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NEWS ARCHIVE FOR SEPTEMBER 2007

   
Lismore nurses pioneer PNG partnership
A team of aged care nurses from Lismore diocese is travelling to Port Moresby to share skills with a Papua New Guinea HIV/AIDS program.
28 Sep 2007

Parents propose "work for fees"
Some Catholic schools in Victoria have introduced informal arrangements allowing parents discounted school fees in exchange for volunteer work.
28 Sep 2007

Workers not "raw resources", Jesuit tells WorkChoices protesters
Jesuit Fr Peter Norden has told an anti-WorkChoices union rally in Melbourne that workers cannot be treated as "just another economic commodity".
28 Sep 2007

Sofia's family dismayed over new revelations
Revelations that Surrey police failed to charge the UK born murderer of Perth schoolgirl, Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia Shu, after arresting him in 2001, have dismayed Sofia's parents.
28 Sep 2007

Vatican refute John Paul II euthanasia claims
Vatican officials have rejected an Italian doctor's claims that Pope John Paul II refused artificial nutrition in the days before his death.
28 Sep 2007

Burma is our neighbour: Caritas
Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot has called for an urgent and decisive response to hold Burma's military junta to account.
28 Sep 2007

Feature - The lesson of the bamboo tree
People praised me and admired my strength and stamina. It helped me serve others, especially young people. In 1992, however, I had to admit to myself I had an addiction to alcohol. In tears and with a broken heart, I left my ministry in Korea for treatment in the United States. - Columban Fr Sean Conneely
28 Sep 2007

Opinion - The curse of restlessness
We feel it most cruelly on Friday nights when it seems everyone in the whole world is doing something exciting except us. Initially there is no sense of desperation, we are young. But then we discover it robs us of the simple capacity to rest.
28 Sep 2007

Artistic controversies dog European churches
A British pub that occupies a former convent wants to erect an image of a barebreasted nun.
27 Sep 2007

Second coming for historic Christ mosaic
An engineer who successfully moved a 65 tonne mosaic of the Risen Christ at the historic Sacred Heart Church on Sydney's Notre Dame University campus, has won a Bradfield award for excellence.
27 Sep 2007

QCEC seeks consultation with bishops over Amnesty
The Queensland Catholic Education Commission is looking for a "clear direction" from Australia's Catholic bishops on whether church school authorities should continue to be involved with Amnesty International.
27 Sep 2007

Ncube scotches presidential bid rumours
Former Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube has denied rumours that he intends to challenge Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe in next year's elections.
27 Sep 2007

Israel excludes priests, nuns
The Israeli government has cancelled re-entry visas for priests, nuns and other church workers who wish to travel in and out of the Israeli occupied Palestinian territories.
27 Sep 2007

WYD not in breach of quarantine measures
World Youth Day organisers have dismissed claims they tried to relax quarantine measures at Randwick Racecourse.
27 Sep 2007

Feature - Cathedrals casualty of copper rush
When sections of copper drain pipes on the outside of St Mary's Cathedral in Colorado Springs were stolen, the Church became the victim of a crime that has become widespread. Prices on the copper market have soared, with thieves stealing copper to sell to scrap metal recyclers.
27 Sep 2007

Opinion - How economic growth can really bust poverty
On foreign aid, development assistance and trade justice, Peter Costello says "Economic growth is the real poverty buster". The bishops say: "True, but economic growth must go hand in hand with eradicating poverty and ensuring trade justice". - Fr Frank Brennan SJ
27 Sep 2007

Priest serves Oktoberfest masses
Despite a warning from his archbishop, Fr Rainer Maria Schiessler is back serving beer at Munich's Oktoberfest.
26 Sep 2007

JP2 unleashes rush for free relics
The Vatican has been inundated with more than 160,000 requests for "relics" of the late Pope John Paul II after offering them free on the Internet.
26 Sep 2007

Papuan priest accuses Indonesian commandos
A West Papuan military commander has denied a parish priest's claim that elite soldiers are threatening and following him.
26 Sep 2007

American Episcopal bishop becoming a Catholic
An Oxford educated Episcopalian bishop in the US has sought permission to resign from his diocese and to be released from his vows in order to be received into the Catholic Church.
26 Sep 2007

Act now on climate change: Vatican
The Vatican's undersecretary for Relations with States, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, has said countries must not waste time worrying, but instead do something concrete to ensure a healthy future for the earth.
26 Sep 2007

Burma bishops call for prayer
Burma's Catholic bishops have called for a national prayer campaign as protests led by Buddhist monks in Burma continue to grow.
26 Sep 2007

Feature - Back to basics of creative ministry
Emmaus Productions founder and creative director Monica Brown wonders if the Church is losing heart. "We've got better systems, but I don't know that we've got life-giving communities". 25 years after the release of her first album, she is still on the road, facilitating in-service days, retreats, renewal days, assemblies, congregational chapters.
25 Sep 2007

Opinion - Degrees of closeness in the Christian family
The recent document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was interpreted by some as a repudiation of the ecumenical advances made by John XXIII and Vatican II. In fact there's nothing new, and it upholds Vatican II's 'degrees of communion', which is best understood using the family analogy. Cousins are not so close to the core family as daughters and sons, but they belong to the family nonetheless. - Richard P. McBrien
25 Sep 2007

Stabbed priest prays for assailant's future
Sydney Divine Word missionary Fr Ho Tran, who was stabbed in the throat last month, has prayed for his attacker.

25 Sep 2007

Beijing bishop thanks pope
In his first words as the new pastor for the Beijing diocese, Bishop Joseph Li Shan has thanked the pope and promised to visit every parish of the Chinese capital.
25 Sep 2007

NCEC backs school performance plan
The National Catholic Education Commission is in broad agreement with a plan by Australian states and territories to reinstate teachers as primary assessors of students.
25 Sep 2007

WYD prep "quarantine madness", Minister warns
Federal Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran has again warned that World Youth Day preparations at Randwick racecourse are "quarantine madness".
25 Sep 2007

522 pokies a concern, bishop tells club
Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power says he is concerned by the scale of gambling at an ACT club that aims to "foster Christian standards".
25 Sep 2007

Catholic Health backs Labor safety net
Catholic Health Australia has called Labor's surprise adoption of the Coalition's Medicare safety net a "sensible decision".
25 Sep 2007

Feature - Faith ruled life of League great Frank Hyde
Legendary Rugby League commentator and Catholic Weekly columnist Frank Hyde died yesterday at the age of 91. Frank ruled the airwaves on the church-owned radio station 2SM for 31 years. "I was a product of the Depression, so everything I have achieved in my life is a direct result of my faith," he says.
25 Sep 2007

Opinion - Pinpointing the 'Catholic ethos' of a school
When we struggle to put into words just what this catholic ethos is about, and never seem to be able to put our finger on exactly what it is, we are actually trying to articulate our experience of the presence of the risen Christ at the heart of the school community. It can be evidenced by the quality of the lives, and the prayer, of the school leadership, staff and students.
25 Sep 2007

Cross and icon goes down Mt Isa mine
In what is described as a world first, the World Youth Day cross and icon have been taken down a tourist mine at Mt Isa in western Queensland.
24 Sep 2007

Vatican cracks down on "seers"
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has rejected claims of a British woman who says that Our Lady has been appearing to her for more than 20 years.
24 Sep 2007

Aussie missionary's killer jailed again on second murder charge
An Indian man convicted of murdering an Australian Christian missionary and his two sons in 1999 has been convicted of killing an Indian Catholic priest in the same year.

24 Sep 2007

Lebanese bishops slam assassination
Lebanese Catholic bishops have "strongly condemned" the assassination last week of a leading Maronite political leader, Antoine Ghanem.
24 Sep 2007

Climate change a moral obligation: Benedict
Pope Benedict is expected to tell the United Nations that action on climate change is a moral obligation.

24 Sep 2007

New Beijing bishop approved by Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI approved the ordination of the new archbishop of Beijing, Joseph Li Shan
24 Sep 2007

Feature - Fiona's road less travelled
Fiona Cairns of Newcastle was born with Spina Bifida. Her family's belief in her and the challenges she had growing up have given Fiona not only a deep understanding of the struggles of others, but a conviction that help and healing come through people who care. However she says the path that led her to become a PALMS volunteer Papua New Guinea is very ordinary.
23 Sep 2007

Opinion - Potter spell gets Pell
I must confess my reluctance to give up the time to read any book of 600 pages. However the magic eventually worked on me as I was caught up into the chase, the succession of violent encounters as Harry, Hermione and Ron flee for their lives before the final confrontation of good and evil. Many young people yearn for a good cause, and Harry Potter fits their bill as a hero. The series deserves to be widely read. - Cardinal George Pell / Sunday Telegraph
23 Sep 2007

House for sale, statue of St Joseph included
With the US housing market in crisis, vendors are turning for help to St Joseph, patron saint of home sellers.
21 Sep 2007

Melbourne Catholic schools to cut ties with Amnesty
The director of Melbourne's Catholic Education Office, Stephen Elder, has written to all schools in the archdiocese urging them to cut ties with Amnesty International.
21 Sep 2007

Wine ban wins award for journalist
Kiwi Catholic journalist Gavin Abraham has won the Australasian Catholic Press Association annual award for best news story with a piece exposing an altar wine ban in NZ prisons which was later lifted.
21 Sep 2007

Election to decide Nauru refugees fate: Brennan
Notre Dame Australia Professor Frank Brennan says that the forthcoming election will decide the fate of the 72 proven refugees now waiting on Nauru.
21 Sep 2007

Pell not in contempts: NSW Parliament finds
Sydney Cardinal George Pell was not in contempt of the New South Wales Upper House by warning Catholics MPs that their vote in support of stem cell cloning legislation would have consequences for their place in the Church.
21 Sep 2007

WYD at Randwick "square peg in round hole": McGauran
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Peter McGauran, says that authorising workers to begin preparing the Randwick WYD venue now may breach equine influenza quarantine protocols.
21 Sep 2007

Opinion - Realists make good neighbours
Many religious faiths entreat us to be good to our neighbours. That's a bold demand to make of foreign policy makers, though, because history tells us that neighbouring countries are often at each others' throats. In peacetime, too, interstate rivalry is often at its sharpest between neighbours. Such an appeal is particularly brave now. When it comes to foreign policy, values are out of vogue. These days everyone is a realist - Michael Fullilove
21 Sep 2007

Feature - Understanding Jesus' divinity
How can we Catholics be sure about things like whether Jesus rose from the dead? Whether He is in fact God? How can we be sure we aren't being fed centuries-old propaganda, cooked up long after the deaths of Christ's contemporaries? It's something we can never be 100 per cent sure about - which is where faith comes in. But Professor Larry Hurtado, author of such books as How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God, has come up with some pretty solid supporting evidence to show that not long after the death of Christ his followers were proclaiming his divinity - Pual Dobbyn
21 Sep 2007

Gondola arrives at Vatican
Venice gondolier Vittorio Orio has finally arrived with his gondola at St Peter's Square to meet Pope Benedict.
20 Sep 2007

German cardinal apologises over Nazi term furore
Cologne's Cardinal Joachim Meisner has expressed regret over his use of the word "degenerate", which has Nazi era overtones.
20 Sep 2007

Paraguayan ex-bishop's presidential race in tatters
In Paraguay, a ten party National Unity coalition supporting the presidency bid of former bishop Fernando Lugo, has broken up.
20 Sep 2007

Ncube mulls presidency bid
Controversial former Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube is said to be thinking of running for Zimbabwe's presidency against arch-rival incumbent Robert Mugabe.
20 Sep 2007

WYD construction an equine flu risk: Randwick trainers
Randwick trainers are again up in arms over a request by WYD organisers for access to the racecourse to begin preparing infrastructure.
20 Sep 2007

Benedict "on holiday" for Condi visit
It has been reported that Pope Benedict refused to meet US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice last month.
20 Sep 2007

Feature - All in the pro-life family
Matt and Ginny Smith are passionate about life. Years ago, when the US couple were preparing for marriage, they studied natural family planning, looked for ways to counteract the culture of death and prayed for a big family. God answered: As their anniversaries grew in number, so did their offspring. Today they have nine children, ranging in age from 25 to 7. Along the way, the Smiths have shown, by example, how to make pro-life activities a family enterprise - Marge Fenelon
20 Sep 2007

Opinion - Can't let go of his Precious
Even those of us who believe John Howard's stewardship of our country has diminished its character and quality admit that he is a good fighter. Yet there has been a manic element in his fighting of late - especially over those mid-September days when he so nearly lost the leadership - that's not quite the same as before. He seems urgent and so frantic. There's a new red light in his eyes. It's so - well, so Gollum-like - Vivienne Kelly
20 Sep 2007

Pumpkin's mum a "kind, loving wife"
On her Chinese language blog, the mother of the child abandoned at Melbourne's Southern Cross railway station describes herself as a Catholic who reads the Bible and tries to "be a kind, loving wife".
19 Sep 2007

Catholic Super to offer medical cover
Catholic Super has joined a growing number of superannuation funds that now offer their members discounted health cover.
19 Sep 2007

Sydney brother on trial over 70s abuse
Marist Brother Ross Murrin yesterday faced a Sydney court on 21 charges of indecent assault against male students dating back to 1974.
19 Sep 2007

Scholar slams Latin Church's "cultural imperialism"
An Australian Ukrainian rite Catholic theologian has criticised the "latinisation" - or cultural imperialism - of the Roman Catholic Church.
19 Sep 2007

Developed countries have missed plot: Toohey
Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Chris Toohey has told a London conference that developed countries have "missed the plot" on the long-term future of the planet.
19 Sep 2007

WYD as big as the Olympics: Anglican Archbishop
Sydney's Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen has described World Youth Day as "very big, like the Olympics".
19 Sep 2007

Feature - Double life of a showbiz priest
Fr Michael Cleary was one of the greatest communicators the Catholic Church in Ireland has known, a man who could reach out to young people in a unique manner, the epitome of a young person's priest. He chain-smoked and told slightly racy jokes about nuns. He was favoured by the Church for one very specific reason: no matter how informal and even risque his delivery, his message was the same: that the Church's laws must be obeyed. But the gap between what he preached and what he practised was incredible - David McKittrick
19 Sep 2007

Opinion - Christians should be grateful to Richard Dawkins
Let's face it, it is easier for most of us to hold a clear but inaccurate image of what we think God is, rather than to live with the discomfort of not being able to pin God down precisely. Many a mystic has said that all descriptions of God are false because they are so inadequate, but that is not a comfortable place to be in. We prefer a domesticated God that our comprehension can contain. Richard Dawkins in effect is pointing at a load of golden calves that we have fashioned over the millennia, and saying, "what a load of rubbish" - Richard Skinner
19 Sep 2007

Student joke cuts no ice with authorities
Several Year 9 students from Bunbury Catholic College have been punished for allegedly trying to sell bags of sugar to their schoolmates that they pretended to be the drug "ice".
18 Sep 2007

Priest thanks judge for sentence
Victorian priest, Fr Terrence Pidoto, yesterday thanked the judge who sentenced him to more than seven years jail.
18 Sep 2007

Broncos man bucks brothers over school closure
Brisbane Broncos founding chairman and Marist Brothers College Rosalie old boy, Barry Maranta, has joined the fight to prevent his old school from closing.
18 Sep 2007

Mum sues school over discrimination
The mother of a boy with a language disorder is suing a parish priest and the Melbourne Catholic Education Office for discrimination.
18 Sep 2007

Build alliance between man and environment: Benedict
Pope Benedict has called for intensified cooperation to build an alliance between man and the environment.
18 Sep 2007

Australia a "global citizen": Social Justice statement
'Australia as a global citizen' is the theme of the Australian Bishops' statement for Social Justice Sunday at the end of the month.
18 Sep 2007

Feature - Reflecting on 50 years of priesthood
I come from a family marked by faith and Catholic tradition, with a wonderful mother. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a missionary. I was fascinated by the Jesuit missionary preachers who came to Naples, to our parish. Unfortunately, the dream very soon vanished, because I was too frail and the doctors told me clearly that my constitution would not endure in missionary lands. My desire to carry the Gospel to the world took on another path - Cardinal Renato Martino
18 Sep 2007

Opinion - Harry Potter and young people
The Harry Potter phenomenon is big; in fact bigger than any other publishing event. The series of seven books has been translated into 66 languages with sales of 400 million copies. Why is Harry Potter so popular among all types of young people and many parents? Does this popularity explain much about young people today? As always most children love entering the world of magic, fairy stories, escaping the limits of normality (I wasn't one of these) and readers love a fast moving tale, especially when the adventures are exotic - Cardinal George Pell
18 Sep 2007

JPII relics now available
The Vicariate of Rome is now accepting requests for relics of Pope John Paul II.
17 Sep 2007

Police to quiz Maddie's mum's priest
Portuguese police reportedly want to question a priest, Fr Jose Pacheco, to whom Kate McCann turned for assistance after the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine.
17 Sep 2007

Drought final straw in school closure
St Joseph's Boarding College for girls at Perthville, west of the Blue Mountains, is set to close as a result of shrinking rural communities compounded by the drought.
17 Sep 2007

WYD gifts tax deductible
The Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Peter Dutton, has announced that gifts of two dollars or more to the World Youth Day Trust will be tax deductible for a limited period.
17 Sep 2007

No excuses for not feeding people
Answering questions asked by US bishops, the Holy See has issued a statement reiterating that the removal of feeding tubes from people in vegetative states is immoral.
17 Sep 2007

Support for abortion cooling-off period: Survey
A survey has found that most Australians believe there should be a compulsory cooling-off period before proceeding with an abortion.
17 Sep 2007

Feature - From WYD rep to Aussie politician
When they hurl the word "Yank" and poke fun at her northwest Ohio accent, Kristina Keneally knows that election-year mudslinging has reached another low point. A 1987 graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Toledo, Mrs Keneally, 38, is the first American-born person to be elected to the NSW parliament. She moved to Australia in 1994 and now lives in Sydney with her husband, Ben, a native Australian. She met her husband in 1991 in Poland while helping to represent the US during World Youth Day. He was Australia's representative - JC Reindl
17 Sep 2007

Opinion - Why is Fr Peter Phan under investigation?
Over a decade ago, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger laid out with crystal clarity what he saw as the greatest doctrinal threat of the day: a confluence of what he described as "the a-religious and practical relativism of Europe and America" with "Asia's negative theology". Over the last decade, a string of writers and theologians treating the subject in various ways have found themselves facing a Vatican inquest. To anyone who knows this history, news this week that the Vatican is investigating a book by Fr Peter Phan, another prominent writer on the theology of religions, thus comes as no surprise - John L Allen
17 Sep 2007

Korean cardinal pelted with eggs
Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk's car has been pelted with eggs by local residents living near a Seoul church.
14 Sep 2007

Mary's Quebec Army leaders excommunicated
The Vatican has announced the excommunication of certain members of a Canadian sect called the Army of Mary.
14 Sep 2007

Vatican investigates Peter Phan
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is investigating a book on inter-religious dialogue by Vietnamese-American priest, Fr Peter Phan of Georgetown University.
14 Sep 2007

Bishops offer answers to divorce FAQ
The Bishops Conference has published a new booklet setting out answers to frequently asked questions about divorce.
14 Sep 2007

Young mums program wins award
A program for young mums in the western NSW town of Bourke has been recognised as "most innovative" at this week's Catholic Social Services annual awards.
14 Sep 2007

Caritas watchful over Indonesian earthquakes
Caritas Australia has assessors in earthquake-hit Indonesia, determining what response may be required.
14 Sep 2007

Feature - Former papal photographer reflects on career
Arturo Mari officially handed in a resignation three years ago, but the longtime papal photographer said his "superiors wouldn't let me leave." The photographer of the Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano retired in May after having served during six pontificates - a total of 51 years. Mari said the first Pope he photographed was Pius XII, the Pontiff of the "sede gestatoria" (portable throne), the man of great and solemn gestures who inspired in the young photographer "the habit of looking for the right expression, the perfect moment to immortalise".
14 Sep 2007

Opinion - To doubt God is human
A decade ago I met a 74-year-old nun in Romania who taught me the difference between manners and social goodness - and the real thing. Sr Mary Rose Christy was the closest thing to a saint I have ever met. But it is not because she was particularly kind to me. Nor did she play the role of the docile holy woman content to radiate light from the corner of the room. "Sister Mary Rose was purposeful, committed and directed," a friend reminded me the other day, "and she would walk all over someone if she thought they were keeping her from getting something done" - Gregory Rodriguez
14 Sep 2007

Australian art auctioneer remembered
Melbourne Catholic art auctioneer Paul Dwyer has died after a long illness
13 Sep 2007

Accept Estrada verdict: Bishops tell Filipinos
Philippine bishops have called on Catholics to accept the fate of former president and actor Joseph Estrada.
13 Sep 2007

Chinese Catholic to be deported to face trial
A Chinese Catholic man living in Australia is to be deported to face trial on kidnap and murder charges in China.
13 Sep 2007

European Jews call on pope to prevent Iran "catastrophe"
Austrian and European Jewish leaders asked Pope Benedict to use his moral authority to prevent Iran from developing the capacity to produce nuclear weapons.
13 Sep 2007

Compliance burden a danger to those "who fall between cracks": Power
Canberra Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power has warned that compliance burdens imposed by the government, and even the church, could put at risk the many people "who fall between the cracks".
13 Sep 2007

Ncube defiant against "wicked" Zim regime
Outspoken Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube has vowed not to be silenced by President Mugabe's "wicked" regime.
13 Sep 2007

Feature - Are we still willing to listen?
It was the earthiness of Pope John XXIII which appealed to so many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Is there a danger in today's climate with so many demands of compliance from government and even church that we become so "professional" that we lose sight of the human persons involved? Does a whole variety of services guarantee that many people will not "fall between the cracks"? Do those of us in positions of leadership and authority remain close to people at the "grass-roots", ready to listen to their stories of pain, abuse and neglect? - Bishop Pat Power
13 Sep 2007

Opinion - Pope Benedict and the crisis of truth
In an especially moving passage from his recent speech in Vienna, Pope Benedict XVI said, "It should be everyone's concern to ensure that the day will never come when only its stones speak of Christianity." By now this has become the consistent refrain from Benedict - namely, that the secularisation of Western society stands as its greatest threat. In certain respects, I am inclined to agree with Benedict in affirming the positive role religion has played in shaping our cultural heritage. But the problem is that Benedict's concerns are misplaced betraying an almost blinding insecurity - Jeffrey Robbins
13 Sep 2007

Oscar winner Wyman dead at 90
Multiple Academy Award winning actress, and Catholic convert and philanthropist Jane Wyman has died in California.
12 Sep 2007

Ex-priest's abuse trial aborted
The trial of a former Tasmanian priest on charges of abusing a student nearly 40 years ago was yesterday aborted.
12 Sep 2007

Renters more likely to postpone doctor visits: Catholic Health finds
A Catholic Health Australia survey has found that people who rent their homes are three times more likely than home owners to postpone visiting a doctor for reasons of cost.
12 Sep 2007

English missal expected in 2009
The Vatican's Vox Clara Committee has announced that the new English translation of the Roman missal is expected to be ready by the end of 2009.
12 Sep 2007

Wilson calls on Amnesty to reverse abortion policy
Australian Bishops Conference president Archbishop Philip Wilson yesterday called on Amnesty International to abandon its policy of promoting abortion.
12 Sep 2007

Arrested China bishop dead and buried in 6 hours
An imprisoned Chinese bishop has died in custody amid suspicion from his supporters.
12 Sep 2007

Feature - The world needs beauty
Unfortunately, there is a tendency for us to combat moral decay in the arts by producing sanitised alternatives to decadent forms of entertainment. The results are morally innocuous, but uninspiring. A pop song that happens to be about God instead of fornication is a poor fusion of form and content: It is Christian only on the surface, and has little capacity to evangelise - Melinda Selmys
12 Sep 2007

Opinion - Tackling Aboriginal issues requires restraint
The Federal Government has moved to act in respect of the horrendous findings of the report into sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory. There would be few who would not respond with outrage at the commission of such criminal acts and with compassion for the victims. However, given the historical experience of Aboriginal people with "white fellas" in uniforms, marching in unannounced with army and police as the frontline response seems quite surprising - Br Shane Wood
12 Sep 2007

Jesus surfers want to walk on water
Christian surfers in the UK are organising the Jesus Surf Classic.
11 Sep 2007

Priest may hold key to Polish elections
A priest who runs the controversial Catholic Radio Maryja may hold the key to Poland's forthcoming national election campaign.
11 Sep 2007

All good undone by abuse, judge tells priest
A Melbourne judge told Fr Terence Pidoto that all the good he had done as a priest had been undone.
11 Sep 2007

Volunteering challenges cost culture: Benedict
Pope Benedict has praised Austria's volunteering as a challenge to "a culture which would calculate the cost of everything".
11 Sep 2007

Ncube to resign, reports anticipate
Zimbabwe's Bulawayo Archbishop and Mugabe regime critic, Pius Ncube, is reportedly set to resign.
11 Sep 2007

Aussie bishop takes climate change to British parliament
Catholic Earthcare chair Bishop Chris Toohey will lead a discussion on climate change in the British House of Commons this week.
11 Sep 2007

Feature - My own dark night of the soul in Calcutta
There were a lot of things that Mother Teresa didn't do and there are plenty of legitimate critiques of her mission. She cared lovingly for the poor, but she never asked why they were poor. When powerful world leaders wanted their picture taken with her or praised her as a saint, she never challenged them about why they supported an economic and political system that created misery. But what she did she did with simple love: seeing the face of God in a distressing disguise and opening her arms to provide some comfort - Eileen Markey
11 Sep 2007

Opinion - Stop laughing, today of all days
In Sydney at the APEC weekend, members of the ABC's Chasers comedy troupe slip a bogus motorcade through a series of security checks to deliver a faux Osama bin Laden to the gathering. Yeah, sure, it was funny all that money spent on security and a bunch of wiseacres didn't even need to raise a sweat in order to make the organisers look like jokers. But really, who was the fool? The past six years have seen September 11 repeated in miniature in Bali, Madrid, London, among other locations - Roger Franklin
11 Sep 2007

World farewells "reconciled" Pavarotti
Pavarotti's parish priest has said the twice-married singer had been reconciled with the Catholic faith of his childhood.
10 Sep 2007

US diocese to pay out $240 million over abuse claims
The San Diego Diocese in the US has agreed to pay $A240 million to settle 144 claims of sexual abuse by clergy.
10 Sep 2007

No more church concessions, secularists argue
A new political party in Tasmania is campaigning to limit the special treatment given to religious groups.
10 Sep 2007

"Monstrous" to create human-animal hybrids: Vatican
A Holy See spokesperson has described as "monstrous", British licencing of research that will create human-animal hybrid embryos.
10 Sep 2007

Go and live in Indigenous communities: Abbott
Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott challenged church workers to go and live in Indigenous communities as a way of living "the preferential option for the poor".
10 Sep 2007

Benedict laments "child-poor" Europe
Pope Benedict has called on Europeans to have more children.

10 Sep 2007

Feature - Cambodian parish reviving traditional dance
On the green grass in front of the Kompong Thom church, girls and boys put a smile on their face as they practice traditional dance. "I am very happy to learn traditional Khmer dance, because I like my culture. I want to become a dancer and a dance teacher too in the future," said Borey Ansotheavy, 13, as she took a 10-minute break. She was one of 60 Catholic youths aged 12-22 learning traditional dance at the parish compound here.
10 Sep 2007

Opinion - Regensburg a year on: what went wrong?
It was on 12 September last year that Benedict XVI gave his Regensburg lecture, in which he provoked Muslim fury by quoting the Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Palaeologus. Official protests poured into the Vatican. In many Muslim countries there were violent demonstrations against the Catholic Church. The Pope was burnt in effigy. In Somalia an Italian nun was murdered. What went wrong? How did the Pope come to expose himself to such vilification? To answer that we need to look at the genesis of the lecture - Norman Russell
10 Sep 2007

Feature - Priestly duty to care for the planet
The Church is not just "another voice" telling people to conserve energy. Bishop Christopher Toohey says it has the potential to bring its vast tradition to shed light on a troubled human family, a dimension that he believes somewhat missing in the debate.
7 Sep 2007

Opinion - Hiding weakness no way to answer sex abuse charges
A church that recognises its struggle to follow the way of Christ has no need to defend its reputation. 'Chaste prostitute' was one of many images the early church had to describe the tension between its high calling and broken response. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
7 Sep 2007

Mannix turns his back on orgy painting
The State Library of Victoria has acquired an art deco painting depicting the flagellation of Christ with a full-blown orgy occurring below.
7 Sep 2007

"Miracle" woman accuses Mother Teresa's sisters
An Indian woman whose tumour was found to have been cured by the intercession of Mother Teresa has accused the Missionaries of Charity of abandoning her.
7 Sep 2007

Italian priest proposes platonic love
An Italian priest has announced his engagement to a woman with a one year old child.
7 Sep 2007

World's "first climate refugees" to visit Australia
Two so-called "climate refugees" will visit Brisbane next week. They are from Papua New Guinea's Carteret Islands near Bougainville, where people are being displaced by rising sea levels.
7 Sep 2007

No to torture, Benedict emphasises
Pope Benedict has said that no form of torture can be condoned.
7 Sep 2007

Vatican approves inclusive language for Canadian lectionary
Feminists especially are welcoming the Holy See's approval for Canada of a lectionary that incorporates inclusive language.
7 Sep 2007

Deaf judge composes mass for Benedict
Hard of hearing NSW Justice George Palmer has composed a sung mass to be performed for Pope Benedict at the World Youth Day closing mass at Randwick next July.
6 Sep 2007

Outback WA schools hit by teacher shortage
A Notre Dame University expert has said Catholic and state schools in remote regions of Western Australia are facing a crippling shortage of teachers.
6 Sep 2007

Primary schools break records for faith knowledge
Results of the Sydney Catholic schools religious education test have soared to their highest level since the introduction of the test nine years ago.
6 Sep 2007

Mother Teresa gets a cathedral in Kosovo
Ten years after her death, Mother Teresa will have a cathedral dedicated to her.
6 Sep 2007

Climate change, water of "utmost importance": Benedict insists
Pope Benedict yesterday sharpened his weekend Loreto message concerning the need to defend the environment.
6 Sep 2007

3,000 young people ready to give all
Over 3000 young adults at a festival in Loreto, Italy, stood up on Monday to say they're ready to become priests or religious.
6 Sep 2007

Feature - Shamrocks in the bush
Before post-war immigration brought to Australia Catholics from many other nations, within the local Church there was a distinctive emerald green thread running through the fabric of Australian Catholicism. This "greening" of the Australian Church was reflected in the numbers of migrant Irish priests and religious orders, as well as the children of the Irish who swelled the ranks of local vocations. One Irish family whose contribution to the life of the Church spans more than 80 years is the O'Carrigans. The family arrived in Sydney in July 1927 and recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of their arrival - Dan McAloon
6 Sep 2007

Opinion - Business as usual at APEC
After 11 years of obfuscation and denial, Prime Minister Howard has finally been forced to acknowledge that climate change must be acted upon and has made it a focus of APEC. Under the banner of economic cooperation, the 21 countries will come up with a Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development. A copy of the draft statement was leaked last week. On the surface it sounds hopeful for those who are looking for leadership in a new sustainable direction. Cutting through the persuasive language however, it is business as usual - Anne Lanyon
6 Sep 2007

Beads and guitars change habits
Three American sisters have arrived in Sydney as volunteers to prepare for World Youth Day.
5 Sep 2007

Eleven year old collapses, dies at Wollongong school
A Wollongong Catholic school community is in shock over the death of an 11 year old, who collapsed suddenly while skipping in the school playground on Monday.
5 Sep 2007

Vic govt comes to WYD funding party
World Youth Day Melbourne has welcomed the Victorian Government's provision of $4 million in funds for next year's events.
5 Sep 2007

Mother Teresa's sisters surprised, inspired by her spiritual trials
Missionaries of Charity superior Sr Nirmala has said the sisters were surprised by the extent of Mother Teresa's faith crisis.
5 Sep 2007

Vatican police cadet suicides
Pope Benedict has expressed sadness over the apparent suicide of a Vatican police cadet who was distraught after breaking up with a girlfriend.
5 Sep 2007

Unis need more religion: Monash sociologist
Monash sociologist Professor Gary Bouma has said universities must go beyond secularism and incorporate a better understanding of religion into their programs.
5 Sep 2007

Feature - Latin America's new eco-warriors
Logging is big business near Olancho, Honduras and efforts to fight destructive practices there have been met with violence. Although few people seem to have noticed it yet, in the past few years a "liberation ecology" movement, with the church at its spiritual heart, has been taking shape from Chile to Mexico. Will the Vatican, I wonder, encourage or stifle it? Latin American Catholics have, after all, taken on what they saw as forces of injustice before - Marilyn Berlin Snell
5 Sep 2007

Opinion - A church of saints to sinners
In the light of a number of modern public scandals involving the Church it is only natural that many sections of the media, as well as even many of the faithful should question the validity of the Church's mission and possibly even Her existence. But it is not for us to desert the Church that God founded, and which the Holy Spirit continues to inspire, because of the depravity and concupiscence of a number of sinful men and women. Rather, it is for us, both clergy and laity, to resolve that any iniquity found in our Church is rooted out, torn up and cast aside - Andrew Thomas Kania
5 Sep 2007

WYD registrations exceeding expectations
World Youth Day CEO Danny Casey says that he is thrilled with the number of registrations from prospective pilgrims which already exceeds 184,000 for next year's event.
4 Sep 2007

Ordination of Vatican approved China bishop goes ahead
Bishop-elect Paul Xiao Zejiang will be ordained coadjutor bishop of Guizhou with the approval of both the Holy See and Chinese government authorities.
4 Sep 2007

Europe queries Italy over Vatican tax breaks
The European Commission is questioning tax breaks from the Italian government on Vatican owned property that are alleged to amount to illegal state aid to the church.
4 Sep 2007

Maitland-Newcastle opens new healing facility
The diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will today open a new facility for healing individuals and communities affected by abuse within the church.
4 Sep 2007

Archbishop Wilson warns Adelaide priests on personal safety
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has warned priests to pay attention to their personal security and that of the buildings in their care following a recent incident in which armed men broke into a presbytery.
4 Sep 2007

APEC agenda "fluff": Caritas chief
The agenda for this week's APEC meeting is "fluff" and fails to address major climate change issues including changing weather patterns and water supplies, according to Caritas Australia CEO, Jack de Groot.
4 Sep 2007

Feature - Mother Teresa's revolution of love
It was in God's Providence that Mother Teresa's death was to be eclipsed by the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. It is probably inevitable that the 10th anniversary of their deaths should repeat the same pattern, but the nun would not want publicity for herself, only for the action of God, who had used her as the instrument of his purpose, and for her charism of serving the poorest of the poor. Diana is an "icon", Mother Teresa is a challenge, a sign of contradiction to contemporary sensibilities.
4 Sep 2007

Opinion - Border protection comes at too high a price
The waters off Christmas Island are remarkable. Beneath the surface, they are alive with tropical fish and coral. From above, the sea is a blue that is at the same time translucent and deep. It was in these waters six years ago that the Tampa sailed and sat, waiting to offload its human cargo.These are waters in which people seeking Australia's protection have sailed and swum, and in some instances, died. These are waters that have been central to Australia's response to asylum seekers over the past decade or so - David Corlett
4 Sep 2007

Catholics dying for Vatican Library endorsed coffins
The Vatican Library has endorsed its own line of burial caskets and urns for sale through a US company called Eternal Image.
3 Sep 2007

Priest charged over Pinochet deaths
A Chilean prison chaplain has been charged with covering up the deaths of 28 dissidents killed or "disappeared" during the rule of former President Augusto Pinochet.
3 Sep 2007

Bishop's tears halt Aussie mine exploration
A distressed local bishop convinced Philippine President Gloria Arroyo to halt exploration activities by the Australian owned Oxiana mining company.
3 Sep 2007

Friday not good for AFL
Melbourne's major Christian churches are opposing moves by the AFL to schedule a match for Good Friday evening.
3 Sep 2007

Catholics protest "filthiest" TV show
Thirty Sydney Catholics gathered last night outside the studios of Channel Ten to protest against what they called "the filthiest show on television".
3 Sep 2007

Pope dons green vestments for Loreto eco-fest
Pope Benedict has said "courageous choices" are required to restore "a strong alliance between man and earth before it is too late".
3 Sep 2007

Feature - Irish nun found peace in the Kimberley
At the end, it was just a few lines in a newspaper - the death of an 88-year-old woman near Beagle Bay, apparently after becoming disoriented while out for a walk. But a few lines could never do justice to the commitment of Sister Bernadette O'Connor, a Sister of St John of God who devoted her life to the care of Aboriginal people in the Kimberley. Sr Bernadette was the last of the Irish-born Sisters of St John to come to Australia as a novice or to undertake their novitiate here - Pam Casellas
3 Sep 2007

Opinion - Fatherhood today
It has been interesting to watch the changes in attitude to men and fathers in Australia over the last seven years. Hollywood is releasing movies with strong positive fatherhood themes at an incredible rate of knots. The music world is doing much the same. Our poets and celluloid storytellers, the high priests of our modern culture, are tending to the father wound of our broken society. The good news is that the fatherhood and the men's movement in Australia is going from strength to strength - Warwick Marsh
3 Sep 2007