Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR MARCH 2006

   
Caritas mourns woman featured in Project Compassion story
Caritas Australia yesterday learnt of the death of PNG woman Judy Michael, whose life and work were featured in the resource material for this year's Project Compassion.
31 Mar 2006

Afghan Christian convert arrives in Italy as refugee
An Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting to Christianity flew to Italy after his release from prison.
31 Mar 2006

Cyclone bolsters General Cosgrove's Catholic faith
General Peter Cosgrove said his Catholic faith had been reinforced by the courage of the people of far north Queensland in the aftermath of Cyclone Larry.
31 Mar 2006

New opportunity for Catholic Welfare to aid most disadvantaged
The head of Catholic Welfare Australia Mr Frank Quinlan yesterday welcomed the news that his organisation has secured Government contracts to provide more services to the needy.
31 Mar 2006

Pope says human weakness not a barrier to religious calling
Human weakness is not a barrier to a vocation in the priesthood or religious life, "as long as they contribute to making us more aware of the fact that we need the redeeming grace of Christ", Benedict XVI said.
31 Mar 2006

Archbishop pays tribute for JP2 death anniversary
Archbishop Francis Carroll today paid tribute to John Paul II as millions across the world prepare to commemorate the first anniversary of his death.
31 Mar 2006

Feature - John Paul II's pen pal
Danuta Michalowska and John Paul II shared a unique relationship that spanned a lifetime: they exchanged more than 100 letters - including a final note from the pope just two weeks before he died. That letter was not intended to be made public, but one year later, Michalowska felt compelled to do just that.
31 Mar 2006

Opinion - A pope of surprises
Rome had never seen a pope such as John Paul II. But almost as remarkable as the life and death of John Paul II was the election of a German pope to succeed the Polish pope. In his own quiet and incisive way, the Benedict XVI is adding another episode to the remarkable story of the papacy. For all the differences of style and personality between the Bavarian Pope and his predecessor, something deeper and more vital continues - Bishop Mark Coleridge
31 Mar 2006

New law forces UK retreat houses to tolerate black masses
New rules forcing UK Catholic retreat centres to accommodate militant gays or even satanists have been met with a flurry of complaints.
30 Mar 2006

PNG bishops argue condoms OK for some
Some PNG bishops are resisting the Church's strict teaching on condoms by allowing their clinics to hand out condoms to HIV/AIDS infected people.
30 Mar 2006

World youth ministry leaders to attend Sydney Symposium
Three international experts on youth ministry will visit Australia in July to speak at the first National Symposium on Catholic Youth Ministry.
30 Mar 2006

Pope hails communion as God's gift in divided world
Communion is a divine gift in a world that suffers from divisions and solitude, says the Pope.
30 Mar 2006

Catholic Health says Govt Dept cannot probe abuse
Catholic Health Australia chief executive Francis Sullivan said it is "important that any (nursing home abuse) complaints process is independent of the Department (of Health and Ageing), because of the department's influence over funding."
30 Mar 2006

Archbishop warns ACT same-sex law undermines marriage
The ACT's plans to legally recognise same-sex civil unions would undermine the unique nature of marriage between a man and a woman, Archbishop Francis Carroll said.
30 Mar 2006

Feature - Living with HIV/AIDS in PNG
Judy is a mother of five living in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Nine years ago her husband left her and their children for another wife. Many months later he returned suffering from diarrhoea and rashes. He was tested for HIV and found to be positive. Judy was then tested and found that she also had the disease. Sadly, Judy's story is an increasingly common one in PNG.
30 Mar 2006

Opinion - Church must speak out on work issues
Work is something that most of us spent a large amount of our lives doing. Most people have to work in order to live. Family life cannot happen without at least one income coming into the home, and increasingly these days two are required to make ends meet. Given that work is so fundamental to human life it seems strange that it has been so downgraded over recent years as a Church priority - Paul Donovan
30 Mar 2006

Jazz musician Brubeck to receive Catholic Medal
Jazz legend Dave Brubeck has been named winner of the University of Notre Dame's 2006 Laetare Medal.
29 Mar 2006

Encyclical Deus Caritas Est released on CD
The Archdiocese of Melbourne has released a double CD narration of Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical, which was launched three months ago in Rome.
29 Mar 2006

Pope says he will visit China
Benedict XVI told a delegation from Hong Kong that he will visit communist China but the trip's timing depends on "God's wish", AP reports.
29 Mar 2006

Vatican ceremonies mark anniversary of John Paul's death
The Vatican this week will host a series of ceremonies and events to observe the anniversary of John Paul II's death.
29 Mar 2006

Vinnies kicks off IR laws war
The St Vincent de Paul Society is at the centre of a bitter test case under the Government's new workplace laws, according to a report in the Melbourne Herald-Sun this morning.
29 Mar 2006

Council urges Australia to follow UK lead on Hicks
The Bishops' justice and peace agency has called on the Government to follow the UK's lead in pursuing "real justice" for accused Australian terrorist David Hicks.
29 Mar 2006

Opinion - Simon of Cyrene bore Christ's Cross
When Jesus was too weak and wearied to carry the cross, a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, was forced to help him carry it. This was not something for which he had volunteered. No doubt being conscripted to help carry the cross was an irritation and something humbling and shameful for him. Yet, ironically, this would be the most significant thing he would do in his whole life, earning him a place in history and folklore - Ron Rolheiser
29 Mar 2006

Feature - Report from Caritas Iraq
As the civilian death toll in Iraq grows each day, ordinary people are struggling to survive. The Catholic charity, Caritas Iraq, is one of the few NGOs still operative in Iraq, bringing assistance to an ever-expanding number of people in need. Nabil Nissan of Caritas Iraq explains that the problems they are now facing are even more difficult than when Saddam Hussein was in power.
29 Mar 2006

Help from Melbourne for Fiji school sport
An "old boy" pupil from Melbourne has collected thousands of dollars worth of new sports equipment for Catholic schools in Fiji.
28 Mar 2006

Oxford's first Catholic theology lectureship since Reformation
Dominican priest Rev Dr Aidan Nichols has been appointed to the first lectureship in Catholic theology at Oxford University since the Reformation.
28 Mar 2006

Second clemency plea for death row Indonesian Catholics
The families of three Indonesian Catholics sentenced to death for their alleged role in sectarian violence in 2000 have appealed to the country's president for clemency.
28 Mar 2006

Marist apology to victims in abuse case
The Provincial of the Marist Fathers has issued a statement acknowledging the conclusion of a trial in the Supreme Court involving a member of his Order in Tasmania, in relation to charges of serious sexual misconduct involving minors.
28 Mar 2006

Three more hospitals for Calvary Adelaide
Little Company of Mary Health Care now owns four of Adelaide's private hospitals, encompassing almost 500 private hospital beds and 900 staff in a deal worth $34.5 million.
28 Mar 2006

Vatican pushes for diplomatic ties with Beijing
The Vatican is actively pursuing diplomatic ties with mainland China, a top Vatican foreign affairs official said.
28 Mar 2006

Feature - A guide to civilised arguments
We know that married couples will argue, quarrel and fight. But this need not affect the quality of their married life as long as both understand that their love for each other is above these conflicts and they learn how to disagree and avoid words that may cause irreparable hurt. There are plenty of examples of what not to say in an argument - Fr Henry Siew
28 Mar 2006

Opinion - The radical call of religious life
Years ago when I lived in Kirribilli I had a profound insight when one day I answered the phone with the usual "Loreto convent" and the voice at the other end of the phone said, "Sorry, I must have the wrong century". This was when I really began to understand the radical nature of the call to religious life - that God in Jesus opens up another way of being in the world - Sr Veronica Brady
28 Mar 2006

Athletes' faith surprises Commonwealth Games chaplains
Chaplains at the 2006 Commonwealth Games said they were surprised and pleased at the number of athletes openly practising their faith.
27 Mar 2006

Sydney Catholics rally against abortion
About 200 Catholics have marched through Sydney on the weekend to protest against abortion.
27 Mar 2006

Jesuits worried temporary protection is second rate
The Jesuit Refugee Service has voiced concern over the "second rate protection" offered to refugees, including the 42 West Papuan refugees granted temporary visas last week.
27 Mar 2006

PNG bishop warns jihadists setting up in West Papua
A PNG bishop claims that Muslim extremists from The Philippines and elsewhere are setting up bases in Papua with the blessing of elements of the Indonesian military.
27 Mar 2006

Employment body echoes concern on minimum wage
The Church's industrial relations body today backed growing concerns that the minimum wage could be eroded under the Federal Government's new industrial relations changes.
27 Mar 2006

Pope installs new cardinals
Pope Benedict installed his first group of new cardinals on Friday, elevating 15 men to join the exclusive College of Cardinals that advises him and will one day elect his successor.
27 Mar 2006

Feature - Speaking many tongues
Father Bob Maguire's got his computer on in front of him as I enter his study. 'Here, come over and look at this', he says. He opens up his blog and goes to click one of his weekly podcast programs. Among the topics of his show: 'Would Father Bob ever give communion to a robot?' An intriguing mix of old-fashioned values and new ideas, Fr Bob is an unlikely media celebrity - Michael McVeigh
27 Mar 2006

Opinion - A beautiful but barren church
There is a brand new church on the outskirts of Rome, in the district of Tor Tre Teste. It was designed and built by renowned American-Jewish architect Richard Meier. The church is held to be a masterpiece of contemporary religious architecture, and is the destination for many visitors and tourists. But the church is bare, barren, and taciturn, both inside and outside. It is incapable of expressing the richness of the Christian faith - Sandro Magister
27 Mar 2006

Queensland schools launch appeal for cyclone victims
Catholic schools in Queensland have launched an appeal to support the recovery of communities in North Queensland from the devastation of Cyclone Larry.
24 Mar 2006

Parents support boost to status of religious ed
High school students hoping to attend university may be able to score marks through community services under a radical overhaul of WA's Catholic education system.
24 Mar 2006

Bishops announce delegates to World Meeting of Families
Two Australian couples will attend as the Australian Bishops' delegates to the World Meeting of the Holy Father with Families in Valencia, Spain.
24 Mar 2006

Church welcomes home computer block
Moves to block violent and pornographic material before it reaches home computers will protect children from the dangers of cyberspace, the Australian Bishops Conference said.
24 Mar 2006

Edmund Rice condemnation of detention of vulnerable
The Edmund Rice Centre issued a call yesterday for immigration law reform to prevent "a return to the sorts of disgraceful situations highlighted in the cases of Mr T, Vivian Alvarez Solon, Cornelia Rau".
24 Mar 2006

Pope talks Islam dialogue with world's cardinals
Benedict XVI and most of the world's cardinals yesterday sat down for closed-door discussions on administrative and pastoral matters, including dialogue with Islam.
24 Mar 2006

Feature - Hope for Bolivian children
Alex lives in a remote village in Bolivia, South America. His father is a subsistence farmer who struggles to provide enough food for the family. Twice a month, Alex participates in the Pujllay project, a program funded by Caritas Australia. Through the project he is taught how to grow fruit and vegetables. The skills Alex gained have enabled him to begin his own vegetable garden at home, which provides nutritious food for his family.
24 Mar 2006

Opinion - A case for discipline
As a youth worker in Melbourne I spent ten years in hostels and agencies caring for children and teenagers who had been abused and removed from their homes. We regularly dealt with severe behavioural problems, but the most difficult often came from those who had existed in environments where they were free to do as they pleased. Initially I found this revelation quite surprising, but gradually I learned to understand why - Mark Reidy
24 Mar 2006

Honduran cardinal fears new religious wars
Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has voiced fears about a new outbreak of religious warfare around the world.
23 Mar 2006

Maitland-Newcastle weighs priest imports
The Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle said that he is troubled by the "consumerist mentality" to import overseas priests for the convenience of the Australian church.
23 Mar 2006

Pope's focus on 'basic mission' of Apostles
The basic mission of Jesus' Twelve Apostles and of those who evangelise today is not to spread an idea, but to lead people to Jesus and gather them into a single family, Benedict XVI said.
23 Mar 2006

Cyclone-struck diocese prays for victims
Parishioners across Cairns diocese this weekend will pray for the victims of Cyclone Larry which left hundreds homeless on Monday.
23 Mar 2006

Melbourne schools ditch cap on other faiths
A cap on non-Catholic students at Melbourne Catholic schools is to be abolished, but some schools will be required to show how they are attracting more Catholic students.
23 Mar 2006

WA Catholics 'disadvantaged' under schools RE plan
Catholic school teachers warn that thousands of Catholic school students would be disadvantaged under a plan to force them to spend as much time studying religion as core subjects.
23 Mar 2006

Feature - Asia's growing influence
A church once dominated by the global North, principally Europe, is now drawing its numbers, energy and vision increasingly from the South. As a consequence, the voices of church leaders in once isolated places such as Africa, Asia and Latin America, where two-thirds of all Catholics today live, will have increasingly global echoes - John Allen
23 Mar 2006

Opinion - A hungry season
As in many traditional agrarian communities, Darfur experiences a hungry season, the time between the consumption of one harvest's produce and the reaping of the next harvest. During the hungry season the people of Darfur will reflect, with emptying bellies, on their lot in life and on people's humanity. This food shortage after record-breaking rains and broad cultivation is not an act of nature or the result of poor farming practices. It is caused by the actions of those with power against those without power - Fr Bryan Pippins
23 Mar 2006

Catholic school denies pupils prayed to Allah
Teachers at a Catholic school in Wales have moved to quash rumours that children prayed to Allah during a religious education lesson.
22 Mar 2006

Pell secretary tells students to question teachers
Cardinal George Pell's private secretary has told Catholic students that they should stand up to lecturers whose views and course content is contrary to the teaching of the Church.
22 Mar 2006

Cardinal calls for tighter ethical governance of Catholic hospital
A revised Code of Ethics and a new "ethical governance framework" are the key demands contained in a letter to a London hospital from the Archbishop of Westminster.
22 Mar 2006

Pope sends envoy to death row Indonesians
An Indonesia bishop relayed a message of support from Pope Benedict XVI to three prisoners condemned to death after a controversial trial that many observers said was unjust.
22 Mar 2006

Pope Benedict's liturgies to change, says papal master of ceremonies
Liturgies celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI are undergoing changes, said the papal master of liturgical ceremonies.
22 Mar 2006

Vinnies to support areas worst hit by Larry
St Vincent de Paul Society will provide emergency support to those affected by the widespread destruction brought by Cyclone Larry on Monday to parts of the Queensland's far north.
22 Mar 2006

Feature - Dirty thoughts
The idea of forbidden, dirty or bad thoughts is kind of sexy in its deviance - and has made a mark in popular culture. But not all forbidden thoughts are sexual. Impure or forbidden thoughts may include sexual fantasies, violence against others or ourselves, cheating, divorce, rape, and other behaviours that we think of as the worst possible things we could do or have happen to us - Christine B Whelan
22 Mar 2006

Opinion - Vultures of the poor
Very rarely does my home country, the Philippines, get space in foreign news broadcast. If it does it is almost always bad news. Two recent tragedies - the TV game show "Wowowee" stampede and the landslide in the Southern Leyte province that buried a village - shines light on a unique breed of vultures: the vultures of the poor - Gemma Tulud Cruz
22 Mar 2006

Maori star to play Virgin Mary
Keisha Castle-Hughes, the Oscar-nominated teenaged star of Whale Rider, has been cast as Mary in Nativity, which looks at the life of the Virgin Mary before the birth of Christ.
21 Mar 2006

'Top 100' UK Catholics named
This week's Tablet magazine named the 'top 100' most influential lay Catholics in the UK.
21 Mar 2006

Goa priest murdered after speaking against inter-faith violence
The Archdiocese of Goa, India, has condemned the murder over the weekend of Fr Eusebio Ferrão, a strong critic of inter-religious violence.
21 Mar 2006

Vatican document says access to water is a human right
Access to potable water is a fundamental human right which should be guaranteed for all, according to a statement by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
21 Mar 2006

Vinnies against charities' welfare windfall
St Vincent de Paul spokesman John Falzon said that his organisation would oppose an "immoral breaching regime" in which charities would be paid $650 to look after people kicked off welfare payments for two months.
21 Mar 2006

Pope says don't work too hard
Pope Benedict XVI told members of Italian labour unions and Catholic workers' organisations that work is an "an important aspect of human existence" but they must not let their jobs take over their lives.
21 Mar 2006

Feature - Interview with 'black pope'
In his Blackie Ryan novels, Fr Andrew Greeley paints his hero as an "unobtrusive and practically invisible little auxiliary bishop" who scoots around Chicago in a White Sox windbreaker, seeing everything, absorbing everything, and in the end always solving the puzzle. Swap the Sox windbreaker for a full-length clerical cassock and make it Rome instead of Chicago and you've got a pretty good handle on Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Jesuits - John Allen
21 Mar 2006

Opinion - Interfaith dialogue in times of crisis
Last week I attended a meeting of nearly 200 leaders from all the major faiths from South East Asia and the Pacific held in Cebu, Philippines. Our ambition was to be part of the solution, to dialogue and cooperate to build peace and development. Everywhere in our region such mixed get-togethers were rare twenty years ago, but they are now increasingly common; and across Sydney too. These meetings build networks of friendship across faiths which are useful in times of crisis - Cardinal George Pell
21 Mar 2006

Perth priest claims miracle
Fr Finbarr Walsh of the Perth parish of Rockingham says that a 50-year-old father of three is displaying stigmata on his hands and feet.
20 Mar 2006

Catholic school teacher becomes Labor MP
An Adelaide Loreto teacher Chloe Fox achieved South Australia's largest swing to Labor - 14.9 per cent - in Saturday's state election.
20 Mar 2006

US Bishops official laments latest RU-486 deaths
The spokeswoman for the Pro-Life Secretariat of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has regretted the deaths of two more women from RU-486 abortions, bringing the total of known maternal fatalities to ten.
20 Mar 2006

Fraud concern for Philippines Landslide Appeal
Following the recent landslide disaster in the Philippines, Caritas Australia is concerned that some Australian-based Catholic hospitals and missions have been contacted by people purporting to be representatives of a hospital in Southern Leyte, requesting urgent medical treatment for orphans.
20 Mar 2006

Pope says media is for service, not profit
Benedict XVI has called on Catholics involved in social communications to harness the power of media for the good of society, and to denounce that which is morally destructive and merely profit-driven.
20 Mar 2006

NSW Premier's invite to Rome for WYD event
Cardinal George Pell has invited Premier Morris Iemma to Rome for a special ceremony related to Sydney's staging of World Youth Day in 2008.
20 Mar 2006

Feature - Moral conscience
The human conscience is not Jiminy Cricket chirping away on Pinocchio's shoulder, nor is it an angel and a devil whispering in my ear. Conscience is not apart from me. It is at work within me, at the depth of my experience as a person. It calls me to do good and avoid evil. Yet it seems to be apart from me in terms of judging what I do. In practice conscience is my moral judgement. - Mgr Peter Elliott
20 Mar 2006

Opinion - We are all Jesus' loved sinners
The image of Peter denying Jesus following his arrest and trial teaches us that we are loved sinners, all of us. Our sincerity and good hearts don't keep us from sinning. We still betray, break our word, and too easily give in to temptation. What's shown by the story of Peter's betrayal is that, despite our sins, God looks at us with understanding and continues to hold us solidly in love and blessing. - Fr Ron Rolheiser
20 Mar 2006

Vatican Museum targets ticket touts
The Vatican will take measures against the ticket touts that plague tourists milling around the Vatican Museums.
17 Mar 2006

Irish child protection watchdog to be unveiled
The appointment of an independent watchdog to ensure the Irish Church is implementing its child protection policy will be announced within days.
17 Mar 2006

Death of first Solomons priest
The Catholic community in the Solomon Islands is mourning the passing of Fr Michael Aike, the Solomon Islands' first Catholic priest.
17 Mar 2006

Judge says morality has place in law
The University of Notre Dame Australia needs to instill in those who are studying law "a sense of morality and integrity which is very important in the ultimate to the achieving of justice", says retired English judge Sir Paul Kennedy.
17 Mar 2006

Brisbane opts for priests out of Africa
A Nigerian bishop and two priests are expected to arrive in Brisbane in the coming weeks to consider a proposal to send clergy from the West African country to serve in the archdiocese.
17 Mar 2006

Pope proposes dialogue to fix religious conflicts
Pope Benedict XVI called on Jews, Christians and Muslims to work together to promote peace and justice in the world, and he urged religious leaders to lead the way by reconciling conflicts and divisions through dialogue and solidarity.
17 Mar 2006

Feature - Brothers set out to Order's new frontier
Four Christian Brothers have left Australia for the Philippines to start the order's first ministry outside the Oceania region. The location for the new ministry is the diocese of Kabankalan in the province of Negros Occidental in the Central Philippines, a poor area where there is a need for the education services. Once this new community is established, the order will consider a second community in the Maasin diocese in Southern Leyte Province, possibly in 2008.
17 Mar 2006

Opinion - Lay ministry isn't lay apostolate
I was trying to explain the idea of lay apostolate to an intelligent Catholic laywoman. Oh sure, she said, she knew exactly what I meant. Lay apostolate was lay people participating in parish-based activities of various kinds - serving on the parish council, teaching an RCIA class, things like that. These obviously are admirable, excellent things to do. But good as they are, they definitely aren't lay apostolate. - Russell Shaw
17 Mar 2006

Nun slain in Moluccas convent
The Catholic community in Ambon is in mourning after an intruder killed a young Catholic nun at her convent near the troubled Indonesian province of Ambon, Moluccas.
16 Mar 2006

Commission seeks action on West Papuan asylum seekers
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is urging the Federal Government to expedite the processing of asylum claims by 43 West Papuans who arrived to Australia by boat in January.
16 Mar 2006

Jesuit cars torched in Malta hate crime
Cars belonging to the Jesuits were burnt in Malta in an apparent pay-back attack for publishing an anti-racism report.
16 Mar 2006

Pope urges balance between personal faith and community
While personal faith in Jesus is essential in a Christian's life, Jesus also came to gather his disciples into a new people of God - the community of the church, Pope Benedict XVI said.
16 Mar 2006

Catholic Health wants Govt to fund action against abuse
Catholic Health Australia head Francis Sullivan has said the Federal Government must be willing to pour more money into the troubled aged care sector in order to curb the problem of abuse in nursing homes.
16 Mar 2006

Reform tax on poor, Catholic welfare chief says
The government's tax inquiry provides an opportunity to examine the inequities and disincentives in Australia's tax system, Catholic Welfare Australia's Executive Director, Frank Quinlan said.
16 Mar 2006

Feature - Trauma support for the Solomon Islanders
Stephen Tom is a Trauma Support Supervisor on the Weathercoast of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. Caritas Australia has been providing trauma support programs in the Islands since 2002. These trauma support programs were established to help Solomon Islanders recover after their civil conflict, which started in late 1998. "I really like helping us all to get back to normal again," Mr Tom said. "We are just trying to get things back like they were before".
16 Mar 2006

Opinion - The Vatican's loose cannon
By combining four offices under just two presidents, Benedict XVI has taken a step toward a simplification of the Vatican curia. He has also doubled Cardinal Renato Martino's powers. For some, this is proof that the Cardinal's "penchant for rocking the boat are not displeasing to the new pontiff". But his recent statements on Islam will severely test this inference. - Sandro Magister
16 Mar 2006

US Bishops lift meatless Friday rule for St Pat's
Irish-loving Catholics face a St Patrick's Day dilemma this Friday. Do they follow the holiday's tradition of eating corned beef or honour the church's tradition of meatless Fridays during Lent?
15 Mar 2006

UK Cardinal praises monastic life
In today's Europe where the family is fragile, monasteries teach the "art of belonging to each other", the Archbishop of Westminster told monks gathered at Downside Abbey church yesterday.
15 Mar 2006

PNG Bishop objects to condom call
A Papua New Guinea Bishop says a government minister's call for churches to fully support condom use to combat HIV/AIDS is asking them to ignore their beliefs.
15 Mar 2006

Pope, Egyptian president discuss Iraq, Iran
Pope Benedict XVI met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to discuss the situation in the Middle East, tensions surrounding Iran's nuclear program and religious tolerance in Egypt, the Vatican said.
15 Mar 2006

Research criticises mutual obligation 'franchise'
The Jesuit Social Services and Uniya Jesuit Social Justice Centre yesterday released two papers investigating the widening application of mutual obligation within Australian public policy.
15 Mar 2006

Jesuit's silent protest against noose
A Melbourne parish priest of Van Nguyen yesterday carried the Queen's Baton past the Richmond home and church of the executed man in silent protest against the death penalty.
15 Mar 2006

Opinion - Business-speak in Church circles
There seems to be a growing tendency in the Church to take on corporate management styles. The need for a business plan, a mission statement and strategic planning, are all terms that seem to crop up more and more in Church circles. This growing obsession with the corporate management style has its roots in the advance of the neo-liberal philosophy. This model has so completely taken over our thinking that in order to access funding and engage with government we are required to make out business plans and take on the language of the corporate world. However, as Church we must not be taken over by it - Paul Donovan
15 Mar 2006

Feature - Will the real Christ please stand up?
The desire to equate religious figures with "our own kind" has produced some strange byways. While working at the Herald I was visited by a Tokyo businessman who asked me if I was aware of Christ's visit to Japan. He is a follower of a small religious group that believes Jesus escaped from Palestine and travelled, via the former Soviet Union, to northern Japan. Here, he married a Japanese woman and lived to the age of 102. In Kashmir there is a Muslim-Christian cult that believes Christ was taken barely conscious from the cross and revived by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethea. In fear of his life, Jesus fled from Palestine and settled in Kashmir. Folk legends even exist about Christ visiting England and Wales - Alan Gill
15 Mar 2006

Lay leader installed in Wellington
More vocations to the priesthood could result from a shared ministry model being pioneered this year across two Wellington parishes, says Joan McFetridge, manager of the lay leadership formation program Launch Out.
14 Mar 2006

Catholic students choose cardinal and academic as patrons
A national body of tertiary students this week announces that Cardinal George Pell and Dr Tracey Rowland from The John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family will be the inaugural national patrons of the student body.
14 Mar 2006

Commission urges Church employers to review contracts
The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations is encouraging organisations within the Church to review current agreements, employment contracts, policies and procedures in anticipation of the commencement of WorkChoices.
14 Mar 2006

Irish priests hit back at anti-abuse measures
A growing number of priests are protesting about "over-strict" interpretations by bishops of Church guidelines on dealing with those accused of child sex abuse.
14 Mar 2006

Teacher vetting campaign lagging
Police checks on thousands of Victorian private school teachers are yet to be completed, despite expectations they would wind up last year.
14 Mar 2006

Pell optimistic about Church growth
The percentage of declared believers in Australia is increasing and the Church must be ready to meet this "spiritual and religious reawakening", Cardinal George Pell said at last week's Convention on the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II decree Ad Gentes.
14 Mar 2006

Opinion - The strength of Asian values
We often take values for granted. We think that they are "the given" in any society. We can no longer think so. Communities that are alienated from the core of their inner selves have become rootless and unsustainable. Modern society has been striving hard to propagate a sort of "secular humanism" to replace centuries old cultures, civilisations, and even religions. It has met with limited success. Mahatma Gandhi and Dalai Lama have shown that a peaceful approach, rooted in our ancient civilisations and religions, can be brought to the mightiest problems of the day. Does not the teaching of Jesus "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God" (Mt 5:9) contain truly an Asian message? It is this assurance that has to be developed into a theology that can guarantee a future for us - Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, India
14 Mar 2006

Feature - Down Syndrome and the pressure to abort
Prenatal testing has made the population of children with Down syndrome more vulnerable to abortion, because this disability is so easily identified. But the real problem isn't the testing. Increasingly, society believes that a mother who forgoes an easy abortion and chooses instead to give birth to a disabled child should not look to the community for help. After all, it was her "choice." It is the crude "cost-benefit" analysis of the perceived impact a Down syndrome child will have on society that is the problem. Such a cost-benefit analysis erodes society's consensus about our collective responsibility for vulnerable people and ignores the fundamental truth that every human is created in the image and likeness of God - Elizabeth Schiltz
14 Mar 2006

Iraq peace activists mourns Tom Fox's death
Colleagues of Christian peacemaker Tom Fox, whose body was found in Baghdad on the weekend, pays tribute to his work and urged Christians not to demonise those responsible for his abduction and death.
13 Mar 2006

Nun on Downer's interfaith dialogue mission
Dominican sister Trish Madigan will take part in the second Dialogue on Regional Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, Development and Human Dignity to be held in Cebu, Philippines from 14-16 March.
13 Mar 2006

Belgian cardinal says condom may be "lesser evil"
Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Brussels said that the use of a condom might be a "lesser evil" when it could preserve someone from a deadly disease like AIDS.
13 Mar 2006

Catholic parents concerned by school spy cameras
Eye-scanning cameras may replace rollcall at NSW schools if a trial of the high-tech machines is successful.
13 Mar 2006

Bishop outlines World Youth Day progress
Sydney auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher, dubbed the 'CEO' of World Youth Day 2008, has told the National Catholic Reporter's John Allen that the event 'transcends its genre', and will have vast commercial, cultural and political significance like the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
13 Mar 2006

Roman Curia restructured
Pope Benedict XVI has made his first major changes in the organisation of the Roman Curia, with two mergers of existing pontifical councils.
13 Mar 2006

Opinion - America's nuclear ad hoc-ism
The recent announcement that President George Bush had concluded a nuclear-supply agreement with the India was alarming news. What remains of the nuclear non-proliferation regime was already under severe stress from North Korea and Iran. India was never a signatory of the treaty. It developed and deployed nuclear weapons outside the system. Under the new agreement, the US is committed to supply nuclear fuel and equipment for India's civilian power program and to prevail upon other supplier states to do the same. Yet India will be permitted to continue to maintain and expand its military weapons program. The US-India agreement has the potential to make the nuclear threat immeasurably worse.
13 Mar 2006

Feature - International trade in stolen religious art
In an airy workshop on a top floor of Lima's Museum of the Nation, art restoration experts are restoring a 450-year-old bas-relief altarpiece. The workshop is the next to last stop on an odyssey that has seen the masterpiece smuggled out of Challapampa, a tiny chapel in Peru, and into the US, where it was seized from an art dealer. This case is part of a thriving international trade in stolen art works, particularly colonial religious art from the Andean countries of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. But unlike the Challapampa case, few pieces are ever recovered, and the countries are losing valuable cultural and religious heritage, including pieces that have never been documented. - Barbara J Fraser
13 Mar 2006

Academics launch books on the Trinity
Australian Catholic University academics, Associate Professor Anne Hunt and Professor Neil Ormerod, have published 2 new books exploring Trinitarian theology.
10 Mar 2006

Canadian religious challenge church attitudes
Representatives of more than 200 Canadian religious orders have written to the Canadian bishops, criticising the church for being rigid on sexual morals and the role of women in the church.
10 Mar 2006

US bishops head denies sexual abuse claim
Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has denied claims that he sexually abused a woman more than 40 years ago when she was a minor.
10 Mar 2006

Atheist teacher wins Catholic school discrimination case
An atheist teacher who lost out on a promotion at a Catholic school has won his discrimination case against Glasgow City Council.
10 Mar 2006

Fair trade for poor farmers, Vatican says
Justice requires that rich countries reconsider the subsidies they offer their own farmers and the barriers that they place on the import of agricultural products from poor countries, the Vatican said.
10 Mar 2006

Catholic Welfare: poverty report a lost opportunity
The head of Catholic Welfare said yesterday the Government's response to a major Senate report on poverty is a lost opportunity for the country's battlers.
10 Mar 2006

Feature - Faith in God's reign
There is a group of agricultural parables used in Mark's gospel, which help to explain the presence, reign or milieu of God. The whole chapter is dominated by farming or agricultural images with no fewer than three parables about seeds - their sowing and their growing. These deceptively simple, comparative images and metaphors are rich and deep - and faith seems to be a key theme in all of them. The farmer "throws seed on the land" (4:27) and "of itself" it grows. This is basically about faith in the reign of God; faith that continues to believe in the action of God in our lives especially when we feel that nothing is happening for us spiritually - Antoinette Collins
10 Mar 2006

Opinion - The season for taking stock
Secular society is a bit of a freeloader on Christianity. It values human rights, social justice, mutual respect, and a fair go - all of which have Christian origins. But it is not able to generate the passionate commitment to these values needed to pass them on successfully to new generations. Secular society depends on a significant percentage of the population being serious Christians. So while Lent is a special time of prayer, fasting and giving to the poor for Christians, it is also something that is important for the health of Australian society. The humane values we take for granted do not generate themselves. We all need to remind ourselves of what is important, and to recommit to it. Lent provides an opportunity for Christians to do this - Cardinal George Pell
10 Mar 2006

Synergy with Broncos at ACU Banyo
The Brisbane Broncos goes back to university this summer as part of their rigorous pre-season training program at the pool at Australian Catholic University (ACU National) Brisbane Campus (McAuley).
9 Mar 2006

Vinnies lecture to explore poverty
Fr Gerald Arbuckle will be the keynote speaker for tonight's ninth annual Ozanam Lecture, St Vincent de Paul Society announces.
9 Mar 2006

Dublin sex-abuse cases costing millions
More than 100 priests serving in the Dublin archdiocese have been accused or suspected of sexual abuse, and the Irish archdiocese has paid nearly AU$9 million to settle lawsuits against clerics, according to statistics released by the archdiocese.
9 Mar 2006

Franciscan says forgive Nazareth Basilica attack
The Custos of the Holy Land said Christians must forgive the family that set off firecrackers inside the Nazareth Basilica of the Annunciation that prompted protests and left a dozen people injured.
9 Mar 2006

Disabled deserves full rights, Pope says
In a message sent to the Brazilian church as it celebrates its annual Lenten Fraternity Campaign, Pope Benedict XVI calls for disabled individuals to be completely and compassionately inserted into society at large.
9 Mar 2006

Elder left for dead 'shows loss of values'
The sad tale of Aunty Delmae Barton, a prominent indigenous elder left for dead after suffering a stroke, illustrates a modern Australia disconnected with the values of morality and mutual obligation, according to community leaders.
9 Mar 2006

Feature - Does it pay to work for the church?
Christian leaders have often taken these words of Jesus quite literally: "Rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great in heaven" (Matt. 5:12). If you worked for the church, you were expected to defray the greater part of your earnings indefinitely, cashing in, so to speak, only after crossing through the pearly gates. That worked relatively well for many years, thanks to the abundant supply of sisters, priests, and brothers who chose lives of poverty while tilling the fields of the Lord. But with the ever-diminishing supply of such laborers during the past 35 years, we have moved into the age of the laity - a fascinating, hitherto unexplored era for Catholicism - Robert McClory
www.claretians.org/site/News2?abbrEQUALS_usc_&pageEQUALS_NewsArticle&idEQUALS_9615
9 Mar 2006

Opinion - Taking faith and politics seriously
Politicians talking seriously about the interplay of their faith and politics? A group of Catholic Democrats in the House did just that last week. They deserve credit for the exercise - their "Statement of Catholic Principles" was months in the making. Apparently the message has gotten through to some politicians that cowering from the challenge of explaining themselves as people of faith as well as legislators, or attempting to avoid the challenge, is bad politics as well as bad religion. The statement by 55 Catholic members of the House of Representatives is a welcome change.
9 Mar 2006

Feature - Hands-on help
In 1987, when chiropractor Dein Vindigni was visiting Calcutta, a Brother of Charity suggested to him that in Western societies the poor might not experience the extreme material deprivation known to the poor in Calcutta, but that they suffered, in their own way, from "the disease of loneliness". On his return to Melbourne, Vindigni and a fellow chiropractor were inspired to open a clinic at St Kilda's Sacred Heart Mission, catering for local people who were homeless or otherwise down on their luck. Eighteen years later, the Sacred Heart clinic is still going strong. Vindigni says that for many who use the service, "their experience of touch has been negative or abusive". He believes that for these people, "tactile therapies" can be particularly powerful - Katherine Kizilos
8 Mar 2006

Opinion - Lent is for giving
At age 16, I told my father I was giving up going to church for Lent. At 19, I told him I was giving up my virginity for Lent. In the end, I was never that rebellious: I usually gave up chocolate, but it was a whole lot of fun to torment my ever-patient father. It wasn't until recently that I realised you don't have to give up something for Lent. The Lenten period is a time where we prepare to remember Christ's death and celebrate his resurrection to new life. We're supposed to think about the ways we can strengthen our faith and help others as God comes to give us a second chance - Dr Christine Whelan
8 Mar 2006

Priest pleased Rush won't appeal
The family priest of convicted Bali nine drug smuggler Scott Rush says he is relieved the Brisbane man will not appeal against the life sentence he was given last month.
8 Mar 2006

Priests voice support for beleaguered Redfern ministry
The Toowoomba Diocese Vicar General has written a letter of solidarity to parisioners of the Sydney parish of Redfern who feel their parish priest has destroyed the pastoral legacy of the late Fr Ted Kennedy.
8 Mar 2006

Ex-priest faces more sex charges
A former Catholic priest facing child sex abuse charges in relation to alleged incidents in Warrnambool, Mortlake and other Victorian towns appeared in court yesterday.
8 Mar 2006

US bishops hail abortion ban
Two Catholic bishops hailed South Dakota's new law banning nearly all abortions, but they urged efforts to build a culture that respects all life from the moment of conception to natural death.
8 Mar 2006

Women's rights positive but unfinished: Vatican UN delegation
The worldwide women's movement has been substantially positive, "even if it is still unfinished," said the Holy See's delegation in 2 March remarks at the United Nation's 50th anniversary session of its Commission on the Status of Women.
8 Mar 2006

Pope tells business owners: do justice, not just charity
Business owners must avoid every form of worker exploitation, and they must adhere to the church's teachings about social justice in the workplace, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of Italian entrepreneurs and business leaders.
8 Mar 2006

Mystery of missing nuns deepens
The riddle surrounding the remains of two missing Sisters of Mercy nuns has resurfaced as earthworks around Auckland's historic St Patrick's Cathedral draw closer to an old, unmarked cemetery.
7 Mar 2006

Lobby urges Catholics to target local MPs
The Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) has launched its election campaign for the 2007 federal election urging Catholics to target local members.
7 Mar 2006

Catholic festival goes national
Carnivale Christi has asked cathedrals across the country to celebrate the Festival Mass for Artists on 21 May as part of a national program to celebrate the season of Easter.
7 Mar 2006

Irish church attendance growing in popularity
A new survey shows that church services are growing in popularity in Ireland but still take second place to shopping.
7 Mar 2006

Indonesian bishops issue anti-corruption warning
The Indonesian bishops have launched a strong appeal for a personal commitment against corruption in their Lenten pastoral letter.
7 Mar 2006

Pope says retreat can strengthen faith
As he prepared to begin his weeklong Lenten retreat, Pope Benedict XVI said Lent is a time to examine one's life in an atmosphere of prayer and repentance.
7 Mar 2006

Feature - Good news in the mission field
In seminary, when we used to watch the films about the missions in Africa, we got excited and wanted to go out and do the same. I had the perhaps naive notion that I was going to bring the Good News to many people who eventually would be converted to Christianity. But once I got to Japan, I realised that many people base their lives on different religious values. Eventually you discover that the true meaning of mission life is to share your own faith experience, and also to be open to being enriched by the faith experiences of other people and other religions. - Fr Josep Maria Abella
7 Mar 2006

Opinion - Sweating blood in the garden
When we look at the accounts of Jesus' passion and death we see that what the gospel writers highlight is not Jesus' physical suffering but his emotional anguish. Indeed, in the gospels, his physical sufferings are almost underplayed. What's emphasised instead is that Jesus was alone, abandoned, betrayed, morally lonely, hung out to dry, unanimity-minus-one. The fact that Gethsemane is a garden tells us something too. Archetypally a garden is a place of love, a place of delight, a place to drink wine with friends, a place of intimacy. Conversely, that also makes it the place where love is lost, where one feels the deepest kind of loneliness, and where one suffers emotional crucifixion - Fr Ron Rolheiser
7 Mar 2006

Resident composer for Catholic schools
Singer-songwriter, Amanda McKenna, will work with Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta as the new resident liturgical music composer.
6 Mar 2006

PM opens Notre Dame Sydney
Prime Minister John Howard today officially opened the Sydney Campus of The University of Notre Dame Australia, amid the presence of guests, including Cardinal George Pell.
6 Mar 2006

Human dignity denied at Guantanamo: Cardinal Martino
Cardinal Renato Martino, president of Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, criticised American treatment of some 500 inmates at the Guantanamo Bay naval base prison, the Catholic News Agency reports.
6 Mar 2006

Nazareth Basilica attack not political
A dispute with the Israeli authorities over child custody was the motivation for a firecracker attack on a Nazareth Basilica that prompted protests and left a dozen people injured, Asianews.it reports.
6 Mar 2006

Pope supports talk about women's role
Pope Benedict XVI has said that it is right to discuss how women can be more involved in church decision-making.
6 Mar 2006

Feature - Pope Pius XI saw (radio) wave of the future
The idea of capturing and carrying someone's voice across oceans and continents was a radical idea at the turn of the 20th century, and one pope saw the groundbreaking possibilities in such a project. Pope Pius XI was fascinated by this "awesome invention," and in the late 1920s he invited the inventor of the radio, Guglielmo Marconi, to build a radio broadcasting station on the grounds of the newly established Vatican City State.
6 Mar 2006

Opinion - Our Lenten pilgrimage
In a short time the 2006 Commonwealth Games will open in Melbourne. A key event in the opening of the games is the completion of the Queen's Baton Relay. The Relay could be described as a 'pilgrimage' of sorts, uniting the whole family of the Commonwealth. Taking place while the Church observes the discipline of Lent, the Baton Relay provides a very timely illustration to help us understand what this season before Easter is all about - Archbishop Denis Hart, Archdiocese of Melbourne
6 Mar 2006

Cardinal armed with 2 GB memory stick
A trained theologian and self-taught computer whiz, Mexican Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan now spends most of his time dealing with very technical medical questions.
3 Mar 2006

Life Office applauds PM's pregnancy hotline
Prime Minister John Howard yesterday announced a new Medicare payment for pregnancy support counselling and a 24-hour hotline to give help to those wishing to "explore pregnancy options".
3 Mar 2006

Brennan castigates public for complicity in kickbacks
The public, not just the Government, turned a blind eye to the Australian wheat exporter AWB's kickbacks to the discredited regime of Saddam Hussein, according to Jesuit Fr Frank Brennan.
3 Mar 2006

Pope tells footballers: reject racism
Pope Benedict XVI issued a message against racism in soccer at the World Cup warm-up match between Italy and Germany on Wednesday night.
3 Mar 2006

Parliamentary prayers to stay
A bid by the Australian Democrats to have prayers dropped from parliamentary proceedings was rejected by the Senate yesterday.
3 Mar 2006

Live mission 24/7, says Archbishop
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has urged Catholics not to leave their religion in church on Sunday, but to live it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3 Mar 2006

Opinion - What I have seen and heard
As the pastor of this local Church, I must confess that I have never been offended or scandalised by any attire that I have seen our kids wear to Church. I am so happy to see them at Mass that I generally don't even notice what they are wearing. When I see those bright faces, I am grateful that these young people are found within the warm embrace of the Church. Braces and flip-flops are welcome wherever I am celebrant.
3 Mar 2006

Feature - Living with a schizophrenic
Some people say Raymond Anthony Fernando is pushy and dresses loudly. Others feel his sometimes abrasive manners are conditioned by his extremely difficult situation. There are those who feel he is doing a wonderful job caring for his schizophrenic wife and is very courageous to open up their lives to public scrutiny to help destigmatise mental illness.
3 Mar 2006

Feature - Redemption in East Timor
Michelle Reid is a Good Samaritan Sister of the Order of St Benedict. She originally travelled from Sydney to East Timor in April 2000 to find out how her congregation might be able to help the newly independent Timorese people. She began to work with the prisoners in the Becora Prison, many of whom were former militia members. They became her extended family, changing her as much as she has helped them to change their own lives.
2 Mar 2006

Opinion - Is it time for Catholics to become pacifist?
The just war principles can trace their origins to St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. They are summarised in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paragraph 2309). But the doctrine in the last analysis is so remote and metaphysical that one has to wonder if it is usable in the modern world.

2 Mar 2006

Rome to mark anniversary of Pope John Paul's death with rosary
The Diocese of Rome will mark the first anniversary of Pope John Paul II's death on 2 April with the night time recitation of the rosary in St Peter's Square, according to Catholic News Service.
2 Mar 2006

IR compliance increases gvt funding for ACU
Australian Catholic University (ACU National) has been notified by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Education, Science and Training that it has obtained compliance to the Higher Education Workplace Reform Requirements (HEWRRs).
2 Mar 2006

Melbourne theologian says evolution religious language dated
Ennio Mantovani svd, lecturer in culture and Christianity at the Yarra Theological Union, said that the theological language used in the discussion of evolution and faith is out of date.
2 Mar 2006

Vatican admits prejudice against gypsies
The Vatican admits past prejudice and neglect of the world's 15 million gypsies and called on governments to overcome "indifference or opposition" to the nomads.
2 Mar 2006

Anglican-Catholic talks to continue says Bishop
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Consultation (ARCIC) talks between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches are to continue.
2 Mar 2006

Pope drops a traditional papal title
Pope Benedict XVI has renounced one of the traditional titles of the Roman Pontiff by dropping the title "Patriarch of the West."
2 Mar 2006

"Patriarch of Burma" in line for beatification
The Church in Burma might soon have its first blessed, Fr Clemente Vismara, a missionary priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.
1 Mar 2006

UK activists to mark Ash Wednesday with civil disobedience
Members of Catholic Peace Action and Pax Christi will today risk arrest through acts of non-violent civil disobedience, including marking the Ministry of Defence building with ash and charcoal.
1 Mar 2006

Church rules out investigating paedophile activity
The Catholic Church in Tasmania has declined to launch an investigation into paedophile activity on the north-west coast of Tasmania.
1 Mar 2006

Hobart convent's $30m aged care rebirth
One of Hobart's most historic sites, the former convent at Mt St Canice in Sandy Bay, will be transformed into aged care accommodation.
1 Mar 2006

CEO says Caritas ready for emergency response
Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot told a NSW Parliamentary lunch on Monday that the organisation has staff ready and able to be deployed in the event of an emergency in the region.
1 Mar 2006

Pope to begin Lent with annual retreat
The Vatican announced yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI, along with members of the Roman Curia will begin their annual Lenten spiritual exercises this Sunday, led by Cardinal Marco Ce, patriarch emeritus of Venice.
1 Mar 2006

Feature - Water is Life in Tanzania
Lucia, 13, and her family are from the village of Kighare in Tanzania. "Four years ago we had to walk each day for water and we were often sick," Lucia said. 50% of Tanzanian people do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. Four years ago, Caritas came offering assistance.
1 Mar 2006

Opinion - My neighbour is the one who needs me
This year, Caritas Australia's Project Compassion follows the theme "Compassion in action". As Pope Benedict points out in his encyclical, the Good Samaritan's story abolishes all limits as to who is my neighbour. It extends to all human kind. "Anyone who needs me and whom I can help is my neighbour", whether in my own family or in a refugee camp on the other side of the world. - Archbishop Francis Carroll
1 Mar 2006