Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR SEPTEMBER 2004

   
Feature - Political leaders talk about spirituality and values
ABC TV's Compass has talked to the leaders of all five of Australia's major political parties about religion, spirituality and values. Nationals' leader and Deputy PM John Anderson says he was an isolated boy who didn't go to church or read the bible, but found Christianity after university. "I once heard it said that religion's for people who need a crutch. Well frankly I ain't met a human being yet who doesn't need a belief system. We need a story."
30 Sep 2004

Opinion - How ethics gets pushed aside in big business
It can be as simple as omitting some vital information because it only complicates things. The Americans have coined the colourful term "managerial mischief" to refer to those day to day unethical practices that can characterise how business gets done. For most people at work, ethical challenges come about because of a culture of indifference or a set of behaviours that model a "if only we had the time" managerial mindset. - Dr Attracta Lagan, National Director Ethics & Sustainability Services, KPMG
30 Sep 2004

Indian Bishops condemn attack on Mother Teresa's missionaries
The Bishop's Conference of India has firmly condemned the recent attacks on sisters of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity congregation at the hands of Hindu fundamentalists in the Indian state of Kerala.
30 Sep 2004

Ratzinger says papacy is about truth and love, not power
In his homily for this week's Mass for Paul VI and John Paul I, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of the mission and responsibility of the papacy, saying that truth and love are "the two poles of the mission entrusted to the successors of Peter".
30 Sep 2004

Pope says Africans with AIDS need moral, spiritual, medical help
With millions of Africans suffering from diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the continent desperately needs good Samaritans to bring moral, spiritual and medical help, Pope John Paul II said.
30 Sep 2004

NZ Catholics threaten Labour over Civil Unions Bill
The Hamilton Diocese crossed swords with New Zealand Labour MPs this week, warning the Government could expect its vote from Catholics to languish should legislation to give homosexual relationships the same legal status as marriage be passed.
30 Sep 2004

Catholic vote may tip US election scales toward Bush
A survey has revealed that a "seismic shift" in the Catholic vote in favour of President George W. Bush may end up having a decisive role in the forthcoming elections.
30 Sep 2004

Strong Catholic Health support for Labor's Medicare Gold Card
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) CEO Francis Sullivan has called the ALP's proposed new hospital benefit for the over 75 year olds as the "biggest health reform to assist the elderly since the instigation of Medicare".
30 Sep 2004

Feature - St Francis - from selling cloth to mystical contemplation
The family of St Francis belonged to the rising merchant class in Assisi. His father, a cloth merchant, owned a shop in Assisi where Francis worked, familiar with the daily business of buying and trading cloth, and coming into contact with many different types of people. Some regard him as "the first materialist" because of the way Francis looked on the material world—not for what it is but for how it is: God's creation.
29 Sep 2004

Opinion - Does Australia want economic independence for East Timor?
They have begun life as a new nation debt-free, determined to leverage the oil and gas windfall to create a self-sustaining economy. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said: "If there is an issue of economic disparity between Australia and East Timor that should be addressed through aid". I think that this means that the Government would prefer to see a dependent East Timor, one more likely to be controlled by aid and debt, than a free and self-sufficient small neighbour. - Sr Susan Connelly, Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies
29 Sep 2004

Columban condemns Vatican conference "disgrace"
Renowned Irish envorinmental activist Fr Sean McDonagh has labelled last week's Vatican conference on genetically modified foods "a disgrace" and "a sustained exercise in propaganda for GE seeds".
29 Sep 2004

Baghdad Patriarch says 'we knocked, a door opened'
"We knocked on every door to free the two Italian women," His Beatitude Emmanuel Delly, Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad said after the announcement of freedom for the two Italian hostages overnight Australian time. "One opened. And Iraqi Christians and Muslims are rejoicing."
29 Sep 2004

University jobs fear over Archdiocese rent increase
The Australian Catholic University would have to raise HECS and cut staff if its landlord, the Sydney Archdiocese, demanded hefty management fees for its Strathfield and North Sydney campuses.
29 Sep 2004

Survey of Australian priests' finds 71% question compulsory celibacy
A yet-to-be released report to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has found that 55% of priests in Australia believe that optional, rather than obligatory celibacy would be appropriate for priests in the Catholic Church. A further 16% of priests said that obligatory celibacy has had a negative impact.
29 Sep 2004

Edmund Rice Centre claims at least 35 refugees sent back to danger
The Christian Brothers' Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice claimed that Australia has deported at least 35 rejected asylum seekers into dangerous situations, and needs to urgently reform its refugee protection system.
29 Sep 2004

Mixed reaction to Archbishops' statement on Labor education policy
Yesterday's joint Sydney and Melbourne Catholic and Anglican archbishops' criticism of Labor's education policy has met wide but not universal support from within the Catholic Church.
29 Sep 2004

Feature - My heart goes out to them every time
Sydney-based James Thomson, 34, has a background in politics, communications, and development and international relations. Currently he is national advocacy officer for the National Program on Refugees and Displaced People for the National Council of Churches in Australia. "I worked for about five years (1993-98) in Ethiopia and Eritrea. When you meet refugees and realise where they've come from and what they've suffered already, and you see the way they're treated in Australia, my heart goes out to them every time."
28 Sep 2004

Opinion - Let us see their faces
Before the 2001 election, the arrival of a pitiful boatload of refugees altered the course of the nation and government policies. It was possible because we were not allowed to know the refugees. We could not see their faces. Once I heard that a young Vietnamese woman, who had been taken by Thai pirates, was being held in a remote Thai town. with the help of an understanding Australian Immigration official and the ready support of community groups here, she was brought to Melbourne. I was proud of Australia. - Jesuit Provincial Fr Mark Raper, speaking to Lord Mayor's Charitable Trust, Melbourne Town Hall 23/9/04
28 Sep 2004

Irish poll says 10% would think about a religious vocation
As Irish survey has suggested that 10% of Catholics would seriously consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.
28 Sep 2004

Austrian Catholics in exodus over priest sex scandals
Austrian Catholics are leaving the Church in significant numbers following two high-profile sex scandals involving child pornography and allegations of the molestation of young boys.
28 Sep 2004

Sydney couple reappointed to Pontifical Council for the Family
A Sydney couple, Ron and Mavis Pirola, have been reappointed to the Pontifical Council for the Family, launching them into their third decade of service to Vatican Council.
28 Sep 2004

Catholic Health welcomes Coalition dementia package
Catholic Health Australia has praised the Federal Coalition's willingness to invest in the capacity of Australia's health system to properly care for those who suffer with Alzheimers Disease and the various stages of dementia.
28 Sep 2004

Pope says treat prisoners with understanding
Pope John Paul II yesterday urged a group of officials and trainee Italian prison officers to follow the example of St Vincent de Paul in showing understanding of prisoners and demanding humane treatment.
28 Sep 2004

Vatican on WMDs and violation of human dignity
The Holy See's representative at last weeks International Atomic Energy Agency conference has said the ongoing violation of the human dignity of innocent victims of terrorism highlights the need to face the underlying causes.
28 Sep 2004

Feature - The courage to face the "big picture" way through violence
The chilling executions of American hostages 'for the sake of God' have again exposed the link between religion and violence. Might the numbing acts of terror of recent years - not least the horrifying executions this week in Iraq - cure us of our contemporary fear of "grand narrative" and allow us to think ambitiously once again.
27 Sep 2004

Opinion - Church grieving for lost wholeness
Beyond our internal divisions, we are too grieving a lost child, our child, secularity. Western culture is to us, the Church, much like an adolescent child is to its parents. We gave it birth, helped raise it, and now, with a fierceness and anger that do not seem justifiable, it is asserting its independence from us, accusing us of being bad parents, and claiming it can find life only by moving away from us. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
27 Sep 2004

Edmund Rice Centre supports mother who fears son will be 'recruited'
A Melbourne mother from Sri Lanka fears her 16-year-old son will be forcibly taken and made to fight with the Tamil Tigers if the family is returned to Sri Lanka.
27 Sep 2004

PNG archbishop suggests national service to curb crime
Archbishop Brian Barnes of Port Moresby has called on the country's government to introduce national service, to curb increasing lawlessness in the country.
27 Sep 2004

"Troubling" birth of designer baby
Catholic moralists have raised concerns about designer babies, following the birth of the first child from frozen ovarian tissue in a process that involves the discarding of embryos without the desired qualities.
27 Sep 2004

Australian theologian says don't judge pro-abortion politicians
It is generally very difficult for theologians to impute sinful behaviour to politicians based on their position on abortion, and even more difficult when it comes to voters, according to Rome-based Redeptorist moral theologian Fr Brian Johnstone.
27 Sep 2004

US lobbies Vatican on GM food and world hunger
UN Ambassador to the Holy See James Nicholson attempted to persuade the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Friday that genetically modified food is not just a scientific innovation, but also a moral leap forward for mankind.
27 Sep 2004

Pope denounces 'imbalance' of wealth
Pope John Paul II yesterday denounced the "imbalance" between the world's rich and poor, applauding efforts to eliminate hunger including the recent UN initiative to increase funds for development.
27 Sep 2004

Feature - David and Goliath fight for rights
Catholic pastoral workers were first to draw a connection between the tarry goo dumped into open pits in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest and the appearance of cancers and other illnesses that had never been seen in the area before. Now, more than a decade later, their parishioners are getting their day in Ecuador's courts, with a class-action lawsuit that accuses US multinational company Texaco of poisoning rainforest soil and water by dumping 70 billion litres of toxic waste into unlined pits.
24 Sep 2004

Opinion - Why full schools don't lead to full churches
There has been a shift from an authoritarian to a participative style of learning in the classroom. The main teaching structure for on-going learning in the church community is the Sunday homily. It is authoritarian and not participative, and therefore experienced as boring, particularly by anyone under 50 years of age. The hierarchy and clergy feel more comfortable with an authoritarian style. Leaders have to develop new skills and attitudes to enable them to exercise authority without being authoritarian. - Fr Kevin Murphy, former Ballarat Diocesan Inspector of Catholic schools
24 Sep 2004

Experts edgy as Pope orders Michelangelo to come clean
Michelangelo's two last great frescoes are to be restored, but media reports are suggesting the art world is nervous about it, with experts having previously accused the Vatican of "overcleaning" works by the renaissance genius.
24 Sep 2004

Catholic Health says Costello "calls it right" on mental health
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) yesterday welcomed Federal Treasurer Peter Costello's frank assessment of the failure in Australia's mental health services policy.
24 Sep 2004

Pope to address Eucharistic Congress by satellite
Pope John Paul II will use a satellite television link to address the World Eucharistic Congress to be held in Mexico next month.
24 Sep 2004

Bomb rattles Catholic orphanage in Baghdad
A bomb exploded next to the Baghdad orphanage run by the Missionaries of Charity, causing considerable damage to the property.
24 Sep 2004

Caritas launches appeal to fund relief in flood-stricken Haiti
Caritas Internationalis has launched a major appeal to provide the $A1.3 million required to fund relief efforts in flood-stricken Haiti.
24 Sep 2004

ACU Senate considers Pell concerns about curriculum
The Senate of the Australian Catholic University (ACU National) yesterday met to consider concerns voiced by the Cardinal George Pell about the curriculum of ACU National programs.
24 Sep 2004

Feature - Priest's struggle with conscience in Dachau
The Ninth Day (Der Neunte Tag) is the true story of Monsignor Jean Bernard, the prewar head of the International Catholic Film Organisation and postwar editor of the Luxembourg daily Luxemburger Wort. In between, Monsignor Bernard was arrested and sent to the Dachau concentration camp in 1941. He was prisoner number 25487, one of nearly 2600 priests sent to Dachau as punishment for speaking out against Nazi policies. More than half of them died there.
23 Sep 2004

Opinion - FILM: Forgiveness saves
Australian Cate Shortland's debut film Somersault is about a sixteen year old Canberra girl who feels she has to leave home. With her inexperience and the emotional baggage she is carrying, she ruins most things. It is the kindness of others that saves her and a realisation that forgiveness is needed - from oneself as well as others. - Fr Peter Malone MSC
23 Sep 2004

Moscow disco to be converted into church
A 24 year-old seminarian and member of the Neocatechumenate has purchased a disco in Moscow and said he intends to convert the building into a church.
23 Sep 2004

Talk of sale of historic Sydney Catholic property
The Society of St Vincent de Paul this week began a review of the use of its NSW/ACT State headquarters, the historic Lewisham Hospital, a prime piece of real estate in Sydney's inner west.
23 Sep 2004

Catholics Coalition says Govt schools need support
The Sydney-based Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace (CCJP) is arguing that the Federal Government should not be allowed to run down the public school system as part of the "privatisation process that has dogged this nation since the 1980s".
23 Sep 2004

Catholic Health welcomes Labor public hospitals commitment
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has expressed its support for the Australian Labor Party's move to place hospital Medicare firmly on the election agenda by promising an extra $998 million funding for the "already over-stretched public hospital and health system".
23 Sep 2004

Social Justice Statement launched
NSW Governor Professor Marie Bashir AC launched the Australian Catholic Bishops' annual Social Justice Sunday Statement in Sydney yesterday.
23 Sep 2004

Vatican paper urges action against Iraqi terrorists
Responding to news that another American hostage has been killed, the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has called upon international leaders to work urgently for stability in Iraq.
23 Sep 2004

Feature - A new string to her bow
When Josephite Sister Beverly Zimmerman was studying at the University of New England in the 1980s she gained a part-time job as assistant to the archivist. Little did she realise that this was work experience for the position she would hold in 2004 as Chancellor of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
22 Sep 2004

Opinion - Looking for elephants
"If you always view the world through a microscope, you'll never see an elephant." Microscopes are good and necessary for our understanding of things. But have we relied too much on the microscopic view? Is it possible we are missing something? - Rita Larivee SSA
22 Sep 2004

Mexican churches jam mobile phone signals at Mass
Four Catholic churches in Monterrey, Mexico, are jamming mobile phone signals with with Israeli-made transmitters designed to protect embassies and presidential motorcades from bugs and bombs detonated by phone.
22 Sep 2004

Rome journal's qualified praise for feminism
The Italian Jesuits' journal Civilta Cattolica has said that despite errors and exaggerations, feminism has allowed "the recognition of woman's dignity and equality with man".
22 Sep 2004

East Timor bishop asks lay Christians to lead evangelisation
Newly-appointed Dili Bishop Alberto Ricardo da Silva has said that lay East Timorese are the "main agents" of re-evangelisation, with many of the country's largely Catholic population knowing very little about their faith.
22 Sep 2004

Church in India to fight forced reconversions of tribals
A bishop in Orissa state in India has vowed to educate tribal people in order to equip them to assert their rights in the face of efforts of Hindu extremists to force them to re-embrace Hinduism.
22 Sep 2004

Notre Dame becomes a 'public' University
The privately-owned Catholic university, Notre Dame Australia, has been re-designated 'public' for the purposes of Commonwealth funding.
22 Sep 2004

Social Justice Statement set for launch today
NSW Governor Professor Marie Bashir AC will launch the Bishops' annual Social Justice Sunday Statement in Sydney this morning.
22 Sep 2004

Feature - A spiritual adventure with sisters in East Timor
Two young idealists keen to help the poor of East Timor have found common ground with the Canossian Sisters, and have embarked on an adventure that has turned spiritual. Dan Foster, 25, and Anastasia Guise, 23, left Australia earlier this month to work as volunteers with the sisters for 12 months, teaching horticultural skills in one of the poorest parts of East Timor.
21 Sep 2004

Opinion - Dust off the Church's hidden beauty
There are treasures of great beauty hidden all over, including in forgotten places inside our churches, in darkness, ancient creeds, abandoned liturgies, old-fashioned devotions, or two thousand year-old practices of community, charity, justice, and forgiveness. Our task is to point these out to the world. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
21 Sep 2004

Pope addresses Pacific bishops
Pope John Paul spoke on Saturday to bishops of countries of the Pacific Islands, at the end of their ad limina visit, echoing the bishops' own concerns about the "encroachment of secularism, particularly in the form of consumerism, and the long reach of the most insidious aspects of the media, which convey a deformed outlook on life".
21 Sep 2004

Catholics lobby offers tips for letters to local candidates
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) is encouraging individuals to write to local candidates in the 9 October Federal Election to gain commitment on issues Catholic leaders and organisations are highlighting as important.
21 Sep 2004

Pressure mounts for Austrian bishop to step down
Although an embattled Austrian bishop has not yet agreed to submit his resignation, the Vatican still expects him to step down soon.
21 Sep 2004

Priest accused in 1994 Rwanda genocide fails to front for trial
A priest accused of ordering the slaughter of 2000 people who sought refuge in his church during Rwanda's genocide refused to appear for the start of his trial at a UN tribunal yesterday.
21 Sep 2004

Commission warns new technology threatens human biological integrity
In a new document on the created world, the International Theological Commission has warned that science and technology now offer the dangerous ability to "alter man himself" and destroy the biological integrity of human beings.
21 Sep 2004

Peace Day message favours human security over national security
As Australia's political leaders made election campaign promises to boost national security, on the eve of today's International Day of Peace, religious leaders are acknowledging the threat of terrorism but pointing to the human heart as the source of the most effective response.
21 Sep 2004

Feature - A lonely lot
They are only passing remarks, but they are acutely painful. "All priests are sexual abusers," Father Terry Kean has been told and, "you all live in palaces, you wouldn't know what it is to live in the real world". Kean, parish priest at Elwood and St Kilda West, recalls standing in line at the lunch that his Sacred Heart Mission provides to 400 people every day, when one of the regulars started sounding off.
20 Sep 2004

Opinion - Cardinal Paradox
Seen as personally gracious and modest, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is generally spoken well of around the water coolers of the Vatican. This does not mean, of course, that Ratzinger lacks opinions about other people's business, going well beyond matters that pertain directly to his competence as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. - National Catholic Reporter Rome correspondent John L. Allen
20 Sep 2004

Jesuit Provincial receives human rights award
Leader of the Australian Jesuits Fr Mark Raper has had his "30 year commitment to protect refugees' human rights" recognised, having been named the recipient of this year's annual human rights award from the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID).
20 Sep 2004

Wollongong bishop takes stand against new age healers
Bishop Peter Ingham of the NSW Diocese of Wollongong has banned a new age healing expo from the Campbelltown Catholic Club because the event is "contradictory to the church's doctrine".
20 Sep 2004

Catholics lobby says Guantanamo report shows Govt denying democratic freedoms
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has said that Australians "cannot claim to be defending democracy" while the policy of its government is denying certain essential rights of a democracy including freedom and protection from violence.
20 Sep 2004

Vatican official says annulment reform needed
A canon lawyer at the Vatican has called for a standardisation of procedures to annul marriage, pointing out that marriage tribunals in some countries (such as the United States) are quick to provide annulments on uncertain grounds, while those in other countries make it difficult for the faithful to pursue even clear-cut cases of nullity.
20 Sep 2004

Cardinal sets out bishop's duty as "guarantor" of liturgy
Cardinal Francis Arinze of the Congregation for Divine Worship has described the role of the bishop as "moderator, promoter and guarantor of liturgical life in his diocese", asserting that "the Bishop's duty to sanctify by means of the holy liturgy is the summit of the service which he is called to exercise in the Church in the name of Christ"
20 Sep 2004

Pope tells banks to think beyond profit motive
Pope John Paul II has told an audience of bankers that they should be guided by the "higher values of human living", and not merely "pursuing higher profit".
20 Sep 2004

Feature - The pain of rooting out polygamy for Christ's sake
Fr Jean-Paul succeeded in winning my father's heart. However, my father had no idea what that would cost him. Before my father could be baptized, he had first to conform to the way of life demanded by the priest. The way we lived, the priest had convinced my father, was not good for a Christian, much less for a catechist. In our compound, there were two houses: one for my father's senior wife and the other for my mother. How beautiful it was to see how the two mothers loved each other. They were like sisters. - Zambian freelance writer Evans K. Chama
17 Sep 2004

Opinion - Citizenship, Democracy and Participation: Truth and trust in politics
The two major parties have rightly identified 'trust' as a key issue in the forthcoming federal election. Sadly though in politics, in business and in our communities generally the practice of 'managing' information by putting a 'spin' on it has become all pervasive. 'Spin' attempts to present information in a way that helps an organisation's image and hides what may be harmful. 'Spin' is more about hiding truth than revealing it. - Fr Joe Caddy, Director Policy and Advocacy, Catholic Social Services Victoria
17 Sep 2004

Bride left standing at the altar by priest
A bride who arrived a full 40 minutes late for her wedding at an Irish church was amazed to find she was left standing at the altar by the priest.
17 Sep 2004

Pell denies link between Uni rent and curriculum change
Cardinal George Pell has said that questions of the Australian Catholic University's curriculum and its rental agreement with the Archdiocese are quite separate and not co-dependent as suggested by a recent report in the Australian Financial Review.
17 Sep 2004

Boston Archbishop in plea to protesting parishioners
In a final attempt to keep their parishes open, parishioners are continuing to occupy two Boston churches slated for closure.
17 Sep 2004

Latin American bishops warn free trade agreements hurt poor
Citing possible harmful effects on the poor, Latin American bishops pledged to help grassroots groups have an effective voice in free trade agreements being promoted in the Western Hemisphere.
17 Sep 2004

Pope tells bishops to guard the faith
Pope John Paul II has told a delegation of 130 bishops that their "first concern" is to be "diligent guardians of the integrity of the faith and the unity of the Church".
17 Sep 2004

Vatican presses visiting Israeli leader on pact
Israeli interior minister Avraham Poraz was in Rome this week for talks with Vatican officials to ease a labyrinthine visa applications faced each year by church personnel working in Israel.
17 Sep 2004

Feature - Catholic doctors
The formation of this new Catholic doctors association in Victoria is in response to requests by doctors who have felt relatively isolated and unsupported in their faith in the workplace. Heavy workloads, time pressures, an increasingly secular culture of healthcare and seemingly evermore complex bioethical issues are just some of the contributing factors.
16 Sep 2004

Opinion - Pope has a point about sacredness of Sunday
It is hardly surprising that Pope John Paul II judges New Zealand to be the victim of a tide of "unrestrained secularism", as evidenced by the undue dominance of sport and entertainment on Sundays. It is a message not without a measure of attraction. There is little enough time to consider spiritual matters; to find space and time away from the hubbub of everyday life. Sunday offered that opportunity before it became, in most ways, just another day.
16 Sep 2004

BoysTown loses star touch of Kylie Minogue
Pop star Kylie Minogue and her accountant father have relinquished their roles promoting a children's telephone counselling service run by Queensland Catholic charity BoysTown.
16 Sep 2004

Catholic Welfare award to Marist Youth Care
The St Vincent's Adolescents Care at Marist Youth Care in Western Sydney has won Catholic Welfare Australia's Award for Excellence in Service, announced at the organisation's National Conference in Cairns this week.
16 Sep 2004

Archbishop enables ACU to retain high-profile philosopher
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne has announced that the Archdiocese will assume full funding of Australian Catholic University's Chair in Philosophy, enabling the re-appointment of its internationally-respected Foundation Professor in Philosophy, Raimond Gaita.
16 Sep 2004

Labor's education policy targeted to shore up Catholic vote
Catholic schools in a clutch of NSW marginal seats would be the big winners from Labor's promise to inject an additional $1 billion into struggling schools.
16 Sep 2004

Australia's head nun agrees to disagree with Cardinal Pell
The Congregational Leader of Australia's largest religious order has said that she respects the "strong feelings" of Cardinal George Pell that led him to ban a lay Catholics meeting from church property, but that she believes he is wrong.
16 Sep 2004

Vinnies names first National CEO
150 years after its Australian founding, the St Vincent de Paul Society has broken new ground by appointing a Sydney businesswoman as its first ever national chief executive.
16 Sep 2004

Feature - Award for Aboriginal 'clever child' underachievers program
St Joseph's School, Walgett, in north-west NSW, has won the prestigious 2004 National Literacy and Numeracy Week Excellence Award, largely for its innovative Yuwaalaraay/Gamilaraay Language Program, developed by Br John Giacon in collaboration with Uncle Ted Fields and Aunty Rose Fernando.
15 Sep 2004

Opinion - Trains of thought
I live in the northern suburbs, on the Adelaide Plains. As I travel home by train from work in the city, I look at each of my co-passengers and feel a sense of gratitude for who they are and what they do. I gaze again at the factories and imagine them as the temples of labour in which people come together each day to create goods to make life generally easier and more comfortable for others in the community. And I hope that the life of those who produce these goods is equally easy and comfortable. - Geraldine Hawkes, Commission for Australian Catholic Women chairperson.
15 Sep 2004

Pope prompts NZ Marist Rugby to review Sunday games
The New Zealand Marist Rugby Federation is reported to be reviewing the future of its participation in Sunday rugby following concerns about secularisation Pope John Paul II voiced to the country's bishops earlier this week.
15 Sep 2004

Friend of Catholics named Perth's new Anglican Archbishop
A Sri Lankan-born bishop who has worked closely with Catholic Bishop Michael Malone while Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, has been appointed Archbishop of Perth.
15 Sep 2004

Commission supports action on insurance crisis
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is supporting today's Day of Action organised by the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) to lobby State and Federal Governments for action on the crisis in public liability insurance.
15 Sep 2004

Pell directs lay group off church property
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has instructed the Sisters of St Joseph not to allow the group Australian Reforming Catholics to hold their annual conference at the sisters' MacKillop Place in North Sydney.
15 Sep 2004

Catholic schools welcome Labor pledge to shift funding
Catholic schools authorities have generally welcomed moves by the Australian Labor Party to redirect funding from "wealthy" private schools to "poorer" Catholic and independent schools.
15 Sep 2004

Columbans warn Vatican against GM food solution to world hunger
The Sydney-based Columban Centre for Peace, Ecology has expressed concern that the United States will be successful in its attempt to lobby the Vatican to accept the proposition that using genetically-modified food to alleviate world hunger is a "moral imperative".
15 Sep 2004

Feature - God's work, not social work
In 1966, Fr Sebastian Vazhakala, now head of the Missionaries of Charity Contemplative Brothers and author of the newly-published 'Life with Mother Teresa', told Mother Teresa how impressed he was with her "social work" and told her he wanted to help. "She said, 'We are not doing social work; this is God's work.' And then she explained to me then, back in 1966, what she meant by doing God's work.
14 Sep 2004

Opinion - I mean pyx, not picks or pics
I think I would have to agree with those people who feel that there has been a loss of ecclesial literacy in recent decades. I was present when the parish co-ordinator of ministers to the sick asked one of them if she had returned the pyx. With a look of utter confusion on her face, the minister replied that she had been visiting the sick, not assisting with the working bee! - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
14 Sep 2004

Croatian priests' outcry against drink driving zero tolerance
Priests in Croatia want more than $A1.29 million each year in compensation after a new zero tolerance law for drink driving was introduced in the country.
14 Sep 2004

Schismatic group expels its own rebels
The late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's Society of St Pius X has been undergoing its own crisis of authority, with its leader Bishop Bernard Fellay being forced to expel two French priests who had criticised his leadership.
14 Sep 2004

Vatican steps up criticism of China over arrests of Catholics
The Vatican has issued a strong denunciation of religious repression in China because of fears that 23 Catholics - including eight priests - have been arrested, and some ordered to undergo enforced re-education.
14 Sep 2004

Kiwi bishops meet Pope during Rome ad limina
Pope John Paul yesterday met with seven bishops from New Zealand, who have travelled to Rome for their five-yearly ad limina visit.
14 Sep 2004

Pope commends collaborative governance to US bishops
In the wake of the sex abuse scandal, US bishops should be open to a more collaborative style of governance that shares responsibility with lay Catholics, Pope John Paul II has told a group of New Jersey and Pennsylvania bishops in Rome for their ad limina visit.
14 Sep 2004

Condolences to Greek Orthodox community after Mt Athos crash
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, Archbishop Francis Carroll, yesterday expressed prayerful condolences to the Australian Greek Orthodox community, following the death of Bishop Nektarios, an Australian Greek Orthodox Bishop.
14 Sep 2004

Feature - Simplicity of the cloister
Bohemia is anything but bohemian. The fields are neat, the forests straight-edged, the towns orderly in this fertile, forgotten part of the European heartland. It is within the cool walls of the new Cistercian monastery of Novy Dvur, a 40-minute drive from the Czech beer capital of Pilsen, however, that conformity is most evident.
13 Sep 2004

Opinion - The servant-leader
Now more than ever, we must shift our ideas of what makes an effective leader, away from 'We know what's best' towards faith in people. Give people resources, give them a sense of direction, give them a sense of their own power and just have tremendous faith that they'll figure it out. - Margaret Wheatley, author Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future
13 Sep 2004

Study says negative perceptions of Church holding back evangelisation
Research carried out by the Bible Society of NSW says the Church is virtually the last image that should be used by Christian organisations to attract followers to God.
13 Sep 2004

Sydney parishes stretched by increased Fund requirements
The Archdiocese of Sydney has requested about one third of its parishes to increase the amount they give to the Charitable Works Fund by up to ten times their current contribution.
13 Sep 2004

Melbourne bishop joins calls to remove gays from prime-time TV
Bishop Christopher Prowse has echoed the voices of other moral authorities in the community worried about the increasing prevalence of gay characters on prime-time television.
13 Sep 2004

Catholic Women's League push to end legal brothels
An outreach worker has told a Hobart Catholic Women's League meeting that legalising brothels in Tasmania would lead to an increased illegal sex trade.
13 Sep 2004

Catholic jurist says politicians mislead to get power
Leading Australian jurist Tony Fitzgerald, QC, has said politicians regard it as not only legitimate, but clever, to mislead in order to win power.
13 Sep 2004

Caritas tribute to victims of terrorism
Thursday's tragic bombing of the Australian embassy in Jakarta "reminds us of how close the issue of terror is to our shores and emphasises our need for peace and reconciliation", according to a statement from Caritas Australia.
13 Sep 2004

Feature - Christian Brothers' Philippines reconnoitre
We decided to have a good look at two Dioceses. We had a whistle-stop tour of many of the schools of the Diocese of Maasin in Southern Leyte. What we saw ranged from moderately functional with enormous problems to down-right dreadful. The needs are very great. There is much that we could do to assist. - Br Rod Ellyard, after Philippines trip responding to Congregation Head Br Philip Pinto's directive for Brothers to do missionary work in Asia.
10 Sep 2004

Opinion - Christianity began with love, not doctrine
More worrying than atheism is a creeping fundamentalism. The bible is taken as a history book and the language surrounding God is taken at face value. By contrast, Nikos Kazantsakis came to believe that Christianity happened because Mary Magdala loved Jesus so deeply that, after his death, she refused to let him die inside of her heart and began to proclaim that he was alive. Her story grabbed hold in the hearts of others and the rest is history. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
10 Sep 2004

Coalition urges more generous response to Sudan crisis
A group of some of the largest aid agencies working in Darfur and Chad have called on the governments of France, Italy and Japan to be more generous in their response to the tragedy unfolding in Chad and the Darfur region of Sudan.
10 Sep 2004

Caritas assists Beslan school tragedy victims
Caritas Internationalis has indicted that its volunteers were on site around the clock from the beginning of last week's tragedy at the school in Beslan, Russia,
10 Sep 2004

Bishop of Baghdad says don't give in to hostage takers
Bishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman, the Latin rite Bishop of Baghdad, has stressed his solidarity with Italu over the abduction of two of its volunteers in Iraq, but said that the country must not give into terrorism.
10 Sep 2004

Jesuit spells out dilemma for Catholic health care
Human rights activist Fr Frank Brennan has told Australia's Catholic health care sector that they're faced with choosing between doing what they can for the poor and marginalised, or providing the middle class with "comprehensive health care with a Catholic ethic from womb to tomb".
10 Sep 2004

Vatican newspaper condemns Australian Embassy bombing
The Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano has condemned "the brutal blackmail of terrorism" in a front-page response to yesterday's bombing of the Australian embassy in Indonesia.
10 Sep 2004

Feature - Prisoner shows way to break chains
In The Way of the Prisoner, inmate Jens Soering tells his own story of peeling away the layers of self and turning his darkness into something positive. He started writing in January 2001 on the day his last appeal was denied. This blow, he says, "came close to extinguishing that little flame of 'Jens' that had struggled so hard to stay lit with the divine Fire."
9 Sep 2004

Opinion - The way of the labyrinth
Today I take dryness of thought and exhausted emotions on a day-retreat, entrusting myself to the labyrinth, a legacy of Celtic ancestors. My thoughts linger on good things in my life, especially family and friends. They are the reason why I want and need a Catholic community that is relevant and meaningful. - Dr Jane Anderson
9 Sep 2004

Nun identity card photo sparks veil debate
An Italian civil servant has refused to issue an identity card to a nun who had presented a photo taken with her wearing a veil, on the grounds that days earlier he had rejected a similar photo from a Muslim woman.
9 Sep 2004

UK plan for schools to replace churches as centres of community
Schools in Britain are to "replace churches" as the centre of local communities, according to a new government directive quoted yesterday by Independent Catholic News.
9 Sep 2004

Europe appointment for Australian nuncio
Pope John Paul II yesterday named Archbishop Francesco Canalini, his Canberra-based nuncio (or ambassador), apostolic nuncio for Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
9 Sep 2004

Religious leaders in hostage appeal
Two imams attending an interreligious meeting organised by the Community of Sant'Egidio in Milan, were yesterday part of a joint appeal from four religious leaders for the release of four aid workers, two Italians and two Iraqis, who were taken hostage in Baghdad overnight.
9 Sep 2004

Pope says Russian children victims of cruel fanaticism
Pope John Paul yesterday issued an emotional appeal for all the world's children, forcefully condemning the "cruel fanaticism" that led to hundreds of deaths at the Russian school in Beslan.
9 Sep 2004

Pell in rent bargain with Australian Catholic University
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell is reportedly using the incentive of reduced rent to convince the Australian Catholic University to include compulsory religious studies in its curriculum.
9 Sep 2004

Feature - The green cardinal
Many would feel that an 86-year-old priest might be focused completely on the "next" life. Not so Ireland's Cardinal Cahal Daly, who has just published The Death of Life: Extinction is Forever. He recalls his youth in rural County Antrim. "Periodically fields were set aside to recover their natural fertility. Crops were rotated. It was culture which abominated waste. It gave great priority to saving water, food and money because they were scarce. That was a culture deeply influenced by faith and concern for nature."
8 Sep 2004

Opinion - Voters be on guard against sloth and other Deadly Sins
Sloth or apathy is the 'I'm all right, Jack' syndrome, the cult of more of the same because it is easier not to think too much about higher ideals and beyond your own immediate welfare. For every 'sin' there is an alternative, a better way forward. For example, our politicians who are busily appealing to the hip pocket nerve are encouraging avarice; they should be running their campaigns on a larger sense of justice and compassion for the entire community. - Brisbane Theology Professor and member of Vatican International Theological Commission, Fr Tony Kelly CSsR
8 Sep 2004

Former IRA bomber enters Dublin seminary
Convicted IRA bombmaker Shane Paul O'Doherty began his training for the priesthood at a Dublin seminary two weeks ago according to a report in the Belfast Telegraph.
8 Sep 2004

Pell challenged to debate about homosexuality
Lesbian activist and former nun Monica Hingston has challenged her cousin, Cardinal George Pell, to a public debate on the church's attitude towards homosexuality.
8 Sep 2004

Catholics lobby wants Election Campaign focus on higher education
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has called for the Election Campaign to give attention to the right of all Australian to access higher education.
8 Sep 2004

Catholic Health proposes Quality Care Compact for elderly
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) yesterday called for the establishment of what it called a "Quality Care Compact", which would mark the beginning of the next phase of aged care reform.
8 Sep 2004

Catholic Welfare says ALP Tax Policy "goes some way" towards poverty fix
Catholic Welfare Australia has welcomed Federal Election Campaign's renewed attention to the poor and disadvantaged, specifically yesterday's launch of the ALP Tax Policy.
8 Sep 2004

New pastoral document on helping people with disability
The Bishops' Committee for the Family and for Life today launches a new pastoral document aimed at helping people with disability, and their families, to participate fully in parish life.
8 Sep 2004

Feature - Students sharing lessons in life
Secondary students from Blackfriars Priory School, Prospect, and St Dominics Priory College, North Adelaide, are meeting once a week with newly arrived refugees, mainly from the Sudan and Liberia, but also other troubled countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, to coach them with their school work and advise on any other concerns.
7 Sep 2004

Opinion - Shades of Greene
A convert to Catholicism, Graham Greene took it for granted that men and women did sin, and grievously. His new Catholic belief meant that he knew that one could acknowledge one's sins, repent, ask forgiveness and be absolved. And that one could sin again. For cradle Catholics he is something of a scandalous puzzle, though they might give more prayerful reflection to the implications of The Prodigal Son. - Fr Peter Malone MSC, International President SIGNIS World Catholic Association for Communication, Member Pontifical Council for Social Communications
7 Sep 2004

Vinnies paves the way for more female leaders
NSW/ACT St Vincent de Paul Society President John O'Neill has expressed regret that "despite the fact that there are two females to every male involved in the good works of the Society, females are sorely under-represented in leadership roles".
7 Sep 2004

Bishop condemns Dutch proposal for euthanasia of children
The vice-president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has condemned a Dutch proposal extending the possibility of euthanasia to children under the age of 12.
7 Sep 2004

NSW bishop announces Vincentian priest suspension
Bishop Michael Malone of Maitland-Newcastle has suspended a Vincentian engaged in parish work in his diocese following a complaint from a member of the public that he is unfit for ministry with children.
7 Sep 2004

Catholic Health says election pledges "spread Medicare benefits further"
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) CEO Francis Sullivan yesterday welcomed promises from both major political parties to fund incentives to boost the rate of bulk-billing in order to strengthen Medicare.
7 Sep 2004

Pope tells Canadians marriage is only between a man and a woman
Speaking on Saturday to Canada's new ambassador to the Holy See, Pope John Paul II insisted on the "necessary complementarity" of men and women in the institution of marriage for the survival of culture and society.
7 Sep 2004

Catholics stunned by Beslan tragedy
Participants in a major summit of the Italian-based St Egidio Community are struggling to make sense of the tragedy of the terrorist massacre of Russian children in the town of Beslan.
7 Sep 2004

Feature - More refugee graves every day in northeastern Chad
About 100 graves of Sudanese refugees line the cemetery of the Farchana refugee camp in northeastern Chad. New bodies are added every day, with most of the deceased being young children or the elderly who have succumbed to the harsh conditions of the African desert. The young adults buried there are women.
6 Sep 2004

Opinion - US, Europe worst offenders in economic crimes against humanity
There are grotesque distortions of the world market, and the worst offenders by far are national, democratically elected governments. They are crimes against humanity. How else can one describe the deliberate decision to ruin and starve the cotton, sugar, wheat and cattle farmers of Africa and Latin America in order to preserve the peasant economy that gives us so many varieties of French cheese or Burgundy wine, or to maintain the picturesque lifestyle of Southern gentlemen and Austrian cowherds?
6 Sep 2004

Vatican waives rule on Mother Teresa anniversary
The Vatican allowed a 'requiem' in memory of Mother Teresa in churches accross West Bengal on yesterday's seventh anniversary of her death, waiving the traditional ban on personal mass on Sundays.
6 Sep 2004

Church in El Salvador urges investigation of 1980 Romero slaying
The Catholic Church in El Salvador is asking the current Salvadoran government for a new investigation of the 1980 assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero.
6 Sep 2004

Bishops distribute guidelines on nutrition and hydration obligation
In the wake of confusion created by Pope John Paul II's 20 March statement on the treatment of patients in a vegetative state, the Australian Bishops last week published a leaflet containing a "Briefing Note" on the "Obligation to Provide Nutrition and Hydration".
6 Sep 2004

Western Sydney bishop tells voters to choose carefully
Bishop Kevin Manning of the Parramatta Diocese has written a pastoral letter saying that while he's not telling anybody how to vote in the 9 October Federal Election, Catholics should "think about issues of public morality" when making their decision.
6 Sep 2004

Pope sorrow for Ossetia victims
Pope John Paul II sent his condolences to Russian authorities following the massacre of hundreds of innocent victims in the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, urging that the "spiral of hatred and violence" not be allowed to prevail.
6 Sep 2004

Pope celebrates open air beatification Mass at Loreto
Pope John Paul II was greeted yesterday by about 200,000 pilgrims at a shrine in Loreto, Italy, where he beatified three members of the lay political movement Catholic Action.
6 Sep 2004

Feature - Faith fired up
Parishioner Kate Anderson said she felt "so on fire and full of passion to do God's work" after a weekend retreat hosted by Emmanuel Youth Outreach in Brisbane. "So many things were made new again to me and put into a new light," she said. Keynote speakers focused on the need for the world to hear the Gospel today and the importance of every person to proclaim the Gospel to others.
3 Sep 2004

Opinion - We all die virgins
All of us, no matter age or state in life, must, at some point, mourn what's incomplete and not consummated in our lives. In the end, like King Jepthah's daughter (Judges 10:6-12:7), we all die virgins, having lived incomplete lives, not having achieved the intimacy we craved, and having yearned to create a lot more things than we were able to birth. In this life, nobody gets the full symphony, and we need to mourn this. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
3 Sep 2004

Maitland-Newcastle Schools Office under spotlight
A panel of people representing various sectors of education is this week reviewing the workings of the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools Office (CSO) in order to ascertain its current effectiveness and identify future priorities for Catholic schooling in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, an area incorporating the Hunter and Manning regions of NSW.
3 Sep 2004

Bishop says Indonesian refugee programs plagued by corruption
The refugee problem in Indonesia's Molucca Islands will continue unless corruption plaguing refugee aid programs is controlled, said the Catholic bishop whose diocese serves the area.
3 Sep 2004

Vocations flourish in the Pacific Islands
Two Rome-based news services have reported that years of missionary activity and the "high quality of formation offered" have produced a steady rise in the number of vocations to the priesthood and religious life in the Pacific.
3 Sep 2004

Catholic prisoner could be released from Saudi jail
A Catholic man from India who was been jailed in Saudi Arabia after his arrest earlier this year for preaching his faith may soon be released.
3 Sep 2004

Jesuit says 100% of revenue to East Timor would be fair
Jesuit human rights lawyer Frank Brennan is arguing that the fairest outcome to the Timor Sea maritime boundary dispute would give East Timor 100% of the oil and gas revenue from projects north of a modified median line between Australia and East Timor and an increased percentage of revenue from the joint Greater Sunrise fields.
3 Sep 2004

Pope distressed by "innocent victims" at Russian school
As the hostage drama in southern Russia was beginning to unfold on Wednesday, Pope John Paul II condemned the recourse to violence that he sid is "unworthy of any cause".
3 Sep 2004

Feature - Modern martyrs
"They may be relatively few who are called to make the supreme sacrifice, but all Christians must be ready," said Pope John Paul II at the Angelus last Sunday. 62 year old Sr Barbara Ann Ford, killed on May 5, 2001 in Guatemala City, was working for the defence of Indians' human rights, and was a friend of Bishop Juan Gerardi, who was killed in 1998. She was eliminated. The official explanation was robbery.
2 Sep 2004

Opinion - Powerful emotions let the soul roam free
At Frank's funeral, the sense of grief and love was palpable. At about the halfway point, the most euphoric feeling of warmth and lightness began to wash over me. Is it possible these powerful emotions can flick the switch that lets the soul roam free for just a few seconds in our uptight and heavy bodies? Recently we interviewed controversial ethicist Professor Peter Singer, a clever and good man. When asked whether he believed humans had souls he laughed and said no and he didn't believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden, either. It would be nice to be so sure. - Matthew Abraham, former Catholic Communications director, now morning presenter ABC Radio Adelaide
2 Sep 2004

South African AIDS toll forcing funeral costs rethink
The money poor people spend on funerals is of growing concern to church leaders in South Africa, where the AIDS pandemic has left many families burying two or three members a year.
2 Sep 2004

ACU National launches degree in Justice Studies
Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan last week launched the Bachelor of Social Science (Justice Studies) program at Old Parliament House in Canberra.
2 Sep 2004

Military Bishop appoints women's advisor
Bishop Max Davis of the Catholic Military Ordinariate has announced the appointment of Lieutenant Commander Carmel Barnes as Episcopal Deputy and Advisor with regard to the special needs of the women of the Military Ordinariate.
2 Sep 2004

Caritas aid worker shot in Darfur
An aid worker from Caritas Internationalis/Action by Churches Together has been shot while delivering vital medical supplies to a camp in Darfur.
2 Sep 2004

Pope urges release of French journalists
Filled with "sadness and concern" for the victims of violence around the world, Pope John Paul II made an "urgent call for an end to violence everywhere", at the end of today's general audience in the Paul VI Hall.
2 Sep 2004

Melbourne Archbishop declares evangelisation No. 1 priority
Archbishop Denis Hart yesterday opened an Archdiocesan Office for Evangelisation, following a new pastoral letter admitting new challenges facing the Church and underlining evangelisation as his "foremost pastoral priority".
2 Sep 2004

Feature - Bridge-builder's 50 years of service
It had been a day of celebration for Archbishop Francis Carroll to mark half a century as priest. Once he had found the necessary words he reflected on the debt he owed to a loving, stable family and all those he could call community over the years. He believed he had been given a sound foundation in Wagga Wagga and "the fact that Bishop Henschke was very happy to have me follow him, he had good judgement in other matters, so I thought he must be all right in this matter, too." - Archbishop Carroll is President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn
32 Sep 2004

Opinion - Sudan genocide a measure of our inhumanity
The United Nations calls the situation in Sudan "the world's worst humanitarian crisis" and says the Janjaweed militia is waging "ethnic cleansing" there. The genocide of the entire black population is, in fact, now at stake. To do nothing now about this when one of the major reasons we give for invading Iraq is because of what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds more than 10 years ago seems almost ludicrous. We must be missing something here. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
32 Sep 2004

Catholics make presence felt at Republican Convention
Catholics coming to New York to attend the Republican Party convention expressed a commitment to taking a role in the party's life and making their presence felt as Catholics.
32 Sep 2004

Scottish cardinal accuses Govt of 'state-sponsored' child sex abuse
Cardinal Keith O'Brien has signalled the start of a massive campaign against the Scottish executive over sex education, accusing ministers of favouring programs that are akin to "state-sponsored sexual abuse" of children.
32 Sep 2004

Jesuit Centre denies Brennan 'war' with Pell
The Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre has sought to discredit a newspaper report that painted an allegedly inaccurate picture of a "war at arm's length" between Jesuit social justice advocate and Sydney's Cardinal George Pell.
32 Sep 2004

Maitland-Newcastle demonstrates "full and active participation of the faithful"
Last Saturday, about 350 lay, clergy and religious representatives from parishes, Church agencies and groups across the regional NSW Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle gathered for a Diocesan Assembly, entitled Towards the Dawn.
32 Sep 2004

Archbishop to respond to Goodwood orphanage abuse
Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson has scheduled a meeting with a group seeking compensation for abuse at a Sisters of Mercy orphanage that was documented in the Senate inquiry report released this week.
32 Sep 2004

Catholic students 'do better for less'
Catholic school students are achieving above-average results despite having less money spent on their education, according to research commissioned by Victoria's Catholic Education Commission.
32 Sep 2004