Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR NOVEMBER 2004

   
Feature - AIDS survivor Joyce
Little Joyce, 2, waves happily at the camera, her chubby cheeks and bright eyes evidence of her good health and secure environment. As the youngest child at the Maria Teresa Nuzzo Children's Home in Nairobi, Kenya, Joyce is one of 30 orphaned children cared for by nuns from the order of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. When their parents died of AIDS most of the children were sent to live with their grandparents or other relatives who were so poor they could hardly cater for their own needs, let alone the needs of the children.
30 Nov 2004

Opinion - Church unity actions speak louder than words
Handing over the relics of Sts Gregory Nazianzen and John Chrysostom to Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I is a very significant gesture on the part of the Holy Father. Up until the Second Vatican Council, our attitude in general toward the other Churches was that, well, "they could come home any time they wished … we were ready to receive them." The Vatican Council radically changed that attitude by saying: "No, we have to go out to our other Brs and sisters because Christ wants the unity of the Church." We are bound, if we wish to be truly followers of Christ, to work for unity. - Australian Cardinal Edward Cassidy, former president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
30 Nov 2004

World Congress says religious life needs "fewer professionals, more witnesses"
The first World Congress of Consecrated Life has ended in Rome with a statement in which religious worldwide commit themselves to witness with their lives the Gospel in times of terrorism.
30 Nov 2004

Pope urges faithful to rediscover the meaning of Sunday
Speaking on Sunday from his balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II urged Christians to rediscover 'with new strength the meaning of Sunday: its 'mystery,' the value of its celebration, its significance for the Christian and human life."
30 Nov 2004

Broome Diocese welcomes prison investigation
The Justice, Ecology & Peace Office of Broome Diocese has welcomed the announcement by Western Australia's Minister for Justice of an investigation into the provision of custodial services and facilities in the Kimberley Region.
30 Nov 2004

Nun sees African-style fear in Palm Islanders
A Franciscan nun who worked with traumatised Africans in a Kenya refugee camp, yesterday expressed serious concern for indigenous children on Queensland's Palm Island, who are "frightened to death" of the armed police patrolling the streets.
30 Nov 2004

Victorian Christian brother avoids jail
An 81-year-old Christian brother who sexually assaulted four boys at Melbourne Catholic schools in the 1960s yesterday received a suspended sentence.
30 Nov 2004

New schools boost medical training
Notre Dame University will be part of Australia's largest single expansion of university medical training, following yesterday's official announcement that the Australian Medical Council (AMC) has accredited three medical schools.
30 Nov 2004

Feature - Latin Mass pure and simple
Fr Gregory Jordan presides over the weekly traditional Latin Mass at St Luke's at Buranda in Brisbane's inner south. "(Worshippers) are not here on any nostalgia kick, although there is the occasional old gaffer who says 'oh that took me back, Father'. ... A lot have come from forms of Christianity where there is a strong emphasis on entertaining the congregation and they have fled that kind of worship."
29 Nov 2004

Opinion - Victory in the non-violence of Ukraine's struggle
This election is the last gasp of the old powers and they seem to know it. They simply could not control and manipulate as they had hoped, despite massive and expensive efforts. Ukrainian culture, at its best, has a strong spirituality and sense of solidarity, especially with the suffering. The most moving question is why this people, who know what has been happening all along, did not resort to violence, but chose peace and patience with hope through many years of long-suffering. In that sense, the moment represents the victory of Christ alive within the heart of the people. - David Nazar, Canadian Jesuit working in Ukraine
29 Nov 2004

Vatican Cardinal visits Laos
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, celebrated Mass in the Laotian capital of Vientiane on Thursday, as part of a visit to a number of Asian countries that also included Burma.
29 Nov 2004

Archbishop apologises over exclusion of disabled
Dublin Archbishop Dr Diarmuid Martin has said sorry for excluding people with disabilities from church activities, frankly admitting that issues to do with access and participation in the Church "never even crossed the minds" of authorities.
29 Nov 2004

Cardinal Ratzinger looks to America for inspiration on problem of secularism
In the face of growing Church disenchantment with secularism in Europe, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is focusing on the way religious freedom works in the United States.
29 Nov 2004

Vatican theologians to shine "light of God's mercy" on Limbo conundrum
As the public imagination wrestled with the idea of hundreds of invalid baptisms in South Brisbane, the Vatican's International Theological Commission was last week determining that the question of Limbo - the supposed destination for the unbaptised - would be studied "in the light of God's mercy".
29 Nov 2004

Australian Catholic Uni "stalling" on rent demand
The Australian Catholic University is reportedly "stalling" a demand from Cardinal George Pell to pay millions of dollars in rent for its two Sydney campuses which, until now, it has leased for a peppercorn amount.
29 Nov 2004

Pope returns stolen relics to Ecumenical Orthodox Church
Pope John Paul II on Saturday returned the relics of two saints stolen during the crusades to the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, during a mass in Rome.
29 Nov 2004

Feature - Sectarian rivalry in tension between cricket legends
Until now, Marist Fr Wally Fingleton, younger brother of the Test cricketer and cricket writer Jack Fingleton, has kept clear of the controversy surrounding his brother's acrimonious relationship with Don Bradman. The row between the two has been given renewed life by a new book based on Bradman's letters to friend and journalist Rohan Rivett. Fr Fingleton believes it was part of a much bigger picture, given Masonic-Catholic rivalry affected many areas of Australian society.
26 Nov 2004

Opinion - Advent too precious to waste on Santa
Sadly Advent and Christmas become a tragedy when the season comes and goes meaning nothing. Let us therefore determine this Advent not to waste its superb message of God's arrival in our midst. I ask you to place it in the wider context of renewal, to lead people to an understanding of how marvellous it is to believe in Jesus Christ, God's greatest gift to us. Moreover, when faith becomes the dominant driving force in our lives the desire to share it as widely as possible with others automatically follows. - Advent Pastoral Letter of Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby
26 Nov 2004

Irish missionary murdered in Kenya robbery
Fr John Hannon, a 65 year old priest of the Society of African Missions (SMA) was killed in a church robbery on Wednesday night in the Kenyan Diocese of Ngong.
26 Nov 2004

Pope identifies Eucharist as the parish's 'beating heart'
Pope John Paul II has told the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Laity that the parish is the "place par excellence to announce Christ and educate people in the faith".
26 Nov 2004

Catholics rebuild churches in Iraq despite ongoing violence
Fr Nizar Semaan, from the city of Mosul, has told a Rome-based news agency that faith of Iraqi Christians remains intact, and that they are rebuilding churches and chapels destroyed during recent attacks.
26 Nov 2004

Church agencies back Queensland prisons report
Centacare and Catholic Prison Ministry in Brisbane have gone public in support of a report that concludes Queensland Corrective Services is failing prisoners and society and is in urgent need of reform.
26 Nov 2004

Catholic patients "denied access" to chaplains
Bishop Julian Porteous, rector of Sydney's Seminary of the Good Shepherd, has expressed concern that privacy safeguards are forcing hospitals and other medical institutions to deny chaplains access to members of their faith who are sick.
26 Nov 2004

Bishops propose abortion alternatives
Meeting Sydney yesterday, Australia's Catholic Bishops announced the establishment of a Taskforce to investigate ways of increasing financial and human support for those facing the dilemma of abortion.
26 Nov 2004

Feature - Beyond dreaming of doing good work
'Called and Gifted' programs have helped Catholics in five countries uncover their hidden potential for doing God's work in the world. Sherrey Weddell of the Siena Institute in the US says: "I love what Hans urs von Balthasar says: If Simon Peter had spent the whole of his life rooting around in his subconscious, he would never have realised he was 'Peter.' He only thought of himself as a fisherman. It was Christ who revealed him as Peter."
25 Nov 2004

Opinion - Harness the power of positive language
Three simple rules: personal contact, deliberate use of the other person's language, and understand and identify with them. Perceptions, reactions and our worldview hang on how we navigate through the communication minefields. Language can be a powerful tool for mutual support and social development, and is an indispensable part of ethical decision-making. - Dr Meryl McQueen, cross-sector alliance expert / Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative
25 Nov 2004

'Hate' group 'exorcises' church after gays take communion
An "informal exorcism" was performed by a group at the Cathedral of St Paul, Minneapolis in the US, earlier this month, but it caused serious damage to the Cathedral and is being described as "more profane than sacred".
25 Nov 2004

Pope receives honorary degree in Poland
Pope John Paul II received an honorary degree on Tuesday from Nicholas Copernicus University in his native Poland, calling it a "sign of dialogue" between science and faith.
25 Nov 2004

Vatican says more aid needed to achieve Millennium Goals
The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, this week told the General Assembly that while there has been progress towards accomplishing the Millennium Development Goals, "scarce economic aid and international economic conditions" continue to hold back the world's poorer nations.
25 Nov 2004

Mildura abuse victims to launch action
An alleged victim of sexual abuse by the late Monsignor John Day who is thought to have abused hundreds of girls and boys in the Victorian city of Mildura decades ago, is to make a claim against the Diocese of Ballarat.
25 Nov 2004

Brisbane Tribunal vicar comments on invalid baptisms
Fr Adrian Farrelly of the Church's regional tribunal in Brisbane has declared that Catholics baptised with an adapted "inclusive" formula of words in the South Brisbane parish over the past ten years "simply haven't received baptism".
25 Nov 2004

Ukrainian Catholic leaders back opposition electoral fraud protests
Leaders of the Catholic Church in Ukraine have supported charges by the country's opposition that Sunday's election victory of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych is invalid because the process was fraudulent.
25 Nov 2004

Feature - Breaking Catholic ties
Across the USA, Hispanics are flocking to evangelical churches in steadily growing numbers, many of them abandoning their Catholic pasts to become born-again. "They are growing gangbusters," says John Mendez, director of Sobre Alas de Aguila, which has researched Hispanic-American churches. "It's literally an explosion, the way they grow." A Hispanic church opens its doors somewhere in the United States every hour. They represent a variety of denominations, but the fastest-growing are evangelical, and led and pastored by immigrants.
24 Nov 2004

Opinion - Vatican view on secularism tied to Europe
"Secularism is no longer that element of neutrality which opens up space for freedom for all," Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger claimed in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The view from Rome must be extremely short. Recently the United States, the most secular nation on Earth, witnessed an election in which "moral values" ranked higher than any other single issue in determining how people voted. Moreover, the open courting of churchgoers by Republicans played a crucial role in delivering a second term to George Bush. Indeed, if the US is any guide, secularism and very public expressions of religious faith seem able to co-exist quite happily. - Chris McGillion
24 Nov 2004

Education program for homeless men wins national award
The St Vincent de Paul Society's Charles O'Neill House has won the Australian Adult Education Provider of the Year Award for its program designed to help men in crisis to break the cycle of homelessness with learning.
24 Nov 2004

ACU Conference highlights quality relationships as key to human dignity
Scholars from around Australia gathered at Australian Catholic University's Melbourne Campus earlier this month for a conference on Relationship Transitions that recognised that the quality of relationships is integral to the dignity of the human person.
24 Nov 2004

'Intelligent design' theory threatens evolution in US schools
In the boldest strike against the teaching of evolution in more than a decade, the school board of a small farming town in the US has made the teaching of creationism compulsory in Year 9.
24 Nov 2004

Christian worship 'thriving in Parliament'
A background report in today's Sydney Morning Herald highlights that fact that "conservative Christianity roared back into political fashion at last month's federal election", and that "Christian worship is thriving in Parliament".
24 Nov 2004

Caritas Australia collaborating with AusAID in PNG
Caritas Australia's vital healthcare work in Papua New Guinea is to be enhanced by an infusion of funding from AusAID, the Australian government's aid and development agency, Mr Jack de Groot, National Director of Caritas Australia announced yesterday.
24 Nov 2004

Criticism of Downer list of peace pilgrims
Australia will send a religious delegation to Indonesia that includes the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney but not the country's most senior Muslim leader or the National Council of Churches President, who is an expert on Islam.
24 Nov 2004

Feature - Celtic mix and match
The term 'Celtic' is banded about as never before. But this sentimental version of the ancient culture has little to do with the austere people whose history and spirituality has been re-interpreted to suit our century. Wandering around Iona, now a pilgrimage centre for modern Celtic wannabees, I wondered how much the celebration of "urges" and "sacred interconnectedness" would actually have meant to the sixth-century missionaries who founded the monastery there. Probably neither the spiritual values nor the character traits now so widely assumed to be Celtic would have struck much of a chord. - Marcus Tanner, author The Last of the Celts
23 Nov 2004

Opinion - Evangelisation a lost cause without Christian unity
Over 250 people from Catholic and other Christian traditions gathered at Mondo Migliore outside Rome from 11 - 13 November to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's decree on ecumenism, Unitatis Reditengratio. As the Pope continues to remind us, ecumenism is integral to being a Christian, it is not an optional extra. The evangelisaton needed so badly in today's very secular world will never happen unless Christians can show to the world the unity for which Christ prayed at the Last Supper. - Archbishop John Bathersby, Archbishop of Brisbane
23 Nov 2004

Catholic Mission says giving to charity keeps Christ in Christmas
Catholic Mission's National Director Fr Terence Bell, has called on Australian families to make charitable donations a part of their Christmas gift-giving, in order to act as a "counter-balance to the over-commercialisation" of the feast.
23 Nov 2004

Vatican seeks priests from Africa to re-evangelise the West
Plans to ease the acute shortage of priests in western countries by importing African clergy are "being discussed by senior bishops with the Pope's blessing", according to a report in London's Daily Telegraph.
23 Nov 2004

Pope exhorts laity to proclaim Gospel with more effort
Pope John Paul II has encouraged Catholics "to assume with greater determination" their specific task to proclaim the Gospel in society.
23 Nov 2004

Atheist supports Ratzinger crusade against secularism
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has enlisted in his defence of Christianity against secular Europe, the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who said in an essay published this month that "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilisation".
23 Nov 2004

Vatican blames Europe for decline of family
The Pontifical Council for the Family has accused European lawmakers of undermining family life, with recent legislative changes that have changed the age-old definition of the family into a vague and malleable definition of "an association of persons" who "live together".
23 Nov 2004

Brisbane Archbishop stops "inclusive" baptism
Archbishop John Bathersby has written to one of his parish priests to request compliance with last April's Vatican instruction Redemptoris Sacramentum that stipulates that liturgical norms must be followed exactly.
23 Nov 2004

Feature - Supply of food low, malnourishment high in Darfur camps
At 22 months old, Abdul Gafar Isaak is much too small for his age. His 8 kg body is the normal weight of a six month-old baby. The severely malnourished boy is being treated at the newly established ACT/Caritas clinic in Hassa Hissa camp in Zalingei in West Darfur. More than 40,000 people displaced by the ongoing conflict in the region have found refuge here.
22 Nov 2004

Opinion - Authoritarian depth
The best sermons are exegetical: they dig into the text to draw out the kernel of Christian meaning for the lives of believers today. In Catholic churches one tends to get short homilies that skate lightly over the surface. Cardinal Pell is one of the honourable exceptions. In this collection, he is clear, accessible, pointed and often pastoral. But there he seems to be authoritarian by nature rather than a persuader. - Barney Zwartz / Review of Be Not Afraid, by Cardinal George Pell (Duffy & Snellgrove)
22 Nov 2004

Parents lash out at priest who told children there's no Santa Claus
Parents in Santa Fe Springs in California have castigated their priest for telling children under 10 years during Mass that Santa Claus does not exist.
22 Nov 2004

Blake art prize winner 'evokes humanity in all'
Australian Catholic University Chancellor Br Julian McDonald presented the 2004 Blake Prize for Religious Art to Ana Wojak, for her work, Pieta (Darfur), at Sydney's Sir Hermann Black Gallery on Thursday.
22 Nov 2004

Church in NZ says court verdict highlights need to support carers
In the midst of widespread criticism of a court decision to acquit a man of killing his disabled daughter, the New Zealand Catholic Church's Nathaniel Centre for ethics has stressed that the obligation to care for society's most vulnerable includes support for carers themselves.
22 Nov 2004

Rome Assembly focus on mentoring for newlyweds
The 16th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family has issued a communique stressing the support mature married couples can offer engaged and younger couples, "to accompany them on the path of preparation for marriage and then in the first years of married and family life".
22 Nov 2004

Pope denounces use of religion as tool of violence
Greeting a delegation of Muslim, Orthodox and Jewish religious representatives from Azerbaijan, Pope John Paul II has insisted that no one has the right to use religion as an instrument of intolerance or violence.
22 Nov 2004

Australia backs "Catholic" UN push on cloning
The Howard Government has supported a bid in the United Nations from Catholic countries and the US, to adopt a treaty banning all human cloning.
22 Nov 2004

Feature - Fr John Rea's ministry of healing
New Zealand priest Fr John Rea has spent the past three months in Queensland where he has conducted missions and healing sessions. During his time in Australia, he left a trail of miraculous healings whereever he went. He made the point that he is not the one responsible for these healings. "I just pray with people for healing," he said. "The rest is up to the Lord."
19 Nov 2004

Opinion - Truthfulness for its own sake
In Romulus My Father, Australian Catholic University philosopher Raimund Gaita wrote of his father and a friend that "they valued [truthfulness] because .. they were men for whom not to falsify had become a spiritual demeanour". This was nothing to do with any utilitarian calculation, that truthfulness pays in the long run, or that if you start telling lies then you get into a mess. It was a simple requirement of honour. Such a cherishing of truth for its own sake has largely been lost. - Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP / Eric Symes Abbott Memorial Lecture 2004
19 Nov 2004

Perth Archbishop says Rosary fad 'a problem for society'
Archbishop Barry Hickey has told the West Australian newspaper that while wearing rosary beads as a fashion accessory is an empty gesture and some Catholics would be offended by it, "the fad is more a problem for society than for the Church".
19 Nov 2004

'Urgent' Catholic translation given priority over ecumenical texts
Under the chairmanship of Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican's Vox Clara committee has determined that a desire for common (ecumenical) prayers is not as important as ensuring Catholics have Mass prayers faithfully translated from Latin as soon as possible, to fill a "pressing pastoral need".
19 Nov 2004

ACU Senate mulls over Sydney Archdiocese rent determination
The Senate of Australian Catholic University discussed at its meeting yesterday the "determination" by the Archdiocese of Sydney for ACU National to pay a significant management fee for its NSW campuses at North Sydney and Strathfield.
19 Nov 2004

Youth crusader warns on child sex trafficking
Young people who lose their souls in the child trafficking trade are victims of sexual abuse and the adults who abuse them in this way should be treated accordingly, says Youth Off the Streets founder Fr Chris Riley.
19 Nov 2004

Pax Christi Australia call for end to Falluja violence
Pax Christi Australia has condemned the "heartless atrocities" suffered by Iraqis - particularly in the city of Falluja in the past month - at the hands of overwhelming military force.
19 Nov 2004

Pope contact with Reagan helped end Cold War
Two top foreign policy officials in the administration of late US President Ronald Reagan have said he and Pope John Paul II shared information about the Cold War but did not engage in coordinated actions to topple the Soviet bloc.
19 Nov 2004

Feature - Essential Graham Greene
His novels dealing with Vietnam (The Quiet American) and Cuba (Our Man in Havana) as well as Paraguay/Argentina (The Honorary Consul) revealed his increasingly critical stance toward the United States and growing interest in liberation theology. A convert to Catholicism, Greene had an ongoing if difficult relationship with his faith. He once expressed to his biographer the hope that God was "hounding him".
18 Nov 2004

Opinion - Share your unspeakable loneliness
There is a loneliness that can be spoken of because its pain is greater than its shame. It drives you to your knees, but also more deeply into humanity. Nature equips you to deal with this. But there is a loneliness that cannot be shared. It is "unspeakable" because it is experienced in a way so private and humiliating that, were you to speak of it, you would further damage an already over-fragile sense of self that has been made so fragile by the loneliness itself. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
18 Nov 2004

Tunisia plans celebrations for St Augustine anniversary
The Archdiocese of Tunisia is organising celebrations next month to mark the 1650th anniversary of the birth of St Augustine of Hippo.
18 Nov 2004

US Bishops defer statement on Catholic approach to Bible
Costcutting has prompted the United States Bishops have put off the release of a pastoral statement on the use of the Bible by Catholics.
18 Nov 2004

Women's Commission looks to future lay leadership
The Commission for Australian Catholic Women (CACW) has described the movement from religious and clerical leadership of Church agencies towards lay leadership - especially female lay leadership - as "of enormous importance".
18 Nov 2004

Pope lists three goals of Synod on Eucharist
John Paul II has specified the three main objectives of next year's Synod of Bishops: to confirm the faith, renew communion among Church pastors, and promote charity.
18 Nov 2004

Mass for slain aid worker Margaret Hassan
Irish-born British aid worker Margaret Hassan, who is believed to have been killed by her captors in Iraq, was remembered last night Australian time at a special mass in a Catholic church in Kenmare in the southwest of Ireland.
18 Nov 2004

Pell's 'slur' hastening Muslim-Christian dialogue
Last week's reporting of Cardinal George Pell's controversial remarks comparing Islam with communism appears likely to bring the Cardinal face to face with local Muslim leaders, with an official of the Lebanese Muslim Association expressing his wish for "a friendly meeting" with Cardinal Pell.
18 Nov 2004

Feature - Keeping watch as life slips away
"Jesus Christ is the prototype of a caregiver," Madrid Archdiocese health care services director Fr Jesus Conde told last week's palliative care conference at the Vatican. "No area of medicine is closer to the creed and practices of the Catholic Church than palliative care." The therapy, based on a multidisciplinary approach involving medical experts, social workers and spiritual guides, does not aim to stem disease progression, but to ease pain, treat symptoms of serious illness and ensure patients a peaceful death.
17 Nov 2004

Opinion - Delight in cathedrals
I've always enjoyed looking at birds. But when I tried to push my interest further, the buggers kept moving about. So I turned to cathedrals. They just stand there while you stare at them.
17 Nov 2004

Author Keneally to debate Anglican Archbishop on Da Vinci Code
Sydney Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen will debate Thomas Kenneally on issues arising from the best-selling book 'The Da Vinci Code' tonight at Sydney University.
17 Nov 2004

Goa pilgrims required to prove credentials
Tightened security in the wake of last month's fire at the Basilica of Bom Jesus at Goa, India, has forced authorities to demand credentials from pilgrims seeking to occupy its premises overnight.
17 Nov 2004

Joint effort to fight trafficking of women and children
A consortium including the Australian Catholic University (ACU), the Brigidine Sisters and other organisations, is working to tackle the complex and hidden problem of the international trafficking of women and children in the sex industry in Australia.
17 Nov 2004

US Bishops elect new leader
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has elected Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, in Washington state, is its president for the next three years.
17 Nov 2004

Bishops' Secretary says parish communication gaps warrant concern
Parishes need better internal communications if they are to be an effective sign of Christ's presence in the world, according to the General Secretary of the Australian Bishops' Conference Fr Brian Lucas.
17 Nov 2004

Ethicist warns on Reproductive Technology threat to children's rights
Salesian bioethicist Fr Norman Ford has said the practice anonymous donor conception in infertility clinics denies children the right to know and be loved by their natural fathers during their formative years.
17 Nov 2004

Feature - Pharisees: good people with a bad press
Paul, raised a Pharisee, appreciated their virtues. But the Jesus whom he discovered led him to a God not rapt with pleasure when looking on people observing the Law, as the Pharisees would have expected. For Paul, the God of Jesus was slightly distracted, concerned for the people who did not count. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
16 Nov 2004

Opinion - Palestinian Christians look for support
For Palestinian Christians, a theology of liberation has developed out of their everyday experiences of living in Israel since 1948. Since the creation of the state, some Jewish and Christian interpreters have read the Old Testament largely as a Zionist text to such an extent that it has become almost repugnant to Palestinian Christians". Palestinian liberation theologians ask, with some justification, for their fellow Christians not to ignore the Palestinian people, their loss of homeland and struggle for liberation. - Edward Kessler, director Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations, Cambridge
16 Nov 2004

Adelaide parents defend spending sex abuse payout
Following adverse press coverage at the weekend, parents who received payouts from the Archdiocese of Adelaide after their disabled children were sexually abused by an Adelaide Catholic school worker in the 1980s and 1990s have defended their handling of the money.
16 Nov 2004

New paper updates awarenesss of Vietnam human rights situation
The Sydney-based Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre has published a research paper that highlights recent threats to minority groups in Vietnam but notes that its Government has been increasingly willing to discuss human rights issues.
16 Nov 2004

New President for Natural Family Planning Council
Rockhampton wife and mother Mrs Noelle Melrose has taken up the position of President of the Australian Council for Natural Family Planning (ACNFP) for the next two years.
16 Nov 2004

St John of God Health Care commits $2.55m to rural health
St John of God Health Care have announced their commitment of $2.55 million over five years to assist in addressing the health disadvantage experienced in rural Australia.
16 Nov 2004

Sydney Catholic college is newspaper's School of the Year
Trinity Catholic College at Auburn in Western Sydney, a systemic secondary school in the Sydney Archdiocese, has been announced as The Australian newspaper's School of the Year for 2004.
16 Nov 2004

Pope urges transparent elections in Iraq
Pope John Paul II told Iraq's new ambassador to the Vatican yesterday that national elections planned for January must be "fair and transparent" if the country hopes to build an authentic democracy.
16 Nov 2004

Feature - Scientific research a powerful weapon in fight for better world
Sir Gus Nossal, one of Australia's leading medical scientists, insists that we can make rapid progress in eliminating many infectious diseases in developing countries, save millions of lives, and help substantially in raising living standards. He believes that the most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but from the legitimate demands of the world's dispossessed.
15 Nov 2004

Opinion - "Morality" can be the enemy of civic peace
It is simply astonishing that so many million Americans seem to think that terrorism and war do not raise crucial issues of moral value, though abortion and homosexuality do. Now that religion is an increasingly powerful force in politics, we need to insist that the moral values to be promoted by the religious and non-religious alike must be broader than the narrow focus evident in the US election. Religious fundamentalism oversimplifies complex moral realities, and is the enemy of civic peace. - University of Melbourne philospher Dr Tony Coady
15 Nov 2004

Mercies looking into missing cash
The Melbourne Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy is said to be investigating whether to call in police over a substantial amount of money missing from an art centre run in bayside Black Rock.
15 Nov 2004

Pell comments portrayed as anti-Muslim slur
A prominent muslim leader responded to reported comments of Cardinal George Pell by asserting that Islam should not be compared with godless communism.
15 Nov 2004

Adelaide CBC enforcing teacher extra-curricular commitment policy
One of Adelaide's most prominent Catholic schools - Christian Brothers College - is reported to be threatening to sack teachers who do not participate in compulsory extra-curricular activities, such as camps and weekend sport.
15 Nov 2004

Catholic Health says increased GP rebates should stay with patients
Catholic Health Australia responded to Friday's release of bulk billing figures indicating a further increase in the national rate to nearly 72% by welcoming the "good news" for patients that it says "reflects the increased investment that the Government has made in Medicare".
15 Nov 2004

Brisbane priest calls homeless youth problem a 'scandal'
The lack of emergency accommodation for homeless youths in Brisbane is a 'scandal', according to Brisbane youth advocacy priest Fr Wally Dethlefs of the Church Network for Youth Justice.
15 Nov 2004

Pope says euthanasia distorts medical ethics
Pope John Paul has branded euthanasia a distortion of medical ethics, saying on Friday that it's not up to doctors to decide "who can live and who must die".
15 Nov 2004

Feature - Modern day fairy tale reflects 'normal' loss and grief
Nick is an average teenage boy likes to chop the hair off his sister's dolls and occasionally lashes out by punching his classmates. He's also normal because he is affected by his parents' divorce and separation. He is also the main character in 'Big Trouble', an award winning animated film initiated by Centacare Melbourne.
12 Nov 2004

Opinion - How much is a life worth?
During the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, I repeatedly asked the question: Is an Iraqi life of any less value than an American, a British or an Australian life? It seems so, if we are able to be given exact figures of the unfortunate loss of life among foreigners in Iraq but no accurate statistics for the loss of life among Iraqi citizens. Once a society decides that it can pick and choose and say that one life is of more value than another, that not every person is of inestimable value, that "out of sight is out of mind", then that society becomes diminished. The current abortion debate focuses on unborn human life which must be seen in the context of a "whole of life" understanding. - Bishop Pat Power, auxiliary Bishop of Canberra-Goulburn
12 Nov 2004

Irish archbishop issues guidelines to keep funerals Christian
The Archbishop of Cashel and Emly in Ireland yesterday published a set of guidelines that reflect concerns that the Christian faith is being pushed into the background during funeral liturgies.
12 Nov 2004

Test results show student religious knowledge on the rise
Results of the 2004 Year 6 Religious Education Test in the Sydney Archdiocese indicate continued improvement in students' religious knowledge.
12 Nov 2004

Vinnies and ACU organise learning for the homeless
Australian Catholic University, in partnership with St Vincent de Paul Society and willing business people, has claimed to have found some of the "keenest, most grateful students ever", following Australia's first university courses for homeless people.
12 Nov 2004

Pell says Islam could be the new communism
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell recently told an audience in the United States that Islam could be the "communism of the 21st century", and that democracy is not a good in itself.
12 Nov 2004

Life Offices urge continued public debate on abortion
The Archdiocesan Respect Life Offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth have welcomed the current debate over abortion, including late term abortion and abortion funding, as an "opportunity for reexamining our options".
12 Nov 2004

Papal sympathy to Palestinians on Arafat death
Upon learning of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat yesterday, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano sent a telegram of condolences in the name of Pope John Paul II to Rawhi Fattuh, president of the Palestinian Legislative Council, expressing the Holy Father's closeness to the Palestinian people.
12 Nov 2004

Feature - Pope scores well on vision and evangelical zeal, but not admin
When you talk to Cardinals and ask them what is their big beef with this pontificate, almost to a man they'll tell you that this has been a brilliant visionary, and a brilliant evangelist and a mediocre governor. I mean liturgy is a classic example and the Pope is a very reverent celebrant, you see that when he celebrates mass, but he's never been personally involved in the details of setting liturgical policy. - National Catholic Reporter Rome correspondent John L. Allen, interviewed by Stephen Crittenden.
11 Nov 2004

Opinion - Arafat leaves unfinished business in relations with Catholic Church
Despite the Basic Agreement between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority, perhaps the best among the few such treaties that safeguard the Christian presence in Arab countries where Muslims are the majority, there is no lack of problems. Often Christian property gets confiscated by Muslim Palestinians, and some Christians are forced to define themselves "Muslims" under the threat of violence. - Bernardo Cervellera
11 Nov 2004

ACU classified as "elite athlete friendly"
The Australian Catholic University has signed up to an Australian Institute of Sport program to support elite athletes at universities, with vice-chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan declaring that the policy "recognises the dignity of each individual, supports the holistic development of students, and provides appropriate levels of support for students in recognition of their diverse backgrounds and career aspirations".
11 Nov 2004

Study finds US Catholics angry over handling of scandals
The sexual abuse scandal is creating a historic shift in relations between US Catholics and their church hierarchy, according to the first comprehensive national study of the effects of the sexual abuse scandal.
11 Nov 2004

Vatican to help research on inquisition
Church, academic and cultural experts will work together to gather documentation on religious and civil trials for witchcraft, heresy and other crimes against the faith during the Inquisition, the Vatican said yesterday.
11 Nov 2004

Pope warns against false idols
Violence, robbery and wealth are the three "idols contrary to the dignity of man and social cohabitation", according to Pope John Paul II, who was commenting on Psalm 61 during yesterday's General Audience at the Vatican.
11 Nov 2004

Ethicist says no room for compromise on rights of human embryo
One of Australia's leading Catholic ethicists has expressed regret that most people look upon human embryos as a dispensible means to an end, and not as centres of value in themselves.
11 Nov 2004

Catholic Welfare says family breakdown more than a legal problem
Catholic Welfare Australia has welcomed the release of the Federal Government's Discussion Paper that recommends compelling couples to visit a government "separation centre" for counselling in preparation for their legal separation.
11 Nov 2004

Feature - Catholic politician a tough and fair minded reformer
Marie Tehan, Health minister in Victoria's Kennett Liberal government who died on 31 October aged 64, was, according to her family, a "human Rock of Gibraltar". Her compassion was illustrated by her commitment to refugees. In the 1970s, she was helping Vietnamese refugees with humanitarian aid. Last December she wrote to The Age, decrying the Coalition's refugee policy, saying, "many Liberals have been dismayed by the Government's lack of compassion, lack of truth and openness, lack of fairness".
10 Nov 2004

Opinion - Two kinds of prayer
We don't always grasp the important distinction theologians make between devotional (private) and liturgical (public) prayer. Devotional prayer focuses on bringing us and our feelings to God. Liturgical praying is like being part of a symphony orchestra, playing an instrument that contributes to an overall musical score. Night in and night out, you're playing the same piece in the same theatre, helping to create a beautiful symphony for the audience. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
10 Nov 2004

Paper highlights destruction of parish that was called 'beacon of hope'
A feature in today's Sydney Morning Herald documents simmering tensions between inner-city Redfern parish's "deeply committed" parish priests, and its "diverse congregation with a reputation for social justice".
10 Nov 2004

Vatican to promote the use of painkillers
Restating its opposition to any form of euthanasia, the Vatican yesterday said that painkilling drugs should be used in order to help dying patients live out their days to a "natural end".
10 Nov 2004

Pope says young should receive spiritual and moral formation in family
Pope John Paul II, receiving bishops from the Episcopal Conference of the Indian Ocean (CEDOI), invited "Christian people to live the Year of the Eucharist as an intense time of encounters with Christ," and stressed the need for well formed priests and laity, and the "harmonious development" of families.
10 Nov 2004

Catholics fear extremists will prosper after Arafat dies
Amid continuing speculations over Palestinian National Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's deteriorating health, some Catholics expressed fear extremist Islamic groups would gain strength after he dies.
10 Nov 2004

Bishop Manning challenges employment relations law
As the Federal Government prepares to introduce wide ranging industrial reforms, Bishop Kevin Manning of Parramatta in Sydney this week issued a four-fold challenge with regard to employment relations in Australia.
10 Nov 2004

Melbourne Archbishop welcomes abortion debate
Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne has welcomed the renewed debate on abortion, describing Australia's 100,000 abortions a year as a "huge suffering".
10 Nov 2004

Feature - Choirmaster's outreach to Buernos Aires poor
Adelaide music teacher Craig Evans and his son Joshua returned to St Ethnea's School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for six months, after visiting last year with the school choir. Moved by the plight of the poor children in the shanty towns around the school, he has raised $15,000 towards projects including drilling for water and buying orchestral equipment.
9 Nov 2004

Opinion - Vatican about-face on democracy for Iraq
Pope John Paul II's meeting last Thursday with Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi was seen to signify Vatican recognition of the legitimacy of his government. He encouraged what he called "the efforts made by the Iraqi people to establish democratic institutions which will be truly representative and committed to defending the rights of all, in complete respect for the [sic] ethnic and religious diversity". Previously there was hesitation, with the Secretariat of State supporting the position that transplanting democracy to such countries is "particularly offensive for the Islamic community". - Vatican watcher Sandro Magister
9 Nov 2004

NZ teacher aid's call to modesty backfires
A Wellington Catholic primary school principal has apologised to four 12-year-olds because a teacher aide called the girls "sluts" after they exposed their midriffs to sunbathe during a break.
9 Nov 2004

Police remove parishioners from church sit-in
A two-month-old sit-in campaign by Boston Archdiocese Catholics has led to a parishioner being forcibly removed from a suburban church in Boston in the USA.
9 Nov 2004

Catholic church wishes Hindus a happy Diwali
The Catholic Church has issued a message to Hindus, wishing them a happy Diwali, the Festival of Lights, one of the oldest and most important feasts on the Hindu calendar.
9 Nov 2004

Pope's would-be assassin denied release from prison
A Turkish court yesterday quickly rejected a request by Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, for his early release from prison in light of recent legal amendments.
9 Nov 2004

Iraq militants attack Catholic church
Police and eyewitnesses said militants attacked a southern Baghdad Catholic church yesterday, setting it ablaze.
9 Nov 2004

Study reveals church loss of credibility
The findings of a major church-backed research project suggest that the reputation of the Church is sinking faster than that of the government, legal system, banks and media.
9 Nov 2004

Feature - Ratzinger finger remains on Vatican pulse
"Cardinal Ratzinger is a singular figure in the history of his office and perhaps the church," said theologian Gianni Baget Bozzo. "He takes the initiative. He is trusted. He is a kind of vice pope. "In spite of his age, Ratzinger has recently jumped to the top of the list of candidates," says Vatican watcher Sandro Magister. "Some look at him as if he were already de facto pope, the stony defender of the faith in a church under attack from modernity."
8 Nov 2004

Opinion - Will the sneering at the religious now stop?
The Australian and American elections indicate a shift in public reason. Democracy includes faith. This is a shift that surprises and, to some extent, confuses commentators and pollsters alike. The development is good because hopefully it will end the arrogant exclusion of faith and those of faith from the public debate. Hopefully it will end the sneering and dismissiveness in reporting the opinions of those of faith. - Melbourne ethicist Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini
8 Nov 2004

Italian brides, grooms to 'give' rather than 'take'
Italian brides and grooms marrying in Catholic churches will no longer "take" each other as husband or wife, but will "accept" each other.
8 Nov 2004

Pell in Rome for Vox Clara liturgy meeting
The Vatican's Vox Clara liturgy Commission is expected to advance the cause of the new English translation when it meets in Rome under the chairmanship of Cardinal George Pell, for three days from tomorrow.
8 Nov 2004

Children pray at "significant moments"
Research for a PhD at the Australian Catholic University has found that children use prayer to aid them in life even if they are not religious.
8 Nov 2004

Pope sees globalisation and sects threatening Church in Americas
Pope John Paul has reflected on the progress since the 1997 First Synod of Bishops for America and concluded that globablisation's "absolute value attributed to the economy", and the "harmful action of the sects", as the greatest challenges facing the church in the region.
8 Nov 2004

Catholic school principal appointed to Govt indigenous body
Miriam Rose Baumann, principal of St Francis Xavier Catholic School in the Northern Territory's Daly River, has been appointed a member of the Federal Government's unelected indigenous advisory body that is set to replace the elected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).
8 Nov 2004

Liberals say Abbott will pay for commitment to faith before politics
Health Minister Tony Abbott's faith-inspired decision to champion a divisive new debate over abortion may have cost him any future chance of leading the party, according to senior Liberals.
8 Nov 2004

Feature - Christianity to disappear within 30 years
Study after study appears to prove that people are increasingly losing faith in the Church and the Bible and turning instead to mysticism in guises ranging from astrology to reiki and holistic healing. The conclusion of a new book by two Lancaster University academics is dramatic: Christianity will be eclipsed by spirituality in the UK within the next 20 to 30 years. Many people believe that this "New Romantics" movement will prove more significant than the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
5 Nov 2004

Opinion - Sex and drink 'no substitute for faith'
The materialism of modern Ireland should be recognised for its faults and we should instead begin "tiptoeing" back to the Church, Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly told the annual Ceifin Conference in Ennis. Self-absorption and pursuit of the material, she said, "hardens our hearts" and closes us off to those who need our gifts. "We must realise that the new impoverished are not those without the DVDs, PlayStations, mobiles, private cinemas and Fendi bags, but those perhaps who have them and who got them without slightest personal effort."
5 Nov 2004

Parishioners forgive burglar who burned their church
Parishioners in the north Queensland town of Bowen say they have no animosity towards the man convicted of torching their century-old Catholic church.
5 Nov 2004

ACU to boost nursing
Australian Catholic University will strengthen its focus on nursing with the addition of 135 places in the Bachelor of Nursing program offered on the University's North Sydney Campus (MacKillop) in 2005.
5 Nov 2004

Queensland priest due for release from prison
A former Catholic priest jailed in Queensland for child sex offences will be released from prison despite today pleading guilty to further charges.
5 Nov 2004

Red tape thwarts refugees' chances for tertiary study
Refugee students with aspirations to tertiary study are being held back by government red tape, according to a leading Catholic school principal in Adelaide.
5 Nov 2004

Moral issues "decisive" in Bush re-election
Particular moral values topped the list of issues voters were most concerned about when they went to the polls on Election Day, with Catholics, evangelicals, blacks and Hispanics joining an ad hoc coalition that re-elected President Bush by 3.5 million votes.
5 Nov 2004

Allawi meets Pope
Pope John Paul met Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi yesterday and told him he hopes a democratic and multi-ethnic Iraq will emerge from "the tragic sufferings of recent years."
5 Nov 2004

Feature - Beware of the Apocalypse
'When studied, it almost always either finds a man mad, or makes him so.' So runs a 19th century health warning to those tempted to read the book of Revelation. It is a typical reaction not only to the Apocalypse, but to the apocalyptic tradition generally. In her Sunday Lectionary, the Church has attempted to 'tame' this wild book. The readings in the weeks leading up to Advent remind us that apocalyptic thought was central to the vision of the apostolic Church, and even to Jesus himself. - Ian Boxall, lecturer in Scripture at St Stephen's House Theological College, Oxford
4 Nov 2004

Opinion - God notices every hair that falls from your head
The opposite of belief is not non-belief, but anxiety. Perhaps our deepest worry is that we will be forgotten, that we will go through life unnoticed, unmarked by anything that is really special. "Do not be afraid," Jesus says, "everything that is hidden will one day be revealed." He's saying that we need not make an assertion of our lives and our talents so as to try to prove anything because God will prove it for us. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
4 Nov 2004

SBS screening documentary on abuse by nuns
The Australian SBS TV network will tonight show Unholy Orders, which presents the view of a group of people fighting back against the Scottish nuns they accuse of abusing and silencing them as children.
4 Nov 2004

Rome Catholic charities to receive cardboard shelters for homeless
Students at a Rome design school have come up with a folding cardboard home, which will be used by street people cared for by Catholic charities Caritas and the Sant'Egidio Community.
4 Nov 2004

Death of controversial Belgian cardinal
Cardinal Gustaaf Joos, who gained notoriety when he called homosexuals "sexual perverts" earlier this year, died on Tuesday at age 81 at his parish home after falling ill at a church outside Brussels.
4 Nov 2004

Pakistan Catholic Commission worried about threat to family
The Justice and Peace Commission of Pakistan's Bishops' Conference has expressed concern for the family of a teenage Christian girl after its members were forced to respond to a death threat against her by moving to an undisclosed location.
4 Nov 2004

Pope reflects on priesthood of believers
At his regular weekly public audience yesterday, Pope John Paul II offered a meditation on the Hymn of the Saved from the Apocalypse, and some thoughts on the Priesthood of all Believers.
4 Nov 2004

Mixed fortunes for US bishops in ballot questions responses
Voters in the United States approved measures defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman in all 11 states where the issue was on Tuesday's ballot, but rejected Catholics leaders' positions against embryonic stem-cell research funding in California and efforts to tighten the use of government benefits by immigrants in Arizona.
4 Nov 2004

Feature - US elections could signal changes for church in society
Whatever the outcome of the Novemebr 2 election, there will be lingering effects on both religion and politics from the attention to Sen. John F. Kerry's Catholicism and President George W. Bush's use of religious rhetoric, according to observers who have expertise in church and political affairs. Kerry, the Democratic nominee, became the first Catholic nominated by a major party since John F. Kennedy in 1960. But while Kennedy had to contend with an undercurrent of anti-Catholicism in his race, Kerry came under fire from within his own church for his view that he cannot impose on society the church's moral standard over issues such as whether abortion should be legal.
3 Nov 2004

Opinion - One-issue voting is foreign to Catholic tradition
In an article in America magazine, Fr Thomas Kopfensteiner takes issue with bishops who have argued that a voter facing a candidate who supports keeping abortion legal and one who opposes it must always choose the one who opposes it. He says it is foreign to the church's moral tradition to claim that one issue alone. "This naive approach to the formation of conscience fails to consider the likely success of a candidate's platform to limit the wrongdoing in either the near or distant future... In light of proposed alternatives, bishops must respect the autonomy of the political process and allow voters the freedom to determine the feasibility of the various initiatives that aim to diminish the wrongdoing."
3 Nov 2004

German cardinal uses canon law to prevent French bishop from speaking
Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne has invoked canon law to prevent a dismissed French bishop from speaking in his Archdiocese.
3 Nov 2004

PM says Ireland owes debt of gratitude to religious orders
Addressing 1500 religious in Rome on Saturday, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern paid tribute to the work of religious in Ireland, suggesting that it would be "dangerous" to portray the work as a negative force.
3 Nov 2004

Indian Christian deported from Saudi Arabia
A 36 year old Indian Christian was yesterday deported from the Saudi capital Riyadh after 7 months and 7 days in prison after his arrest on charges of selling alcohol.
3 Nov 2004

Another regional Catholic hospital changes hands
Mt Alvernia Mercy Hospital, Bendigo, in central Victoria, has been sold to St John of God Health Care, with John of God CEO Dr Michael Stanford assuring staff and the local community that his organisation's large network of regional private hospitals would give the Bendigo hospital more buying and lobbying power.
3 Nov 2004

Family First adds to pressure on Govt over abortion
The Family First party has joined Catholic Health Australia in challenging the Federal Government to deal with the escalating number of abortions, asserting that there is no "public or parliamentary will" to do anything.
3 Nov 2004

Catholic Child Protection inadequate in NSW
The Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) has denied the NSW Ombudsman's assertion to State Parliament last week that it has failed to meet its obligations as 'head of agency' for the Catholic Church in the state.
3 Nov 2004

Feature - 'Thank you for our chance for new life'
A grateful family of nine has arrived in Sydney among the first beneficiaries of the Sudanese Catholic Refugees Appeal. The appeal, which has raised more than $250,000 since being launched in August, was set-up to pay for airfares to allow families to come to Australia from war-torn Sudan. Having access to water, food and electricity is something this family cherishes after spending two horrific years in a refugee camp in Egypt.
2 Nov 2004

Opinion - America chooses between two 'good men'
George W. Bush, a good man, a good American, represents those who believe that America is so good that it needs to be exported to the rest of the world. John Kerry, an equally good man, a fine American, represents those who believe that the rest of the people of the world are so good that they can decide for themselves what kind of government they want. Both of these men and the people they represent want to lead a morally good, culturally sound and internationally productive nation. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB
2 Nov 2004

Victoria mourns former health minister
Former State Premier Jeff Kennett has described his health minister Marie Tehan as an "intelligent, compassionate and hard-working individual who was sustained by her Catholic faith".
2 Nov 2004

Scottish Catholic agency offering free wills
Solicitors in Scotland are donating their time free of charge to draw up basic wills, with clients being asked to make a donation which is shared between several charities including the Caritas-affiliated aid agency SCIAF.
2 Nov 2004

English priest risks jail to protect asylum seeker
A priest who says he is prepared to go to prison to stop an asylum seeker being returned to Rwanda, has managed to get the case reviewed after he prevented her detention by police.
2 Nov 2004

Pope prays for terrorism victims on All Saints Day
Observing yesterday's Feast of All Saints, and anticipating today's Feast of All Souls, Pope John Paul II has offered special prayers for the victims of terrorism.
2 Nov 2004

Commission urges Iraq focus on All Souls Day
The staff of Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission will gather this morning for an All Souls Day reading of some of the names of the civilians and soldiers killed since war broke out in March last year.
2 Nov 2004

Catholic Health calls for abortion inquiry
Catholic Health Australia has responded to concerns over the "abortion epidemic" voiced by two federal MPs, calling for an inquiry into the abortion "industry".
2 Nov 2004

Feature - A voice from the bush
With his furiously outspoken enmity towards what he calls the "confining" ideologies that dominate intellectual and academic discourse, Les Murray's apparent role as "spokesman" for the poor rural whites of his childhood and, most provocative and bewildering, his Catholicism, Murray is a thorn in the flesh of the urban cultural elite. But it has not prevented him being Australia's most popular poet, considered the poetic voice of the nation - and he is among the best-known poets in the world.
32 Nov 2004

Opinion - Dialogue begins at home
Last weekend I took part in a symposium on "evangelising secularity" sponsored by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in San Antonio, Texas. Repeatedly participants referred to the need for dialogue, with secularity, with the young, with different cultures. But dialogue, like charity, I said, begins at home. I heard descriptions of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Vatican's top doctrinal official, as if he were Genghis Kahn. In one session, it was mentioned that a new bishop in Austria comes from Opus Dei, and the gasps were audible, as if he had said the bishop was a member of the Nazi party or the Klu Klux Klan. - National Catholic Reporter Rome correspondent John L. Allen
32 Nov 2004

South African Catholic activist calls water privatisation a 'sin'
While street protests in South Africa recall images of the fight against apartheid, the current struggle in the southern-most African country is a struggle for the right to free water.
32 Nov 2004

Iraqi Chaldean delegation meets with Shiite Muslim cleric al-Sistani
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most powerful Shiite Muslim cleric has met a Chaldean church delegation, in what Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Emmanuel Delly has described as a "very cordial meeting, like between brothers who love each".
32 Nov 2004

John Paul II appeals to Iran for religious freedom
Pope John Paul II has appealed to Iranian authorities to respect the religious freedom of Christians and of all their citizens, when he received Tehran's new ambassador to the Holy See.
32 Nov 2004

Vatican cool toward "myopic" Euro constitution
The absence of any reference to Christianity in the European constitution is "more than anti-Christian prejudice", according to the Vatican's top foreign-policy officials, who have described it as "cultural myopia".
32 Nov 2004

Survey body pinpoints link between mission activities and more newcomers
There is a direct link between special mission or ministry activities and higher levels of newcomers to church life, according to the results of work done by the Australian interdenominational survey organisation NCLS Research.
32 Nov 2004

Pastoral plan for Archdiocese of Sydney
A gathering of priests on Thursday voted to set up the mechanisms for drawing up a Pastoral Plan in the Archdiocese of Sydney.
32 Nov 2004

Feature - Beyond dreaming of doing good work
'Called and Gifted' programs have helped Catholics in five countries uncover their hidden potential for doing God's work in the world. Sherrey Weddell of the Siena Institute in the US says: "I love what Hans urs von Balthasar says: If Simon Peter had spent the whole of his life rooting around in his subconscious, he would never have realised he was 'Peter.' He only thought of himself as a fisherman. It was Christ who revealed him as Peter."
25 Nov 2004