Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR MAY 2004

   
Feature - Vanishing Palestinian Christians hold keys to peace
Butros Qumseya dreams of a Holy Land in which Palestinian Christians help bridge the bitter divide between Jews and Muslims. "We are the bridge between Muslim and Jewish," he said. "We believe that Jesus wants us to live together, to love each other."
31 May 2004

Opinion - The new penitents
The practice of frequent confession is not, contrary to popular belief, one with centuries of tradition behind it. Rather, going to weekly confession was a twentieth-century phenomenon that began with the teaching of Pope Pius X, who encouraged weekly confession on a Friday or Saturday in preparation for Communion on a Sunday.
31 May 2004

WA police accused of taunting US students
Claims that nine off-duty police officers taunted and humiliated American university students from Perth's University of Notre Dame about the US involvement in Iraq are being investigated by West Australian police.
31 May 2004

Weeping Mary draws faithful
Thousands of Brisbane mass-goers yesterday gave their usual parish a miss and instead visited the Vietnamese Catholic Community Centre in the city's southwest to get a glimpse of the much-publicised weeping statue of Mary.
31 May 2004

Pax Christi call for US to act as "honest broker"
The international Catholic peace movement Pax Christi has called on Israel to end its military occupation of Palestine and urged the United States to work within the framework of international law and act as an honest broker to support Palestinians and Israelis equally in developing trust-building measures.
31 May 2004

Pope to beatify Mel Gibson's "Passion" muse
Anna Katharina Emmerick, the 18th century German mystic whose recorded visions helped inspire The Passion of the Christ, will be beatified in October.
31 May 2004

Vic Catholic schools looking into students' pastoral needs
A report commissioned by Victoria's Catholic Education Commission has found that students and their parents bring a wide range of problems to school, including marriage break up, mental illness and disruptive class behaviour.
31 May 2004

Adelaide archbishop leads Rome abuse meeting
Archbishop Philip Wilson last week presided over an international group of officials from English-speaking countries in a Rome meeting aimed at working out a strategy of preventing further clergy sex abuse.
31 May 2004

Feature - Donglu Shrine devotion overcomes official censure
It seems no amount of pressure from the Chinese Government's Public Security Bureau can dull the enthusiam of Catholics intent on honouring Our Lady at the Donglu shrine. Every May, regardless of prohibitions, tens of thousands of pilgrims make their way up the steep hill, either in silence or reciting the rosary or singing hymns to praise one who is truly their mother and protector.
28 May 2004

Opinion - We're greedy in a way Scrooge never was
People to meet, projects to finish, letters to write... Our lives often seem like overpacked suitcases. For most of us, greed takes a subtle form - we hoard experience, rather than money or possessions. We try to drink in the world, all of it, and end up doing violence to time and to ourselves. - Fr Ron Rolheiser
28 May 2004

Virgin tears spark boom in statue sales
The press is reporting today that the religious phenomenon that has engulfed a small Catholic church in southwest Brisbane has inspired a statue-buying frenzy.
28 May 2004

Catholic teachers join in pay case strike
A day after NSW public school teachers walked off the job, 13,000 Catholic teachers will hold their own 24-hour stoppage today in support of their colleagues.
28 May 2004

Pell comments on obligation to "build a decent Iraq"
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has said he believes Australia has an obligation to try to build a decent society in postwar Iraq.
28 May 2004

Pope condemns torture as affront to humans
Pope John Paul II yesterday condemned torture as an intolerable affront to human dignity, lamenting that reports of abuses "constantly arrive from all continents".
28 May 2004

Cardinal Arinze explains tough stand on Eucharist
Describing the Eucharist as "Christ himself", Cardinal Francis Arinze has said the sacrament is "the greatest treasure that the Church has on earth".
28 May 2004

Church welcomes Govt 'man and woman' marriage definition
Australia's Catholic Bishops have welcomed the Federal Government's announcement that it is moving immediately to enact legislation to protect the institution of marriage.
28 May 2004

Feature - Melbourne Centacare success story
The case began with an assault on a three year old boy by his father, who was prone to outbursts of anger due to long term unemployment. After a referral from the Department of Human Services, Centacare began a successful 20 week anger management course for the father and counselled him back into full-time work for the first time in years.
27 May 2004

Opinion - Living a happy moral life
The Church has a duty to proclaim moral truth with clarity, but she must be careful, as it is written in Isaiah, "not to break the bruised reed or quench the dimly burning wick". Each of us is on a journey back to God that requires difficult moral choices that must not be made in isolation but in the context of human relationships and a community that offers compassion and understanding. - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic church in England and Wales
27 May 2004

ACU hosts inter-religious Abraham Conference
The Australian Catholic University has hosted a major event that it believes has made a major contribution to the process of inter-religious dialogue.
27 May 2004

Sudanese priest tortured by security forces
A Sudanese Catholic priest serving in the Diocese of El Obeid in Kauda, Nuba Mountain, is recovering from torture he suffered last month at the hands of security forces, the Catholic Information Service Africa report.
27 May 2004

Boston Archdiocese announces parish closures
Almost a fifth of parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston will close in a restructuring caused partly by declining church attendance and financial problems exacerbated by a clergy sex abuse crisis.
27 May 2004

Bishops issue pre-election moral 'audit' of British society
Ahead of European and Local Elections next month, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales are encouraging voters to back candidates who support Catholic Church teaching, particularly "where innocent lives are at risk".
27 May 2004

Priests predict possible backlash against new Mass text
A forum of priests on a national radio program has suggested the draft text of changes to the Mass creates a distance between the priest and the people, and it could alienate Catholics who have grown up with liturgy in the vernacular.
27 May 2004

Philosopher says euthanasia verdict raises questions
As a man walked free yesterday after a Tasmanian judge handed him a suspended sentence for assisting the suicide of his 88 year old mother, Australian Catholic University philosophy school head Dr John Ozolins said the case poses important questions about palliative care.
27 May 2004

Feature - Catholic combat veteran recounts detainee abuse
Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia describes how his platoon was instructed to keep "certain detainees" awake for 24 to 48 hours, yelling at the prisoners, all of whom were hooded, and making them move their arms up and down or alternately sit and stand for several minutes at a time. "I wasn't very religious," he said, "until I went to war. There I lost faith in everything but God."
26 May 2004

Opinion - We must cooperate with creation
In a world of bad news, it is good that Russia has committed to ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, enabling the 1997 agreement to come into force without the support of major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions Australia and the US. Our current attitudes towards the natural world are destructive, not creative. As Christians, we are called to co-operate with God in the Creation which the scripture writers say God saw as GOOD. - Anne Lanyon
26 May 2004

Notre Dame Australia seeks Pontifical link
Perth's University of Notre Dame Australia is applying to become the first educational institution in Australia to be affiliated with the University of St Thomas Aquinas (The Angelicum) in Rome.
26 May 2004

$15m plan to complete Perth Cathedral
Perth's St Mary's Cathedral will get a new lease of life under a planned $15 million redevelopment, according to a report in The West Australian this morning.
26 May 2004

UK Bishops rap The Tablet for publishing Mass draft
Bishop Mark Jabalé has expressed the English and Welsh bishops' disappointment at the decision of the independent Catholic paper The Tablet to "cloud" their consultative process by publishing the draft translation of changes to the Order of Mass.
26 May 2004

Catholic school teachers to strike
NSW Catholic school teachers will hold a 24-hour strike on Friday, according to information from the Independent Education Union (IEU) said.
26 May 2004

Archbishop Bathersby announces weeping statue investigation
Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby has announced an investigation into the recent reports of unusual occurrences at the Vietnamese Community Hall in suburban Inala.
26 May 2004

Bishops challenged on Indigenous Guidelines
A senior religious has criticised Australia's bishops for turning down a request to draft Guidelines for Clergy who work with Indigenous Australians.
26 May 2004

Feature - Modern day hero
This week is the first anniversary of the death of 47 year old Italian doctor Carlo Urbani, who discovered and later died of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Involved in volunteer work since his youth, he was attracted to the poor and left home to discover new horizons with missionaries in Africa.
25 May 2004

Opinion - More than married singles
'Don't expect him to talk to you because he's not wired for it. Don't expect her to want sex as much as you do because she doesn't have the hormones'. What a miserly vision for marriage! Thank goodness the Church does have higher expectations for marriage than married singles living unhappily ever after! - Francine & Byron Pirola
25 May 2004

New bishop appointments for NZ
Pope John Paul II yesterday appointed the rector of New Zealand's national seminary as Bishop of Dunedin, and made Wellington's auxiliary bishop the coadjutor to Cardinal Thomas Williams.
25 May 2004

Death of effective schools expert Br Marcellin Flynn
Marist Brother Marcellin Flynn, who researched and wrote on the effectiveness of Australian Catholic schools for more than 25 years, died on Saturday at the age of 72.
25 May 2004

Archbishop says Africa's retarded development a terrorist threat
Peoples excluded from genuine development might feel there is no other option in their lives but terrorism, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Holy See's secretary for relations with states told a symposium on Africa.
25 May 2004

Cardinal Kasper visits Jerusalem
The Vatican's Cardinal Walter Kasper is in Jerusalem to discuss the increasingly pressing issues of visas for religious and the emigration of Christians from the Holy Land.
25 May 2004

Sorry Day call to reanimate National Reconciliation
On the eve of tomorrow's Sorry Day, Brisbane's Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to be involved in the action to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
25 May 2004

Pope wants bishops to heal divisions in Church
Pope John Paul II has told a number of bishops of the US that one of the most important tasks of a bishop is to address the "worrisome phenomenon" of factions within the Church.
25 May 2004

Feature - Compassion taking Sudanese to the brink
Abdullah is staying in Mahamata, a Sudanese border village of 157 households that has welcomed around 1800 refugee families, sharing their scarce land and limited food supplies. But villagers are now worried that the prolonged stay is threatening their resources.
24 May 2004

Opinion - Gianna's choice
Italian mother, wife, doctor Gianna Molla was canonised a week ago - mother, wife, doctor - was canonised a week ago for choosing the life of her unborn child over her own. Her sister-in-law remembers her asking: "Do you know what it means to die and leave behind four small children?" As a role model for millions of other Catholic women, some do wonder about championing such sacrifice.
24 May 2004

Crowds flock to see 'weeping' religious icons
Hundreds flocked to a Catholic church in the Brisbane suburb of Inala on the weekend to catch a glimpse of statues which have apparently been weeping blood and rose-scented oil.
24 May 2004

German cardinal says liturgical abuse dobbers not welcome
Munich's Cardinal Friedrich Wetter has written an open letter making it clear that anonymous informers intent on reporting liturgical abuses will be wasting their time.
24 May 2004

Sydney priest continues to stand by triple murderer
The parish priest of Sef Gonzales, convicted last week of murdering three members of his family, has said he will support an appeal against the conviction.
24 May 2004

Schools warned on coercive donations
Private schools that pressure parents to pay tax-deductible building levies are in a "grey area" of tax law because such donations are meant to be voluntary, new analysis has found.
24 May 2004

Melbourne conference predicts 'revenge against secularism'
Fundamentalist religion is here to stay, an interfaith conference of Christians, Jews and Muslims in Melbourne was told yesterday.
24 May 2004

Pope tells NZ PM Clark to watch racial tension
Pope John Paul II has encouraged New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to foster dialogue in a world "so troubled by the scourge of racial division and conflict".
24 May 2004

Feature - Nganmarriyanga welcome for Vinnies youth team
We were privileged to be able to experience Easter in the Nganmarriyanga Aboriginal community, 500km west of Darwin - a bush baptism, reconciliation and learning the Our Father in their language. Initialy we expected to be able to offer something to these kids, but came to realise that it was the Nganmarriyanga community who were giving to us.
21 May 2004

Opinion - The sin of sadness
When the Desert fathers first formulated a list of what they considered "deadly sins", they included the sin of sadness. Like Hamlet, we can unhealthily luxuriate in sadness so as to rationalise making no further efforts to build up anything. Perhaps that's why the church eventually renamed the sin sloth.
21 May 2004

Convicted pedophile priest marries ex-nun in prison
Former priest James Porter, a convicted pedophile now awaiting trial on Minnesota state's bid to keep him locked up indefinitely as a sexually dangerous person, got married in prison this week.
21 May 2004

Pakistan president seeks review of blasphemy laws
Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said the country's blasphemy laws, which imposes the death penalty for blasphemy against Mohammad or the Koran, should be scrutinised so prevent their misuse to victimise the innocent.
21 May 2004

US politicians warn of of anti-Catholic hate revival
48 Catholic members of Congress have signed a letter warning that the church risks bringing "great harm" on itself if bishops decide to deny Communion to legislators who support abortion rights or take other public positions that are odds with church doctrine.
21 May 2004

Pope prays for Iraq hostages
Pope John Paul has issued a new condemnation of violence and human rights abuses, after a series of Vatican denunciations of American treatment of prisoners in Iraq.
21 May 2004

Vinnies 150th anniversary forum to plot future directions
St Vincent de Paul members from around Australia will gather in Melbourne on Sunday for the Future DIrections Forum, designed to showcase the good works of the Society and share ideas for the future.
21 May 2004

Bishops act to refresh Australian Church with Eucharist focus
Australia's Bishops have taken up Pope John Paul's call to tackle secularism in Australian society and to encourage the observance of the Sunday Mass, with discussions at their Plenary Meeting focusing on a broad renewal and education with regard to the Eucharist.
21 May 2004

Feature - On top of the world
Madge McGuire is director of Catherine House in Adelaide, a housing project for homeless women established in 1988 by the Sisters of Mercy. Madge decided to consider climbing Mount Everest to raise money to fill a gap in the service the project could provide. "I've never trekked, I'm not athletic, [but] the idea just percolated with me."
20 May 2004

Opinion - Must we be cruel to protect our boundaries?
I recall as a boy in the 1940s hearing of Japanese humiliation of Australian prisoners. Certainly I knew that Australians could never do cruel things like that. Yet now ordinary Australians are led to believe that the policy of deterrence through cruelty is defensible. Our compassion can be muted because the children and their situation remain unknown to us. - Bryan Dunn, Director Centacare Newcastle
20 May 2004

Bishop says abuse of prisoners undermines war on terrorism
The head of the US bishops' international policy committee has said the abuse of Iraqi prisoners has undermined legitimate efforts to combat terrorism.
20 May 2004

Philippine Govt censure prompts Archbishop's free speech call
Former Philippine Bishops' Conference president Archbishop Oscar Cruz has criticised the State Department of Justice for threatening television network ABC with possible criminal charges for disseminating "false news or information" concerning the results of the recently concluded elections.
20 May 2004

Catholic leaders say Sonia Gandhi made "a very Christian decision"
Church leaders are praising Indian would be Prime Minister Sonia Gandhi's surprise decision to decline the position as a "very Christian" display of her "spirit of service".
20 May 2004

Swiss bishops denounce calls for papal retirement
The Bishops of Switzerland have issued a statement to express their disappointment with an open letter calling for Pope John Paul II to stand down and written just weeks before the Holy Father is due to visit their country.
20 May 2004

Visiting ethicist says religious 'censored' by secular state
A silent censorship of religion in public debate could put religious liberty at risk in Australia, a visiting moral philosopher warned this week.
20 May 2004

Christian Brothers leader writes to PM on Timor Sea oil
Br Peter Dowling, the Christian Brothers' Province Leader for Victoria/Tasmania, has written to Prime Minister John Howard seeking a change in Australia's stance in relation to its claim over the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.
20 May 2004

Feature - Palestinian Christian who seeks Holy Land justice
Cedar Duaybis' life is a mirror of Palestinian Christian history. She has played a significant part in the formation of Palestinian Liberation Theology. She remembers going to school for the last time. Haifa was taken over by the Jews because they were better armed.
19 May 2004

Opinion - Can Mary turn the tide on church weddings?
The warm and affectionate ambience of the fairytale marriage of Tasmanian Mary Donaldson to the Crown Prince of Denmark was marked by a gentle and radiant happiness, even a degree of informality, that should encourage people who might otherwise feel nervous about seeking a church event. Australian church leaders will be hoping that it might incline even a few more couples towards a church wedding, because unless they do, the rate of decline will increase even further. - Muriel Porter
19 May 2004

Stress higher for church employees in Sweden than for others
Church employees in Sweden appear to experience more psycho-social problems due to conditions at work than other workers, the Swedish Work Environment Authority has found.
19 May 2004

US parent university honours Australian Notre Dame head
The University of Notre Dame Australia's long-serving Vice Chancellor, Dr Peter Tannock, has received an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame United States.
19 May 2004

64% in US use Internet for religious reasons
82 million Americans - or nearly two-thirds of those online - are now using the Internet for religious, faith or spiritual reasons, according to a new study.
19 May 2004

Vinnies begins 150th celebrations with pilgrimage
The St Vincent de Paul Society will this morning conduct a pilgrimage to the grave of its Australian founder Fr Gerald Ward, in the Priests' Chapel at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
19 May 2004

Vatican will back UN mandate in Iraq
The Holy See will back a UN resolution calling for a greater UN role in Iraq, the Vatican's top foreign-policy official has disclosed.
19 May 2004

Pope turns 84
Pope John Paul marked his 84th birthday yesterday with a cake baked by his cook, Sister Germana, and the Italian publication of a new autobiography.
19 May 2004

Feature - Bid to restore Catholic culture of Marist Rugby
During its 96 year history, the Auckland Marist Brothers Old Boys Rugby Football Club had been a great meeting point for Catholic sportspeople, men and women. New President Bob Clarke wants to bring the club back to its Marist roots, reinforcing its family traditions and documenting its history.
18 May 2004

Opinion - It's time to get our own prisons in order
All Australians have been sickened by revelations that American guards physically and sexually abused Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison. It's often claimed that the touchstone for the health of a society is the treatment of the poorest and weakest, including inmates of jails and detention centres. - Archbishop George Pell
18 May 2004

Catholic Mission partnering local churches
Catholic Mission's Propagation of the Faith - Partnering Local Churches and Communities appeal is now underway in parisher around Australia.
18 May 2004

Bishops happy with Indian election result
The Catholic bishops' Conference of India has expressed relief that India's voters decided "not to give in to fundamentalism" when they handed a victory to the Congress Party over the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
18 May 2004

Vatican calls for 'love of Christ towards migrants'
As the Australian Bishops commented on immigration issues on Friday, the Vatican was issuing its own statement titled Erga Migrantes Caritas Christi (The Love of Christ towards Migrants).
18 May 2004

Get-up-and-go Pope's latest book
Pope John Paul II's newest book - titled Get up. Let us go! - is set to be released in Italy today, the Holy Father's 84th birthday.
18 May 2004

Pope affirms value of interreligious dialogue
Meeting at the weekend with members of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Pope John Paul II has encouraged interreligious dialogue as a "sure basis for peace".
18 May 2004

Report shows communication gap with Gen X faithful
The proportion of Generation X Mass attenders who accept orthodox statements of Catholic beliefs and moral teachings is lower than that of Baby Boomers, according to an analysis published in the latest issue of the Australasian Catholic Record (ACR).
18 May 2004

Feature - Return home to East Timor
When they left East Timor more than eight years ago Jose da Costa and Teodozio Ximenes could not be sure that they would ever see their home country again. Earlier this month their dreams were realised as they returned home to East Timor with the new knowledge and skills they had learnt in Australia.
17 May 2004

Opinion - Poll shows Australians still want fair go in age of terror
In a recent poll, 85% of Australians were prepared to support development assistance, 53% strongly. When asked the reasons why they supported it, it was not enlightened self-interest, it was not protection against terror, it was because it was morally and ethically right. - Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO, public lecture, University of Notre Dame, Perth 14/5/04
17 May 2004

Press report on Sydney parishes sharing priests
The Sun-Herald reported yesterday that Sydney parishes "are having to resort to 'twinning' with other parishes to counter a shortage of priests".
17 May 2004

Catholic Health welcomes bulk billing turnaround
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has said he is heartened to see a rise in doctors' bulk billing rates for the March quarter.
17 May 2004

Jesuit criticises inadequate response to prisoner health needs
Fr Peter Norden of Jesuit Social Services has commented on a study that reveals that Victoria's prison system is ill-equipped to cope with the health needs of prisoners.
17 May 2004

ACU head fears consequences of rent rise
Australian Catholic University (ACU) vice-chancellor Peter Sheehan has warned that any move by the Archdiocese of Sydney to increase the rent it pays the archdiocese for its two Sydney campuses could force him to cut staff or raise student fees.
17 May 2004

Australian Maronites celebrate Lebanese monk canonisation
Australia's Maronite community has celebrated yesterday's canonisation of the Lebanese monk Fr Nimatullah Kassab Al-Hardini, with prayers of thanksgiving and special Masses.
17 May 2004

Bishops stress urgency of search for detention alternatives
Australia's Catholic Bishops have said that the Government and citizens of Australian must, as a matter of urgency, find alternatives to detention for unaccompanied minors and for children who accompany their parents.
17 May 2004

Feature - Migrants' role on show
The history of South Australia is being brought to life with an exhibition celebrating the contribution of Catholic immigrants to the development of the state. Multicultural Pastoral Services director Maria Barredo, who is organising the exhibition, said the aim of the exhibition was to raise awareness of the contribution of migrants to the church and the wider community.
14 May 2004

Opinion - Rushing does violence to the time God created
When we hurry too much and for too long we end up doing violence to time, to ourselves, and to our blood pressure. God didn't make a mistake in creating time, God made enough of it, and when we can't find enough time, we need to see this as a sign that sooner or later we had better make some changes. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
14 May 2004

Bishops urge prayer for rain
As an increasing number of Australian regions are being drought-declared after only a short respite, the Bishops have expressed their solidarity with affected communities by issuing a call to prayer.
14 May 2004

International Catholic approval for Costello baby patriotism
Some Catholic websites, including that of Mother Angelica's Eternal Word Television Network, have reported approvingly Australian Federal Treasurer Peter Costello's Budget night exhortation to Australians to produce more babies as a patriotic duty.
14 May 2004

Melbourne priest steps down from parish duties
A Catholic priest who was allowed to work next to a Melbourne primary school - despite having sex with a teenage boy 10 years ago - has resigned from the parish.
14 May 2004

Asylum seeker children in limbo
Adelaide's Centacare Catholic Welfare agency has said the lives of the Bakhtiyari children are on hold until Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone decides their future later this month.`
14 May 2004

Pope expected to tell Bush he is wrong
Pope John Paul II is expected to warn President George W. Bush when the two meet early next month that his policy in Iraq is wrong and the actions of US troops are damaging efforts to bring religions closer together.
14 May 2004

Bishops respond to draft Mass translation
The Australian Bishops have given general approval to the new draft translation of the Order of Mass prepared by the International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL).
14 May 2004

Feature - Anointing with sound
Based at Geelong's St John of God Hospital, music therapist Peter Roberts uses harp and voice to meet the needs of patients ranging from those in palliative care to premature babies and their mothers, and those anxious before surgery.
13 May 2004

Opinion - Midlife takes control
When midlife arrives, we suddenly become aware that we are no longer in control. Family and work commitments dominate our lives. Freedom is a limited commodity. Our formerly healthy bodies begin to get injured and succumb to gravity, lethargy and misuse.
13 May 2004

Cardinal criticises Honduras coach's salary
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez of Honduras has criticised the large salary earned by the national soccer team's coach Bora Milutinovic, saying it was a "slap in the face" for the country's poor majority.
13 May 2004

Catholic politician defends political party branch-stacking
NSW Liberal MLC David Clarke, an Opus Dei Catholic, has said it is the responsibility of Christians to involve themselves in politics, and it's natural that political party branch officials will seek new members among their friends.
13 May 2004

Priest's return to parish worries Melbourne parents
A priest who admitted having sex with a teenage boy in the US 10 years ago has returned to work at a Williamstown church that adjoins a primary school.
13 May 2004

Pope praises Pontifical Mission Societies as 'authentic missionaries'
Pope John Paul II has said the pontifical mission societies represent a "solid point of reference for those searching for truth in a troubled world".
13 May 2004

ACU head wants Perth uni expansion discussed
Australian Catholic University (ACU) vice-chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan has said a plan for Perth's Notre Dame University to establish a full campus in Sydney should be carefully planned in order to avoid an "endless expansion of facilities".
13 May 2004

Josephite support for Timor Sea boundary rethink
The Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies has thrown its weight behind the campaign to persuade the Australian Government to revise its previous agreement with the Indonesian Government in favour of a more equitable sharing of Timor Sea oil revenue with East Timor.
13 May 2004

Feature - Gibson Passion movie makes Jesus a fashion statement
Designers and boutiques have been jumping on the Jesus bandwagon. A Los Angeles company called Teenage Millionaire makes shirts that say "Jesus Is My Homeboy" and "Mary Is My Homegirl". Elycia Rubin of E! Networks explained: "Obviously, fashion influences movies and movies influence fashion".
12 May 2004

Opinion - Sharing the well-kept secret of Church social teaching
We have to find other ways of engaging the parish at large. The Parish Justice and Peace Group generates frustration when members feel unsupported or even under suspicion from the rest of the parish. Mostly parishioners know little about Catholic Social Teaching. In our parish we set aside a budget item to support people taking up courses.
12 May 2004

NZ bishop draws line between indigenous rights and race distinction
Bishop Peter Cullinane of Palmerston North has said there's been a blurring of the difference between a claim to privilege based on race, and the claim to rights based on indigenous status.
12 May 2004

Vatican says common good outweighs drug company patents
Drug companies' rights to make a profit and protect patents can conflict with people's right to needed medicines and care, said a Vatican official at a symposium attended by generic pharmaceutical companies.
12 May 2004

Jakarta Cardinal says choose president with clear programs
In a departure from its usual practice of detachment from the election process, the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Indonesia (KWI) has presented guidelines to the country's Catholic community on how to choose presidential candidates.
12 May 2004

Marist priests front court over alleged sexual offences
Two Marist Fathers now living in Sydney have been charged with maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person in Burnie, Tasmania, more than 30 years ago.
12 May 2004

Slip in percentage of Catholics world population
The number of Catholics in the world is increasing, but the percentage of Cathoilcs in the world population has decreased slightly, according to newly released Church data.
12 May 2004

Budget non-event for poor but Govt delivers on aged care
Fr Joe Caddy of Catholic Welfare Australia has said the Government's choice to offer an election year Federal Budget tax break only to high income earners "shows that the votes of the poor are not worth buying".
12 May 2004

Feature - Remembering Fr Niall O'Brien
An Irish Columban missionary in the Philippines who died in recently in Italy, Fr O'Brien was best known for his 1983 imprisonment on false murder charges as part of the 'Negros Nine' that included Australian Fr Brian Gore. It was typical of him to take a model from elsewhere, such as the kibbutz from modern Israel, and adapt it to local needs and to the local culture of poor Filipino farmers.
11 May 2004

Opinion - Original Sin in Abu Ghraib
When I recoil in horror at the sight of American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners, it is not because I am witnessing an evil that is unfathomable to me. That kind of evil is all too familiar to me. I see it lurking inside me. I am a Calvinist, which means I have a firm belief in the reality of original sin. - Dr Richard Mouw, Christian philosophy and ethics professor at Fuller Theological Seminary and Calvin College, USA.
11 May 2004

Geelong Church's Basilica aspiration
St Mary of the Angels Church in the Victorian city of Geelong is hoping to gain Vatican approval to become Australia's fifth basilica.
11 May 2004

Ratzinger says many miss the point of Christianity
The Vatican's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said that too many people don't look beyond institutional Christianity and miss the point that it is really about an encounter with Christ.
11 May 2004

Forced conversion to Islam fatal for Christian boy
Outrage at the death of a Catholic boy forced to convert to Islam at the hands of abductors has prompted the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Justice and Peace Commission to take up his case.
11 May 2004

Bush plan to make election-year visit to pope
Pope John Paul II will meet with US President George Bush early next month, with Iraq the main topic on the agenda for discussion.
11 May 2004

Vatican says Iraqi prison abuse a scandal that 'offends God'
The abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers is a scandal offensive to God himself, the Vatican said, in its first public comment.
11 May 2004

Vinnies' Budget plea to Costello to think of poor
The NSW State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society has called on Federal Treasurer Peter Costello to make tonight's Federal Budget statement provide for the dignity of Australia's most vulnerable.
11 May 2004

Feature - Movers and Shakers camp packs a punch
"It was extremely rewarding to be able to see the growth of others and myself while we journeyed together and bonded strong friendships," said Griffith University student Jill Pocock.
10 May 2004

Opinion - Look beyond the wounded heart
Driven by an unbridled itch for sophistication, we've debunked most of our childhood faith and values. While much of this was needed, the loss of our innocence has left us with wounded hearts, and we have less resources to put up with the strains and tensions of family, Church, neighbourhood. - Fr Ron Rolheiser
10 May 2004

BBC experiments with religious Big Brother in monastery
BBC TV in the UK is recruiting volunteers from media and advertising to live in a monastery for two months as part of an experiment that has been labelled a religious version of the Big Brother reality series.
10 May 2004

Irish Mercy Sisters apologise for abuse
The Sisters of Mercy in Ireland last week apologised unconditionally to those who suffered under its care.
10 May 2004

Tensions mark Israel, Vatican relations
As they approach the 10th anniversary of their formal diplomatic relations next month, diplomatic tensions between the Holy See and Israel are mounting.
10 May 2004

Brisbane Archbishop boosts role of deaneries
Archbishop John Bathersby has announced groundbreaking changes to encourage greater co-operation between deaneries and parishes, which will affect the life of the Church in the Brisbane archdiocese.
10 May 2004

Nuncio urges parishes and movements to work together
Pope John Paul II's representative in Australia, Archbishop Francesco Canalini, has called on parishes and Church movements to set apart rivalries in order to work together to answer the challenges and needs of the times.
10 May 2004

Archbishop Carroll re-elected Bishops' Conference President
Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra-Goulburn has been re-elected as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC).
10 May 2004

Feature - Writing about the Irish in Australia
The late Patrick O'Farrell changed the way Australians and Australian Catholics think about themselves. The Union Jack on the national flag proclaimed our British origins. Yet since 1788 there had been a large bloc of people here who did not go all the way with such Empire loyalism. These were the Irish.
7 May 2004

Opinion - The search for happiness
The opposite of happiness is not sorrow, but deadness - the dissatisfaction induced by a consumer culture that stimulates our senses but leaves us starved for some deeper purpose. The desire to escape this led the early desert fathers into the desert to tap into the source of life and to discover their own true selves. - Robert Ellsberg, author of "The Saints' Guide to Happiness"
7 May 2004

More HECS places for Notre Dame Medical School
The Vice Chancellor of Perth's University of Notre Dame has welcomed the Federal Government's announcement of an additional 20 commencing HECS places for its new School of Medicine.
7 May 2004

Moluccas bishops says conflict political not religious
The local Catholic bishop says Christian groups are not involved in the reported escalation of Muslim-Christian tensions on the Indonesian island of Ambon that has recently claimed at least 38 lives.
7 May 2004

HREOC backs Adelaide Centacare on asylum-seeker children's suffering
A Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission report due for release on Tuesday will show many asylum seeker children suffer from mental health problems including anxiety, bed-wetting, nightmares, emotional numbing and suicidal thoughts.
7 May 2004

Catholic body urges a better deal for the low paid
The Catholic Church's employment relations body described the $19.00 per week increase to the Federal Minimum Wage announced on Wednesday as just one of many necessary advances for low paid workers.
7 May 2004

Catholic Welfare says Treasurer Costello should resist tax cut temptation
Catholic Welfare Australia says it will be keenly watching next week's Federal Budget to see whether the Treasurer heeds recent polling results and spends Budget surplus dollars on services as opposed to tax cuts.
7 May 2004

Vatican's 'global disdain' for Iraq prison abuse
The Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper headlined its editions yesterday with reports of abuse of Iraqi prisoners by the US military, saying the scandal had earned America the disdain of world public opinion.
7 May 2004

Feature - The rise of global fundamentalism
At the dawn of the 21st century, religious warfare is alive and well, not a relic of the past. The rise in religious hostility is partly political, but it also represents a worldwide upsurge in conservative and fundamentalist movements in religion.
6 May 2004

Opinion - Torture and responsibility in Iraq
The abuse is perpetrated by good young men and women who have somehow become dehumanised enough, by training, combat stress, and neglect. The number is not negligible. We are all responsible for them. And so we must all be part of the healing. - Sheila Provencher, Catholic member of Christian Peacemaker Teams, based in Iraq
6 May 2004

Cardinal says rape does not justify morning after pill
Even a crime such as rape cannot justify the elimination of a life, according to Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa.
6 May 2004

Papal envoy conciliatory on gay relationships
The papal nuncio in Spain has said that while marriage must always be the union of a man and a woman, "there are other forms of cohabitation and it is good that they be recognised".
6 May 2004

Natural family planning growing in popularity
Centacare Adelaide's Natural Fertility Services has reported a dramatic increase in the number of engaged couples seeking natural family planning education.
6 May 2004

Vatican reports progress in talks with Vietnam
Vatican officials have returned to Rome after a 6-day visit to Hanoi able to report good progress in talks with the government.
6 May 2004

Pontifical Academy looks breakdown in caring roles
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is considering the implications of the disintegration of links within extended families that is causing those needing care to rely on government welfare systems rather than family.
6 May 2004

Pope prays for kidnapped Colombian priest
Pope John Paul II continues to pray for a Colombian priest kidnapped almost two months ago.
6 May 2004

Feature - Angel of special kids
A real-life angel was last month named Herald-Sun Victorian of the Year. 70 year old Loreto Sister Margaret Noone was honoured for her care and commitment to children living with life-threatening illness, having spent 20 years supporting families through the Very Special Kids charity she founded.
5 May 2004

Opinion - A broad church
When Jesus says, "In my Father's house there are many rooms," he isn't describing celestial geography, but a heart, God's, whose compassion and scope is the antithesis of any small sectarian group or any group of like-minded people huddling around some fiery ideology.
5 May 2004

Orthodox targets Catholics with English services
Melbourne's Holy Cross Orthodox Mission, the first Orthodox church in Australia to have services in English, has said that it is targeting non-Orthodox - including Catholics, Protestants and unbelievers - who are seeking spiritual succour.
5 May 2004

Swiss Guards mark 500 years with Pope
The Vatican's Swiss Guard will celebrate its 500th anniversary in 2005-06 with events including a month-long 850 km march from Switzerland to Rome to recreate the arrival of the first contingent.
5 May 2004

China drops ban on outspoken Hong Kong bishop
China invited the head of Hong Kong's Catholic church to return to his hometown of Shanghai last week, lifting a six-year ban on one of Beijing's most outspoken critics.
5 May 2004

East Timor's Bishop Belo rules out politics
Bishop Carlos Belo has ruled out running for president of East Timor in 2007, after current President Xanana Gusmao stands down.
5 May 2004

Catholic office says Vic Budget will help poor
Yesterday's Victorian State Budget indicates the Bracks Government is listening to the needs of disadvantaged Victorians, according to Fr Joe Caddy, Social Policy Director at Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV).
5 May 2004

CEO head says male teacher win just a start
While pleased with this week's Howard Government announcement of 500 scholarships to counter the nationwide shortage of men in schools, Sydney Catholic Education Office Executive Director Br Kelvin Canavan says the status of the teaching profession generally needs to be elevated.
5 May 2004

Feature - Schools go hi-tech to track down absenteeism
A growing number of Catholic schools are following the lead of their techno-savvy students by introducing SMS text messaging to inform parents of unexplained absenteeism.
4 May 2004

Opinion - Gay marriage a move in the wrong direction
Marriage is in decline, not least because the contraceptive revolution of the 1960s and the abortion revolution of the '70s brought about a sharp separation of sex from parenthood, sometimes even from love. Promoting so-called gay marriage through legal endorsement by the state would weaken significantly the place of traditional marriage and bring with it instability and further confusion. - Cardinal George Pell
4 May 2004

Urgent appeal for PNG school destroyed in fire
Catholic Mission is appealing for help to rebuild a substantial part of a Papua New Guinea high school destroyed in a fire last month.
4 May 2004

Centacare Employment achieves outstanding results
Catholic Welfare Australia has commended Centacare Employment sites for their outstanding results in the Job Network Star ratings, with 70% of sites achieving 4 stars or more.
4 May 2004

British Bishops comment on new English Mass draft
The liturgy office of the Bishops of England and Wales has praised the International Committee for English (ICEL) for its preference for the use of inclusive language in the 'green book' new English Mass translation draft currently circulating among bishops in English-speaking countries.
4 May 2004

Catholic Health says surplus could end Medicare pain for Australia's poor
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has used higher than expected Federal Budget surplus projections to argue that the Government is not doing its best to improve the capacity of Medicare to meet the costs of a GP visit for most Australians.
4 May 2004

Josephites plot future partnership with lay groups
The six branches of the Sisters of St Joseph met last week to develop a future strategy that includes formal links with lay groups to ensure the preservation of the spirit of their founder Mary MacKillop.
4 May 2004

Sydney campus plan for Perth Catholic university
One of Australia's fastest-growing universities, the privately owned Catholic University of Notre Dame, is considering an offer from the Sydney Archdiocese to provide a mothballed inner city site for a east coast campus.
4 May 2004

Feature - Finding time for a full life
For the past seven years Tony Roach has chosen to work part-time so he can share child rearing duties with his wife Jean. Tony, Adelaide archdiocesan director of Caritas Australia, made the move to part-time work when his son Isaac turned one.
3 May 2004

Opinion - More thought needed on patients in vegetative state
If a ventilator may be ethically withdrawn from a permanently unconscious patient, why the reluctance to withdraw medically assisted nutrition and hydration from a permanently unconscious patient? Life is a basic good of the patient that should never be deliberately terminated. But does it follow that there is a moral duty indefinitely to provide MANH for permanently unconscious patients? - Fr Norman M Ford SDB, director Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics, Melbourne, commenting on Pope John Paul II's recent determination that withdrawing food and water from patients in a vegetative state is euthanasia
3 May 2004

Public schools learn lesson about values education
Promoting values-based education is winning back disillusioned parents and students from independent and Catholic schools to the public education system, according to a new report.
3 May 2004

Christian report alleged torture by coalition troops in January
Following media reports that US and British army personnel have been charged with torturing detainees, the Ekklesia news service has pointed out that Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) presented the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq with a dossier of statistical data about this four months ago.
3 May 2004

NZ PM rejects booklet against euthanasia
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark responded with a political statement when a group sent her their publication against euthanasia, and for dying with dignity.
3 May 2004

Pell appoints woman doctor to head Sydney Life Office
Dr Brigid Vout, a 31 year old doctor from Melbourne, has been appointed director of the new Life Office, established by the Archdiocese in inner city Sydney to address issues such as abortion, euthanasia, reproductive technology and genetics.
3 May 2004

Melbourne Archbishop says prudent politicians welcome at Eucharist
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne has responded to questioning from The Sunday Age newspaper about whether he would give communion to Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, a Catholic who supports Medicare arrangements that offer legal abortion.
3 May 2004

Pope stresses Christian values of enlarged EU
Welcoming 10 new member states to the European Union yesterday, Pope John Paul II again underlined the Christian values which he sees as the basis of the bloc's unity.
3 May 2004