Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR SEPTEMBER 2006

   
Brazilian Catholic activist awarded "alternative Nobel prize"
Francisco "Chico" Whitaker, a director of the Brazilian Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and co-founder of the massive World Social Forum gatherings, will share the 2006 Right Livelihood Award with three other people including Vietnam era whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg.
29 Sep 2006

Acquitted peace activist lends support to Aussies facing trial
Controversial Catholic peace activist, Ciaron O'Reilly, has returned to Australia following his recent acquittal on a charge of criminal damage to a US Navy warplane in Ireland to support four Australian anti-war activists facing trial next week in the Northern Territory.
29 Sep 2006

Geelong Church at centre of mobile tower dispute
Local residents in the Victorian Geelong suburb of Leopold are up in arms over plans to build a Telstra mobile phone tower near Lumen Christi Catholic Church in the town.
29 Sep 2006

Maitland diocese remembers second Bali bombing anniversary
A year after the second Bali bombing attack which killed twenty three people and injured scores more, NSW's Maitland-Newcastle diocese is organising a commemorative Mass to remember the victims who included a number of Newcastle people and to pray for peace.
29 Sep 2006

Benedict stands firm despite calls to "retract or redress"
Representatives of Islamic states in New York for a United Nations meeting have called upon the Pope to either retract or make redress for his controversial Regenburg remarks but the Holy See representative said it is the duty of everyone to sideline extremists.
29 Sep 2006

Canberra Calvary courts controversy over hospital purchase
The Little Company of Mary's Calvary Hospital, which is to take over the running of the John James Hospital in Canberra, is facing controversy over its plans to stop IVF procedures at the hospital.
29 Sep 2006

Feature - Three months without electricity in Gaza
Since September 2000 and the beginning of the current round of problems here in Palestine, the Israeli army has seemingly targeted everything to negatively affect the life of the Palestinians, especially in Gaza. A potent weapon in the fight against the Palestinian people is the cutting off of electricity. Fr Manuel Musallam, Parish Priest of Gaza said: "When one walks in the streets of Gaza at night, you hear crying babies and children, because they are afraid of the dark and their homes have no light" - Caritas Jerusalem
29 Sep 2006

Opinion - Catholics make Australia's history interesting
Catholics have always been the most significant and interesting minority in Australian history. Without Catholics there would have been no split in the Labor Party in 1954 and Menzies' time as Prime Minister would have been much shorter. There was also in those days no ready substitute for the working class Catholic unionists, who removed the Communist leadership in key Australian unions. Would the Mabo High Court judgements on Aboriginal land rights have been different without Catholic lawyers and judges and their understanding of natural law? - Cardinal George Pell
29 Sep 2006

Silver lining to cloud-blocked PNG highland visit
After clouds blocked his planned visit to missionary stations in the mountains of Kerema diocese in Papua New Guinea, Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse was forced to limit his pastoral visit to a lower altitude parish where he found much to impress him in the evangelising work of the Melbourne Overseas Mission.
28 Sep 2006

Mormons give interfaith award to Cardinal Cassidy
The Mormon Church in Australia has presented Sydney's Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the former President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, with an award for heroic efforts to bring better understanding to the people of the world.
28 Sep 2006

Bishop suggests cathedral for Broken Bay
Concern is growing in the diocese of Broken Bay in Sydney's northern suburbs over the lack of space for large liturgical gatherings, leading Bishop David Walker to raise the issue of a purpose built cathedral for the twenty-year old diocese.
28 Sep 2006

Another Chinese bishop released
Chinese authorities this week released another "underground" bishop who has been under arrest and in home detention for most of the last two years and who has spent a total of twenty years in prison.
28 Sep 2006

Reports of torture before execution of Indonesian Catholics
Lawyers and family members of three Indonesian Catholics executed last Friday for inciting violence against Muslims claims that the bodies of the men have bruises, broken bones and even a stab wound.
28 Sep 2006

Women of little faith spell trouble: Pell
Sydney Cardinal George Pell will today warn educators at the National Catholic Education Conference that the lack of faith among young women could have serious implications for future generations.
28 Sep 2006

Feature - Faith sustains refugee rights champion
Phil Glendenning of the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney has been involved in a fact-finding mission in more than 18 countries over the past three years, investigating the fate of asylum seekers deported from Australia. The project, undertaken in collaboration with ACU, resulted in the controversial Deported to Danger report. The research team faced danger themselves during the investigation, being one day arrested and on another occasion robbed at gunpoint. "I had a gun shoved up under my ribs and under our chins and stuff like that and that was pretty hairy," Phil said - Marilyn Rodrigues
28 Sep 2006

Opinion - Good news for smart women
Sex and power are often linked, but most sociological theories - and media headlines - predict that it is women who will flock to high-powered men and find them the most attractive, whereas men will be drawn to docile and subordinate women. But using the latest US census data, I ran my own analysis and was shocked to find out that the "success penalty" was a thing of the past. The tide has been slowly turning since the 1980s, and while most of us were buying into the conventional wisdom, major demographic shifts were going unreported - Dr Christine Whelan
28 Sep 2006

VeggieTales too meaty for American TV
American TV network NBC, which started broadcasting the popular faith-based American home video series, VeggieTales, is in trouble for editing out religious references in the show which has already sold 50 million copies.
27 Sep 2006

Actress Olivia Hussey awarded Mother Teresa Prize
Anglo-Argentinian actress Olivia Hussey, best known for her role as Juliet in a 1968 film version of "Romeo and Juliet," has been awarded the 2006 Mother Teresa Prize for her movie portrayal of the saintly founder of the Missionaries of Charity.
27 Sep 2006

World Youth Day sets up shop
Sydney's World Youth Day organising committee have announced the opening of an online shop to sell branded "WYD08" merchandise and to raise funds to support pilgrims.
27 Sep 2006

Two-tier grading system no impact on Catholic schools
The NSW Government has introduced descriptive equivalents for the new A to E grading system for schools in the state but Catholic schools are sticking to the letters, according to NSW Catholic Education Commission director, Brian Croke.
27 Sep 2006

Married Archbishop excommunicated over illicit ordinations
The Vatican has declared that controversial Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo has incurred automatic excommunication after he took part in the irregular ordination in Washington DC of four married men as bishops.
27 Sep 2006

More Catholic church attacks across Asia
Muslim fundamentalists have attacked a Catholic church in West Java while an Iraqi Chaldean church was hit by rockets for the second time in three days in the latest in a series of attacks on churches across the Asian continent.
27 Sep 2006

Feature - Similarities and differences between Catholic and Jewish worship
I am what one of our Introduction to Judaism rabbis calls a "JIT" - a Jew in Training, as I am in the process of becoming a Jew-by-choice. In the years of journeying from my deeply held Catholicism to a surprise landing on Judaism's front door, I've learned that although God is God and prayer is prayer, it isn't a smooth transition between the two traditions - Laura Thor
27 Sep 2006

Opinion - The unlikely Latin lovers
The early modern Jesuit classroom, which promoted the literature of pagan antiquity from the late Renaissance until the French Revolution, may seem a world away from present-day concerns about declining standards of literacy and numeracy in our schools and universities, not to mention the ideological battle over outcomes-based education. But there are some lessons to be drawn, cautiously, from the experience, successes and even deficiencies of early modern Jesuit teachers - Prof Yasmin Haskell
27 Sep 2006

Defence force armed with new prayerbook
For the first time since World War II, members of Australia's navy, army and air force have a new prayerbook which has just been published by the Catholic lay organisation, the Knights of the Southern Cross.
26 Sep 2006

Church in bid for land rights
In a bid to simplify redevelopment of parish properties, Catholics in Wodonga, Victoria, are seeking freehold title over crown land reserved 150 years ago for St Augustine's Church but which has never been formally transferred to the Church.
26 Sep 2006

Archaeologist claims Jerusalem treasure mystery solved
A British archaeologist claims to have proved that, contrary to long-held rumours, the Vatican does not hold in its vaults biblical treasure looted by the Romans from the Temple of Jerusalem.
26 Sep 2006

Indonesia allows executed Catholic's body to return home
Seeking to calm tensions following Friday's execution of three Catholics convicted of inciting religious violence, Indonesian authorities have relented on an earlier decision and allowed one of the three to be buried before a crowd of 10,000 in his Flores hometown.
26 Sep 2006

Papal primacy still stumbling block in Orthodox talks
Participants in a week-long closed-door meeting between senior prelates of the Catholic and Orthodox churches have reported "slight progress" in their efforts to end their 1000-year-old rift but papal primacy remains a major hurdle.
26 Sep 2006

Let's talk, Benedict tells Muslim ambassadors
In his meeting with ambassadors from mostly Muslim countries yesterday in Rome, the Pope insisted that Christian-Muslim dialogue is a "vital necessity" on which "our future depends".
26 Sep 2006

Feature - Mongolia's youthful church
Start by sending half-a-dozen altar boys to the river early to prepare a place for Mass. Add parishioners packed into vehicles and transported to the site. After Mass cook three fat sheep in a big metal pot and play games. Then bring the exhausted but happy group back to the city. This recipe is just one of the specialties Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar serves up for its mostly young community members, whom the parish priest is trying to form into an extended family.
26 Sep 2006

Opinion - Fundamentalism is no answer to the tensions of modern life
From its origin at a conservative Protestant conference in Niagara Falls in 1895, the term "fundamentalism" has broadened to include a wide variety of beliefs that have the common aim of recovering what are believed to be the beliefs and social arrangements of a purer past. It represents the ultimate resort to the power of the group to resolve the tensions and uncertainties of modern life. Linked with other issues such as anti-colonialism, struggles for political power and racial divisions, it can be highly destructive - Michael Horsburgh
26 Sep 2006

Cairns Catholic schools carry cross of Cyclone Larry
Six months after Cyclone Larry ravaged ten out of twenty six Cairns diocesan schools, life is returning to normal thanks in part to generous donations from Catholic schools around Australia.
25 Sep 2006

AIDS is PNG's top problem, students tell Bishop
Speaking with Melbourne Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse, Papua New Guinea students named AIDS as the top problem facing the country but none of them identified abstinence or faithfulness to one partner as among the best strategies for combating the disease.
25 Sep 2006

Sydney stretched for WYD08 space
A high level Vatican team will visit Sydney this week to review preparations for World Youth Day 2008 as organisers struggle to identify a suitable venue with capacity for the 600,000 strong crowd expected for the closing Mass with Pope Benedict.
25 Sep 2006

Josephite call for nuns to unite on Indigenous action
"The level of Indigenous health is still appalling", Josephite Sr Katrina Brill said in a Social Justice Sunday call to Australian nuns to join forces on Indigenous issues.
25 Sep 2006

Sydney priests retirement fund crisis
The Sydney Archdiocese is launching a new annual public appeal to cater for the needs of retired priests after an internal report showed that the existing fund was "in effect bankrupt".
25 Sep 2006

Benedict to meet Muslim ambassadors today
As Benedict XVI prepares to meet Muslim ambassadors to the Holy See today, a number of Asian Muslim leaders have came out in support of the Pope on the eve of Ramadan, accepting his apology and call for dialogue.
25 Sep 2006

Feature - Porn addition among US troops in Iraq
Pornography in the military has been a problem for decades. But not like today. In Iraq, alcohol and pornography - including Internet porn - are banned for enlisted personnel out of sensitivity to adherents of the country's dominant religion, Islam. But despite the prohibitions and blocking software on military computers, Fr Mark Reilly, who served as a marine chaplain in Iraq this year, said increasing numbers of both men and women serving in Iraq have access to porn, and have become addicted - Patrick Novecosky
25 Sep 2006

Opinion - Culture of death spawned school murders
The shooting rampage on 13 September by a deranged gunman at Dawson College in Montreal, Canada, should spur some deep questioning about the direction our culture is headed. The attempt at mass murder at Dawson College is not an isolated incident. It followed similar incidents including the 1999 killings at Columbine High School in the US. It is not stretching credulity to say this phenomenon of mass murder is one aspect of what Pope John Paul II called the culture of death - Glen Argan
25 Sep 2006

Columbans call on Christians to fast and pray this weekend
With the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish New Year both opening this weekend, the Columbans have called on Christians to join with other Abrahamic traditions in prayer and fasting.
22 Sep 2006

Aussie sister joins Loreto international leadership team
Australian Sr Sandra Perrett will join the Rome-based Loreto international leadership team as another Australian, Sr Mary Wright, completes her eight-year term as Superior General of the congregation founded by Englishwoman, Mary Ward.
22 Sep 2006

No winners in Benedict polemic, says Melkite archbishop
Defending the Pope's Regensburg speech and questioning Muslim reaction, Melkite Archbishop Issam John Darwish says that Christians and Muslims are both losers as a result of the events of the last few days.
22 Sep 2006

Thai prelates pray for quick return to democracy
Bangkok Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu says that the Church will pray for democracy to be restored soon while other prominent Thai Catholic leaders have expressed relief over the overthrow of the Thaksin government even if it was not by good means.
22 Sep 2006

Filipino bishops seek solidarity from Australian Church
In a statement timed to coincide with the Australian Church's Social Justice Sunday this weekend, Filipino bishops have called on their Australian counterparts for support in safeguarding the human rights of Filipino Indigenous people under pressure from Australian mining companies.
22 Sep 2006

Indonesian Catholics executed this morning
After their last request for the sacrament of reconciliation was refused, three Catholics who had been convicted of anti-Muslim violence were executed early today near Palu, the capital of Sulawesi province in Indonesia.
22 Sep 2006

Feature - Bearer of hope
In the prophetic voice that was the hallmark of his papacy, John Paul II's 1986 address to Indigenous people at Alice Springs spoke to the respect Indigenous people have for their country. Tristan Mungatopi, a Tiwi man from Melville Island, Northern Territory, related that although he was born a few months before Pope John Paul's visit to Alice Springs, he had come to "understand and appreciate the meaning and influence of the Pope's message for my people."
22 Sep 2006

Opinion - Breaking bread and living justly
The Australian bishops have designated this Sunday as Social Justice Sunday. The social justice aspect of Christian teaching and action will be emphasised at the weekend's Masses, but we need to be aware that worship and justice are always intimately connected. The community that gathers to celebrate Mass cannot hear the word of God and share Eucharist without reflecting on what it means to live as a Christian in a world where millions go hungry and endure persecution every day - Elizabeth Harrington
22 Sep 2006

Ghost buster's one sister act hits Newcastle
Nancy Murray, an American Dominican nun and real-life sister of Ghost Busters star, Bill Murray, is in Newcastle this week for her one-woman show on the life of mystic Italian St Catherine of Siena.
21 Sep 2006

$A60 billion new UK missiles "absurd": Scottish Cardinal
Welcoming peace walkers to Edinburgh, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, president of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, described the investment of billions of pounds in more nuclear weapons as "iniquitous, irrational and absurd".
21 Sep 2006

Tax system creating poverty traps: Catholic Social Services
High effective marginal tax rates are creating poverty traps by acting as disincentives for people on low incomes to join the workforce or to increase their hours of work, says Catholic Social Services director, Frank Quinlan.
21 Sep 2006

Bendigo Bishop backs English test for migrants
Citizenship is not just a passport, Sandhurst diocese Bishop Joe Grech said this week, and he has "no problem" with proposed new requirements including an English test and a four-year wait to obtain citizenship.
21 Sep 2006

UN chief warns against new religion world war
In his last annual address to the UN General Assembly, outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns that the lack of sensitivity to other people's beliefs could lead to a new war of religion on a global scale.
21 Sep 2006

Sorry Benedict reiterates "deep respect" for Islam
Vatican diplomats are scrambling to organise a possible interfaith summit to be held in the coming weeks in the wake of the polemic over Pope Benedict's remarks for which he again expressed his sorrow and respect for Islam yesterday.
21 Sep 2006

Feature - Misfortunes can be blessings in disguise
When I was growing up my mother constantly reminded me that "the path to God is not easy" but as the child of an atheist father and - to my mind - an overly devout mother it was advice I ignored because I had no interest in finding God. Neither my mother's faith nor my father's lack of belief satisfied my personal convictions. Though it took me a while, my mother's oft-repeated refrain began to occupy my thoughts and I began to view my own struggles and others in an entirely new light - Izabela Ciesinska
21 Sep 2006

Opinion - That's religion - at least it should be
A very small and very loud minority of Muslims around the world have been getting their spiritual knickers in a knot over one anecdote mentioned in Benedict XVI's speech last week. But the Pope's comments were nowhere near as provocative as those made on numerous occasions by Cardinal George Pell. Pell is entitled to his opinions. He has invited Muslims to provide some explanation of the relationship between Islam and violence. However, before doing so, it is important for Muslims to understand where the Cardinal is coming from - Irfan Yusuf
21 Sep 2006

"I forgive" whispers dying Italian nun
Sister Leonella, the Italian nun who was shot to death outside a Somali hospital this week in an attack speculated to have been a reaction to Pope Benedict's controversial remarks on Islam forgave her attackers with her dying breaths, witnesses say.
20 Sep 2006

Hollywood renews faith in films
Hoping to capitalise on the growing market for faith oriented films such as Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, Rupert Murdoch's Fox film division is announcing plans to make up to a dozen major films a year under the FoxFaith banner.
20 Sep 2006

Catholic-Orthodox talks restart after six years
In a bid to end a split that has lasted for nearly a thousand years, Orthodox and Catholic bishops are meeting in the Serbian capital of Belgrade this week in an attempt to restart theological dialogue that has stalled over the last six years.
20 Sep 2006

Irish author's abuse story "fiction", says her family
Family members of Irish author Kathy O'Beirne, whose graphic account of abuse at the hands of Irish nuns has sold over 350,000 copies, have denied her story saying that the book published as Kathy's Story is almost entirely false and should be reclassified as fiction.
20 Sep 2006

Execution looms again for Indonesian Catholics
Despite an appeal to the International Criminal Court in Geneva, Indonesian authorities have informed three Catholic men convicted of organising a massacre of 200 Muslims in 2000 that their postponed execution is imminent.
20 Sep 2006

World leaders bid to hose down flames of Benedict controversy
As the Holy See seeks to soothe tensions with a stepped up diplomatic effort, Australian and world political and religious leaders have called for calm and for an end to the polemic over Pope Benedict's controversial remarks on Islam.
20 Sep 2006

Feature - Abortion and Catholic Social Teaching
Traditionally abortion has not been included in the sphere of Catholic social doctrine. In the informal canon of "social encyclicals," the word abortion appears a mere four times, and the topic is never addressed in any depth. But it is clear the Church regards abortion as a matter of social justice. Christians are called to focus their efforts preferentially toward the most needy and defenceless among us. The social injustice that most cries out to Christian conscience is the deliberate and massive attack on the unborn - Fr Thomas D Williams (interview)
20 Sep 2006

Opinion - Lonelygirl15 lurks in new mall
The recent outing of popular video sharing YouTube personality "Lonelygirl15" as an out-of-work New Zealander has prompted many to ask why we are still so trusting of what we find on the internet. Forums like YouTube and MySpace are the new shopping mall - a place where kids hang out, chat and learn to be adults, away from the prying eyes of their parents. The difference between YouTube and the mall is that young people can project a carefully crafted image to the online world - Marisa Pintado
20 Sep 2006

More Vinnies heartbreak in "sign of the times"
In what a store director describes as a "sign of the times", thieves broke into a St Vincent de Paul store in western NSW last week and stole a safe in the second similar incident affecting a Vinnies shop in a fortnight.
19 Sep 2006

Controversial Zambian archbishop a married priest - again
The Holy See has written to controversial Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo asking him to repent and again leave the Korean woman whom he "married" in 2001 and to stop his activities with the Married Priests Now! lobby group he has created.
19 Sep 2006

Vatican's secret archives now open to scholars
Over sixty researchers visited the Vatican's secret pre-World War II archives yesterday asking to consult more than 30,000 documents dating from the 1922-1939 papacy of Pius XI which were opened for examination this week.
19 Sep 2006

Resignation ignites controversy over Catholic Education shake-up
Following the resignation of the head of Melbourne's Catholic Education, priest-statistician Fr Eric Hodgens has attacked the lack of transparency and accountability in the process of restructuring of the commission that manages Catholic education in Victoria.
19 Sep 2006

Broome diocesan justice office slams non-Indigenous appointment
The appointment of a non-Indigenous person to a $200,000 a year advisory role with the Western Australian Government on Aboriginal issues is a "step back into the past", according to Br Shane Wood of Broome diocese's justice and peace office.
19 Sep 2006

Australia's moderate Muslims a sign of hope, Pell says
While criticising the response of some Australian Muslim leaders to Pope Benedict's controversial speech at Germany's Regensburg University last week, Sydney's Cardinal George Pell says that it is "a sign of hope" no organised violence has flared in Australia.
19 Sep 2006

Feature - Where do wastes for recycling go?
Lian Jiao, a township on the outskirts of China's Guangzhou province is the world's rubbish dump. Waste is carted here for recycling from the US, Europe and many other wealthy nations. Waste that is not fit for recycling - about 20 per cent - is burned, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. In Western countries, people believe they are protecting the environment by separating waste. But every day, hundreds of tons of waste that do not end up in the river or are not burned, are buried in Lian Jiao's landfills.
19 Sep 2006

Opinion - Learning the hard way about interreligious dialogue
Vatican observers often predict that Pope Benedict will engage much more than his predecessors in substantive dialogue with Muslims about the issues between us. That may be true, and such a dialogue is surely urgent. But the Pope is learning the hard way that interreligious dialogue these days is a complex and delicate business. It cannot be done without allowing Muslims to speak for themselves. We cannot presume first to tell them what they believe, and then to criticise them for it. Is it so surprising that conflict resulted? - Fr Daniel Madigan
19 Sep 2006

Jesus in beer schooner seeks net friends
A British religious thinktank says it has become the very first "friend" of Jesus on the News Corp-owned social networking website, MySpace.
18 Sep 2006

Catholic Gallipoli hero gets a new grave
Catholic army chaplain Msgr Tony Toms will today preside at the consecration of a grave for a New Zealand-born devout Catholic ANZAC army officer who has laid in an unmarked grave in Melbourne for more than 50 years.
18 Sep 2006

US cardinal summonses priests to listen to abuse victims
Hundreds of Philadelphia priests listened to shocking testimony from two adults who as children had been molested by priests at a meeting on Friday called by the Philadelphia's archbishop, Cardinal Justin Rigali.
18 Sep 2006

Canberra's Catholic school fees set to rise
A Canberra paper says that fees for ACT Catholic schools are set to rise by upwards of 8 per cent in 2007 - with extra charges facing parents of more than child at primary schools.
18 Sep 2006

Mental patients filling prisons: Chaplain
A Melbourne prison chaplain, Fr Joe Caddy, has called on the Government to redirect some money from its mental health budget to new initiatives and reform of prisons, which he says are becoming institutions for mentally ill people.
18 Sep 2006

Benedict "deeply sorry" for Muslim outrage but violence continues
Pope Benedict told pilgrims yesterday that he is "deeply sorry" for the reaction to his quoted remarks of a medieval ruler who criticised Islam but violence continues with the killing of an Italian nun in Somalia and the firebombing of several churches in the Middle East.
18 Sep 2006

Feature - How the Pope's appeal for dialogue backfired
A former academic, the Pope last week delivered a nuanced address on the subject of faith and reason. The gist is that belief in God is entirely consistent with human reason and the Greek spirit of philosophical inquiry. By using the reason God gave us, we become, in a way, more like him. If the Pope had stuck to quoting Plato to illustrate his point, he wouldn't now have alienated so many Muslims. The irony of this row is that it is the opposite of what the Pope was trying to achieve - Melanie McDonagh
18 Sep 2006

Opinion - Life can be unfair, but God restores balance
There has been a lot of talk about death recently. Racing driver Peter Brock will be buried on Tuesday, and Steve Irwin will be honoured at a memorial service on Wednesday. Both had died suddenly. And four more of the young Bali mules convicted in Indonesia, had their appeals dismissed and sentences changed from jail to execution. This is unfair, as many aspects of life are unfair. Does Christianity have anything distinctive to say on injustice, suffering and death? - Cardinal George Pell
18 Sep 2006

Sandhurst teachers immerse in Philippines program
Formation in Catholic Social Teaching will be a key focus for fifteen Catholic primary school teachers from Victoria's Sandhurst diocesan who leave this weekend for a 10-day immersion and training program in Cebu with Filipino teachers.
15 Sep 2006

Lay leader says civilisation clash a political choice
Speaking at a seminar for dialogue between European, Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf cultures, St Egidio community founder and leader, Professor Andrea Riccardi, said that intercultural shock was not inevitable despite attempts to create a worldwide culture of conflict.
15 Sep 2006

Catholic Health now backs nursing home bonds
Citing changed conditions, Catholic Health Australia has reversed its earlier opposition to the introduction of controversial nursing home bonds requiring high-care residents to raise $120,000 or more to get a place.
15 Sep 2006

Contract workers win better protections
In a win for outworkers in the clothing industry, Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) has welcomed the Government's decision to accept last month's Senate committee recommendations for better legislative protection for some contract workers.
15 Sep 2006

Benedict tells priests to serve Christ and be His voice
Winding up his popular homecoming German tour in the town of Freising where he was first ordained, Pope Benedict called upon priests and deacons to "live" and "spread" the Word but some Church groups are calling upon the Pope to do more for "realistic reform" of the Church.
15 Sep 2006

Aboriginal elder tells Catholics to challenge Indigenous injustices
Launching the bishops' social justice statement on Indigenous disadvantage yesterday, Aboriginal elder Tom Calma says he is concerned by the Government's strong "push to take control over communities on Indigenous land", saying it is a social justice issue that must be challenged.
15 Sep 2006

Feature - Finding God in our empty land and hearts
My keenest experience of emptiness was the death of my father when I was 30. Naively, I expected my faith to shield me from the experience of numbness, loss and grief. It didn't and I was shocked. God was nowhere to be found. Many months later I was reflecting on the Gospel story of Mary Magdalene coming to the empty tomb. In her emptiness Mary hears a voice call her by name. It is Jesus. Something profound happened to me at that time. Somehow I found the real God in my emptiness - Sr Patty Fawkner
15 Sep 2006

Opinion - Students should quit working on Sundays
Classes, homework, study groups, sports, volunteering, friends, phones, concerts - this is the life of a student. Speaking from experience as a recent graduate, my school days were the busiest time of my life. At times I felt like a hamster running in circles around a wheel trying to finish assignments, please parents, compare grades and maintain friendships. When do students have time to rest? Sundays are a good place to start - Sara Loftson
15 Sep 2006

Nursing history goes under the hammer at Ballarat
Nurses from all over Victoria are to gather in Ballarat for a farewell to historic Marian House, the former St John of God nursing school which is to be demolished to make way for a new modern nurse training complex.
14 Sep 2006

Abducted Iraqi priest released after a month of torture and threats
A Chaldean-rite Catholic priest who works in a parish in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighbourhoods has been freed from 27 days of captivity in which he was tortured after "a small sum" was paid for his release.
14 Sep 2006

Australia's newest Bishop ordained today
In the first episcopal ordination in Adelaide since the 1980s, Bishop-elect Greg O'Kelly will be ordained tonight before a congregation of 5000 people who will fill the Adelaide Convention Centre.
14 Sep 2006

Catholic schools losing poor families, says Cardinal Pell
Sydney's Cardinal Pell has intervened to cap school fee increases in line with the Consumer Price Index in order to stem the drift of students from poorer families away from Catholic schools.
14 Sep 2006

Religious violence contrary to God's nature, Pope says
Overcoming the split between faith and reason is the key to overcoming both jihad and Western secularism, Benedict said in a wide-ranging lecture, but the Vatican has denied that the Pope's comment about the Prophet Mohammed was an attack on Islam.
14 Sep 2006

Bishops' social justice statement focuses on Indigenous disadvantage
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, will today launch this year's Australian Catholic Bishops' Social Justice Sunday statement, which focuses on dignity and justice for Indigenous Australians.
14 Sep 2006

Feature - Music to touch hearts of the young
Fr Peter Williams says he is "daunted, but excited" about the prospect of providing the opportunity for "God's spirit to be able to penetrate the hearts and minds of youth" as director of liturgy for World Youth Day 2008 (WYD08) in Sydney. Fr Peter is a key member of the WYD08 team with a central role in the planning and conduct of the Welcome Mass, Papal Arrival and Vespers with the Bishops, the Evening Vigil and the Final Mass - Damir Govorcin
14 Sep 2006

Opinion - Stem cell decision is a question of morality, not science
In the stem cell debate it is easy to be dazzled by scientific claims and possibilities. But these can never be the determiner of the debate. Using embryonic stem cells for medical research is not a scientific question, but a moral one. Science is good at telling us how to do things. It can tell us how to achieve certain ends and provide the means to do so. However, the decision as to whether those ends are good ends or whether the means to achieve them are ethical is not a scientific question - Prof Neil Ormerod
14 Sep 2006

Thieves plunder Vinnies centre
St Vincent de Paul volunteers in the South Australian city of Whyalla are devastated following a break in at their local Vinnies centre in which money, food and phone vouchers worth $2000 were taken and the offices ransacked.
13 Sep 2006

Catholic Social Service calls for award nominations
Frank Quinlan, CEO of Catholic Social Services Australia, yesterday announced that nominations are now open for its 2006 awards for individuals and organisations working in social services.
13 Sep 2006

Indian Catholic school ransacked by Hindu militants
Sixteen Catholic schools in the northern Indian city of Lucknow remained closed yesterday following an attack by extremists who ransacked the local Loreto convent school.
13 Sep 2006

Released Chinese bishop seeks reconciliation
A Vatican-recognised Chinese bishop who was recently released after more than 10 years house arrest says he wished to work for the "communion and development" of China's underground and government-sanctioned "open" Catholic communities.
13 Sep 2006

No substitute for smacking, Fiji archbishop says
Reacting to a unanimous decision by the Fiji Methodist Church at its recent annual conference to allow corporal punishment in its schools, Suva Archbishop Petero Mataca says there is no substitute for corporal punishment, even though it is against Fiji law.
13 Sep 2006

No chance of world without reason, says Benedict
God's Creator Spirit is responsible for the cosmos as well as humanity and its reason which cannot be the mere "chance result of evolution", Pope Benedict told 300,000 listeners at a Regensburg, Germany, Mass yesterday.
13 Sep 2006

Feature - Singaporean on mission to bring Christianity back to Europe
Anthony Cho, a Singaporean who was recently ordained in the UK, found his calling during a skiing trip with colleagues in Canada. He went off on his own "and saw the awesome-ness of nature". He says "the vastness helped me to see how big the church is and how much there is to do." Then and now, he finds inspiration from St Francis Xavier. "He brought Christianity to Asia and I thought it was about time someone brought it back to Europe," he explained - Joyce Gan
13 Sep 2006

Opinion - It is safe to love!
It is safe to love. Yes, it is safe to be vulnerable because we are in loving hands. It is safe to surrender because we fall into light, not darkness. It is safe to be weak because the strength we need is found when we sacrifice our own power. It is safe give up the hurts we cling to because these lose their force when we are in love. The world is ultimately safe. But it's not easy to believe that. To learn to trust that it is safe to love is a journey that takes a lifetime - Fr Ron Rolheiser
13 Sep 2006

Pope's dad found "good Catholic girl" in personal ad
German newspapers are reporting that Benedict XVI's parents met after the Pope's father advertised in a local Catholic newspaper seeking "a good Catholic girl, who can cook and sew a bit".
12 Sep 2006

Sri Lanka priest in miracle escape
Two priests from Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, have left their parishes after threats and close calls with death as the local diocesan justice centre reports that up to eight people are being killed or abducted each day by gunmen.
12 Sep 2006

Indian Catholics mark centenary of Gandhian non-violence
While the US remembers the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Indian Archbishop Oswald Gracias says the world can learn from Mahatma Gandhi as Indian Catholics celebrate the centenary day of Gandhi's 11 September 1906 launch of non-violent resistance against British rule in India.
12 Sep 2006

Refugee admits rape, tells chaplain sorry isn't enough
A newly arrived Sudanese refugee who went on a sex-crime spree after taking amphetamines, has told a Catholic Prison Ministry chaplain that he was an "evil person" for the terrible thing he had done.
12 Sep 2006

Indigenous elder advises religious on sale of "sacred sites"
Drawing on the experience of Aboriginal communities who have negotiated the sale of their traditional lands, Maitland Parker, a Banyjima elder from WA's Pilbara mining region, has advised leaders of religious communities that they must accept the sadness that comes with letting go of surplus properties.
12 Sep 2006

Benedict seeks German as God's new banker
As Benedict's makeover of the Vatican bureaucracy gathers pace, sources say that the Pope has sounded out the former head of Germany's central bank for the key post as head of the Institute for Religious Works, better known as the Vatican Bank.
12 Sep 2006

Feature - How the Vatican is changing
On Friday, the day after the Pope returns to Rome from his trip to Germany, current Genoa Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone will take over the running of day-to-day business of the mammoth Secretariat of State. Some predict that Cardinal Bertone was handpicked to be Secretary of State in order to usher in a virtual revolution in the way the Vatican operates. Part downsizing, part priority overhaul, the theologian Pontiff is said to want Church headquarters to be both a more holy and a more efficient entity - Jeff Israely
12 Sep 2006

Opinion - What will Japan be like when the newborn prince takes his throne?
As of last week, Japan has a new little prince. Conservatives fearing the country would allow females to ascend the throne are rejoicing in the news. But apart from the media frenzy, most Japanese do not care. The imperial system is so remote from the lives of people here that the birth does not excite the mass of people. Of more concern is the kind of country Japan will be when the newborn prince is ready to become emperor. By the time our little prince takes his throne, Japan's population will not only be smaller, but older too - Fr William Grimm
12 Sep 2006

New institute for former schismatic priests
The Holy See has announced its approval for a new institute that has been created for a group of French priests who have returned to the Church after leaving the traditionalist Society of St Pius X which refused to accept Vatican II changes.
11 Sep 2006

Pinochet asks for forgiveness, wife says after anniversary Mass
Following a Mass to mark the 20th anniversary of a failed attempt on the life of former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet, his wife said that the former dictator asks victims of his long, repressive regime to forgive him "if he was wrong".
11 Sep 2006

NZ Bishops warn of Pacific ecological crisis
New Zealand's bishops have called upon the Catholic community to make the lifestyle choices and sacrifices necessary to protect the planet, warning that climate change is already among the most urgent threats facing the people of the Pacific.
11 Sep 2006

Timor highlanders back fugitive rebel with prayers
Supporters of the fugitive Timorese rebel leader Major Alfredo Reinado, who escaped from custody after being arrested by Australian peacekeepers, are organising a special Mass tomorrow to pray that the rebel leader will continue to evade re-capture.
11 Sep 2006

Ballarat compensates US victims of another jailed priest
The Victorian Diocese of Ballarat has made confidential compensation payouts to at least two US victims of a former local priest who was jailed on Friday for indecent assaults on teenagers in Western Victoria.
11 Sep 2006

Benedict says learn Gospel from Africa and Asia
Pope Benedict has told a gathering of 250,000 pilgrims at an open-air Mass in his native Germany that hearts must be converted if progress is to be made on social issues and that Africa and Asia could teach the West something about faith.
11 Sep 2006

Feature - Confessions of a former diplomat
My father was a fourth-generation Australian of middle-class Irish Catholic stock, born in Forbes in 1909. My mother was Viennese Jewish, from a rich and cultured family. I was brought up Catholic, embarrassed by my rich European-Jewish heritage and tried to play it down. In 1968, determined to live a normal Australian life, I followed my father's career footsteps into Foreign Affairs. Over the next two decades, my patriotism remained complacent and uncritical while the great socio-political challenges of the 1970s and 1980s passed me by - Tony Kevin
11 Sep 2006

Opinion - The absence of moderate voices - five years after 9/11
When the Twin Towers fell on 11 September 2001, American people showed considerable maturity. There were some incidents of hate crimes but the majority of Americans were able to distinguish between the small number of extremists and the vast majority of peaceful, law-abiding Muslims. Five years after 11 September, the mature reaction has dissipated. The continuing challenge of managing the terrorist threat has created a much more suspicious culture. As time has passed, life has become difficult for Muslims. Abuse, insults, and suspicion are all part of the daily routine - Prof Ian Markham
11 Sep 2006

Boxer Les Darcy locket now a national treasure
A Sydney priest, whose mother was once engaged to Les Darcy, has donated to the National Museum a worn gold locket containing a portrait and a lock of hair from the legendary Australian boxer.
8 Sep 2006

Snowy Mountains church spooks locals
The reappearance of a historical church in the Old Adaminaby township drowned by the rising waters of Lake Eucumbene in 1957 has spooked locals just over a month after fire destroyed the town's St Mary's church which replaced it.
8 Sep 2006

Priest threatens to take Aussie mine to court
A Filipino priest has threatened to take a Melbourne-based mining company "to the Supreme Court to stop it" from fully reopening its Philippine mine after it was shut because of two cyanide spills.
8 Sep 2006

Benedict heads home to Bavaria, Germany
Pope Benedict, a reluctant traveller compared to his globetrotting predecessor, leaves tomorrow for a five day trip to Germany including a visit to his Bavarian home town "to see again the places where I grew up".
8 Sep 2006

Older people striking financial trouble: Vinnies
The average age of clients seeking financial advice from the Society of St Vincent de Paul has risen from 36 to 55, according to a Sydney counsellor, who says that the fifties are a volatile age group where job loss can cause grave stress.
8 Sep 2006

New Gaza settlement tenders concern Caritas Jerusalem
The Caritas Medical Centre in Gaza has marked its third anniversary under the sound of missiles falling on Gaza and with the announcement that Israel has issued tenders for 690 new settlement units around occupied East Jerusalem.
8 Sep 2006

Feature - Spreading the News: New evangelisation in Europe
In discussing recent approaches to the new evangelisation in Europe, we sometimes hear calls to "take back Europe," as if a kind of religious imperialism might save the day. Such tendencies are unworthy of the church - evangelisation is a matter of love, not of religious competition or dominance - and Benedict XVI has suggested repeatedly that a smaller, more perfectly devoted church is preferable to a large, self-satisfied one - Timothy Schilling
8 Sep 2006

Opinion - It's the elderly who will suffer most from global warming
When the 2003 heatwave struck Paris, it left nearly 15,000 people dead. Sixty per cent of those deaths occurred in retirement homes and hospitals. The French health authorities were caught out by climate change and their failure to plan. Here in Australia, with our much hotter climate, how many will die in hospitals and nursing homes as the temperature rises? Climate change isn't just an environmental problem. It is very much a problem for everyone. For the Church, which owns and operates health care facilities, the challenges are considerable - Kate Mannix
8 Sep 2006

Connecting threads on vestments gifted by Hitler
A British parish is seeking to unravel the mystery behind a set of vestments thought to have been given as a gift by Adolf Hitler to a German priest in the early 1930s.
7 Sep 2006

Final souvenir from MacKillop's Penola school stable
A simple slab of wood is all that remains of the original school stable in the South East South Australian town of Penola where Blessed Mary MacKillop launched her dream of an education system for the poor.
7 Sep 2006

American sociologist to examine imported priest phenomenon
Dean Hoge, a sociologist at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC, will speak during a forthcoming Australian tour on emerging trends in the Church including the phenomenon of importing priests from developing countries.
7 Sep 2006

Taize's Br Roger "in communion" with Catholic Church
Contrary to reports that Br Roger Schutz had converted to Catholicism, the Taize founder, who received Communion from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at John Paul II's funeral, found his own Christian identity reconciling his Protestant origins with the mystery of the Catholic faith, his successor says.
7 Sep 2006

No shift in Church's position on evolution, Jesuit says
A participant at the Pope's closed door symposium on creation and evolution, Jesuit Fr Joseph Fessio, has denied speculation about a change in the Church's teaching on evolution, saying nothing presented at the meeting broke new ground and that American debates on Intelligent Design did not feature in discussions.
7 Sep 2006

Priest calls for clemency for Bali Nine death sentences
The eventual execution of the Bali Nine members condemned to death will have far-reaching consequences for Australia-Indonesia relations, the parish priest of drug mules Scott Rush and Michael Czugaj warned yesterday, calling on the Prime Minister to intervene in a bid for clemency.
7 Sep 2006

Feature - A Christian's guide to making good moral decisions
The foundation of good moral decision-making is our consciences. We seek to live in a way that will develop a good or sincere conscience and the source of a good conscience is conversion. The more we attempt to be open to the Kingdom of God in our own lives, the easier it is to bring some key attitudes to decision-making. But conversion is not enough, we also need knowledge about the world "out there" - this complex world in which we seek to make decisions that are relevant, helpful, and objectively correct - Robert Gascoigne
7 Sep 2006

Opinion - What's in a name?
Catholic "hawks" in the US had been unhappy with John Paul II's stance against almost all wars, a position they viewed as a departure from the "just war" tradition. They had hoped that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, when he took the name Benedict XVI in April 2005, would look more favourably on the use of armed force in the fight against Islamic terrorism. For them, the figure of St Benedict became a symbol, and the Pope's name a secret code. The pro-war Catholics badly misread the significance of the Pope's name on this issue - Angelo Matera
7 Sep 2006

PNG Govt honours Aussie-born Bishop
Tamworth-born Bishop Austen Crapp of Aitape diocese who says he was the first white man to live in the remote grasslands area of Papua New Guinea will be awarded the title of Commander of the British Empire in the country's upcoming Independence Day celebrations.
6 Sep 2006

Polish churches to name and shame drunk drivers
In a new twist in a campaign against alcohol abuse, parishes in a Polish diocese may be asked to read out the names of convicted drunk drivers following church notices at the end of Sunday Mass.
6 Sep 2006

Cardinal Martino backs Scottish bishops over UK missile stance
In a letter to Edinburgh Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace President Cardinal Renato Martino has endorsed a statement by the Scottish Catholic bishops calling on Britain to scrap the Trident nuclear missile system.
6 Sep 2006

Cardinal claims Vatican priests spied on John Paul II
Poland's top Cardinal Jozef Glemp has told an Italian news agency that some priests working for the Vatican spied on John Paul II, saying that up to 15 per cent of Poland's priests worked as spies under the former communist regime.
6 Sep 2006

Catholic Health warm about Medibank Private sale
The Government should make the decision to sell Medibank Private in order to generate the maximum on its investment in health and plough the proceeds back into health care services across the country, Catholic Health Australia CEO Francis Sullivan said yesterday.
6 Sep 2006

Govt ministers to brief Christian counterparts
Prime Minister John Howard and Health Minister Tony Abbott are among the speakers at an unusual parliamentary gathering today in which senior ministers will brief Christian church leaders on various policy issues ahead of next year's election.
6 Sep 2006

Feature - Women of strength and colour
Winnie Budbaria of the Warmun Community at Turkey Creek discovered the Rosary at the leprosarium at Derby and acquired a deep love for it. When she returned to her community, her constant saying of the Rosary paved the way for the whole community to receive the love of Jesus. When I met Winnie at Turkey Creek, she had her beads and tattered Rosary book in her very old canvas dilly bag. "I'm still saying the rosary", she said, "and we all Catholics now and we got the Mother and Child school too" - Elizabeth Pike
6 Sep 2006

Opinion - God and the Democrats
The Australian Democrats are campaigning to get God out of government. They are keen to ensure the propriety of the relationship between church and state. I support such an endeavour but when it comes to the issue of chaplaincy in government schools, they show that they have neither the knowledge nor the sophistication to handle the debate. The 500 or more Australian government school chaplains cannot be dismissed as "tax-payer funded" religion. It is a complex phenomenon, meeting needs that will not be met by secular counsellors or youth officers - Ted Witham
6 Sep 2006

Beatification for Hungarian nun executed for saving Jews
In the first beatification to take place in Hungary since that of St Stephen nearly 1000 years ago, Sara Salkahazi, a nun honoured by Jewish organisations for saving the lives of dozens of Jews during World War II, is to be declared Blessed in Budapest later this month.
5 Sep 2006

Demonstrators call for execution of Indonesian Catholics
A crowd of 4000 people paralysed the city of Poso in Sulawesi, Indonesia, yesterday in a demonstration demanding that the government carry out the death sentences pending against three Catholics for their involvement in Muslim-Christian riots in 2000.
5 Sep 2006

Assisi to revive John Paul II's inter-faith "dream of peace"
St Francis is still the model for those who "cultivate the ideal of peace, of respect for nature, of dialogue between people, between religions and cultures", Pope Benedict said yesterday in a message for the 20th anniversary of the 1986 inter-faith World Day of Prayer for Peace gathering with John Paul II.
5 Sep 2006

New Wagga school offers choice, not division: Director
Blessed Mary MacKillop College, the new independent Catholic college in Wagga Wagga, NSW, launched its student recruiting drive last night with a new director claiming that the school is meeting a demand for a high achieving, single-sex Catholic education.
5 Sep 2006

Bullied student settles with Church, pursues tormentors
A former student of De La Salle College in Sydney's Ashfield, who was bullied, threatened and attacked by other students, is pursuing his claim for $100,000 damages against his attackers, despite yesterday reaching a confidential settlement with the Sydney Archdiocese.
5 Sep 2006

Toowoomba diocese rejects DIMA's guest worker claims
The Toowoomba Catholic Social Justice Commission has dismissed claims by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs that there is a direct path to permanent residency for Toowoomba's guest workers, saying it is "not as straight forward as suggested".
5 Sep 2006

Feature - Making sport of property rights
Recently a group broke into the Redfern Church in Sydney and defied their parish priest by painting a large and splendidly executed mural that enshrined the words of John Paul II in Alice Springs 20 years ago. The priest was left with an unpalatable dilemma - leave the mural there, or whitewash John Paul II. Now any sober-minded person would judge that these doings were disgraceful. But my response was not to mourn at such great sinfulness, but to laugh loud and long. The story made my day - Fr Andrew Hamilton
5 Sep 2006

Opinion - MTV and the Church: Strange bedfellows?
August may be behind us now, but last month offered two milestones we'd be smart to pay attention to. A month ago today, MTV marked its 25th anniversary, while just a few weeks back was the one-year anniversary of Pope Benedict's first foreign visit - to his native Germany, where he presided at World Youth Day in Cologne. Despite their obvious age differences (25 years old versus 2000 years) and the seeming gap of mission, MTV and the Catholic Church have more in common than you'd think - Rocco Palmo
5 Sep 2006

Columba girls rock Melbourne Eisteddfod
Two Catholic schools have scooped major prizes at last week's Melbourne Rock Eisteddfod with Essendon's St Columba's College taking out the Premier Division with a piece entitled "Fear" that shows the triumph of the human spirit over the fear of terrorism.
4 Sep 2006

Critics silenced by deaf priest's new mission
"We are not the problem, we are the solution," says Fr Thomas Coughlin, a deaf Honolulu priest who has founded the Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostolate with five other deaf men.
4 Sep 2006

Indigenous students break through at Sydney's Joey's
Forty Aboriginal students from regional towns are now studying at the elite St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, run by the Marist Brothers in Sydney, as top schools seek to replicate the successful program.
4 Sep 2006

Be touched and transformed by Jesus' Holy Face: Benedict
Pope Benedict has called on priests, religious and the faithful to love and be transformed by the holiness of Jesus' face as his summer stay in Castel Gandolfo winds up with a visit to the Manoppello shrine that houses the iconic Veronica's Veil.
4 Sep 2006

Catholic Brother speared in Port Moresby
A St John of God brother from the Xavier Institute, near Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby, was killed last week by a steel rod thrown through the window of his van as new revelations emerge on the fate of Christian missionaries in New Guinea during World War II.
4 Sep 2006

New Church policy aims for abuse "never again"
Recognising that the Church cannot "get away" from past sex abuse controversies, the South Australian Catholic Child Protection Council has launched a child protection policy "to ensure that [abuse] never happens again".
4 Sep 2006

Feature - From passion to compassion
"One of the important things I have always believed is that as a teacher you have the power, the kids know you have it, so you don't have to prove it. ... I think that's important for parents to realise as well," says Bill Firman, Headmaster at the De La Salle college in Malvern, Melbourne. A brother for almost 45 years, Bill talks with the wisdom and warmth of a loving father. He admits that not having children of his own was a huge sacrifice, like so many men and women who choose religious life - Rosie Hoban
4 Sep 2006

Opinion - What if somebody gave a war ...
Some years ago now I saw a poster that read, "What if somebody gave a war and nobody came?" It was a winsome, wistful thought, I figured. After all, don't men love war? Aren't they only too eager to go? Don't they call it a real privilege to die for their country while they kill the people of other countries? But now I'm not so sure that the poster's suggestion might not be more likely than I could ever have dreamed - Sr Joan Chittister
4 Sep 2006

Wodonga "guys and dolls" go Broadway
Backed by a seventeen-piece orchestra, Wodonga Catholic College students are this weekend presenting the classical musical production, Guys and Dolls.
1 Sep 2006

Back to Bach as Benedict cancels Christmas concert
Italian and international pop stars will have to hold their Christmas concert in Monaco this year after Pope Benedict, who prefers Mozart and Bach, abolished the annual Yuletide event held at the Vatican every year since 1993.
1 Sep 2006

Archbishop's report exposes Zimbabwean homelessness debacle
Nothing has been done by the Zimbabwean Government to re-house 700,000 people made homeless as a result of a botched housing "clean up" demolition operation, according to a devastating report released by Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo.
1 Sep 2006

Outback image lights up Blake Prize
An untitled image of a figure bathed in a pool of light with the rugged West MacDonald Ranges as a backdrop was this week selected from a field of 360 entries for the annual $15,000 Blake Prize for Religious Art.
1 Sep 2006

Middle East Bishops condemn "Christian Zionism"
In its extreme form, the Christian Zionist program identifies the Gospel with "the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism" and is "detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel", say Jerusalem bishops in a hard-hitting statement.
1 Sep 2006

Cardinal challenges Muslims to defend persecuted Christians
Muslims must speak up for the rights of Christians in Islamic countries and work with Christians towards a "mutual witness" to the shared values of peace and justice, British Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said in Melbourne last night.
1 Sep 2006

Feature - The rise and fall of a stem cell ethics fix
History or hype? This was the question swirling about the widely publicised announcement by a US company that it had mastered a technique for creating "ethical" embryonic stem cells. The company's CEO hailed it as "a major scientific breakthrough". However, after Richard Doerflinger of the US Catholic Bishops Conference dissected the paper, it became painfully evident that the company's own press release - to say nothing of media coverage around the world - was completely wrong. None of the embryos described in the paper had survived.
1 Sep 2006

Opinion - The responsibility of a Christian father
Father's Day comes around again this Sunday. Father's Day can be a useful time for those men who have children to reflect on what it means to be a father. Social commentators often remark that the art of fatherhood has been lost in the modern era. The media continues to present fathers as the less capable and less responsible half of the parenting team. Childcare has become the domain of mothers, and fathers have been reduced to "income-providers." Christian fathers cannot accept this reduction in their role - Archbishop Denis Hart
1 Sep 2006