Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JUNE 2004

   
Feature - Fateful trip to the butcher
Days after John D'Souza migrated with his young family to Australia from India, he got chatting to the local butcher in Mount Gambier, who promised to help him find a job in exchange for a promise to go to a local St Vincent de Paul Society meeting. John went on to be secretary and president of the regional body, then to be State vice-president and finally, last month, to be elected State president.
30 Jun 2004

Opinion - Liturgical vigilantes
Just as I feared, some parishioners have downloaded Redemptionis Sacramentum from the Internet and are using it as the basis for a campaign of 'priest policing'. No matter how devout and well intentioned the priest, the slightest perceived violation of any precept results in a stern 'please-rectify-immediately-or-else' letter. These condemnations are totally devoid of the spirit of charity called for by the document. - Elizabeth Harrington
30 Jun 2004

Cautious welcome for renewed relations with Israel Govt
Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land head Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa has described the resumption of diplomatic talks between Church leaders and Israeli government officials as a "positive sign", but warned that "serious problems" remain.
30 Jun 2004

Church condemns celibacy TV documentary
The Church has criticised a documentary screened in the US earlier this week that links celibacy to clergy sex abuse.
30 Jun 2004

Division among US bishops on sanctions for politicians
While Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin says he has no plans to deny Communion to pro-choice Catholic politicians, St Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke plans to issue a pastoral letter informing even Catholics who vote for a pro-choice politician that they are "committing a mortal sin".
30 Jun 2004

Pope sorrow over Constantinople
During a visit by the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Pope John Paul II has expressed his sorrow over the sacking of Constantinople by Catholic crusaders in 1204.
30 Jun 2004

Centacare director 'devastated' by Govt demands
Adelaide Centacare director Dale West has said he is "devastated" that the organisation has had to withdraw its care of the Bakhtiyari asylum seeker children because of what it says are untenable Government demands.
30 Jun 2004

Archbishop says Harradine a "tough act to follow"
Hobart's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has said the decision by Independent Senator Brian Harradine not to contest the next Senate election will create a void that will be very difficult for anyone else to fill.
30 Jun 2004

Feature - Sister activist
75 year old Perth academic-activist Veronica Brady became a nun not to fulfil a mystical bride-of-Christ vision, but to ease the prick of conscience. Outspoken against Church authority, she says: "When I'm asked, I say what I honestly believe."
29 Jun 2004

Opinion - Providence and the conspiracy of accidents
"God sent AIDS to punish sexual promiscuity." It's good that our age rejects false notions of providence because God does not start fires, floods, wars, AIDS, or anything else to punish us. But to say that God doesn't initiate or cause these things is not the same thing as saying that God doesn't speak through them.
29 Jun 2004

Shrine to English martyrs faces financial challenge
London's shrine to the Catholic martyrs of the Reformation faces closure unless it can raise $A1.042 million to pay for lifts and ramps for disabled visitors.
29 Jun 2004

Pope honours Aussie friend
Earlier this month, Pope John Paul II honoured Signorina Concetta "Connie" Izzi, who worked in the Australian Embassy in Rome from 1950 to 1979.
29 Jun 2004

NZ gay law 'to make moral wasteland'
Cardinal Thomas Williams of Wellington said New Zealand's Civil Union Bill, which aims to bolster the rights of same-sex couples, is part of the erosion of values that is turning New Zealand into a "moral wasteland".
29 Jun 2004

Salesians 'knew of Klep allegations'
Parents of former students allegedly sexually abused at Salesian College in Sunbury outside Melbourne are getting together to discuss action as the scandal widened yesterday.
29 Jun 2004

Lobbyists welcome cross border water agreement
The Catholic group PolMin has described Friday's National Water Initiative announcement by the Council of Australian Governments as "an important step in developing cross jurisdictional, cross party political and cross community position on water".
29 Jun 2004

Iraqi archbishop: handover offers hope to silent majority
The Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Msgr Jean Benjamin Sleiman, said yesterday's surprise early handover of powers by the US provisional authority administrator Paul Bremer to the Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, offers hope to the country's silent majority.
29 Jun 2004

Feature - Kickstart to faith
Music workshop graduates put the skills they learned into practice at the evening 'Kickstart' rally at Warwick in Queensland. Five faith-filled young adults injected a love of life in the community, reaching out to young people in the parish and Assumption College, Warwick.
28 Jun 2004

Opinion - Standing up to be counted
Papal biographer George Weigel still believes the moral case for war in Iraq was compelling. He is thought of as one of the "Gang of Four" of formidable American Catholics - the others are Richard Neuhaus, Michael Novak and Mary Ann Glendon - who vigorously fight the Church's corner in the American public square.
28 Jun 2004

Priest beats up would-be robbers
A tough Chicago priest foiled two would-be robbers who tried to steal money from the church collection box, keeping one of them in a headlock until the cops came.
28 Jun 2004

Asian countries worst offenders on religious freedom
In a report on religious freedom throughout the world, the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has found that the most repressive governments are located in Asia.
28 Jun 2004

Pope says Olympics help promote healthy attitude toward sports
Warning against excessive commercialisation of modern sports, Pope John Paul II said events like the Olympic Games are essential in promoting athletics that include the poor, motivate the young and "exclude no one".
28 Jun 2004

St Vincent's to save embattled suburban hospital
Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital will help revamp services at Campbelltown Hospital in Sydney's south-west to improve its battered image.
28 Jun 2004

Pell call to keep religion on public agenda
A Sydney Sunday newspaper featured comments from the city's Cardinal George Pell stressing the need for Catholics in public life to bring their faith to bear on their work.
28 Jun 2004

Salesian arrested at Melbourne Airport
Convicted pedophile priest Frank Klep was able to slip in and out of Australia undetected three times in the past four years despite being wanted on five charges of indecently assaulting a teenage boy in the 1970s, a court heard on Friday.
28 Jun 2004

Feature - The objective of Catholic health care
A recent major conference in the US focused on the issue of the ethics and objectives in Catholic health care. Fr Michael Place, said that one organization can be distinguished from another organization that does the same thing by its motive, its motivation and its purpose. "We use the provision of health care-quality, safe health care as a vehicle to express our motivation of being followers of the Lord Jesus, whose mission was to bring healing. Our mission is to enhance the reign of God and provide for the advancement of the common good." - OnLine Catholics
25 Jun 2004

Opinion - Adult spiritual and psychological health
Yesterday's feature was looking at the place of spirituality in adolescent mental health. Fr Ron Rolheiser is here looking at similar things from an adult perspective. Get involved in your community – it not only "nurtures the soul" but keeps us sane and steady. – WCR
25 Jun 2004

Archbishop Doyle cites "The Byrds" in moving tribute to Jim Bacon
In a moving personal tribute to former Tasmania Premier, Jim Bacon, who died from cancer on Monday, Tasmanian Archbishop Adrian Doyle recalled the 1960s rock song by The Byrds: "there is a time for every purpose (under heaven) … now is a time for peace".
25 Jun 2004

China denies detention of Bishops
China is denying the allegations of the Vatican that it arrested three bishops.
25 Jun 2004

Victorian Catholic teachers get bigger pay rise
Victorian Catholic school teachers have effectively secured a bigger wage rise than their government school colleagues, with some getting increases of up to 17.2 per cent. – The Age
25 Jun 2004

Fr Klep being deported from Samoa
The priest at the heart of the abuse allegations in Samoa has been ordered by the government of Samoa to leave the country within 48 hours.
25 Jun 2004

Pope addresses why we pray?
In his weekly audience yesterday John Paul II reminded Christians that authentic prayer is not just about asking God to help us. Prayer is also about our praise and thanksgiving to Him. - Zenit
25 Jun 2004

Pope urges increasing attention on Adult Faith Formation
In a new address to a group of visiting US Bishops yesterday, Pope John Paul urges "increasing focus" on adolescent and adult faith formation.
25 Jun 2004

Feature - Spirituality and adolescence
Adolescent Psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, says Catholic schools are well placed to help young people with psychological imbalances because spirituality is one of the biggest protective factors against psychological problems for young people. – Southern Cross
24 Jun 2004

Opinion - Avery Dulles on the rights of accused priests
Cardinal Avery Dulles argues in the latest edition of America Magazine: "The church must protect the community from harm, but it must also protect the human rights of each individual who may face an accusation. The supposed good of the totality must not override the rights of individual persons." He puts forward suggestions as to how the rights of the community and the rights of the accused might be balanced.
24 Jun 2004

First embryonic stem cells produced in Australia/New charity laws passed
Two other significant local stories to end: (i) A Sydney fertility clinic has announced the production of the first human embryonic stem cells. (ii) The Senate has passed legislation allowing child care groups, self-help bodies and some religious orders to qualify as charities. – SMH/Age
24 Jun 2004

Asylum seeker children abandon legal fight and now face deportation
The Bakhtiyari asylum seeker children have abandoned their legal battle with the Federal Government, choosing life in the community under 24-hour guard over the "anxiety and uncertainty" of another trial. – Advertiser
24 Jun 2004

Deacon numbers tipped to double
The newly reappointed National Coordinator of the Permanent Diaconate says the number of permanent deacons in Australia will double in the next five years. – Catholic Leader
24 Jun 2004

Catholic Health Chief blasts Labor Party about face
Catholic Health Australia CEO, Francis Sullivan, appeared on national television news bulletins last night blasting the Labor Party's about face over increased charges for prescription medicines.
24 Jun 2004

Rome condemns arrest of Chinese bishops/murder of Korean hostage
The BBC World Service overnight has been carrying a prominent story of the Vatican's protest over the arrest of three bishops in China. In Rome, the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, is carrying a story condemning the murder of the Korean hostage.
24 Jun 2004

Salesians bunker down, deny allegations, but more revelations
The major story continues to be the one concerning the Salesians. They have issued a media release from Rome denying the allegations but the press has new revelations including a second priest implicated.
24 Jun 2004

Feature - On women drawn to the spiritual life in their middle age…
The Vatican is querying pop star Madonna's association with the religion Kabbalah (See this link.). In this Guardian article Mary Kenny explores the search for spiritual meaning from a female perspective. Interesting perspectives here that might be considered in conjunction with the news stories of recent days about the challenge the Church faces from New Age spirituality.
23 Jun 2004

Opinion - Secular liturgies: football as the new religion
Stephen Tomkins argues that football is the new religion. It's a tongue-in-cheek opinion piece from the BBC Magazine but well worth the read for how secular liturgies are replacing sacred liturgies. "Few Christians go to church wearing the vestments of their favourite priest."
23 Jun 2004

Launch of "No More Poverty" initiative
A new coalition of religious social welfare and justice groups called Christian Community Services Against Poverty is mounting a campaign in the lead-up to the Federal Election to eliminate poverty.
23 Jun 2004

ABC reports on Priest Shortage in SE NSW
A shortage of Catholic priests in south-east NSW is being described as a crisis according to a report on ABC regional radio.
23 Jun 2004

Communion: more feedback
In a further indication that the leadership of the Church is endeavouring to take the heat out of communion being used as a political battering ram, the respected CNS news agency is reporting that the American Bishops are trying "to move abortion politics away from the Communion rail and into the hearts of individual Catholics".
23 Jun 2004

Religious Leaders reported to be upset at Nuncio's homily
The new e-journal OnLine Catholics is reporting that Religious Leaders present at a Mass celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Francesco Canalini, are upset that he used his homily to lecture the assembly on liturgical abuses.
23 Jun 2004

Samoa Archbishop reported to be "furious"
There is more coverage of the Salesian story in the Australian press this morning. The Archbishop of Samoa, Alapati Mataeliga, is reported to be "furious" by The Australian. He is now preparing to send Fr Klep home to Australia "on the first plane".
23 Jun 2004

Bishop John Heaps is called to the next life
The Archdiocese of Sydney has announced the passing to new life of retired Auxiliary Bishop, John Heaps, on Monday at 77 years of age.
23 Jun 2004

Feature - Migration & Refugees: What does the Church teach?
For all who are actively involved in migrant and refugee issues, and teachers, these two resources will be invaluable. Zenit carries a feature article with a link to the comprehensive Vatican Instruction, Erga migrantes caritas Christi (The love of Christ towards migrants), published on 14th May.
22 Jun 2004

Opinion - The truths and lies about school funding
The ABC's Perspective program last night gave the microphone to Bill Nash, President of the NSW Parents' Council. He argues if "non-government students moved to state schools, governments would have to find another $5000 per year to educate each of them."
22 Jun 2004

Activists call attention to the misuse of water and need for conservation
The Faith and Ecology Network calls on the communities of all religions in Australia to promote among their own members a respectful use of water in both rural and urban settings.
22 Jun 2004

Notre Dame Sydney campus decision expected "within weeks"
The West Australian reports this morning that a decision on establishing a Sydney campus for the University of Notre Dame is expected within weeks.
22 Jun 2004

Pope/Vatican comment on series of major issues
The media is carrying many reports on comments made by the Pope and the Vatican yesterday on a series of significant issues including: World Refugee Day, the European Constitution and rediscovering the Christian roots of our culture, and concerns over the political direction being taken in Spain.
22 Jun 2004

New Age: Conference affirms need for new analysis/response
The Vatican Information Service reported yesterday on the outcome of the International Conference on the New Age held last week. In summary it concludes ongoing study is needed and the Church needs to develop a more sophisticated response.
22 Jun 2004

Vatican Observatory sponsors conference on evolution
The Vatican Observatory has convoked a range of experts to reflect on a question that at times seems to be forgotten in scientific research: Is there purpose in evolution?
22 Jun 2004

Abuse: Int'l investigation implicates Salesians/Australia
In a day with much positive news being generated by the Church herself, the overall picture is marred by a jarring international investigation with serious international implications for the Church. The example being used to illustrate the problem is an Australian priest allegedly moved to Samoa by his Order to escape criminal prosecution processes.
22 Jun 2004

Feature - Catholic biographer speaks on what we can learn from literary greats
Joseph Pierce in an interview published in Zenit: "In examining the lives of others - and especially in examining the lives of highly gifted Christian figures - we can learn from, and be inspired by, their example and by their trials and tribulations, by their triumphs and their failures."
21 Jun 2004

Opinion - The appeal of zeal
In a review published yesterday in The Observer, Jason Burke has this to say of Malise Ruthven's book Fundamentalism: The Search for Meaning: "Ruthven argues that contemporary fundamentalisms are defensive in origin. The ultra-conservatism of these movements is an attempt to reconcile their traditions with modernity while preserving the elements within those traditions which insulate their followers against the doubt and choice that characterises the modern world. This book is perceptive and important."
21 Jun 2004

True love waits worth the wait
At a time when research shows Australians are having sex younger, and more often, it has become fashionable to declare your virginity. The Sunday Telegraph gives publicity to True Love Waits, and its Sydney offshoot, Worth The Wait.
21 Jun 2004

Melbourne boy gets "divorce" from mother
A 14-year-old Melbourne boy has been granted a divorce from his mother on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. - Sunday Telegraph
21 Jun 2004

US Bishops urge new type of politics
In submissions to the Democratic and Republican Party platform committees, the US Bishops have called for "a new kind of politics focused on moral principles and not the latest polls". – Zenit
21 Jun 2004

Vic. Govt to oppose restricting Morning-After Pill
The Age reports this morning that the Victorian Government intends to oppose any Federal Government attempts to restrict the sale of the Morning-After pill.
21 Jun 2004

Religious leaders urge: "Embrace Difference in a global culture of fear"
Australia's leaders of religious institutes urge the Church to "embrace difference in a global culture of fear".
21 Jun 2004

Cardinal Kasper: "Eucharistic hospitality licit in some circumstances"
Two significant news items over the weekend on the Eucharist: Cardinal Kasper's surprise statement that Eucharistic hospitality may be "licit" in some circumstances. In the US, the Catholic Bishops issue a "cautious" statement on communion for public figures. - CWN
21 Jun 2004

Feature - How about an Anglo-Saxon Pope this time?
In the current issue of the new cyber-journal OnLine Catholics, Ron Calli puts forward five good reasons why the world, and the Church, would benefit from an Anglo-Saxon or Celt Pope. Provocative reading for the weekend. Is the Holy Spirit listening to her people though – LOL?
18 Jun 2004

Opinion - There are many Mother Teresas
"I have said to the Missionaries of Charity more times than they have probably wanted to hear, "There are many Mother Teresas. I believe that firmly. In fact, I want to suggest today that the reason for her beatification is precisely that not only can she be imitated, but that she has been. She offers us a model of what WE can do, and perhaps what we ought to do." Inspiring thoughts from Indian Bishop, Leobard D'Souza, in the current issue of Just Good Company cyber magazine.
18 Jun 2004

Solomons: Celebrating the unsung missionary heroes
There was a celebration in Honiara in the Solomon Islands the other day that ought to be shouted from the rooftops of the world. Sadly it wasn't but we'll give it a go…
18 Jun 2004

CEO head praises Catholic teachers
The Executive Director of Schools in Sydney is effusive in his praise of Catholic teachers in this week's Catholic Weekly.
18 Jun 2004

Suicide not only big problem in Western world
There is surprising news from the respected British medical journal The Lancet this morning that South India has the highest rate of youth suicide in the world. Youth suicide is generally seen as a particular affliction of affluent, educated and alienated Western communities.
18 Jun 2004

Communion: What does Ratzinger really say?
There are some confusing media reports about this morning reporting a possible intervention by Cardinal Ratzinger into the controversial matter of Communion for US Catholic politicians. - CWN/NYT/CNS
18 Jun 2004

Lost Catholic community found in China after 50 years
The Catholic agency AsiaNews.it reports today that a community of 5,000 lay Catholics has been located in a remote part of China who have "kept the faith" without a priest and without contact with the universal Church for 50 years.
18 Jun 2004

Good Friday football match unlikely but...
Fox Sport and The Age are carrying stories this morning saying that the AFL is unlikely to endorse football on Good Friday next year. Self-evidently from the stories the push for change is on though with Collingwood president Eddie McGuire leading the charge.
18 Jun 2004

Feature - Sudan: Dare we call it genocide?
If the mass murder and rape in the Darfur region of Sudan isn't genocide, then that word has no meaning, writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times.
17 Jun 2004

Opinion - Equality in parenting
Virginia Bourke argues: "True equality of parenting requires a radical refiguring of these gendered ideas of parenting: it calls for a rethinking of motherhood and fatherhood not as biologically predetermined roles, but as roles requiring the real work of caring for and nurturing a child."
17 Jun 2004

Catholics, Anglicans oppose Hong Kong education bill
Anglican and Catholic Church leaders in Hong Kong have vowed to oppose a government move that would compromise their schools. - Zenit


UPDATES:
(i) thankyou to the many people who have sent in updates on Queens' Birthday Honour recipients. The updates are being added to the list which can be found HERE.
(ii) The addresses by Cardinal Pell on "Primacy of Conscience" mentioned in yesterday's lead story can now be found HERE including a more recent address he delivered at the University of Cambridge on 3rd March this year.

17 Jun 2004

Can Mel Gibson add another credit to his success?
The Vatican confirmed plans yesterday to beatify the controversial 19th century nun whose visions helped inspire Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ". – CNS
17 Jun 2004

Sex slave traders to be targeted
The Federal Government has pledged a new action plan to target sex slavery following a US report naming Australia as a destination. - The Australian
17 Jun 2004

US Bishops "overwhelmingly" approve new round of audits
In a 207-14 vote the US Conference of Bishops has approved a second round of audits to measure how well US dioceses are implementing sex abuse prevention policies.
17 Jun 2004

Mass Translation: Irish Bishops want new draft
The Irish Bishops' Conference has "requested a revision of the new draft translation so that it may have an English text, faithful to the Latin original, but reflecting a style that is contemporary and accessible to people in their worship and prayer".
17 Jun 2004

What is the purpose of religion?
A disease-enfeebled, tiring old man reflects on the paradox - "personal peace and serenity" are the fruits of our struggle through suffering to communion with God – PJPII.
17 Jun 2004

Feature - Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach
Even the saints experienced depression. Christ's own story models for us that suffering might be an inevitability in life. BeliefNet has published an extract from Kathryn Hermes' book, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach. Well worth being familiar with for the dark nights we all meet in life.
16 Jun 2004

Opinion - Report on meeting of lay leaders from East Asia
Tom Fox, publisher of National Catholic Reporter, has been attending a significant conference of lay Catholic leaders from across East Asia. In the current issue of NCR he explains the significance of the meeting held in South Korea.
16 Jun 2004

Vatican library goes hi-tech to protect its valuable collection
The 1.6million+ book collection of the Vatican library is going hi-tech with each book being implanted with computer chips for tracking purposes.
16 Jun 2004

Mixed blessing in latest statistical snapshot of Australia
The latest Bureau of Statistics snapshot of Australia brings mixed blessings. The ABC is reporting we want fewer babies and more education. The West Australian is reporting there is "a return to old-style values with a revival of interest in communities and a levelling out of declining birth rates".
16 Jun 2004

Backbench pressure forces Abbot back down on family policy
Federal Health Minister, Tony Abbott, yesterday shelved what he termed a "families first" measure aimed at preventing teenagers under 16 from seeing doctors without the knowledge of their parents. – SMH
16 Jun 2004

US Supreme Court allows "Under God" to stay in school pledge
On a legal technicality the US Supreme Court has rejected a submission by an atheist that "under God" is should not be allowed in the oath of allegiance said by school children. It has ducked making a ruling on the constitutional question.
16 Jun 2004

Vatican deals with Inquisition and New Age in same breath
The two main stories from the Vatican Information Service yesterday were dealing with big challenges from the past and future for the Church – the challenge posed by New Age spiritualities for the future and the legacy of the Inquisition she carries from the past.
16 Jun 2004

Cardinal's "Primacy of Conscience" comments still drawing flack
Despite having more carefully nuanced his controversial comments of a few years ago on "primacy of conscience", Cardinal Pell's controversial proposal to overturn this element of Catholic teaching is still drawing flack. Fr Frank Brennan SJ delivered a paper to the Australian Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs on 10th June challenging the Archbishop's point of view.
16 Jun 2004

Feature - Faith, God and the Oval Office
Time Magazine this week devotes its cover story and considerable other space to the question of religion and politics in the presidential election campaign. The cover story asks: "Just how devout do Americans want their President to be? The answer is proving to be a major reason why the 2004 campaign is so divisive". A second article asks: "Is Kerry Catholic enough? There's evidence the question is backfiring on his critics". A third article asks: "Does abortion trump all other issues?".
15 Jun 2004

Opinion - Searching for the existing official English Mass translation…
Lavinia Byrne in The Tablet maps her fruitless search for a copy on the internet of the existing official ICEL translation of the Mass. She laments that not even those websites claiming greatest fidelity to the magisterium seem to have a copy. The editor of The Tablet has labelled her article "Wild Texts Chase". This is a light-hearted opinion piece to welcome everyone back after the long weekend.
15 Jun 2004

Three quirky stories to end…
A. Westminster Abbey bans naming the sick because of legal action.
B. SA school sued because kids threw stones.
C. Prayers being "outsourced" to India.
15 Jun 2004

Archbishop Pell ranks Reagan on a par with Churchill
In his weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph, Cardinal Pell paid tribute to former US President Ronald Reagan placing him in the same class as Winston Churchill.
15 Jun 2004

US Bishops on retreat this week
Under increasing fire from all sides of the political spectrum, the US Catholic Bishops are holding a private retreat this week in Denver, Colorado.
15 Jun 2004

PNG Bishops call on Catholics to support gun ban
The Catholic Bishops of Papua New Guinea have called on Catholics to support the process of banning guns in their country.
15 Jun 2004

Vatican hesitant on US Communion debate
Vatican officials do not have easy answers to the questions raised by the US debate on communion for politicians says respected Vatican reporter, John Thavis of CNS.
15 Jun 2004

Catholics who were awarded Queen's Birthday Honours
Ms Bernadette McMenamin, who has been at the forefront of efforts to end child prostitution in Asian tourism is amongst those who received the highest Queen's Birthday Honour as an Officer of the Order of Australia.
15 Jun 2004

Feature - An astronaut's spiritual journey
In my 53 days off the planet, critical mission events like space walks, rocket firings and dockings at the Space Station rushed past like a stream blasted from a fire hose. Yet an astronaut can still find quiet new insights into faith.
11 Jun 2004

Opinion - God's call to drink in life's pleasures
It's true God calls us to self-sacrifice and to put the needs of others before our own. But instead of becoming martyrs, we can become people with "martyr complexes", frustrated persons whose energies become negative and manipulative in the name of love and service. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
11 Jun 2004

Vatican to release study on Inquisition
The Vatican will soon publish a study on the Inquisition, containing the proceedings of an international conference held in Rome in 1998.
11 Jun 2004

Petrol bomb hurled at Indonesian church
A petrol bomb has been hurled at a Catholic church in the fifth attack this week on a church in Indonesia, police said yesterday.
11 Jun 2004

NSW Catholic employers welcome decision on teacher wages
Executive Director of the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) Michael McDonald welcomed said the release of yesterday's Industrial Relations Commission decision to provide a further 6.5% to salaries in addition to the 5.5% granted by the Commission earlier this year.
11 Jun 2004

Catholic Health cautions against parent access to teen medical visits
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has said the Bill before Parliament intended to give parents access to information about their children's medical consultations raises important issues that require further discussion before legislation is enacted.
11 Jun 2004

Pope John Paul declares Year of the Eucharist
During yesterday's celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi, Pope John Paul yesterday announced that October 2004 to October 2005 would be a special Year of the Eucharist.
11 Jun 2004

Jesuit advocate says there's no good reason for child detention
Human rights lawyer Fr Frank Brennan has told a Sydney rally that there is no reason for keeping asylum seekers in detention - especially children - other than bureaucratic convenience and the government's desire for popularity.
11 Jun 2004

Feature - Faith and theology put to the test
I was ordained a priest in 1964, I found myself posted to a parish where I came into direct contact with gross violation of human rights. So therefore I was actually challenged myself, as a priest, as a theologian, to see to what extent I could actually live side by side with a situation of oppression without challenging it. - Fr Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Mayor of Pretoria, South Africa
10 Jun 2004

Opinion - Young priest at the coal face protecting his humanity
I have no doubt that structures do need to be in place and that best practices should undoubtedly be shared, but I have severe reservations about such structures and best practices 'cascading down'. If you're at the bottom of the 'cascade' life can be pretty daunting. Where is the room for the priest's humanity in all of this?
10 Jun 2004

Indian priest highlights destructive role of call centres
A priest in the Indian business hub Mumbai has warned against the social cost to India of western countries including Australia outsourcing their call centre work to contractors in India.
10 Jun 2004

Sydney CEO recognised with leadership award
The Catholic Education Office, Sydney, has won the Leadership Award in the recent annual Australian Business Excellence Awards.
10 Jun 2004

Vatican set to publish documents from World War II archives
The Vatican is preparing to publish a two-volume book and eight DVDs that document the Holy See's quiet efforts to help prisoners of war during World War II.
10 Jun 2004

Vatican observer on job creation's human and national development role
The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations in Geneva has called for a balanced hierarchy of values in the regulation of employment opportunities.
10 Jun 2004

Tasmanian priest on sex charges
A former leading priest in Tasmania, has been charged with one count of indecent assault against a 16-year-old boy in 1970, will face a committal hearing later this year on sex charges.
10 Jun 2004

Bishop says Play School no place for 'two Mums'
Bishop Christopher Toohey has joined in the widespread community criticism of the ABC TV program Play School for showing a segment related to lesbian marriage.
10 Jun 2004

Feature - Centacare young clients share life stories
19 year old Pat has experienced periods of homelessness since he left home at 13. Working with Centacare Newcastle, he has helped with Mission Australia's Life Stories Project, in which he and others use as a starting point their stories, especially the pressures and hardships of homelessness.
9 Jun 2004

Opinion - The religious significance of your refrigerator
It is a strange object of worship. People who have long since given up genuflecting in church, either because their knees are a bit tired and cranky or because they always run into friends before they reach their usual seat, still manage to kneel before the fridge. - Michael McGirr
9 Jun 2004

Irish Archbishop seeks weekly mobile phone switch-off
Archbishop Sean Brady or Armagh has called on Irish people to switch off their TVs and mobile phones once a week.
9 Jun 2004

Sudan called 'world's worst humanitarian disaster'
Untold thousands of lives will be lost in the Darfur region of Sudan unless civilians are protected from the brutal Janjaweed militia and inter-ethnic fighting, says Caritas partner Nils Cartensen who has just returned from the area.
9 Jun 2004

ACU to gain from Sydney Uni nurse training decision
The University of Sydney will stop accepting nursing students from next year, with future undergraduates being transferred to the the Australian Catholic University and the University of Technology Sydney.
9 Jun 2004

Archbishop comments on lure of unscrupulous evangelists
In the wake of publicity associated with a "crusade" to be led by American tele-evangelist Benny Hinn in Brisbane later this month, the city's Archbishop John Bathersby has said he is "disappointed" by people attracted by signs and wonders holding unreal expectations.
9 Jun 2004

Bishop Belo's new mission in in Mozambique
Former leader of the Catholic Church in East Timor, Nobel laureate Bishop Carlos Belo, will carry out pastoral work in the Diocese of Maputo, as a member of a Salesian community in Mozambique.
9 Jun 2004

Bishops' appointment boosts deacon ministry
The Bishops Conference has affirmed the Permanent Diaconate in Australia by reappointing Deacon Shane O'Dea as the their Coordinator for the Permanent Diaconate, for a further three years.
9 Jun 2004

Feature - Echo of St Margaret Mary Alacoque
Sometimes, the voice of a saint echoes clearly to us down through the centuries. As a young adult, I found myself struggling, in the ordinary way of young people, with feeling alienated from God.
8 Jun 2004

Opinion - Liturgy is ritual
The word 'ritual' sometimes carries negative connotation of meaningless repetition, 'going through the motions'. Yet ritual activity is part of the human condition and is necessary for our survival. It is purposely done over and over again, and best when the words and actions are done from memory. - Elizabeth Harrington
8 Jun 2004

Weeping statue investigation progresses
The Sydney Morning Herald reports this morning on an unnamed scientist "poring over the results of a swab ... somewhere in a secret laboratory in Brisbane".
8 Jun 2004

Human Rights Watch urges Vietnam atrocities investigation
New reports that dozens of Christians were killed by government soldiers during peaceful protests in Vietnam's central highlands this Easter have prompted calls for an independent investigation.
8 Jun 2004

Nuns at front line of Mugabe violence against white farmers
Zimbabwe's Archbishop Pius Ncube has has condemned an invasion of a white-owned farm led by two nuns, amid a fresh upsurge of violence against Zimbabwe's white farmers.
8 Jun 2004

Historical insights to kick-start lay social movements
A meeting in Sydney this week will hear how time has obscured the role of lay movements in the ongoing development of Catholic social teaching.
8 Jun 2004

Abbott wants clamp on morning-after pill
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott is considering tightening access by young teenage girls to the controversial morning-after pill, following reports last month that the emergency contraception was being sold to very young girls.
8 Jun 2004

Pope, Vatican mourn Reagan
Vatican Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls told reporters at the weekend that Pope John Paul II had learned "with sorrow" about the death of former US President Ronald Reagan.
8 Jun 2004

Feature - Brazil's battleground
Poverty in the countryside is pitching 4 million landless people against indigenous communities claiming special rights. The Church has stepped into the fray.
7 Jun 2004

Opinion - Christian politicians over-represented in Australian democracy
With few Australians going to church these days, it may seem odd that Federal Treasurer Peter Costello placed so much faith on religious remedies in a recent speech on society's ills. The speech is less puzzling, however, once it is realised that Costello needs the support of parliamentary colleagues who are far more committed to Christianity than the Australian population as a whole. - Brian Toohey
7 Jun 2004

Sydney Cathedral Choirmaster makes welcome return
Yesterday saw the return of David Russell, the St Mary's Cathedral choirmaster whom the Church was ordered to reinstate after it sacked him over allegations of negligence in a 20-year-old sex abuse case.
7 Jun 2004

Ratzinger joins in D-Day commemoration
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger represented Pope John Paul II in Normandy at the weekend, marking the 60th anniversary of the D-Day offensive.
7 Jun 2004

Jesuit says Olympic torch symbolises unity, not national competition
The movement of the Olympic Torch through Sydney and Melbourne, then eventually every other continent on earch, calls us to a sense of international unity, not cheap international competition, according to Fr Peter Norden.
7 Jun 2004

Fire destroys most of Perth suburban church building
A blaze destroyed most of a northern Perth Catholic Church in a suspected case of arson, police said yesterday.
7 Jun 2004

Pope takes Bush to task on war
Both Pope John Paul II and anti-war protesters US President George Bush to return Iraq to Iraqis when he visited Rome on Friday.
7 Jun 2004

Bishops release Eucharist pastoral letter
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have made public a pastoral letter on the Eucharist which they have written for next Sunday's Feast of Corpus Christi.
7 Jun 2004

Feature - Conciliating Hatred
This article by Professor Steven D. Smith in First Things tackles the difficult issue of court interventions into the political and moral arena. It's specifically related to the case of the US Supreme Court but the arguments have wider application to other countries in the Western world. The arguments Smith presents are also interesting from the point of view of all those interested in reconciling across the increasing divides in society on so many social issues.
7 Jun 2004

Opinion - Fr Tom Doyle on the John Jay Report
The latest issue of Just Good Company published on the weekend carries a strong article by controversial Dominican Fr Tom Doyle on the John Jay Report and the way the bishops in the US have been handling the abuse crisis.
7 Jun 2004

Perth Church burned – arson suspected
Archbishop Barry Hickey made an unexpected visit to St Dominic's Church in the Perth suburb of Innaloo on Sunday morning after suspected arsonists torched the parish church on Saturday night.
7 Jun 2004

Archbishop and Choirmaster reconciled
The SMH reports this morning on the reconciliation that occurred on Sunday in St Mary's Cathedral Sydney between Cardinal Pell and reinstated choirmaster, David Russell.
7 Jun 2004

Communion issue causing split amongst US bishops
The New York Times is interpreting recent signs from the Vatican as dismay over the dissention amongst US Bishops on denying communion to politicians.
7 Jun 2004

Sydney bioethicist interviewed by Zenit on Morning After Pill
Zenit newsagency carried an interview on the weekend with Dr Brigid Vout, executive officer of the Sydney Life Office on "Australia's dalliance with the Morning After Pill".
7 Jun 2004

Pope receives mixed reception in Switzerland
The Pope's brief visit to Switzerland on the weekend generated an enthusiastic reception from thousands of young people some of the international media is reporting while others are more sombre. The Catholic media has underlined the importance of the trip in restoring diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Bern.
7 Jun 2004

Evangelisation is "an encounter with Christ" – Pope to US Bishops
In an address to US Bishops last Friday, the Pope called for the evangelisation of American culture saying that above all evangelisation is about an encounter with Christ and not something merely institutional.
7 Jun 2004

Feature - At the altar of the silver screen
Where we worship, how we tell our stories and the search for meaning are questions that have long caught the imagination of Fr Richard Leonard SJ. As head of the Catholic Film Commission, he reviews films, educates teachers, and responds to issues of classification and censorship.
4 Jun 2004

Opinion - Abortion is not the only prolife issue
Abortion is the only life question that the Catholic church does not nuance - never, ever, in any situation, accepts as morally plausible. No one has ever suggested that we deny communion to those who kill for the state. Or who kill in self-defence. Or who sign the judgment that sends a person to the electric chair. Or who sign bills authorizing the building of bigger and better nuclear bombs that threaten the life of a whole world. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
4 Jun 2004

Peninsula convent sold as Melbourne Mercies rationalise
The grounds of a former Convent of Mercy on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula will be turned into high-priced housing following its sale to Melbourne property developers for $10.25 million.
4 Jun 2004

Vatican official urges effort to reach lapsed Catholics
Archbishop John Foley has told the Church in the US that it's time to target "inactive" Catholics through "a special effort of evangelisation through media, including and perhaps especially through Internet".
4 Jun 2004

Bush set for Vatican meeting with Pope
Following yesterday's meeting with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, US President George Bush will arrive at the Vatican today for his first meeting with Pope John Paul II in over two years.
4 Jun 2004

Aboriginal leader's critique of Brennan speech
Cape York aboriginal leader Noel Pearson has contested some of the "romantic" ideas contained in Jesuit human rights advocate Frank Brennan's Ozanam Lecture for St Vincent de Paul last month.
4 Jun 2004

Asylum seeker family's future still in limbo
The mother of the Bakhtiyari children, who is being detained with her baby in an Adelaide motel, may soon be allowed to stay with her older children despite a court ruling likely to tighten the children's detention conditions.
4 Jun 2004

Tasmaniain Justice Commission enters forest debate
The inherent hostility and divisive nature of Tasmania's forestry debate makes most Tasmanians reluctant to have their say on the issue, according to Tasmania's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.
4 Jun 2004

Feature - How to cultivate resilient adolescents
One in five Australian students suffer from a psychological problem and research shows that "half these kids go completely unidentified," according to adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. Every year Dr Carr-Gregg visits hundreds of schools to educate teachers about promoting good mental health and how to recognise signs of mental illness ranging from anxiety and depression to eating or obsessive compulsive disorders.
3 Jun 2004

Opinion - Conflict between being humane and respecting freedom
If churches believe some areas of individual freedom are bought at the expense of a humane society, they may press to limit them. In turn, they will be criticised as authoritarian and out of touch with their individual members. A sunny relationship between an individualist culture and a communitarian church is unlikely. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
3 Jun 2004

Retired chemistry professor to examine weeping statues
A retired chemistry professor has been recruited by the Church to determine whether religious objects in a small Brisbane church are actually bleeding and weeping.
3 Jun 2004

Washington Cardinal warns against denial of Eucharist
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington has told journalists that denying Communion to politicians is a "slippery slope".
3 Jun 2004

Pope prepares for first trip in nine months
Pope John Paul II will set off on Saturday on a 32 hour visit to Switzerland, to follow a program that has been designed to be less challenging than previous foreign trips.
3 Jun 2004

Caritas Australia launches Uganda appeal
Caritas Australia yesterday launched a special appeal to help rehabilitate the estimated 14,000 children who have been abducted by the Lord's Republican Army (LRA) and used as soldiers, labourers and sex slaves in Northern Uganda.
3 Jun 2004

Archbishop vows Church will learn from mistakes
Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide said he hoped recognition of "serious mistakes", such as the failure to conduct a background check when employing a bus driver at St Ann's Special School, would help victims and their families.
3 Jun 2004

Feature - Shopping as a spiritual quest
In his new book, the author of "Virtual Faith: The Irreverent Spiritual Search of Generation X", US theologian Tom Beaudoin, examines examines the current landscape where product brand names are so important to young adults. He neither celebrates nor vilifies the brand economy, but makes connections between economics and spirituality, noting that Jesus pointed out a way in which spirituality and economics are part of one full and flourishing life.
2 Jun 2004

Opinion - Heart of Darkness in Abu Ghraib, Iraq
After conducting the Stanford Prison Experiment in 1971, social psychology professor Philip Zimbardo was convinced that there are no bad apples; but good apples are sometimes put in bad barrels. In a bad barrel, good people become violent and cruel.
2 Jun 2004

Churches renew D-Day peace wish
Ecumenical bodies of Churches in France, Germany, Canada, United States and Britain and Ireland have made a joint statement ahead of Sunday's commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day landings.
2 Jun 2004

Pakistani Christian dies after prison beating
For the second time in a month, a young Christian in Pakistan has died of injuries after being beaten by fundamentalist Muslims, the Fides news service has reported.
2 Jun 2004

Commission says support for refugees is working
The Executive Office of Brisbane's Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has said the Commission's appeals for compassion "are being heard", and that he hopes they will "influence decision makers so that the anxiety suffered by refugees can come to an end".
2 Jun 2004

Choirmaster to get job back
Sydney's Catholic Archdiocese has been ordered to reinstate the choirmaster sacked from St Mary's Cathedral who became embroiled in allegations of negligence over a 20-year-old sex abuse case.
2 Jun 2004

Pell calls on Catholics to get involved in politics
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has said Catholics "need to be active in public life", describing political action as "a special form of service that belongs to lay people".
2 Jun 2004

Bishops urge vote for the common good
Australia's Bishops have issued a statement ahead of the Federal Election identifying some of the challenges now facing the nation and urging Australians to consider their vote in light of the common good.
2 Jun 2004

Feature - A women's journey to the Holy Land
The journey began in the lush green north, in what is called the Galilee. After dinner at a kibbutz, they crossed the Sea of Galilee in what could have been, except for the motor, a first-century fishing boat.
32 Jun 2004

Opinion - The Christian message is Australia's heritage
I am not sure this is well understood in Australia today. It may be that a majority of Australians no longer believe the orthodox Christian faith. But whether they believe it or not, the society they share is one founded on that faith. - Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, address at National Day of Thanksgiving Commemoration, 29/5/04
32 Jun 2004

Anglican head urges vicars to watch TV soaps
The Archbishop of Canterbury has called on Anglican priests to watch soap operas as a way of helping them connect with parishioners in the real world.
32 Jun 2004

NZ schools worried about "text bullying"
Catholic schools in New Zealand are acting to restrict the use of mobile phones by students following incidences of "text bullying" that has been linked to student suicide in at least one case.
32 Jun 2004

Sydney concern over lack of morning after pill counselling
As the Life Office of Sydney Archdiocese hosts a forum tonight, it is becoming apparent that many pharmacists are ignoring guidelines about counselling those who wish to use the morning-after pill.
32 Jun 2004

Caritas assists flood situations in Haiti
Caritas Australia is monitoring closely the situation in Haiti where recent flash flooding and mudslides near the border of the Dominican Republic have resulted in the death of residents and the destruction of hundreds of homes.
32 Jun 2004

Govt red tape forces Vinnies aged care restructure
Increased regulation of aged care has caused the St Vincent de Paul Society to centralise the administration of the 20 residential aged care services it operates for 930 residents across NSW.
32 Jun 2004

Catholic call for proper ATSIC replacement
Two major Catholic bodies have issued a joint call for all apolitical parties to ensure that an adequate regional and national structure is in place to represent the needs and aspirations of Indigenous people, following the dissolution of ATSIC one month from today.
32 Jun 2004