Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR NOVEMBER 2005

   
Vatican ordains 57 priests in Vietnam
57 priests were ordained yesterday in Vietnam, in a move towards more religious freedom, in strongly secularized and officialy atheist country.
30 Nov 2005

Vatican says 'pansexual culture' fuels increase in AIDS/HIV
The Vatican has said that the continued increase in AIDS and HIV is fueled in part by a "pansexual culture" that reduces sexual activity to mere pleasure.
30 Nov 2005

Cardinal Kasper says communion for divorced remains unresolved
In a commentary published in the Italain Catholic newspaper Avvenire, the Vatican's Cardinal Walter Kasper has said that there is "no easy solution" to the problem of communion for Catholics who divorce and remarry.
30 Nov 2005

Pope declares plenary indulgence for December 8
Pope Benedict XVI has declared a plenary indulgence for Catholics who honour the Virgin Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
30 Nov 2005

Prayer vigils for Van Nguyen
Christians in cities across Australia will pray today for Van Nguyen, the Australian in Singapore's Changi Prison who is scheduled to be executed tomorrow.
30 Nov 2005

Seminary bishop says gays document 'helpful'
Bishop Julian Porteous, Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in Sydney, has said the Vatican guidelines on the admission of homosexual candidates for the priesthood is helpful because is clarifies the duties of personnel in charge of seminaries.
30 Nov 2005

Feature - New generation taps into C.S. Lewis wisdom
Biographer John Ryan Duncan was a C.S. Lewis fan before it was cool. Lewis has always had fans - none of the prolific Christian writer's books has ever gone out of print - but a bandwagon for him has begun to roll in anticipation of the 22 December Australian release of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, based on a Lewis novel. "His readers are passionate readers - passionate not only about the content, but the entertainment value," said Duncan.
30 Nov 2005

Opinion - From 'having missions' to 'being missionary'
In 1910, the Edinburgh World Mission Conference predicted "the evangelisation of the world in this generation". Within a few short decades, these dreams of western cultural superiority were to be shattered. After Vatican II, the work of mission was no longer confined to missionary priests and religious, but all baptised. Mission was targeted no longer at just the "pagans" in "foreign lands", but the "entire world", including emerging secular, post-Christian societies. - Fr Gerard Hall SM
30 Nov 2005

Gift boosts Hobart Cathedral
A new spire and an underground burial crypt will be added to Hobart's St Mary's Cathedral as part of a $6 million restoration plan.
29 Nov 2005

Award honours initiative to educate homeless
Several Catholic organisations were in the spotlight last week as they received an Honourable Mention for Outstanding Achievement and Collaboration in Research and Development and Education Training at the Business/Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) Awards Dinner at the Shangri-la Hotel in Sydney.
29 Nov 2005

Pope says spiritual fervour is best Christmas preparation
Wearing a heavy red cape to protect him from the cold, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Christians to prepare for Advent, and for Christmas with "spiritual fervour".
29 Nov 2005

Bishops highlight Nostra Aetate as turning point
The Australian Bishops have described the Vatican Nostra Aetate document on interreligious relations as a "turning-point in the long and tortured history of the relationship between Christians and Jews".
29 Nov 2005

Indonesian bishop condemns Catholics' death sentence
Three Catholics condemned to death for violence which hit in Poso five years are innocent and should not be executed, says Bishop Joseph Suwatan of Manado.
29 Nov 2005

Priest says Australia 'galvanised' against death penalty
Van Tuong Nguyen's case has galvanised Australia's opposition to capital punishment, Melbourne Jesuit anti-death penalty campaigner Fr Peter Norden said yesterday.
29 Nov 2005

Feature - An inside look at Opus Dei
Opus Dei says it places Christ at the head of all human activity, to spread the universal call to holiness through professional work. Its detractors say it's an elitist organisation with questionable recruitment practices aimed at the powerful. "Opus Dei, I would say, is basically me," says supernumerary Greg Bookalill. "I'm Opus Dei, my wife's Opus Dei, we're Opus Dei. We're not faceless people sitting in a back room manipulating anything. We're just people, mums and dads doing our own thing".
29 Nov 2005

Opinion - Sentiment not a good moral guide
It is no wonder that Australians are revolted by the killing of Mr Nguyen. The sentiment is generous. But is sentiment a reliable guide to judging the rightness of issues like capital punishment? After all, every appeal against any government policy that looks to the common good is supported by moving stories of hard cases. How then do we weigh the story of Mr Nguyen against the good of a drug-free society, to which the Singapore Government appeals? - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
29 Nov 2005

Research says 'living in sin' damages love
Living "in sin" can damage future married life, according to a new study that also suggests devout Christians have better love lives.
28 Nov 2005

Adelaide Archbishop puts Christ back into Christmas
As part of his personal mission to restore Jesus as the central figure in Christmas celebrations, Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday blessed replicas of the baby Jesus for children to place in their nativities.
28 Nov 2005

Bishops assert opposition to abortion pill
In one of their statements at the end of last week's Plenary meeting in Sydney, the Australian Catholic Bishops set out the reasons for the opposition to the RU-486 abortion pill.
28 Nov 2005

Bishops urge understanding of terror causes
Australia's Catholic Bishops have urged the nation to seek to understand and address the reasons why alienated young people would seek to harm innocents.
28 Nov 2005

ACBC Plenary statement calls for revision of IR bill
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has called for the Government's proposed industrial relations laws to be rewritten to provide a buffer against "undesirable consequences" on the poor, the vulnerable, families and workers with limited job prospects.
28 Nov 2005

Statement from bishops urges compassion for Nguyen
Australia's Catholic Bishops have appealed to the Singaporean Government to grant clemency to convicted drug trafficker Van Nguyen.
28 Nov 2005

Feature - Sr Patty's role in forming social conscience
As the director of the Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre, Sr Patty Fawkner has helped to form Australia's social conscience on issues such as reconciliation and mandatory detention policy in line with Catholic social teaching. "I've always had the challenge of trying to make the richness and riches of our Catholic spiritual and justice tradition more accessible to the men and women of our time," she says.
28 Nov 2005

Opinion - Vatican gay priests document requires mature reading
If it is taken narrowly to mean that no one who is gay can be ordained, then some seminarians would find themselves in an impossible situation. If they speak openly, then they may not be accepted. If they do not, then they are failing in transparency. The danger is that the most honest may therefore leave and the less truthful stay. - Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP
28 Nov 2005

State's plan to rename chaplains 'Christian Volunteers'
Plans by the South Australian Education Department to rename state school chaplains as "Christian volunteers" have been denounced by the State Opposition as political correctness gone mad.
25 Nov 2005

Minister threatens Christian pacifists with seven years jail
Federal Defence Minister Robert hill has written a letter to a group of Christian pacifists threatening them with "a maximum penalty of imprisonment for seven years" if they enter the Pine Gap spy base near Alice Springs.
25 Nov 2005

Rome honour for Australian Natural Family Planning pioneers
The couple who devised the Billings Ovulation method of Natural Family Planning, Drs John and Evelyn Billings, yesterday received an honorary doctorate in medicine from the University of Rome.
25 Nov 2005

Diocese's solidarity with Sudanese targeted by arsonists
The Toowoomba Catholic Social Justice Commission is supporting members of the local Sudanese community, as police guard the scene of a suspicious house fire that claimed the life of a Sudanese woman and her teenage daughter.
25 Nov 2005

Pope says Third World farmers need help to beat poverty
Pope Benedict yesterday told a group of representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) that dialogue and respect between cultures must be part of the international effort to curb hunger and poverty.
25 Nov 2005

Rome group set to mobilise world against death penalty
As Australia's Van Nguyen prepares to go to the gallows in Singapore one week from today, the Rome-based Community of Sant'Egidio is planning a worldwide effort to abolish the death penalty.
25 Nov 2005

Feature - Student's autobiography an inspiration
Jan Daisley, a mature-age Master of Education student at Australian Catholic University's Strathfield Campus, was pronounced a "vegetable" after a routine appendectomy in her teens went horribly wrong. Jan's book, I Hear More Than You See, explores her defeat of countless obstacles, including blindness, to carve out a meaningful life and become an advocate for other people with disabilities. "Her life gives testimony to her resilience to bounce back from adversity," said Faculty of Education lecturer Bob Finlay.
25 Nov 2005

Opinion - Christian voice missing from terror laws debate
Other concerns are distracting church leadership - and parishioners - from the real dangers in this legislation to the democratic freedoms and safeguards we had assumed were sacrosanct. The churches in Russia and Germany ultimately paid a high price for their disengagement and collusion. By contrast, the churches in South Africa, which led the struggle against apartheid, remain a shining example to the power of Christian witness when it mobilises against injustice and inhumanity. - Anglican laywoman Dr Muriel Porter
25 Nov 2005

Dalai Lama urges Christians not to convert to Buddhism
The Dalai Lama has said that Western Christians and Muslims should embrace the teachings of compassion and peace that can be found in their own religious traditions, rather than convert to Buddhism.
24 Nov 2005

Christian brother admits to 10 sex assaults on students
A Melbourne Christian Brother has admitted he sexually assaulted 10 students at a Catholic high school in Melbourne more than 30 years ago.
24 Nov 2005

New Catholic tertiary college embracing Graduate School model
Campion College, the Sydney-based private Catholic institution offering undergraduate courses in western Sydney from next year, has entered a debate about educational reform, asserting that it is already planning to embrace the graduate school model that is being touted by Education Minister Brendan Nelson.
24 Nov 2005

Edmund Rice advocate defends deported drug offender
Director of the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney, Phil Glendenning, has spoken out on behalf of Robert Jovicic, a stateless permanent Australian resident who was recently deported to Serbia because he has a criminal record.
24 Nov 2005

Nuncio calls for "measured" pastoral approach to challenges facing Church
Contemporary challenges in the life of the church, particularly with regard to priestly vocations and the role of the laity called for a measured, studied and pastoral approach, the Apostolic Nuncio told Australia's Bishops yesterday.
24 Nov 2005

Local theologian says gays ruling will have 'little impact'
Professor Neil Ormerod of the Australian Catholic University has said that the instruction banning practising homosexuals from admission to Catholic seminaries is not as radical as earlier drafts and would likely have little impact on recruitment practices.
24 Nov 2005

Feature - Benedict papacy "running on all cylinders"
Seven months after the conclave, the Vatican is humming with internal policy meetings, public conferences, document preparation and liturgical celebrations. The pope himself remains mostly behind the scenes, holding only important private meetings with political leaders from Iraq, Israel and Italy. He is cutting back on the group events that consumed much of his predecessor's time and energy. He has dropped private audiences with most of the apostolic nuncios in various countries, instead chatting with them after his Wednesday general audience.
24 Nov 2005

Opinion - Creatures won't survive unless we protect their habitats
Up to 50% of the planet's creatures will face extinction in the next 60 or 70 years unless we protect vulnerable habitats which are rich in biodiversity. In Australia, land clearing for European style agriculture, and the spread of cities, has destroyed many habitats. Thankfully the Church is beginning to take the environment seriously. Recently the Vatican representative at the UN, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, said the "cost of the natural ecosystem must be considered in every economic decision". - Fr Sean McDonagh, Columban environmental commentator
24 Nov 2005

Brazil abuser priest provides checklist for selecting victims
A Brazilian magazine has reported that two priests recently convicted for sexual abuse of minor boys kept diaries of their experiences.
23 Nov 2005

Pell shocked by indigenous domestic violence
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has said he was shocked by statistics showing reported rates of domestic assault in the indigenous community had increased by 50% in NSW over seven years.
23 Nov 2005

Pope strips holy orders from Pebble cult priest
A priest excommunicated from the Catholic Church has been stripped of his holy orders and responsibilities by the Pope because of his association with the religious sect of convicted sex offender, cult leader William Kamm.
23 Nov 2005

Commission urges Catholics act on death penalty
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is encouraging Catholics to take action to oppose the execution of Australian man, Van Tuong Nguyen, which is scheduled to occur in Singapore on 2 December.
23 Nov 2005

Pope says humans amount to more than their DNA
Benedict XVI has said that the dignity of a human being is not identified with his or her DNA genes, and therefore it does not diminish when genetic defects exist.
23 Nov 2005

Gay seminarians document leaked
The much anticipated statement that bans seminarians with active homosexual tendencies, was posted on an Italian news website in the early hours of this morning Australian time.
23 Nov 2005

Feature - Swiss Guard set to celebrate 500 years
22 January will mark the 500th anniversary of the arrival in Rome of 150 Swiss soldiers recruited to serve and protect Pope Julius II. Commemorative stamps, featuring artwork by former guard Rudolf Mirer, went on sale yesterday at the Vatican and in Switzerland, marking the first Vatican-Swiss stamp package. Also a history of the Guard written by Sgt. Christian-Roland Marcel Richard was released earlier this month. The current Guard has 110 male Swiss citizens, all of whom are Catholic, at least 1.73 metres tall, under 30, and unmarried when they begin their service.
23 Nov 2005

Opinion - Feeling God in vulnerability
If loneliness stretches our hearts for deeper love, a feeling of God's absence creates inside of us: anxiety for no apparent reason, feelings of guilt we can't explain, a helplessness we can't do anything about, fear of death, a feeling that somehow we aren't good enough, a restless drive to make a name for ourselves, a greedy need to drink in as much life as we can, and more. At one level, these feelings can be labelled neuroses. However sensitivity also indicates life, humanity, depth, feeling, faith, and what's inanimate and dead is never crippled by feelings. - Fr Ron Rolheiser OMI
23 Nov 2005

Two states tell schools to teach about Christmas
State schools in Western Australia and Victoria have been encouraged by education officials to teach children about the religious significance of Christmas.
22 Nov 2005

Judicial inquiry into Pakistan anti-Christian attacks
The governor of Punjab, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, has announced the opening of an inquiry into anti-Christian violence in Sangla Hill, Pakistan, on 10 November.
22 Nov 2005

Vatican beatifies 13 Mexican martyrs
The Vatican on Sunday beatified 13 Mexicans who died during a Catholic uprising in the late 1920s that was crushed by the Mexican government.
22 Nov 2005

Pope restricts autonomy of Assisi Franciscans
Pope Benedict XVI has sought to curb the independence of the Franciscans in the town of Assisi, issuing a formal order giving jurisdiction over activities at the two Franciscan basilicas to the local bishop.
22 Nov 2005

Catholic leaders warn of 'environmental refugees' scenario
A statement issued yesterday following the weekend's national climate change conference, calls for ecological conversion, warning that global warming could create a new wave of dispossessed people.
22 Nov 2005

Vinnies rejects welfare reforms
The St Vincent de Paul Society will tell the Senate Inquiry into the Welfare to Work Legislation today the new rules place further hardship on those who have already been locked out of the prosperity Australia is currently enjoying.
22 Nov 2005

Feature - Where have all the sinners gone?
A Catholic friend of mine recently went to confession at her parish church for the first time in years. She had personal reasons for wanting to seek absolution, but there was this, too: She said she'd long felt a little sorry for the priests sitting alone in their confessional boxes, waiting for sinners to arrive. A generation ago, you'd see a lot of us lined up inside Catholic churches on Saturday afternoons, waiting to take our turn in one of the confessionals. - Andrew Santella
22 Nov 2005

Opinion - Fragmentation of our shared values
In recent decades, images of Christ the King and Judge have been removed from our common consciousness. Instead of receiving a shared story, a meaning, for our lives, today we go to great trouble to construct one, individually, and at some cost. Advertisers understand this, and constantly sell clothes as 'personal statements'. A walk through Birmingham city centre taught me about the 'Goth' fashion. - Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham UK
22 Nov 2005

Catholic Council service marks Palm Island death anniversary
Justice has to be seen to be done before any families who lost loved ones through a death in custody could really be healed, a Townsville service was told on Saturday.
21 Nov 2005

Vatican Archbishop seeks healing of digital divide
The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications told a UN summit at the weekend that urgent action is required to close the divide between rich and poor that is caused by unequal access to the Internet.
21 Nov 2005

Church groups pessimistic about welfare overhaul
Government changes to welfare will create a new underclass of working poor reliant on charities, family and friends to supplement low wages, a group of church employment organisations including Catholic Welfare Australia and the St Vincent de Paul Society will tell a parliamentary inquiry today.
21 Nov 2005

Priest declares Alvarez homecoming a 'miracle'
Fr Michael Duffin yesterday declared his Sydney meeting with wrongly deported Australian Vivian Alvarez a miracle, after first encountering her in 2001 in a Philippines hospice for the destitute and dying, where she was left to waste away.
21 Nov 2005

Pell gives details on papal plea for Nguyen
The Vatican has appealed to the President of Singapore for clemency for Nguyen Tuong Van - the Australian who faces execution on 2 December - twice over the course of this year, Cardinal George Pell announced on Friday.
21 Nov 2005

Greenhouse gas emissions report 'alarming'
Bishop Christopher Toohey and delegates at the Catholic Earthcare climate change conference in Canberra at the weekend said they are appalled by a United Nations report that has shown a significant increase in Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
21 Nov 2005

Feature - Gaudi masterpiece sparks controversy
Rather than a symbol of bygone devotion, Gaudi's yet to be completed Sagrada Familia cathedral is Spain's most visited tourist attraction. Its huge budget is funded entirely by tourist ticket sales and donations. Now Barcelona's Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach wants part of the money to help fund the poor parishes and poor people in the city. "People who ask how the church can justify so much money in donations for Sagrada Familia and tie it to the humility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ," he said.
21 Nov 2005

Opinion - Pope reads riot act to Austrian bishops
Last Monday, the Holy Father extended an accolade to the Italian Bishops' Conference, for the part they played in defeating the country's June referendum that sought to legalise destruction of human embryos. But on 5 November he blamed the Austrian bishops for thir lack of enthusiasm in facing the challenge of secularisation in their country: "Prudence must not prevent us from presenting the Word of God in all its clarity, including [aspects that provoke] protest and derision". - Sandro Magister
21 Nov 2005

Leniency for priest whom Hinch shamed
A former priest and convicted paedophile has had three child sex charges quashed and his jail term for a series of others substantially reduced.
18 Nov 2005

US Bishops approve lay ecclesial ministry guidelines
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved a major document giving guidelines on lay ecclesial ministry, after some debate over use of the terms "minister" and "ministry" with regard to lay people serving the church.
18 Nov 2005

Brisbane Mercies establish ACU scholarship fund
The Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation, through Australian Catholic University, has endowed a substantial scholarship fund on the University's Brisbane Campus (McAuley at Banyo) to continue and honour the work of their Sisters.
18 Nov 2005

Pope presses for pact during meeting with Israel leader
Pope Benedict XVI accepted an invitation to visit the Holy Land during meeting yesterday with Israeli President Moshe Katsav, during which he sought to revive lagging negotiations toward a juridical pact establishing the rights of the Church in Israel.
18 Nov 2005

Catholic Students unite to help death row Aussie
The Australian Catholic Students Association (ACSA) has been backed by international affiliates in its support for attempts to persuade the Singapore Government to commute the death sentence of Van Tuong Nguyen.
18 Nov 2005

Bishop explains why Australians loathe politicians
Melbourne auxiliary Bishop Mark Coleridge has suggested that politicians are held in contempt because Australians feel increasingly excluded from the political process despite being more dependent on it than ever.
18 Nov 2005

Feature - Financial challenge for rebuilt church in Tibet
The only Catholic parish in Tibet is struggling to pay off the construction costs for its new church and buildings. The church was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, later rebuilt, then seriously damaged by an earthquake. Fr Lawrence Lu Rendi is parish priest of the church in Shangyanjing village in south-eastern Tibet. The 520 parishioners are mostly ethnic Tibetans, though some are ethnic Naxi and Han Chinese women who have married local men. After the 1999 earthquake, they had to rebuild their houses, and could hardly help with the reconstruction of the church.
18 Nov 2005

Opinion - Migrant vulnerabilities invite Church pastoral response
People leave their countries because they and their families can no longer live with dignity, well-being and security. Those who manage to enter another country irregularly may find themselves exploited in prostitution. Migrants in an irregular situation are vulnerable. Their human dignity and rights are not guaranteed by law. - Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, speaking yesterday at the Australian Conference for Pastoral Agents of Migrants and Itinerant People, Sydney
18 Nov 2005

Looming execution of three Indonesian Catholics
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has denied pardon, and the three men will "soon" be put to death after they have been found responsible for inter-religious clashes in Poso in 2000.
17 Nov 2005

US Bishops statement calls for rejection of death penalty
A new statement on the death penalty that calls on society to "reject the tragic illusion that we can demonstrate respect for life by taking life, was approved by the US bishops on Tuesday in a nearly unanimous vote.
17 Nov 2005

Cardinal to spell out challenges facing asylum seeker pastoral care
The Church faces several key challenges in delivering pastoral care to people on the move, Cardinal Stephen Hamao, President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People will tell a conference in Sydney today.
17 Nov 2005

Pope enters Italian pre-election abortion debate
Pope Benedict warmly praised pro-life activists yesterday, as the Italian government was considering deploying them into abortion advice centres to try to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies.
17 Nov 2005

Catholic doctors urge continued ban on 'human pesticide'
Australian Catholic doctors are backing a number of MPs in campaigning to maintain the ban on the abortion drug Mifepristone (RU486), which is being dubbed "human pesticide".
17 Nov 2005

Commission to tell Senate Inquiry of concerns for vulnerable
The Catholic Church's employment relations body will tell a Senate Inquiry today of its concerns about the potential impact of the government's workplace changes on the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
17 Nov 2005

Feature - Bishop's remains set to return to Hobart
Graves aren't re-opened lightly, but plans are now in place for the remains of a Catholic bishop to be removed from an English grave and sent across the world to Hobart for reburial. Robert Willson was Tasmania's first ever bishop and something of a radical social progressive in colonial Australia. Bishop Willson had always hoped to end his days in the island state, but instead died during a short visit to the UK. 140 years later, the Tasmanian Catholics are set to grant Bishop Willson's final wish. "He came from this little town called Hobart, went back to his country of origin and pleaded on behalf of those who were suffering," says Fr Brian Nichols of the Cathedral parish.
17 Nov 2005

Opinion - The inconsistency of the morally dizzy
An Episcopalian church in Pasadena is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service for violations of its tax-exempt status because last year during presidential election season, its former rector, the Rev. George Regas, gave a sermon against war. Meanwhile, in some Catholic dioceses, particular politicians who said they themselves were opposed to abortion but had voted pro-choice for other political or social reasons were denied the right to receive Communion. But none of those cases, illegitimate as they may seem in the light of the Regas case, have become targets of the IRS. Consistency, it seems, can be its own kind of moral problem. - Sr Joan Chittister OSB.
17 Nov 2005

Super fund gets licence to serve wider Catholic community
The Catholic Superannuation Fund (CSF), the industry superannuation fund for Catholic education announced this week that it has been granted a Registrable Superannuation Entities (RSE) licence by the industry regulating body.
16 Nov 2005

Vatican conference told coaches, parents must support the "whole player"
Coaches and parents need to get on the same team and cheer for the spiritual and personal development of their children on the court or in the field, said some participants at the Vatican's first meeting on sports.
16 Nov 2005

Bishop calls for new AIDS theology
A South African Catholic cleric who supports the use of condoms against HIV/AIDS has called for a new "theology" for the pandemic.
16 Nov 2005

Vatican adviser says no more moral tolerance of nuclear deterrence
The Vatican's "strictly conditioned" acceptance of US nuclear deterrence policy since the 1980s appears to be over, a Vatican adviser said at the weekend.
16 Nov 2005

"Dissident" theologian heaps praise on Pope Benedict
Professor Richard McBrien of Notre Dame University in the US, who is sometimes labelled a "dissident" theologian, has described Pope Benedict XVI as "open and secure", praising him for his willingness to enter into discussion on a range of issues.
16 Nov 2005

Commission worried about outworkers under IR rules
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is deeply concerned about the impact of the Federal Government's workplace relations system on outworkers in the clothing industry.
16 Nov 2005

Feature - Overseas-born Catholics lead in mass attendance
National Church Life Survey figures show that migration has boosted weekly Mass attendance. Maltese-born Bishop Joseph Grech of Sandhurst Diocese in Victoria, who is Chairman of the Bishop's Committee for Migrants and Refugees, is not surprised by the large number of overseas-born Catholics attending Mass in comparison to their Australian-born counterparts. Bishop Grech explains that migrant Catholics "come from a very, very strong background, a background which is much more participatory". He also speaks of an emphasis on "the heart element".
16 Nov 2005

Opinion - Questions about the wisdom of importing priests
It is essentially consumerism: a wealthy, first-world church can afford to 'buy in' priests from developing countries to maintain the 'lifestyle' - the existing structure of parishes and access to Eucharist - of Australian Catholics. Today's situation is not simply the 21st century version of an earlier dearth of priests, which was met by the importation of large numbers of Irish priests. The Irish clergy arrived originally to serve a growing church. The present prospect of importing priests is a response to a severe downturn in the number of 'locals'. - Fr Richard Lennan
16 Nov 2005

NZ Cathedral restoration a chance to recreate precious lost icon
The whereabouts of a priceless ancient holy icon, brought to New Zealand in the mid-1800s by a French missionary, remains a riddle.
15 Nov 2005

Italian woman healed at Lourdes
The Catholic Church has officially recognised the 'miraculous' cure of an Italian woman who visited Lourdes more than 50 years ago when she was suffering from a lethal form of rheumatic heart disease.
15 Nov 2005

Catholics, Anglicans say they must work as one to proclaim Gospel
The fact that Roman Catholics and Anglicans are not in full communion does not excuse them from working together to proclaim the Gospel, according to a representation of bishops from both communities that included Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby.
15 Nov 2005

Top US bishop assesses abuse scandal morale cost
The Autumn meeting of the US bishops' Conference, opened in Washington yesterday, with a declaration by Conference President Bishop William Skylstad that, despite the clergy sex abuse scandals of recent years, he finds a "high level of morale" among the American clergy.
15 Nov 2005

Intelligent design a 'non-event' for NSW Catholic schools
Catholic schools have distanced themselves from the furore surrounding the teaching of intelligent design in science classes, insisting the theory must be discussed only in religion classes.
15 Nov 2005

Pope tells new ambassador the US must build consensus
In a meeting with the new US Ambassador to the Holy See, in which neither party mentioned the Iraq war, Pope Benedict XVI nevertheless said US attempts to promote democratic freedoms should be matched by consensus-building with other countries.
15 Nov 2005

Feature - Bishop's mission in footsteps of Blessed Charles de Foucauld
In Rome for Sunday's beatification of Charles de Foucauld, whose remains are buried in his diocese, Bishop Claude Rault - named Bishop of Laghouat this year - speaks of his mission as a presence that consists not so much of theological dialogue, as of "fraternal" proximity in daily life, right in the footsteps of the new Blessed, and of a country, Algeria, that had been dragged into violence for reasons that were more economic than religious, and of an Islam which is not as "compact" as it appears in the West.
15 Nov 2005

Opinion - How design supporters insult God's intelligence
Intelligent design has become the latest hot topic in the increasingly blurred distinction between secular and sacred in Australian society. It has received qualified support from the federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Brendan Nelson, and is being promoted within some Christian schools as an acceptable "scientific" alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution. Yet intelligent design is based on a misunderstanding of God's relationship to creation. - Dr Neil Ormerod, Australian Catholic University
15 Nov 2005

Survey says missing Mass doesn't make Catholics 'bad'
A national survey of US Catholics has reported that 76% of the respondents said they could be good Catholics without fulfilling the weekly Mass obligation.
14 Nov 2005

ACU lecturer says resilience' helps combat school bullying
Toni Noble of the Australian Catholic University has said she is convinced that schools can help to break the bullying cycle by promoting resilience among students.
14 Nov 2005

French bishops blame riots on politicians and economists
In the wake of this month's civil unrest, France's Catholic bishops warned government officials against hard-line solutions to the country's rioting and placed some of the blame on them.
14 Nov 2005

Italian paper reveals details of gays in priesthood document
A long-awaited Vatican document says that the church cannot ordain as priests those who are active homosexuals, who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies or who support the "gay culture", according to Il Giornale.
14 Nov 2005

Charles de Foucauld beatified in Rome
Charles de Foucauld was beatified yesterday in Rome, to the great joy of the members of the many different movements of Fraternities that he founded or inspired.
14 Nov 2005

Pope encourages quick completion of English Mass translation
Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his hope that the new English translation of the Mass prayers will be completed soon.
14 Nov 2005

Feature - Designer God?
The intelligent design debate has visited the Vatican this month, provoking some inflated newspaper headlines and a bit of theological fine-tuning by Pope Benedict XVI. After a cardinal criticised the fundamentalist approach of creationists, the pope weighed in, saying the created world must be understood as an "intelligent project." To some, his phrase echoed "intelligent design", but to others it suggested something quite different.
14 Nov 2005

Opinion - Readers at Mass do more than read
Almost everyone can read, but only some can effectively proclaim the word of God. The are best described as 'Ministers of the Word'. The only contact that many Catholics have with the living word of scripture occurs at Sunday Mass. It is vital that this encounter be positive so that they will develop over time a "warm and living love of scripture". - Elizabeth Harrington
14 Nov 2005

Anniversary service to spotlight Ned's neglected gravesite
Today marks the 125th anniversary of the execution of Ned Kelly at the Old Melbourne Gaol, and former prison chaplain Fr Peter Norden has organised a commemorative service that is taking place at 9:00 am this morning in the Old Melbourne Gaol.
11 Nov 2005

Goliath found?
A very small ceramic shard unearthed by Israeli University archaeologists digging at Tell es-Safi, the biblical city "Gath of the Philistines," may hold a very large clue into the history of the well-known biblical figure Goliath.
11 Nov 2005

Milestone in Melbourne Catholic health minstry
St Vincent's & Mercy Private Hospital recently celebrated new building developments in an official blessing and opening ceremony.
11 Nov 2005

Vatican to hold international seminar on sport
The first international seminar on sport organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity begins today in Rome.
11 Nov 2005

Police say Azahari was preparing Christmas church terror
Terrorism mastermind Azahari bin Husin and his group were preparing a series of bomb attacks against churches in Malang to coincide with the Christmas, according to Indonesian police sources.
11 Nov 2005

Pope condemns Jordan hotel terrorist bombings
Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out against Wednesday's terrorist bombings of three hotels in the Jordanian capital of Amman, offering his prayers for the victims, and for those working for peace in the Middle East.
11 Nov 2005

Feature - Putting Jesus in the mainstream
The National Church Life Survey says Christ is better known to schoolchildren as a swear word than as the Son of God. But the conservative, often provocative, Sydney Anglican leader, Dr Peter Jensen, is on a mission to reconnect with Australia's non-believers. Author Chris McGillion says he hawks a brand of Christianity that gives exclusive priority to "scripture over the sacramental life of the church". Under his uncompromising leadership, the Sydney Anglican diocese has set itself a target of converting 10% of Sydney to Bible-based churches.
11 Nov 2005

Opinion - The freedom to be myself
One of the very special benefits that I have received is the freedom to be myself. Pressures people impose on us constitute an enormous influence on us. The saddest plight to plague a person, especially in his or her formative years, is the powerful impact endured because of manipulation by others. It is, without doubt, the most insidious form of personal abuse that we can suffer, where the threat of not being loved is used to elicit the price of our conformity. This is why Jesus' example of unconditional love is so paramount. - Fr Gerard Dowling
11 Nov 2005

Vatican sees podcasting as important pastoral tool
Podcasting, already offered by Vatican Radio and Church Resources, offers an important new way for pastors to reach contemporary Christians through their digital jukeboxes, an influential Jesuit magazine said.
10 Nov 2005

Irish Catholic leaders to face new abuse probe
The role of senior churchmen in dealing with allegations of child sex abuse in the Dublin Diocese will come under scrutiny in a new investigation.
10 Nov 2005

Pope says God's love puts order in creation
Pope Benedict XVI talked about the deception of atheism, and the love of God for all his creatures, at his weekly public audience yesterday.
10 Nov 2005

Catholic Earthcare highlights Vatican climate change intervention
The director of Catholic Earthcare Australia has said that the recent statement of Vatican UN nuncio Archbishop Celestino Migliore has particular relevance to Australia, given the country's unenviable record of being the world's greatest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases.
10 Nov 2005

Vinnies says welfare reforms lack fairness
St Vincent de Paul Society's national operations manager, Dr John Falzon has said that it is absurdity to maintain that, in order to work harder, the rich need large carrots while the poor need large sticks.
10 Nov 2005

Howard repeats dismissal of religious IR concerns
Prime Minister John Howard told Parliament yesterday that despite condemnation of his industrial relations proposals from the Catholic and Anglican churches, no faith can claim to speak with one view.
10 Nov 2005

Feature - Soprano gives thanks for blessings
Amelia Farrugia goes to Tasmania later this month to perform at a Viennese Gala Night. It will be her first time there since 1996 and her narrow escape from the Port Arthur massacre, which she says affected her deeply. She said it has made her more aware of her blessings in life and determined not to take them for granted. She and husband Paul married in 1996 after a 13-month courtship. Amelia says he is her "rock". The couple are teaching their son Ben about their Catholic faith. "He's just old enough now to sit through and appreciate Mass and appreciate who God is, who Jesus is."
10 Nov 2005

Opinion - Eucharistic celebration requires concern for poor
One can understand why some bishops at the Synod encouraged a return to older Eucharistic practices. However Christ is present not only in the bread and wine, but in the sharing of the bread, which leads to solidarity with those in need. As Pope Benedict wrote in his final message, the sufferings of the poor "cannot remain extraneous to the celebration of the Eucharistic Mystery which summons all of us to work for justice and transformation of the world in an active and conscious fashion". - Fr Bruce Duncan CSsR, Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne
10 Nov 2005

Israeli archaeologists uncover 'oldest church'
Israeli archaeologists have uncovered near a prison what they believe could be the oldest church ever found in the Holy Land - a discovery that experts say may shed new light on early Christianity.
9 Nov 2005

China jails three for printing Bibles
A Chinese court sentenced a Protestant minister, his wife and her brother to prison terms of up to three years on Tuesday for illegally printing Bibles and other Christian publications, one of their lawyers said.
9 Nov 2005

Clinton thanks Caritas for Tsunami aid
The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former US President Bill Clinton, has told Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Duncan MacLaren that the help given by Caritas organisations was "invaluable to the region".
9 Nov 2005

Vatican sets record straight on dual Catholic theologian
Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls has denied press speculation that Pope Benedict XVI knew that German biblical scholar Klaus Berger claimed to be both Catholic and Protestant, and raised no objections.
9 Nov 2005

Vinnies building units for mentally ill
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria has announced that it will build six independent living units for people with mental illness in Melbourne.
9 Nov 2005

Welfare package changes 'not enough'
Catholic Welfare Australia and other church groups are pushing for further changes to the Federal Government's welfare-to-work package that was unveiled yesterday.
9 Nov 2005

Feature - The hidden life of Charles de Foucauld
He lived a remarkable life of adventure, deprivation and devotion. A man of extremes, an aristocratic bon vivant whose conversion to Christianity led him to embrace a life of radical solitude and prayer, Charles de Foucauld was killed in 1916 by a group of rebels in the Algerian desert where he had lived in the midst of a Berber tribe for 10 years, drawn to serve the poor and the forsaken. Foucauld, who will be beatified in Rome on Sunday, was inspired by the "hidden life" of Jesus in Nazareth and hoped that other disciples of Jesus would be as well.
9 Nov 2005

Opinion - Church not 'dotty' over Blessed Virgin
The first impression is that the Catholic Church goes completely dotty, loses touch with proper theology and even proper language and descends to inarticulate billing and cooing over Mary. But Mary is an integral part of God's project for the world, and also for the church. Without Mary the Church might be a heartless barracks, where people threaten and bark at one another all day. With her, its sharp edges are blunted by something else: compassion. - Sr Amadeus Bulger CJ, former Pastoral Director of the English College Seminary, Rome
9 Nov 2005

Inauguration of Bali's first Marian shrine
Sanih Water, Bali's first Marian shrine, was inaugurated late last month after an eight-year wait, with more than 1500 Catholics from Denpasar parishes attended the first mass celebrated there by the Denpasar Bishop Banyamin Yosef Bria.
8 Nov 2005

Priests say Iraqi Christians now victims of extortion
Some Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have become the victims of extortion as unknown terrorist groups threaten to kill them or kidnap family members if they do not pay large sums of cash, said two Iraqi priests.
8 Nov 2005

Newly-beatified Mother Rosa hailed as friend to the poor
On Sunday, in the cathedral of Vicenza, Third Order lay Franciscan, Eurosia Fabris, was pronounced Blessed, before Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
8 Nov 2005

Experts seek to curb 'national epidemic' of child abuse
Child abuse will continue to rise unless community life is strengthened and victims and their families receive adequate support say Catholic welfare experts.
8 Nov 2005

French bishops express concern about urban violence
Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard, president of the French bishops conference, has published a formal declaration deploring the "climate of mutual suspicion" that has precipitated the continuing violence spreading through France.
8 Nov 2005

Pope welcomes milestone in dialogue with Lutherans
Meeting yesterday with Lutheran Bishop Mark Hanson, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the "intense" ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans, but acknowledged that serious differences remain.
8 Nov 2005

Feature - Pilgrimage marks lay community's transition
After 29 years, members of St Joseph's House of Prayer, Goulburn, symbolically closed the doors of the former orphanage and set off for their new home on the banks of Lake George. Led by Archbishop Francis Carroll, they began a prayerful walk down the driveway. The sun was setting, giving a beautiful sense of closure. A bus took them to Geary's Gap. They walked along the lake shore, stopping on the way to give thanks for the journey and God's faithfulness to the community.
8 Nov 2005

Opinion - End of the fair go for workers
Under the current IR system, the Industrial Relations Commission must certify agreements. Under Howard's IR legislation, agreements are merely lodged in the office of the employment advocate. A fair agreement depends upon the grace and favour of the employer; an unlikely scenario. Millions of Australian workers will be subject to that predatory animal we know as "the market". - Laurie Gillespie, retired industrial advocate and Corinda/Graceville parishioner
8 Nov 2005

Parishioners die in fire en-route to Mass
Emergency crews yesterday found the bodies of Mrs Sylvia Hoad and Mrs Margaret Walsh, who had perished in a house fire as they were about to leave for mass in the southern NSW town of Ganmain.
7 Nov 2005

Cardinal endorses condom use for married couples
Cameroon's cardinal has approved the use of condoms as a protective measure against HIV/Aids, provided the couples using them are married.
7 Nov 2005

IR reforms to sideline body that Pope admired
The Australian Political Ministry Network has highlighted the impending reduction of the powers of the independent Industrial Relations Commission, which Pope John Paul II described during his 1986 visit to Australia as a "unique system of arbitration and conciliation" which has "helped to defend the rights of workers".
7 Nov 2005

Pope hails Dei Verbum as focal point of Vatican II legacy
Pope Benedict XVI spoke yesterday of the Conciliar Document Aabout Revelation (Dei Verbum) and its "fundamental importance" for the life of the Church.
7 Nov 2005

Catholics and Buddhists pray to cheat hangman
More than 1000 people filled Australia's biggest church yesterday to pray for the life of Nguyen Tuong Van, the 25 year old convicted Australian drug trafficker on death row in Singapore.
7 Nov 2005

Feature - Terror, treason and plot
Saturday marked the 400th anniversary of the Guy Fawkes conspiracy to bring down the Government in London by blowing up its members. The story of the Gunpowder Plot is one of the most familiar tales in English history. In the wake of the July bombings in London, the memory of Fawkes' ill-fated act of terrorism acquires a special poignancy. To some, it seems a story of untrustworthy Catholics and their sinister Jesuit confessors has been replaced by one of Muslims and their equally shady apologists.
7 Nov 2005

Opinion - Howard anti-sedition laws would convict Christ
"Anyone who is relaxed and comfortable about the proposed anti-terrorism legislation might care to read Chapter 23 of Luke's Gospel," Canberra auxiliary bishop, Pat Power, said last week. "Jesus is dragged before Pilate accused of sedition. The trumped-up charges are laid but Pilate returns a 'not guilty' verdict. The accusers become more insistent, so the cowardly Pilate orders a review, sending Jesus off to be examined by Herod." - David Marr
7 Nov 2005

Australian Catholic University strengthens ties with Vinnies
ACU National has strengthened ties with the St Vincent de Paul Society Sydney Archdiocese with the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
4 Nov 2005

Wollongong site to help fund new cathedral
The NSW Diocese of Wollongong will investigate commercial uses for church land to help fund a new cathedral in the city.
4 Nov 2005

Scientists, theologians to explore infinity
Scientists and theologians will discuss the concept of infinity at a conference to be held at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome in the coming week.
4 Nov 2005

Kasper and Israel president deny Last Supper Room 'site swap'
Reports that Israel and the Vatican plan a religious "site swap", giving the Church control of the Last Supper Room in David's Tomb on Jerusalem's Mount Zion in exchange for Jewish control of the ancient Toledo Synagogue in Spain, were denied on Wednesday by President Moshe Katsav and Cardinal Walter Kasper.
4 Nov 2005

Christians and Muslims urged to strengthen engagement
Christians and Muslims must strengthen their engagement in building up good relations among people of different religions, to promote cultural dialogue and to work together for lasting peace, the Vatican said in its message for the end of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.
4 Nov 2005

Bishop speaks out after beheading of three schoolgirls
Politics - not religion - lies behind last weekend's savage killing of three girls in Indonesia, according to the local bishop.
4 Nov 2005

Feature - How C.S. Lewis became the hottest theologian of 2005
This year, C.S. Lewis' US publishers have sold twice as many of his titles as in 2001. Books about Lewis debut annually. One reason is that, despite a certain datedness of style and reference, Lewis' brief for Christian belief is superbly organised and easy to follow. He was not a great aphorist, but he had a genius for the deceptively homey metaphor and the extended polemical line that detonates in climaxes such as his rejection of the idea of Jesus as primarily a moral tutor.
4 Nov 2005

Opinion - Speaking our truth from a deeper place
Both liberals and conservatives carry important truths and values. But they're are generally too encrusted within liberal or conservative ideology to be palatable to anyone of the opposite persuasion. But if I define myself as a woman or man of faith, my first message will be that: "Everyone is equal in God's eyes, irrespective of race, gender, or sexual orientation," or "Family, heterosexual marriage, and chastity are key to the survival of the human race."
4 Nov 2005

Denial of reports of threat to East Timor Protestant pastor
A story that has been circulating that Rev Ferdinando Flores will soon be executed in retribution for converting East Timorese Catholics to his own Christian denomination, are false, according to the Rome-based AsiaNews agency.
3 Nov 2005

Vigil for Vietnam's 'weeping' virgin
A "weeping" Virgin Mary statue has drawn crowds of devotees to Ho Chi Minh City's Catholic cathedral since Saturday, with government officials doing nothing so far to disrupt the vigil.
3 Nov 2005

Caritas Australia commits $1m to Pakistan emergency response
Caritas Australia is putting $1 million towards the emergency response in Pakistan following the devastating earthquake that struck the central Asia region early last month.
3 Nov 2005

Pope says remembering dead helps reflect on our own lives
Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday - All Souls Day - that in remembering those who have died, Christians naturally reflect on their own lives and on how to ensure that they will enjoy happiness forever with God.
3 Nov 2005

Vinnies Christmas spotlight on social fallout of mental illness
At this morning's Christmas Appeal launch, the St Vincent de Paul (NSW/ACT) will call on the community and governments to address the social consequences of mental illness, in light of the Society's recent submission to the Senate Inquiry Into Mental Health.
3 Nov 2005

Feature - In troubled days, religions need to find common ground
For almost 2000 years, Catholics believed the Jews killed Christ. Then in 1965, Vatican II's declaration on inter-religious dialogue halted the blame game. Rabbi Raymond Apple, joint president of the Australian Council of Christians and Jews, says dialogue is not about either side seeking to change the other. Part of the challenge lies in connecting the immoveable fringes of both faiths. Interfaith dialogue has been mostly a conversation between church moderates.
3 Nov 2005

Opinion - We Catholics need to talk, urgently
In September, the Grand Jury Report on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was published. The Archdiocese has displayed the same old mindset, dismissing the Report as the product of anti-Catholicism. We must face the hard truths, even if it means deconstructing a Catholicism we had grown secure in. Why do we maintain the law of celibacy for diocesan clergy? Is there some connection between our attitudes to sexuality and our use and abuse of power? - Fr Michael Whelan SM
3 Nov 2005

Archbishop celebrates Mass in Moscow Cathedral
Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, presided over the the celebration of a Pontifical Mass on Sunday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Russia.
2 Nov 2005

Belgian priest 'ready to stand trial' in Rwanda genocide case
A Belgian priest arrested in Rwanda on genocide charges says he is innocent and ready to stand trial, but cautions that ethnic reconciliation in the central African nation is far from reality.
2 Nov 2005

Brisbane Catholic group urges Govt to fix prisons
The Queensland Government is not doing enough to support prisoners released from the state's jails, the co-ordinator of Brisbane Catholic Prison Ministry said recently.
2 Nov 2005

Caritas worker killed by northern Uganda geurilla group
Caritas Australia has received news that a Caritas worker from a partner agency in northern Uganda - Caritas Gulu - was tragically killed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) last Wednesday.
2 Nov 2005

Pope's All Saints Day prayer for constant vigilance
During the prayer of the Angelus yesterday - the Solemnity of All Saints - Pope Benedict XVI said this feast and the tradition to visit the graves of our deceased is an opportunity to "think without fear about the mystery of death and to develop this constant vigilance in order to face it with serenity."
2 Nov 2005

Nominee likely fifth Catholic on US Supreme Court
If Judge Samuel Alito Jr. is confirmed as a US Supreme Court justice, it would be the first time in history that the majority of justices on the nation's highest court are Catholic.
2 Nov 2005

Feature - Hindu and Christian festivals coincide
Hindus are currently celebrating the three-day feast of Diwali. Diwali comes from the word "Deepavali" meaning "cluster of lights." It symbolises the triumph of truth over lies, of light over darkness, of life over death, of good over evil. The feast has similar themes with the Celtic feast of "Samhain" - the end of the season of light and the beginning of the season of darkness - which underlies our Hallow E'en, All Saints and All Souls.
2 Nov 2005

Opinion - Catholic student movement's social analysis tool
Involved in campus politics, at one stage I headed a right-wing Asian Catholic group which I tried unsuccessfully to conscientise. But through it, I was introduced to the International Movement of Catholic Students Australia, an international movement emphasising immersion, contemplation and action in solidarity with the poor. Its method gave me a tool of analysis for life. - Research officer Minh Nguyen
2 Nov 2005

Nurse educator puts care at heart of 'art' of nursing
Fledgling nurses from the Australian Catholic University Brisbane Campus have been advised to treat each patient as if they were their mother.
32 Nov 2005

New US study finds lay ecclesial ministry still growing
A study of lay ministers in the US reports that there are now nearly 31,000 paid lay parish ministers in the country and more than 2000 others who work in parish ministry at least 20 hours a week on a volunteer basis.
32 Nov 2005

Australian Copts pray for peace in Alexandria
Australian Coptic Orthodox Christians have launched a special inititive to pray for peace in Alexandria, Egypt, where sectarian attacks have been directed at some of their churches.
32 Nov 2005

Ratzinger replacement a sex abuse troubleshooter
Archbishop William Levada, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has told Vatican Radio that he believes the new Pope may have been looking for an American because the office was swamped with sex-abuse cases from the US.
32 Nov 2005

Pope makes surprise personal pilgrimage to Marian shrine
Pope Benedict XVI quietly left Rome for a personal pilgrimage to a Marian shrine at Mentorella, Italy, on Saturday, replicating a similar pilgrimage that the newly elected Pope John Paul II made 27 years earlier.
32 Nov 2005

Beatification again delayed for French priest
Pope Benedict XVI gave his approval for the beatification of 25 church figures in October and November, but French Fr Leon Dehon was not among them.
32 Nov 2005

Feature - No longer God's Rottweiler
When the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI first appeared at St Peter's Basilica in April, he was smiling broadly. He did not want to be Pope. But having accepted the decision of the conclave after no small amount of internal wrestling with God's will (and his own), Benedict XVI's happiness was that of a man who had been liberated to be himself after subordinating his personality for 23 years to the work John Paul II had asked him to do. - George Weigel
32 Nov 2005

Opinion - Assessing the Iraq Constitution referendum
Although displaying the iciness with which it usually treats events in Iraq, the Holy See's L'Osservatore Romano newspaper defines the result as "a step forward". On the same day, the Vatican nuncio in Iraq, Archbishop Fernando Filoni lamented the fact that the new constitution "contains some striking contradictions", in defending religious freedom but also banning laws incompatible with Islam. - Sandro Magister

32 Nov 2005