Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR OCTOBER 2004

   
Feature - Eileen O'Connor - Australia's second saint?
The appearance of John Hosie's biography Eileen: The Life of Eileen O'Connor (Sydney: St Paul's $29.95) is a signal that the Brown Sisters have recharged their drive to see their co-founder canonised. Eileen O'Connor suffered an extreme curvature of the spine, offering her suffering as a prayer. Eileen and Fr Ted McGrath MSC dreamed that you could inspire some nurses to devote their lives to caring for the poor in their own homes. And so, just as World War I was about to start, Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor came into being.
29 Oct 2004

Opinion - Saints are all God's work
Christian saints are not examples of self-help projects. They contradict a high achiever mind set. They proclaim that human weakness can be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit, the life-giver who justifies and sanctifies us. They invert a proud tendency to ascribe success to our efforts. - Monsignor Peter J. Elliott
29 Oct 2004

Sydney cathedral clinches top design prize
St Patrick's Cathedral in the western Sydney Diocese of Parramatta was last night announced winner of the prestigious Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings.
29 Oct 2004

NSW diocese looking towards updated schools administration
After five months of consultation with key stakeholders, a panel representing various sectors of education in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese has delivered a Review Report that recommends a restructuring of its Schools Office to help it deliver "21st century" services to the schools.
29 Oct 2004

Ratzinger says cloning "more dangerous than weapons of mass destruction"
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has asserted that human power to produce other humans creates a danger that is greater than weapons of mass destruction.
29 Oct 2004

Pope comments on European Commission dispute
Pope John Paul, a close friend of controversial European Commission candidate Rocco Buttiglione, entered the crisis over the new European Commission yesterday, saying it has to be resolved by showing respect for all points of view.
29 Oct 2004

Immediate police checks for Catholic school teachers
Thousands of Victorian Catholic school teachers who have never been screened for criminal offences will be required to have a police check.
29 Oct 2004

Catholic politician completes Howard's Senate majority
Barnaby Joyce, a practising Catholic and Nationals politician who describes himself as right-wing on social issues and left on economics, yesterday secured a Senate majority for the Coalition Government, with the announcement of his election as a Senator for Queensland.
29 Oct 2004

Feature - More evenly matched, but Vatican 60-40 in favour of Kerry
Four years ago, Vatican personnel would have favoured George Bush over Democratic candidate Al Gore, 60-40. It's different now. Kerry is supports bioethics positions unacceptable to the Church, but these are to be weighed against international politics stances, especially Bush's decision to make war in Iraq, which was strenuously opposed by the Holy See and by John Paul II.
28 Oct 2004

Opinion - Who will bury me?
"I want a priest to visit me when I'm sick, and to bury me when I die." When people are sick, they are particularly vulnerable, and seek consolation, strength and support from friends and their God. As a Catholic community, we have possibly taken our priests for granted for too long. Funerals don't just happen. Time has to be spent pastorally caring for the grieving family, in preparing the Mass or liturgy, in liaising with undertakers, cemetery/crematorium, and parish musicians, etc, in preparing the homily (perhaps after more conversation with the family about the dead person), and in pastoral care after the funeral. - Margaret Ryan, coordinator Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese Centre for Faith and Ministry
28 Oct 2004

Papal audience for English rugby team that beat Australia
Members of England's squad that defeated Australia in last year's rugby World Cup squad met the Pope yesterday and presented him with an autographed shirt.
28 Oct 2004

Former Dominican head says celibates must own their sexuality
Visiting British Dominican Fr Timothy Radcliffe has blamed sex abuse by clergy and religious on denial of sexuality during the period of formation.
28 Oct 2004

US archbishop evaluates need for national Bishops Conferences
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee reminded a New York audience this week that national Bishops Conferences are a tradition and convenience not required by canon law, but that they are "here to stay".
28 Oct 2004

Pope shares in suffering of Iraq and of victims of terrorism
At the end of yesterday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II expressed his "affectionate participation" in the suffering of the victims of terrorism in Iraq and said that "every day I accompany in prayer the dear Iraqi population who are so intent on rebuilding the institutions of their country."
28 Oct 2004

Catholic ethicist rejects use of hybrid embryos
Jesuit ethicist and member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, Fr Bill Uren, has rejected an Australian reproductive biologist's proposal to use hybrid rabbit-human "embryos" to provide stem cells that "could unlock incurable diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis".
28 Oct 2004

Church "failed to act on sex abuse concerns"
The NSW ombudsman has revealed that "a Catholic diocese" failed to suspend a priest even though police were investigating sexual assault allegations against him.
28 Oct 2004

Feature - Vatican II brought theologians in from the cold
The great priest-theologians Yves Congar and Henri de Lubac were most regrettably misinterpreted and each was most unjustly treated in the very unfortunate atmosphere of suspicion which surrounded Pius XII's encyclical Humani Generis. Each reacted differently to their sad experience in accordance with their different personalities; but each refused to become soured by it and each was able to distinguish between the Church, which they loved, and people acting in its name at a given period.
27 Oct 2004

Opinion - Look beyond maintenance mode to evangelising energy
It would be easy to switch our administrative operations to maintenance-mode; to note that contributions are likely to decline and so to pare back the works of the Church to just keeping parishes and schools ticking over. What the Church needs from her loyal administrators in the years ahead is an energy and a creativity parallel perhaps to that shown in the early days of the Church in our country. - Cardinal George Pell, speaking to Catholic Administration Conference, Sydney, 24/10/04
27 Oct 2004

Reform group calls for more collaboration, accountability
The Catholic Church needs to be broaden those empowered to make decisions if it is to regain its legitimacy amongst ordinary Australians, according to a statement released by Australian Reforming Catholics (ARC) after its recent conference in Sydney.
27 Oct 2004

Bishop has 'no difficulty' with civil recognition for gay couples
An Irish bishop has asserted that he has no problem with laws giving civil recognition to same-sex couples.
27 Oct 2004

Kerry agrees to disagree with US Bishops
Democratic Party Presidential candidate John Kerry has spoken of his Catholic faith and the way it influences his decisions, but alluding to his difference of opinion with the US Bishops.
27 Oct 2004

Vatican sponsors international meeting on street children
Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, this week hosted the first International Meeting on Pastoral Care for Street Children.
27 Oct 2004

Calvary Tasmania buys St Vincent's Hospital Launceston
The Little Company of Mary, which runs Calvary and other hospitals around Australia, has bought Launceston's St Vincent's Hospital from the Sisters of Charity.
27 Oct 2004

Demand builds for Notre Dame
Student applications for the Catholic Notre Dame University have defied gravity, leaping 52.5% against an 8% fall in demand in Western Australia's public universities.
27 Oct 2004

Feature - A year in the life of two rookies
Standing in front of your first class as a new teacher can be quite terrifying. Armed with just a weedy smile and a slender lesson plan, you take on a roomful of children naturally skilled in causing anxiety. Meet Laura Cosgrove, one of 20 graduates chosen each year by Sydney's Catholic Education Office to receive a $2500 incentive and guaranteed post in one of the city's Catholic primary schools. She is a 22 year old from Lane Cove in Sydney who chose primary school teaching because she "can be silly with the kids at the same time as teaching them".
26 Oct 2004

Opinion - Preparation of the gifts
The Liturgy of the Word at Mass is followed by what is called the 'Preparation of the Gifts'. This term replaces what was previously known as the 'Offertory'. To use the term 'offertory' suggests that this is the part of the Mass when the sacrifice is offered, whereas it is during the Eucharistic Prayer that the self-offering of Jesus is recalled and re-presented. - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
26 Oct 2004

NZ Bishops urge a return to square one on seabed bill
New Zealand's Catholic and Anglican bishops have united in calling on the Government to enter an "honest" dialogue with Maori over the seabed and foreshore legislation.
26 Oct 2004

Latin America Pentecostal surge dents Catholic population figure
While the overall Catholic poulation grew in 2003, there was a slight but notable drop in the percentage of Catholic population in South America, due to the growing presence of Protestant evangelists.
26 Oct 2004

Papal exhortation to swim against the tide of individualism
Pope John Paul II told a large assembly of Italian Scouts and Guides "to swim 'against the current' to overcome the temptations of individualism, laziness and disengagement".
26 Oct 2004

Conference promoting more professional church administration
A three-day professional development conference for Catholic administrators concludes today, following last night's keynote address from Federal Minister for Health and Ageing and Member for Warringah Tony Abbott.
26 Oct 2004

Adelaide Centacare critical of Govt over refugee return
Adelaide Centacare director Dale West is urging the Federal Government not to force or coerce asylum seekers to return to dangerous countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
26 Oct 2004

Vatican Social Compendium questions "preventive" wars
A major document from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has forcefully restated the Catholic Church's position that preventive wars are permissible only with "clear proof" of an imminent attack.
26 Oct 2004

Feature - Ruling in the shadow of John Paul II
Months ago, papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls admitted that the Pope gives instructions verbally because he has trouble writing with his trembling hands. But now that even his speech is diminishing, and instructions arrive from the lips of his closest confidants, the only ones who have the authority to say "The Pope wants this" without providing any proof. Chief among these is Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, his personal secretary for many decades, the inseparable companion who sleeps in an adjoining room. - columnist Sandro Magister
25 Oct 2004

Opinion - Embrace failure in the second half of life
Early in life, we're still not making love to the world, to art, to education, or even to another person. We're making a statement: "I count, I'm worthwhile, I'm talented, I'm good, I'm loveable, notice me, love me." This is how we grow. But there comes a point when life is no longer about proving ourselves, the task is to become selfless, beyond proving anything. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
25 Oct 2004

St Francis Xavier relics survive fire in Goa basilica
Just a month before a planned exposition of the remains of St Francis Xavier, fire erupted in the annexe of the Basilica of Bom Jesus in the Western Indian province of Goa, partially gutting two floors.
25 Oct 2004

Former Indonesian President condemns forced closure of Catholic church
Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has criticised the forced closure by local Muslim militants of the St Bernadette Catholic School in Cileduk, on the edge of the Jakarta metropolitan area.
25 Oct 2004

ACU nursing head highlights role of pharmacy clinics
The head of nursing at the Australian Catholic University's Brisbane campus has said a new form of mother and baby health care is emerging in Queensland as more pharmacies step in to provide nurse-run clinics after the closure of many suburban government child health centres.
25 Oct 2004

Iraq Christian students go on strike
Christian students at Mosul university in Iraq's north staged a strike on Thursday in protest at the increasing violence against their community.
25 Oct 2004

Pope says chaste love best defence against AIDS
In an address to bishops from Angola and Sao Tome on Friday, Pope John Paul II spoke about the need to work for justice and reconciliation, putting forward chaste love as the "solid hope to overcome the forces that threaten the institution of the family, and at the same time, to free humanity of the devastating scourge of AIDS."
25 Oct 2004

Vatican backs UN anti-cloning pact
The Vatican has lent its support to a treaty that completely bans human cloning, as United Nations members began two days of debate on the issue on Thursday.
25 Oct 2004

Feature - Seeking pearls
The Pearl Seekers project is designed primarily for those who consider themselves 'outside' the church, the disenchanted who are looking for avenues for faith development, those who ask questions that are not being addressed adequately. Maitland-Newcastle's Bishop Michael Malone, supported by the Council of Priests, has released Fr Geoff Mulhearn to work with the team.
22 Oct 2004

Opinion - The joy of going to church on Sunday
I'm 37 now, and I can't think of anyone around me back home in Australia who goes to church. Mark, our vicar, his sermons, he just relates them to the stresses of modern living and all the challenges we all face, the exhaustion, the compromises, and just how to be a good person and to how to give moral background in some way to that kind of life. I come away from there feeling so kind of stilled, refreshed and strengthened, you know that hour-and-a-half on a Sunday morning, just puts me back on track, which I love. - Nikki Gemell, Australian novelist living in London
22 Oct 2004

Report says students have no home life
A study has found a surprisingly high number of Catholic primary school students in south-east Queensland is living away from home.
22 Oct 2004

Cardinal Ratzinger prays for beatification of John Paul I
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has travelled to Pope John Paul I's home Province of Belluno, in northwestern Italy, to spread the message that he was an "example for all" and to pray for his beatification.
22 Oct 2004

Catholic leaders cautious about Anglican report on church divisions
Catholic leaders have reacted cautiously to a major Anglican Communion report that establishes guidelines for tackling controversial issues such as blessing same-sex unions and ordaining gay bishops.
22 Oct 2004

Mugabe olive branch for Church in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has assured the Church that it would "continue to get the support of the government", despite recent Government claims on land where a mission hospital is located.
22 Oct 2004

PNG Archbishop criticises politician allowances
The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference in Papua New Guinea, Archbishop Karl Hesse, has expressed the Church's shock at Government plans to increase MPs' electoral allowances, which are commonly known as "slush funds".
22 Oct 2004

Archbishop Bathersby applauds politicians' focus on family
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has told a group of married couples at a Mass in St Stephen's Cathedral that the renewed interest in marriage and family was the most pleasing aspect of the recent federal election campaign.
22 Oct 2004

Feature - Cardinals circle papal throne
After the hullabaloo for last year's 25th anniversary of John Paul II's election as Pope, the weekend celebration of his 26th anniversary was a relatively quiet affair. Both the public and the pontiff have become a touch blase about his stubborn accumulation of milestones, and there has been no obvious worsening in recent times of his Parkinson's disease and crippling arthritis. But Catholic leaders are obviously coming closer to the day when they will need to choose a new pope.
21 Oct 2004

Opinion - Violent behaviour can mask simple message
During a temper tantrum, my 4-year-old son stood next to me beating on my leg. I thought of my father who would have spanked the child. Violence was not an option for me. I picked up my son, who continued to flail with his tiny fists, and I stroked his back. He stopped suddenly, put his head on my shoulder and began to suck on his thumb. - ank Canatella
21 Oct 2004

Archbishop regrets setbacks to progress in Africa
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, told the plenary session of the 59th United Nations General Assembly of "the duty of the international community, especially the more powerful countries, of redressing the economic imbalances that penalise Africa".
21 Oct 2004

Priest says "rational" religious views can influence public policy
Religious views influence government policy when they are stated in ways understandable to a pluralistic society and can stand the test of reason and public debate, according to Fr J. Bryan Hehir, Harvard University professor of religion and public life.
21 Oct 2004

Pope says democracy requires moral absolutes
Pope John Paul II has hit out at the relativism of "ideological fanatics", telling Italian Catholics that upholding objective moral truths is the only way to give everyone the fair go that is the hallmark of democracy.
21 Oct 2004

Cardinal says priests should aim for holiness
Vatican Congregation for Clergy head Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos has told a major priests' meeting in Malta that the most effective priests are "constantly striving to be holy".
21 Oct 2004

Top honour for Broken Bay at National Safety Awards
The Catholic Schools Office of the northern Sydney Diocese of Broken Bay was named overall winner of the 2004 National Safety Council of Australia/Telstra Safety Awards of Excellence at this week's awards ceremony.
21 Oct 2004

Priest says poverty increasing in rural and regional Australia
Poverty can now be measured by location, according to the Policy Director of Jesuit Social Services, Fr Peter Norden, who was keynote speaker at yesterday's University of Ballarat Public Forum for National Anti-Poverty Week.
21 Oct 2004

Feature - Hidden orphanage lives
A new book tells the history of Catholic welfare in Melbourne. Today, the orphanage's archives and those of several others will be officially opened in new fire and water-proofed premises at Mackillop Family Services headquarters in South Melbourne. The archives had previously been stored in Broadmeadows. Mackillop is the custodian of 115,000 files and 8500 photographs from homes run by the Sisters of Mercy, Christian Brothers and the Sisters of St Joseph.
20 Oct 2004

Opinion - Liturgy as a foggy windscreen
Ever had a crash trying to clean a foggy windscreen? That's because you were looking at the window and not through the window. When a parishioner complains to the priest about a change in wording, or about who purified the vessels after communion, or about any other rubrical infringement, they are concerned with smudges on the window, not the light of the world outside. - Fr Tom Elich, The Liturgical Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane
20 Oct 2004

Albania takes a holiday on Teresa beatification anniversary
Albanians celebrated yesterday as a national holiday to mark the first anniversary of the beatification of Mother Teresa, an ethnic Albanian long revered in this mostly Muslim country.
20 Oct 2004

Vatican paper slams 'nihilistc' Nobel literature choice
The Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper has attacked a novel of 2004 Nobel Literature prize winner Elfriede Jelinek for its "devastating lasciviousness in the name of political and social denunciation translatable in absolute nihilism".
20 Oct 2004

Kerry "excommunication" scam exposed
An official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has claimed that a Californian canon lawyer seeking a formal decree of heresy against Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry of Massachusetts has misrepresented his contact with the Vatican office.
20 Oct 2004

Vatican says don't dictate size of family
The world's population policies should encourage married couples to exercise "a responsible kind of personal liberty" when they decide to become parents, according to a Vatican statement delivered to the UN General Assembly in New York.
20 Oct 2004

Pope reminds politicians of their duty to defend children
John Paul II has stressed the duty of every person, particularly politicians, to defend children and adolescents whose dignity continues to be violated with impunity.
20 Oct 2004

Keating lashes Sydney Archdiocese over heritage threat
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has criticised the style of Church leadership "which makes unilateral decisions without reference to its own people and other stakeholders".
20 Oct 2004

Feature - Playing ball in Cambodia
The school is a project of the Australian Marist Brothers. In Cambodia going to school is a challenge for most of the population. For the disabled child it is much harder. They are considered least likely to be chosen by an employer. Lavalla has enrolled 80 or so children with physical disabilities. The best work being done at Lavalla is giving the children some sense of worth and therefore hope.
19 Oct 2004

Opinion - Blessed are the jokers
Apparently, the prophet Elisha couldn't take a joke. And neither, it seems, can the 6000 Christians who have successfully petitioned the director general of the BBC to scrap plans to show the Vatican cartoon comedy Popetown. Well, I'm offended too. But unlike the 6000, I'm offended by the implication that, as a Christian, I am a humourless over-sensitive wimp whose faith requires special protection. - Rev Giles Fraser, Anglican vicar and lecturer in Philosophy, Wadham College, Oxford
19 Oct 2004

Cardinal says Catholic births must keep up with immigrants
Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien has said that Catholics must have more children or face seeing their faith eclipsed by the religions of immigrants.
19 Oct 2004

US cardinal talks up benefits of adult stem cell research
Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick described the current debate over embryonic stem-cell research as a "phony issue" when compared to the benefits already proved with studies conducted with adult stem cells
19 Oct 2004

Vatican official condemns EU 'inquisition'
Cardinal Renato Martino of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has commented on controversy surrounding pro-family remarks of EU Commissioner Rocco Buttiglione, stating his belief that there is an anti-Catholic "inquisition" in Europe,
19 Oct 2004

Pope John Paul II inaugurates Year of the Eucharist
Pope John Paul II has inaugurated the year of the Eucharist with the celebration of Mass on Sunday, concomitantly with the closing Mass of the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico.
19 Oct 2004

Howard praises Archbishops' intervention
Prime Minister John Howard yesterday praised the "courageous intervention" of Catholic and Anglican leaders who attacked Labor's election schools policy, taking the opportunity to accuse Labor leader Mark Latham of peddling "class warfare" politics from a bygone era.
19 Oct 2004

Priest laments election campaign poverty bypass
Victorian state convenor of this week's Anti-Poverty Week, Fr Joe Caddy, has expressed his disappointment that the issue of poverty rated barely a mention in the recent Federal Election campaign.
19 Oct 2004

Feature - Bringing men back to church
The founders of a new movement in Brisbane believe they are awakening one of the Church's 'sleeping giants' - men. Peter Shakhovskoy, a married 51 year-old father of five boys who has a successful career in middle management in a large corporation, looks around his parish church on Sunday mornings and wonders at the scarcity of men.
18 Oct 2004

Opinion - Truth alone breaks the Da Vinci Code
Most of us are familiar with Dan Brown's runaway bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. Brown claims that the Church belittled Mary Magdala as a prostitute to hide her true relationship with Jesus. Brown claims he is writing fiction, not history, though his disclaimer is, to my mind, deliberately ambiguous, and millions of people are taking it as history. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
18 Oct 2004

Rosary fashion prompts catechisis push in UK
The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has issued an leaflet in response to the fashion trend among young people for wearing rosaries as necklaces and bracelets.
18 Oct 2004

Pope praises cardinal who led Church during Chile's transition
Pope John Paul II has paid tribute to the late Chilean Cardinal Juan Francisco Fresno Larrain of Santiago, who as "a zealous pastor who, with prudence and pastoral charity, served his people and the church."
18 Oct 2004

Ex-police boss takes NZ abuse investigation job
The Catholic Churchin New Zealand has announced that former police commissioner John Jamieson will head the Church's new new National Office for Professional Standards.
18 Oct 2004

Mercy nun sounds alarm on deportation of Christian Iranian
A Mercy nun working at South Australia's Baxter immigration detention centre was with a man at a church service just before he was summoned to an Immigration Department office, from where he subsequently "disappeared".
18 Oct 2004

Five churches bombed in Baghdad
The Iraqi Interior Ministry has said that a string of bombs exploded at five churches across Baghdad early on Saturday, though no casualties were reported.
18 Oct 2004

Pope hints at thumbs-down for GM food
In a message for Saturday's World Food Day, Pope John Paul II stressed the need for biodiversity, suggesting reservations about the production of genetically modified foods.
18 Oct 2004

Feature - Mother Teresa was a PR Guru
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a powerful propaganda machine and public relations guru who manipulated the media to mould her public image, according to Dr Gezim Alpion, Birmingham University lecturer and author of the new book Biased Discourses: The Case of Mother Teresa. Dr Alpion, a fellow Albanian who also writes about asylum issues in the UK, who claims his research is impartial, argues that the Church, Indian governments, White House administrations, and most of all the nun herself, had a hand in sustaining the Mother Teresa "myth".
15 Oct 2004

Opinion - Ignoring religion in politics only stifles and splinters
Much of the righteous indignation claimed over the invasion of secular politics by [the Assemblies of God-inspired] Family First and the Hillsong Church is phony. That nobody, including the opinion pollsters, saw Family First coming exposes the complacent contempt of Australian elites for religion. By denying the importance to most Australians of moral values based on religious belief and tradition, politicians and opinion shapers make room for politico-religious splinter groups. Even worse for the politicians, continuing to turn a deaf ear will probably lead to defeat. - Frank Devine
15 Oct 2004

Priest dedicated to assisting HIV/AIDS patients found dead
A 63 year old British born priest who has worked in South Africa for seven years was found murdered earlier this month, according to sources of the Fides news agency.
15 Oct 2004

Rome watching Howard readiness for preemptive strike against terror in Asia
The Fides news service of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith is reporting that re-elected Australian Prime Minister John Howard has "confirmed his commitment to the war on terrorism" and said he is "ready to take preventive military action to destroy cells of terror in South East Asia".
15 Oct 2004

Vatican official tells Catholic journalists to aim high
In reporting the truth, journalists should hold themselves to the highest standards of professional excellence and moral integrity, Pontifical Council for Social Communications President, Archbishop John Foley, has told the World Congress of the International Catholic Union of the Press in Bangkok.
15 Oct 2004

Biotech multinationals worry Columbans on World Food Day
The Columban Centre for Peace Ecology & Justice has issued a statement for tomorrow's World Food Day highlighting the concern that hunger and malnutrition will claim at least 50,000 lives over the weekend.
15 Oct 2004

Pope set to celebrate 26 years of pontificate
An 84 year old and ailing Pope John Paul II - recognised as the world's longest-serving elected leader - will tomorrow quietly celebrate the 26th anniversary of his election as pope.
15 Oct 2004

Vatican liturgy body wants more Latin, Gregorian chant
Prominent in a list of 'suggestions' released yesterday by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments is more prayer and singing in Latin, particularly Gregorian chant.
15 Oct 2004

Feature - Adelaide school's exposure to Eastern Rite Catholicism
Year 12 students at Christian Brothers College Adelaide celebrated a Divine Liturgy, in the tradition of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in the college chapel. The chapel was redesigned for the occasion, and an iconostasis was placed in front of the altar to remind the students the separation between heaven and our earthly dwellings.
14 Oct 2004

Opinion - It's time to end polarisation over liturgy
It is human nature to omit writing a letter of approval or to state that things are merely acceptable. It is regrettable that so much credence has been given to letters of complaint sent anonymously to the Vatican, with lurid descriptions of abuses which are not checked and may in fact not be true. - Fr Andrew Cameron-Mowat SJ, Convenor MA in Pastoral Liturgy, Heythrop College, London
14 Oct 2004

Ferrari to make Pope a car
Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo said today the Italian Formula One team would build a special car for Pope John Paul II to mark his 26 years as pontiff.
14 Oct 2004

Modern day Dominican prophet visiting Australia
Fr Timothy Radcliffe, an English Dominican Friar who was Master General of the Order for ten years until 2001, is delivering a public lecture in Brisbane tonight on the "Crisis of Truth Telling in our Society".
14 Oct 2004

US survey reveals most parish administrators are women
Almost 90% of non-ordained people who administer US Catholic parishes are women, according to a report published by the Centre for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.
14 Oct 2004

Pakistan Bishops condemn suicide bombings
Two Catholic bishops in Pakistan have condemned suicide bombings in their country in recent days and expressed solidarity with the victims of the violence.
14 Oct 2004

Vatican ethicist comments on British baby case
A Vatican bioethicist has highlighted complexities surrounding a recent British court ruling on whether or not doctors must resuscitate a dying baby who has stopped breathing.
14 Oct 2004

Youth centre welcomes new protection for 17 year olds
A Melbourne Catholic agency has welcomed Victorian State Legislation that will give Children's Court protection to 17 year olds who have been sent to adult prisons and often looked upon seasoned criminals as role models.
14 Oct 2004

Feature - South Australian migrants' passionate advocate
Maria Barredo knows what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land. The director of Adelaide's Archdiocesan Multicultural Service says when she first arrived in Australia she "didn't know how to go to the bank or anything". Maria developed her passion for migrant issues as a reaction to first-hand experience.
13 Oct 2004

Opinion - Jesus' greatest miracle
The Eucharist is the sacrament of Christ's glory. For us it is the "pledge of future glory". "No sacrament contributes more to our salvation," St Thomas said, "for it purges away our sins, increases our virtues and nourishes our minds with an abundance of all the spiritual gifts". No wonder then that he called it the greatest of the miracles that Jesus worked. - Bishop Kevin Manning, Bishop of Parramatta
13 Oct 2004

Priests Congress to swell population of Malta
More than 1100 priests from around the world are expected to travel to Malta for next week's retreat organised by the Congregation for Clergy.
13 Oct 2004

Mogadishu nun speaks of optimism in Somalia
An Italian missionary nun in Somalia sas reported that the locals in the Somalian "capital" Mogadishu are treating this week's political negotiations in Nairobi as a "miracle".
13 Oct 2004

Vatican says refugee rights can require humanitarian intervention
The Holy See has told the United Nations that wars are responsible for the suffering of millions of refugees around the world, and the problems can only be solved by eliminating the root causes of the conflicts.
13 Oct 2004

New legislation determines fate of religious orders' NSW assets
New legislation in New South Wales gives Bishops wide-ranging powers to acquire assets and property belonging to religious congregations in the inevitable event of their need to "wind up" their "civil identity" as they die out.
13 Oct 2004

Pope tells Brazil to protect family in struggle against poverty
Pope John Paul has urged Brazil to continue in its efforts to combat poverty and hunger while mindful of the need to preserve the dignity and integrity of the family unit.
13 Oct 2004

US Cardinal says "right to receive Communion" does not exist
Cardinal Bernard Law has told pilgrims at the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, that attendance at Mass and the desire for the Eucharist does not add up to a "right" to take Communion.
13 Oct 2004

Feature - We each have one life
21 year old Moses, from Sudan, is volunteering with Josephite Community Aid as an interpreter. He was kidnapped from his home at just 11 years of age and forced to become a child soldier. After three years, he escaped and spent three and a half months walking to Kenya where sought refuge in a refugee camp and finally came to Australia in January this year.
12 Oct 2004

Opinion - New hope for liturgical English
There is now a good chance that many of the ghastly mistranslations may be swept away. That, at least, is what the Pope hopes for. Three years ago he issued a document entitled Liturgiam Authenticam, calling for accurate translations from the Latin. For the new translations were not merely ugly, they also tended strongly towards a merely secular vision of life. - William Oddie, former editor The Catholic Herald
12 Oct 2004

Religious orders 'need full-time vocations directors'
Figures from the Catholic Church in Ireland have linked relative success in attracting vocations with maintaining full-time vocations directors.
12 Oct 2004

Irish pastoral letter aims to reduce suicide
The Church in Ireland recently sent issued a pastoral letter titled Life is for Living, attributing rising levels of suicide to recent economic success that has been accompanied by a weakening of faith and loss of emotional support.
12 Oct 2004

Vatican UN envoy urges nuclear disarmament
Vatican's United Nations representative Archbishop Celestino Migliore has called on the world's nations to impose strict controls on nuclear weapons and reduce worldwide military spending.
12 Oct 2004

Cardinal Sin fighting for life in Manila hospital
Cardinal Jaime Sin, 76 year old archbishop emeritus of Manila, was rushed to hospital yesterday after reportedly suffering a heart attack.
12 Oct 2004

Pope's new book looks back at 20th century
Last week papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls visited the Frankfurt Book Fair to promote the Pope's latest book, a 200-page reflection on the ideological struggles of the 20th century and their significance to all believers.
12 Oct 2004

Congress papal envoy says 'Ask who the Eucharist is'
Pope John Paul II's envoy opened the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, by urging the faithful to "ask who the Eucharist is, not what the Eucharist is."
12 Oct 2004

Feature - Father Bob ordained at 71
St Patrick's Cathedral in Parramatta has been the setting for two weddings of sorts for Bob Sheridan 40 years apart. It was where he married his wife of 33 years in 1964. And on Saturday, it was where the 71-year-old widower was ordained priest.
11 Oct 2004

Opinion - Liturgy of Word part of main game
The Liturgy of the Word is the first of the two central parts of the Mass. Unfortunately, some people seem to consider it as akin to the preliminary event before the main game, so it doesn't really matter if you arrive after the start! - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
11 Oct 2004

Refugees returning to war-torn South Sudan
Caritas Australia says that thousands of refugees are currently returning to the war-torn south of Sudan hoping to restore a way of life that was violently taken away from them.
11 Oct 2004

NZ Marists deny abuse liability
The Marist Fathers in New Zealand are denying legal liability for a former priest who sexually assaulted a Christchurch youth, saying the encounter was casual and outside his church role.
11 Oct 2004

Pope says states should not fear religious symbols
Reacting to disputes in France and Italy on religious symbols in schools, Pope John Paul said on Friday that governments are wrong to fear that public displays of faith could undermine their authority.
11 Oct 2004

Quake shakes Mexico symposium
An earthquake shook western Mexico as participants in the international Theological Pastoral Symposium, including Cardinal George Pell, were attending Mass.
11 Oct 2004

Year of the Eucharist begins with Pope's Apostolic Letter
Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Mane Nobiscum Domine ("Stay with us, Lord") was launched on Friday by Cardinal Francis Arinze, who announced that its underlying theme is story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus."
11 Oct 2004

Bishops' riverboat launch of Murray-Darling pastoral statement
Three Catholic Bishops whose Dioceses take in the Murray-Darling basin will take to the deck of a paddlesteamer on the Murray today to launch a pastoral statement on the care and the future of the troubled great river system, which has been described as 'Australia's worst ecological disaster'.
11 Oct 2004

Feature - Priests reveal inner thoughts
A survey of Australian priests has revealed their views on celibacy in ministry, their concern about the increasing burden they face in administration and their desire for greater support from bishops. Psychotherapist, Dr Jane Power, who produced the report from a doctoral thesis at Australian Catholic University, said the research shows that priests 'find great satisfaction in their commitment to the spiritual and pastoral care of laity, and the sacramental status of clergy remains as a focal point of their identity and role'.
8 Oct 2004

Opinion - Hiding love makes you a fool, not cool
There is a classic comparison between Socrates and Jesus. Socrates went to his death with calmness and poise, Jesus was almost hysterical with terror and fear. Socrates was "cool" in a way that Jesus wasn't. Socrates always looked attractive. Jesus sweated blood (no glamour there), shed tears that he was unable to hide, and was stripped naked and humiliated in front of his loved ones. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
8 Oct 2004

Catholic chaplains affected by French veil law
The French law meant to banish Muslim headscarves from state schools is finding unexpected targets in southern France, where some principals have begun turning away Catholic chaplains.
8 Oct 2004

Stem-cell debate raises "limited research dollars" question
A major bioethics conference at Catholic University of America in Washington has posed the question of whether wealthy nations should be spending large sums of money on research into diseases of the elderly at the expense of diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, which are causing "a high rate of premature death" in developing countries.
8 Oct 2004

Cardinal Pell addresses Mexico Eucharist symposium
Sydney Cardinal George Pell spoke on Wednesday at a symposium in the Mexican city of Guadalajara that is taking place prior to next week's 48th International Eucharistic Congress.
8 Oct 2004

Pope worried about couples' reluctance to have children
The frequent unwillingness of couples in the western countries to reproduce conceals "a view of marital love incapable of confidence in the future", according to Pope John Paul II.
8 Oct 2004

Salesian facing more abuse charges
A Salesian priest who had been working in Samoa despite being wanted on sex abuse charges in Australia has been accused of molesting seven more boys, according to reports in the media in the US this week.
8 Oct 2004

Vinnies campaign hits Liberal raw nerve
A St Vincent de Paul spokesperson has suggested the Liberal Party on the NSW Central Coast is "feeling sensitive about the question of poverty not being raised during the election", following its action to suppress distribution of material related to the Vinnies-led "Vote 1 No More Poverty" campaign.
8 Oct 2004

Feature - Pope's endurance of hardships inspires
"God bless him," says nurse Lucy Edwards from Scranton, Pennsylvania, following a particularly trying morning for the pope in sunny St. Peter's Square yesterday. Although Pope John Paul II's speech is often slurred, his facial muscles stiff and his movement limited, participants at his Wednesday general audience say that the way the pope endures his evident hardships inspires them as Catholics.
7 Oct 2004

Opinion - The values of political leaders
Prime Minister John Howard: "Of course I examine my conscience. I do, everybody does. And I often think people in public life are not given enough credit for the fact that they do". Opposition Leader Mark Latham: "I'd like to think of the two Rs, two Cs - reward, responsibility, compassion and community. And sometimes there's a conflict between those values. But if you can reconcile any differences and be true to those values".
7 Oct 2004

Age makes women grower fonder of God, but not Church
Women's images of God get more positive as they get older, while their images of the Church tend to become more negative, according to research conducted by an Auckland theologian.
7 Oct 2004

Cardinal says ecumenism is about friendships, not just documents
The Vatican's Cardinal Walter Kasper has told a Seattle forum that ecumenism is a matter of "making friendships" rather than simply accumulating documents on the shelf.
7 Oct 2004

School in shock as principal stood down
Parents in the Victoroian coastal town of Torquay were in shock yesterday after hearing that their Catholic primary school principal is being investigated for accessing child pornography over the internet.
7 Oct 2004

Commission discussing fate of children who die without baptism
The Vatican-based International Theological Commission has resolved to find an answer to the question of what happens to children who die without being baptised.
7 Oct 2004

Vatican official says refugee rights "remain mere words"
Holy See permanent observer at the United Nations, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, this week told the UN High Commission for Refugees executive committee in Geneva that refugee rights recognised by international bodies such as the UN "too often remain mere words".
7 Oct 2004

Catholic Health says Medicare Gold 'tips the scales'
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has released its final analysis of the health and aged care measures put forward by both major parties in the 2004 election campaign, concluding that Labor's Medicare Gold best supports major concerns.
7 Oct 2004

Feature - Labor, religion and a little history
There have been grumblings about Labor's schools funding policy awakening old sectarian rivalries because of Labor's temerity in wanting to redistribute funds away from wealthy independent schools that are also disproportionately Anglican. Impressively ecumenical Cardinal George Pell's intervention might have seemed, but coinciding with the anniversary of the beginning of the Split it was replete with ironies. Not least of these is that Cardinal Pell has passionately venerated the memory of B. A. Santamaria, who back then played with sectarian fires that ended in a conflagration. - Monash University Labor historian Dr Paul Strangio
6 Oct 2004

Opinion - Pharisees admirable, but are they Christian?
God takes delight in an ordered world where people live out the Law. Paul, raised a Pharisee, appreciated their virtues. But to be made Christian the tradition needs the mind of Christ whose concern for humanity goes beyond law. The communion breads decision that exclude coeliacs from full symbolic participation in the Eucharist belongs to an admirable tradition. But is it Christian? - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ, United Faculty of Theology, Melbourne
6 Oct 2004

Java Muslim militants force closure of Catholic school
In the face of threats by a large band of armed Muslim extremists, the nun in charge of St Bernadette's Catholic compound in a small village 35 km west of Jakarta was forced to close down its church and school.
6 Oct 2004

Zimbabwe church leaders denounce state media control
Zimbabwe's seven Catholic bishops have strongly criticised state media control, while ecumenical Christian groups called for outright defiance of planned laws curbing charity work.
6 Oct 2004

Rescued hostages thank Pope for his help
The two Italian humanitarian workers held by kidnappers for 21 days in Iraq have personally thanked Pope John Paul II for his prayers and public appeals for their release.
6 Oct 2004

Vatican's Apostolic letter on Eucharist to appear this week
Pope John Paul is set to release an apostolic letter welcoming the Year of the Eucharist at a Rome media conference chaired by Congregation for Divine Worship head, Cardinal Francis Arinze, on Friday.
6 Oct 2004

Queensland MP critical of archbishops on schools
A Queensland MP and former Christian Brother yesterday attacked Cardinal George Pell of Sydney and Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne over their criticism of federal Labor's education funding policy.
6 Oct 2004

Bishop slams 'Price is Right' election campaign
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council chair Bishop Christopher Saunders has expressed disappointment at the Federal Election campaign's consistent appeals to voters' self-interest.
6 Oct 2004

Feature - Companions on the life journey
Emmaus Disabled Persons Catholic Services is the ministry for people with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Diocese of Parramatta. The philosophy of care at Emmaus is inspired by the story of the Disciples' journey to Emmaus after Jesus' crucifixion. Just as Jesus walked the journey with his disciples and offered friendship to them in their despair, at Emmaus non-disabled people walk the life journey with intellectually disabled people.
5 Oct 2004

Opinion - Religion is not a private matter
We are faced not with state atheism but with the false and destructive notion that religion is a purely private matter. How can it be that societies which pride themselves on their pluralism and tolerance tend to drive deeply held beliefs out of public discourse into the private sphere? It sometimes seems that religious belief is tolerated provided it does not have any influence on the political stances that people adopt! - Bishop Donal Murray, Limerick, Ireland
5 Oct 2004

Church names Melbourne teacher in child pornography probe
A teacher at St Simon's Primary School in outer-suburban Rowville is being investigated for downloading child pornography from the internet will never teach again at the school even if he is proved innocent.
5 Oct 2004

Caritas responds to Haiti disaster
Caritas Australia has pledged $30,000 towards the $1.25 million appeal launched by Caritas Internationalis for the people of flood-ravaged Haiti.
5 Oct 2004

Pope beatifies Emperor Charles, 'model for Catholic leaders'
On Sunday in St Peter's Square, in a ceremony attended by 30,000 pilgrims including dozens of members from the royal families of Europe, Pope John Paul II beatified Servants of God Pierre Vigne (1670-1740), Joseph-Marie Cassant (1878-1903), Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824), Maria Ludovica De Angelis (1880-1962) and Emperor Charles of Austria (1887-1922).
5 Oct 2004

Ethicist stresses moral inviolability of embryonic stem cells
Australian Salesian Fr Norman Ford yesterday told a Washington conference that the killing of human embryos for research or therapeutic purposes is out of the question, whether or not they are formed by IVF or cloning.
5 Oct 2004

Commission says asylum seekers forgotten in election campaign
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has lamented the lack of attention given during the Federal election campaign to asylum seekers still locked up in Immigration Detention Centres around Australia and on Nauru.
5 Oct 2004

Catholic Welfare's final election plea for disadvantaged
Catholic Welfare Australia (CWA) has issued a statement regretting that Australia's 'have nots' have missed out in the major political parties' "vote buying extravaganza", but stressed that it's not too late to offer something for the homeless, hungry, mentally ill and chronically unemployed.
5 Oct 2004

Feature - Gold-class treatment for lobbyist
Francis Sullivan, CEO of Catholic Health Australia, is one of Canberra's most diligent lobbyists. He prowls the parliamentary corridors endlessly, arguing his case to ministers, the Opposition, and the media, on behalf of an influential organisation that represents the Catholic providers of health and aged care. With Mark Latham's Medicare Gold, Mr Sullivan has been rewarded in spectacular fashion.
31 Oct 2004

Opinion - Archbishops' attempt to avoid sectarian resentment could backfire
The problem with Pell's position is that he seems to be asking for public policy to be formed on a basis that is not faith blind. Gough Whitlam laid the private schools shibboleth to rest when Labor adopted objective, needs-based federal funding for schools decades ago; Macklin continues the tradition. The last thing Australia needs right now is for the sectarian spectre to be revived. - Michael Costello
31 Oct 2004

Fires damage churches in two states
The St Joseph the Worker Church at Wulguru in the Townsville Diocese was engulfed in flames at 3:00 am yesterday, the fourth Catholic church to be destroyed by fire in the region since May last year.
31 Oct 2004

Pope Meets Pakistani President
Pope John Paul II met yesterday with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, encouraging him to press ahead with a "spirit of dialogue and tolerance" in his turbulent region.
31 Oct 2004

Bishops' Secretary confirms priests' survey on celibacy
The general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, Fr Brian Lucas, confirmed yesterday that he had received the summary and sent it to all 43 bishops.
31 Oct 2004

Catholic teachers nailed in child porn swoop
Child pornography charges were laid against two Catholic schoolteachers in Perth during a nationwide police operation announced yesterday.
31 Oct 2004

Abbott admits meeting Pell before archbishops' statement
The media is reporting that Sydney's Cardinal George Pell - who has been highly critical of Labor's education policy - met with Liberal frontbencher Tony Abbott days before making this week's joint statement with the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne and the Anglican Archbishops of Sydney and Melbourne.
31 Oct 2004

Labor embraces vision of Catholic Health
Australian Labor Party leader Mark Latham was well received when he visited Brisbane's Mater Hospital yesterday, a day after he announced his multi-billion dollar Medicare Gold policy to give Australians over 75 free access to a public or private hospital bed.
31 Oct 2004