Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR AUGUST 2004

   
Feature - Understanding the needs of your community
Rev Stephen Semenchuk is the senior minister at St Luke's Anglican Church in Dapto, NSW. "If you understand the perceived needs of people in your community, you can then reflect on the right bridges to walk across to connect with them." After arriving as senior minister in mid 2002, Stephen started by spending time with his parishioners before making a more systematic study about the makeup of the various ethnic groups.
31 Aug 2004

Opinion - The laity as 'skin' of the Church
The role of the laity is to impact the world at large with Christ's teaching and presence, to be, real, tangible centres of spreading joy and peace. Each of us is called to become a supple instrument in the hand of God actualizing in history his wonderful plan for the created universe. - Janine Langan, Professor Emeritus and Founder of the Christian Culture Program at the University of Toronto.
31 Aug 2004

Wiggles promote "bright colours" of Vinnies shops
Internationally successful children's entertainers The Wiggles have once again put their support behind the promotion of the Vinnies Shops run by the St Vincent de Paul Society.
31 Aug 2004

Jesuit Centre researcher to monitor leaders on election trail
Tim Martyn, Research and Policy Officer at the Melbourne-based Jesuit Social Services Ignatius Centre, has been selected from a national pool of candidates to be one of four 'ElectionTrackers' in the lead up to the 9 October Federal Election.
31 Aug 2004

Hindu radicals suspected in Indian priest's stabbing death
Fr Job Chittilappilly, a Catholic priest in the Kerela state of southern India, was stabbed to death on Saturday by unknown assailants at his parish in Thururhiparambu.
31 Aug 2004

Headmaster optimistic over Bakhtiyari claims re-examination
The head of the Adelaide school attended by two boys of the celebrated Bakhtiyari asylum seeker family has expressed optimism that fresh attempts to prove they really are from Afghanistan, not Pakistan, will vindicate the family and lead to a more humane attitude on the part of the Australian Government.
31 Aug 2004

Columban says let's look beyond importing priests
A leading member of the Columban Missionary Society has criticised the use of foreign clergy to ease the priest shortage, asserting that Catholic communities have a right to "an ordained priest from their own culture".
31 Aug 2004

Pope says be ready for sacrifice, even martyrdom
Pope John Paul II has called on all Christians to be ready to bear witness to the truth of Christ, even "at the cost of suffering and great sacrifice".
31 Aug 2004

Feature - Gaudí, the Blessed
When in 1926 God's architect was run over by a No. 30 tram on his way to evening prayer, he was mistaken for a beggar and taken to Barcelona's pauper hospital. His friends found him there the next day. But Antoni Gaudí refused to leave. "Here is where I belong", he told them.
30 Aug 2004

Opinion - Pell's real offence
Perhaps Cardinal George Pell's distinctiveness, and his great offence, lies in representing what's left of mainstream Catholicism as unmistakably as Prime Minister John Howard represents the political mainstream. How else account for the level of rancour from the Fairfax press, the ABC and the greying Left-liberal clergy - those embittered old men of Vatican II? The very notion of a mainstream is anathema to all of them, almost as appalling as orthodoxy itself. - Christopher Pearson
30 Aug 2004

Priest offers $5000 to disprove miracles of Lourdes
A Sydney Marist priest has challenged sceptics of religious miracles, posting a $5000 bounty for anyone who can prove the Lourdes miracles he has investigated are fakes.
30 Aug 2004

Al-Qaeda group pledges to spare Vatican from terror
A group linked to Al-Qaeda yesterday said the Vatican is not on its list of terror targets, but warned Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that he would regret rejecting an ultimatum to pull Italian troops out of Iraq.
30 Aug 2004

Pope returns rare icon to Russia
Cardinal Walter Kasper has handed a precious icon back to the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow as a personal gift from Pope John Paul II.
30 Aug 2004

Official says Catholic education at the crossroads
The director of Victoria's Catholic Education Commission told the Making Schools Better conference in Melbourne on Friday that there is "compelling evidence that Catholic schools are at a critical point in history".
30 Aug 2004

Catholic Health says Medicare investment key election issue
In the main thrust of its election package, Catholic Health Australia has called on political parties to pledge a further increase to the rebate to GPs, in order to restore bulk billing to 1996-97 levels.
30 Aug 2004

Poverty emerging as major election issue
Candidates in the 9 October Federal Election announced yesterday will be invited by the Vote [1] No More Poverty campaign to attend local Public Forums across the nation, especially in marginal seats, to tell voters where they stand on poverty and inequality.
30 Aug 2004

Feature - School rolls out the welcome mat
St Brendan's Primary School, Moorooka could be described as a multicultural experiment gone right. The school on Brisbane's southside, which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year, has a tradition, through its location and mission, as being a school at which migrant and refugee families have found a place to belong.
27 Aug 2004

Opinion - It's hard to grow on your own
National Church Life Survey data suggests that the longer a person is away from regular church participation, the more likely it is that affirmation of Christian beliefs diminishes. Contrary to what many people think, we need to be actively part of a Christian community for our faith to develop authentically.
27 Aug 2004

Masses being outsourced to India
Requests for Masses to be said for particular intentions are being collected by priests in European, Canadian and American churches and then communicated to priests in India, who then offer the Mass.
27 Aug 2004

Jesuit says Church 'driving youth out'
Young people are being turned off the Church and the priesthood by an increasingly autocratic and doctrinaire Catholic Church that is out of touch with the 21st century, according to a report in today's Australian newspaper on the views of well-known Jesuit Fr Frank Brennan.
27 Aug 2004

Asian Assembly focuses on family life
The Catholic Bishops of Asia have resolved to help families buffeted by rapidly changing value systems, with pastoral programs that form and empower families.
27 Aug 2004

Pope hands Kazan icon to delegation for return to Russia
Pope John Paul II has handed over the icon of the Mother of God of Kazan to a Vatican delegation that will take it to the Orthodox patriarch of Moscow tomorrow.
27 Aug 2004

Adelaide Archdiocese sets up Child Protection Council
In an Australian first, the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has established a child protection council to oversee the safety of children.
27 Aug 2004

Churches celebrate diversity on Refugee and Migrant Sunday
Australia's Catholic Church will celebrate Refugee and Migrant Sunday this weekend, in an effort to thank God for the diversity of peoples in the nation and celebrating this diversity.
27 Aug 2004

Feature - Mining Mercy
Adelaide Mercy Sister Pat Pak Poy may have appeared a little out of place among the mostly male delegates present at a workshop held in China earlier this year. "Funnily enough, two of the three women at the top table at the opening banquet were Sisters of Mercy from Australia", she laughs. Her fellow sister was Denise Coghlan, who has been working with landmine victims in Cambodia and on the Thai-Cambodian border for the last 20 years.
26 Aug 2004

Opinion - Substance missing from Pell critics' complaints
My objection is not that liberals should disagree with the archbishop - for me Pell's republican barracking was pretty embarrassing - but that they don't have the fortitude to argue against the Cardinal's ideas. What matters is that the church isn't a bowling club or a hamburger franchise. The question is whether or not the church has a divine origin with a set of structures and teachings that are unchangeable. Pell holds to that view with intelligence and tenacity. For him the church is far more than an institution - it represents God to the world. - Fr Ephraem Chifley OP
26 Aug 2004

St Brendan backers in bid to displace St Patrick
A Irish priest seeking to set the record straight about St Brendan says that in the middle-ages, St Patrick was not known at all, but Brendan was easily the most famous Irish saint and also recognised as the greatest sailor the world had known.
26 Aug 2004

Sudanese Bishops warn violence set to escalate
Sudan's Catholic bishops have warned that efforts to bring peace to the south of the country could be frustrated by the situation in the western province of Darfur.
26 Aug 2004

Rwandan bishops reject report's accusation of church complicity in genocide
Rwanda's Catholic bishops have criticised a government report that lays fresh blame on the Catholic Church for complicity in the nation's 1994 genocide.
26 Aug 2004

Labor's school pitch for Catholic vote
Catholic schools will get more money if Labor wins the Federal Election as well as help with their disruptive students and a commitment that facilities and teachers will be shared between public and private schools.
26 Aug 2004

Church fine-tuning response to Vatican gluten insistence
Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart has insisted that the Church is most concerned to meet the needs of those with gluten allergies wishing to received the Eucharist, and has proposed at least one workaround.
26 Aug 2004

Bishop Grech says visa changes must go further
Australia's Catholic Bishops have said the government's decision to allow some refugees on Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) to apply for permanent residency does not go far enough.
26 Aug 2004

Feature - Sportsmanship ethic prevails beneath the competition
Whether it is the camaraderie of kayakers or medieval chivalry finding a 21st-century form in fencing, the Games bring to light a world in which contracts play no part. It is as if the monastic life of the amateur Olympian breeds a respect above all for the competition - and the competitor - almost as much as the result.
25 Aug 2004

Opinion - Are the Olympics really fair?
It may not come to you as a surprise that money buys Olympic gold. We should all spare a thought this Olympics for those poorest countries which are not winning. As of Day 10 at the Olympics, 511 medals had been won. Of these, only 22 (4%) went to the poorest 66 nations of the world. 39 of these are the poorest and most highly indebted nations are African. - Jubilee Australia Coordinator Stewart Mills
25 Aug 2004

Holy Land churches worried about Palestinian prisoner hunger strike
The heads of the churches in the Holy Land have spoken out against the Israeli Government's treatment of Palestinian prisoners in its jails, which is currently the subject of international attention occasioned by an ongoing hunger strike.
25 Aug 2004

Tax probe on private school donations
Tax deductions for parents donating money to private schools will be investigated by the Australian Tax Office following concerns the subsidies are being rorted.
25 Aug 2004

NZ bishop signals accuracy, not speed, as priority in Mass translation
"Getting it right" is a top priority, said Bishop Denis Browne of the long-awaited new English translation of the Mass, which is now unlikely to be ready before 2006.
25 Aug 2004

Changing heritage status of inner Sydney church
The Archdiocese of Sydney has withdrawn its 2002 request for heritage listing for Sacred Heart Church, Darlinghurst, following the announcement that the Sydney campus by the University of Notre Dame will use the site.
25 Aug 2004

Bishop considering options on Rome support for "bullying" priest
Bishop Jeremiah Coffey of the Victorian Diocese of Sale is said to be "considering his options" after the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy overruled his suspension of a priest of whom school employees had accused of harassment and bullying.
25 Aug 2004

Catholic Welfare urges Govt support for non-commercial welfare programs
Catholic Welfare Australia has welcomed increased Federal Government support for the Personal Support Program (Choices PSP), but warned that commercial operators are dropping out and that if the Government is truly committed it will need to provide more funding
25 Aug 2004

Feature - Missionaries observe people in Sudan, Chad embrace Catholic faith
"You go in a village where you have a few Christians and find the chapel full," said Comboni Fr Peter Ciuciulla. "When they see Jesus' body on a crucifix, "they see themselves, how they are suffering, and see that their sufferings are not foreign or strange for God. God himself is suffering as they are. They feel this very much. They should evangelise me."
24 Aug 2004

Opinion - 1/1300th second doesn't make Americans better than Australians
I read that the US beat the Australians in the 200m x 4 Freestyle Men's Relay. I'm happy for them. But was it impossible to imagine that, as a matter of fact, both teams had won. What it does do, of course, is make one team "winners' and the other team 'losers.' My concern is that as a people, by insisting on a winner by a fraction of a fraction of a second, the US team didn't lose more than it won. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
24 Aug 2004

Dublin archbishop sees sacred cows in the new Ireland
Religion is not the only source of fundamentalism in Ireland, according to Dublin Archbishop Dr Diarmuid Martin, who sees a range of liberal and progressive fundamentalists, alongside the conservative and economic ones.
24 Aug 2004

Philanthropist to open ACU music research room
This afternoon, Lady Primrose Potter AC will attend Melbourne's Victoria Parade Australian Catholic University campus to open a room that will house research music collections including manuscripts and printed music.
24 Aug 2004

Mugabe threatens new archbishop at installation
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe clashed openly with Catholic Church leaders on Saturday, as a new archbishop was installed in the capital Harare.
24 Aug 2004

Catholic Health welcomes Govt cash relief for private health
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has described the Federal Government's decision to provide cash relief to the elderly to purchase health insurance as a "positive" that "enables them to have a double shot at accessing essential hospital care".
24 Aug 2004

Official's resolve to reach out to Coeliac Disease sufferers
Catholics suffering from Coeliac Disease would not be excluded from the Eucharist under a Vatican ruling that altar breads must be made from wheat flour, Fr Peter Williams of the National Liturgical Commission (NLC) insisted yesterday.
24 Aug 2004

Pope prays icon return brings Catholics, Orthodox closer
Calling the Blessed Virgin Mary the "mother of unity and of love", Pope John Paul II prayed that the return of a Marian icon to the Russian Orthodox Church would bring the Catholic and Orthodox churches closer together.
24 Aug 2004

Feature - The Pope's new clothes
At first glance the store looks much like any other tailor. A little old-fashioned perhaps, with rows of small wooden drawers stretching to the ceiling. Immaculately suited men bustle about with tape measures.
23 Aug 2004

Opinion - How do we determine a liturgical abuse?
It's frustrating to see criticism of liturgical 'abuses' that we do not recognise. Recently the Apostolic Nuncio referred to eucharistic ministers distributing Holy Communion "even when priests are available and remain seated". I have yet to see a case where priests have remained seated while lay people distributed communion. On the other hand, I attended Mass where the communion rite took a disproportionate length of time because no extraordinary ministers were used. Is it an abuse to use an extraordinary minister or not to use one? - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
23 Aug 2004

A voice second to nun
A Rockhampton nun has received local media attention for her regular participation in the annual World Coo-ee Championships at Coo-ee Bay near Yeppoon on the central Queensland coast.
23 Aug 2004

Progress in ties with World Council of Churches
The preparation of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has led to a new stage in collaboration between the Holy See and the World Council of Churches.
23 Aug 2004

Catholic Mission expands Australian funds distribution
Funds collected through Catholic Mission's Propagation of the Faith and World Mission Day appeals during 2003 have been distributed to various projects around the world.
23 Aug 2004

Pope condemns human cloning and human arrogance
Pope John Paul yesterday condemned human cloning as an arrogant attempt to improve on God's creation.
23 Aug 2004

Priest speaks out on rights and needs of faithful Catholics
The consequences for a parishioner of the Vatican's banning of gluten-free communion wafers has caused a Sydney priest to publicly criticise what he calls the "non-consultative" style of leadership in the Church.
23 Aug 2004

Pell says let Kosovars stay in Australia
Cardinal George Pell has given his support to six Kosovar families of Albury-Wodonga whom local Catholics are backing in their fight against deportation to their homeland.
23 Aug 2004

Feature - Atheist helps Church address sex abuse
Dr Bill Marshall, as an atheist, was pleasantly surprised when invited into the Vatican to offer advice on what the Church should do about child sex abuse. An Australian-born Canadian, the 68 year old was hand-picked by Vatican officials to be part of a group of scientific experts to visit Rome in April last year for a symposium to advise them on addressing child sex abuse among priests and religious.
20 Aug 2004

Opinion - Educating students to recognise the 'law within the heart written by God'
If we provide our Catholic graduates only with a rule book of "do's" and "don'ts" issued by the bishops, we know that many of those graduates will throw the book in the bin very soon after their departure from the school. But if we can provide them with the map and the compass for life, there is a greater prospect that grace and the gifts of the Spirit will find fertile ground. - Jesuit human rights advocate Fr Frank Brennan, addressing Sandhurst Diocese Catholic Secondary Education Conference, Shepparton Vic 13/8/04
20 Aug 2004

Shamed Bush Catholic adviser resigns
A key Catholic adviser to the re-election campaign of US President George Bush has stepped down following the revelation of sexual harrassment allegations that led to his 1995 resignation from a teaching position at the Jesuits' Fordham University in New York.
20 Aug 2004

US charities daunted by terrorism screening requirement
Catholic Charities in the US have expressed alarm at the prospect of having to investigate thousands of employees, volunteers and subcontractors around the world.
20 Aug 2004

Call for Catholic Welfare Awards nominations
Catholic Welfare Australia yesterday called for nominations for its 2004 Awards, which aim to recognise and promote the work of Catholic Welfare member organisations, as well as individuals working within the social welfare sector.
20 Aug 2004

Pope appoints Brisbane official to advise Vatican Ccouncil
Pope John Paul II has appointed Jose Zepeda for a five-year term as a consultor of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
20 Aug 2004

Zimbabwe law would criminalise church charity work
A proposed law to regulate non-governmental organisations in Zimbabwe would effectively criminalise much Christian charity work and deprives millions of impoverished Zimbabweans of aid.
20 Aug 2004

Assurance on communion wafers from Liturgical Commission head
Fr Peter Williams of the National Liturgical Commission has given an assurance that the Church is determined to avoid causing alarm to communicant Catholics whose health is threatened by communion wafers containing gluten.
20 Aug 2004

Feature - Czeslaw Milosz's life infused with faith
The Nobel Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz, died at his home in Krakow, Poland on Saturday. Faith infused all his writing. A committed Catholic, Milosz was drawn to the Book of Job, where suffering tests a man's faith in God but does not break it.
19 Aug 2004

Opinion - Values impact judges' decisions
Chief Justice Murray Gleeson addressed the Melbourne Catholic Lawyers' Association about the impact a judge's own values can have on decisions. He cited a French case in which a woman failed to gain access to official documentation to determine the identity of her mother. The judge relied on laws that can be traced back to St Vincent de Paul, who believed that allowing mothers to give up their babies anonymously would reduce abortion and infanticide.
19 Aug 2004

DNA to reveal source of Dead Sea Scrolls
Authorities are hoping that DNA testing of animal bones discovered in excavations at the Qumran plateau will reveal the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
19 Aug 2004

Tribunal hears boss 'joked about size of Catholic families'
A partner at a leading Northern Ireland real estate agency joked about the breeding habits of Catholics and the size of their families, a Fair Employment Tribunal heard yesterday.
19 Aug 2004

Convicted priest may face new charges
Convicted pedophile and former Melbourne priest Gerald Ridsdale may face new charges after the Director of Public Prosecutions this week decided to reconsider a decision not to prosecute new allegations.
19 Aug 2004

St Vincent's doctors say Notre Dame link will require consultation
Doctors at Sydney's St Vincent's hospital have warned that the proposed establishment of St Vincent's as a teaching facility of Notre Dame medical school ill require the agreement of staff specialists, visiting medical officers and the State Government before it can proceed.
19 Aug 2004

Pell calls Cologne "a journey on many levels"
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has said the pilgrimage to the German city of Cologne for next yhear's World Youth Day next year will be a journey "on many levels" for young people.
19 Aug 2004

Stronger Pope thanks God for Lourdes pilgrimage
In better health than he appeared during his weekend trip to France, Pope John Paul II yesterday thanked God for the strength he was given to make his pilgrimage to Lourdes.
19 Aug 2004

Feature - Film buff priest links the Gospel to pop culture
Fr Richard Leonard didn't realise his love for the movies would be his ministry until after he was ordained. His Jesuit superior believed Christian churches needed to take the mass media seriously and start building 'bridges to contemporary and secular society'. Pop culture, Leonard suggests, 'is a big pulpit from which to talk to people and reflect on some of the bigger issues of this world and the next'.
18 Aug 2004

Opinion - Irritations and the spiritual life
You can walk into your bathroom, and instead of being grateful for the marvels of modern plumbing, you swear inwardly because nobody has put the toilet-tissue into the dispenser. The time will come when our loved ones are gone or we are preparing to leave, when it will be only with fondness that we remember how such a wonderful person once snored, couldn't match his colours, loved Country and Western music, and, for too short a blessed time, shared life with us.
18 Aug 2004

Broome Diocese applauds WA Govt cotton decision
Coordinator of the Broome Diocesan Office of Justice, Ecology & Peace, Br Shane Wood, has welcomed the decision by the State Government not to renew the Memorandum of Understanding with the proponent of cotton trials in the Kimberley.
18 Aug 2004

Health alert over new formula communion hosts
The NSW Coeliac Society says Catholics with coeliac disease are likely to suffer ill effects if they receive the Eucharist in the form of hosts made under a new formula which begins production this week.
18 Aug 2004

Catholics lobby urges more strategic approach to security issues
As the United Nations Security Council was holding an emergency meeting in response to the Burundi massacre, the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) called for greater support for the United Nations as the only international and independent structural mechanism to manage world security issues.
18 Aug 2004

Pope prays for Tutsis massacred in Burundian refugee camp
Pope John Paul II has offered prayers for the 160 ethnic Tutsis massacred in a Burundian refugee camp, and asked his ambassador to Burundi to convey his condolences to their families and to the more than 100 people injured.
18 Aug 2004

Ratzinger asserts Vatican stand against Turkey EU membership
Reflecting the Vatican view that Europe must fight to retain its Christian identity, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has said that bringing Turkey into the European Union would put European culture at risk.
18 Aug 2004

US bishop says 'no question' Darfur violence is ethnic cleansing
After a visit to Sudan, the chairman of the US bishops' international policy committee has said there is "no question" that the killings in the Darfur region represent ethnic cleansing.
18 Aug 2004

Feature - Lay down Miserere
In a radical departure from Allegri's 17th century Miserere, with its renowned top-C solo, Melbourne Jesuit composer Christopher Willcock has taken the same psalm - 50 - and given it a new setting, emphasising the bass singers rather than the high notes. Willcock, who is The Melbourne Chorale's composer-in-residence this year, is regarded as one of the world's leading Catholic composers.
17 Aug 2004

Opinion - Sharing Communion
The eucharist is of central importance in all Christian Churches but this is expressed differently according to the distinctive emphases of each tradition. The Roman Catholic Church sees sharing eucharist as the sign of full ecclesial communion and not as the means of achieving that full communion. - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
17 Aug 2004

Group discovers John the Baptist cave
Archaeologists announced yesterday that they have found a cave in which they believe John the Baptist anointed many of his disciples.
17 Aug 2004

Ethics prize goes to research into respect for patient autonomy
Research that shows how ethical considerations establish that comparative information on the clinical performance of individual surgeons should be made available to patients, as part of the process of giving informed consent, has won two researchers $10,000 and the Australian Catholic University Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics.
17 Aug 2004

Prosecutors block child sex charges against ex-priest
Victoria's Office of Public Prosecutions is refusing to press charges against former priest Gerald Ridsdale, despite nine more victims coming forward since his conviction on 46 charges.
17 Aug 2004

Vatican offers to mediate in Najaf
The Vatican has offered to mediate between the Iraqi and American troops and the fundamentalist supporters of Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who have been fighting in the Iraqi city of Najaf since 5 August.
17 Aug 2004

Catholics lobby says letter questions ethics of public debate
Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has said that a former senior public servant's letter to yesterday's Australian newspaper has raised further serious questions about the ethical quality of public debate and information.
17 Aug 2004

Cardinal Danneels says Pope's health "seriously weakened"
Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels has said that Pope John Paul II's health has deteriorated and that he may be near the end of his life.
17 Aug 2004

Feature - The Olympic flame of faith
The games, however, have always inspired religious fervour, although it has been of a far less sinister nature in the past. Indeed they were first conceived as a pagan festival, and the abolition of the Olympics 1000 years later was also caused by religion.
16 Aug 2004

Opinion - Innocent victims
The Woomera Detention Centre children's drawings show us that detention centres are the most dangerous places for children in our country. They are drawings from a toxic environment, and they are the pictorial record of the seeds of what will almost certainly be long-term harm. And this incredibly in our beloved land of Australia, the land of the underdog. - Patty Fawkner SGS, launching Innocent Victims exhibition, MacKillop Place, North Sydney, 13/8/04
16 Aug 2004

Rome challenged on St Christopher demotion
An Irish academic has uncovered compelling new evidence that challenges the Vatican's controversial downgrading of St Christopher from his once sanctified status.
16 Aug 2004

Russian Patriarch says icon to be returned is a copy
Russian Orthodox leader Patriarch Alexei II has downplayed a recent conciliatory gesture by Pope John Paul II, claiming that an image of Our Lady of Kazan which the Holy Father will return to the Russian Church later his month, is not the revered historic icon, but a copy.
16 Aug 2004

Catholic Health welcomes Govt GST pledge
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has welcomed the Government's stated intention to safeguard Church run retirement units from the imposition of a GST.
16 Aug 2004

Catholic Mission continues its work in Sudan
Catholic Mission has issued a statement reminding Catholics that it has had a presence in war-torn Sudan, and it plans to maintain its work there for the duration of the current humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region.
16 Aug 2004

Investigation says no financial fraud at Brisbane Vietnamese Centre
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane said the Vietnamese Catholic Centre at Inala in Brisbane plans to forward to Caritas Australia the $41,000 in donations received during the display of the statues that reportedly wept.
16 Aug 2004

Pope's Lourdes call for youth "breath of fresh air"
At the conclusion of yesterday's solemn Mass of his weekend trip to Lourdes, Pope John Paul II called young people to become a source of hope to the world through a life of prayer and austerity.
16 Aug 2004

Zambia's Catholic Church sanctions herbal medicine
Driven by poverty, compounded by an HIV/AIDS pandemic that has shortened many lives in Zambia, Christians increasingly are turning to traditional healers since modern drugs and hospital treatment have become prohibitively expensive.
13 Aug 2004

Feature - Rescripting the East London poor's Olympic nightmare
In 2012, the Olympic Games may come to east London and his parishioners are not excited about the prospect. "Historically, the East End has been a prosperous place but the wealth has not come to the people. Canary Wharf is the latest incarnation of that," sayd 39 year old Fr Sean Connolly, who is committed to changing all that.
13 Aug 2004

Opinion - It's time to act on landmines
The war is over, but every day another three Cambodians lose a limb. Not only did Neang lose a limb. Her village has for years been deprived much needed land for agriculture. It will be many more years before all such land in Cambodia will be demined. - Fr Frank Brennan SJ. TV viewing alert: 'Frank Brennan: People's Priest' is ABC TV's Compass feature at 10:15 pm on Sunday.
13 Aug 2004

Canadian tax authority warned churches to be silent on politics
It has just been revealed that state revenue officials in Canada told the Catholic Church and the Evangelical Fellowship that they would risk losing their tax-exempt status if they become involved in "partisan" political activity during the then-forthcoming 2004 federal election.
13 Aug 2004

Vinnies plea for landlords to help sponsored refugees
The St Vincent de Paul migrant and refugee coordinator in South Australia has raised concerns about a housing rental crisis being faced by sponsored refugees.
13 Aug 2004

Pope warns Russian youth against hedonism, drugs
Pope John Paul II warned young people in Russia not to squander hard-won freedoms by following the false idols of hedonism and drugs.
13 Aug 2004

Austrian Seminary shut over porn scandal
A Vatican-appointed bishop has closed down an Austrian seminary following allegations of sexual impropriety.
13 Aug 2004

British decision prompts Vatican to renew stem cell warning
The Vatican reiterated its firm opposition to human cloning yesterday after a group of British scientists was given a licence to create stem cells used in medical research from a cloned human embryo.
13 Aug 2004

Feature - Children taking to the streets to build caring communities
The young students are at the forefront of moves to create more caring communities and encourage Catholic faith to be a cornerstone of everyday life through the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) development. Instigated by local BEC team leader Rachele Tullio, Adelaide's Henley Beach parish has been trialling new BEC units at the Star of the Sea school, laying the groundwork for new subjects on "Church in the Neighbourhood" to be taught in Catholic schools around South Australia.
12 Aug 2004

Opinion - Why Sunday Mass?
Our society rewards winners and grinners. At Mass, we remember Christ's wounded brothers and sisters who are also part of his body. We also meet generous people with big hearts, and the church can offer us opportunities to make a difference. - Andrew Hamilton SJ
12 Aug 2004

US researcher says baby boomers remain churchgoers
A researcher base in Georgia in the US says that the baby boomer generation is continuing to attend churches, although "boomers" who previous left have apparently now quit for good.
12 Aug 2004

Visiting theologian debunks fringe scholars who doubt Resurrection
Eminent Rome-based Australian Jesuit theologian Gerald O'Collins told a Perth audience last night that a some scholars continue to flout the laws of historical scholarship to arrive at conclusions that contradict traditional Christian teaching about the Resurrection.
12 Aug 2004

GST "tax creep" threatens church aged care sector
Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan has expressed alarm at a proposed GST change that threatens to introduce further complication into the tax regime faced by Catholic aged care institutions.
12 Aug 2004

Pope plans rare honour for Lourdes shrine
Pope John Paul II will confer a rare papal honour - a golden rose - on the Lourdes sanctuary during his visit there this weekend.
12 Aug 2004

World authority on treatment of sexual offenders to give public lecture
A world authority on the treatment of sexual offenders who is a key advisor to the Vatican will share his insights on the nature and treatment of sexual deviancy at a public meeting in Sydney tonight.
12 Aug 2004

Abuse inquiry into ex-teacher
A former teacher at Blackfriars Priory School in Adelaide is being investigated by police over the sexual abuse of up to four students.
12 Aug 2004

Opinion - Substance and appearance
Lack of concern for one's physical appearance is a telltale sign of depression or even some deeper illness of soul. But concern for appearance should never replace a concern for substance, depth, and integrity of soul, just as, conversely, concern for substance and depth may never be an excuse for shoddiness and sloppy appearance. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
11 Aug 2004

Archdiocesan bankruptcy guided by Holy Spirit?
Portland, Oregon Archbishop John Vlazny testified on Saturday that he believes his decision to file a bankruptcy claim for the Portland archdiocese was guided by the Holy Spirit, according to local media reports.
11 Aug 2004

Prison during Inquisition to become museum
A 17th-century prison in Sicily where hundreds were tortured during the Inquisition is being turned into a museum, featuring the anguished graffiti of those once tormented there.
11 Aug 2004

Receding Bangladesh floods leave country in chaos
Floodwaters are receding in Bangladesh after submerging nearly two-thirds of the country, but many people are still cut off and in dire need of food and clean water.
11 Aug 2004

Pope set to follow pilgrim trail to Lourdes
Pope John Paul II is preparing to spend Saturday and Sunday in Lourdes, partly in response to an invitation from the French Bishops Conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception.
11 Aug 2004

Canon law could threaten Notre Dame move
It appears that Cardinal George Pell will need to overcome canon law obstacles before he puts in place his plan to make two Sydney Church properties available for use by Perth's Notre Dame University.
11 Aug 2004

Pell resolve to reverse Catholic school gentrification
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has told the Sydney Morning Herald that his ambition is to raise the percentage of poorer Catholics in Catholic schools.
11 Aug 2004

Feature - Climb every mountain
Driven by his commitment to strive for the rights of the most vulnerable, including refugees, the unborn, the unemployed and exploited, Senator Brian Harradine is known for strong and often controversial stances. His devout faith and perception of his role as a politician helped him to side-step criticism.
10 Aug 2004

Opinion - Boat People: Why the queuejumping argument fails
Queuejumping is neither illegal nor immoral in certain circumstances. The superior financial status of some asylum seekers is irrelevant, and the argument that harsh treatment is justified because it will make it difficult for people smugglers to ply their 'queue jumping' trade is simply dismissed as grossly unjust to asylum seekers. - John Ozolins, head National School of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
10 Aug 2004

Lack of consensus slows release of new Mass translation
A lack of consensus on a number of key points appears to have put back the likely release date of the long-awaited new English translation of the Mass.
10 Aug 2004

NZ Cardinal expresses sympathy to Jewish community
Cardinal Thomas Williams of Wellington has written to the city's Jewish community expressing his deep sadness at the recent desecration of graves in the Jewish section two local cemeteries.
10 Aug 2004

Ratzinger says Church's "new springtime" not about numbers
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has insisted that what Pope John Paul II calls the "new springtime" of the Church is a reality, but that it will not "necessarily" be significant in terms of numbers.
10 Aug 2004

Pope sends blessings, peace wishes to Olympics
Pope John Paul II has sent his blessings to the approaching Olympic Games in Athens, expressing his wishes that they will help bring peace to the world.
10 Aug 2004

Catholics lobby blames bad policy for 'eternal detention' decision
Friday's High Court decision to enforce indefinite detention on stateless "failed" asylum seekers further highlights the injustice of the Federal Government's current migration policy, according to John Sweeney of the Australian Political Ministry Network.
10 Aug 2004

Jesuit Centre condemns detention centre climate of violence
An international report's condemnation of Australia as the only western nation in its list of 65 countries where religious violence is a concern, is disturbing, according to the Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre.
10 Aug 2004

Feature - Nun's talk stirs Sarah to action
It all began less than a year ago when an elderly nun came to Lander & Rogers, the law firm where Sarah Rose is a secretary, to give one of the lunch-time talks they have on social issues. The nun, Sister Maeve O'Brien from the Daughters of Charity, had been in Ethiopia since the 1960s, working with the poorest of the poor. That night, when Rose went home, she told her husband, Ben, that she had to do something.
9 Aug 2004

Opinion - The reality of liturgy without a priest
The Australian Bishops' National Liturgical Commission has recently issued Directives on Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest. There needs to be a prayerful discernment of those who would best lead the community's worship in the absence of a priest or deacon. - Elizabeth Harrington
9 Aug 2004

Push for values drives public school exodus
A demand for better discipline and a desire for tradition, smart uniforms and moral values are driving parents out of public education and into private schools, according to research published in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
9 Aug 2004

TV documentary sparks abortion debate
The image in a TV documentary last night of a four-week old foetus being aborted has reignited the abortion debate in Australia.
9 Aug 2004

Pope says predecessor Paul VI was an 'unforgettable pastor'
Pope Paul VI was an "unforgettable pastor", and the Church should always "treasure his example and his teachings", Pope John Paul II has said.
9 Aug 2004

Pell says Notre Dame Campus will address skills shortage
Cardinal George Pell has defended the proposal to set up a branch campus of Perth's Notre Dame University in Sydney by claiming it would substantially increase the number of badly needed teachers, nurses and doctors in the Sydney region.
9 Aug 2004

Adelaide Centacare disappointed by indefinite asylum seeker detention decision
The Adelaide Centacare Catholic welfare agency has expressed disappointment at Friday's High Court decision to uphold the Federal Government's right to detain failed asylum seekers indefinitely.
9 Aug 2004

Feature - Going for God
First grade Cronulla Sharks rugby league prop Jason Stevens may pull on representative jerseys and make appearances on TV sports programs, but God, not fame, is the driving force in his life.
6 Aug 2004

Opinion - TV: Beginning to confront the awful truth of abortion
Grief counsellors, priests and pastoral carers are bracing themselves for the documentary My Foetus, on ABC TV's Compass at 10:15 on Sunday evening. One can hardly recommend that people view such a film, or any film that shows real abortion happening or its tragic aftermath. Not because it doesn't happen, but because we must be very wary of normalising and trivialising something so terrible. Yet for all its problems the film may bring to the surface for some viewers hard facts they have long preferred not to face. - Bishop Anthony Fisher OP
6 Aug 2004

Milan Jesuits appoint female rector
The Jesuits in Italy have appointed 44 year old science teacher and mother of two Gabriella Tona to the post of rector of their prestigious Milan high school Leo XIII.
6 Aug 2004

Hoax weeping statue church chases missing donations
After finding that a statue of a weeping Virgin Mary was an elaborate hoax, the Vietnamese Catholic Centre at Inala in Brisbane is investigating what became of money donated by the faithful who came to see it.
6 Aug 2004

Irish bishops critical of book on moral theology
The Irish Bishops' Conference has issued a doctrinal warning against a 1997 book of Marist theologian Fr Sean Fagan titled Does Morality Change?'
6 Aug 2004

Catholic women "more likely" to have abortion
Sydney's Catholic women are far more likely than women of other religions to have an abortion, according to figures published in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
6 Aug 2004

Nun challenges media mischief on Timor oil
Josephite Sr Susan Connolly has expressed her dismay at the "one-sided view" being taken by the Murdoch press in particular on the sea boundaries dispute between Australia and East Timor.
6 Aug 2004

Bishops in call to boost effort safeguard Great Barrier Reef
Queensland's seven Bishops will today launch a landmark Pastoral Letter calling for a renewed effort to safeguard the Great Barrier Reef, which they call a "wonder of creation".
6 Aug 2004

Feature - Empowering students to act is my vocation
Vocations, for me, were brothers, nuns and priests. I accepted a position at a Catholic school in the lowest socio-economic area of Melbourne. Described as an 'outreach school' we welcomed refugees from Vietnam, El Salvador, South America and Africa. Families arrived with nothing. I would like to think I had a Damascus experience.
5 Aug 2004

Opinion - There's something special about good liturgy
Good liturgy strengthens and feeds faith. Bad liturgy erodes it. Liturgy is by definition an encounter with the unfamiliar, the Other. The Good, the True, the Beautiful, is encountered, if as yet not articulated. The primitive assertion may be something like: 'There's something special here' and the more focused might be: 'I felt the presence of God.' - Fr Alan Griffiths, parish priest, Ringwood UK
5 Aug 2004

New executive director for Catholic Welfare Australia
The Australian Medical Association's (AMA) chief information officer Frank Quinlan has been appointed the new Executive Director of Catholic Welfare Australia (CWA).
5 Aug 2004

1000 marriage supporters pack Parliament House
More than 1000 people packed the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra yesterday in a show of support for legislation which would define marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.
5 Aug 2004

Magazine highlights nuncio's worry about liturgical abuse
The August edition of AD2000 has expressed concern about reported negative reaction to papal nuncio Archbishop Francesco Canalini's expression of concern about liturgical abuses, to 120 leaders of Australian religious congregations gathered in Brisbane in June.
5 Aug 2004

Local church backs business calls for Kosovars to stay
Catholic parishes and schools in the NSW/Victoria border cities of Albury and Wodonga are supporting calls by a 700 member local business group to allow Kosovars on temporary visas to stay.
5 Aug 2004

Vatican announces setting up of sports desk
Citing this month's Athens Olympics as testimony to the importance sport has in today's world, Pope John Paul II has instituted a sports section of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
5 Aug 2004

Pell tells abuse accuser to go to police
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has urged a Melbourne man who alleges he was brutalised at the Salesians' Rupertswood College at Sunbury outside Melbourne, to seek justice through the police or church processes in Victoria.
5 Aug 2004

Feature - A new breed of priest
"We are very, very faithful to the Holy Father and not in any way dissenting from the teachings of the church," says 41 year old Fr Richard Gonzalez. Fr Richard Neuhaus of the Institute on Religion and Public Life says the new breed will reinvigorate the church with youthful enthusiasm, "radical devotion" and a willingness to proclaim church teachings without equivocation. But Catholic University of America sociologist Dean Hoge sees a potential clash between younger priests' emphasis on the Pope's authority and younger laity's view of themselves as fit to make their own moral choices.
4 Aug 2004

Opinion - Suicide - the most misunderstood of all deaths
When people die from heart attacks, strokes, cancer, AIDS, and accidents, they die against their will. The same is true suicide, except that in the case of suicide the breakdown is emotional rather than physical - an emotional stroke, an emotional cancer, a breakdown of the emotional immune-system, an emotional fatality. - Fr Ron Rolheiser
4 Aug 2004

Brisbane priest says rosary beads 'shed oil'
A priest whose church was the site of several so-called miracles told parishioners his personal rosary beads had shed oil during an interstate trip.
4 Aug 2004

Loopholes undermine WTO deal for world's poor
The Caritas organisation for England and Wales has said that a deal at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva at the weekend will do little to help the world's poorest countries.
4 Aug 2004

ACU head reveals surprise at Notre Dame Uni announcement
Australian Catholic University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan has told Online Catholics that Sunday's announcement of federal funding for Notre Dame University's new Sydney campus was unexpected, and that such an arrangement is "unprecedented".
4 Aug 2004

Catholic Health backs Govt community care strategy
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) yesterday welcomed the Government's release of its blueprint for future community care delivery, but insisted that proper funding for the initiative should not be overlooked.
4 Aug 2004

Catholics lobby urges Senate to protect water
The PolMin Catholics lobby group has issued a reminder that the Australia - US Free Trade Agreement being debated by the Senate from today, leaves open the possibility of foreign investment in Australia's waters.
4 Aug 2004

Vatican calls on UN to act for peace after attacks
Papal envoy Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has called on the United Nations to intensify peace efforts in Iraq and the Middle East following Sunday's attacks on Iraq's Christian churches that killed 11 people and wounded more than 50.
4 Aug 2004

Feature - Edith Stein and Pope Pius IX: An imaginary dinner party
On the appointed evening we awaited the arrival of our guests with mixed feelings. Catherine suggested that Pius would appreciate Edith's Jewish background since he was on record as declaring: "Spiritually we are all Semites." After the guests had arrived, introductions had been made, the weather disposed of and pre-dinner drinks on the way, it was feminism which, surprisingly, emerged as the initial topic of conversation.
3 Aug 2004

Opinion - The Vatican should practice the feminism it preaches
Like most men, those who hold the most senior positions in the Church would have been profoundly influenced by their relationships with their mothers. For a cardinal of the Church, it is the only intimate relationship with a woman he will have had. When I read the document on women, it struck me that this relationship runs all the way through it: much of it is an idealised portrait of motherhood. - Catherine Pepinster, editor The Tablet
3 Aug 2004

Federal cash for Little Pebble cult school
A cult led by self-proclaimed prophet William (aka 'The Little Pebble') Kamm has secured $332,000 from the Howard Government to run a private school since 1996.
3 Aug 2004

Brisbane bishop meets West Papua human rights advocate
Brisbane auxiliary Bishop Joseph Oudeman has met with visiting prominent West Papuan human rights advocate John Rumbiak at the office of the Archdiocesan Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.
3 Aug 2004

ACU to establish Chair of Ageing
The Australian Catholic University and the RSL Veterans' Retirement Villages will today sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA) to jointly establish a Chair and Professorship of Ageing (Veterans and Community).
3 Aug 2004

Feminists embrace Vatican's declaration
The Federal Government's sex discrimination commissioner Pru Goward greeted the Vatican document on feminism and the role of women and work, with the comment that it is "a small step for man, but a great step forward for womankind".
3 Aug 2004

Pope calls on Muslims, Christians to unite after Iraqi church attacks
Pope John Paul II deplored the string of deadly car bomb attacks on five Catholic churches in Iraq on Sunday, calling on Muslims and Christians to unite against "all forms of violence".
3 Aug 2004

Vinnies says price hikes hit battlers the hardest
St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT spokesperson Terry McCarthy has expressed alarm at the rate at which battling Australians have been hit the hardest by price hikes on essential goods and services.
3 Aug 2004

Feature - Who lives, who dies
It has nothing to do with the noisy, high-tech machines that have kept her son Dominic alive. Nor is it coupled to the miracles that obsess parents of premature babies. After five months riding the roller-coaster of hope that is the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the Mercy Hospital, Silvana just wants to take her son for a walk in the park.
2 Aug 2004

Opinion - Salesian Order must talk about physical abuse
Drawing a parallel between one beating he received while a boarder at Rupertswood near Melbourne, with a beating given a victim by religious police in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, author and lateral thinker Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, who founded the School of Thinking with Professor Edward de Bono, says he received the "worst hiding of my life".
2 Aug 2004

Insults, punches fly after school rugby grudge match
Spectators said intoxicated young old boys exchanged blows after a grudge match between two Gregory Terrace and Nudgee, two Christian Brothers schools in Brisbane.
2 Aug 2004

US bishop requires lay people to sign oath
Bishop Robert Vasa of the Oregon Diocese of Baker has issued a two-page "affirmation of faith" which requires lay ministers and cantors to sign an oath if they wish to continue in their roles on the altar.
2 Aug 2004

Pope's Lourdes pilgrimage to praise God, not seek healing
Pope John Paul II will make a pilgrimage to Lourdes this month not to seek physical healing but to praise God for his great gifts, including the gift of the Blessed Virgin Mary, said the papal trip organiser.
2 Aug 2004

Bombs explode near give churches in Baghdad and Mosul
Terrorists targeted four churches in the Iraqi capital and one in the northern city of Mosul in the early hours of this morning eastern Australian time, with exploding bombs killing at least 10 people and wounding hundreds.
2 Aug 2004

Notre Dame welcomes Federal support for Sydney campus
The University of Notre Dame Australia's Vice-Chancellor Dr Peter Tannock has welcomed Federal Government support for its proposed Sydney campus, following yesterday's announcement by Prime Minister John Howard that its proposed Sydney campus will be established on two inner city sites.
2 Aug 2004

Vatican affirms feminine values
The Vatican has strongly supported the role of women in the Church and society and called for policies which create a greater balance between work and family life.
2 Aug 2004