the Chicago Archdiocese is calling for action to counter the growing threat to poor and working class residents posed by the rapid "gentrification" of housing in inner city areas.
6 Apr 2004

Church in UK backs TV abortion documentary
The Catholic church in England and Wales has said that a controversial TV documentary that will show footage of an abortion "could prove a powerful anti-abortion message, highlighting the full horror".
6 Apr 2004

International Caritas call to help Sudanese Refugees
Caritas in the central African country of Chad is calling upon the international community to respond to the refugee crisis in Chad and Sudan before it becomes a humanitarian tragedy.
6 Apr 2004

Pope says politicians must take responsibility for peace
Pope John Paul II has repeated his call to the international political community to show courage and responsibility in confronting the crises afflicting the world.
6 Apr 2004

Cardinal says liturgical change reflects the Church is alive
People have a right to their opinions about various aspects of the liturgy, but the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council will continue as the Catholic Church continues, said Cardinal Francis Arinze.
6 Apr 2004

Charities warns of emergence of permanent underclass
A group of Catholic charities, together with Anglicare, have said the Federal Government and Opposition are doing little to stop poverty, and if they continue to pursue current policies, a permanent underclass will emerge.
6 Apr 2004

Feature - Living with mental illness
Fr Con Keogh, 82, knows the trials of living with mental illness, having been desperately sick himself and certified insane during the 50s - a time when people like him were not expected to ever recover.
5 Apr 2004

Opinion - Shopping around for an understanding pastor
My discomfort increased after the priest did not attempt to conceal his disapproval at my tearful revelations that not only had I not married in a Catholic church, but I had recently separated from my husband. I decided to "shop around" and visit other nearby Catholic churches in search of the pastoral as well as the spiritual dimension that I craved. - Public Relations Executive Saskia Sissons
5 Apr 2004

Bishop says movies a powerful way to spread Gospel
Film and television offer an "immediate and extraordinary means" to communicate the Gospel to "a global audience of both believers and nonbelievers", a US Bishop said in his pastoral letter for Holy Week.
5 Apr 2004

NZ Bishops lobby MPs on gay marriage threat
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference has written to Members of Parliament regarding the country's proposed Civil Union Bill, which would give relationships other than marriage the same legal consequences as marriage.
5 Apr 2004

St Vincent's Melbourne opens new research institute
St Vincent's Institute officially unveiled its new world-class medical research building on Friday, after a $10.5 million addition to existing facilities.
5 Apr 2004

Church praise for South Australia's "breakthrough" strategic plan
Adelaide Archdiocesan vicar general Monsignor David Cappo has described as a "breakthrough", the South Australian Government's newly-released State Strategic Plan that addresses economic, environmental and social goals.
5 Apr 2004

Ratzinger regrets Church centralism
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has admitted that there have been times when the Vatican has intervened too often in the affairs of a local church, according to a report in The Tablet at the weekend.
5 Apr 2004

Tighter security as Pope ushers in Holy Week
Amid heightened security around the Vatican, Pope John Paul marked the beginning of Holy Week yesterday when he presided at Palm Sunday celebrations at the Vatican.
5 Apr 2004

Feature - Sister's love reaches out to street children of Vietnam
In Ho Chi Minh City alone there are an estimated 25,000 children living on the streets. Many of these children get caught up in the underworld of drugs and prostitution as they move into the bigger cities. Loreto Sister Trish Franklin has been involved in the rescue and education of underprivileged children in Vietnam for eight years.
2 Apr 2004

Opinion - No sin is beyond forgiveness
No Catholic can fail to be aware of the importance of sin. It is like a cancer: invasive, secretive, powerful, painful and ultimately untreatable. No act of anti-social behaviour is so bad as to be beyond repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation, either from the brethren or from God. That is a truth we hold on to. - Fr Timothy Wright
2 Apr 2004

Survey finds Irish Caritas most fun place to work
A survey of European employers has found that the most fun place to work in Ireland is Trocaire, the Caritas overseas aid agency affiliate in Ireland.
2 Apr 2004

NZ Catholics pay tribute to leading historian
New Zealanders are mourning the tragic death of 58 year old Dr Michael King, who in 1997 published God's Farthest Outpost, the definitive history of the Catholic Church in the country.
2 Apr 2004

Cardinal says materialism threatens families
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace head Cardinal Renato Martino spoke of materialism, violence and permissiveness as the most dangerous threats to families in the world.
2 Apr 2004

Pell says Church growth requires firm grip on Gospel demands
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has said that Church growth is occuring where there is "explicit call to conversion..., generally good community and a call for a personal sacrifice."
2 Apr 2004

Imam tells Cathedral congregation about shared convictions
A leading Imam visiting Sydney from New York told a lunchtime congregation that included the Archbishop of Sydney and the NSW Premier of the task of "shaping shared convictions" that Muslims and Christians must "strive to accomplish together".
2 Apr 2004

Vatican tells US bishops to get over sex abuse
Vatican officials are urging US bishops in Rome for their ad limina visit to move beyond the sex abuse crisis and restore their focus to the wider range of pastoral and international issues.
2 Apr 2004

Feature - Vatican Library using computer chips to identify volumes
Home to almost two million books and manuscripts, the Vatican Library has begun a different way of tracking and identifying its massive and precious collections. Starting last year, the library began inserting so-called Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, computer chips in books available on its open shelves as a way to find misplaced tomes.
32 Apr 2004

Opinion - Jesus' childlike intimacy with his Father
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus begins his prayer with the words: "Abba, Father ..." Abba is a word which, at the time, a child would use affectionately for his or her father, roughly equivalent to our words "Daddy" or "Papa". It connotes deep connection, an intimacy beyond friendship, and a simple, childlike hope that one's father (or mother) can fix what's wrong. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
32 Apr 2004

Suspected thieves kill Italian priest in Uganda
Suspected thieves have murdered a 76 year old Italian missionary in northern Uganda by slitting his throat with a knife.
32 Apr 2004

Italy makes St Padre Pio patron of civil defence volunteers
When dealing with suffering people, St. Padre Pio knew what to say and when to say it, according to an Italian government agency welcoming his designation as patron saint of Italian civil defence volunteers.
32 Apr 2004

Israeli checkpoints disrupt Palestinian Catholic parish life
Palestinian parishioners of St James Church in Jerusalem have learned to adapt to the unpredictability of Israeli-imposed checkpoints.
32 Apr 2004

Cardinal Etchegaray Receives UNESCO Peace Prize
UNESCO has awarded Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize.
32 Apr 2004

Caritas condemnation of US attempt to block cheap AIDS treatment
The British Caritas affiliate CAFOD has said attempts by the United States government to force developing countries to use more expensive US approved AIDS drugs in return for aid are totally unacceptable.
32 Apr 2004

Security officials confirm terror fears at Vatican
Vatican officials are downplaying reports that American officials have warned about a possible terrorist attack against the Pope during Holy Week next week.
32 Apr 2004