Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JULY 2004

   
Feature - Fearing our sick friends
We all know we should do it. So why do we make excuses instead of visiting a friend who is sick? If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone. If the number one fear is public speaking, then fear of speaking to a sick or grieving friend must be a close second.
30 Jul 2004

Opinion - Globalisation forces painful corporate rebirth
Globalisation forces companies to operate under more dynamic forces that change very quickly. If a company, because of external factors, can no longer compete viably under its current business model, it must re-engineer itself, in most cases with substantial loss of employment. You are not being fair to the community or other stakeholders if you do not manage these problems properly. - John Ingram, former CEO/MD Crane Group
30 Jul 2004

Mercies report on ethnic clashes in PNG
The latest newsletter of the Mercy International Justice Network has revealed that sisters have been assisting victims of ethnic and religious clashes in various parts of Papua New Guinea, including a Christian Brother who was wounded.
30 Jul 2004

Church in India takes up farmers' mass suicide issue
The Catholic Church in the southern Indian state of Kerala has weighed in on the struggles of farmers with a demand for the writing off of farmers' debts.
30 Jul 2004

Caritas Australia launches Bangladesh Flood Appeal
Caritas Australia yesterday announced its appeal to fund relief efforts in Bangladesh, where its parner agencies are on the ground in Bangladesh supplying food, medicine and blankets and reconstruction assistance.
30 Jul 2004

New Vatican document to confront feminism
Tomorrow the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will publish a document that attempts to address what the Congregation sees as confusions generated by feminism and so-called "gender" ideology.
30 Jul 2004

Archbishop says weeping statues were fraudulent
Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby told a media conference yesterday that a church investigation has found that oil-seeping and "bleeding" artefacts at a suburban church were fake.
30 Jul 2004

Catholic Welfare welcomes counselling funds boost
Catholic Welfare Australia says yesterday's $15 million injection of funding into relatinships counselling would help to calm bitter marriage break-ups.
30 Jul 2004

Feature - Ugandan orphan who touched heart of an Australian priest
Blessed Kugonza is a 13 year-old orphan who touched the heart of Brisbane Marist Father Jack Soulsby during his recent visit to Uganda. Fr Soulsby was being interviewed by a radio journalist when Blessed Kugonza pushed through the crowd and whispered to him. 'She told [me] she was an orphan and wanted [me] to find her a sponsor in Australia.'
29 Jul 2004

Opinion - Pastoral ineptitude in Austria
Through the 1970s, Austria's episcopacy, under the leadership of Cardinal Franz König, carved out a reputation for understanding, dialogue and moderation. But now you cannot help but feel sorry for Austria's Catholics. Bishop Kurt Krenn of Sankt Pölten dismissed the public outroar that followed the disclosure of 40,000 computer images of child pornography as a "schoolboy prank". - Thomas C. Fox
29 Jul 2004

Archbishop to announce statue probe results this morning
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has called a news conference for 9:30 am today to announce the findings of an investigation into statues at a suburban church that were said to be weeping.
29 Jul 2004

More non-Catholic families looking to Catholic schools
Almost a quarter of students enrolled in Catholic schools in southeast Queensland are non-Catholics, according to a report in today's Brisbane Courier-Mail.
29 Jul 2004

Priest denies Redfern church is "for the Aboriginals"
The parish priest of St Vincent's Parish in Sydney's inner-city has hit out at critics who say he is alienating Aboriginies, saying that they are not churchgoers, and that "you'd probably get about five or six Aboriginals that have ever come to church".
29 Jul 2004

Brisbane Archbishop releases major planning document
Archbishop John Bathersby has released a major document on the future direction of his Brisbane archdiocese, following his Synod Promulgation in 2003.
29 Jul 2004

Sudan bishop urges pressure on unreliable government
The bishop of the Sudanese diocese that includes the western region of Darfur has issued a statement declaring that the international community "must seriously step up pressures on Sudan".
29 Jul 2004

Kidnapped Colombian bishop released unharmed by rebel captors
A bishop who was kidnapped by armed rebels in Colombia was freed unharmed by his captors the same day Pope John Paul II appealed for his release.
29 Jul 2004

Feature - Hope and healing after abortion
Project Rachel is a confidential ministry of healing for women and men whose lives have been touched by abortion and reflects the loving, compassionate face of Jesus. On the Rachel's Vineyard healing retreats, we see a transformation in the lives of those who come along. Their struggle and grief is turned to hope and healing.
28 Jul 2004

Opinion - The Mother Tongue
Hans Urs Von Baltasar once wrote: "After a Mother has smiled for a long time at her child, the child will begin to smile back; she has awakened love in its heart, and in awakening love in its heart, she awakes also recognition." Awakening love and recognition within a child's heart is a result of more than just the mother's smile, her voice is also important.
28 Jul 2004

Fr Brosnan's gift from the grave
When he died last year, one of Melbourne's most loved Catholic priests left almost half his small fortune to a woman he treated like a daughter.
28 Jul 2004

ACU launches research centre for physical activity
The Australian Catholic University Faculty of Health Sciences has established a Centre of Physical Activity Across the Lifespan (CoPAAL) at campuses in Sydney and Melbourne.
28 Jul 2004

Caritas seeks $A2.82 million for Bangladesh flood victims
Caritas Internationalis has launched an emergency appeal in response to the devastation caused by recent floods in Bangladesh.
28 Jul 2004

Pope urges release of Colombian bishop kidnapped by rebels
Pope John Paul II has called for the immediate release of a kidnapped bishop held by armed rebels in the mountainous jungles of northeastern Colombia.
28 Jul 2004

Professor criticises Redfern charity withdrawal
Sydney University Community Medicine Professor Stephen Leeder has sharply criticised the Archdiocesan Charitable Works Fund (CWF) for withdrawing funds for a twice-weekly meal for the poor in the Redfern Parish, and for covering up what he believes is the real reason for the action.
28 Jul 2004

Catholic Welfare joins call for family services funding boost
Agencies supported by Catholic Welfare Australia and two other welfare peak bodies have issued an urgent pleas for $16 million in Federal Funding in order to meet current demand for counselling and mediation services, and increasing service delivery costs.
28 Jul 2004

Feature - Les Murray: Rhyme and reason
To most Australians, Les Murray is the big bloke who writes poetry like an angel; the guy who has won poetry and literary awards throughout the world, an elite artist who belongs on the land rather than a trendy cafe. He's not as young or as physically strong as he used to be (Murray was once renowned for 'hand parking' his car in tight squeezes by lifting it into position).
27 Jul 2004

Opinion - Ecumenical covenant a public relations exercise
The announcement that the 15 members of the National Council of Churches in Australia have signed a "landmark" covenant to co-operate is hard to get too excited about. Genuine Christian unity will only ever come from the ground up. - Chris McGillion
27 Jul 2004

Mel Gibson's The Passion comes to Malaysia - but only for Christians
Censors in Malaysia have approved Mel Gibson's controversial movie "The Passion of the Christ" for screening, but the government says only Christians will be allowed to watch it.
27 Jul 2004

Catholics divided on Goa leader's move to change history texts
A Hindu leader in India's Goa state has demanded that schools in the former Portuguese enclave teach students about their ancestors' resistance to Christian religious conversion and colonialism.
27 Jul 2004

Colombian rebels kidnap bishop
The smaller of Colombia's two main leftist rebel groups kidnapped a Catholic bishop but planned to set him free bearing a political message for the government.
27 Jul 2004

'Discount' schools get ALP pledge
Private schools that offer discounts to struggling families who send more than one child to their school will be protected from funding cuts under the ALP's schools policy.
27 Jul 2004

Papal envoy demands action on Darfur
Archbishop Josef Cordes, speaking from Sudan where he is acting as the Pope's personal envoy to the Darfur region, has said that the war in Sudan "has been overlooked and ignored in public opinion for too long".
27 Jul 2004

American bishops set impact on poor as Free Trade's 'moral measure'
The moral measure of any international trade agreement is how it impacts the poorest and most vulnerable, according to a statement from the bishops of the United States and Central America.
27 Jul 2004

Feature - Redfern's Poor Church
Following the retirement of Fr Ted Kennedy after 35 years, and the arrival of priests from the Neocatechumenal Way, there is tension at St Vincent de Paul Church in Sydney's Redfern. "It's a place where many Aboriginal people have been buried - and the deaths go on and on and on - it is a sacred place, and it's being defiled."
26 Jul 2004

Opinion - Music ministers trailblazers of Vatican II church
US Dominican theologian Fr Paul Philibert says few Catholics realise the "sacramental significance" of the entire congregation of worshippers giving themselves to God in a collective song of praise. He said the council "identifies the church's sacrifice of praise - its participation in the priestly sacrifice of Christ before his Father - with the faithful's songs within the church's liturgy."
26 Jul 2004

Vincentians elect new Superior General
At its General Assembly in Rome last week, the Congregation of the Mission (better known as the Vincentians), elected American Fr Gregory Gay as 23rd successor to its founder St Vincent de Paul.
26 Jul 2004

New claims of sex abuse from South Australia
St Mark's College, Port Pirie, in South Australia, is under investigation over allegations of a sex-abuse cover-up.
26 Jul 2004

Austrian bishop silenced during apostolic visitation
During an apostolic visitation of his St Pölten diocese, the embattled Bishop Kurt Krenn has been ordered to refrain from public statements, and to obtain approval of the Vatican's investigator, Bishop Klaus Kung, for any significant pastoral decisions, Austrian media reports have disclosed.
26 Jul 2004

Pope worries about children pressured to "become soldiers"
Pope John Paul's appeal to the international community to get involved in crises in Sudan and Uganda included special concern for children, who "are too often forced to become soldiers".
26 Jul 2004

ACU expands teacher education to Sandhurst Diocese
Australian Catholic University's Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary), was officially launched on Friday at Shepparton in northern Victoria.
26 Jul 2004

Better prospects for Catholic school leavers
A Victorian study has revealed that 47% of Catholic school leavers take up a place at university compared with 34% of those from Government schools.
26 Jul 2004

Feature - Television: Sisters with a mission
Sisters, Pearls and Mission Girls (ABC TV Sunday 10.05 pm) is a documentary about the history of the Sisters of St John of God in the Kimberley and their close links to the region's Aboriginal community. Since the film was made, producer Jeni McMahon said, at least three of the sisters in the Kimberley have died. There was a sense that it was important to tell their story now, before that generation of nuns had gone for good. "I don't think that we're going to see that kind of dedication to humanity again," she says.
23 Jul 2004

Opinion - Solomon Islands Melanesian Brotherhood murders
Trauma has dramatic effects on both individuals and a community. Marasa had been destroyed and the process of recovery was very slow. A year later people from that village would walk through Marasa in order to get to the beach to pick up supplies and trade. So there were daily reminders of those who'd actually perpetrated the destruction of their village. - clinical psychologist Fr Peter Hosking SJ
23 Jul 2004

Nuns banned from Philippines "rebel mountain"
Government, military, community and Church leaders in the southern Philippines have told nuns to stop serving an indigenous community after the nuns were accused of "irresponsible" dealings with communist rebels.
23 Jul 2004

'Milestone' convenant signed with churches
The Catholic Church has signed a new covenant with Protestant Churches which has been described by church leaders as one of the most significant events in Australia's ecumenical history.
23 Jul 2004

Commission urges critical approach to election issues
Brisbane's Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged Catholics to take an active interest in the forthcoming Federal election.
23 Jul 2004

Marist Fathers plead not guilty to sex offences
Two priests formerly from Burnie's Marist Catholic College in Tasmania's north-west have pleaded not guilty to alleged sex offences.
23 Jul 2004

Zimbabwe archbishop in call for Mugabe protest
Archbishop Pius Ncube yesterday called on opponents of Robert Mugabe's regime to protest when the country's cricketers meet England in the Champions Trophy in the UK in September.
23 Jul 2004

Pope appeals for end to Sudan abuses
Sending a special representative Darfur yesterday to express his solidarity with the stricken population, pope John Paul II called on the Sudanese government to put an end to violence and rights violations.
23 Jul 2004

Feature - Cyber catechesis in Vietnam
Young Vietnamese are turning to the internet as "the fastest, cheapest and safest way to bring the word of God to others", despite a law coming into to force in November that bans spreading the Gospel online.
22 Jul 2004

Opinion - Don't let communion displace the Eucharist
Distributing communion outside of Mass weakens the connection between celebrating eucharist and receiving communion. If we readily accept communion as a substitute for Mass, there is a danger that we will cease to be a eucharistic community, which is one which gathers to give thanks, not just to receive communion. In such circumstances it is better to celebrate a Liturgy of the Word alone, without including the distribution of communion. - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
22 Jul 2004

Time capsule search wrecks school garden
A capsule buried at a Gold Coast school 25 years ago has proved impossible to find, even after heavy machinery was called in and a flower garden destroyed.
22 Jul 2004

Athens Cathedral Mass to welcome Olympians
A solemn Mass will be concelebrated in St Dionysius Catholic Cathedral on 11 August to welcome participants in the Olympic Games, which open on 13 August.
22 Jul 2004

Jesuit identifies health risks in prisons
Speaking to the National Conference of the Association of Needle and Syringe Exchange Programs in Melbourne yesterday, Fr Peter Norden called for the introduction of harm prevention measures in Australian prisons to tackle the escalating rate of Hepatitis C infection.
22 Jul 2004

Catholic Health questions Labor's 24 hour doctor plan
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) welcomed yesteray's announcement of Labor's policy for Improved Access to Medicare Services, but said it's pointless if it is not properly funded with a major injection into the medical benefits schedule.
22 Jul 2004

Catholic numbers steady despite rising unbelief in USA
A survey in the United States has found that Protestant Churches have been losing numbers at an alarming rate due to an upsurge in those identifying themselves as having no specific religion, while the effect on the Catholic Church has been cushioned by the large number of Catholics among immigrants.
22 Jul 2004

Speedy response to Austrian sex scandal reflects seriousness
An official has revealed that the seriousness of the circumstances are reflected in the unusual haste with which the Vatican appointed an apostolic visitor (or investigator) to go to the Austrian seminary where prosecutors charged a 27-year-old Polish seminarian with possession and distribution of child pornography.
22 Jul 2004

Feature - Homilies from hell
Not long ago a member of my Jesuit community recalled that back in the 1960s, he and his pals initiated an informal survey designed to answer the following question: What was the worst homily or sermon ever preached? One recounted a story of a Christmas Eve homily he had heard years before. "Reflect for a moment," thundered the preacher, "what would have happened if Mary had used birth control!"
21 Jul 2004

Opinion - Bishops' Election Statement shirks key moral issues
Australia's Catholic bishops on 1 June released a statement to highlight issues to consider before the next election. But astonishingly, they failed totally to mention the central issue of the war in Iraq, the dilemma facing Australia over our endorsement of US policies of pre-emptive strike, our complicity in the undermining of international organisations and systems of governance ... - Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR
21 Jul 2004

Italian Jesuit says humour a serious requirement for the Christian life
The latest edition of the magazine Civilta Cattolica offers a set of neurological, psychological and philosophical insights to make the point that hilarity contributes to the survival of the human species and is therefore a virtue.
21 Jul 2004

Four NZ Mercy congregations agree to combine
The Sisters of Mercy from the four New Zealand congregations are preparing a petition to the Apostolic See to become one congregation.
21 Jul 2004

Nicaraguan cardinal forgives Sandinistas
The Sandinista Front celebrated the 25th anniversary of its 1979 rise to power with an expression of forgiveness Monday from Roman Catholic Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo.
21 Jul 2004

Australian lay movements ponder Pope's call
A meeting of the Bishops' Committee for Laity with Lay Movements on Friday focused on how to respond in the Australian context to recent calls by Pope John Paul II for movements to contribute actively to the life of parishes.
21 Jul 2004

Another top Salesian speaks to The Age
Former Salesian Provincial Fr Julian Fox has spoken to The Age newspaper from Rome, denying wrongdoing and saying he could not remember the former students who compained about his alleged actions.
21 Jul 2004

Pope names bishop to look into scandal at Austrian seminary
Pope John Paul II has appointed a special investigator to gather information on the pornography and sex scandal in an Austrian seminary.
21 Jul 2004

Feature - Salesians ponder big picture
Salesian Provincial Fr Ian Murdoch wants his priests and religious brothers to consider their own development and happiness, rather than spend all their lives with the deprived children they are committed to serve. He also wants more talk among his fellow clergy about the celibate world in which they live, to help them cope with the pressure of abstinence. As the Salesians cope with a series of sex abuse cases in Australia going back decades, Father Murdoch believes sticking so firmly in 2004 to the "old Salesianity of 100 years ago" might not always be the way to go.
20 Jul 2004

Opinion - Coming to faith at a Catholic school
Coming from a family of no religious background, I was not baptised. I took an arrogant stance towards any religion. I was taught it was a load of garbage. The religion class, for me was a time to get away from all the hard work. My faith in God was first of all created at this school, where I have learned firstly how to pray. As time has gone by, it has strengthened greatly. - 2003 Year 12 student Aquinas College, Perth
20 Jul 2004

Study shows medieval monks weren't slim
A new study reveals that medieval monks at three London monasteries must have been very overweight, the International Medieval Congress, meeting in Leeds learnt last week.
20 Jul 2004

MacKillop Museum showing detainee children's trauma in art
An touring exhibition featuring drawings by children held at the Woomera Detention Centre is set to open at the Mary MacKillop Place Museum in North Sydney.
20 Jul 2004

Wealthy private schools poaching Catholic athletes
In a submission to the schools funding inquiry, Melbourne University researcher Richard Teese has said the process of "creaming" the best students through scholarships and fee reductions had become a source of growing tension between Catholic and independent schools.
20 Jul 2004

Lifting of Catholic monarchy ban could be key to Northern Ireland peace
The Irish Times is speculating that British Prime Minister Tony Blair could boost the peace process in the North by lifting the ban on Catholics becoming King or Queen.
20 Jul 2004

Stronger Pope to travel to Vatican for Wednesday audience
In a change of plans, Pope John Paul II will hold tomorrow's regular weekly public audience at the Vatican rather than at his summer residence in Castel Gandalfo.
20 Jul 2004

Abortion law puts NZ Catholic schools at risk
A New Zealand law allowing girls of any age the right to an abortion without the knowledge or consent of their parents "is radically out of step with today's social and educational climate", according to Br Pat Lynch, the chief executive officer of the New Zealand Catholic Education Office.
20 Jul 2004

Feature - Blessed are the bankrupt
Gilbert and Sullivan might have written a farce on the premise that the Church has gone broke, and has to be run by municipal authorities. Something like this has, in fact, came to pass last week with Portland, Oregon, becoming the first Catholic diocese in the world to declare itself bankrupt.
19 Jul 2004

Opinion - Does God create illegal people?
Jesus did not see people as legal or illegal, but as people with dignity who deserve respect. Yes, people break the law, people do things that are illegal. But people are not illegal; they are God's creation.
19 Jul 2004

Monk entrepreneur opts for world
The resignation of a monk from his position as head brewer of his monastery in southern Germany has highlighted a conflict of conscience which is being experienced in hundreds of monasteries across the country.
19 Jul 2004

Dublin archbishop says doubters should avoid sacraments
People who do not believe in the "real essence" of the sacraments should not present themselves for them, according to Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
19 Jul 2004

Pope agrees 'in principle' to Irish visit
Pope John Paul II has accepted "in principle" an invitation to visit both parts of Ireland, although a trip this year appears unlikely, officials announced on Friday.
19 Jul 2004

Combined campaign signals time for all to work together on poverty
The Vote [1] No More Poverty Campaign, launched last month by an alliance of Catholic and other faith-based organisations, has welcomed last week's commitment of Opposition leader Mark Latham and all Premiers and Chief Ministers to the task of tackling poverty through Commonwealth-State cooperation.
19 Jul 2004

Salesian Provincial breaks silence on sex abuse
In his first interview since allegations against the Salesians surfaced worldwide, Salesian Provincial Fr Ian Murdoch revealed to The Age newspaper that he made two trips to Rome to persuade the Vatican to expel Fr David Rapson, who had been sentenced to two years' jail in 1992 for sex abuse of a 15-year-old student at the Salesian school Rupertswood, near Sunbury outside Melbourne.
19 Jul 2004

Pope accepts retirement of Sydney bishop
Pope John Paul has officially accepted the resignation of Sydney auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson due to ill-health.
19 Jul 2004

Feature - It's a numbers game as locals struggle to keep the faith
While there has been some rise in candidates for the priesthood in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, there are declines elsewhere, particularly in regional areas. And the numbers are unlikely to rise to the level of 40 years ago, says Bishop Julian Porteous, rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Strathfield.
16 Jul 2004

Opinion - FILM: Fahrenheit 9/11
It is engrossing. Michael Moore looms large, physically and psychologically, as a significant documentary film-maker. Familiar material by now but telling nonetheless. To complain that it as anti-Bush propaganda is futile. That is the nature of both polemic (which Moore's movie is) and debate (which is what Moore's movie should lead to). - Australian Fr Peter Malone MSC, president international Catholic media organisation Signis
16 Jul 2004

Sydney bishop responds to Hong Kong Catholic concern on religious freedom
Parramatta Bishop Kevin Manning has made a submission expressing "grave concern" to the Australian Government's Inquiry into Australia's Human Rights Dialogue Process following recent moves by the Hong Kong government to exert control over Catholic schools.
16 Jul 2004

Christian Brothers in WA confirm decision to leave schools
The West Australian newspaper reports this morning that the Christian Brothers "will pull out of all its WA schools" after receiving a directive from its international head that it should no longer be involved in education in Australia.
16 Jul 2004

Mercies working together to counter "climate of fear"
67 Sisters of Mercy from all states in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Pakistan have resolved to work together as a single entity - the Institute of Sisters of Mercy - "to respond to the current climate of fear being generated in our country and globally".
16 Jul 2004

Queensland religious orders launch Federal Election campaign
The Social Action Office (SAO) of the Leaders of Catholic Religious Orders in Queensland yesterday began its push to get voters to consider the "common good" when participating in this year's Federal Election.
16 Jul 2004

Tentative Catholic Health support for ALP health reform agenda
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) welcomed yesterday's Labor's health policy announcement by the Australian Labor Party, but said it was "only part of the story", and CHA "is still waiting for detailed funding commitments by Labor in relation to Medicare rebates and GP bulk billing".
16 Jul 2004

Education Commission welcomes Labor's needs-based funding plan
The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) issued a statement following the ALP's announcement of Federal-State cooperation in achieving a funding formula based on the needs, rather than identity, of a school.
16 Jul 2004

Feature - Attracting newcomers to church
Having not attended church since she was 14 years old, Nerida has returned to church, following a relationship breakdown, at the invitation of her mum. She is not sure about where she stands on orthodox Christian beliefs at the moment, but has appreciated the singing and message, time for prayer as well as the chance to share this experience with others. She is a newcomer to church life and is critical to the future of the Church.
15 Jul 2004

Opinion - Trains of thought
The Indian Pacific is moving through the station on its journey westward. It's Friday, the end of another work week, just before 7, and I'm awaiting the local suburban train that will take me to my office in Adelaide. As I face the busyness of another day at work, this passing train suggests something of the yearnings that we search for in our daily life - the more gentle pace, the company of others and the anticipation of reaching our destination. - Geraldine Hawkes, chairperson Commission for Australian Catholic Women
15 Jul 2004

South African cardinal calls for sanctions against Zimbabwe
The head of the Catholic Church in South Africa, Cardinal Wilfred Napier said this week that he could not understand why the South African government is not considering sanctions against Zimbabwe, given the success that sanctions brought to them.
15 Jul 2004

Pakistan Archbishop alarmed by decline in religious freedom
The Archbishop of Lahore has told the Aid to the Church in Need Catholic charity that Muslim anger over the US-led war in Iraq is having a serious impact on religious freedom in Pakistan.
15 Jul 2004

Christian Brother says world head's 'quit schools' missive was not an order
Deputy leader of the Christian Brothers for NSW and ACT Br Paul Oakley has told the Catholic Weekly that the Congregation won't be "walking away" from its schools despite a "suggestion" from Rome-based Congregation leader Br Philip Pinto that the brothers switch their energies from schools to the missions in Asia.
15 Jul 2004

Jesuit makes Bangkok AIDS presentation for asylum seeker activist
Fr Peter Norden of Jesuit Social Services in Melbourne made a presentation at the 15th International HIV/AIDS Conference in Bangkok on Tuesday, on behalf of Nigerian HIV/AIDS activist, Olawale Olaitan, currently seeking asylum in Australia and being accommodated in a Jesuit Social Services community house.
15 Jul 2004

Salesian principal faces abuse claim
A Salesian priest and educator has stood down as principal of a major school after a report against him was lodged with the Church's Committee for Professional Standards, which runs the church's Towards Healing process for abuse victims.
15 Jul 2004

Labor plan to demand financial disclosure from Catholic schools
The Australian Labor Party will today outline a major shakeup of its education policy that will require Catholic and independent schools to hand over financial records on fees, allowing the ALP to introduce a needs-based funding model that takes into account income and assets if it wins the federal election.
15 Jul 2004

Feature - The Seven Last Words
Georges Lentz's 'Seven Last Words' was written for the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and includes collaboration with writers including Thomas Keneally and Michael Leunig. Taking the seven last words of Christ as a starting point, Lentz describes it as 'a meditation on those great words as well as on the struggles a 21st century person must necessarily bring to them'.
14 Jul 2004

Opinion - Do I know you?
After a nine-month separation from Tex, I anticipated that as I stepped from the car there would there would be much excited yelping. Imagine my dismay when Tex walked slowly over to me, sniffed my leg and walked away. There was a time in my life when I chose to forget all about God, but when I went searching for him again I found that he hadn't forgotten me.
14 Jul 2004

Japanese young adults wearing rosaries as fashion statements
Japanese young people, mostly men, are wearing rosary beads these days in a fashion trend that has nothing to do with religion.
14 Jul 2004

Caritas advisor says AIDS conference valuing religious input
Fr Robert Vitillo has said that religious groups, which were marginalised during the last World AIDS conference in Barcelona, are being taken much more seriously at this week's Bangkok event.
14 Jul 2004

Jesuit Centre says Australia must support Indonesia reforms
The Sydney-based Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre has released a paper stressing that it is in Australia's interests to support Indonesia on its course of reform towards the rule and law and respect for human rights.
14 Jul 2004

Ratzinger says he's one with the US bishops on politicians
Following a rash of news reports claiming the US bishops defied Vatican Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the question of withholding Communion from Catholic politicians whose actions conflict with church teaching on abortion, Cardinal Ratzinger has said the bishops' statement on the issue "is very much in harmony" with his recently leaked memo on the topic.
14 Jul 2004

Pope says hurting world is a reason to pray for vocations
Pope John Paul has said the world needs Christian vocations more than ever as millions of people suffer from war and injustice and even more experience a deep longing for inner peace.
14 Jul 2004

Church welcomes Govt change of heart on protection visas
Bishop Joseph Grech described the Federal Government's decision to allow 9500 people on Temporary Protection Visas to apply for permanent visas as an important and compassionate change of policy.
14 Jul 2004

Feature - Protestant hymn tops Tablet poll
How great Thou art, which tops both the Tablet and the latest BBC Songs of Praise poll and stands as the most popular hymn in the UK, is one of a number of hymns which owe much of their popularity to promotion by Billy Graham in his crusades. It is perhaps surprising to see it coming out top in a Catholic poll.
13 Jul 2004

Opinion - Living with our own complexities
All of us have multiple persons inside us. Someone who has faith, who wants to live the Beatitudes; a martyr who wants to die for others; a moral artist who wants to carry his or her solitude at a high level. There's also someone who wants to taste life and all its pleasures here and now. Beyond that there is also a little girl or little boy, innocent, daydreaming, not particularly enamoured of either the saint and the sinner inside us.
13 Jul 2004

Govt seeking evangelical Christian vote
Last week, Federal Treasurer Peter Costello attended a religious gathering of more than 16,000 people, underscoring Government support for an increasingly important part of the electorate, Sydney's Hills District 'Bible belt'.
13 Jul 2004

Pope says God can be heard in silence
Holidaying amid the forests and summits of the Alps, Pope John Paul II has stressed the need for silence as the ambience in which to encounter God.
13 Jul 2004

Austria probes seminary sex claims
An investigation is under way in Austria after media reports of sexual misconduct at a seminary at St Poelten, west of Vienna.
13 Jul 2004

Conference urges Church in US to draw on laity
Catholic Church officials need to look to the laity for many parts of the church's mission that historically have been dominated by priests and nuns, participants in a discussion group said at the weekend following after a two-day conference in the United States.
13 Jul 2004

Vatican sees "weighty sentence" against Israeli wall
Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls has told reporters that the International Court's condemnation of Israel's West Bank security wallis a "weighty sentence".
13 Jul 2004

UNAIDS head says churches critical to fight
Church and faith-based activists at the 15th International AIDS Conference in Bangkok were told that their involvement is important in the battle against AIDS because their presence will outlast that of other individuals and organisations.
13 Jul 2004

Feature - Vinnies hero cured by beer or miracle
Frederic Ozanam was one of many young Catholics in Europe in the 19th century who started a new way of being Catholic. He was sick and close to death when he was young. He was cured either by a miracle or by beer when, awaking from a fever, he asked for beer.
12 Jul 2004

Opinion - Condoms not the issue for Church Teaching
Stopping the worldwide AIDS epidemic is not a question about the morality of using condoms, but about how to effectively prevent people from causing the disastrous consequences of their immoral sexual behaviour. - Martin Rhonheimer, Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome
12 Jul 2004

Church in PNG says its no longer a mission territory
At yesterday's conclusion of its week-long General Assembly, the Catholic Church in Papua New Guinea has recognised its transformation from a "missionary church" to a self reliant church.
12 Jul 2004

Brisbane Commission forges support link with Zimbabwe
Brisbane's Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission has resolved to give a helping hand to its sister Commission in Zimbabwe following a recent communication.
12 Jul 2004

Premier pays tribute to Christian Brothers' schools ministry
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has praised the Brothers' "passion, commitment and discipline" following the announcement of the order's international leader that it is switching its focus from schools to missions in Asia.
12 Jul 2004

Pope sets date for return of icon to Russia
Pope John Paul plans to return a 16th century icon to Russia to try to help thaw frosty relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox church.
12 Jul 2004

Abbott says abortion film "will do no harm"
Catholic politican and Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott has commented on the ABC's proposed screening of a British documentary showing an abortion procedure, it would not harm Australians to understand the "brutal business" of abortion.
12 Jul 2004

Australian ethicist rethinks position on 'vegetative state'
Salesian Fr Norman Ford, who told a ground-breaking Rome conference in March that patients subject to "post-coma unresponsiveness" are suffering a form of "indignity" and should be allowed to die, has revised his position in the light of the comments of Pope John Paul II.
12 Jul 2004

Feature - BOOKS: Changing message of the nun's habit
For more than a century there was a clear relationship between the stability of the habit and the stability of religious life, one reason why the post-Vatican II changes in the habit were so distressing. Today the habit has become a "visual barometer" of a nun's "politics, philosophy, and loyalties."
9 Jul 2004

Opinion - Become meteorologists of your soul
In the conspiracy of accidents that make up the ordinary events of our everyday lives, the finger of God is writing and writing large. We are children of Israel, children of Jesus, and children of our mothers and fathers in the faith. We need therefore, like them, to look at each and every event in our lives and ask ourselves the question: "What is God saying to us in this?" - Fr Ron Rolheiser
9 Jul 2004

Dominican friars re-elect Prior Provincial
Dominican Friars gathered in Canberra for their Province Chapter this week re-elected ethicist Fr Tom Cassidy as Prior Provincial.
9 Jul 2004

Church responds to proposed changes in UK abortion law
There has been a cautious welcome to yesterday's news that the British Government is considering cutting the legal 24 week time limit for abortions, because medical advances are enabling very young unborn babies to survive.
9 Jul 2004

Brisbane miracle investigation report still weeks away
An investigation into the authenticity of weeping religious statues at a Brisbane church has become as much of a mystery as the incident itself, according to a report in Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper today.
9 Jul 2004

Vatican disappointed by negotiations with Israel
Vatican officials were reportedly disappointed with the outcome of recent negotiations with Israel on the implementation of parts of a 1993 treaty.
9 Jul 2004

World Council of Churches head shocked by Baxter detention centre
After visiting South Australia's Baxter Detention Centre yesterday, World Council of Churches (WCC) General-Secretary Rev Dr Sam Kobia vowed to confront the Federal Government with the view that "there is a problem with the policy" of asylum-seeker detention.
9 Jul 2004

Salesian priest leaves Samoa
The head of the Salesians in Samoa, Fr John Murphy, is reported to have left the country ahead of an investigation into whether he should be deported for supporting a visa application for a fellow Melbourne-based Salesian priest with child abuse convictions.
9 Jul 2004

Feature - Pope Gregory's role in marketing chant
The underlying idea behind it was that Gregory was a wonderful pope, and people respected him, and so chant, if it could be tied to Gregory, it would give chant status. And it was the status of Pope Gregory that was hoped for in the adoption of that name for the repertory of chant. - Dr Ruth Steiner, Catholic University of America chant specialist and speaker at this weekend's Australian Catholic University Gregorian Chant for Today conference at Strathfield in Sydney.
8 Jul 2004

Opinion - Leave other people's ceremonies alone
I have real concerns about those who want to appropriate the customs and ceremonies of other cultures and traditions for their own purposes. I have reservations, for example, about the eagerness of some Christians to incorporate the Aboriginal smoking ceremony in liturgy. I wonder how Catholics would feel if the Buddhist community decided to add Benediction to their prayers in the name of inclusiveness and multiculturalism? - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
8 Jul 2004

US Catholic relief official says Sudan faces 'catastrophic loss of life' without aid
International aid agencies are in a "race against nature" to save some one million people in the Darfur region of Sudan, according to an official of the US Caritas organisation Catholic Relief Services.
8 Jul 2004

Ratzinger clarification says it's OK to vote for pro-abortion politicians
In a memorandum, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said it is not necessarily sinful for Catholics to vote for politicians who support abortion, as long as they are voting for that candidate for other reasons.
8 Jul 2004

Spain being 'taken back to Moorish times'
Spain's Cardinal Antonio María Rouco yesterday denounced the new socialist government, saying its policies are taking the country back to medieval times, when Muslim invaders swept across the Straits of Gibraltar.
8 Jul 2004

Nun seeking relief for detained asylum seeker family
Mercy Sister Claudette Cusack is organising a support group for a family in South Australia's Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in the hope that they can get relief from detention in the form of a bridging visa.
8 Jul 2004

Vatican budget in red, but church offerings up
The Holy See reported on Wednesday its third budget deficit in as many years with restoration works at the Vatican taking their toll on 2003 accounts despite a small increase in global church offerings.
8 Jul 2004

Christian Brothers world leader signals end of schools ministry
Christian Brothers Congregational Leader Br Philip Pinto has told the order's Western Australian head that the most urgent need for Brothers is no longer in schools, and the time has come to consider more missionary work amoung the poor in Asia.
8 Jul 2004

Feature - BOOKS: Probing the mysteries of the brain
One of the critical issues facing our self-understanding is whether or not we are creatures whose thoughts, emotions, values, and actions can be explained wholly on the basis of physical and chemical origins. Now the thing that surprises me is how little attention theologians, and the Church in general, seem to have paid to these matters.
7 Jul 2004

Opinion - Church's dim voice in Iraq War debate
Many Australian clergy and laity have been disturbed that their religious leaders did not oppose the drift to war more vigorously, even though a number of bishops did speak early and clearly. The Iraq war has exposed the shallowness in Australia of church efforts to engage with these issues. The establishment of justice and peace commissions or organisations in various parts of the country has attempted to remedy some of these gaps, but despite some exceptional contributions, these agencies are relatively thin and poorly funded, even at the national level. - Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR
7 Jul 2004

Angolan bishop worried about witchdoctors
Archbishop Anastacio Cahango of the Angolan capital Luanda has spoken out against the use of "kimbandas" (witchdoctors) when Catholics are seeking to resolve problems afflicting their lives.
7 Jul 2004

UNESCO puts Cologne Cathedral on danger list
Germany's historic Cologne Cathedral, one of Europe's masterpieces of Gothic architecture, has been placed on UNESCO's List of World Heritage in Danger, because its integrity threatened by skyscrapers.
7 Jul 2004

Vietnam tightening religious freedom
A newly adopted bill that regulates religious practices is worse than the one adopted in the 1950s by Ho Chi Minh, according to a Vietnamese cardinal.
7 Jul 2004

Church in South Africa rolls out AIDS drug program
The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) announced yesterday that it is planning a further roll-out of its anti-retroviral (ARV) program for HIV and Aids patients in South Africa.
7 Jul 2004

Education official reopening of 1950s class war wounds
An official at the Catholic Education Commission NSW has said that by starting a costly battle that could take years, the NSW Teachers Federation is opening wounds from the past, dragging the education system back to the 1950s and reigniting a war that was settled decades ago.
7 Jul 2004

'Protestant Pope' to visit Australia
World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary Rev Dr Sam Kobia arrives in Australia tomorrow to take part in the national forum of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) in Adelaide.
7 Jul 2004

Feature - Order's global structure protecting abusers
In missions and parishes from Costa Rica and Chile to Peru and the US and even Samoa and Australia, the Salesians have come under attack for allowing alleged pedophile priests to move across international boundaries and avoid prosecuting authorities. Nowhere has this been more apparent recently, than when former Melbourne-based Salesian priest Frank Klep was found working in the order's theological college in Apia, Samoa.
6 Jul 2004

Opinion - Secularism the way to go
Secularity is not the enemy and the opposite of secularity is not the Church, but the Taliban, bin Laden, al-Qaeda. Secularity by and large is the child of Judeo Christianity. Secularity means modern and in modern society, rationality and critical reason become the final arbiter of all organisation and authority. Before the modern world, the medieval world was gathered not around rationality but divine authority. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
6 Jul 2004

Jesuit conference considers inculturation Of liturgy
The need for greater community involvement and freedom to creatively bring about a people's inculturation in liturgy were issues discussed recently in Thailand by Jesuit liturgists from around the globe.
6 Jul 2004

Queensland priest shares lay-centred parish strategy
A Queensland priest has told groups in the Victorian Diocese of Sandhurst that the starting point for parish planning should be the Eucharist and the giftedness of the local community, rather than infrastructure.
6 Jul 2004

CWL urges prayer to end sexual exploitation
The Catholic Women's League of Australia (CWLA) is observing today's Feast of St Maria Goretti as a day of prayer for an end to the violence and sexual exploitation of women and children.
6 Jul 2004

Cardinal's 80th weakens Australian voice at Conclave
Australian Cardinal Edward Cassidy turned 80 yesterday, meaning the Australian Church's sole representative at the Conclave to elect the next Pope will be Sydney's Cardinal George Pell.
6 Jul 2004

Pope says education is about being more, not having more
Pope John Paul II has told participants of a European education symposium that schools must find new perspectives to face the difficulties of young people in their personal life and in the social framework.
6 Jul 2004

Legal challenge to federal cash for religious teaching
Public school teachers are planning to fund a High Court challenge to the validity of private schools using Federal Government funding for religious purposes.
6 Jul 2004

Feature - FILM: Difficult father-son communication
The Return, which opened in Australia last week, is a multi-layered look at relationships, set firmly in a Russian context and mood. Two boys, one who is devoted to his father, the other stubborn and resentful, travel with their father who has been absent from the family for twelve years. The older boy tries to please. The younger boy is very angry. The film explores the demands of trust, the difficulties in communication, forgiveness and grief. - Fr Peter Malone MSC
5 Jul 2004

Opinion - The terror the West cannot face
Since the oil boom of the early 1970s a policy of exporting not just petroleum but also hardline Wahhabism - the most severe incarnation of Islam - grew to become a fundamental tenet of Saudi foreign policy. They promote radical strands of Islam at the expense of more mystical, traditional, moderate, tolerant and pluralistic forms of the religion. - William Dalrymple
5 Jul 2004

Aid begins to reaches Sudanese
Caritas Australia's partners in Sudan are leading a massive aid operation, which is underway in Darfur to help over a million people in the region who have been driven from their homes by rebel groups.
5 Jul 2004

Jakarta Archbishop urges Catholics to vote for the Common Good
Cardinal Darmaatmadja of Jakarta has published a small booklet containing guidelines for Catholics to enable them better understand the electoral process that will culminate in today's vote for the Indonesian presidency.
5 Jul 2004

UN resolution spells out Vatican's rights as permanent observer
The UN General Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution spelling out the Vatican's "rights and privileges of participation" in its work as a UN observer and in conferences sponsored by the United Nations and its agencies.
5 Jul 2004

Brisbane parish's new place to remember the dead
Brisbane's Corinda-Graceville Parish in Brisbane is the latest in a growing number of parishes to establish columbariums for the ashes of the dead.
5 Jul 2004

Miracle identification could mean MacKillop sainthood
It has been suggested that Blessed Mary MacKillop could in fact be responsible for a "miracle of modern medicine" involving a girl injured last year when a car crashed into a Sydney kindergarden.
5 Jul 2004

No signs of slowdown as Pope prepares for vacation
Pope John Paul II leaves the Vatican today for a two-week stay in northern Italy's Aosta Valley.
5 Jul 2004

Feature - Hurting on the inside for those on the outside
Has someone who is or has been in prison impacted your life? Do you feel you are "doing time" on the outside along with the person "doing time" on the inside for their crime? Who can you talk to? Who would understand? Who can you look to for unconditional love and support? - Louise (not her real name), looking at Kairos Outside, an experience of support for women who have someone they love serving a jail sentence.
2 Jul 2004

Opinion - Be quiet and listen to what lay people have to say
No one is listening to the laypeople, because everyone knows what the laypeople should hear. If we did stop to listen to the laity, really listen, we would find how deeply (albeit not perfectly) spiritual they really are. It would have been wise to have dedicated the Great Jubilee Year to asking the laity to evangelise us. - Fr Andrew Greeley
2 Jul 2004

Developmentally disabled woman joins US order order
A woman who credits her very survival to the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary has joined the religious community as an associate member.
2 Jul 2004

Vatican says 'poverty of imagination' hinders fight against real poverty
Overcoming world poverty is slowed by "a certain poverty of imagination among the more fortunate peoples of the world", according to a statement presented by Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences president Mary Ann Glendon.
2 Jul 2004

Eight acquittals for Marist brother
After eight trials on child sex abuse charges, NSW Marist Brother John Maguire has been acquitted once more.
2 Jul 2004

Report says problem gamblers one third of market
A new issues paper on gambling from the Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission says Tasmanians are losing more than $80 million a year on poker machines alone.
2 Jul 2004

Official's reassurance on schools drug vigilance
An executive officer of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission has moved to reassure parents and the public that the extent of drug use in Catholic schools as reported in the media is exaggerated.
2 Jul 2004

Downer calls Australia a "secular society"
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has said in Indonesia that the idea of Australia as a "bastion of Christianity" is a "misperception", and that "Australia is really a very secular society".
2 Jul 2004

Feature - The Knights' heritage of secrecy
The Knights of the Southern Cross was founded in Australia in 1919 to counteract social discrimination against Catholics. To achieve its aims, it worked secretly. Even the name of the Order was not used publicly. Instead, THE CLUB was printed on membership cards.
31 Jul 2004

Opinion - Church intransigence on condoms to fight AIDS
Catholic health and aid agencies in Africa say that AIDS can only be dealt with by attacking its roots in war, poverty and the sexual abuse of women. While caring for a quarter of all Aids sufferers in sub-saharan Africa, it is accused of being a killer rather than a healer because of its rejection of the use of condoms in the battle against AIDS. · Austen Ivereigh, deputy editor The Tablet
31 Jul 2004

Launch of Cardinal Clancy book on St Paul
Walk Worthy of Your Vocation is the title of a new book by former Sydney Archbishop Cardinal Edward Clancy, to be launched later this week at the Australian Catholic University.
31 Jul 2004

New Research Director for Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference
Archbishop Francis Carroll yesterday announced the appointment of Peter McArdle as Research Director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
31 Jul 2004

More women leaders in US church than in general workforce
The percentage of women in diocesan leadership positions compares favourably with the US workforce, according to a church study released by the US Bishops' Committee on Women in Society and in the Church last week.
31 Jul 2004

Abuser 'not moved to avoid police'
Former Australian Salesian Provincial Fr John Murphy yesterday denied a priest convicted of child abuse had been moved to Samoa to escape Victoria Police who were pursuing him on further child abuse charges.
31 Jul 2004

Pope's message to Iraq interim leader
Pope John Paul II sent to a message to Iraq's interim president yesterday, saying he was praying that the hopes of the Iraqi people for "peace, freedom and prosperity" will soon be fulfilled.
31 Jul 2004

Ethicist says fertility breakthrough sends wrong message
Fr Norman Ford of Melbourne's Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics has said it would be wrong for fertile women to have a recently developed operation to allow them to give birth into their late 40s and 50s.
31 Jul 2004