Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR AUGUST 2007

   
Missing Madeleine's desk ready
A British Catholic school has reserved a desk, coat peg, and locker for Madeleine McCann.
31 Aug 2007

Sri Lankan Catholics protest maid's death penalty
Catholic organisations are mobilising to request clemency for a 17 year old Sri Lankan Muslim maid.
31 Aug 2007

Burqa-clad Mary sparks prize controversy
Controversy has broken out over an entry in the Blake Religious Art Prize depicting Our Lady dressed in a burqa.
31 Aug 2007

Three parishes one priest, projections indicate
Organisers of an online petition calling for married clergy have said current trends point to the availability of only one priest for every three parishes.
31 Aug 2007

Church agency seeks truce over mining conflict
Philippine church officials have called for government intervention after villagers were injured in protests against an Australian owned mine.
31 Aug 2007

WYD stays at Randwick, Premier rules
NSW Premier Morris Iemma has ruled out moving the World Youth Day closing mass venue from Randwick racecourse.
31 Aug 2007

Feature - I feel blessed
I feel blessed for many reasons. It is a blessing to be born in Bethlehem from a Christian family. My father hails from a Lebanese-Syrian Maronite (Eastern Catholic) family. Living as part of a Christian minority in a predominately Middle Eastern Muslim society was not any easier. This double bind spelt doom for 400,000 other Palestinian Christians and has forced 80 per cent of them to leave the land of their ancestors in the past 40 years. Most of their ancestors had lived in the Holy Land - their home land - since the times of Jesus - Abe Ata
31 Aug 2007

Opinion - The need for mutual respect within the Church
Within the Catholic Church the power of the rock, the pope, has held the Church together. Its weakness, however, is that all the divisions do not go away, but are contained within the Church. Outsiders frequently have the idea of a monolithic Church, with everyone meekly obeying the pope, and they can fail completely to understand just how diverse the Church is and how fierce are the divisions and the struggles for power within the Church. I believe that the major division is between the proclaimers of certainties and the seekers after truth - Bishop Geoffrey Robinson
31 Aug 2007

No airport miracle for Lourdes water
Airport officials in France have refused to allow Catholic pilgrims to bring Lourdes holy water on board an aircraft.
30 Aug 2007

Blake Prize goes to Indigenous Stations of Cross
An Indigenous artist from northern WA has won this year's for the $15,000 Blake Prize for Religious Art with a traditional ochre painting of the Stations of the Cross.
30 Aug 2007

Millions more for Notre Dame, Rudd promises
Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has promised more money for Notre Dame University's teaching, medicine and nursing faculties.
30 Aug 2007

Greens join Randwick exit chorus
The NSW Greens have joined the racing industry in calling for World Youth Day celebrations to be moved from Randwick Racecourse.
30 Aug 2007

Labor to consider elderly health vouchers
Labor Health spokesperson Nicola Roxon says the Opposition will consider a voucher scheme proposed by Catholic Health Australia.
30 Aug 2007

Dead Melbourne priest a murder suspect
Victorian police yesterday confirmed that the late Melbourne priest, Fr Anthony Bongiorno, has emerged as a suspect in an unsolved 1980 murder case.
30 Aug 2007

Feature - Italian priest says he's in love
No Roman summer would be complete without a Catholic soap opera, and this year it has been provided by Fr Sante Sguotti, a priest of the Monterosso diocese near Padua. Sguotti has acknowledged falling in love with a 40-year-old local woman, separated from her husband, and helping her name her one-year-old child. He has made conflicting statements, however, about whether he is the child's father. Sguotti said he intends to become a "chaste fiance" of the woman and plans to stay within the limits on priests imposed by the Code of Canon Law - John L Allen
30 Aug 2007

Opinion - Where was God during deadly Peru earthquake?
I moved to Peru with my family in 1966 when I was 5 years old. Three months after our arrival, Peru was shocked by one of its historic earthquakes. Four years later, when I was 9, Peru suffered one of its most devastating quakes in May 1970, which killed some 15,000 people in the Northern Andes. With more than 15 earthquakes on my record, I though I was accustomed to all types of them - until 15 August when a magnitude-8 earthquake struck the western coast. There are now people who ask "Why, God?" - Alejandro Bermudez
30 Aug 2007

Your eco-sins are forgiven
A British priest will hear "eco-confessions" at a Greenpeace fair at the weekend in a bid to raise awareness of the need for an examination of conscience on environmental issues.
29 Aug 2007

Vatican partners with Israel on tourism
In a bid to boost Holy Land visitor numbers, Israel's Ministry of Tourism is partnering with the Holy See's new charter flight service for pilgrims.
29 Aug 2007

Marist faces 21 charges
An unnamed Marist brother is facing 21 sex offence charges dating back to the early 1970s when he taught in a Sydney Catholic primary school.
29 Aug 2007

Link suspected between church fires
Police are investigating a possible link between a recent fire at an ACT Catholic school and a blaze last year in church at nearby Adaminaby.
29 Aug 2007

Not moving: Randwick trainers defiant
World Youth Day may be shut out of Randwick Racecourse. Yesterday angry horse trainers vowed that they would stay put and block critical works.
29 Aug 2007

Vatican paper condemns Italian twin abortion
The Vatican's semi-official newspaper has condemned a botched double abortion that took place recently in Milan.

29 Aug 2007

Feature - Poland's shame
Nearly two decades on from events that led, under John Paul II, to the downfall of Communism, the Catholic Church in Poland is again set to play a significant role in the politics of Europe. This time, however, it is not a Pope, nor even the Polish bishops, but a clerical media mogul who is the leading player in this drama, and in ways that appear potentially damaging to the Church's reputation - John Cornwell
29 Aug 2007

Opinion - When should a doctor cooperate in evil?
Over the years I have done a lot of talking at bioethics conferences. Commonly, I am approached after my lecture by someone, especially a young doctor or a nurse. They will have a hard question which is troubling them. It will be something like: "I would never do an abortion. But I am part of a team or an institution that mostly does good work, but that sometimes does unethical things like abortion. How involved can I be before I am really part of the problem?" When should I co-operate with someone who is doing something wrong? The simplest answer would be: never - Bishop Anthony Fisher
29 Aug 2007

Fire breaks out at Purgatory Museum
Fire has damaged a significant painting at Rome's Purgatory Museum.
28 Aug 2007

Catholic super fund seeks offshore success
The Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund has decided to modify its international equities weighting in favour of emerging markets.
28 Aug 2007

Call for WYD catechist leaders
World Youth Day organisers have issued a call for nearly 2000 young volunteers to lead catechesis animating teams during next July's event.
28 Aug 2007

Beagle Bay aborigines instrumental in finding nun's body
Police assisted by local aboriginal trackers have found the body of Sr Bernadette O'Connor.
28 Aug 2007

Passport required for heaven: Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict has said that the gate may be narrow, but anybody can can get to heaven. However a passport is required, and it must be stamped with the virtues of humility, mercy and truth.
28 Aug 2007

God bigger than Amnesty: US bishops
The head of the US Catholic Bishops Conference has slammed Amnesty International's policy change in favour of abortion.
28 Aug 2007

Feature - Care for our priests
According to my sampling of Asian laity-clergy opinions, priests are often viewed distantly, as little more than Sacrament-dispensing zombies. Most survey participants said priests get drained physically and spiritually in the anonymity of today's ecclesial supermarkets. Some laypeople said that when priests get trapped between cynical laity and unsympathetic superiors, commitment wanes into careerism. Unsurprisingly, both lay and priest respondents regard personal holiness as central for the life and witness of those who "left everything and followed" Jesus - Hector Welgampola
28 Aug 2007

Opinion - Church needs radical reform
Sexual abuse has been called the biggest crisis for the Catholic Church since the 16th-century Reformation. But according to retired Sydney Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, the church is still mostly tinkering around the edges in its response to the problem. Robinson's book Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church, which went on sale yesterday, is extremely impressive: thoughtful, open and constructive. It will surely get worldwide attention among Catholics, though the probable response from the Vatican will be silence. That's because it can't do much: he is retired and the book is on the shelves - Barney Zwartz
28 Aug 2007

Amnesty accused of duping pro-life rock stars
After it adopted a policy of backing limited abortion rights, Amnesty International has been accused of "duping" Catholic rock singers including Avril Lavigne and Christina Aguilera who both contributed to an Amnesty CD to raise money for survivors of Darfur atrocities.
27 Aug 2007

Little Pebble gets four more years
Cult leader William Kamm has been sentenced to an extra four year in prison for the rape of another of his young followers.
27 Aug 2007

Not too late to move WYD: Cups King
Saying "not a sod has been turned at Randwick racecourse in preparation for the WYD closing Mass with Pope Benedict", Cups winner Bart Cummings has again urged that the event be moved to another venue.
27 Aug 2007

Forty years of faith crisis for Mother Teresa
Blessed Mother Teresa suffered from a deep crisis of faith for the last 40 years of her life, it has been revealed, but this will not jeopardise her eventual canonisation, Vatican sources say.
27 Aug 2007

Catholic Health calls for vouchers for chronically ill
In a pre-election policy push, Catholic Health Australia has called for a new "MediLink" system to provide vouchers of up to $1,000 for medical services for chronically ill patients who have been discharged from hospital.
27 Aug 2007

Retired Sydney bishop ignites bombshell
Retired Sydney Bishop Geoffrey Robinson has challenged compulsory priestly celibacy in a new book.
27 Aug 2007

Feature - Catholics not ready for "Catholic" town
A Sunday morning Mass this month at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Immokalee, Florida, Church began with a hymn called "City of God." Ten minutes from Our Lady of Guadalupe's, the new residents of Ave Maria town gathered for a Mass of their own. Surrounded by a 300-acre university, quaint storefronts and high-end condominiums, Mass will be celebrated in English and Latin. At Our Lady of Guadalupe, surrounded by a car wash, wrought iron fence and cracked parking lot, Mass is celebrated in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole to accommodate the migrant worker community - Liam Dillon
27 Aug 2007

Opinion - One abortion too many
Some may feel the Catholic Church is a generation behind everyone else in attitudes to abortion. I believe the church is a generation in front of popular opinion on protecting human life from womb to tomb. The crucial question is: When does life begin? Catholics believe that the life process begins at the time of conception. Medical science seems to be pushing certainty about this matter back earlier and earlier than in times past. The Catholic Church stands unashamedly alongside this "silent" humanity. We want to become a voice for the voiceless. Even one abortion is too many - Archbishop Denis Hart
27 Aug 2007

Jesus not a smoker, newspaper discovers
A Malaysian newspaper has apologised to the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur over a front page picture of Jesus smoking a cigarette and apparently holding a beer can.
24 Aug 2007

Pro-pope bishop arrested in China
Chinese authorities have arrested an underground church bishop who organised meetings to distribute and discuss Pope Benedict's Letter to Chinese Catholics.

24 Aug 2007

Kenya orders fresh probe into priest's death
The Kenyan government has ordered a fresh investigation into the death of US missionary Fr John Kaiser.
24 Aug 2007

Substantial pension increase needed: Catholic Social Services
Catholic Social Services Australia has called on the Federal Government to raise pension levels to substantially more than the current 25% of average male earnings.
24 Aug 2007

WYD deals off the table: trainers
Randwick Racecourse trainers have responded with hostility to a new plan by World Youth Day organisers to "minimise disruption".
24 Aug 2007

Federal Govt has resurrected Sir Joh: Brennan claims
Jesuit Professor Frank Brennan has compared the new Federal Government policies for Indigenous communities with those promoted thirty years ago by the late Queensland Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen.
24 Aug 2007

Feature - Indigenous Australians and the Church
Aboriginal Catholics have yet to take their rightful place in the Church, judging by input to the recent Christ and Culture Indigenous Theology Conference attended by more than 80 indigenous Christians at Noosaville. The "Christ and Culture Indigenous Theology" conference looked at ways to support those involved in evangelising. Brisbane archdiocese's Murri Ministry co-ordinator Ravina Waldren said, talking to conference-goers, it was clear the general lack of Church interest in marking a number of key indigenous events in 2007 has hurt many indigenous Christians.
24 Aug 2007

Opinion - Bottled water not so pure
Every day millions of Americans grab a plastic bottle of water from the cooler at a convenience store, or pull a case of it from the shelves at their local supermarket. Despite safe, clean municipal water, many consumers still choose to buy water at twice the price of petrol. For some, bottled water represents convenience, for others, status and for still others, matters of health. While drinking water rather than soft drink offers positive health benefits, the delivery of individual servings of water in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles brings a headache to landfills - Fr John Rausch
24 Aug 2007

US evangelists want to redeem Aussie footy followers
A team of US evangelists has entered discussions with Australian football and soccer teams about organising a series of attendance boosting American style rallies and "faith nights" to be held at game venues.
23 Aug 2007

Mugabe support "sickening": Sth African bishop
South African Bishop Kevin Dowling has said that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe had "destroyed" the country.
23 Aug 2007

Kiwi Catholics seek online partners
Next month, the New Zealand Catholic Church will launch a new online matchmaking service with St Raphael as patron.
23 Aug 2007

Vatican agency attacks "cruel, unnecessary" death penalty
A report published by the Holy See Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples has described the death penalty as "cruel and unnecessary".
23 Aug 2007

Pakistan Christian girls forced to convert to Islam, marry Muslims
Two Christian girls aged 11 and 16 have been kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam, and married off to Muslim strangers.
23 Aug 2007

Randwick negotiations off track
World Youth Day organisers have backed down on their request for 10 weeks exclusive access to prepare Randwick Racecourse for next July's Papal Mass but trainers are upset at the change.
23 Aug 2007

Feature - Harry Houdini of Australian politics?
While this election is still there to be won or lost, Labor is rightfully the hot favourite. But John Howard was correct to point recently to the 1993 election as an example of what is always possible. On that occasion Paul Keating won the unwinnable election in similar circumstances. Keating once called John Howard "Lazarus with a triple bypass" for rising from the dead to reclaim the Liberal leadership. If he manages to escape defeat on this occasion his new nickname might well become Harry Houdini - John Warhurst
23 Aug 2007

Opinion - Learn from the East on married priests
The escalating chorus of voices calling for the ordination of married men as Catholic priests is missing one verse: Many married Catholic priests are already among us. Catholic churches in the East, the birthplace of Christianity, have always had married clergy. There is no evidence that their holiness or sanctity is compromised by their matrimonial and paternal role. Today, we hear the voices of establishment endeavouring to trivialise the calls for a rethink with condescending conclusions - Joseph Wakim
23 Aug 2007

Bishops need to brush up on IT
Indian Cardinal Telesphore Toppo has expressed dismay that he and many other clerics are computer illiterate in an age when the World Wide Web has turned human civilisation into a global village.
22 Aug 2007

Social justice emphasis wins ethics prize
The Australian Catholic University's 2007 Eureka Prize for Research in Ethics has been awarded to Macquarie University's Dr Catriona Mackenzie.
22 Aug 2007

Trust your instincts, protection officer advises
The protection and prevention officer for a church committee on professional standards has appealed to people to "trust their instincts when they are suspicious" of the possibility of child abuse.
22 Aug 2007

NFP empowers women
Natural Family Planning executive officer Cheryl Curnow has said that an increasing number of women are wanting to escape what she calls the "contraceptive treadmill".
22 Aug 2007

Catholic Health warns on investment
Catholic Health Australia chief has welcomed an announcement by Federal Treasurer Peter Costello that $2.5 billion is to be invested in a new Health and Medical Investment Fund but says that the move is "long overdue" in some areas.
22 Aug 2007

Time for less "clerical" priesthood: Bishop Power
Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has questioned current Church discipline that has the effect of denying regular access to the Eucharist saying that it's time for a less "clerical" understanding of the priesthood.
22 Aug 2007

Feature - Mentors make a difference
Greg Scicluna spends Wednesdays under cars, with his hands covered in oil and grease. Although he is only 15, the year 10 student assists Thomson Ford's service department in Parramatta as part of the Lighthouse Project, which was established by the Catholic Education Office in 2002 help high schools in the Parramatta diocese. "It meet the needs of students who are not reaching their full potential at school,'' said project co-ordinator Melinda Phillips - Helen Gregory
22 Aug 2007

Opinion - China's "soul market"
About a couple of hundred years ago the French dictator Napoleon said that "when China awakes the world will tremble". China is now awake, with an economy second in size only to the US. What is not so well known is that Christianity, especially Protestantism, is spreading through China at a much faster rate than Christianity spread through the pagan Roman Empire. The collapse of Communist ideology, the destructiveness of the Cultural Revolution a generation ago and spectacular prosperity for a new middle class have combined to produce the "largest soul market" in the world - Cardinal George Pell
22 Aug 2007

Parents seek to convert child to gain school admission
A Sikh couple in the UK is considering converting their daughter to Catholicism so that she can gain admission into a local parish school.
21 Aug 2007

Thanks for everything: Pell welcomes Govt support for WYD08
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell yesterday thanked Prime Minister John Howard for the Federal Government's financial support for World Youth Day.
21 Aug 2007

Skateboard monsignor resigns as Dean of St Pat's
The dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, Monsignor Geoff Baron has "spontaneously offered" his resignation, and Archbishop Denis Hart has accepted it.
21 Aug 2007

Sydney Catholic College quits Amnesty
The Jesuit headmaster of Sydney's St Aloysius College has confirmed that his school will sever its ties with Amnesty International.
21 Aug 2007

Zimbabwe paper threatens to break more Ncube allegations
A government-owned Zimbabwe newspaper has promised to "break" new allegations against Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube. The new allegations are part of what critics call a smear offensive against the outspoken cleric.
21 Aug 2007

Need to send out "good message" on abortion: Melbourne bishop
Melbourne auxiliary Bishop Christopher Prowse says that keeping abortion in the Crimes Act sends out a good message. His statement comes as debate is heating up over legislation to decriminalise abortion in Victoria.
21 Aug 2007

Feature - Can you be friends with your ex?
Alysa and her boyfriend had been dating for nearly two years, and then broke up. During the relationship, the two were best friends. "He was the person I shared with the most about life and faith," she said. Even after ending their romantic relationship, the two still shared a lot: They attend the same prayer group, they often spoke on the phone and kept in touch via email. But it became awkward to negotiate the difference between "more than friends" and "just friends" - Dr Christine B Whelan
21 Aug 2007

Opinion - Liturgy 40 years after the Council
For those who have not experienced it for themselves, it must be difficult to imagine just how much liturgical praxis has changed in less than half a century. The evolution that has taken place in the last 30 years is barely perceptible nowadays, since the new liturgical model is considered evident practically everywhere. Such a situation is certainly gratifying, but does it mean that the profound intentions of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy have thereby been realised? - Godfried Danneels
21 Aug 2007

Holdens get a church of their own
Northern Victorian car collector Kevin Smith, who hails from a pioneering family in the region, has bought the historic hundred year old Violet Town Catholic church and transported it to his farm, where it now sits amid his complete collection of Holden cars.
20 Aug 2007

Miracle statues bring hope to Peruvians
As Pope Benedict's personal envoy Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone prepares to visit earthquake-devastated Peru, sobbing survivors are drawing hope from statues of Jesus and the saints that "miraculously" survived the destruction.
20 Aug 2007

My new film not anti-church, pleads Catholic Kidman
Nicole Kidman has denied that a new film she's making is anti-Catholic. The movie features an organisation known as "The Magisterium", which kidnaps children to remove their souls.
20 Aug 2007

Bishop resigns as Amnesty backs abortion
British Catholic Bishop Michael Evans has resigned from Amnesty International after the international human rights organisation approved a new policy affirming the right to abortion under limited circumstances.
20 Aug 2007

WYD seeks Sydney harbour site for opening
Negotiations are under way between the Sydney Archdiocese and the New South Wales government to hold the opening mass of next year's World Youth Day on a stretch of Sydney waterfront with picturesque harbour views.
20 Aug 2007

Dirt politics unworthy of democracy: Melbourne VG
"Low politics unworthy of our democracy" is how Melbourne's vicar general described the use of Kevin Rudd's visit to a New York strip club as a media story in the leadup to this year's Federal Election.
20 Aug 2007

Feature - No way home
Homelessness lends itself to stereotypes. Stories in the media and welfare groups feed the image and try to shock the wider population into some kind of response. In my experience, homelessness is less visible, passing us unnoticed as we walk along the street every day. While there is some truth to the stereotyped image, "sleeping rough" represents merely a stage for the homeless person, a kind of acute attack or crisis in a long process - Fr David Holdcroft
20 Aug 2007

Opinion - Schools' religious bent should never be a given
This rapid rise in religious schooling has, of course, been accompanied by concerns, not least of which is that faith schools can be deeply socially divisive. While I share that worry, my greatest concern is that the smoke generated by the battle over whether religious schools are a good idea has obscured a more fundamental question about the kind of religious education schools offer: to what extent should schools be allowed to encourage deference to authority when it comes to moral and religious matters? - Stephen Law
20 Aug 2007

PNG sorry for making a meal of missionaries
Descendants of 19th century PNG cannibals have expressed sorrow for the actions of their forefathers who killed and ate four Fijian missionaries in 1878.
17 Aug 2007

Abbott to address Christian Democratic Party
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott will be a keynote speaker at tomorrow's annual convention of the Christian Democratic Party.
17 Aug 2007

Take it slowly on Pope, Russian Patriarch meeting: Etchegaray
Retired French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has said that both Pope Benedict and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II want to meet. However he added that the time should be favourable, and no "show" should be made of the event.
17 Aug 2007

Horses may stay at Randwick, trainers say
Trainers and other affected racing professionals are considering a ban on moving horses blocking preparatory work at World Youth Day's Randwick Racecourse venue.
17 Aug 2007

Wage decision discriminates against families: ACCER
The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations has said the Industrial Relations Commission's decision on the Federal Minimum Wage discriminates against low paid workers with family responsibilities.
17 Aug 2007

Pope calls for aid to stricken Peru
Pope Benedict has called on the world community to come to the aid of coastal regions in Peru devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
17 Aug 2007

Feature - Not all unions are equal
The continuing debate over the access of same-sex couples to social benefits and so-called entitlements is a distraction from the real issue. The real issue is not about infringement of rights. Rather, it is about what heterosexual marriage can offer society that other forms of relationships cannot. Married heterosexual unions are not simply a legal invention with an associated bunch of benefits. They have an intrinsic value which enables them to provide a number of reciprocal benefits to any society - Chris Meney
17 Aug 2007

Opinion - Church statements can be unhelpful
Whenever a moral issue swims into public view, people will call for church leaders to make a statement about it. The call should be weighed carefully - such statements have their place but are not normally all that helpful. The reason is that church statements are written to achieve broader goals - to help form a lively and faithful church community and to ensure that the wider public is properly informed about Christian faith and its implications for issues facing the nation - Fr Andrew Hamilton
17 Aug 2007

Vatican outed over Wikipedia entry massaging
A California researcher says that he has uncovered evidence of efforts by dozens of companies, political and other organisations - including the CIA, the British Labour Party and the Vatican - to edit entries on the popular Wikipedia website in order to boost their own public image.
16 Aug 2007

No policy change for Wollongong schools: CEO head
With non-Catholic enrolment in Wollongong Catholic schools varying from 10-15 per cent, diocesan Catholic education head, Peter Turner, says that the Church will maintain its current policy on admissions.
16 Aug 2007

Bishops reaffirm celibate priesthood
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Philip Wilson has published a letter noting that, while celibacy is not essential to the priesthood, it has a value "not just as a personal choice" but as a "clear sign of the Kingdom of God".
16 Aug 2007

Time out needed on Indigenous legislation: Catholic Social Services
Condemning the lack of consultation on the Federal Government's Northern Territory Indigenous legislation, Catholic Social Services Australia chief, Frank Quinlan, yesterday insisted on two months of deliberation before passage of the bills presently before Parliament.
16 Aug 2007

Pope exhorts Catholics to fight the "dragon" of materialism
Likening materialist ideologies including consumerism to the red dragon of the biblical Book of Revelation, Pope Benedict yesterday reminded his Feast of the Assumption audience that "love is stronger than evil" and God more powerful than the dragon.
16 Aug 2007

Conversions off the WYD inter-faith agenda
Sydney Muslim leaders have offered to open their mosques and schools to World Youth Day pilgrims while the Catholic Church has given a commitment not to try to convert WYD volunteers from other faiths.
16 Aug 2007

Feature - As full as a Catholic school
In the boom years after World War II, when we were making lots of babies, anyone who had drunk too much would be accused of being "as full as a Catholic school." A few decades on, it seems that Catholic schools are not so full of Catholics, but have managed to accumulate a sizeable enrolment of other believers and even non-believers. The document Catholic Schools at the Crossroads, issued last week by the bishops of NSW and the ACT, refers to the tendency for Catholic schools, in our increasingly dysfunctional framework of public and private schools, to become decidedly middle class - Chris Bonnor
16 Aug 2007

Opinion - English constitutional crisis looming?
When the engagement between Peter Phillips, the 29-year-old son of the Princess Royal, and Autumn Kelly, 31, his management consultant girlfriend, was announced a fortnight ago, it barely created a ripple. But the royal romance took an unlikely twist when it emerged that Kelly is a baptised Roman Catholic and therefore falls foul of the 1701 Act of Settlement, which bars monarchs and their heirs from marrying "papists". Although there is now a broad cross-party consensus that aspects of the Act are unfair, there is little political will to do anything about it - Jonathan Petre
16 Aug 2007

Vatican seeks Jesus - at 30,000 feet
The Holy See has endorsed a new tourist venture that plans to fly pilgrims around the globe under the slogan "I'm searching for your face, Lord".
15 Aug 2007

Indian Church mobilises in "suicide region"
With an estimated 100,000 poor farmers estimated to have killed themselves over the last ten years in India's "suicide region", the Catholic Church is mobilising to assist widows and prevent further deaths.
15 Aug 2007

Pray to Allah, Dutch bishop proposes
Breda Bishop Tiny Muskens, who once worked as missionary in Indonesia, has proposed that Dutch Catholics should pray to Allah just as Christians already do in other countries with significant Muslim populations.
15 Aug 2007

Catholics best at school principal support
A report on the welfare of primary school principals has found that while many schools often fail to extend pastoral care to their own principals Catholic schools score best on this issue.
15 Aug 2007

WYD to showcase faith potential to unite world
WYD coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher has called on Australian Islamic leaders to assist in offering facilities for inter-faith forums during next year's World Youth Day in Sydney saying that the event will be an opportunity to demonstrate "the potential of faith to unite rather than divide our world".
15 Aug 2007

No going back to square one on indigenous issues: Caritas chief
Caritas Australia CEO, Jack de Groot, has backed the Federal Government's immediate intervention to stop violence and child abuse in Indigenous communities but warns that the Government should not "fall into the trap of going back to square one".
15 Aug 2007

Feature - A voice from East Jerusalem
Jerusalem is today facing its biggest challenge since the Israeli occupation of the city began in 1967. The occupation is now in its 40th year, with no end in sight. Palestinians are becoming poorer. Poverty, which increased in the last decade, is greater than at any time in the last 40 years. The occupation of the Palestinian people has set off a brutal policy of oppression that continues to this day - Claudette Habesch (requires free registration)
15 Aug 2007

Opinion - An insider's look at suicide
Every year I write a column on suicide and each of those columns usually prompts a flood of mostly grateful letters. The gratitude comes from the fact that those columns suggest that, in most cases, suicide claims its victims in the same way as does a heart attack, a stroke, cancer, or an accident. There is no freedom not to die. Suicide victims are, like victims of sickness and accidents, not responsible for their own deaths and suicide should not be a matter of secrecy, shame, moral judgment, and second-guessing - Ron Rolheiser
15 Aug 2007

Jesuits may have helped Newton "discover" calculus
University of Manchester researchers have uncovered evidence that Indian scholars discovered elements of the mathematical calculus hundreds of years before Leibniz and Newton, the latter of whom may have received assistance from Jesuit missionaries who had visited the sub-continent.
14 Aug 2007

East Timor youth arrested over convent rapes
East Timore police have arrested a teenage youth who is suspected of raping an 11 year old girl at a Catholic convent in Baucau diocese during violence that erupted after the naming of independence hero Xanana Gusmao as the country's new Prime Minister.
14 Aug 2007

Late jockey's brother in protest over abuse compo
The well-known jockey Ray Setches committed suicide eight years ago as a result of abuse at a Melbourne Catholic school, according to his brother, James Setches, also an abuse victim, who is now organising a protest against what he regards as inadequate compensation.
14 Aug 2007

Wilson focuses on politicians' personal qualities
In questions to Australia's political leaders during an Australian Christian Lobby webcast, Australian Bishops president, Archbishop Philip Wilson asked Prime Minister Howard and Opposition leader Rudd to identify the personal qualities required for "authentic leadership".
14 Aug 2007

New cardinals on the way
Pope Benedict will hold a consistory in November this year with up to 17 new cardinals expected to be named from countries including Germany, Brazil, France and the United States, reports say.
14 Aug 2007

Get real, stop theologising: Bishop Manning
In an interview in which he criticises an over-emphasis on theological education, Parramatta Bishop Kevin Manning says that the Church has become "too professional" leading to a loss of sensitivity for other people who are suffering and need compassion.
14 Aug 2007

Feature - Life is precious but it never begins
When does a human become human? Is it at the moment of conception when a sperm cell fuses with an egg? As a researcher in developmental genetics (the study of how genes control embryo development) I would like to put in my two cents worth to remind the faithful and even some scientific colleagues of one basic fact. Human life never begins! Human life never begins because sperm cells and egg cells are not dead - Michael Lardelli
14 Aug 2007

Opinion - The tragedy of the self-centred life
The infant is typically self-centred. This is entirely understandable as the infant has just been thrown into a strange and threatening world. There is more than a little terror and vulnerability in this. The self-centredness of the child is in fact a healthy self-protective mechanism. We do not find this surprising in the infant. What we should find surprising is when this kind of self-centredness is carried into the later years. This is a pathology. In biblical terms, it is idolatry - Michael Whelan
14 Aug 2007

Mexican priest gets 55 years for killing son
A Catholic priest who kidnapped and killed his son to preserve the secret that he had broken his vow of celibacy has been sentenced to 55 years imprisonment by a Mexican court.
13 Aug 2007

Vic teenagers arrested over school fire
Victorian police have arrested two teenagers over a fire that destroyed five classrooms and an office at the Lavalla Catholic College junior campus in Traralgon during the weekend.
13 Aug 2007

Country community fights to save its church
Even though the Holy See has backed the right of its parish priest to close down and sell the local St Brigid's church and hall, the Western Victorian country Catholic community of Crossley is fighting to retain the facilities and to transform the church into a cultural and heritage centre.
13 Aug 2007

Pope says pay your taxes
In an encyclical to be published for the 40th anniversary of Paul VI's Populorum Progressio, Pope Benedict plans to condemn tax evasion as "socially unjust" and will denounce "tax havens", Vatican sources say.
13 Aug 2007

Joyce offside as Howard, Rudd strive to get onside with God
Commenting on a battle between Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition leader Kevin Rudd for the voting allegiance of Christians, Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce says he doesn't know whether God is on his side and that He may indeed be "distinctly offside with me".
13 Aug 2007

Howard, Rudd promise $15 million more for WYD
Describing next year's World Youth Day in Sydney as a great opportunity to showcase Australia, Prime Minister John Howard has agreed to a request from Cardinal George Pell for another $15 million in federal funding while Opposition leader Kevin Rudd has also endorsed the funding increase saying that "the event will be huge".
13 Aug 2007

Feature - Mission 2.0
Second Life, for the uninitiated, is an alternative universe which exists on the internet. Described as a three-dimensional social networking site, it has virtual real estate, shops, temples, islands and cities. If Second Life seems a strange, elusive concept, one need but remember the early days of the internet, when it was wholly unimaginable. Many of us have become dependent on the net and find it difficult to imagine life without it, just as no doubt the inhabitants of Second Life find it difficult to imagine life without an alternative reality.
13 Aug 2007

Opinion - The next Nagasaki can be prevented
Sixty-two years ago, on 9 August 1945, the second of the only two atomic bombs (a plutonium bomb) ever used as instruments of aggressive war (against essentially defenceless civilian populations) was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, by an all-Christian bomb crew. The well-trained American soldiers were only "doing their job," and they did it efficiently. What the Japanese Imperial government could not do in over 200 years of Christian persecution, American Christians did in nine seconds - Gary G Kohls
13 Aug 2007

Naked jogger priest risks defrocking
Police have charged a Colorado Catholic priest with indecent exposure after he went for a nude early morning jog because he sweats profusely, he says.
10 Aug 2007

Church needs ears to hear, father says
A Victorian man whose son was molested by a priest has joined with another local resident to launch Healesville Education and Awareness Raising (Hear) in a bid to tackle child sexual abuse.
10 Aug 2007

Teachers union backs Catholic identity review
Backing a move by bishops to promote a stronger Catholic identity in church schools, New South Wales Independent Education Union secretary, Dick Shearman, says that it is only natural that the church should "reassess the religious nature of its education message".
10 Aug 2007

Church property targeted in East Timor
Sporadic violence in East Timor continued yesterday with a number of church properties burnt and some priests rumoured to be targeted for attack following the naming earlier this week of Xanana Gusmao as Prime Minister in charge of a new coalition government.
10 Aug 2007

Divine Word priest's throat cut
An intruder repeatedly stabbed Divine Word Fr Ho Tran and cut his throat after the priest disturbed him early Thursday at the order's centre in north-western Sydney.
10 Aug 2007

God neither Liberal nor Labor, PM acknowledges
In a webcast courting the Christian vote last night, Prime Minister John Howard told viewers that there are people of good faith in all political parties while Opposition leader Kevin Rudd said that Christian faith shapes the values that he tries to uphold in the public sphere but "not always successfully".
10 Aug 2007

Feature - It's never too late ...
Newly ordained Fr Kevin Kiem, 63, describes himself as someone who "likes to be part of a system and doesn't mind some pressure" being placed on him. His years as a teacher of mathematics and science, and as a school principal reflect this, although being father to four sons may at times have challenged his love of order and structure! When his children had become young adults and at an age when most men are looking forward to putting their feet up and slowing down after a demanding career, Kevin found himself at a crossroads - Tracey Edstein
10 Aug 2007

Opinion - The correct way to interpret liturgical documents
Sometimes it seems that everyone is an expert on liturgy and that personal preference carries more weight than the considered judgement of someone with years of study and experience in the field. The self-proclaimed liturgy "experts" will often quote liturgical law to prove their point. They see official Church documents - especially those dealing with liturgy - as weapons to browbeat sincere pastors and parishes into their own way of thinking and acting. This is not what these documents are intended for - Elizabeth Harrington
10 Aug 2007

MacKillop cure on cards
A young boy's cure from multiple sclerosis is virtually "unheard of", according to vice-postulator for the sainthood cause of Mary MacKillop, Sr Maria Casey, who has referred the case to a Vatican doctor before a possible official church judicial enquiry.
9 Aug 2007

Pope gets top green rating
An environmental magazine has rated Pope Benedict, who rides an electric popemobile and has installed solar power at the Vatican, as among the world's top religious leaders on "green" issues.
9 Aug 2007

Bashed priest's Canberra church burnt
A priest who was bashed outside his parish church in Canberra's O'Connor suburb has suffered a new blow after church property sustained over $500,000 damage in two blazes yesterday that police say were deliberately lit.
9 Aug 2007

Church dumps abuse priests in Pacific: Aussie psychologist
An Australian psychologist and former sister, Michelle Mulvihill, says that the Church moved priests facing abuse allegations to Pacific islands in order to hide them but New Zealand church officials have denied the claims.
9 Aug 2007

Index rent assistance: Catholic Social Services
Citing increasing numbers of low income people who are being forced to choose between paying for food, heating and rent, Catholic Social Services has called on the Government to index rent assistance for people in the private rental market.
9 Aug 2007

Sydney backs off on fidelity vow plans
Sydney archdiocese has withdrawn a proposal for school principals to make a public vow of fidelity to church teaching after planners decided it was not an appropriate way to proceed, Catholic Education chief Br Kelvin Canavan says.
9 Aug 2007

Feature - Sister followed her heart's call
Sr Janet Palafox, 42, feels she has come a long way since her radical student days rallying for social change in the 80s in the Philippines. "I thought I'd seen hardship and battle for justice before. I thought I knew about these things. But my experience with Loreto Sisters ... the places I have been to, the people I have met, the stories I have shared ... have enriched and changed my life forever." Joining the Loreto Sisters has allowed her to pursue her passion and drive for social justice.
9 Aug 2007

Opinion - Why some pollies won't go to heaven
Traditionally religious beliefs have been considered a private matter in Australia. Unlike in the US, most Australians look askance at those who declare their love of God from the rooftops. Perhaps this helps to explain why health minister Tony Abbott, the former seminarian whose strong Catholic views have coloured his political decisions, scores relatively poorly in a recent national opinion survey on whether Australians believe certain political leaders deserve to go to heaven. On the other hand, Peter Garrett, who keeps his firm Christian beliefs to himself, scores well - Clive Hamilton
9 Aug 2007

God's Squad preaches at all times
Describing the God's Squad Christian Motorcycle Club members as "chaplains to the biker community", Catholic David Hansen sees his ministry as an opportunity to follow St Francis' dictum to "preach the Gospel at all times - sometimes even with words".
8 Aug 2007

Christians safer under Saddam, Vatican official says
Incoming head of the revived Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, says that the facts speak for themselves on Iraq and that "paradoxically" Christians were better protected under Saddam's dictatorship.
8 Aug 2007

ACU chooses constitutional expert as new vice-chancellor
The Australian Catholic University has announced the appointment of law professor Greg Craven as its new vice-chancellor to succeed Professor Peter Sheehan who will step down after ten years in the role.
8 Aug 2007

Christians move closer on conversion code of conduct
Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and other Christian theologians will meet in Toulouse, France today as part of a move to adopt a common code of conduct among churches on how each community seeks and accepts converts.
8 Aug 2007

NSW to introduce Catholic pre-schools
NSW bishops have backed a plan, including a trial introduction of Catholic pre-schools, to reinforce Catholic identity and strengthen religious literacy as part of a battle against "secularisation, consumerism, family dysfunction and values disorientation".
8 Aug 2007

Hasten slowly on Indigenous welfare: Catholic Social Services
At least two months is needed for genuine consultation on draft legislation introduced into Federal Parliament yesterday by Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough, says Catholic Social Services chief Frank Quinlan.
8 Aug 2007

Feature - Abuse cover-up more costly than original crimes
Shortly after being appointed editor of The Universe, the Catholic weekly, I received a letter of complaint from the late Archbishop of Birmingham. The paper had reported the case of a priest of his diocese who had been found guilty of child abuse. "It's bad enough when this is reported in the secular press," he wrote, "but we don't want our own newspapers to publicise it as well." After a worldwide scandal and the drip-drip of case after case of abuse by priests, have things really changed in the British church? - Tom Murphy
8 Aug 2007

Opinion - My beef with debased pop music in church
In the documents of the Second Vatican Council is a mandate for an encouragement of the popular in music - the "music of the people" at Mass. This is an aspect of Vatican II that lovers of fine music hope will not always be understood as it has been by many parishes. Today in America, up to 90 million people have muzak forced upon them daily - and it ranges from trivial pop music to the most debased forms of rap music. Musical ignorance is on the rise among the populace, and musical taste is in decline - Webster Young
8 Aug 2007

Paraguay ex-bishop's presidential campaign hits road
Fernando Lugo, who resigned as a Catholic bishop last December to avoid a constitutional ban on clergy seeking political office, has kicked off his presidential campaign with a rally in a small Paraguay town.
7 Aug 2007

Philippines mayor calls on bishop to oppose Aussie mines
Blaming two Australian mining companies for hardships experienced by villagers in several remote Philippines villages, a town mayor has called on the local Catholic bishop for backing in his "lonely fight" against the mines.
7 Aug 2007

Maintain GM ban, Columban centre argues
Citing concern that states are set to lift a series of moratoriums on the planting of genetically modified food crops, a Sydney-based Columban justice centre has called on Australians to lobby their state parliaments to extend the bans.
7 Aug 2007

Churches recall Stalin's Great Terror
Moscow churches will this week recall the 70th anniversary of Stalin's Great Terror with the Orthodox Church to hold a ceremony at a shooting range where mostly Orthodox but also Catholics and people of other faiths were slaughtered.
7 Aug 2007

Jewish-born Cardinal Lustiger dies
Described by Pope Benedict as a "great figure" of the Church in France, retired Paris Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jew who converted to Catholicism and whose Polish mother was a victim of Auschwitz, has died after a long illness.
7 Aug 2007

Take democracy seriously, Catholic bishops say
In a pre-election statement calling for "fair industrial laws" and an end to Aboriginal child abuse, Australian bishops have urged Catholics to get involved in the political process to promote the "common good" and not just their own individual interests.
7 Aug 2007

Feature - Return of the market evangelist
"The greatest poverty-reducing machine in history is the market economy." So said former Melbourne philosopher and economist Samuel Gregg, now a high-flyer with the Acton Institute, a free-market think tank in the US, last week. Dr Gregg, back in Melbourne on holiday, launched a new book, Catholic Social Teaching and the Market Economy, at the Institute of Public Affairs on Friday and got in some solid blows against both the economic teaching of Catholic bishops and the interventionist welfare state - Barney Zwartz
7 Aug 2007

Opinion - The Church and Natural Family Planning
The Vatican officially accepts the Billings method. But how many bishops' conferences accept it as a viable, positive alternative to artificial family-planning methods? As a group, they all would support promoting it, but they have differences. In India, my experience has been varied from excitement to extreme sadness. I am excited when I hear stories of couples who have benefited and enrich their marriage using the method. I am also sad because the Church in India has done so little to really promote the Billings method - Sr Catherine Bernard
7 Aug 2007

Faith toys gain in David and Goliath battle
Major US supermarkets and toy chains will start to carry a line of "faith-based" toys for children including Old Testament action heroes and heroines - and a 10 metre high inflatable ark.
6 Aug 2007

Don't forget Papua: Melbourne bishop
A Melbourne bishop well known for his support for Timorese people, Bishop Hilton Deakin, is calling on Australians to remember the role played by Papuans in assisting Australia during World War II and has urged Australia to resist human rights abuses in the region.
6 Aug 2007

Qld school flies flu students home
A Gold Coast Catholic school, Marymount Primary, has chartered a plane to fly home a group of over 150 students from a Canberra excursion after more than 50 students fell ill with flu, including 16 who were hospitalised for overnight observation.
6 Aug 2007

Skater admits taunts, expresses regret
One of the skateboarders who provoked a tirade from Melbourne's St Patrick Cathedral Dean Geoff Baron has expressed regret over his role in the affair but said that the priest's reaction was also wrong.
6 Aug 2007

Govt to appeal "inadequate" Pine Gap fines
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has lodged an appeal against a "manifestly inadequate" fine imposed on Pine Gap Four protestors by the NT Supreme Court and is seeking a custodial sentence.
6 Aug 2007

HK corrects Vatican over China letter translation
The Hong Kong diocese has issued a new translation of Pope Benedict's letter because the Vatican's translation "contains mistakes and is hard to understand", according to Taiwan and Hong Kong bishops.
6 Aug 2007

Feature - Why Benedict overturned JPII's radical decree
In June, Pope Benedict XVI surprised the Church with an apostolic letter issued "motu proprio", ie on his own initiative, concerning the votes required at a conclave for the valid election of the pope. The document is brief, its language is terse, and its content is simple and clear: in all circumstances two thirds of the votes of the cardinals is required for the valid election of a pope. Why was this new order needed? It was needed because John Paul II had broken with an ancient tradition - Ladislas Orsy
6 Aug 2007

Opinion - Amnesty risks losing the faithful
Amnesty International's decision to abandon its neutral policy on abortion in favour of advocating a raft of abortion rights has surprised many members and friends. Amnesty is not a Catholic or religious organisation. I am not seeking to impose a Catholic line on Amnesty or to demonise others. But I urge the organisation to recognise that its new position excludes those who believe that the unborn are entitled to at least consideration in the human rights arena. If people of faith feel excluded then it runs the risk of becoming just another secular Left voice - Fr Chris Middleton
6 Aug 2007

Aussie Jesuit ordains fellow companion
Describing him as an irredeemable optimist who would have admired the iceberg that sank the Titanic, Jesuit Bishop Greg O'Kelly has ordained a fellow Jesuit, Sacha Bermudez-Goldman to the priesthood.
3 Aug 2007

Bishops head to witness Howard-Rudd clash
Bishops' conference President Archbishop Philip Wilson says that the forthcoming public debate, which he will attend, between Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition leader Kevin Rudd will be a great opportunity for them to hear the public policy concerns of Australia's Christians.
3 Aug 2007

Love may force Queen's grandson to give up throne
If he marries his Canadian Catholic fiancee, Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Peter Phillips may be disqualified from succession to the British Crown by a law which bars the monarch and heirs to the throne from marrying a Catholic.
3 Aug 2007

Bulgarian JPII shooting suspect found dead
As Mehmet Ali Agca prepares to publish a book claiming to tell the "full truth" about his attempt to kill John Paul II, a Bulgarian airline official accused of involvement in the plot has been found dead in Sofia.
3 Aug 2007

China hardens position against underground church
A new series of arrests of underground Catholic priests and blocking of activities by Chinese authorities appear to indicate a hardening of the government's position following Pope Benedict's letter to Catholics in China, a local source says.
3 Aug 2007

Petitioners seek married priests
A petition addressed to Australia's bishops has called for an acknowledgment that the Church is facing a "major crisis in ministry" and urges bishops to move on the ordination of married men, the reintegration of former priests and discussion of women's ordination.
3 Aug 2007

Feature - Stolen children from Malta
It made sense for Malta's Prime Minister to start his Australian visit in Fremantle, the port city where so many Maltese children were unloaded like cargo for a life of 20th-century slavery. He did well to acknowledge the unimaginable misery of those little ones, some of them as young as six, who were removed from their families in Malta under false pretences, or simply dumped by them. The children were shipped out to Australia and a horrible life in institutions that were little more than slave-camps - Daphne Caruana Galizia
3 Aug 2007

Opinion - Time to pay stolen generation dues
It is now official: there was, and still is, a stolen generation in Australia. No matter what any politician says to the contrary, one member of the stolen generation, Bruce Allan Trevorrow, now 50, has now jumped all the hurdles and proved in the Supreme Court of South Australia that he was taken away without the consent of his parents and contrary to law. Ten years after the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission published its report Bringing Them Home, it is time for the politicians to reconsider the recommendations - Fr Frank Brennan
3 Aug 2007

Pope 2 txt Austrians
Austria's Catholic Church has launched a daily SMS service from Pope Benedict in preparation for a September visit by the pontiff.
2 Aug 2007

ACU honours Vatican education expert
Australian Catholic University has awarded an honorary doctorate to the Secretary of the Holy See Congregation on Catholic Education, Canadian Archbishop J Michael Miller.
2 Aug 2007

Missionary priest murdered, Kenya inquest finds
The death seven years ago of an American missionary priest, Fr John Kaiser, who had helped teenagers pursue rape allegations against a former Kenyan government minister, was murder and not suicide an inquest has found.
2 Aug 2007

New med school gets $250,000 donation
Philanthropist Dr Jerry Schwartz has donated $250,000 to the new University of Notre Dame Australia medical school for the establishment of an anatomy museum and clinical skills laboratory.
2 Aug 2007

Romano prods Italians on taxes
Accusing his countrymen of heavy tax evasion, Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, a Catholic, says that the Church must help change this mindset by preaching on the moral obligation to pay taxes.
2 Aug 2007

Vatican backs British PM call on poverty
Saying that the "time for simple promises has passed", the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has supported a call from new British PM Gordon Brown to mobilise governments, business and faith-based organisations in a bid to cut poverty.
2 Aug 2007

Feature - US priest's theology of the tummy
What began as a joke in the kitchen will become a published cookbook next month and a US cooking television series next year, said Fr Leo Patalinghug, the break dancing, martial arts guru, who also happens to be skilled in the kitchen. Although there is an undeniable novelty about watching a priest hosting a cooking show, Fr Leo said what is most important is the actual "movement" to get families to come closer together. The cookbook and the show are simply the vehicle to make that happen - Henrietta Gomes
2 Aug 2007

Opinion - Ethics of business and war
When we talk about the achievement of profit in a business, do we measure that against the honesty of achieving that profit? When we're talking in the military about achieving a mission, do we consider the proportionality of the use of force and the oppression of others in achieving the mission? These elements are apparently always in balance, or are they? Profit-achieved other than honestly is absolutely illegitimate. Missions achieved in the military without regard to proportionality are just as illegitimate - General Peter Cosgrove
2 Aug 2007

Estonians on ghost lookout
Estonians were this week awaiting the apparition of the White Lady - the country's most famous ghost - at a ruined church in a medieval pontifical castle.
1 Aug 2007

Notre Dame med school gains accreditation
The Australian Medical Council has granted accreditation to the University of Notre Dame Australia's medical school which will open its doors to 104 new students in February next year.
1 Aug 2007

Time to move on environment, lay leader says
The Vatican and religious congregations have given a lead on environmental issues but "now it's time to mobilise the whole church starting with the laity", says MJ Ruben, an Indian lay movement leader.
1 Aug 2007

Crowbar attack "a gift from God": Adelaide priest
Adelaide priest Fr Michael Doherty has described an attack by crowbar wielding robbers at his Assumption Church, Virginia as a "gift from God to bring out and renew the faith that is always in you".
1 Aug 2007

Skateboard-hating priest suspended
Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has placed Msgr Geoff Baron on leave pending an enquiry into an incident in which the Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral swore at skateboarders in front of the cathedral.
1 Aug 2007

Indian Catholics welcome Haneef release, call for apology
Bangalore priest Fr Faustine Lobo has welcomed the release of Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef - detained for nearly a month under Australia's anti-terror laws - as a "victory of human rights" but said that false pride has prevented authorities from apologising over the affair.
1 Aug 2007

Feature - Spreading the Gospel according to Elvis
He might sport the trademark side-burns, but this Christian performer is no ordinary Elvis Presley tribute artist. For Andy Seymour, it is his intimate appreciation of the King's Gospel music that sets him apart from the glitz and glam of stage life, a la Elvis. "I don't even own a jumpsuit," says Andy of his respectful interpretation of Elvis the faithful. "My Elvis gospel show is not about the bright lights of Las Vegas which most people associate with the King - it's about the spiritual side of the man," he says - Rebecca DiGirolamo
1 Aug 2007

Opinion - Yes, even priests can lose it
Anyone can become angry, that is easy. But to be angry with the right person at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way, that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy. That was according to Greek philosopher Aristotle, but it was clearly not at all easy for Msgr Geoff Baron. If anything good can come out of this, it is the realisation that priests, like the rest of us, are human and that they, too, need to invest in their psychological as well as spiritual wellbeing - Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
1 Aug 2007