Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR MAY 2005

   
Sydney Archdiocese to double chaplaincy on campuses
The Sydney Archdiocese has moved to extend its reach into Sydney's university campuses with a doubling of chaplaincy staff on at least three campuses, and daily Mass for students.
31 May 2005

Opening of formal cause for John Paul's beatification
An official edict has been issued, announcing the opening of a cause for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, according to Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
31 May 2005

Pope backs Italian embryo boycott
Pope Benedict XVI has given his backing to calls for a boycott of next month's referendum that will ask Italians to lift restrictions on embryo research, artificial insemination, and egg and sperm donation.
31 May 2005

Sulawesi bombs seen as attempt to reignite sectarian hatred
Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla has said that he is "fully convinced" that the weekend's bombing was done by hard-line terrorists from Java who "had nothing to do with local religious communities".
31 May 2005

Josephites regret Australians' 'fear of difference'
The Sisters of St Joseph have quoted the words of the late Pope John Paul II in a statement that questions the human cost of border-protection policies that they assert "many Australians are not willing to pay".
31 May 2005

Storm-damaged cathedral to be demolished
With fears the building could collapse after it was severely damaged during devastating storms earlier this month, it has been announced that the historic St Patrick's Cathedral in the town of Bunbury in Western Australia's south-west is to be demolished.
31 May 2005

Feature - Rebuilding in Sri Lanka brings joy
Many families from the Paiyagala area, in the western province of Sri Lanka were devastated by the Boxing Day tsunami. 23,000 families were affected by the disaster, with approximately 12,000 houses either completely or partially damaged. Five months on, images of tragedy are being replaced by images of hope and solidarity. Shelton and his family are amongst the first of the Paiyagala locals to benefit from the reconstruction phase of the Caritas relief program.
31 May 2005

Opinion - Discipline that reconciles and restores
The 'Restorative Practices' framework supports students in learning from their misbehaviour. Some of our schools are currently involved in a Victoria-wide project. One key premise is that punishment alone doesn't teach anything about self-control, another includes separating the deed from the doer, with an emphasis on the wrongdoing rather than on the person. All parties are asked to speak about how to repair the harm, and asked to commit to an agreed resolution, in the hope of reconciliation. There is shared recognition that forgiveness can take time. Certainly, Restorative Practices sit comfortably with the Gospel ethos of Catholic schools. - Susan Pascoe, Executive Director Catholic Education Commission Victoria
31 May 2005

British priest stops Amazon logging giants
Fr Paul McAuley has assisted his parishioners in the Peruvian Amazon region to gain an injunction against logging companies to protect large swathes of rainforest, containing valuable tropical timber.
30 May 2005

Benedict makes first pilgrimage in Italy
Pope Benedict XVI is making his first pilgrimage since becoming pontiff, following in the much-travelled footsteps of his predecessor by visiting the seaside city of Bari.
30 May 2005

Abbott says "humane thinking" motivates his anti-abortion stance
Federal Health Minister and Catholic politician, Tony Abbott, has said it is difficult to support abortion and euthanasia because "proper humane thinking is rightly critical of those two measures".
30 May 2005

Vinnies says poor are losing
The gap between rich and poor is growing, despite government claims to the contrary, the St Vincent de Paul Society has found.
30 May 2005

Bishop says bills signify welcome change to detention policy
Changes to the Migration Act proposed in two Private Member's Bills represent a compassionate and welcome change to Australia's detention policy and deserve the support of all MPs, Bishop Joseph Grech said on Friday.
30 May 2005

Catholic body seeks meeting with Minister over workplace laws
The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) has sought a meeting with the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations to outline its concerns with the government's proposed workplace laws.
30 May 2005

Feature - Catholic education gives rise to reality TV success
Justine Hall is the latest in a swag of former South Australian Catholic students to have done well on national TV shows. The Cabra College scholar and her husband John have revelled in the challenge of setting up restaurant The Greedy Goose in North Adelaide to compete in Channel 7's My Restaurant Rules. "It must be the philosophy of the education," she told The Southern Cross. Principal Frank DeTullio said the he too believed it was more than just coincidence that so many former Catholic students had thrived on reality TV. "I think we encourage our children to dream, to take a risk and to have confidence in their own abilities."
30 May 2005

Opinion - All baptised entitled to wear the alb
I like doing the crossword puzzle in the daily paper. Several times the clue 'priest's garment' has appeared for the word 'alb'. When doing workshops for lay leaders of liturgy, I often get a surprised or negative reaction when I suggest that on more formal occasions, the lay leader might vest in an alb. A white garment is the dress of all the baptised. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal: "The sacred garment common to the ordained and instituted ministers of any rank is the alb, to be tied at the waist with a cincture unless it is made to fit without such." - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
30 May 2005

Tonga bishop leads people's power protest against King
Bishop Soane Foliaki of Tonga took a leading role in yesterday's mass protest against the country's royal family, according to New Zealand's One News.
27 May 2005

Catholics lobby says detention alternatives "won't come soon enough"
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has welcomed moves by Federal Liberal MP Petro Georgiou to introduce two private members bills to release long term detainees and women and children from immigration detention and grant permanent protection to refugees.
27 May 2005

Catholic laity to preside at services and run parishes
Under proposals drawn up by the London Diocese of Westminster, lay people are to be encouraged to take on huge new responsibilities in the Church, from running parishes to officiating at church services.
27 May 2005

Archbishop tells editors where to put dissenting views
In the wake of the controversial resignation of the Jesuit editor of the New York-based America Catholic news magazine, Vatican official Archbishop John Foley has said so-called dissenting views should receive less than equal weight in the Catholic Press.
27 May 2005

Pell's message of support for chronic gamblers
Launching a NSW Government-sponsored Centacare gamblers' help initiative, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell said he believes gambling can be a "harmless and pleasant exercise", so long as it brings no harm to the person and their family.
27 May 2005

Pope says God stays with his people in troubled times
God does not abandon people in moments of difficulty, but stands alongside them, helping them to continue to hope and trust in his power to save, Pope Benedict XVI has said.
27 May 2005

Feature - Pilgrim Idol
Liza Shulberg went from Australian Idol Contestant 2004 to one of Victoria's goodwill Ambassadors for World Youth Day 2005. Liza's journey towards World Youth Day started when her extended family choir known as 'The Re-Joyce Family Choir', along with the local youth group, performed Jesus Christ Superstar.
27 May 2005

Opinion - Intimacy beyond the grave
When I was 23 years old, in the space of just three months, both my parents died. We were all too young, and their leaving left a gaping hole in all our lives. But after a time our sadness slowly began to dissipate, and what was once a cold absence now became a warm presence. Our mother and father came back to us in a new way. We began to feel their presence as a warm nurturing spirit, as a permanent sustaining love. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
27 May 2005

Diocese says Healing requires better outcomes for Indigenous Children
The social justice office of the Queensland Diocese of Toowoomba has issued a statement for today's National Day of Reconcliation, focusing on the plight of Indigenous children.
26 May 2005

Sydney Anglicans' Jensen wants cordiality, not unity
Sydney's Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen has ridiculed the Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenical document on Mary released this month, telling ABC Radio that it was a "fudge" that won't be taken seriously by Reformation Christians.
26 May 2005

Melbourne Catholic bishop preaches at Scots
For only the second time in 167 years, a Catholic bishop has preached from the Presbyterian pulpit of Melbourne's oldest church, saying Christians must work together or disappear.
26 May 2005

Mystery over high-profile abuse case
The Vatican office that recently released a statement saying that accused Legionaries of Christ founder Fr Marcial Maciel has no sex abuse case to answer, is not the office with responsibility for making that judgment.
26 May 2005

Pope praised for "forward thinking" UK appointment
The London Times has portrayed Pope Benedict XVI's first appointment of a bishop for the UK as a departure from the style of his predecessor Pope John Paul II.
26 May 2005

Catholic Senator seeks community backing for abortion bill
Queensland Senator Ron Boswell has said that he won't table a private member's bill against abortion until there is more public support for the cause.
26 May 2005

Feature - Fr Ted's wider impact on Reconciliation
Fr Ted Kennedy, the parish priest of Sydney's Redfern who was buried this week, lived a life of poverty and devoted himself to working alongside indigenous Australians. He preached reconciliation against exclusion and marginalisation of all kinds. But his influence wasn't confined to Redfern. His uncompromising support for indigenous Australians has inspired many others, including Chris Geraghty, now a judge of the District Court of New South Wales, and Tom Stephens, the Western Australian State Member for Central Kimberley-Pilbara.
26 May 2005

Opinion - Whatever happened to Reconciliation?
Today is national Sorry Day. It is exactly eight years since the Bringing Them Home report, and five years since that heady day in 2000 when 250,000 people braved a bitterly cold May morning to walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge, pledging their support for Reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. Although some say the process is fermenting in numerous creative grass-roots partnerships, others believe it has been hijacked by an ideology, espoused by the Federal Government, which promotes a false dichotomy between practical and symbolic reconciliation. - Sr Patty Fawkner, Director
26 May 2005

Cardinal dedicates memorial at Ground Zero
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York dedicated a Catholic memorial at Ground Zero on Sunday to serve as a complement to the national memorial planned for the site of the World Trade Centre that was destroyed in the 11 September 2001 terrorist action.
25 May 2005

Seven acquitted in Staines case freed from jail
Seven of the 11 accused acquitted by an Indian court last week in the 1999 murder of a Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were released from jail in Orissa yesterday.
25 May 2005

Farewell to Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy
Aboriginal activist and Catholic priest Fr Ted Kennedy was farewelled yesterday by about a large number of mourners at a funeral service conducted in light rain under a tarpaulin at The Block public space in Sydney's Redfern.
25 May 2005

Vinnies Victoria to launch Winter Appeal
The St Vincent de Paul Society has said that it has assisted 600,000 Victorians in the past year, and it hopes to raise $600,000 in its Winter Appeal in order to maintain its service to the state's needy.
25 May 2005

Pope says Orthodox and Catholics have "common duty"
Pope Benedict XVI has said that Orthodox and Catholics have a common duty "to build together a more free, peaceful and solidaristic humanity."
25 May 2005

Boost for Australian Jewish-Catholic bonds
The spirit of warmth and openness between the Catholic and Jewish communities worldwide, fostered by Pope John Paul II, was demonstrated on a local level with a major interfaith event held this month in Sydney.
25 May 2005

Feature - Look out for the message stick
From ancient times, the Message Stick has been used in Aboriginal culture to call people from different tribes together. 'Pass it on' is a major grassroots initiative being launched by the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry of Melbourne. Message Sticks will spend a year being relayed through parishes and schools in each Victorian diocese. The campaign seeks to rekindle Reconciliation within Victorian parishes, schools and local communities.
25 May 2005

Opinion - Priests are like pandas
Dressed in black and white, and in short supply. Between a parishioner, who is a minister of the Eucharist, and myself, we do our best to ensure this group of elderly Catholics in the hostel are provided with a service of the Word each week from the local Catholic community. This brings to the fore the necessity for lay ministry in the Church today. Pandas and priests will always be loved and sought after and mourned for their scarcity. They are valued and honoured, but one day pictures to hang on walls may be all we have left of them. - Mary Cook, St Marks, Drummoyne, Sydney
25 May 2005

Pope's death inspires vocations
The UK's first large-scale advertising campaign for the priesthood is about to be launched, as it seeks to mobilise the young masses who mourned the death of Pope John Paul II.
24 May 2005

Women's body has new commissioner
Zara Tai of the southern NSW multi-ethnic town of Griffith has been appointed to the Bishops' Commission for Australian Catholic Women.
24 May 2005

Children's advocate to deliver Vinnies' Ozanam Lecture
The head of the Children First Foundation, who was inspired by watching a documentary at school to work with Mother Teresa, will deliver the eighth annual Ozanam Lecture for the St Vincent de Paul Society in Melbourne on Thursday evening.
24 May 2005

Primary Principals call for reality check
Catholic primary school principals surveyed by their professional association have complained of increasing expectations that they maintain involvement in parish activities that can distract them from running their schools.
24 May 2005

Ecumenist Cardinal's high hopes for new document
Cardinal Walter Kasper of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity has said the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission's new document on the Blessed Virgin Mary can be a powerful "instrument of reconciliation".
24 May 2005

Pope commends 'beauty' of Sunday
Pope Benedict XVI has stressed the importance of Sunday Mass, letting it be known that "every parish is called to rediscover the beauty of Sunday, the Lord's day".
24 May 2005

Feature - Debaters aim to break cultural divide
"Debating is a challenge for any young person to undertake, but this is accentuated in western Sydney by the cultural divide that exists between us and the more culturally vibrant areas of the city in the eastern suburbs," says Anthony Culbert, debating co-ordinator at St Dominic's College, Kingswood. Anthony, along with a small army of dedicated staff and students has turned the debating program around over the past few years, culminating in the college being crowned Catholic Schools State champions last year.
24 May 2005

Opinion - Doing sorry business
Aboriginal Catholic Ministry president, Vicki Walker, says the death of Pope John Paul II has devastated members of the Aboriginal community. In Pope John Paul II's memorable speech in Alice Springs nearly twenty years ago he told the Aboriginal people, 'You do not have to be people divided into two parts, as though an Aboriginal had to borrow the faith and life of Christianity, like a hat or a pair of shoes. Vicki remembers fondly the awe and amazement that spread immediately after Pope John Paul II delivered this address.
24 May 2005

Tornado-damaged Cathedral may face demolition
Bishop Gerard Holohan of the Western Australian Diocese of Bunbury has written a pastoral letter expressing grave concern for St Patrick's Cathedral, which faces the prospect of a demolition order in the wake of the tornado that ripped through Bunbury and a large part of the state's south-west last Monday.
23 May 2005

Vatican official denounces Korean cloning breakthrough
The president of the Pontifical Academy for Life has strongly condemned the production of cloned human embryos by scientists in South Korea.
23 May 2005

German Pope condemns Nazi genocide of Jews
Pope Benedict, in his first major address about the Nazi era in his native Germany, has condemned "the genocide of the Jews", saying that humanity must never be allowed to forget or repeat such atrocious crimes.
23 May 2005

Church welcomes Minister's rethink on Timorese asylum cases
Bishop Joseph Grech has welcomed last week's decision by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to reconsider the cases of about 50 East Timorese asylum seekers who had been threatened with deportation.
23 May 2005

5000 young Catholics "storm" Sydney SuperDome
The Sydney Morning Herald has described yesterday's Sydney Archdiocese mass Confirmation ceremony as "a Catholic religious spectacle to rival a Hillsong-style evangelical revival meeting".
23 May 2005

Feature - Surprises during Benedict's first month
He began under the sign of continuity, but in his first month, Pope Benedict XVI has already placed his own distinctive mark on the papacy. His public appearances have stressed teaching rather than pleasing crowds, he appointed an American to succeed him in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he waived the five year waiting period for the beginning of John Paul II's canonisation cause, and he opted not to preside an beatification liturgies.
23 May 2005

Opinion - Lesson in character for Eddies
St Edmund's College, Canberra, known as Eddies, is a big, prosperous, middle-class school that has evolved into a rugby powerhouse, winning the Waratah Shield statewide rugby competition 14 times, and producing several household rugby names including Ricky Stuart, George Gregan and Matt Giteau. But Eddies does not enjoy an unsullied reputation in Canberra, or in schoolboy rugby. A week ago, members of the St Edmund's First XV were taunting the crowd at a rugby match in Canberra. But on Saturday, in front of 5000 people, Eddies got a massive reality check when they were defeated by St Joseph's, Hunter's Hill, 46-0. - Paul Sheehan
23 May 2005

Chilean Bishops collecting illegal arms
The Chilean bishops confirmed that parishes, churches and other places of worship in the country will accept weapons handed in anonymously.
20 May 2005

Cardinal to boycott Giuliani speech
Church officials in Maryland have confirmed that Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore will not attend a Jesuit university commencement because keynote speaker Rudolph Giuliani, a Catholic, supports abortion rights.
20 May 2005

Launch of Reconciliation Week resource
A collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff from a number of Catholic agencies in the Brisbane Archdiocese and the Toowoomba Diocese has resulted in the production of a resource kit for the National Day of Healing next Thursday, and next week's National Reconciliation Week.
20 May 2005

Pope praises Latin American Bishops Council
The Vatican yesterday released a letter from Pope Benedict XVI praising the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) for "invigorating…the new evangelisation" called for by John Paul II.
20 May 2005

Bishops hear from Church action group on Children Inquiry
Australia's Bishops have endorsed a series of recommendations set out in the first report of the Action Group they established to respond to the Senate Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care.
20 May 2005

Cautious welcome for Govt about-face on Timorese
Advocate on behalf of East Timorese in Australia, Sr Susan Connelly, has said the Immigration Minister's change of heart on her decision to immediately deport 50 East Timorese asylum seekers who have been living in Australia for more than a decade.
20 May 2005

Feature - Breaking the grief taboo
Death is not the only thing that has grief attached to it. There is the end of a marriage/relationship, the loss of a job, death of a pet, separation from homeland/family, a childless couple, to mention just a few. People who don't outwardly show grief are said to be 'strong' and 'brave', while those who show and express feelings are spoken of in derogatory terms such as 'falling apart' and 'going to pieces', or 'breaking down'. In reality these are the strong ones, as they don't care what people think of them when they are responding to grief in a way that is right for them. - Sr Anne Howley RSJ, Brisbane Grief and Bereavement Support Centre
20 May 2005

Opinion - Torture justification misses full moral and human picture
Two Melbourne Law lecturers have argued this week that torture is justifiable when used to save innocent lives. Their critics respond that to torture a suspect for information is not the same as using force against someone directly threatening hostages' lives. But the argument itself is more deeply flawed. Once we think more deeply, we see the faces of the human beings, in their humanity and, like us, as centres of their own world. This insight into inalienable human rights presents torture in terms of its full human reality. To tolerate torture would simply confirm the judgment of Osama Bin Laden, that the West had lost its moral compass.
20 May 2005

Kylie chooses Catholic hospital
Entertainer Kylie Minogue commenced treatment for breast cancer yesterday at Melbourne's St Frances Xavier Cabrini private hospital, with her family and close friends by her side.
19 May 2005

Most Australians want religion taught in state schools
The Roy Morgan Research Single Source Survey has revealed that Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of teaching religion in Government schools, although but the trend is down.
19 May 2005

Less religious priests, more diocesan priests
Priests belonging to dioceses are increasing in number, while priest members of religious orders are becoming fewer, according to the statistical office of the Church.
19 May 2005

Cardinal repeats Vatican opposition to all forms of killing
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, yesterday reiterated the Vatican's opposition to all forms of human killing, from abortion and euthanasia to terrorism and the death penalty.
19 May 2005

World Youth Day deadline for Catechism Compendium release
The long-awaited Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be ready in time for World Youth Day 2005, which will take place in Cologne, Germany.
19 May 2005

Peak named after "mountain theologian" John Paul
Pope John Paul, who was an avid mountaineer in his younger years, had an Italian mountain peak named in his honour yesterday, which would have been his 85th birthday.
19 May 2005

Feature - My cousin the Pope
Pope Benedict XVI's cousin Erika Kopp, who lives in Blackburn South in suburban Melbourne, migrated to Australia from Germany with her husband Karl in 1955. Erika spent childhood holidays with Joseph and his siblings Georg and Maria. "My 86-year-old German friend phoned in the morning and said 'Erika, your cousin is Pope', she said. "I said 'Martha, I don't know', and she said 'Yes, it's true.' "I phoned Veronica and said 'Joseph is the Pope, they voted for him'."
19 May 2005

Opinion - The friendly face of the Church for Redfern's Aboriginies
Not long after beginning his ministry in Redfern in 1971, Fr Ted Kennedy - who died this week - was visited by a powerful Aboriginal woman, Shirley Smith, known to all as Mum Shirl. She became his backstop, someone he could call on in emergencies, as often as five times in one night. More significantly, she became an important influence on the way he saw the world. From her he learnt the pain and pride of being Aboriginal, which often led to suicide. Kennedy sat with them and grieved; he travelled with the coffins, to bury them in their home lands; he became, alas, a very experienced funeral celebrant. - Fr Edmund Campion
19 May 2005

Blake prize opens at ACU Strathfield
The Touring Exhibition of the Blake Prize for Religious Art was formally opened last night by Australian Catholic University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor John Coll at the Campus in Sydney.
18 May 2005

Death of Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy
Priest, activist and friend of Sydney's largely Aboriginal Redfern Catholic community, Fr Ted Kennedy, died in Concord Hospital early yesterday.
18 May 2005

Sydney Lord Mayor launches Vinnies' winter appeal
The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT Conference said that yesterday's wintry weather in Sydney provided the perfect setting for the launch of its winter appeal.
18 May 2005

Caritas update on Indonesian earthquake activity
Caritas Internationalis in Rome said this week that continued seismic and volcanic activity in the fault-line area off the west coast of Sumatra is causing considerable uncertainty for displaced populations on the Indonesian islands of Nias, Banyak and Simeulue.
18 May 2005

Pope fine-tuning October Synod
The working document for an October meeting of the Synod of Bishops is nearly complete, and will be presented to the public in "two or three weeks" according to a Vatican official.
18 May 2005

Pell urges immigration policy review
The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, said yesterday that the case of an Australian woman who was wrongfully deported shows that the Federal Government's immigration policy is too tough.
18 May 2005

Feature - Orthodox Catholics take to blogging
Bloggers offer a window into contemporary and orthodox Catholic thought that takes Pope John Paul II's call for a new evangelisation and turns it into a worldwide discussion of faith, morals, politics, and daily life. Many belong to St Blog's Parish, which brings together their weblogs, which must conform to Church teaching but do not have to be constant commentaries on Church issues.
18 May 2005

Opinion - Imagine your utopia
You have good health, intelligence and talent "to burn" ... Is it possible to imagine yourself being totally satisfied? General Loewenhielm in Babette's Feast is very successful, but dissatisfied and restless - longing for something, but not sure what it is. Is it possible that the heart's longings and restlessness - or, more precisely, repression - have something to do with the so-called epidemic of depression in the Western world? What would happen if we paid attention and listened to them?
18 May 2005

Italian Catholics clip wings of dove ritual
A 600-year-old Italian religious ritual, in which an entrapped dove is subjected to a barrage of fireworks, took place for the last time on Sunday after a campaign by animal rights protesters demanded changes to the practice.
17 May 2005

Catholics lobby welcomes what Budget did for overseas poor
PolMin - the Australian Political Ministry Network - has pointed out that whilst talk of tax cuts dominated budget week, there was little attention given by the Federal Budget to serving needs of the overseas poor.
17 May 2005

Commission urges support for National Day of Healing
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is encouraging Catholics to participate in the National Day of Healing (formerly National Sorry Day) on Thursday 26 May.
17 May 2005

Journalists consider Pell political influence
The Australian Financial Review today publishes a feature in which two of its political writers analyse the influence on the nations politicians of Sydney's Cardinal George Pell, whom they call "Australia's most powerful churchman".
17 May 2005

Pope stresses link between institution and Spirit
A 20-minute late Pope Benedict XVI greeted some 40,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the midday Regina Coeli prayer on Sunday, referring to the profound relationship between the Holy Spirit and institution of the Church.
17 May 2005

Release of landmark ecumenical statement on Virgin Mary
Division over half a millenium, between Roman Catholics and Anglicans over the Virgin Mary has potentially ended with a historic agreement that she was Christ's foremost disciple and a model for all Christians, though not a saviour.
17 May 2005

Feature - Priests on the frontline
"This is my guard dog," said Fr Paul O'Donnell, introducing a large animal with long hair that peered shyly from behind his legs. "Unfortunately, she got so badly beaten up by the last lot of burglars that she hides upstairs most of the time these days." Psychologically, the effect of being burgled or attacked can be extremely damaging. Fr O'Donnell said that he felt he had been violated and that he had trouble saying Mass after the most recent robbery.
17 May 2005

Opinion - Off the playing field altogether
"Part of what makes Australia a good and decent society is our willingness to tilt the playing field in favour of low and middle income families with dependent children," said Prime Minister John Howard during his Menzies Research Centre Address this month. One week on from last Tuesday's Federal Budget, Catholic Welfare Australia is dismayed that many low and middle-income earners have not only been sent to the sidelines, but tipped off the playing field altogether, as Australia finds itself on the crest of an historic peak in economic conditions and the Budget has delivered a tax cut of more than $2,000 to those earning more than $100,000 a year. - Frank Quinlan, Executive Director Catholic Welfare Australia
17 May 2005

Federal funds kickstart Perth Cathedral restoration
Urgently-needed restoration work to Perth's St Mary's Cathedral will begin next year, with the allocation of a $3 million federal grant.
16 May 2005

NCP chair says overseas priests will need help to settle
The chairman of the National Council of Priests, Fr Hal Ranger, has said everything possible should be done to help overseas priests being imported into Australian Catholic communities to address the clergy shortage.
16 May 2005

Notre Dame University appoints new chancellor
Acting Chancellor of The University of Notre Dame Australia, Good Samaritan Sr Sonia Wagner SGS, announced on Friday that the Hon Justice Neville Owen of the Supreme Court of Western Australia had been appointed Chancellor of the University.
16 May 2005

Benedict speeds up process to beatify John Paul II
Pope Benedict has said that he has decided to put his predecessor Pope John Paul II on the fast-track to possible sainthood.
16 May 2005

Pope appoints San Francisco archbishop to fill his old shoes
Pope Benedict XVI on Friday announced that Archbishop William Joseph Levada of San Francisco is succeeding him as Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
16 May 2005

Dominican says Pope favours power-sharing
A US priest who has worked with Pope Benedict XVI has suggested the Holy Father's inclusion of a bishop's mitre in his coat of arms suggests he regards collegiality, or Rome's sharing power with local bishops, as important.
16 May 2005

Feature - Unseen preachers use puppetry to evangelise
The rector of St Theresa's Seminary in north-western India, Fr Clarence Dias, has enrolled his seminarians for a seven-day residential training program in puppetry. Rajasthan has a rich tradition of puppetry and string puppets have been used to tell stories from local myths and legends of the valour of kings. Fr Dias plans "to make use of this low-cost media to promote the Kingdom values."
16 May 2005

Opinion - It's hard to grasp the Holy Spirit, but ...
Pino is a young man confined to a wheelchair who lives in fertile country under the shadow of an extinct volcano south of Rome. He was reluctant to picture the Holy Spirit, but he knew and experienced what the Holy Spirit does for us. "You can read the Bible at home," he told me. "But it's much more beautiful to pray through the scriptures with others. You get charged with the Spirit. You can face the week with greater joy and hope." - Fr Gerald O'Collins SJ, Gregorian University, Rome
16 May 2005

Brazilian Catholic activist urges Church to forget about power
Chico (Francisco) Whitaker, who is visiting Australia for the New Pentecost Forum, has said that the "main mission of the church in a democracy is to serve society", and not make a bid for political power in its own right.
13 May 2005

Pell says worshippers must stay on their knees
Sydney's Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, has requested that parishes retain the practice of having the congregation kneel during the Eucharistic prayer and before Communion at Mass.
13 May 2005

Pope hopes to expand Vatican diplomacy
Pope Benedict said on Wednesday that he hopes to establish diplomatic ties with nations that are not yet represented at the Holy See.
13 May 2005

Australian Bishops' thank-you for sympathy and support after John Paul II death
The Bishops of Australia yesterday expressed their "deep gratitude: to the Australian community for the many expressions of sympathy and support that have come since the death of Pope John Paul II.
13 May 2005

Bishops call for generosity in Timor Sea talks
The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, meeting in Sydney, has appealed to the Australian Government to be generous in its negotiations with East Timor, following the resumption in Brisbane of talks between East Timor and Australia on the development of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.
13 May 2005

Call for Govt action on detainee mental health
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has lent its support to a call to the Prime Minister by Australia's peak mental health professional groups to restate his Government's commitment to the National Standards for Mental Health Services and to implement them at all detention centres.
13 May 2005

Feature - Working honeymoon in Rome amid papal peals
As the media officer for Cardinal George Pell, I was inundated with media requests to speak to His Eminence about the papal election. Just married, my husband Bernie and I arrived in Rome on 12 April. There was a great buzz in the city. We saw and experienced this new beginning for the Church at the same time as we were celebrating the new beginning in our lives. - Marita Winters
13 May 2005

Opinion - Permission to be unhappy
Happiness is so easy, it would seem - effortless really. All deep struggles can be put aside simply by using the right shampoo or driving the right car. The very air we inhale suggests that, since everyone else is already smiling and happy, there's no excuse really to feel the heaviness we're feeling. But many artists today say in their work that it's OK to feel unhappy. Formerly, the church did that. It had religious symbols that reminded us daily that we lived in a broken world, amid fractured dreams, that life was a struggle, that happiness was hard to come by, that we were always vulnerable, that death posed a constant threat. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
13 May 2005

Columban call to observe World Debt Day on Monday
This Monday (16 May) is World Debt Day, which commemorates the day in 1998 when 70,000 people formed a human chain around the G8 summit in Birmingham, England, to call for debt justice for poor countries and greater accountability for past Cold War and irresponsible loans.
12 May 2005

Maitland-Newcastle set for Session 2 of Diocesan Assembly
About 300 priests, lay and religious representatives from parishes, agencies and groups across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will gather on Saturday for a continuation of the Diocesan Assembly that began last year.
12 May 2005

Irish bishop defends crisis-pregnancy agency
Following accusations that the Irish Bishops pregnancy crisis agency facilitates the obtaining of abortions, its president has said definitively that the agency "cannot, does not, and will not provide telephone numbers for abortion clinics".
12 May 2005

Church concern as lesbians and singles win IVF therapy
The Church in Victoria appears likely to lobby against the implementation of recommendations by the state's Law Reform Commission that single women and lesbians should legally have access to IVF treatment without needing to prove they are medically infertile.
12 May 2005

Pope says Satan no match for God
Satan is still at work in the world unleashing "evil energy", but God will be the final arbiter of history, Pope Benedict XVI said at yesterday's General Audience at the Vatican.
12 May 2005

Priest finds deported Australian in Philippines hospice
An Australian priest working in a diocese east of Manila has revealed the location of a wrongly deported woman whom Australian authorities believed was "missing".
12 May 2005

Feature - The Pope's right-hand woman
Benedict wished to inform those gathered outside his door that he was working on his installation homily and would be immersed in drafting it for some time. The messenger he sent was his housekeeper Ingrid Stampa, long known in Rome as the new pope's trusted friend, collaborator and 'right-hand woman'. Benedict has tapped Stampa, a 55-year-old German laywoman and academic who has served as his personal assistant since 1991, to bring her counsel, support, and 'brain trust' role. Stampa, who has never married, is a lay affiliate of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary.
12 May 2005

Opinion - At table with Cardinal Ratzinger
After the break, I was invited to sit at the table for the remainder of the conference. But there was only one open seat, right next to Ratzinger himself. He was a real academic, delighting in the world illumined by his beloved texts, which conveyed a reality that seemed to be more vivid to him than the reality conveyed by his own senses. He also seemed quite shy, in the peculiar, nonretiring manner that many academics are shy: they fearlessly present the contents of their minds for public examination while closely guarding the paths of their hearts. - Cathleen Kaveny
12 May 2005

Churches sold to compensate victims
A diocese in Canada's eastern province of Newfoundland will sell all of its churches and missions to come up with the money to compensate the victims of sexual assault by a priest.
11 May 2005

Lebanon Catholic radio station bombed
A Catholic-run radio station in Lebanon was destroyed in a bombing attack at the weekend, the latest in a series of attacks in Lebanon's Christian areas.
11 May 2005

Parramatta bishop urges faithful to end quarrelling
Bishop Kevin Manning has used the examples of St Paul, and the cardinals, who prayed for for nine days before the Conclave, to encourage Catholics to move beyond factionalism.
11 May 2005

Pope says his power has a purpose
The Holy Father's power is not absolute, but must be used to defend church doctrine against attempts to water it down, Pope Benedict XVI said as he took possession of his cathedral as the bishop of Rome.
11 May 2005

Catholic Health sees missed Budget opportunity for aged care
Catholic Health Australia CEO Crancis Sullivan believes that the "bursting budget surplus" gave the Government a "unique opportunity to move aged care services in Australia onto a more sustainable and professional footing", but it opted instead for tax cuts for wealthy and younger Australians.
11 May 2005

Federal Budget boosts family relationships
Catholic Welfare Australia has welcomed last night's Federal Budget announcement of a range of family friendly initiatives, but said that new Job Network initiatives to assist the long-term unemployed may be overshadowed by the new regime to automatically suspend welfare payments.
11 May 2005

Feature - A backpacker's mission
As part of a 10-month journey through South America, I travelled to the former Jesuit mission towns of the Chiquitos Indians in Bolivia, and those of the Guarani in Paraguay and Argentina. I was fascinated by the motivation of the missionaries - we were backpackers engaged in that quintessential modern experience: travel for no other purpose than that of moving, of waking up in different places, or simply seeing what we found there. But these men were impelled by God. Perhaps it was the very foreignness of this concept that made me so curious about it. - Sarah Kanowski (read transcript, or listen online, or to ABC Radio National at 7:10 tonight)
11 May 2005

Opinion - Our Father who art from overseas
Local church leadership is attempting to regulate the phenomenon of overseas-born priests. In 2003, the National Commission for Clergy Life and Ministry began preparing a draft paper on guidelines for dioceses accepting these priests. These guidelines are being offered to this week's Australian Catholic Bishops Conference plenary meeting. For those who believe that religious beliefs and practices should be uniformly moulded to Rome's prescriptions, overseas-born priests might present few problems. Yet for other Catholics, the church is much more dynamic and complex. - Jane Anderson, author "Australian Catholic Clergy and Their Intimate Relationships" (John Garratt Publishing)
11 May 2005

Belgian Jesuit missionary killed in Congo
The 71 year old rector of the international Jesuit study centre outside the Congolese capital Kinshasa was shot and killed by looters after his car was stopped at about 8:00 pm on Saturday night.
10 May 2005

Jail threat for Vatican Radio cardinal and priest
Two executives of Vatican Radio have been given 10-day suspended jail sentences because the radio's transmitters create too much interference.
10 May 2005

Vatican call to uphold nuclear non-proliferation
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations, has called on signatories to uphold the integrity of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
10 May 2005

Pope says Christians must aid tsunami orphans
Speaking to Sri Lankan bishops in Rome for their ad limina visit, Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians to help children who lost their parents in the tsunami that hit South Asia on Boxing Day.
10 May 2005

Catholic advocate urges better immigration policy scrutiny
Phil Glendenning of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education has said that the execution Australia's refugee determination policies needs to be more closely monitored.
10 May 2005

East Timor Govt agrees to Church demand on schools
Following more than two weeks of protests, East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao (pictured) has signed a declaration with church groups, recognising that religious classes must be part of the regular curriculum, taught during school hours.
10 May 2005

Feature - Non-Roman Catholics
There are other ways of being Catholic, as was so well illustrated by the vestments, chanting, small hand-held crosses, and other symbols and gestures used by Eastern rite Catholic clerics at the funeral of John Paul II. Parents whose child had been baptised in a Ukrainian Rite Church came along to a confirmation and first communion preparation class because a Roman Catholic priest in another place had told them that Ukrainian Rite sacraments weren't recognised and that their child would have to be confirmed and receive first communion in a Catholic Church. The parents were delighted when I told them that this was wrong, and their child was in fact a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
10 May 2005

Opinion - Stuck in a field of beetroot with Pope John Paul and Lech Walesa
A whole human population is being carried in a vast spaceship to settle a new planet far, far away. The ship's navigation system has failed, and all are doomed. Pope John Paul and Lech Walesa unscrew a panel off the ship's bow and show it to be fixed to a huge pylon in the middle of a large field of beetroot. It was indeed going nowhere. - Les Murray, Kramback parishioner and poet
10 May 2005

Polish Dominicans deny priest was a spy
A Dominican accused of spying for Poland's communist government while he was close to Pope John Paul II's entourage spoke too loosely about the inner workings of the Vatican but was not an informer, the Order's official investigating the allegations said on Saturday.
9 May 2005

Vatican pressure said to have forced editor's resignation
The editor of the US Jesuits' pretigious America magazine has resigned amid widespread speculation about the involvement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, although neither the official announcement nor the Catholic News Service report tension between Fr Thomas Reese and the Vatican.
9 May 2005

Pope says media can choose peace or violence
Pope Benedict XVI's World Communications Day message yesterday included a call for the media to take responsibility for the communication they deliver to the world.
9 May 2005

Catholic Welfare says mutual obligation a "two-way street"
Ahead of tomorrow night's Federal Budget, Catholic Welfare Australia has commented on the anticipated "suite of measures" to encourage people to join the workforce, suggesting that society cannot use the rhetoric of mutual obligation to hide from its responsiblity to provide the disadvantaged with real opportunities for employment.
9 May 2005

Victorian Premier opens relocated Mercy Hospital
Victoria's largest medical precinct was opened by Premier Steve Bracks yesterday, combining a redeveloped Austin Hospital and a relocated Mercy Hospital for Women.
9 May 2005

New Nuncio stresses Personal witness to Christ
Australia's new Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli, has said that personal witness to the message of Jesus Christ, which was the strength of Pope John Paul II, and remains the calling of all Catholics.
9 May 2005

Feature - A window on Catholic Germany
The first thing we may be surprised to learn from Pope Benedict XVI's election is how Catholic a country Germany is, and not just the Bavaria that provided the rural and small-town folk-religion in which Joseph Ratzinger grew up. The Germany in which he spent his entire clerical career until his translation to Rome (much of it in teaching posts at major universities outside Bavaria) was the Western zone of occupation and the Bonn republic, dominated for 14 crucially formative years by the Rhineland Catholic Konrad Adenauer.
9 May 2005

Opinion - Values are caught, not taught
The Australian Government's National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools is an outstanding initiative that builds on the National Goals for Schooling, and complements earlier initiatives such as the Discovering Democracy project. The nine Values for Australian Schooling are a mix of democratic virtues, ethical dispositions, personal attributes and learning principles. But school structures and organisation and teacher attitudes and behaviours will be as influential as learning opportunities. - Susan Pascoe, executive director Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV), speaking at last week's National Values Education Forum
9 May 2005

Bus driver cracks and "kidnaps" schoolkids
An unruly group of 40 Sydney Catholic school students was yesterday left at a bus depot by an enraged State Transit driver who could no longer cope with their behaviour.
6 May 2005

Sydney University honours priest historian
The University of Sydney this week conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters on Fr Edmund Campion, church historian and priest of the Sydney Archdiocese.
6 May 2005

Nun continues to press NSW Govt on mental health patient neglect
A Sydney nun forced to drive a pyschotic and aggressive sister to hospital yesterday accused the State Government of manipulating the truth after the incident became public.
6 May 2005

Ugandan cardinal urges Govt to listen to aid donors
Uganda's Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala has urged President Yoweri Museveni to address the concerns of foreign-aid donors, after Britain withdrew announced it was withdrawing its $A12.2 million aid package over delays in Uganda's return to multiparty politics
6 May 2005

Josephite accuses Govt on deportation timing
Josephite Sr Susan Connelly has told the Catholic Weekly that she believes last week's decision to deport 50 East Timorese refugees who have lived in Australia for a decade, was timed to deflect attention from Australia's negotiations with East Timor over oil and gas resources.
6 May 2005

US official optimistic that Pope will act on sex abuse
The judge appointed by the US Bishops' to investigate the sex abuse scandal has said that the Church is in a good position to move ahead on dealing with the sex abuse scandal because Pope Benedict XVI is so well briefed on the situation.
6 May 2005

Feature - Evangelising boardrooms
Armed with the power of faith and billions of dollars, America's mighty religious establishment is trying to reform the country's boardrooms on issues from human rights to television violence. Faith-based groups, like other special interest groups, have strategic investments in hundreds of companies that let them use shareholder resolutions to push their agendas. Bosses, mindful of the importance of religion in the lives of many Americans and its growing impact on politics and public opinion, are paying increasing attention to activists and their causes. "We keep asking questions in the hope this will cause some soul-searching," said Sr Susan Jordan, coordinator of the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment.
6 May 2005

Opinion - What drives us?
Individual needs exist - the need for peace, the need for a less violent society, the need for a drug-free culture. But all of these needs exist against the backdrop of a widespread lack of faith in God, which is the major problem in the world today. Once we forget our eternal destiny, we become people driven by entertainment, power, money, possessions, pleasure, drugs or alcohol. We reason that if death is the end of everything then, why shouldn't we make the most of this life in whatever way possible? Faith in God gives us the conviction that we are made to live forever, and death does not interrupt our existence. - Archbishop John Bathersby, Archbishop of Brisbane
6 May 2005

WA Opposition Leader suggests Pope is married
Western Australian Opposition Leader Matt Birney suggested yesterday that the Pope is married, a blunder that is said to have shocked even his Liberal colleagues.
5 May 2005

Catholic University appoints Professor of Ageing
The Australian Catholic University (ACU National) has appointed a Professor of Ageing (Veterans and Community), who will commence work on 16 May at its North Sydney (MacKillop) campus.
5 May 2005

Vinnies sounds alarm on insurance premiums
The St Vincent de Paul Society has been forced to close services, including shelters for mothers and children, because of legal liability risks and rising insurance premiums.
5 May 2005

Reminder on Parish Eucharist Mission
The Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane has published a reminder and a set of guidelines on the Parish Eucharist Mission that the Australian Bishops encouraged local communities to celebrate in the weeks leading up to Sunday 29 May's Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi).
5 May 2005

San Francisco Archbishop tipped for Pope's old job
Chair of the US Bishops' doctrine committee Archbishop William Levada is rumoured to be the favoured candidate to be named prefect of Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
5 May 2005

Arsonist sets fire to Cathedral altar
Damage was sustained to the main altar and surrounding at Sydney's St Mary's Cathedral - often dubbed 'Australia's mother Church' - after a suspected arsonist lit a fire that sent flames 6 metres into the air yesterday afternoon.
5 May 2005

Feature - Common ground between medicine and spirituality
Sr Jane Madejczyk described her workload: "After a very long day you make something to eat, maybe stay conscious for a little while, then fall asleep. And do the same thing the next day." Then came the diagnosis: breast cancer. "And this pushes me into a place inside myself.. the experience I'd had with my own doctor whom I'd been seeing for 10 years was just horrific. I mean she was a woman who couldn't give me any advice other than lots of technology. And I did all of that." Then she found an integrated practitioner, who asked "Why do you think this happened to you?" "And I found my mouth saying 'I guess I haven't been nourishing myself.'"
5 May 2005

Opinion - The will to live requires focus beyond materialism
Australian scientist Douglas Mawson's epic story of survival in the Antarctic 93 years ago can be contrasted with today's tragic loss of a will to live by so many of his fellow-country men and women, evident in spiralling youth suicide statistics. What is critical for young people to understand is that there is more to life than the material, and that each individual has been created by a God who loves them for the worth of their very selves - body and spirit. It is no accident that the rise in suicide from the mid-1960s to the present day accompanied the revolution against religion; for without God, one is alone and essentially responsible only to oneself. - Dr Andrew Thomas Kania, Director of Spirituality, Aquinas College Perth
5 May 2005

Real conversion experience for reality TV atheist
Five men, ranging from an atheist in the pornography trade to a former Protestant paramilitary, have found their lives unexpectedly transformed in the latest incarnation of reality television in the UK - the monastery.
4 May 2005

Fresh start for Catholic lobby
After a six-month hiatus, the Catholics lobby group PolMin - the Australian Political Ministry Network - has relaunched this week with a new coordinator and a move of its base from Sydney to Melbourne.
4 May 2005

Mt Isa priest seeks fair go for paroled killer
A spokesman from the parish of Mount Isa in Queensland has said that a convicted murderer about to be paroled has done his time and deserves another chance.
4 May 2005

Catholic-Anglican Statement on Virgin Mary set for release
A delegation of Anglicans and Roman Catholics is convening in Seattle, Washington, to release a joint statement on the place of Mary in the doctrine and life of the Church.
4 May 2005

Benedict XVI to be installed as Bishop of Rome
Following a whirlwind of activity over the past month, the Holy See is now preparing for the installation of Pope Benedict XVI as Bishop of Rome on Saturday.
4 May 2005

Renewed Church 'uprising' threatens East Timor stability
Armed East Timorese police were last night poised to break up a huge church-backed anti-government protest in Dili, the most serious challenge yet to the authority of the fledgling state.
4 May 2005

Feature - Women take hold at Centacare
At Cana, Mary ignores her son's reluctance and immediately instructs the servants to do as he directs them. Here we see Mary's absolutely unshakable faith in her son's ability to resolve the situation. Likewise these women pioneers at Centacare not only drew attention to the need but much more than that, provided a solution, a way forward. The miracles required to make a significant difference in the lives of these children was put in the hands of the Church's professional women social workers - through their keen observation, initiative, facilitation, diplomacy, advocacy and faith of these women. Their faith in the Church hierarchy's ability and willingness to take up the challenge must have been sufficient for them to take such action. - Evelyn Picot
4 May 2005

Opinion - My boss Ratzinger
Until I was called to work at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2003 I never knew its prefect Joseph Ratzinger. Sure, I had read some of his writings, after all his name appeared on bibliographical lists from my student days at Banyo Seminary in Brisbane as well as the Gregorian University in Rome. He welcomed me to the office with great enthusiasm explaining that I was the first Australian ever to work at the 'Holy Office'. Afterwards he mingled with co-workers as we took our coffee break. I soon realised that this was no ordinary curial cardinal. He was above all a good pastor, a compassionate man with much life experience who taught me that the Truth will lead to consensus and not vice versa. - Fr Tony Randazzo
4 May 2005

Priest taking Aboriginal Madonna to France
Catholic Mission National Director Fr Terry Bell is taking a copy of a painting of the Aboriginal Madonna to Lyon in France as part of celebrations to mark the restoration of the home of the founder of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith.
3 May 2005

Indonesia discovers wider terrorist plot after attack on Christians
An attack on 24 April that cost the lives of six people in predominantly Christian Mamasa district in West Sulawesi was part of a wider terrorist scheme, according to South Sulawesi Police Chief General Saleh Saaf.
3 May 2005

Pope Benedict marks one month anniversary of JPII death
Pope Benedict XVI has observed the passing of one month since the death of his predecessor Pope John Paul II, by celebrating Mass in his private chapel yesterday.
3 May 2005

Vinnies' incredulous reaction to NSW Public Housing plan
Acting President of the St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW/ACT) has given the thumbs-down to the state's greatest public housing shake-up in 50 years, arguing that it is going to leave many of its most vulnerable citizens "completely shaken".
3 May 2005

Detention stuff-ups no surprise to Edmund Rice researchers
"When Australia deports people, it has not got a clue of what happens to them," said Phil Glendenning of the Edmund Rice Centre for Social Justice, following last week's revelation of the deportation of an Australian citizen whom the Department of Immigration believed was an illegal immigrant.
3 May 2005

Survey reveals Australians want fewer abortions
Most Australians want a reduction in the number of abortions without restricting access to the procedure, a new survey co-authored by Fr John Fleming on behalf of the Adelaide-based non-denominational Southern Cross Bioethics Institute.
3 May 2005

Feature - Governments bearing moral gifts
In her excellent study God under Howard: the Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics, Marion Maddox shows that the Howard Government's major goal has been to promote economic change based on liberal theory. Individuals are increasingly more responsible for their own welfare in a competitive economy, and can expect less support from their own associations or from government programs. The Howard Government has deflected the consequent anxiety by espousing a conservative social order. It is then able to champion Australian values and to focus popular resentment on 'people not like us' — those distinctive by race, gender or plight. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
3 May 2005

Opinion - The Europe that Pope Benedict XVI hopes to evangelise
When I was last in Brussels, one of my brethren gave me two best-selling novels by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, telling much about what people hope for from religion in Europe today. In one, Oscar is a child without any religion who faces death with the help of an ancient Christian female wrestler, Mamie Rose. The books are about children who know little about religion, but are looking for God. Europe is not secularised. There is a deep hunger for God. But people do not only look to Christianity alone but to all the great religions. They are interested in God more than the Church. The 1999 European Values Studies showed an increase in the number of people who described themselves as religious and in belief in the afterlife, especially among the young. But attendance at religious ceremonies is continuing to drop. - Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP
3 May 2005

Research confirms mother's role in faith development
Mothers play the most significant role in bringing up their children in the faith, according to research from the Australian interchurch National Church Life Survey organisation.
2 May 2005

Principal jailed over child porn
A Melbourne Archdiocesan primary school principal convicted of having child pornography on his school and home computers has been sentenced to six months in jail.
2 May 2005

Brisbane Vietnamese Catholics in protest against Archdiocese
Vietnamese Catholics at surburban Inala say they are being persecuted and "bled to death" by the Archdiocese following its rejection of their miracle claims for a Virgin Mary statue allegedly weeping blood, and the subsequent transfer of their priest to the Sunshine Coast.
2 May 2005

Pope's May Day blessing for workers
In the first of his regular Sunday Angelus blessings, Pope Benedict XVI has issued a call for workers' rights to be respected, saying solidarity, justice and peace are the pillars on which the human family is built.
2 May 2005

Pell says vitality of of faith requires strong papacy
Describing the election of Benedict XVI as "a clear affirmation of Catholic identity", Sydney's Cardinal George Pell told a St Mary's Cathedral congregation that included NSW Premier Bob Carr, that "a strong papacy is vital to the health of the Catholic faith."
2 May 2005

Catholic Welfare stands up for long-term unemployed
Catholic Welfare Australia has joined a consortium of welfare groups that are opposing the Federal Government's plans to punish so-called "dolebludgers" with harsher penalties.q
2 May 2005

Feature - North Korean poor among world's most marginalised
Caritas says North Koreans are among the most marginalised people in the world because of the closed nature of their communist system. Stop-start economic reforms have pushed many further to the fringes, notably in cities. "The gap between rich and poor is widening," said Kathhi Zellweger of Caritas. "There is little opportunity for such dense and urbanised populations to directly engage in food production."
2 May 2005

Opinion - "Reform of the Reform" has already begun
On Sunday 24 April 24, Benedict XVI's inauguration. But he had wanted to celebrate his first solemn mass as pope, not in the square, but inside the basilica of St Peter. "Because there the architecture better directs the attention toward Christ, instead of the pope," he told the masters of ceremonies. Only the immense number of faithful who were coming induced him to change his mind and celebrate the mass outdoors. - Sandro Magister
2 May 2005