Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR APRIL 2006

   
Popular teacher struck by bus
A popular Catholic primary school teacher was killed on Brisbane's southside yesterday when she was struck by a school bus only a short distance from where she taught.
28 Apr 2006

Five years jail for St John of God brother
A former St John of God brother has been sentenced to five years imprisonment after being found guilty on charges of sexually abusing boys at a Christchurch school in the 1970s.
28 Apr 2006

Solomons religious leaders call for reconciliation
Religious leaders in Solomon Islands launched an appeal for peace and reconciliation following last week's riots which destroyed most of Chinatown.
28 Apr 2006

Catholic Welfare Australia becomes Catholic Social Services Australia
The delivery of Catholic social services in Australia was united yesterday under a new banner reminiscent of the Southern Cross at the launch of Catholic Social Services in Canberra.
28 Apr 2006

Opus Dei priest says it's OK to see Da Vinci Code
The director of Sydney's Archdiocesan Adult Education Centre has told the ABC that while the film The Da Vinci Code is riddled with historical errors, he is pleased that it has created unprecedented interest in Opus Dei.
28 Apr 2006

Pope says God's rules are meant to help
Biblical moral rules promote human freedom, which reaches its perfection when it is exercised in accordance with God's will, Benedict XVI said yesterday.
28 Apr 2006

Feature - An exhibition beyond belief
David Rastas says being threatened with murder a few years ago was "much more of a blessing than a curse". Rastas' assailant forced him to buy alcohol using his credit card, releasing him after two hours. The ordeal helped renew his Catholic faith and his belief in art's ability to heal and inspire. The 24-year-old Melbourne artist has a boat he transformed into an artwork in an exhibition of contemporary art at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral.
28 Apr 2006

Opinion - A church of many colours
London is at the crossroads of the greatest movement of people in history. Since the accession of the new European Union states in 2004 alone, more than 300,000 migrants have come to London. The Church needs to know more about them. This is a challenge for the Church in the coming years. The Church was born from Pentecost: a real and symbolic meeting of peoples and cultures and languages. The unity of Pentecost does not abolish different languages and cultures; it recognises them in their identities - Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
28 Apr 2006

Good Sams hope defies gloomy reality
When Sharon Boyd returns next week to Casimir College in Sydney's Marrickville where she works as a counsellor, she will be proclaiming the Good News as the newest perpetually professed member of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.
27 Apr 2006

Australia's richest bank boosts Good Shepherd help for poor
Australia's richest bank will dedicate $30 million over three years to fund programs developed through the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service and personal and business loans for low-income earners.
27 Apr 2006

Caritas calls for urgent mediation in Sri Lanka
Caritas Internationalis has warned that violence in Sri Lanka could escalate into a "second tsunami" and called upon the international community to urgently mediate between the government and rebel forces.
27 Apr 2006

Korean Catholic delegation goes north for first time
The Archdiocese of Seoul has sent the first-ever official Catholic delegation of 61 lay people and priests to North Korea.
27 Apr 2006

Catholic Health welcomes insurance reforms
Catholic Health Australia has welcomed yesterday's announcement by the Federal Government of plans to extend private health insurance cover beyond hospital services.
27 Apr 2006

Pope recalls Chernnobyl nuclear disaster
Benedict XVI yesterday marked the 20-year anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster by calling world leaders to strive toward peace, while respecting the needs of both humankind and the environment.
27 Apr 2006

Feature - Stringing together beads and relationships
Did you know that "bead", spelled bede in old English, meant "prayer"? The Old English Hail Mary has "bidden" for "pray" in "pray for us". Sometimes we bid someone to do us a favour. Jill Whibley, human resources officer at Centacare, knows a lot about beads, about favours, and about prayers. A chance purchase of beads while on holiday and a feeling that "I can do that" has led to an addiction to beadmaking and a discovery of latent creativity - Tracey Edstein
27 Apr 2006

Opinion - A black man in a white church
For the last three years, I have been part of a group of African-American Catholic men who meet monthly to discuss matters of faith, politics and justice. Often we grapple with why a black man would stay faithful to the Catholic church. These men are both cradle Catholics and converts, and we all ponder whether the church can nurture a black man. While black Baptist and Pentecostal churches abound with male leaders, social sermons and community roots, a black Catholic man is often alone - Daryl Grigsby
27 Apr 2006

Catholic congratulations for Queen on 80th birthday
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, has exchanged warm letters with Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her 80th birthday.
26 Apr 2006

Band of brothers makes way for a layman
Sydney's most prestigious Marist Brothers school has broken with a 125-year tradition to appoint its first lay headmaster.
26 Apr 2006

Caritas Australia assesses The Solomon Islands
Australia's Catholic aid agency Caritas has reported that calm has been restored in the Solomon Islands following last week's rioting which triggered Australian police and military intervention.
26 Apr 2006

Archbishop says Kokoda more significant than Gallipoli
Adelaide's Archbishop Philip Wilson has weighed in on the debate about the relative importance of the Kokoda and Gallipoli campaigns.
26 Apr 2006

Pope says priesthood not for personal gain
Benedict XVI told a group of visiting bishops from Ghana that the priesthood is not for improving one's social standing or standard of living.
26 Apr 2006

Vatican set to OK condoms for disease prevention
A forthcoming Vatican document is set to approve the use of condoms in a marriage where one partner is infected with HIV/AIDS and the other is not.
26 Apr 2006

Feature - A mellow heart in a bitter time
Whenever we feel warmth, mellowness, vulnerability, transparency, generosity, trust, and big-heartedness in a relationship, we tend to respond in kind, with warm, mellow, vulnerable, transparent, generous, trusting hearts. But the reverse is also true. We all do pretty well in love when the persons we are loving are warm and gracious, but can we be gracious and mellow in the face of bitterness, jealousy, hatred, withdrawal? That is the litmus test of love and perhaps the greatest moral challenge Jesus left us - Fr Ron Rolheiser
26 Apr 2006

Opinion - Science and conscience
We are all full of wonder, amazement and gratitude to God for the scientific and technological progress of these years. At the same time we are aware of the great power in the hands of scientists. I am inclined trust their sense of responsibility. They should have that freedom of research providing they respect the unassailable parameters of human dignity. We cannot stop scientific progress, but we can help it to be increasingly more responsible. It is not a question of appealing to the faith or to religion, but of pointing to the ethical sense that each of us has inside - Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (in conversation with Ignazio Marino)
26 Apr 2006

Catholic group backs McCartney anti-fur campaign
An international Catholic animal welfare lobby has backed a new campaign by pop legend and animal rights campaigner Sir Paul McCartney to prevent high-street shoppers from unwittingly purchasing real fur.
24 Apr 2006

Archbishop says Church does not impose civil laws
Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, The Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, says the Church does not impose any piece of civil legislation and intervenes only on moral questions to defend religious freedom and human rights.
24 Apr 2006

Greens fighting "loophole" that allowed principal's sacking
The Greens is pushing to close a "loophole" that had allowed the sacking of a Catholic principal of a NSW Far North Coast school after he remarried but failed to receive a church annulment for his first marriage.
24 Apr 2006

Message of peace from Solomons Archbishop
Archbishop Adrian Smith says last week's riot in the Solomon Islands' Chinatown is the result of "bottled up" emotions and that many Islanders are ashamed for what had happened.
24 Apr 2006

Pope reminds Jesuits of vow of obedience
Benedict XVI has praised members of the Jesuit for their role in dialoguing with "modern culture" but reminded them of their vow of obedience to the pontiff.
24 Apr 2006

Cardinal backs limited condom use
Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini has publicly backed the use of condoms among married couples to prevent AIDS transmission.
24 Apr 2006

Feature - Green religion
The US-based Sisters of Earth is a loose network of Catholic nuns who practice organic agriculture and teach Earth literacy courses. As documented in Roger Gottlieb's latest book, A Greener Faith, this group is an example of an important piece of the broadening environmental movement: the religious community. These groups seek to bring a new moral dimension to environmental issues: if the earth is God's creation, they say, then the implications of befouling it go beyond science into ethical and religious realms - Nelson Harvey
24 Apr 2006

Opinion - Turning a blind eye to Papua
The mantra "I don't recall" is the current phrase with which government and corporate machines evade responsibility. During the agony endured by the Timorese people throughout the Indonesian occupation, similar ignorance reigned for the same reason. "We didn't know." "We didn't want to know." The people of West Papua are experiencing the backwash of the same mindset. It appears that Australia has learned little. We love humankind but it is inconvenient people on our doorstep whom we cannot abide - Sr Susan Connelly"
24 Apr 2006

"John Paul the Great" discount card for Catholic students
A free Catholic resource discount card, named in honour of John Paul II, will be available from July to all tertiary students, seminarians and graduates.
21 Apr 2006

Immigrants seek sanctuary in Belgian churches
Refugees whose permission to stay in Belgium has expired have occupied at least five Catholic churches hoping to pressure the government to regularise their status.
21 Apr 2006

Ex-priest granted bail on indecent assault charges
A former Victorian priest has been granted conditional bail after appearing in a Cairns court over allegations he sexually assaulted two altar boys in Victoria 15 years ago.
21 Apr 2006

Church advocates support cleaners "name and shame" over wages
Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power and Parramatta Diocese Social Justice Coordinator Sr Libby Rogerson have backed a fair wage campaign being waged by cleaners.
21 Apr 2006

Bishop rejects part-time priest proposal
Bishop Julian Porteous of Sydney has said that the Pope would never allow part-time priests, as suggested by a Melbourne priest-statistician in last week's Online Catholics.
21 Apr 2006

Benedict Vatican euros set for release
The first Vatican euro coins bearing a bust of Benedict XVI will be released next week, according to information from the Vatican's numismatic bureau.
21 Apr 2006

Feature - A building to last 100 years
Young Brisbane architect Lawrence Toaldo was given two strict instructions when he won a contest to design the city's new Catholic headquarters. The priests calling the shots told him the building had to last for 100 years. And they insisted he read the story of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr, who was stoned to death. For Toaldo, the assignment became a spiritual journey as well as an artistic one.
21 Apr 2006

Opinion - Condoms and the culture of life
This is the reality: a married woman living in Southern Africa is at higher risk of becoming infected with HIV than an unmarried woman. Extolling abstinence and fidelity, as the Church does, will not protect her; in all likelihood she is already monogamous. It is her husband who is likely to have HIV. Yet refusing a husband's sexual overtures risks ostracism, violence, and destitution for herself and her children. Given these realities, isn't opposing the use of condoms tantamount to condemning countless women to death? - Dr Marcella Alsan
21 Apr 2006

Irish Church leaders investigate after Protestant minister "concelebrates"
A senior Catholic official in Ireland are questioning Augustinian priests in Drogheda over an Easter Sunday service in which a Protestant minister appeared to "concelebrate" mass with Catholic priests.
20 Apr 2006

Christian protesters hampered by "secrecy"
Catholic "human shield" Donna Mulhearn and two other Christian peace protesters claim "operational secrecy" is hindering their efforts to defend themselves against charges of breaking into a top secret US-Australian spy base.
20 Apr 2006

Priest slams MP's classroom Satanism hysteria
Sunshine Coast parish priest Fr John Dobson has labelled as irrational the local MP's claims that expanding state school religious classes beyond Christianity could open the door to Satanism lessons.
20 Apr 2006

Pope condemns Tel-Aviv bombing
Benedict XVI has expressed his "firmest condemnation" of Monday's suicide bombing in Tel Aviv praying that relations between Israelis and Palestinians would not take a "tragic turn".
20 Apr 2006

Economic disenchantment root cause of Solomons rioting
A former priest in the Solomon Islands said government corruption and economic disenchantment are the root causes behind the Islands' riots following Tuesday's election of Prime Minister Snyder Rini.
20 Apr 2006

Bishop says asylum processing changes "a step backwards"
The Government's move to process all asylum seekers offshore is a step backwards and places Australia's international obligations at risk, the Chairman of the Bishops' refugee committee said.
20 Apr 2006

Feature - Benedict XVI: one year in dialogue
One of the innovations introduced by the pope is special: listening to questions in public and replying to all of them, spontaneously. But little of these dialogues reach the general public. Benedict XVI replies to each question at length and in depth, and so makes it almost impossible to extract flashy phrases fit for the newspapers. Yet these texts are important. Because of their spontaneity, they allow one to understand the things that are closest to the pope's heart - Sandro Magister
20 Apr 2006

Opinion - The things of God
I am baffled by how the resurrection of Christ is being used (or misused) by good Christians to promote a missiology that seeks the conquest and conversion of others. This mindset smacks of a "capitalist spirituality," where religions are pitted against one another in a competition for the survival of truest. This seems like a carryover from our daily lives where people are seduced into competing for the biggest bank account, fastest car, prettiest house or smartest child - Dr Edmund Chia
20 Apr 2006

Perth schools take stand on ball season modesty
Mercedes College, one of Western Australia's most prominent Catholic girls schools, has asked parents to sign a declaration that their children not wear to the school ball, gowns with plunging necklines or high splits.
19 Apr 2006

World renowned liturgist to visit Australia
A leading Catholic liturgist is to visit Australia for a series of lectures on various aspects of initiation, liturgy and catechesis.
19 Apr 2006

Israeli wall severs ancient pilgrimage route
An ancient pilgrimage route that follows in Jesus' footsteps, from the place where he raised Lazarus from the dead to Jerusalem, is about to be severed by the construction of Israel's nine metre wall.
19 Apr 2006

Further appeal opportunity for Indonesian death row Catholics
Indonesia's Supreme Court has given the green light to a second appeal for three death row Catholics accused of inciting Central Sulawesi's interreligious violence in 2000.
19 Apr 2006

Statistics show 4 million attended papal audiences
The Vatican's Prefecture of the Pontifical Household yesterday released attendance figures for Benedict XVI's general audiences during the first year of his pontificate.
19 Apr 2006

St Peter's Basilica 500th anniversary
St Peter's basilica, the largest and most important church in the Catholic world, marks its 500th anniversary yesterday.
19 Apr 2006

Feature - A family vacation in Iraq
Three years ago this week I was making last minute preparations for my first real reporting job: two weeks in post-invasion Iraq. These days I think often of that visit to Iraq. My first child is due sometime this week and increasingly my thoughts are about the Iraq that child will know. I've been daydreaming about how that might happen. I've been imagining an Iraq that Iraqis deserve: an Iraq safe for something as banal as the family vacation, theirs and mine - and, more to the point, an Iraq where the only Americans are tourists - Jeff Severns Guntzel
19 Apr 2006

Opinion - Thank God the pope is Catholic
Amid much Catholic celebration at the election Benedict XVI a year ago today, international commentators indulged in an inordinate amount of speculation on the damage the appointment might do to Catholic-Muslim relations. This popular forecast was based on the then Cardinal Ratzinger's reputation as a dogmatic defender of orthodoxy and the supremacy of Catholicism. Such conventional pessimism simply served to demonstrate a comprehensive misunderstanding of the basis for interfaith dialogue. It assumes that fruitful and harmonious interfaith relationships can exist only in a world of postmodern relativism - Waleed Aly
19 Apr 2006

Opus Dei apologises for cartoon of Mohammed
The Opus Dei prelature has issued an apology for the publication of a sketch depicting Mohammed in hell.
18 Apr 2006

Victoria rejects 'anti-church' texts complaint
Victoria's Equal Opportunity Commission has rejected claims the state's high school students are being brainwashed with textbooks that ridicule and demean the Church.
18 Apr 2006

Vinnies spokesman says welfare to work threatens vulnerable
St Vincent de Paul spokesman John Falzon has said that that the entire welfare to work legislation takes away dignity from disability pensioners and single mothers in the workforce and that new workplace laws will exacerbate the problem.
18 Apr 2006

Jesuit Refugee Service says Pacific Solution breaches Convention
The Jesuit Refugee Service has said that the new refugee processing laws announced last week will constitute a "grievous breach of the Refugees Convention" and create a "dangerous precedent for the future of the system of international protection".
18 Apr 2006

Archbishop reflects on Port Arthur massacre
Tasmania's Archbishop Adrian Doyle has used his Good Friday message to prepare Catholics for the imminent 10-year anniversary of the Port Arthur massacre.
18 Apr 2006

Pope's Easter wish for peace in troubled world
Celebrating the first Easter of his pontificate, Benedict XVI prayed for peace in the world's troubled regions and urged world leaders to use diplomacy to defuse tension in the Middle East.
18 Apr 2006

Feature - "Gospel" of Judas sheds light on early church
Despite splashy headlines touting a potential exoneration of Christianity's most notorious villain, most experts say the newly published "Gospel of Judas" reveals far more about the pluralism of the second-century church than it does about the historical Judas Iscariot or his role in the death of Christ - John Allen
18 Apr 2006

Opinion - "Pacific solution" upgrade is still no solution
The Government has floated new policy ideas to avoid a repetition of the 42 Papuans who successfully claimed refugee protection in Australia against Indonesia. Under the new proposal, Papuan asylum seekers reaching the Australian mainland without the use of people smugglers would be moved to Nauru or Manus Island for processing. The idea gets Australia out of its bind with Indonesia only if the Papuan is denied asylum. Perhaps the Government thinks that by moving the decision-making offshore, it can be tampered with. History has shown that this proposal will not deliver what the Government hopes - Fr Frank Brennan
18 Apr 2006

UK survey reveals Christian values reach beyond the faithful
The vast majority of Britons think that Christian values are good for the country even if they do not personally believe in God, according to research.
13 Apr 2006

French bishops fear youth protests signal "deep crisis"
France's Catholic bishops said the month-long street protests about the youth employment law signal a "deep crisis" in the country, which requires more consideration of "youth suffering and distress."
13 Apr 2006

Nun identifies key to understanding West Papua tension
Josephite nun Susan Connelly said there is a real connection between what had happened in East Timor and what is happening in Papua today.
13 Apr 2006

Catholic Welfare not surprised as tax report overlooks battlers
Catholic Welfare Australia said the Treasurer's tax report released yesterday appears to overlook the disadvantage caused by debilitating effective marginal tax rates for people moving from welfare to work.
13 Apr 2006

Pell mentions WYD Cross in Easter Message
In his Easter message, Cardinal George Pell said the World Youth Day Cross, officially passed to Australia last Sunday at a ceremony in Rome, is a sign of hope for Australia's youth.
13 Apr 2006

Benedict prepares for Colosseum Way of the Cross
In the shadows of Rome's torch-lit Colosseum, Benedict XVI will tomorrow lead the first Way of the Cross service of his pontificate.
13 Apr 2006

Feature - The three-day Easter liturgy
For Catholics, Easter is the busiest time of the church year. On four consecutive days the church will be filled for important services of worship, starting with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday and ending with Mass or evening prayer on Easter Sunday evening. With people leading such busy lives, many may be tempted to choose to attend just one of the big liturgies. But to miss any of the three main liturgies is like missing one act of a three-act play.
13 Apr 2006

Opinion - A pope on a mission
A bevy of problems are erupting across virtually the entire continent of Europe. It's abundantly clear that Europe lacks leadership. As the pope surveys Europe's ailing landscape today, he surely ponders the greatness of the Continent's history once dominated by the Church. Read his books; read the lines and between the lines of his speeches; watch where he travels, look who he talks to - the pope is on a quest to restore Europe to its Christian roots.
13 Apr 2006

Abducted priest asked St Christopher for help
A priest who was abducted and held at knifepoint for more than two hours turned to the patron saint of travellers St Christopher for help.
12 Apr 2006

US Christian activist warns against religious right in Australia
American Christian peace and justice activist Jim Wallis has told a Melbourne audience that Australia must beware the rise of the religious right in its midst.
12 Apr 2006

India's bulging seminaries defying Govt pressure
Despite a government ban on public preaching, vocations in India are booming with increasing numbers of young men stepping forward to train for the priesthood.
12 Apr 2006

Prayers offered for Caritas workers killed in Sri Lanka
Caritas Australia yesterday offered prayers for seven people killed in a landmine attack, including two Caritas workers, in the Sri Lankan city of Jaffna.
12 Apr 2006

Franciscans say Jakarta ignoring root cause of West Papua tension
A Franciscan lobby group said the Indonesian government has failed to recognise the "root causes" of unfolding violence in the province of Papua.
12 Apr 2006

Pope presents Christ's poverty as cure for world's greed
Benedict XVI said the poverty of Christ offers the cure for a world ravaged by materialism and greed.
12 Apr 2006

Opinion - Stopping the clergy haemorrhage
Catholics know that they are in dire straights with today's shortage of clergy. What most do not realise is that this is just the lead up to a haemorrhage, which will occur during the next 20 years. But raiding poor countries for priests isn't the answer. They need their priests themselves. A possible solution can be found in the examples of Saints Peter and Paul who renegotiated some of the most sacred Jewish laws in order to expand their mission - Fr Eric Hodgens
12 Apr 2006

Feature - The promise of resurrection
For Christians throughout the world the dawn of Easter morning marks the celebration of the triumph of life over death, as we affirm our faith in the resurrection of Jesus. Religious faith is easily caricatured these days, dismissed as a failure of nerve before the ambiguities of real life or, more sobering, is identified with a fanaticism that seeks to assert its dominance over non-believers. The lessons of Lent remind us of the emptiness of such caricatures.
12 Apr 2006

Japanese Curia cardinal says Asia requires special attention
Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, who was recently replaced as president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants, has criticised Vatican officials for paying inadequate attention to the Church in Asia and Africa.
11 Apr 2006

Fears restructure could kill Catholic education diversity
A controversial overhaul of Victoria's Catholic education system could damage the "heart and soul" of Catholic schools, a key group of religious educators has warned.
11 Apr 2006

Catholic Health supports aged care abuse report plan
Catholic Health Australia has backed a plan by federal and state ministers to oblige aged-care workers to report physical and sexual abuse of elderly people.
11 Apr 2006

Country priest's kidnap ordeal
A man who assaulted and abducted an elderly priest was a low-life and a coward, police said.
11 Apr 2006

Pope urges Opus Dei students to share faith
Benedict XVI told university students attending an Opus Dei-sponsored conference to deepen their friendship with Christ so they can share their faith with their friends.
11 Apr 2006

Melbourne hope for WYD papal visit
Hopes Benedict XVI will visit Melbourne have been given a boost by confirmation from the Vatican of an Australian visit for the World Youth Day.
11 Apr 2006

Opinion - Accepting our religious heritage
Australia had a Catholic Labor prime minister (Jim Scullin) and a conservative one (Joe Lyons) in 1929 and 1931. Scullin appointed Isaac Isaacs, a Jew, as the first Australian-born governor-general. The US has had only one Catholic president, John Kennedy, and no Catholic has ever been prime minister of Britain. Both are vibrant democracies but so far, at least, Australian democracy has been more accepting of diversity. Yet, despite this, many histories of Australia downplay, if not ignore, the importance of religion - Gerard Henderson
11 Apr 2006

Feature - The Compendium: brief but substantial
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has just been published. Its format of questions and answers may well stir memories of the old Penny Catechism - Q.Who made me? A.God made me - filling some people with delight and others with dismay. In fact it represents something much richer. It invites us and helps us to explore the riches in the Catechism. It is a true Compendium, a summary drawn from the full text.
11 Apr 2006

ACU degree for Wiggles
The members of the popular children's band The Wiggles will tomorrow receive honorary doctorates from the Australian Catholic University at a Sydney ceremony.
10 Apr 2006

Sydney priest "chuckles" at Judas reports
The director of Sydney's Archdiocesan Catholic Adult Education Centre said on ABC Radio that he was amused by claims in the news last week that the man who kissed Jesus to identify him to his Roman tormentors was not betraying him, but was acting on Jesus' own orders.
10 Apr 2006

Donations roll in after Cyclone Larry
The St Vincent de Paul Society has received more than $60,000 in donations to assist victims of Cyclone Larry which devastated far north Queensland last month.
10 Apr 2006

Activists maintain fight for death row Indonesian Catholics
Indonesian human rights and church activists will continue fighting to save three Catholics sentenced to death for their role in sectarian violence and whose execution is thought to be imminent.
10 Apr 2006

Vatican quiet after Pope's meeting with Curia
Benedict XVI met with leaders of the Roman Curia on Friday morning but the Vatican issued no announcement about the topics that were discussed or any decisions that were reached.
10 Apr 2006

Pope vows to follow WYD cross to Sydney
Benedict XVI yesterday sent a towering wooden pilgrim's cross on a two-year, cross-continental journey that will conclude in Sydney in 2008 with the promise he would be in Australia to celebrate World Youth Day.
10 Apr 2006

Feature - Muslims divided on executing apostates
The case of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan man who converted to Christianity and was subsequently condemned to death, is not only further proof of differences prevailing between the West and Islam; it is also sparking a debate within Muslim society itself. A survey carried out in Yemen revealed that even imams do not all share the same views on the matter, even if the majority is for the death penalty. Still less convinced are Muslim businessmen and professionals and university students.
10 Apr 2006

Opinion - The Church's duty towards migrants
Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles caused a sensation when he instructed priests and church workers in his diocese to break the law if necessary when caring for the needs of migrants. A bill now passing through Congress would criminalise works of mercy performed in the name of the Gospel if the beneficiary of such help happens to be illegal immigrants. Cardinal Mahony's intervention highlights the long running, and sometimes anguished, debate in America about illegal immigration, a debate tinged with hypocrisy.
10 Apr 2006

Christchurch Bishop condemns Easter Sunday jelly wrestling
The Catholic Bishop of Christchurch hopes people will celebrate Easter the traditional way, and not attend a semi-nude jelly-wrestling event.
7 Apr 2006

Cardinal Arinze discourages "liturgies to order"
Signs are growing that Benedict XVI intends to bring the liturgy back to a more traditional form after a top Vatican official protested the use of "do-it-yourself" services.
7 Apr 2006

Vatican urges respect for immigrants' rights
The Vatican said that respect for immigrants' human rights is also an important benefit for host countries.
7 Apr 2006

Columbans petition Govt on GE food
The Columban Peace, Ecology and Justice Centre has written to the Federal Minister for Agriculture and other officials to express concern at the Government's involvement in promoting genetically modified food technology.
7 Apr 2006

Pope and Nobel Prize winner Peres in terrorism declaration
Benedict XVI and former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres have jointly condemned all forms of terrorism, regardless of pretexts.
7 Apr 2006

Sydney eye on Sunday's WYD Cross handover
Sydney will celebrate the official handover of the World Youth Day Cross and Icon with a special Palm Sunday Mass and a live broadcast of the handover from Rome.
7 Apr 2006

Feature - Art in faith
Contemporary art often confront and puzzle the Christian viewer. They do not find an easy home in churches and worship. On the other hand, the art forms that Christians include in their own sacred space are often worthy but stale: they are comfortable and do not provoke deep questions of what it means to be human in our culture. This separation between art and Christian faith blesses neither faith nor art. In a culture that values material prosperity over spirit, and happily sees human beings as instruments to larger goals, art and religious faith should be natural allies - Fr Andrew Hamilton
7 Apr 2006

Opinion - What students want on campus
At a time when young people know little about their faith, the challenge of religious formation on campus is daunting. Some chaplains have responded by reverting to a conservative "ghetto approach" to campus ministry. Whether this will serve the majority of students is dubious. University students are asked to develop a rigorous and sceptical eye. In such an environment, young people need to see that the Catholic faith is an evolving intellectual and spiritual tradition, one that welcomes their questions and takes their doubts seriously - Maurice Timothy Reidy
7 Apr 2006

Bishop Manning named a "Champion of the West"
Bishop Kevin Manning has been named one of the "2006 Champions of the West", a group that includes actor Toni Collette and cricket legend Mark Waugh.
6 Apr 2006

Church to conduct national count of Mass attenders
The National Count of Attendance will be conducted in all parishes and other mass centres throughout Australia during May.
6 Apr 2006

Pope says Christian community needs commitment to Gospel
The love and unity that are essential marks of a truly Christian community cannot endure without a strong commitment to truth and fidelity to the Gospel, Benedict XVI said.
6 Apr 2006

WYD delegates ready to depart for Rome
Some 60 youth delegates from across Australia, representing every Catholic diocese, gathered this week in Sydney in preparation for the start of Sydney's role as host of World Youth Day 2008.
6 Apr 2006

Vinnies says "no" to Govt money
The National Operations Manager for the St Vincent de Paul Society said the charity "will never cease giving assistance to people (in need)" but would not accept Federal Government funding under a new welfare breaching regime.
6 Apr 2006

Catholic agencies welcome PM's leadership on mental health
St Vincent de Paul Society and BoysTown's Kids Help Line have welcomed the Prime Minister's $1.8 billion commitment to mental health, saying it is good news for people with mental illness.
6 Apr 2006

Feature - Life after the tsunami in Aceh
Four-year-old Khairunisa and her family are from the village of Pucok Leung on the west coast of Aceh in Indonesia. When the tsunami hit on Boxing Day 2004 everyone in her village lost their home. At the moment Khairunisa and all the families in her village are living in a temporary 'barak' (barrack) built by the Indonesian Government. 'Barak' life is not easy for Khairunisa and others in her village, especially for the women and children.
6 Apr 2006

Opinion - God's grace under the microscope
Studies that attempt to find correlations between intercessory prayer and health outcomes are a bit odd. A recent $2.4 million study is the latest and most expensive study on intercessory prayer. What is the purpose behind these studies? Clinicians engage in scientific research in order to improve diagnosis and treatment. But to use prayer in this way - as an instrument - reduces prayer to something it is not: a means to control the world - Jeffrey Bishop
6 Apr 2006

Queen approves Catholic for new Kiwi GG
For the first time, the Queen has approved a Catholic for appointment to the position of Governor-General of New Zealand.
5 Apr 2006

Young Vinnies National Youth Week visit to remote community
Young Vinnies volunteers from across Australia have arrived in the Northern Territory to take part in a two-week immersion experience in a remote Indigenous community south west of Darwin.
5 Apr 2006

Rome mayor announces underground entrance for Vatican Museums
A projected new entrance to the Vatican Museums will feature a giant glass pyramid and underground shops and restaurants.
5 Apr 2006

Priest concerned for safety of new Papuan arrivals
A Catholic priest in Papua said he is concerned for the safety of another boatload of Papuan asylum seekers believed to have landed in Australia.
5 Apr 2006

Catholic Welfare says relationship centres good news for families
The Executive Director of Catholic Welfare Australia said families will be the big winners under new family counselling arrangements announced yesterday.
5 Apr 2006

Pope says scientific progress must preserve human dignity
Scientific and technological progress must not come at the cost of the life and dignity of people, Benedict XVI told a Vatican conference on higher education.
5 Apr 2006

Feature - The new pro-lifers
With the growing rate of couples struggling to conceive, the attitude towards abortion has changed significantly in the UK. Forty two per cent of Britons now say they would like abortion laws to be tightened. Interestingly, these new pro-lifers are adamantly rejecting traditional "feminist" arguments, which portray abortion as empowering to women. Instead, these "new pro-lifers" project abortion as ingratitude, and views it as "a life snubbed."
5 Apr 2006

Opinion - Evangelisation in Japan
After Japan's 1945 defeat, the Church experienced unprecedented growth. The new Catholics in Japan frequently formed associations. Some of those groups continue to exist today, but they are dying off. The elderly surviving members bemoan the fact that they have no younger members. What can be done to promote a new thrust in evangelisation? Paradoxically, the first thing might be to lower our expectations - Fr William Grimm
5 Apr 2006

ACU National honours Archbishop Francis Carroll
Archbishop Francis Carroll was last Friday awarded the Australian Catholic University's highest honour, Doctor of the University (honoris causa), at the University's graduation ceremony.
4 Apr 2006

Official questions 'subversive' use of retro liturgy texts
The director of the Brisbane Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission has said that basic texts of the pioneers of the liturgical reform movement are now being republished as part of the "subtly subversive" agenda of the right-wing Catholic press.
4 Apr 2006

Beijing confirms the existence of "contacts" between China and the Holy See
Beijing has publicly confirmed that contacts exist between China and the Vatican on the question of restoring diplomatic relations between the two states.
4 Apr 2006

Study affirms family influence on faith of young
A Christian Research Association survey has found that family is a much bigger influence on teenagers than peers, and that the militant secularism of 30 years ago has given way to a new openness to spirituality among young people.
4 Apr 2006

Pope supports Iraqi bishops' call for fasting, prayer for peace
Pope Benedict XVI has called for two days of fasting and prayer for peace in Iraq, saying the world should stop to remember "this tormented country".
4 Apr 2006

Sydney bishop pays tribute to JP2
Bishop Julian Porteous has remarked on the breadth of John Paul II's contribution, which includes playing a major role in world events and the "brave" promotion of a "culture of life" in the midst of the ills in contemporary, especially Western societies.
4 Apr 2006

Feature - Mass of the Chrism
Of all the faith celebrations we have during the year, Easter is the greatest. From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday marks the holiest week of the year. A less known, but richly significant celebration of Holy Week, is the Mass of the Chrism. It is a profoundly significant event for the priests and all the ordained, centred as it is in the Last Supper, from which we take our origins and find the centre of our lives and ministry in the Eucharist - Archbishop Francis Carroll
4 Apr 2006

Opinion - Corruption begins at home
Corruption is an everyday reality in Indonesia. Even the Church can sometimes be corrupted by commercial practices. The 2006 Lenten Pastoral Letter in Jakarta says that corrupt behaviour can happen at various levels: in the school and education system, in relationship with God, in families and communities. It is not a hard task for us to criticise and analyse the bad things that happen outside the Church. But how do we react if it occurs inside? - Fr Gregorius Soetomo
4 Apr 2006

Report says Kidman free to wed in Catholic Church
Nicole Kidman has been told she will be granted an annulment of her marriage to Tom Cruise, allowing her to remarry in a Catholic Church in Australia.
3 Apr 2006

Archbishop welcomes Catechism Compendium
The President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Francis Carroll, today welcomed the publication of the Compendium of the Catechism.
3 Apr 2006

Catholic teachers caught in loophole over IR laws
Most Catholic school teachers in Victoria are exempted from unfair-dismissal provisions under the new Federal workplace laws because they are employed by parish priests.
3 Apr 2006

Catholic agencies see way forward in mental health report
Catholic Welfare Australia has welcomed a senate report on mental health, saying it is a comprehensive and long overdue first step towards addressing Australia's mental health crisis.
3 Apr 2006

NSW Premier to attend WYD handover in Rome
NSW Premier Morris Iemma has accepted an invitation to take part in a Vatican ceremony to mark Sydney hosting World Youth Day.
3 Apr 2006

World remembers Pope John Paul II
The recital of the rosary in St Peter's Square, a special mass for the beatification of John Paul II in Poland, and an interfaith meeting in New Delhi are among the celebrations yesterday to mark John Paul II's death.
3 Apr 2006

Feature - Lourdes needs more miracles
The Church has recognised only a few dozen miracle healings since Lourdes began attracting pilgrims after the Virgin Mary was said to have appeared to a 14-year-old shepherdess in 1858. However, the number of cures has been declining, even as the number of pilgrims has risen. In its infancy, the shrine notched up a miracle each year but these days the figure is an average of only one every decade - Matthew Campbell
3 Apr 2006

Opinion - Multiculturalism and faith
In recent months I was invited to a function organised by the State Government of Victoria, where I was troubled by a subtitle of the gathering which read: "Multicultural and Inter-Faith." I suppose what bothered me was the differentiating of "multicultural" on the one hand and "inter-faith" on the other. My difficulty, as a person of faith, is that if you take faith out of multiculturalism, what are you left with? - Bishop Christopher Prowse
3 Apr 2006