Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JULY 2005

   
Aboriginal schools look to "expel" Church
The Catholic Church could be removed from up to three Northern Territory schools in Aboriginal communities as locals attempt to improve education services in remote areas.
29 Jul 2005

Bishops to investigate fall in Sunday worship
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference plans to look into why some long time regular Mass attendees have dropped the practice of Sunday worship.
29 Jul 2005

Agency says Australia-Malaysia ties must go beyond trade
The Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre has said that it is essential that Australia's relationship with Malaysia moves beyond issues of trade and security if Australia is to become an effective regional neighbour with Malaysia,
29 Jul 2005

Adelaide respite centre plans to fill mental health gap
A new respite centre for the intellectually disabled and their families officially opened the doors of its new premises north of Adelaide yesterday.
29 Jul 2005

Pope calls western churches a dying breed
Mainstream churches in the West appear to be dying as societies that are increasingly secular see less need for God, says Pope Benedict.
29 Jul 2005

Irish Primate's optimism at IRA ceasefire move
The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh Dr Seán Brady, has welcomed yesterday's "very clear and significant statement by the IRA" that it has ordered an end to its armed campaign.
29 Jul 2005

Feature - My conscience: right or wrong?
On 28 June, the Canadian MP Charlie Angus did what his priest had warned him not to: he voted to legalise same-sex marriage, despite the threat of being barred from Communion if he did. His next act of defiance, although less closely scrutinised, was equally significant. Passing up on the post-vote celebration hosted by gay-rights activists, he spent the remainder of the day with Bev Desjarlais, a fellow New Democrat MP who had been demoted by the left-leaning party for voting against the legislation. "I stand by Bev entirely," he told The Tablet. "I really respect her."
29 Jul 2005

Opinion - Journey of a lifetime
Next Thursday I will join around 80 absolutely pumped Queenslanders in boarding a plane bound for World Youth Day, embarking on a pilgrimage that for most, will be the journey of a lifetime. For many of us, it's been a long lead up to the event but the preparation, anticipation and excitement will all form part of the total experience. In Townsville, the support we have received from our individual parishes and diocesan community has been unreal and we are so appreciative.
29 Jul 2005

Adelaide Archdiocese holds service to protect children
The gift of childhood and recognising the importance of child protection was celebrated at a unique Mass attracting Catholic school students from across Adelaide yesterday.
28 Jul 2005

Mixed Church reaction to Korp decision
A Melbourne Archdiocesan spokesperson said Public Advocate Julian Gardner's decision to allow doctors to stop feeding Maria Korp amounts to euthanasia, but Salesian ethicist Fr Norman Ford argued it was justified because the terminally ill patient is "no longer capable of digesting nutrition".
28 Jul 2005

ACU researcher says uni fees block poor students
Higher university costs are deterring poor students, according to a study conducted by an Australian Catholic University researcher, who found that a lower proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds are taking on tertiary studies.
28 Jul 2005

Terror threat changes WYD plans for Sydney pilgrims
Following recent terror attacks in Turkey, Cardinal George Pell has decided to follow Australian Government travel advice and re-route the Sydney Archdiocesan World Youth Day pilgrimage that was to traverse the Pathways of St Paul through Turkey.
28 Jul 2005

Pope shifting roles of Vatican offices
In the lead up to an expected major overhaul of the Roman Curia, minor changes have begun to take place, including the shift of some functions from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Congregation for Divine Worship, effective from Monday.
28 Jul 2005

Pope tells priests to welcome divorced Catholics
Pope Benedict XVI has said that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who suffer because they cannot receive Communion must be welcomed in parishes as Catholics who witness to the importance of the Eucharist.
28 Jul 2005

Feature - Grounded by Catholic faith
Most of my life I've been Johnny O'Keefe's brother or Andrew O'Keefe's father, says former Supreme Court judge and head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Barry O'Keefe. He has experience of the life of prestige, power and wealth. But he has seen life from both sides of the tracks and says it's his Catholic faith and his memory of the tough times which keeps him grounded.
28 Jul 2005

Opinion - New Pope has shown he makes his own decisions
John Paul II's secretary was stronger in taking the decisions. For example for the nomination of the bishops. For the relations of the secular powers, and so on. On the contrary, the new secretary of the new Pope is a simple secretary. He is the man who is near the Pope, but the Pope [makes] the big decisions. - Sandro Magister, journalist and Professor of Contemporary Church History at the University of Urbino, reflecting on the first 100 days of Pope Benedict XVI
28 Jul 2005

Correction - Catholic Super
Yesterday CathNews reported that the National Catholic Superannuation Fund was included in the top five best earning superannuation funds. In fact, the Catholic fund on the list was the Catholic Superannuation Fund.
27 Jul 2005

Pope death stunt rattles rugby player
A home side loudspeaker announcement that the Pope had died in a car crash put off the kicker in a New Zealand Catholic rugby team as he tried to kick a penalty goal that would have won the match.
27 Jul 2005

Study says Catholics lead in tolerance of gays
A new Australia Institute study has found that Catholics are among the least homophobic people in Australia, with figures showing they are almost twice as tolerant as Baptists but only slightly ahead of faithful from the Anglican and Uniting Churches.
27 Jul 2005

Mouths taped shut at Wollongong school
The Wollongong Catholic Education Office is investigating claims a group of primary school children were told to tape their mouths shut during a musical rehearsal.
27 Jul 2005

Caritas accepting donations for Niger's starving
Caritas Australia has advised that it is now accepting donations for the people of Niger in Western Africa who are suffering from severe food shortages.
27 Jul 2005

Catholic Welfare comments on 'overdue' Family Law changes
Catholic Welfare Australia has appeared before the Federal House of Representatives Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee on Family Law reform, applauding the focus on the views of children involved.
27 Jul 2005

Ethicist slams decision to "kill" terminal patient
Catholic ethicist Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini has condemned a decision to withdraw the feeding tube of Melbourne comatose patient Maria Korp.
27 Jul 2005

Feature - Meditation is for all
As the spiritual teacher for the World Community for Christian Meditation, Benedictine Dom Lawrence Freeman has seen firsthand how Catholic contemplation, once the dominion of monks and nuns, is moving beyond the monastery. He disagreed with the notion, embedded within both Buddhism and Christianity, that lay people cannot meditate as deeply as those whose lives are dedicated to religion. "The hope for the salvation of the world lies in the greatest number of wise people."
27 Jul 2005

Opinion - Fundamentalisms replace need for God
There is an intimate relationship between anxiety and fundamentalism. Fundamentalism, of whatever kind, is essentially an attempt to put things in order and thus allay the anxiety that comes from feeling that the world is out of order. Like the Gnostics of old, fundamentalists claim - at least implicitly - some special unassailable knowledge and insight into truth. They believe this knowledge and insight must be enforced if people are not willing or able to accept it voluntarily. The fatal flaw at the heart of religious fundamentalism is that it allows laws and dogmas to usurp the role reserved to God. - Fr Michael Whelan SM
27 Jul 2005

Catholic Super in top 5 earning funds
Australia's Catholic Superannuation Fund has proved itself one of the country's best-performing industry superannuation funds, earning its members 14.3% after tax and fees in the last financial year.
26 Jul 2005

Notre Dame appoints Dean for Sydney Business school
Notre Dame Australia University vice chancellor Dr Peter Tannock has announced the appointment of Professor George Kailis as Foundation Dean of Business at Notre Dame's Sydney Campus.
26 Jul 2005

Queensland diocese complains about neo-nazi intimidation of refugees
The Social Justice Commission of the Toowoomba Diocese has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission about the activities of the White Pride Coalition in Toowoomba.
26 Jul 2005

Catholic Health concern about informed financial consent
Catholic Health Australia has said that in an age when many many people on low and average incomes rely on private health services, they are "still placed in situations where they are not given a reasonable indication of possible out of pocket medical and specialist fees".
26 Jul 2005

Pope says terror attacks 'offend God and humanity'
Pope Benedict XVI has spoken of the terrorist attacks in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and the UK, calling on God to convert the hearts of those responsible for the bloodshed.
26 Jul 2005

Pell announces new grant for adult stem cell research
The Sydney Archdiocese will fund a $100,000 grant for research on stem cells, further signalling its guarded support for some experimentation with some types of human cells.
26 Jul 2005

Feature - Mission preserved after loss of school
The St Joseph's, South Yarra, parish school had functioned as a small mission school, educating students mostly from refugee and disadvantaged backgrounds. Yet sadly, due to the numbers falling below a viable level, it closed at the end of 2002. Prior to the school's closure, the parish had been discussing ways to provide an outreach service. Now the St Joseph's Emergency Housing Association provides a shelter with self-contained, short-term accommodation free of charge to those in need.
26 Jul 2005

Opinion - Gaudium et Spes reconsidered
The popular interpretation of this Vatican II document was that it represented an acknowledgment on the part of the Church that modernity is OK and that it is the will of the Holy Spirit that Catholics accommodate their practices and culture, including liturgical culture, to modernity's spirit as quickly as possible. This had the effect of generating a cultural revolution within the Church such that anything that was characteristically pre-conciliar became suspect. Against the background of secularising readings of Gaudium et Spes, John Paul II argued that the document needs to be read from the perspective the need of the human person to know Christ in order to have self-understanding. - Tracey Rowland, Dean and Permanent Fellow, John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Melbourne
26 Jul 2005

Official repeats Potter praise
A senior European Church official who made positive comments about the Harry Potter phenomenon in 2003 has reaffirmed his view that there's "nothing wrong" with presenting the triumph of good over evil in children's literature.
25 Jul 2005

Landmark report for Brisbane Catholic Education
A five-month review of services provided by Brisbane Catholic Education Centre to its 137 school communities is drawing to a close, with the research team from ACU who conducted the process delivering a detailed report of their findings to the validation panel.
25 Jul 2005

Commission appeals for support for man facing deportation
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is calling for support for a Brisbane father of four who faces deportation by the Immigration Department.
25 Jul 2005

Church concerned for adopted children of same-sex couples
The Church has stressed the priority of the rights of children in the wake of changes recommended by the Law Reform Commission that include legal protection for same-sex couples who act as parents.
25 Jul 2005

Synod threat to youth masses
The working paper for October's Synod of Bishops suggests that "songs used at present" in the liturgy should "be reconsidered".
25 Jul 2005

Vatican urges caution on refusing 'unethical vaccines'
The Vatican has advised parents to exercise caution when deciding not to inoculate their children against infectious diseases because the vaccine was derived from aborted foetuses.
25 Jul 2005

Feature - YCW movement bounces back
The Young Christian Workers (YCW) movement recently re-emerged in Brisbane, after a tough few years, with a new leadership team and new goals. New groups have started in Lutwyche parish, Redlands Bayside Deanery and Mt Olivet Hospital at Kangaroo Point, and more are in the pipeline. New archdiocesan president Tammie Addley said the movement will always be relevant because it starts from the lives of young people. She said the YCW is committed to fighting injustice at all levels, from the personal to the global, to bring about a world where all people are treated with dignity and equality.
25 Jul 2005

Opinion - Lies warp the soul like a board in the rain
A friend of mine, an alcoholic in recovery, is fond of saying: "Alcoholism is only 10% about a chemical, and 90% about dishonesty. You can drink, as long as you do so honestly." He draws a wider moral axiom from this, adding: "In fact, you can do anything, as long as you don't have to lie about it! It's dishonesty, living a double life, that kills the soul and kills families." - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
25 Jul 2005

Diocese to preserve Cathedral memories on video
As Western Australian Governor Lieutenant General John Sanderson visited the site of Bunbury's demolished St Patrick's Cathedral yesterday, the Diocese announced that it will preserve memories with the production of a video.
22 Jul 2005

Vinnies set to unveil new look hostel for Sydney's homeless
Cardinal George Pell will bless the $1.6 million refurbishment to the St Vincent de Paul Society's Matthew Talbot Hostel in inner-city Woolloomoolloo, on Sunday afternoon.
22 Jul 2005

Staines' killer launches anti-Christian booklets
In a move expected to add to anxiety within India's churches, supporters of a convicted killer of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons plan to massively distribute anti-Christian materials in the tense eastern state of Orissa.
22 Jul 2005

Kiwi religious leaders define "robust society"
In the lead up to the country's election, New Zealand's religious leaders have issued a joint statement urging voters to make the most of the opportunity to determine the future shape of New Zealand society.
22 Jul 2005

Kenyan priests arrested in wake of bishop's death
Kenya has been stunned by the news of the arrest of two priests from Kenya's Isiolo diocese, in connection with the recent murder of Bishop Luigi Locati.
22 Jul 2005

Pope blames fanatics for London terror
Pope Benedict XVI blamed the London attacks on "fanatics", saying the the bombings, which killed at least 56 people, did not constitute a "clash of civilisations" between the West and Islam.
22 Jul 2005

Feature - The other emergency service
After police, fire and ambulance, next on the scene at King's Cross following the bombing were the clergy. They were working to a highly organised plan set up after the 1987 fire at the same station. The different levels are designated gold, silver and bronze. Gold represents the head office responsible for managing the emergency, and there is usually a representative of the faith communities present there. Those with the task of coordinating activities at the site of emergencies are known as silver chaplains and the individuals he or she calls in to help are known as bronze chaplains.
22 Jul 2005

Opinion - Mary Magdalene unmasked
Mary Magdalene is the only woman in the Gospels who's not some bloke's wife or daughter. I can't help wondering about this mysterious woman whom the Institutional Church has tended to ignore. I am sure that they had an equal role to play in the ministry of the Early Church. After all they were commissioned by the Angel at the tomb to 'Go and Tell' Peter and the other disciples (Mk 16:7). - Ann Ryan
22 Jul 2005

Melbourne bishop builds bridges with Muslims
Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse has told a gathering of Muslims in Melbourne that he is a "better person" since he has started to "become friends" with the city's Muslim community.
21 Jul 2005

Theology Conference ponders unrealised Vatican II vision
This month's conference of the Australian Catholic Theological Association focused on the way the Church has received the seminal Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes, and on the work that remains before the vision of Vatican II is fully realised.
21 Jul 2005

Nominee would make fourth Catholic justice on US court
Judge John Roberts would become the fourth Catholic member of the current US Supreme Court if he is confirmed by the Senate for the opening created by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement.
21 Jul 2005

Cardinal says tourism must respect persons and cultures
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano has warned that the growth of world tourism must be accompanied by an upholding of respect for individual cultures and faiths.
21 Jul 2005

Doctors' mag hopeful about Catholic med school
An editorial in Australian Doctor magazine has expressed optimism that Notre Dame University's medical school will produce doctors who will be "willing and able to treat all patients without prejudice".
21 Jul 2005

Church cautious about Vic police checks
The Archdiocese of Melbourne has reacted cautiously to the enactment of legislation that will see hundreds of thousands of Victorians who work with children undergo compulsory police checks that aim to weed out pedophiles.
21 Jul 2005

Feature - I will not allow them to make me afraid
Born into a peasant family in what was then the internally self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia, on the last day of 1946, Pius Ncube became Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, in 1997. Since then he has made it his business to fearlessly denounce Robert Mugabe's human rights record. The situation in which he lives as a result of this would have broken many other people.
21 Jul 2005

Opinion - The cosmic dimension of Eucharist
In doing presentations on Ecclesia de Eucharistia, I find that the part of the Introduction which surprises and delights many people is paragraph 8: "This varied scenario of celebrations of the Eucharist has given me a powerful experience of its universal and, so to speak, cosmic character." John Paul II begins this section by recalling the many different places where he has celebrated Eucharist during his 50 years of priesthood. He goes on to explain what he means by the term "cosmic": "Even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church, the Eucharist is always in some way celebrated on the altar of the world. It unites heaven and earth." - Education Officer Elizabeth Harrington
21 Jul 2005

Advisor worried about penetration of New Age
Advisor to the Argentinian Bishops' Conference José Baamonde has warned that the New Age movement poses "the great challenge of the present century," because "it raises [unchallengable] flags such as pacifism, universal brotherhood and ecology" to mask its process of self-divinisation.
20 Jul 2005

WYD preparations enter home stretch
Plans are well underway for Pope Benedict XVI's World Youth Day trip to Cologne, which will be his first visit to a country outside Italy since the beginning of his pontificate in April.
20 Jul 2005

ACU shares leadership expertise
Australian Catholic University is joining the University of Wollongong to launch a joint initiative - the Australian Leadership Consortium - in Wollongong this morning.
20 Jul 2005

Nun says outback rain has boosted morale
Rockhampton Diocese pastoral worker, Sr Mary Kiely SJG, has said that last month's rain has had a huge impact on the morale of the families she works with in western Queensland, but there is still years of rebuilding ahead.
20 Jul 2005

Abbott "at ease" with faith in politics
Government policies on industrial relations, mandatory detention and the Iraq war are not incompatible with Christian or Catholic principles, says federal Health Minister Tony Abbott in a report published today in The Australian.
20 Jul 2005

Brothers commit to Catholic Principles in IR negotiations
The Christian Brothers in Queensland have stressed their commitment to observing the principles of Catholic social teaching when negotiations are conducted with employees in its schools.
20 Jul 2005

Feature - Nun on front lines battling AIDS in Kenya
Sabina, a 60-year-old Kenyan woman who traditionally would be cared for by her children or grandchildren, is currently caring for her grandchildren, as HIV/AIDS has claimed the children's parents. Sabina's plight is not unique in her native land, where 10% of the 33 million people - about 3 million Kenyans - are HIV-positive and only 25,000 Kenyans have access to medication. Sr Florence, 48, an Assumption Sister of Nairobi, says the problem is compounded by drought and poverty, which lead to malnutrition, as well as a lack of understanding has led to an AIDS stigma, which in turn leads to isolation, hopelessness and fear.
20 Jul 2005

Opinion - Will Ireland be Christian in 2030?
Ireland is becoming a secularised society, one which still turns to a cultural religious ethos to hold together and build the most effective consensus possible around a network of values which society needs, at least at certain moments. Perhaps Ireland may be like that in 2030 - but does that mean that Ireland would be Christian? The answer will not be determined by any survey, but by the way we work today to rejuvenate the Church, to bring new vitality to its structures, by the way our Church communities and institutions really are Church, places where the knowledge and the love of God prevails. - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
20 Jul 2005

Jesus story 'gets it 97% right'
It is 97% certain that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead - based on sheer logic and mathematics, not faith - according to Oxford professor Richard Swinburne.
19 Jul 2005

Catholics struggling against 'tide of materialism'
British Catholic families feel in danger of being swept away by a "tide of materialism" and want the Church to do more to counter it, according to a report released yesterday by the Bishops of England and Wales.
19 Jul 2005

Pax Christi stands firm on nuclear weapons
As it welcomes a member of its international committee on a visit from Brussels, the peace organisation Pax Christi Australia has reaffirmed its opposition to nuclear weapons, ahead of next month's 60th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.
19 Jul 2005

Pope horrified by terror attack in Turkey
Pope Benedict XVI has condemned the "horrible attack" in the Turkish coastal resort of Kusadasi, pleading for the "mercy of the Almighty".
19 Jul 2005

Catholic voice in new welfare reform consult
The Church will be represented on the Federal Government's new Welfare Reform Consultative Forum by Catholic Welfare Australia Executive Director Frank Quinlan.
19 Jul 2005

Australia isolated as rich countries commit to poverty campaign
Australians are among the top five nations in the world for private donations to assist the poor, but the historic commitment by G8 leaders to address global poverty with more aid and debt cancellateion has left Australia isolated, according to Caritas Australia director Jack de Groot.
19 Jul 2005

Feature - Cancer of intolerance takes root
Maradi is Niger's third-largest city. All around me, pious men walked the streets, parading their dishonourable, grim asceticism, their anger and their disapproval; their simplistic scholarship masquerading as one of the world's great religions. With deeply conservative clerics finding a ready audience in these men of Maradi, there had been a flurry of calls for the Niger Government to introduce sharia law.
19 Jul 2005

Opinion - Reason to be moral
The eminent Jesuit historian of philosophy Frederick Copleston debated the existence of God with Lord Bertrand Russell on BBC Radio in 1948. "I'm sure, Lord Russell, that you would say it was absolutely wrong to behave in the way that the guards in the German concentration camps behaved to the inmates." He said: "Of course I would wish to say that is absolutely wrong, but it doesn't fit in with my theory, so I'm rather in a dilemma." Some may object: "But Bertrand Russell was a morally decent man and many believers are not morally decent people." That is not the point. The point is that Bertrand Russell had no reason to be moral. The believer does have a reason to be moral. The sad fact of the matter is that many a believer just doesn't hear and heed his/her conscience. - Fr Michael Whelan SM
19 Jul 2005

Priest seeks to calm hysteria over released sex offender
In the light of media hysteria following the release of former sex offender, Brian Keith Jones, Fr Peter Norden of Jesuit Social Services has called for a rational response form media representatives and the State Opposition.
18 Jul 2005

Catholic tech school wins federal funding tender
St Joseph's Vocational College in the NSW Diocese of Lismore, has won the tender to build Australian Technical College campuses in Port Macquarie and Taree.
18 Jul 2005

Pope hails benefits of holidays
Pope Benedict XVI, who is on holiday in the Italian Alps, has extolled the virtue of taking a holiday to escape the frenetic pace of day-to-day life.
18 Jul 2005

Vatican mourns slain bishop
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano praised the slain Bishop Luigi Locati as a "heroic witness to the Gospel" in Kenya.
18 Jul 2005

Melbourne Archbishop in joint terrorism condemnation
Standing in solidarity with a rabbi and a sheik under the Flinders Street Station clocks on Friday, Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart has condemned all terrorist acts, especially the recent London bomb attacks.
18 Jul 2005

Bishop welcomes Inquiry's exposure of immigration detention inadequacies
While he says there is "still a way to go", the chair of the Bishops' Committee for Migrants and Refugees, Bishop Joseph Grech, is optimistic following the Palmer Inquiry's finding that Australia's Dention Centres are "ill-equipped to deal with the mental health and well-being needs of detainees".
18 Jul 2005

Feature - A job made in heaven
The Catholic Church is crying out for more priests in Queensland, where the number of ordinations is at an all-time low. This makes additions such as Matthew Moloney a shining light. The 37-year-old has joined the flock from a shearing background. The Rockhampton-based priest has taken up his post after four years of theology study.
18 Jul 2005

Opinion - Benedict tones down public image
In the first three months of the new papacy, there has been a change in the wind at the Vatican press office. Joaquín Navarro-Valls has been confirmed as director, but he does not have with Benedict XVI the direct and osmotic relationship that he had with John Paul II. He can no longer permit himself to model and amplify the pope's gestures, statements, and performance. He knows that the newly elected pope wants to control and make very modest use of his own image and public exposure. - Sandro Magister
18 Jul 2005

More students head to private schools
More than one third of Australian children will be educated in private schools by 2010, according to a new study by the Independent Schools Council of Australia.
15 Jul 2005

Pakistan priest says Govt has responsibility for rail safety
The head of one of the Pakistan Catholic bishops' commissions has said that Wednesday's train accident that claimed the lives of more than 120 people requires a thorough investigation.
15 Jul 2005

Outrage follows Kenya massacre
The Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) and the Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya (AOSK) have condemned this week's atrocities that led to the deaths of over 70 people in apparent tribal conflict in the country's north.
15 Jul 2005

Church casts doubt over Betfair benefits
The Catholic Church in Tasmania says the cost of social problems stemming from problem gambling will far outweigh any revenue benefits from the London-based online betting exchange Betfair.
15 Jul 2005

Jesuit dismisses reporting of Pope condemnation of Harry Potter
Fr Michael Kelly told a breakfast TV presenter this morning that reporting of Pope Benedict's private views about the children's literature phenomenon Harry Potter do not constitute an authoritative Church statement.
15 Jul 2005

Pope joins in prayer for London victims
Pope Benedict XVI participated in yesterday's midday two minutes of silence for the victims of the bomb attacks in London last Thursday, according to Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls.
15 Jul 2005

Feature - Resurrecting Mary Magdalene
For centuries, she was considered a reformed prostitute, despite the absence of biblical reference to her as such. At Vatican II she was officially affirmed as Apostle to the Apostles, both in the new Catholic missal of 1969 and by Pope John Paul II in his 1988 encyclical Dignitatum Mulieris. In medieval Europe it was widely believed she was Jesus' lawful bride. Some contemporary authors even assert Mary Magdalene was probably a priestess of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Jane Schaberg from the University of Detroit Mercy - author of The Resurrection of Mary Magdalene - describes her as a mirror of "fundamental questions of sexuality and the spirit, guilt and transcendence, authority and love."
15 Jul 2005

Opinion - Limited view from the womb
A baby inside the womb cannot see its own mother or even imagine its mother's existence not because the mother doesn't exist, but because the mother so totally encompasses it. A baby must first be born to see its mother and form a picture of her. That image can be helpful in our struggle both to believe in God and to believe in life after death. For just as initially we had to first be born before we could see our own mothers, so too we must first die, be born again, before we can see our true mother, God. After this second birth, just as after the first, we will lie open-mouthed and awe-struck before a beauty, magnitude, and love that we had never imagined. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
15 Jul 2005

Jesuit paper reminds Australia of responsibility to Nauru
The Sydney-based Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre today releases a research paper that highlights Australia's responsibilities as former colonial administrator of the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.
14 Jul 2005

Church workers say Darfur's real fight is over resources
Church personnel providing aid to some of the more than two million people displaced by fighting in western Sudan's Darfur region say that behind the violence lies a bitter struggle over diminishing supplies of water and arable land.
14 Jul 2005

Commission urges Govt to re-negotiate "stolen wages" package
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged the Queensland Government to undertake further consultation with Indigenous communities on the Indigenous Wages and Savings Reparations Project which was established in 2002.
14 Jul 2005

Pope to write first encyclical during vacation
Sources close to the Holy See said this week Pope Benedict XVI, who began a 17-day vacation on Monday in the Italian Alps, might take advantage of the brief time away from the Vatican to begin writing his first encyclical.
14 Jul 2005

Leeds Bishop calms stunned locals
Following discoveries about the identity of suspects in last week's London bombing made in the northern English city Leeds over the last 48 hours, Bishop Arthur Roche has told Catholics not to presume that members of the community are terrorist sympathisers.
14 Jul 2005

Catholics urged to speak up on cloning
The Sydney Archdiocesan Life Office is calling on Catholics across Australia to take action to prevent changes in cloning legislation which could allow embryos to be created specifically for scientific research before being destroyed.
14 Jul 2005

Feature - Sir Brian Barnes, Archbishop of Port Moresby
Sir Brian Barnes, visiting Australia this week, was born in Wingham, on the north coast of New South Wales, but as a missionary and Franciscan friar, he became a citizen of Papua New Guinea in 1976, and then Archbishop of Port Moresby in 1997. He has been a prominent player in PNG public life. At Easter in 1999, he called for the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Bill Skate, to resign over the state of crime and corruption in the nation. Bill Skate's resignation shortly followed.
14 Jul 2005

Opinion - The river of life
It rained here overnight, a gentle rain on the iron roof. Across the Diocese we haven't been able to depend on the rainfall patterns of the past. The freshness of this morning is all too rare. There is a ring of field mushrooms in the still damp grass. It sounds too good to be true. I'm even prepared to forgive the dog his muddy paw prints. In Rockhampton Diocese there are mighty rivers, dams, creeks and other waterways. Each body of freshwater supporting communities of life - human and other organisms alike. The ups and downs of living may be mirrored in the changing flows of the water. While the bends and turns along the length of the watercourse may correspond to the various directions in which our life journey takes us. - Sr Mary-Ann Casanova RSJ, Diocese of Rockhampton
14 Jul 2005

Caritas sends SOS to help Indian flood victims
Caritas Internationalis has launched an appeal for more than $A9.31 million to deliver emergency relief to tens of thousands of families affected by flooding.
13 Jul 2005

Five face trial in Brazil for nun's murder
The five men arrested in connection with the February murder in Brazil of US-born activist nun Sr Dorothy Stang, will be tried in October.
13 Jul 2005

Auckland Bishop's solidarity with local Muslims
Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland has written to Mr Javed Khan, president of New Zealand's Federation of Islamic Associations, after vandals smashed windows and doors, and sprayed graffiti on the city's mosques in the wake of last week's London bombs.
13 Jul 2005

Bishop says Anglican refugees not wanted
As the vote for women bishops in the Church of England leads to predictions of more defections, a Roman Catholic bishop in the UK has said Anglican clerics opposed to the ordination of women bishops should not be received into the Catholic Church for "negative reasons".
13 Jul 2005

Vatican call to punish prostitution clients
The Vatican is calling for clients of prostitutes to not only face legal action but to also receive counseling and other help to stem what it called a form of "modern day slavery."
13 Jul 2005

Holy See Budget back in black
The Vatican has revealed that it had a budget surplus of almost $A4.89 million in 2004 after running a deficit three years in a row.
13 Jul 2005

Feature - I began to feel the love of God
Alan Ames grew up in London, member of a motorcycle gang and trapped in life of poverty, violence and alcohol. Married Kathryn, and emigrated to Perth in 1992, enjoyed good career and was Captain of the Australian National Team in Aikido during World Championships in 1992. One year later, his turning point: encounter with God, inner healing and healing of addictions. Under the wing of Archbishop Barry Hickey, he worked in evangelisation and healing ministry, and spoke at Catholic mega-events including World Youth Day 2002 and Eucharistic Conferences.
13 Jul 2005

Opinion - Sacred ground
A Carlton supporter in the Australian Football League, I learned long ago not to expect sympathy. But on 21 May at Princes Park I witnessed-was part of-an act of collective grieving. The occasion: the last game of football at the ground, which has been home to one of the foundational teams of the league since 1897. The key liturgical elements were all there: preparation of the space, gathering the people, an order of service, storytelling, singing ... I know that Christians have no abiding city, but the incarnation suggests that particular times and places matter, as, in a sacramental view of the world, do all the sights, sounds, and smells savoured longingly one last time. - Rev Richard Treloar, Anglican priest and Chaplain, Trinity College, University of Melbourne
13 Jul 2005

Catholic agency disappointed with G8 pledges
Campaigners from CAFOD, the Caritas agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, have vowed to fight on despite what they describe as 'disappointing' pledges made by the G8 at the Gleneagles summit on ending global poverty.
12 Jul 2005

Priest cautions Minister on Zentai case
A Perth parish priest has told Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison of his hope that the Federal Government will "not be influenced by political persuasion" in its pursuit of the case of 83 year old alleged war criminal Charles Zentai, who was arrested in Perth on Friday.
12 Jul 2005

Costello says left-wing clergy 'off right track'
Treasurer Peter Costello yesterday lashed out at the hypocritical treatment of churches in politics, saying conservative churches were seen as sinister while Left-wing clergy won nothing but praise.
12 Jul 2005

Vatican silences Philippine bishops
The refusal by the Catholic Bishops' Conference to join calls for the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the result of an admonition by the Vatican, which told them to stop meddling in politics.
12 Jul 2005

Faith leaders promote unity in wake of bombings
The bombings in London have provided faith leaders the opportunity to promote a message of unity, not division, with the UK's religious leaders expressing the sentiment is a rare joint statement condemning Thursday's "evil terrorist" attacks.
12 Jul 2005

Benedict tells terrorists to 'stop in the name of God"
Pope Benedict XVI has called on the terrorists responsible for the London bombings to "stop in the name of God."
12 Jul 2005

Feature - Spokesman wept when announcing death of Pope John Paul II
"In the end I displayed all of my vulnerability. Until that moment I had been able to carry out my duty of providing information on the worsening condition of John Paul II while keeping my emotions in check. But then, when a German colleague asked me: 'But how are you experiencing this bereavement personally?', I was pierced with sorrow and could no longer hold back my tears." - Joaquín Navarro-Valls
12 Jul 2005

Opinion - Nothing like being there
While sport is now more accessible than ever on TV, there is still nothing quite as exciting as being present at the game in a crowded stadium along with thousands of other eager supporters. The crowd is caught up in the euphoria of each moment as the game unfolds. Christians gather, as they have always done, on the Lord's Day to offer praise and thanksgiving to God.
If all members gather, especially with the Bishop, then the Body is complete. If only a few gather then the Body is severely impoverished. In many of our inner city parishes Masses are multiplied and church buildings are only partially full. - Sr Carmel Pilcher, Director of Liturgy, Archdiocese of Sydney
12 Jul 2005

Cardinal redefines Church's view on evolution
The influential Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna has suggested that belief in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with Catholic faith.
11 Jul 2005

Vox Clara urges speedy completion of new Mass prayers translation
The international Vatican advisory board chaired by Cardinal George Pell has said that the sooner new English translations of Mass prayers are ready, the easier they will be for Catholics to accept.
11 Jul 2005

Catholic Health worried about consumer rights
Catholic Health Australia has called on the Federal Government to safeguard privately insured patients from "falling prey to extra imposed waiting periods when switching health funds".
11 Jul 2005

Minister tells churches to stay out of IR fight
Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews has urged church leaders to refrain from participating in the debate on the Government's industrial relations changes, "until they know the facts".
11 Jul 2005

Pope hesitates to call London bombings 'anti-Christian'
An early draft of Pope Benedict XVI's telegram of condolence for the London bombings referred to the terrorist strikes as "anti-Christian", but the final version stopped at condemning them as "anti-human".
11 Jul 2005

Local prayers said for London bomb victims
Church leaders across Australia have been urging people to send their thoughts and prayers to the victims of the bomb attacks on London's centre.
11 Jul 2005

Feature - Trauma of seeing 'blatant disregard for human life'
A priest who ministered to victims of London's Underground explosions said he comforted many people who appeared to be in shock. "It's traumatic to see something like that happening, when there is just a blatant disregard for human life," said Fr Duncan Adamson, a chaplain at nearby St. Mary's Hospital, where many of the wounded were taken for treatment on Thursday. "It's not worth it to describe how awful it is."
11 Jul 2005

Opinion - The false god of the men of hate
We rightly feel pain, horror, confusion and anxiety. Evil has erupted at the heart of our city, at a moment when we are most vulnerable - when we are innocently going about our daily tasks. The knowledge that vulnerability and innocence can be exploited by evil can lead us to wish to be invulnerable. It can lead us to anger and vengeance. It can lead us to scapegoat entire sectors of the population. And that is exactly what Thursday's acts were designed to bring about. The god of the men of hate is a false god, projected from the darkest recesses of the human heart. - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, homily after London bombings
11 Jul 2005

More charges for jailed priest
Ballarat police in Victoria have charged former Wimmera priest Gerald Ridsdale with a further 63 charges of sexual abuse.
8 Jul 2005

Kiwi Catholics begin to take Pope spoof seriously
In an official letter sent to the management of a commercial TV station, Church authorities in New Zealand indicated they have changed their attitude and now regard the screening of Popetown on the free to air channel as "intolerable".
8 Jul 2005

Novena through John Paul II for Sydney baby
A Sydney family has begun a novena through the intercession of Pope John Paul II for their chronically ill young boy.
8 Jul 2005

Vatican paper sees G8 summit as race against time for Africa
The Group of Eight industrial nations' summit underway at Gleneagles in Scotland must be a race against the clock to save Africa, according to the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
8 Jul 2005

Vatican releases uncompromising working document on Eucharist
In a preparatory document released yesterday for October's Synod on the Eucharist, the Vatican singled out divorcees who remarry and Catholic politicians who support abortion, in criticising the faithful who continue to receive Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin.
8 Jul 2005

Pope calls London bombings 'barbaric acts against humanity'
Pope Benedict XVI described the string of bombings that struck central London yesterday as "barbaric acts against humanity", and said his prayers were with victims and their families.
8 Jul 2005

Feature - Welcome to the 'real' Madagascar
As thousands of Australians pay more than $13 million in two weeks to see the blockbuster film Madagascar, people living in the country of Madagascar struggle to find the resources to send their children to school and to buy medicines for sick family members. In the diocese of Morondava, on the island's west coast, parents are forced to spend almost all their time cultivating land and often the children are left to take care of cattle or look after younger siblings. "The diocese has also been able to build boarding facilities for children from remote villages, so they too can go to school," said Catholic Mission director Fr Terry Bell.
8 Jul 2005

Opinion - Confirmation - sacrament not spectacle
"It was a Catholic religious spectacle to rival a Hillsong-style evangelical revival meeting." This is how the Sydney Morning Herald began its article on the whole-of-diocese celebration of Confirmation in the Archdiocese of Sydney in May. The article noted that there were 18,000 who attended services at Sydney's two Hillsong churches on that weekend and that, "the Catholic Church in Sydney asserted its own numerical strength, conducting a Confirmation ceremony en masse at the SuperDome". To speak of the celebration of a sacrament in terms of asserting numerical strength against another church is nothing short of sacriligious. - Mary Pruyn, Parramatta Diocese Field Officer for Sacraments of Initiation of Children
8 Jul 2005

Prayer and scripture seen as depression antidote
Australia is fast becoming the unhappy country, with a report finding that two thirds of people are at risk of severe depression, but a Sydney psychologist says scripture and the sacraments can provide effective inoculation.
7 Jul 2005

World Youth Day cross begins final push for Cologne
On Friday, Catholics around the world will begin the final 40 day countdown before the 11th annual World Youth Day celebration, and the official WYD pilgrimage cross will begin its final push toward the German city of Cologne.
7 Jul 2005

Movements a "blood transfusion" for the Church
Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse told a gathering of New Ecclesial Movements, Communities and Associations that the movements are a force of strength in the Church, and their effect on the Church can be likened to that of a blood transfusion on the human body.
7 Jul 2005

Lobby calls Australia's aid budget a 'drop in the bucket'
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has said that Australia's status as the driest inhabited land on earth puts it in a good position to work with the world's poorest people in accessing clean, safe water.
7 Jul 2005

Vinnies receives $2 million from Microsoft
The St Vincent de Paul Society yesterday received a $2 million software donation from Microsoft Australia in a handover event at Vinnies' Sydney headquarters at Lewisham.
7 Jul 2005

Critics warming to 'God's Rottweiler'
An influential article in the New York Times this week suggested that many former critics of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger are warming up to the man once called 'God's Rottweiler' since he became Pope Benedict XVI in April.
7 Jul 2005

Feature - Pastoral work set against poverty and Hindu fundamentalism
Bishop Robert Miranda, the first bishop of India's newest Catholic diocese in Gulbarga, Karnataka state (south-west India), has his work cut out for him — he has to face poverty, Hindu fundamentalism and widespread anti-Christian sentiments. But those who belong to the Muslim and Hindu communities "are very respectful of the sacrifices made by the Christian missionaries. Our social and educational programs are at the service of all the people, irrespective of caste and creed".
7 Jul 2005

Opinion - What does the Church say to youth culture?
Inculturation is not limited to the traditional religions and cultures found in the region. In many countries in Oceania young people form the majority of the population. As youth they live in a culture which is uniquely theirs. The Gospel needs to be proclaimed to them in ways that they can understand. It means that we must study the culture and language of youth, welcome them and incorporate the positive aspects of their culture into the Church's life and mission. The Bishops of Oceania applaud young people for their acute sense of justice, personal integrity and respect for human dignity, for their care for the needy and their concern for the environment. - Cardinal Thomas Williams, retired Archbishop of Wellington
7 Jul 2005

Legion tells 'beautiful story' of 73 years
The Legion of Mary has launched A beautiful Story to be Told, a book tracing its history in Australia and Oceania.
6 Jul 2005

Franciscan mission opening in Burma
Franciscan officials met in Bangkok recently to begin preparations for a mission in Burma (Myanmar) to be staffed initially by one priest from the Philippines and two from Vietnam.
6 Jul 2005

Pope asks pilgrims to be missionaries of Christ's love
Pope Benedict XVI encouraged pilgrims from Spain to take Jesus' message "to the ends of society", and to love all people, especially the poor, "with the love of the risen Christ".
6 Jul 2005

Anti-China group reports arrest of bishop
Hopes for a rapprochement between Beijing and the Holy See have been set back following the arrest of an underground Catholic bishop in China, reported by the US-based Cardinal Kung Foundation.
6 Jul 2005

Bunbury cathedral demolished
The 84 year old St Patrick's Cathedral of Western Australia's Bunbury Diocese was demolished at 10:45 am yesterday, after it was condemned by structural engineers following tornado damage earlier this year.
6 Jul 2005

Agencies anticipate welfare demand bottleneck
South Australia's Catholic welfare agencies have commended the State Government for bumping up mental health and disability funding in the 2005 Budget, but warn commitment well beyond the 2006 state election is needed to meet a bottleneck in demand.
6 Jul 2005

Feature - Surprise role for images in Catechism Compendium
There is an unexpected novelty in the new "Compendium" of the catechism of the Catholic Church presented by Benedict XVI last week. It features prominently, in full colour, fourteen sacred images. As the pope has explained, the images are not there purely for the sake of illustration. They are an integral part of the new catechism. - Sandro Magister
6 Jul 2005

Opinion - Making celibacy work
I am personally convinced that, for celibacy to flourish to the full within the diocesan clergy, we should look more often towards the possibility of priests living together in small communities of two or three. Most Religious to whom you speak will tell you that for them the way of fruitful celibacy was only possible within a community context. - Bishop John Crowley, Middlesbrough UK
6 Jul 2005

Pell leads bid for Sydney World Youth Day
In an event to rival the Sydney Olympics, the Vatican will be offered venues at Olympic Park, Darling Harbour and the Opera House to win Sydney the church's biggest global festival and bring Pope Benedict XVI to Australian shores for the first time.
5 Jul 2005

Hanoi confirms increased contacts with Vatican
The official Vietnam news agency has confirmed that Vietnamese officials met Vatican authorities and agreed to increase contact to promote better understanding and to solve issues of common concern and improve bilateral relations.
5 Jul 2005

Catholic Welfare sounds alarm on undiagnosed mental illness
Catholic Welfare Australia yesterday told the Senate Select Committee into Mental Health that staff training, and improved coordination of resources, are necessary in order to stem the tide of Australians with an undiagnosed mental illness seeking help from welfare agencies.
5 Jul 2005

Church pushing for status quo on cloning
As human cloning becomes the focus of fresh debate after the six experts on a panel reviewing Australia's stem cell laws met for the first time in Sydney yesterday, the Church has signalled it will not accept any further relaxation of the laws that forbid cloning of human embryos.
5 Jul 2005

Pope gives support to Zimbabwe bishops
Pope Benedict XVI has expressed public support to the bishops of Zimbabwe in their work to promote reconciliation and justice in their country.
5 Jul 2005

Church joins rally to end poverty
The two British cardinals took a leading role in Saturday's rally in Edinburgh which called on the G8 meeting there later this week to cut debt and end unfair trade practices with the developing world.
5 Jul 2005

Feature - Priest with passion for overseas mission
Fr Frank Jones was born in Melbourne but grew up in Canberra, where he attended St Edmund's College. He returned to Canberra in 2000 after spending time doing mission work in Chile and Ecuador. He has been parish priest of St Peter Chanel in Yarralumla since then. He speaks with quiet passion of his time there and is obviously delighted at being given the chance to return. "I feel like a square peg in a square hole there," he said. "I just feel alive over there. I really am comfortable with the people." The 48-year-old said he was going on the mission "until I get too old and have to come home".
5 Jul 2005

Opinion - People with so little give so much
They are a people full of joy, of determination and hope despite the cloud of injustice that darkens their lives. I think of my visit to Ethiopia a few months ago traveling with SCIAF, our own Scottish [Caritas] aid agency, where I met a group of men and women living with HIV/AIDS. I recall one of the most harrowing situations I have ever encountered when, in a series of hovels lining a riverbank, I saw a woman with leprosy caring for six people dying of AIDS although she herself was obviously suffering greatly. Surely, if people who have so little can give so much, then we, here in the richest countries in the world, can do so much more! - Cardinal Keith O'Brien, address to "Make Poverty History" rally in Edinburgh on Saturday
5 Jul 2005

'Disgusted' new Catholic Senator defends Pope
Within hours of taking up his appointment on Friday, Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce issued two media releases expressing his outrage at two separate TV programs depicting the Holy Father as a figure of fun.
4 Jul 2005

Archbishop prepares people for more parish mergers
Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra-Goulburn has said that he cannot rule out further parish mergers, but he hopes they can be minimised.
4 Jul 2005

Leaders say less autonomy gives more edge to orders' work
The head of the peak body of nuns, brothers and religious priests has noted the decisive trend among religious congregations of collaborating in their ministries, with each other, with lay people, other church bodies, and people from other faiths.
4 Jul 2005

Vatican may declare John Paul II a martyr
Vatican officials no longer are dismissing outright the notion that Pope John Paul II could be declared a martyr, a step that could remove the need for a confirmed miracle to beatify the late pontiff and make it easier for him to become a saint.
4 Jul 2005

Academics challenge idea of Catholic medical school
In an article in the Medical Journal of Australia, bioethicist Ian Kerridge and colleagues say the West Australian-based University of Notre Dame medical school may threaten just provision of health care.
4 Jul 2005

Pell voices wages concerns
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has warned the Prime Minister to exercise caution when using his new powers in the Senate.
4 Jul 2005

Feature - Night commuters of the Ugandan bush
Every evening thousands of children, fearing abduction by the Lord's Resistance Army, leave their homes to seek protection in the city. The old Italian priests bark at each other as we try to navigate our way across a dark field on the edge of Gulu, a Ugandan town 300 km north of the capital, Kampala. A little later, before entering the little church for the night, the people pray together and sing a song to Our Lady. The children are among 40,000 "night commuters" who, every evening, must leave their homes and seek security in the centre of towns such as Gulu.
4 Jul 2005

Opinion - Purity is about the heart, not the body
Today the word purity has taken on mainly negative connotations. It's understood as a sexual concept and is mostly seen as negative. For many people it connotes fear, timidity, and a certain uptightness about sex and life. The popular culture almost ridicules purity and it's rare that a critically-acclaimed movie, a major novel, or a renowned artist captures its essence aesthetically, celebrates its beauty, and challenges us with its importance. In purity, what we long for is not immunity from the earthiness of sex, but purity of heart, chastity of intention. The deep-seated idea that sex is dirty has, I suspect, more to do with millennia of bad hygiene than with the aesthetics and morality of sex. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
4 Jul 2005

Book honours Salesian bible expert
One of Australia's best known international scripture scholars - Professor Frank Moloney - has been honoured with a festschrift, launched recently at Australian Catholic University campuses in Brisbane and Sydney.
31 Jul 2005

Canberra bishop speaks out on job insecurity fears
Canberra-Goulburn Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has voiced his concern about the impact of the Federal Government's planned industrial relations reforms, saying ordinary people feel vulnerable with fears of job insecurity.
31 Jul 2005

New post for critic of Papua Catholic aid agencies
Jakarta's new ambassador to Australia is an official who earlier this year sought to rein in the activities of Catholic aid agencies suspected of being supportive of West Papuan moves towards independence from Indonesia.
31 Jul 2005

Kiwi Bishops urge Govt action against Zimbabwe cricket tour
New Zealand Catholic Bishops' Conference President Bishop Denis Browne wrote to Foreign Minister Phil Goff in an effort to persuade him to encourage a cancellation of the scheduled New Zealand Black Caps cricket tour of Zimbabwe.
31 Jul 2005

Benedict says papacy serves Christian unity
During a ceremony to confer the pallium on 32 archbishops on Wednesday's Feast of Sts Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI said that the role of the Roman Pontiff is to preserve the unity of the Church.
31 Jul 2005

Canadian Bishops say marriage bill hurts shared values
The successful passage of Canada's same-sex marriage bill this week in the country's House of Commons shows "that Canadians are witnessing a dangerous deterioration of their communal values," according to the president of the Canadian bishops' conference.
31 Jul 2005

Feature - Ecumenical spirit brings healing to distraught community
This Sunday - Aboriginal and Islander Sunday - the community of Palm Island is set to display the spirit of healing that has brought the island's people together since it was rocked by a much publicised riot late last year. Catholics will join with other Christians on the island to celebrate a newfound hope with a parade from the island's four churches.
31 Jul 2005

Opinion - Joker Pope was never full of himself
I believe John Paul II's quirky sense of humour was a significant factor in what he achieved. He never took himself too seriously; he was never full of himself. And when we are never full of ourselves, Jesus can fill up the empty space we leave for him, and do wonderful things in us and through us — as he did so fruitfully in the life of his faithful servant. - Fr Patrick O'Sullivan SJ
31 Jul 2005