Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR JUNE 2006

   
Hungarians and Slovaks reconcile 1000 years of conflict
At the launch in Esztergom, Hungary, of a "Year of Reconciliation" for national spiritual renewal, Hungarian bishops celebrated a mass with their Slovak counterparts to forgive and ask for forgiveness for each other's nation.
30 Jun 2006

$320,000 from Caritas to expand Dili humanitarian relief
Caritas Australia is boosting its humanitarian relief operation and reconciliation training programs to the districts outside of Dili as fresh violence breaks out in East Timor amid a huge security lockdown by foreign peacekeepers.
30 Jun 2006

Indigenous funding good start but care needed: Bishop Saunders
The Federal Government's offer at this week's Indigenous Summit of $130 million to states to combat the problems of abuse and violence in indigenous communities was a "good beginning" but care is needed, said Australian Catholic Social Justice Council Chairman, Bishop Christopher Saunders.
30 Jun 2006

Priest's Australian lectures cancelled over CDF investigation
A series of Edmund Rice Centre lectures with Fr Diarmuid O'Murchu has been cancelled after Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart withdrew his permission for Fr O'Murchu's participation, according to a CathNews discussion board post.
30 Jun 2006

Rights of unborn campaign launched in Geneva
Speaking in Geneva, an independent European parliamentarian for Ireland has announced the launch of an international "Amnesty for Babies before Birth" campaign to declare and uphold the right to life of unborn children.
30 Jun 2006

Families biggest losers under Workchoices, say clerics
Oberon priest Fr Adrian Horgan said that families are the biggest losers under the new workplace laws at a Bathurst rally this week while Bishop Kevin Manning told a Parramatta diocesan conference that the laws were "spectacularly inadequate" when tested against Catholic social teaching.
30 Jun 2006

Feature - From little things, big things grow
During the 1990s, Rwandan refugees Anny and Antoine Kalinganire joined a prayer group of about 14 members in the parish of the Transfiguration, North Woden, Canberra. In addition to establishing themselves and their children, the Kalinganires were helping financially with the education of niece Marie-Louise Uwizeyimana in Rwanda. What started as the prayer group's money collection to help with Marie-Louise's education turned into a major outreach project to the Muslim villagers of Samale in one of Africa's poorest nations, Mali - Bryan Docherty
30 Jun 2006

Opinion - WorkChoices and Catholic social teaching
Some of you may be aware that I have been active in the industrial relations debate, and the reasons for that are based solely on Catholic teaching, my personal conviction about it, and my responsibility as a bishop to uphold the principles it enunciates. When I, or other bishops, speak out on social questions, we are not doing so to be meddlesome or to impose solutions on governments. The Church speaks on this matter because work is an activity of the human person, and the Church is legitimately interested in the life of the human person - Bishop Kevin Manning
30 Jun 2006

Chappell, Border, Boon in chaplain's new Ashes challenge
Baptist Minister, Dr Mark Tronson, long-time chaplain to the Australian Cricket team, has announced the recruitment of several former Test cricketers including Allan Border, David Boon, Greg Chappell and Kim Hughes to the editorial board of his Cricket Ministry newsletter.
29 Jun 2006

Murdoch joins friars in Polish TV venture
Australian-born Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has bought a minority stake in a small Franciscan-owned Christian broadcaster, TV Puls.
29 Jun 2006

ACU to help Filipino universities train nurses
Australian Catholic University has signed a partnership agreement with three nursing schools in the Philippines to raise educational standards for highly sought after Filipino nurses.
29 Jun 2006

Canadian life groups concerned over organ donation procedure
Catholic life groups greeted with concern the announcement that Ottawa Hospital this week carried out its first non-beating heart organ donation procedure which allows for organ removal even though measurable brain function may still be present.
29 Jun 2006

Priest attacks "Anzus" pact on UN Indigenous declaration
An Australian Passionist priest, Fr Kevin Dance, has called for an end to efforts by Australian, New Zealand and US diplomats to block the adoption of the Declaration on Indigenous Rights at the 61st UN General Assembly.
29 Jun 2006

Timor Church accused of plotting coup
It has been alleged that senior figures in the East Timor Church approached a defence forces (Falintil-FDTL) commander to lead a coup against the Alkatiri government.
29 Jun 2006

Feature - Fishermen's friend is a breath of fresh air
For 35 years, Indian Redemptorist Thomas Kocherry has worked with fishing communities. "Fisher people are the poorest in the world," he said, "so I decided to follow Christ in that mission. Almost everyone of the apostles were fisher people and Christ began his Church with them." In India today, there are 10 million fishers living in a subsistent economy. "Most of them are living in huts and are in total debt," said Fr Thomas - Damir Govorcin
29 Jun 2006

Opinion - Laying the foundation for America's mega-churches
The new fundamentalism owes much to the US evangelist Billy Graham. Handsome, telegenic and a fine orator, Graham learned quickly the importance of the media, and those who owned the media. Sadly, Graham was on the wrong side of almost all the major issues of his lifetime. With his promotion of bloated military budgets, Graham became the handmaiden of American power. But his real and lasting legacy was his role in preparing America for the long run of fundamentalist religion - Ted Schmidt
29 Jun 2006

Benedict prefers to renew classical mass music
Authentic updating of sacred music needs to stay faithful to the "great tradition" of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, said Pope Benedict at a special concert held in his honour in the Sistine Chapel.
28 Jun 2006

Sofia's family ask for prayers
The devastated church-going family of murdered Perth school girl Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu has asked people to "keep Sofia and our family in your thoughts and prayers."
28 Jun 2006

"Builders and dreamers" to gather in Broken Bay
Western Sydney's Pennant Hills is to welcome 120 participants at the first ever National Symposium on Catholic Youth Ministry hosted by the Broken Bay Institute next week.
28 Jun 2006

Archbishop accuses Dominican Republic authorities of drugs trade complicity
At a Mass marking the United Nations International Day Against Drugs, a Santiago archbishop has attributed the increase in drug trafficking and crime to the complicity of the military, police, judges and politicians, who "sell their conscience to the highest bidder."
28 Jun 2006

Gospel call to live ecological life: Korean cardinal
Practising the gospel by transforming people's lives towards a "sustainable and renewable way" is a priority for Catholics, according to a pastoral letter released by Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul.
28 Jun 2006

Timor Church to pursue truth and dialogue
Dili's Vicar General said the East Timor Church supports efforts to reveal the truth of former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's alleged involvement in arming a "hit squad" and plans to hold dialogue sessions to help ease the nation's tension.
28 Jun 2006

Feature - A change of tune at the Vatican
Step by step, Benedict XVI is impressing a new form and style of governance on the Church. Recent days were marked by the announcement of a change in the secretary of state. But another event orchestrated by the Pope is of no less importance: the concert conducted in the Sistine Chapel at the weekend by maestro Monsignor Domenico Bartolucci. With this concert, Benedict XVI has symbolically restored the Sistine Chapel to its true maestro - Sandro Magister
28 Jun 2006

Opinion - Sanctions for evil
War atrocities do not occur in a vacuum. Individuals are responsible for their acts, but society as well as the military may either provide defences against war crimes or offer signals that they will be permitted. In the case of the Haditha massacre late last year of Iraqi civilians, the contributing factors have been building for many years. Chief among them is the policy of force protection, the mentality that the overriding duty of officers and troops is to protect their own.
28 Jun 2006

Peace protesters grounded by US military
A retired Oblate priest and two veterans "ate a lot of gravel" following their arrest at a non-violent action protest at a nuclear weapons launch facility in North Dakota.
27 Jun 2006

Vietnam cemeteries for unborn
Catholic volunteers in Vietnam's Hue, Pleiku and Ho Chi Minh City have established cemeteries for aborted fetuses to celebrate the "sacredness of life" by giving the little fetuses a burial.
27 Jun 2006

Bolivian President caves in to religious education demands
Catholic Bolivia's President Evo Morales has scrapped a proposal to replace religious education with ethics classes in schools after pressure from the Church.
27 Jun 2006

Coleridge plans to "stir up some energy" in Canberra
Newly appointed Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Mark Coleridge's "to do" list includes unifying the diocese, supporting politicians "in their noble calling" and helping revive Australia's ethical base.
27 Jun 2006

Pope congratulates Philippine President for death penalty ban
Pope Benedict has told the Philippine President Gloria Arroyo "well done" at their Vatican meeting yesterday for outlawing the death penalty but local bishops have warned that the move was not enough to win "moral affirmation" for her presidency.
27 Jun 2006

Jayapura Justice and Peace Office alleges abuse in Papua
The Jayapura Diocese Office of Justice and Peace has accused Indonesian police of torturing 23 Papuans arrested after violent protests in March, alleging cases of physical and mental abuse, and intimidation of prisoners.
27 Jun 2006

Feature - Religion in secular France
It may come as a surprise to an English-speaking audience to learn that the man in charge of France's police is also in charge of its religions. A recent book in question and answer form with Dominique Verdin, a Dominican priest and Thibaud Collin, a young Catholic philosopher, shows that Nicolas Sarkozy, Minister of the Interior and presidential aspirant, is a man capable of grasping the nettle of religion in a French secular republic - Michael Shanks
27 Jun 2006

Opinion - Why the Church will not budge on IR
Last Sunday Cardinal Pell dropped another very large pebble into Canberra's political pond. He expressed concern that the new industrial relations regime would put downward pressure on minimum wages. The Church's apprehension about the IR changes does not simply express ecclesiastical zeal directed to political purposes. The tradition of thought and reflection at stake here is not only deeply entrenched in the Church, but is also incarnated into the values and institutions with which Australia has come to feel comfortable - Brendan Long
27 Jun 2006

Players show faith at World Cup
Australian striker John Aloisi does not think it is fair to ask God to help him score a goal in tomorrow's do or die clash with Italy.
26 Jun 2006

23,000 turn out for Sacred Heart footy mission
A scratch Australian football match between Melbourne radio stations first held in 1993 to raise $500 for the Sacred Heart Mission in St Kilda has grown into a huge event which yesterday drew a 23,000 crowd to the Junction Oval.
26 Jun 2006

Blacklist for blackjack, warns Canadian bishop
Calgary bishop Fred Henry has threatened to blacklist Catholic schools that continue to depend on gambling as a source of "immoral" fundraising for cash-strapped schools.
26 Jun 2006

Poland remembers Poznan 56
Celebrating a remembrance mass for the victims of the Poznan worker protests in June 1956, Archbishop Marian Przykucki stated that Catholic Poland today "can be a light enlightening other European nations."
26 Jun 2006

Women religious gearing up for rally against trafficking
Leaders of Australia's religious congregations are staging a lunchtime rally in Adelaide on Thursday to protest against human trafficking in Australia.
26 Jun 2006

Pregnancy counselling bill ignores support options: Catholic Social Services
The Government's Pregnancy Counselling Bill fails to address barriers to pregnancy support options and ignores the fact that most pregnancy counselling is unrelated to abortion, warns Catholic Social Services in a submission to a Senate enquiry.
26 Jun 2006

Feature - Ploughing their own furrow
Depending on taste and inclination, last week's general convention of the American Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, which elected a liberal woman bishop to be its leader, could be seen either as a triumph of the Holy Spirit or, perhaps more accurately, as the latest manifestation of the chaos and confusion into which the worldwide Anglican Church is sinking. Schism could well be the result - Stephen Bates
26 Jun 2006

Opinion - An icon of Christ the Servant
Deacons are often called the "icons of Christ the Servant." But all too often we overlay the diaconal ministry with gold paint and ornate frames, especially in the liturgy, that we easily obscure the heart of the wonderful gift to the Church. The enduring value of the diaconate will only be truly recognised if we highlight the ministry of "charity," the ministry of humble servant love, amidst the deacon's threefold ministry of word, liturgy and charity - Bishop Michael Evans
26 Jun 2006

Nic told to keep marital surprises coming
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's marriage celebrant, Fr Paul Coleman, has offered the engaged couple marital advice ahead of their wedding this weekend.
23 Jun 2006

Caritas Internationalis calls for aid in Congo chaos
Caritas Internationalis has launched a new emergency aid appeal for people displaced by the world's largest ongoing conflict between militias and government forces in the Ituri district of Congo.
23 Jun 2006

Cardinal calls for Saddam clemency
Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Paul Poupard yesterday called for clemency for former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
23 Jun 2006

Bertone Vatican's new "prime minister"
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, former collaborator of then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was named as Holy See Secretary of State - the equivalent of a prime minister - in one of a number of changes and appointments announced yesterday.
23 Jun 2006

Bishops' refugee office slams proposed asylum changes
As resistance to unjust asylum laws grows around the world, Australian Catholic and Migrant Refugee Office director, Fr John Murphy, has labelled the Federal government's proposed asylum law changes as "complicated and silly."
23 Jun 2006

Don't lift ban on cloning, says Brennan
Jesuit lawyer Fr Frank Brennan said yesterday the Lockhart Committee's call for legislative changes to permit somatic cell nuclear transfer should "be left in cold storage or left to succumb in the light of day."
23 Jun 2006

Feature - Former Mormon drawn back to Church
The Mormons welcomed him and taught him about loving Jesus and neighbour. They also ignited his love for Scriptures and taught him about preaching and mission work. But it was only after Marc Cramer returned to the faith of his parents that he began to make sense of it all. "After I received the Eucharist for the first time, that emptiness left me," he recalled. "I knew then that God was calling me" - Ramon Gonzalez
23 Jun 2006

Opinion - Choosing the way of simplicity
It was the work of Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker movement, that brought my wife and I back home to the Church. Under Day's influence, we were determined to try not to live for the pursuit of money, to the extent possible. But choosing the way of simplicity (which is not the same as a monk's vow of poverty) does not make anyone good or righteous or better than his or her neighbour. It simply is a conscious effort to live a radical spiritual life - Stephen Hand
23 Jun 2006

Ghana Church choir reformed after members killed in bus tragedy
St Peter's Catholic parish in Abuakwa, Ghana, has wasted no time in recruiting 36 new members to its parish choir after its previous 34 members lost their lives in a tragic bus accident.
22 Jun 2006

Neglect Indigenous people at own peril, Mexican Bishop told Govt
As Mexico prepares to elect a new president next month, a Mexican Bishop in the poor Chiapas state has criticised candidates for failing to keep previous campaign promises and for ignoring the plight of indigenous people.
22 Jun 2006

Sri Lankan Bishop describes Church attack, calls for forgiveness
A Sri Lankan Bishop has written to the Holy See, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell and other Church and civic leaders detailing a lethal attack on a Catholic Church in a Sri Lankan Tamil village.
22 Jun 2006

Irish human rights defender Mgr Denis Faul dies
Fearless Irish priest, Mgr Denis Faul, a critic of both the British government and the IRA, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer.
22 Jun 2006

Catholic bodies hail new UN Human Rights Council
Pax Christi, Franciscans and Dominicans have welcomed the launch of the new United Nations Human Rights Council which replaces the much criticised UN Human Rights Commission.
22 Jun 2006

Benedict's first social encyclical predicted for 2007
Pope Benedict will next year release his first social encyclical on globalisation to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Populorum Progressio, an Italian newspaper predicts.
22 Jun 2006

Feature - Soccer and the Church
Soccer is a phenomenon that awakens the most passions in the world, but at the same time it helps "to establish fraternal relations among men of all classes, nations and races." Entertainment is something proper to the human condition and soccer entertains. But one must take care that it is not the other way around, so that a person is not subjected to soccer to the point of harming his or her dignity, because the football player, the fan, can become a slave to this entertainment - Fr Kevin Lixe
22 Jun 2006

Opinion - The consequences of pastoral negligence
Last week, veteran entertainer and Northern Territory Administrator Ted Egan dropped something of a bombshell on ABC TV's 6:30pm interview series Talking Heads. He told Peter Thompson that, some time ago, he walked away from his marriage and discarded his Catholic faith. Egan's story is hardly music to the ears of Australia's Catholic leaders. But it's an important reality-check which suggests that the faith and religious practice of Catholic stalwarts cannot be taken for granted.
22 Jun 2006

Women cue for "Big Sister" reality TV
Hobart-based filmaker Varcha Sidwell will start filming a three-part reality TV show on the life of nuns in a rural monastery in August.
21 Jun 2006

Praise for return of stolen Ugandan cattle herds
A local Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace chapter in Kenya has praised Kenya's initiative to return stolen cattle herds to neighbouring Uganda.
21 Jun 2006

Christians arrested in Saudi Arabia
Four Christians of African origin have been arrested for praying in Saudi Arabia under that country's strict religious laws.
21 Jun 2006

California Catholic population boom
California's rapidly growing Hispanic community is driving Catholic demographic growth in the most populous US state, a landmark study has found.
21 Jun 2006

Abortion cruel, law should change: British poll
Most British people believe that too many abortions are being carried out and want the toll reduced, according to a poll commissioned by a British pro-life group.
21 Jun 2006

Caritas bridges gap for aboriginal youth project
Caritas has stepped in to ensure funding for an Aboriginal health agency youth scheme in Western Australia's Western Desert region following the withdrawal of WA State Government support.
21 Jun 2006

Feature - Boom time for lay parish ministers
Lari Newman-Williams had grown used to 50-hour weeks as pastoral administrator at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Dallas. She also was taking graduate courses in pastoral ministry, and singing alto in Holy Cross' renowned Union Performance Choir. For many US Catholics, it's a hard-to-miss irony that their church - so thoroughly identified with male hierarchy - is to a large degree now being run by professional female staff members like Newman-Williams - Sam Hodges
21 Jun 2006

Opinion - Dialogue is key to a peaceful Papua
Indonesia's President has disclosed his intention to issue a new presidential instruction on Papua in an effort to speed up the development and implementation of development programs in its troubled Papua province. The instruction will be the second presidential instruction on Papua after the approval of the 2001 Special Autonomy Law for Papua Province. In order to avoid further conflict, there are a number of conditions the government should meet before proceeding with the instruction - Fr Neles Tebay
21 Jun 2006

Motorcyclists en masse at Lourdes
Following an overnight "motor vigil" at the weekend, over a thousand bikers descended on Lourdes for the 16th motorcycle pilgrimage.
20 Jun 2006

Catholic reporter shot dead in Philippines
Unidentified gunmen yesterday shot dead George Vigo, a Catholic peace advocate and UCA News journalist, his wife, Masel Alave-Vigo, and a staff worker in Mindanao, Philippines.
20 Jun 2006

Former Catholic elected first Anglican female primate
Katharine Jefferts Schori, a liberal bishop from Nevada who was raised a Catholic, was elected on Sunday as the first woman leader of the 2.3 million-member US Episcopal Church.
20 Jun 2006

Israel wants more Catholic tourists
In a bid to increase Catholic tourism to the Holy Land, Israeli tourism minister, Isaac Herzog, has proposed that the annual international Catholic bishops synod be hosted in Israel.
20 Jun 2006

Catholic parents favour A-to-E school reports
Almost three in four Catholic school parents support the introduction of student ranking and plain-English school reports, according to a survey by the Parents and Friends Associations and Sydney Catholic Education Office.
20 Jun 2006

Mark Coleridge new Archbishop for Canberra
Melbourne auxiliary bishop and noted scripture scholar Mark Coleridge has been named the new Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn.
20 Jun 2006

Feature - Medjugorje 25 years later
Twenty-five years after six children in Medjugorje, a village in what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina, began reporting apparitions of Mary, pilgrims are still flocking to the site and church officials are still cautious about the authenticity of the events. In Medjugorje, Franciscan pastors are preparing for overflow crowds this weekend. "Everything's been booked solid for more than a year, and we're expecting thousands of pilgrims," one pastor said - John Thavis
20 Jun 2006

Opinion - Balancing profit and social responsibility
There has been a clear movement of firms operating not only in the best interests of their shareholders but also of society and the environment. This movement has its roots in religion, with churches and religious organisations dictating to investors how their investment portfolios should be managed by excluding so-called "sin stocks." Significant credit also goes to employees, who since the 1990s have used their power and their voices to bring values back into their work - Kellie A McElhaney
20 Jun 2006

Maltese choose cross for euro coin
Maltese voters have rejected via an online poll a design for the country's euro coins showing the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist and instead chose three designs including the Maltese Cross.
19 Jun 2006

US Bishops approve new Mass translation
The largest English speaking bishops conference overwhelmingly approved the texts of the new translations for the mass at a conference in Washington last week.
19 Jun 2006

Holy See sends envoys to Beijing for secret talks
The plight of seven detained bishops of China's underground Roman Church has prompted the Vatican to resume secret talks with Beijing, Hong Kong's Cardinal Joseph Zen has revealed.
19 Jun 2006

Chaplains on agenda for state schools
Politicians from all parties have come out in support of a Federal government plan to encourage state schools to take on fulltime chaplains.
19 Jun 2006

Troops storm Church as Sri Lanka on brink of war
Sri Lankan government forces, shooting indiscriminately, stormed a Catholic Church in a Tamil area at the weekend killing five people and injuring many others, according to witnesses.
19 Jun 2006

Pell opposes IR laws, supports same-sex union ban
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has weighed in on the debates over the Federal Government's WorkChoices laws and the ACT's attempt to recognise civil unions.
19 Jun 2006

Feature - The "upside down church" of the future
The underlying assumption that the Church is in decline reveals a particularly Western focus. The reality is that worldwide, these are boom times for Catholicism, not bust. Catholicism might be declining in Europe but it is experiencing phenomenal growth in the global South. Moreover, the new growth is not merely replicating pre-existing European patterns of faith and practice. Instead, it's creating myriad new forms of Christianity as the faith mingles with indigenous customs and concepts - John Allen
19 Jun 2006

Opinion - Knowing God through work
We lack a good theology of work. Too often work is seen as something that takes us away from God and prayer, a distraction to the spiritual life. Hard work is admitted to be a good, honest thing, but, even so, never a holy thing in itself, a gift from God so that we can be co-creators with him - Fr Ron Rolheiser
19 Jun 2006

Zambian President credits Church for debt cancellation
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa expressed his appreciation for the role played by the Church in the lifting of Zambia's external debts through the Jubilee Zambia program.
16 Jun 2006

Lack of scholar priests on Chinese mainland
Responding to the lack of training in Catholic social teaching in their home provinces, Chinese scholars are working to develop an academic dialogue with the Anglican and Catholic churches in Britain.
16 Jun 2006

Duchess receives Holy See peace award, praises microcredit schemes
Microcredit is an important tool in the struggle against poverty, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg said this week as she received the Path to Peace Award from a Holy See foundation.
16 Jun 2006

US Democrats to appoint "Catholic Outreach" coordinator
Seeking to staunch mounting losses of the Catholic vote to the US Republican Party, the Democrats has decided to hire a Catholic Outreach Director tasked with reconnecting the party to its traditional "white ethnic" core support base.
16 Jun 2006

Uproar over Vatican family document positive: Cardinal Trujillo
Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo is unfazed by the controversy generated by the new Vatican document Family and Human Procreation which defended traditional Church teaching on abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception.
16 Jun 2006

Church groups step up fight against detention centres
The international community should cooperate in the fight against detention, Cardinal Renato Martino said yesterday at the Rome launch of a global interfaith coalition against refugees' detention.
16 Jun 2006

Feature - "Tough guy" healed by love
Don Sweetman looks like the kind of man you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alleyway. But the burly former football player's appearance couldn't be more deceiving. Don, 43, is one of many people to be given a "second shot at life" through the Kairos Prison Ministry program. Today he owns a successful business, is in the process of writing his biography and has been invited to speak about his rehabilitation at numerous functions - Emma Logan
16 Jun 2006

Opinion - Workplace "lust"
In business, employees are frequently regarded as "capital" - no more or less valuable than machinery. If the bottom line will benefit from massive layoffs, then massive layoffs are carried out, regardless of their impact on countless lives. These attitudes trickle down into day-to-day business operations. "Office politics" rule the 9-to-5 world. Often it seems like everybody is out for him/herself, seeing underlings and co-workers only as stepping stones to personal career success. That, my friends, is "lust in the workplace" - Mary Beth Bonacci
16 Jun 2006

Message Stick visits Taree, NSW
A Message Stick marking the 20th anniversary of John Paul II's meeting with Indigenous Australians has arrived in Taree in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle as it makes its journey around Australia in preparation for an Alice Springs conference in October.
15 Jun 2006

Tributes pour in for ethical Catholic CEO
Tributes have been pouring in for Edouard Michelin, a Catholic tyre company boss admired for his ethical business leadership, who died tragically in a recent boat accident.
15 Jun 2006

Anglican women bishops dash unity hopes: Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor
Full Anglican-Catholic unity will be "out of reach" if Anglicans ordain women bishops, according to recent comments by Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
15 Jun 2006

No hope for African pope, says African Cardinal
Cardinal Anthony Okogie of Lagos, one of the cardinals who elected the current Pontiff last year, has said that the hope of an African Pope for the Church are very slim because the number of African cardinals in the church today is negligible.
15 Jun 2006

PNG bishop calls for life ban on corrupt leaders
NSW-born Archbishop Brian Barnes of Port Moresby has called for Papua New Guinea leaders guilty of serious official misconduct to be banned from public office for life in order to weed out deep-seated corruption in government.
15 Jun 2006

End "political point-scoring" over same-sex marriage, says Archbishop
Canberra's Archbishop Carroll has expressed his support for a Federal government decision to overturn the ACT's same-sex union laws but is concerned the debate has become a "political point-scoring exercise."
15 Jun 2006

Feature - East Timor: calmer but still uncertain
The week of my visit to East Timor was calmer than the week before, although the situation was still uncertain. Many routine activities of life were yet to return to normal. Many people were sad and confused by the recent events. They were dismayed that "forces" had stirred up factions, and at the way these factions had arbitrarily and cruelly attacked people and property - Fr Peter Hosking
15 Jun 2006

Opinion - The true cost of embryonic stem-cell research
In the future we may well judge that much of the talk of an embryonic stem-cell panacea was just so much hype. By the end of this decade we may well look and wonder how we could have so cruelly created false hopes for sufferers of various conditions, how we could have wasted millions of our precious research resources on the embryonic stem-cells dream, how we could have done so at such a huge ethical and social cost - Bishop Anthony Fisher
15 Jun 2006

World Cup founder's Catholic roots
The FIFA World Cup competition now under way in Germany was known originally as the Jules Rimet Cup in honour of its French founder, a committed Christian inspired by a vision of "universal brotherhood", according to the Agence France Presse.
14 Jun 2006

Growing Vietnam Church short of priests
The Church in Vietnam is struggling to keep pace with the pastoral needs of the rapidly burgeoning Vietnamese Catholic population, according to Ho Chi Minh City archbishop, Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man.
14 Jun 2006

Koreans challenged to launch Catholic NGOs
Complaining that social involvement of the Korean Church is proceeding at a snail's pace, a Korean priest and academic has called for the establishment of a Catholic non-governmental organisation to promote social action among laypeople.
14 Jun 2006

Bolivian government to abolish Catholic religion courses
The new administration in Catholic-dominated Bolivia is considering a move to abolish compulsory Catholic religion courses in schools and replace it with a course on the history of religions.
14 Jun 2006

Filipino Bishop disappointed over Lafayette mine decision
Filipino Bishop Arturo Bastes has expressed disappointment at a decision to allow an Australian mining company responsible for two cyanide spills in the Philippines last year to recommence operations.
14 Jun 2006

Washington Cardinal clarifies view on same-sex unions
Washington DC's Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has tightened his recent comments on legal recognition of same-sex unions.
14 Jun 2006

Feature - Leaving mass early
Let's be honest. Walking out before Mass has ended is just plain bad manners, as it would be if someone were to get up and leave a dinner party as soon as they had finished eating without any thank-yous or farewells. Also there are jobs to be done when Mass is over - simple things like closing windows and tidying up. Those who leave early shirk their responsibility as members of the parish community - Elizabeth Harrington
14 Jun 2006

Opinion - The tyranny of modernity
Modernity found its ground primarily in the natural sciences where theory could be tested and affirmed, or found wanting. Its success ensured that all other forms of knowledge were relegated to the margins as subjective, with little or no foundation in the world. Theology suffered most from this move because the God that it investigated could be imagined only in terms of being under the auspices of natural science - Peter Sellick
14 Jun 2006

Jesuit priest guiding Nic's "spiritual homecoming"
A close religious confidant to Nicole Kidman, Jesuit Fr Paul Coleman, says the actor has returned to the Church on the eve of her marriage to country singer Keith Urban.
13 Jun 2006

Benedict XVI says family is a "community of love and life"
Benedict XVI, yesterday on the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, recalled that the family is "a community of love and life, in which differences must come together to become a parable of communion."
13 Jun 2006

Indian priest compares India's child labour to Africa slave trade
Speaking on World Day Against Child Labour yesterday, an Indian priest, Fr Jose Vattakkuzhy, claims that India's economic progress is made possible by conveniently ignoring the social malady of child labour.
13 Jun 2006

Thriving trade in Church artefacts on Ebay, antique shops
With the closure of city churches in the US, chalices, altars and even confessionals are being traded in antique shops and even on the online auction website Ebay.
13 Jun 2006

Renowned neonatologist claims fetuses feel pain
Fetuses do feel pain, according to Professor KJS Anand, a renowned neonatologist from the University of Kansas, who proved during the 1980s that newborns feel pain.
13 Jun 2006

Queen's Honour recipient says street kids are his incentive
Sydney Salesian Fr Chris Riley, who heads the list of Catholics honoured in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours list announced yesterday, says he is motivated by the children he helps.
13 Jun 2006

Feature - Sexy evangelists
"We got some other girls together and we went out to our first strip club." It may sound like the beginnings of a wild bachelorlette party but it the first step three women from California took toward creating JC's Girls, an outreach to the adult entertainment industry. Being mistaken for porn stars is actually part of their strategy. The girls play up their sex appeal on their website and in their personal appearances because it adds to their credibility in an industry obsessed with physical beauty - Michael Allen
13 Jun 2006

Opinion - Measuring corporate social responsibility
In our society, corporations are treated as if they were persons, with many of the rights and duties of the human person. Societies have extended these rights to corporations on the understanding that the duties are also fulfilled and that the activities of the corporation are of benefit to that society. Unfortunately we do not know the extent to which corporations currently have a regard for non-shareholder stakeholders because there is no systematic measurement of what companies are doing - John Sweeney
13 Jun 2006

Catholic MP says Anglicans can keep Charles' coronation
British Catholic MP Ann Widdecombe has argued against a proposition from the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey that there should be a multi-faith coronation when Prince Charles succeeds to the throne.
9 Jun 2006

Daniel Mannix one-man play opens in Melbourne
A new one-man play written by comedian Rod Quantock about the late Melbourne Archbishop Daniel Mannix explores the role of the Church in political debates.
9 Jun 2006

Vatican officials slam promotion of prostitution at World Cup
Vatican officials have joined a chorus of criticism against human trafficking and the promotion of prostitution during the World Cup which opens tonight in Germany.
9 Jun 2006

Church in Philippines hails death penalty abolition
The Bishops' Conference in the Philippines described the country's decision on Wednesday to abolish the death penalty as a "step that takes the country from justice that kills to justice that heals."
9 Jun 2006

Iraqi Archbishop says al-Zarqawi death brings hope
The Patriarch of the Caldean Catholic Church in Iraq says Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death brings hope for Iraq's future but warns that the "best solution" to the current problem is not through violence but dialogue.
9 Jun 2006

Caritas says Timor death toll may exceed official figures
Caritas Australia's Chief Executive Officer, Jack de Groot, who has been in East Timor as part of Caritas' assessment team, says he found evidence the death toll from the recent violence in Dili is "far higher" than official reports suggest.
9 Jun 2006

Feature - Helping young people celebrate differences
Six months since the riots in Cronulla left its beach virtually deserted, crowds are starting to trickle back, but some families still shy away. The town has become synonymous with racial intolerance and tension between people of different ethnic backgrounds. But a number of Catholic schools in the area are working to change those perceptions and rebuild bridges between these different sectors of the Australian community - Bernadette Zebec
9 Jun 2006

Opinion - Three models of Western civilisation
With Islamic migration and increased secularisation in the West, many people are now turning their backs on multiculturalism and religious plurality. But history shows that the only truly moral and just model of Western civilisation is that of religious freedom in the framework of human rights. This is a model the Catholic Church has yet to fully embrace - Prof Johannes van der Ven
9 Jun 2006

Catholic Women's League gathering stresses justice, peace, cooperation
The international conference of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO), which concluded this week in Arlington, Virginia, focused on social justice and world peace.
8 Jun 2006

St Thomas More statue for NSW Parliament Speaker's Garden
Later today, Cardinal George Pell will unveil a life-size bronze statue of St Thomas More in the Speaker's Garden at Parliament House in Macquarie Street, Sydney.
8 Jun 2006

Queensland Seminary to be co-located at ACU
Queensland's Holy Spirit Seminary is to be co-located to the land of the former Pius XII Provincial Seminary at Banyo, the Catholic Bishops of Queensland announced yesterday.
8 Jun 2006

Pope says Peter and successors guard communion with Christ
St Peter and his legitimate successors are meant to be the loving guardians of a universal, faithful communion with Christ, Benedict XVI said yesterday during his general audience.
8 Jun 2006

Forum told Catholics more tolerant of corruption
A speaker at a Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace forum on corruption in the developing world has said that countries with a predominantly Catholic population tend to be more corrupt and that the average citizen in these countries tends to be more tolerant of corruption.
8 Jun 2006

Cardinal tells Anglicans that women bishops would destroy unity
Cardinal Walter Kasper has warned the Church of England that a move to ordain women as bishops would destroy any chance of full unity with the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
8 Jun 2006

Feature - Vinnies volunteer's three decades of service
Vinnies member Bernadette Farrugia has been helping the poor and needy in the Mascot area for the past 32 years. She joined the St Therese's, Mascot, conference of the Society in 1974. Her work as a volunteer in the Mascot Vinnies store began two years later. Now in her 70s, Bernadette has three sons and seven grandchildren and still enjoys her volunteer work. "I am thankful for the way I was reared," she says.
8 Jun 2006

Opinion - The traumatic birth of a nation
East Timor is a nation born out of mass trauma. A study in 2000 found 96.6 per cent of those surveyed suffered trauma during the Indonesian occupation. Recent events have provided further evidence of how deeply the population has been traumatised. Yet President Xanana Gusmao continues to argue that focusing on the economic and social development of the nation is the best way to heal the wounds of the past. Xanana's attitude has, however, become a running sore in the new nation - Dr Mark Byrne
8 Jun 2006

Scottish fans "may sin" by not supporting England in World Cup
A Catholic theologian from Scotland told Scottish soccer fans they might be committing a sin if they do not support their historical and soccer archrival England in the World Cup.
7 Jun 2006

Irish Catholic Primate in secret Orange meeting
The Catholic Primate of All Ireland has held secret talks with leaders of the Orange Order and other key Protestant fraternal societies in his residence in Armagh.
7 Jun 2006

Queensland Catholic Education welcomes $60m Budget boost
The Queensland Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the State Government's announcement of an additional $100 million in funding for capital projects for the non-government schools sector to be spent over the next five years.
7 Jun 2006

Catholic Social Services baulks at cooperation with harsh policy
Catholic Social Services Executive Director Frank Quinlan has said that agencies in his network do not want to become "agents of harsh Government policy" by accepting contracts to manage the finances of people who have welfare axed for eight weeks.
7 Jun 2006

Pax Christi tells US to get over "enemy" view of Iran
US peace group Pax Christi says Americans must overcome its stereotype of Iran in order to better assess President George Bush's claims that the Muslim nation is building nuclear weapons.
7 Jun 2006

Family institution under attack, says Vatican document
A new Vatican document says gay rights couples, feminists and couples who use natural family planning to have only one or two children are threatening the traditional model of the family.
7 Jun 2006

Feature - A ray of sunshine in East Timor
Destruction of Dili continues while in the towns and villages life goes on. Baucau, the next largest city is the home of "Nacarras" group. Evis Gonšalo, regrouped his band to share a message of peace with the people of Baucau. The Pentecost Sunday Concert was a ray of sunshine to the thousands of locals and internally displaced persons gathered at St Antonio's Catholic Church Plaza to listen to songs that called the people to peace - Br Mark Paul
7 Jun 2006

Opinion - Heaven cements our soul-bonds
I remember in 1969 sitting with my father in a boat on the middle of a still prairie lake. It was the last summer he and I would have together. We were fishing in silence and I knew that day we touched something akin to our eternal soul-bond. It's been nearly 40 years since my father died. But time only increases my longing to be reunited with him in the perfect joy of Christ. The love for a parent, mate, child or grandchild can only be complete on the other side of the grave - Mark Pickup
7 Jun 2006

Death of Maitland-Newcastle's Bishop Leo Clarke
The Catholic community of Maitland-Newcastle is preparing to farewell retired Bishop Leo Clarke, who died on Saturday, aged 82, after a long illness.
6 Jun 2006

Pope says Holy Spirit rebuilds bridge between earth and heaven
Pope Benedict says missionary success depends not on careful planning but on the initiative of the Holy Spirit, whose presence unites and transforms confusion into communion.
6 Jun 2006

Bishop urges fair go for new movements
Bishop Kevin Manning of the Sydney Diocese of Parramatta has said that innovators must be judged by official Church authority, not by modern-day Pharisees.
6 Jun 2006

Brennan warns of cost of embryos moral purity
Jesuit human rights advocate Fr Frank Brennan has said that an attitude of moral purity towards experimentation with embryos "will do nothing to command the respect or assent of lawmakers wanting to know the appropriate legal limits to impose."
6 Jun 2006

Jesuit says quake help has missed most devastated area
The Indonesian government, the media and rescue teams have "completely forgotten" some of the hardest-hit areas of last month's earthquake in Java, according to a Jesuit priest coordinating volunteer efforts in these areas.
6 Jun 2006

Catholic Film Office takes on Omen superstition
It is being claimed that some Australian mothers do not want to deliver their babies, especially their sons, today on 6/6/06.
6 Jun 2006

Feature - How pigs and herbs are helping Vietnam's poor
In an effort to promote self-reliance among poor people, the diocese of Phan Thiet in southern Vietnam breeds pigs and generates electricity from the methane gas emitted by their manure. It also manages a medicinal herb garden that produces inexpensive medicines. "The first thing we are trying to do is eliminate poverty," said Bishop Nguyen Thanh Hoan, who soon after being ordained a priest, built a care facility for 345 orphaned children.
6 Jun 2006

Opinion - Hard-core church-goers are getting tired
Mass attendance in Australia has been steadily dropping for the last 15 years. One factor is that Generation X largely departed from the church scene once its members got into their teens. But the ranks of the baby boomers and the "silent" generation which went before them have also been steadily thinning. A hard core, nevertheless, has stayed solidly faithful through all this. But this hard core is now under threat - Fr Eric Hodgens
6 Jun 2006

Melbourne prayers for troubled East Timor
A Melbourne church has led a prayer service for East Timor in which the country's honorary consul-general, Kevin Bailey, spoke about the long-term task of nation-building in the troubled country.
5 Jun 2006

Java quake survivors pray outside damaged churches
Christian survivors of the earthquake that devastated areas of Java island prayed outside damaged churches on Sunday, just over a week after the disaster killed more than 6,000 people.
5 Jun 2006

Lay movements discover commonality during Vatican congress
Members of Catholic lay movements and communities are discovering what they have in common at a congress in Rome sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
5 Jun 2006

Blair in first private audience with Pope Benedict
British Prime Minister Tony Blair met with Benedict XVI for the first time since the pontiff's election last year to discuss terrorism, poverty and inter-religious dialogue.
5 Jun 2006

Progress for Vatican review of English-language Mass translations
The "liturgy wars" are inching closer to a resolution with reports that the Vatican's review of English-language Mass translations are picking up speed ahead of the US bishops' vote on the texts this month.
5 Jun 2006

Pell says Bush faces uphill battle
Cardinal George Pell has said the President George Bush's ambition to democratise the Middle East is risky because extremists are likely to be elected, and they will just change the rules.
5 Jun 2006

Feature - The rise of the breakaway Catholic churches
Like Catholic priests everywhere, Bishop Peter Hickman dons a white tunic each Sunday to celebrate Mass in a sanctuary laden with incense and crosses. Unlike most, he'll often have lunch with his wife and children afterward. Hickman is the head of the largest coalition of liberal independent Catholic churches in the US, the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. Fuelled by the church's sexual abuse scandal and increasing demands for full participation by women, gays and others, the independent Catholic movement has gained momentum in the last several years.
5 Jun 2006

Opinion - A stranger, and you welcomed me
The American Church has always tried to assist the newly-arrived. In our own diocese, various parishes and schools have sought to reach out to Hispanics, Brazilians, Haitians, and others. We approach this work as representatives of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who told us that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome Him. This work is not "optional" Church activity. As Pope Benedict XVI recently reminded us, assistance to those in need is an essential part of the Church's mission - Bishop William E Lori
5 Jun 2006

Abbott's faith a problem for Democrats
The Democrats is concerned that Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott's Catholic faith is getting in the way of his decision making after claims he threatened drug companies against marketing abortion pill RU486.
2 Jun 2006

Townsville Diocese school to set up vet training centre
A north Queensland Catholic college in the Diocese of Townsville is tackling head on a shortage of rural vets by building a training centre.
2 Jun 2006

Sydney submission steps up fight against gay adoption
A submission by the Archdiocese of Sydney's Marriage and Family Office into NSW's review of gay adoption laws has rejected a proposal to extend adoption rights to same-sex couples.
2 Jun 2006

Caritas commences Dili humanitarian response
Caritas Australia's assessment team has arrived in Dili to commence the Caritas humanitarian response in a country still torn by civil unrest.
2 Jun 2006

Pell says all power comes from God
Worldly power comes from God and is to be used after "due reflection for a good purpose and not just for self service", Cardinal George Pell wrote in his annual Pentecost Pastoral Letter to Sydney's young Catholics.
2 Jun 2006

Josephite call to go beneath surface in talk of Aboriginal violence
The "tone" of recent talks about violence in Aboriginal communities is worrying the Josphites, who yesterday called for more consideration of the deeper problems of dispossession and poverty.
2 Jun 2006

Feature - My life as a gay Christian judge
High Court Justice Michael Kirby addressed the issue of homosexuality and religion at a Spirituality in the Pub seminar on Wednesday night. Kirby and his partner of 37 years did not decide to speak out openly about their relationship and sexual preference until 10 years ago. "It's really a cruel thing not to be able to talk to people you love the most, to keep it bottled up," he said. Justice Kirby said he remained a committed Christian, despite homosexuals being labelled "intrinsically disordered" by the Church - Karina Dunger
2 Jun 2006

Opinion - Learning to weep over Iraq
Almost 2,500 US soldiers have died in Iraq and thousands and thousands of anonymous Iraqis shot, bombed, missing, gone. Yet we are still drowning in insensitivity. We are escaping into escape. We have lost the capacity to weep ourselves into the fullness of our humanity. It seems to me that until we are willing to face what is happening in our name in this society, to regret it, to own the agony of it, it will go on - Sr Joan Chittister
2 Jun 2006

Editor credits Pell for seminary numbers increase
The current number of students at Sydney's Good Shepherd Seminary is double the number of five years ago when Archbishop George Pell was transferred from Melbourne to Sydney, and a similar increase had earlier occurred in Melbourne following Archbishop Pell's reforms at Corpus Christi Seminary there.
1 Jun 2006

Archbishop disappointed in Vic Budget
Commenting on the Victorian Budget, Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart expressed his disappointment yesterday at the shortfall in funding for Catholic schools.
1 Jun 2006

Pope says lay movements must accept authority
In a message to leaders of new lay movements, Benedict XVI has saluted the groups for their missionary commitment, formative efforts and promotion of priestly vocations, but warned that the new movements must obey the Church's hierarchical authority.
1 Jun 2006

Caritas accepting donations for Indonesia disaster appeal
Caritas Australia has stepped up its appeal for donations to assist the victims of the Indonesian earthquake and the imminent Mt Merapi volcanic eruption.
1 Jun 2006

Dili Salesian tells of anarchy in "city of fear"
A Salesian priest caught in the bloodshed and anarchy in East Timor has described his nation as "a divided people gripped in fear" and the situation in Dili is worse than the violence that followed the 1999 vote of independence.
1 Jun 2006

Archbishop says youth are God's "secret agents"
Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart in a Pentecost pastoral letter calls young people God's "secret agents" whose evangelising mission in the world was "activated" at Confirmation.
1 Jun 2006

Feature - The Jewish heritage behind Pentecost
As we Christians end the great celebration of the Easter season, there is one more significant feast to be marked. This is the feast of Pentecost, often called the birthday of the Church. But Pentecost is in fact a Jewish feast and was well known and celebrated by the apostles and the early Church. It was a feast that involved pilgrimage to Jerusalem, which accounted for the large numbers of foreigners in the city at that time - Jennifer Mitchell
1 Jun 2006

Opinion - Amnesty International and Catholics
An English Catholic, Peter Benenson founded Amnesty International in 1961. Amnesty and the Church have been staunch allies in many areas. In Australia they have led together campaigns against Singapore's execution of Van Tuong Nguyen in 2005. Amnesty played an important role in the campaign to free Columban priest and social activist Fr Brian Gore jailed during the Philippines' Marcos regime. But this rich association is now at risk with a current pro-abortion proposal being considered by Amnesty - Fr Chris Middleton
1 Jun 2006