Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR NOVEMBER 2007

   
Baton change for WYD Journey of the Cross and Icon
After 150 days in 15 dioceses, the 2007 national Diocesan Journey of the Cross and Icon has concluded, with the objects now set to embark upon a gruelling Summer schedule of youth camps and conferences.
30 Nov 2007

Archbishops celebrate 40 years of Episcopal Ordination
Retired Archbishop Leonard Faulkner of Adelaide, and retired Archbishop Francis Carroll of Canberra-Goulburn, have both celebrated the 40th anniversaries of their ordination as bishops during November.
30 Nov 2007

Catholic agencies challenge case for nuclear power
Two Melbourne social justice organisations have published a 52-page booklet to counter arguments to expand nuclear power.
30 Nov 2007

Bishop says people with disability 'not a burden'
In a statement for Monday's International Day of People of People with Disability, Bishop Max Davis has called for a change in thinking to counter the assumption that people with a disability are a burden.
30 Nov 2007

Pope meeting with Dalai Lama now on 'informal' agenda
An informal meeting between the Pope and the Dalai Lama could still take place, despite an announcement earlier this week stating that a meeting of the two leaders would not occur.
30 Nov 2007

Pope invites Muslim scholars to Vatican
Pope Benedict has invited a delegation of senior Islamic scholars to the Vatican, as a positive response to the October letter they sent to initiate dialogue.
30 Nov 2007

Feature - Season of hope for Congolese family
This year's Christmas will be a special one for the Simba family, their first in their new home country of Australia. For the last five years, they have been living in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya. But hope came in February this year, when the family was granted humanitarian visas by the Australian government.
30 Nov 2007

Opinion - Advent of the nonviolent Jesus
Luke 1:26-38 depicts Jesus' steadfast waiting for God's word of peace. Every day during Advent, we can take time to sit in silence and solitude, in contemplative prayer, and listen for God. When we do, oddly enough, we notice once again the violence within us, whatever keeps us unpeaceful. We are then free to allow God to disarm our hearts and give us the gift of peace. - Fr John Dear SJ
30 Nov 2007

Jesuit composer's Christmas collaboration with Leunig
A new CD brings together the music of Jesuit Fr Christopher Willcock and the words of writer and artist Michael Leunig.
29 Nov 2007

Java Muslims force closure of church
Muslims on the western outskirts of Jakarta have successfully protested the legality of a Church, forcing its closure and putting a halt to further religious activity.
29 Nov 2007

Pope stresses Christianity's origins outside Europe
Pope Benedict has reminded the faithful that Christianity's roots lie deep in the Old Testament, and that it is not a European export.
29 Nov 2007

Vatican supports Palestinian refugees "right of return"
A Vatican official has sparked headlines by saying Palestinians have the right to return to their homeland, a controversial issue which has dogged Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.
29 Nov 2007

Pope says treat AIDS victims with compassion
Pope Benedict has reached out to AIDS victims saying he feels "spiritually close" to those who suffer from the disease.
29 Nov 2007

Vinnies welcomes Rudd action on homelessness
St Vincent de Paul Society National CEO Dr John Falzon has welcomed Kevin Rudd's decision to address homelessness as one of his government's top priorities.
29 Nov 2007

Feature - Remains of rich move to make space for graves for poor
Fr Joseph Nguyen Ngoc Thich of Cai Mon in southern Vietnam has provided graves for the poor from space made available by rich people relocating big graves built in the past that occupy much space and were not arranged efficiently.
29 Nov 2007

Opinion - Has a government a mandate to do what it wants?
If a nation is not governed by reason and by values, but only expresses the power to do as the government wills, then international commitments, respect for the rights of smaller nations, and international aid, would be vacuous rhetoric. Hitler's invasion of Austria and Czechoslovakia would be unexceptionable. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
29 Nov 2007

Faith based toys for Christmas
Talking Jesus toys, bearded Moses models, and muscle-bound Goliath figures are part of a range of faith-based action toys being marketed by a US company.
28 Nov 2007

Study documents mixed Catholic record on Aborigines
A Brisbane scholar has argued that while nuns and missionaries demonstrated concern for Indigenous Australians, the hierarchy "failed Aborigines by paying lipservice to their plight".
28 Nov 2007

Bishops support motherhood empowerment symposiums
A series of "radically pro-woman" symposiums aimed at helping women to embrace pregnancy and motherhood is part of the Australian Bishops' strategy to counter abortion.
28 Nov 2007

Award winning set designer takes WYD centre stage
World Youth Day 2008 organisers have announced Sydney 2000 Olympics Cauldron designer Michael Scott-Mitchell as the Set Designer for the Stations of the Cross production.
28 Nov 2007

Pope's second encyclical for Friday release
Pope Benedict's second encyclical, on the virtue of hope, will be released on Friday.
28 Nov 2007

Vatican sends delegation to Anapolis
The Vatican sent a high-level delegation to yesterday's one-day peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, to help broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
28 Nov 2007

Feature - Emily has sights on next year's Olympics
Emily Seebohm, a student at St John Fisher College in Brisbane's northern suburbs, is one of the youngest members of the Australian swimming team. With a warm smile and a bubbly nature, this easy-going teenager takes her commitments in her stride and brushes off any suggestion she is any different to her peers.
28 Nov 2007

Opinion - Our dream of glory
We all nurse the secret dream of glory. Partly this is healthy, a sign that we are emotionally well. But this is meant to mature so that eventually we will begin, more and more, to envision ourselves as standing out, not by talent, looks, muscles, and speed, but by the depth of our compassion and the quality of our forgiveness.
28 Nov 2007

Kirby accuses Pell on anti-gay religious instruction
Soon to retire High Court judge Michael Kirby has accused Cardinal George Pell of making it difficult for people to adopt a more tolerant attitude to gays.
27 Nov 2007

Study learns from Cologne WYD participants
Religious education academic, Dr Richard Rymarz, has looked into the impact of World Youth Day with a 12 month follow-up of Under 18 Australian participants in the 2005 event in Cologne, Germany.
27 Nov 2007

Catholic groups commend ALP on social inclusion
Catholic Social Services Australia and Jesuit Social Services have welcomed the ALP's release of its Social Inclusion Agenda.
27 Nov 2007

Commission urges Rudd to forge new indigenous partnerships
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has urged the new Prime Minister to commit to fresh partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, to end "gross Indigenous disadvantage".
27 Nov 2007

Pope declines to meet Dalai Lama
Pope Benedict will not meet the Dalai Lama when he visits Italy next month, despite earlier reports the two religious leaders had planned a meeting.
27 Nov 2007

Bishops offer prayers for new Government
Australia's Catholic Bishops have offered their prayers and congratulations to Kevin Rudd and the ALP, following the party's landslde victory in Saturday's Federal Election.
27 Nov 2007

Feature - Art for the Soul
Melbourne artist Veronika Dimac recently reached new creative heights when she was invited by Bishop Joseph Grech to exhibit her work in the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo from 3-9 December 2007. Bishop Grech said the Diocese of Sandhurst's pastoral vision is that 'every person in the diocese be inflamed by the love of God', and the exhibition is an innovative way to convey Christ's love for his people, through the medium of art.
27 Nov 2007

Opinion - Atheist philosopher concedes existence of God?
The debate surrounding the atheist philosopher Antony Flew's alleged admission of the existence of God has resurfaced with the publication of his latest work, There is a God. Juornalist Mark Oppenheimer wrote: "Depending on whom you ask, Antony Flew is either a true convert whose lifelong intellectual searchings finally brought him to God or a senescent scholar possibly being exploited by his associate
27 Nov 2007

McKew thanks Mercies as prayers are answered
Divine intervention could be the secret weapon of Labor's star recruit Maxine McKew.
26 Nov 2007

Youth ministers prepare for post-WYD youth ministry boom
A working group is seeking help youth ministers in its efforts to compose a vision statement that will help meet the expected surge in interest after World Youth Day.
26 Nov 2007

Catholic students declare silence on women's ordination
The Australian Catholic Students Association has pledged its loyalty to Pope Benedict XVI on women's ordination, despite calls for discussion of the issue by signatories of a recent petition from Australian Catholics.
26 Nov 2007

Writer praises Catholic schools work in GM awareness
An international writer on Genetic Modification has applauded the initiative of Catholic schools in bringing GM case studies into their curricula.
26 Nov 2007

Pope prays wisdom will fuel mid-east peace
Ahead of tomorrow's conference on peace between Palestine and Israel in Annapolis in the US, Pope Benedict has prayed that wisdom and courage will be the answer.
26 Nov 2007

Pope urges 23 new cardinals to work for peace
Pope Benedict has asked the new cardinals he consecrated at the weekend to make work for peace their priority.
26 Nov 2007

Feature - Inhumane trade
Good Shepherd Sister Magdalena Barsan Bilibok, 28, of Romania is studying in Italy. She participates in a street outreach group in Rome that befriends exploited women. "The girls get in the car, and when they come back, most look completely gone, like they don't exist, they are destroyed by this," said Sr Magdalena.
26 Nov 2007

Opinion - Choir of Hard Knocks a sign of joy and hope
When Opera Australia's Jonathan Welch gathered together a group of homeless people for the Choir of Hard Knocks (ABC TV last night), he did more than get them singing. I don't know what Jonathan Welch's religious background is, but he reached out to people discarded by the rest of society, as Jesus did. - Bishop Pat Power, text of Bowral address
26 Nov 2007

Filipino polticians replace 'Mary' and 'Joseph' in nativity mural
A Filipino cinema owner has made a political stand by hanging a nativity mural using the faces of the current and former presidents in place of Mary and Joseph.
23 Nov 2007

Vinnies Christmas appeal aims to help renters
As it launches its Christmas Appeal, the St Vincent de Paul Society in NSW is focusing upon the overwhelming pressures brought on by rising rent levels.
23 Nov 2007

Church Resources welcomes broadband funding
Church Resources yesterday welcomed Communications Minister Helen Coonan's announcement of $5.6 million funding for broadband for health and aged care services in regional NSW and Queensland.
23 Nov 2007

Bishop's book reaches international audiences
After recent publication in Ireland, retired Sydney auxiliary Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's bestselling book on sexual abuse is set for publication in the US and Spain.
23 Nov 2007

Chinese priest's three years jail for consecrating church
A Chinese priest has been sentenced for three years for organising the celebrations of the consecration of a church.
23 Nov 2007

Pope to induct 23 new cardinals
Pope Benedict will consecrate 23 new cardinals at a special ceremony at St Peter's Square tomorrow.
23 Nov 2007

Feature - Is therapeutic cloning on the skids?
Two big stories this week could signal the end of therapeutic cloning. The scientist who cloned Dolly, Ian Wilmut, the world's most prominent expert in cloning, has abandoned his plans to clone human embryos. He believes that an "extremely exciting and astonishing" Japanese method of creating stem cells is more effective and carried no ethical baggage.
23 Nov 2007

Opinion - Voting is not about 'me', but the common good
In a democratic society, voters choose representatives to whom they give authority to work for the common good, not only for the good of the individual. The election is not about "me" and "my" economic or social wellbeing alone. It is about the whole country, the individuals in it. - Bishop Kevin Manning
23 Nov 2007

Church anxious over new film of Jesus in India
The Catholic Church in Southern India has expressed concern over a new movie which attempts to portray Jesus' "missing years" on the Indian subcontinent.
22 Nov 2007

10,000 homes needed for WYD pilgrims
World Youth Day organisers are hoping to recruit 10,000 Melburnians to put up pilgrims for the Days in the Diocesese event in their city.
22 Nov 2007

Director says education funding "easy option" for politicians
The Executive Director of Schools in Parramatta Diocese Greg Whitby said the real challenge for government policy makers is to work out how to use available funds wisely in order to create the best possible education system.
22 Nov 2007

Pope's plea for peace in Somalia
Pope Benedict has appealed to politicians to broker a peaceful solution in war torn Somalia after escalating violence has forced over a million people to flee their homes.
22 Nov 2007

Caritas prepares response to PNG floods Caritas
Australia is working with local partners to gauge the extent of the damage following a week of heavy rain and flooding that has cost more than 70 lives in Papua New Guinea's Oro Province.
22 Nov 2007

Bishops welcome ethical stem cell research breakthrough
Australia's Catholic Bishops have welcomed the discovery by scientists that potent stem cells from human skin, that should signal an end to the destruction of human embryos for research.
22 Nov 2007

Feature - WYD 'big cross' visits Wilcannia
The muurrpa (children) were getting more and more excited. The special day that they had been practising for was finally here and they were hopping off the bus at the caravan park where a small crowd had already assembled. The big cross and the beautiful picture of Mary and Baby Jesus that Aunty Nicola had travelled across Australia with were here in Wilcannia for them to look at and touch.
22 Nov 2007

Opinion - Climate change a question of moral will
A sustainable atmosphere is a fundamental need and therefore a fundamental right. Each person's right corresponds to a duty not to pollute, nor to overuse, a common resource. Australia is not a good global citizen with respect to climate change. We have little authority, nor leverage, to argue a case in any international forum. - Dr John Sweeney / Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative
22 Nov 2007

Religious pieces fetch millions at auction
A diptych of the Passion of Christ, crafted between 1360-1380 has sold at auction in Paris for a record $6.6million (4 million euros).
21 Nov 2007

Cardinal warns against 'anti-religious' takeover
Cardinal George Pell has said he is shocked and surprised at the number of young people, especially young Catholics, who say they believe in reincarnation, the Catholic Weekly reports.
21 Nov 2007

ACU appoints Professor of Educational Leadership
Australian Catholic University has appointed Dr Michael Gaffney to the position of Professor of Educational Leadership.

21 Nov 2007

Gregorian chant favoured over modern music
Baroque melodies and Gregorian chants may soon be the songs of choice in Church as Pope Benedict considers returning to traditional sacred music.
21 Nov 2007

Violent protestors storm Mexico Cathedral
Violent political protestors in Mexico have stormed the city's Cathderal, kicking down the doors, scratching the pews and physically attacking those in side forcing the closure of the holy building.
21 Nov 2007

Caritas calls on parties to act on Indigenous health
Caritas Australia has urged Australia's political leaders to work to close the 17 year gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
21 Nov 2007

Feature - Geraldine Doogue's life grasp
The nuns gave me something to aspire to, a message that went beyond material and spiritual success. My mother gave me a similar message but my father's was slightly different. It seemed that he was more wary, more cautious of big forces that could be dangerous, but the overall impression was that of grasping life.
21 Nov 2007

Opinion - Respect for the altar
It is not uncommon for photographers to use the altar as a convenient place for organising their photographic equipment or to move altar candles because they might block the faces of the couple in the wedding video. One photographer even stood on the altar during the signing of the register to get a bird's eye view of proceedings! The sacred nature and symbolic significance of the altar is clearly spelt out in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. - Elizabeth Harrington / Liturgy Lines
21 Nov 2007

JPII film could outsell "Thriller"
A film of the late John Paul II has been released featuring speeches he made set to music ranging from Gregorian chants to trip-hip hop.
20 Nov 2007

Protein discovery may hold answer for obesity sufferers
Researchers at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital have discovered a protein that may help prevent weight loss in cancer patients and form the basis of a treatment for severe obesity.
20 Nov 2007

WYD Cross and Icon appear at Schoolies Week
The World Youth Day Cross and Icon are heading back to Queensland later this week, for Schoolies' Week on the Gold Coast.
20 Nov 2007

Jesuits' $56m record payout to abused Alaskans
110 Alaskan Eskimos abused by Jesuit missionaries over three decades will receive a record $A56 million payout.
20 Nov 2007

Pope urges Africa to defend family "at all costs"
Pope Benedict has urged Kenya's bishops to defend the institutions of marriage and family life "at all costs".
20 Nov 2007

Caritas responds immediately to Bangladesh cyclone
Caritas Australia has dedicated an initial allocation of $50,000 for assistance to those affected by Super Cyclone Sidr.
20 Nov 2007

Feature - Sometimes bishops say yes
In the court of public opinion, Catholicism usually looms as the great 'Doctor No' of bioethical debate. From abortion to birth control, from homosexuality to embryonic stem-cell research... Less well-known, however, is the recent emergence of another cluster of bioethical issues where the exact opposite is the case. - John L. Allen
20 Nov 2007

Opinion - The vocation of the theologian
Many people today study theology out of curiosity, or perhaps out of a desire to explore their own ideas of religion. This is fine, as far as it goes, but it is not the 'vocation' of the theologian. The one who is called by God to study theology seeks to place their increased understanding at the service of the Church. - Archbishop Denis Hart
20 Nov 2007

Spanish archbishop on trial for "bullying"
Granada Archbishop Francisco Martinez is facing trial in a Spanish criminal court after a priest he had sacked accused him of bullying, "moral assault" and slander.
19 Nov 2007

UK parishes no longer to host Amnesty
British Catholic parishes may no longer host church-based Amnesty International groups, UK Catholic bishops say in a letter sent to parishes.
19 Nov 2007

Inaction on China human rights abuses "reprehensible": Deakin
Outgoing Melbourne auxiliary Bishop Hilton Deakin has slammed inaction by Australians over extensive human rights abuses in China, appealing for a "sense of purpose" in standing up for freedom of belief.
19 Nov 2007

Church should pay for WYD, NSW Greens say
New South Wales Greens MP, Lee Rhiannon, has rejected an agreement to compensate the costs of hosting next year's Sydney World Youth Day gathering at Randwick saying that the Church will reap "massive benefits" and should foot the bill.
19 Nov 2007

US bishops call Catholics to "political responsibility"
In a statement characterised by commentators as a call for a "new Catholic action", US bishops say that the Church must form the consciences of Catholics to bring their convictions into public and political life.
19 Nov 2007

Ties with Israel worsening, Vatican diplomat admits
Days after a delegation of Austrian bishops were turned away from the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Holy See diplomat Archbishop Pietro Sambi has admitted that ties between the Vatican and Israel were better before there were diplomatic relations.
19 Nov 2007

Feature - Sharing stories of miscarriage
When people find out you have lost a baby through miscarriage they usually have one of two responses. The first is that they say nothing at all except for awkward small talk about every other aspect of our life with the exception of the startling obvious that there is no more baby. The second is that it becomes a window of opportunity for them to share their own miscarriage story.
19 Nov 2007

Opinion - Some 'dolebludgers' have good reason to avoid work
The current Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Joe Hockey, argues that “people of working age are much better off financially and psychologically if they find paid work.” For people whose only contact with poverty and income support reliance is television current affairs programs, this justification might sound reasonable. But for those on the front line it’s an oversimplified fiction. - Frank Quinlan / Catholic Social Services Australia
19 Nov 2007

Holy socks fund Portsmouth WYD pilgrims
A group of creative young pilgrims in the UK have come up with a novel way of raising money to help finance their trip to World Youth Day - Holy Socks.
16 Nov 2007

Indigenous artist's work for WYD merchandise
Organisers of World Youth Day 2008 are working with Aboriginal artist Richard Campbell, using a selection of his artwork on official WYD08 merchandise.
16 Nov 2007

Pope's second encyclical due by Christmas
Pope Benedict has finalised his second encyclical on the subject of Christian hope, and it is expected to be released in time for Christmas.
16 Nov 2007

Catholic schools welcome Labor's computers for schools
The Catholic education sector has welcomed Labor's Information and Communication Technology package for school students.
16 Nov 2007

Full speed ahead for Sydney pastoral plan
Parishes and church agencies in the Sydney Archdiocese are set to begin the process of implementing the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan, in 2008.
16 Nov 2007

$41m Govt Randwick handout thrills WYD organisers
World Youth Day organisers have expressed their gratitude for Government funds that have appeased Randwick trainers and will ensure World Youth Day takes place as planned.
16 Nov 2007

Feature - Artistic creation and Josemara Escriv
Alexander Zorin, eminent Russian intellectual and poet, and a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, reflects on the teachings of Opus Dei founder St Josemara Escriv. During the Soviet era, he discovered a typewritten Russian translation of The Way.
16 Nov 2007

Opinion - Don't boycott pro-choice Amnesty
Some religious schools have withdrawn from Amnesty because it has become pro-choice on abortion. But members of organisations such as Amnesty, which take a full spectrum approach to human rights, do not generally agree to every item in the organisations' policy statements. - Fr Frank Brennan SJ
16 Nov 2007

Racing chaplain urges compassion "like Archbishop Wilson"
Victoria's racing chaplain Fr Brendan Dillon has said racing people pray that Cardinal Pell and WYD officials will follow the lead of Archbishop Philip Wilson, who issued a statement of solidarity with the racing fraternity.
15 Nov 2007

Catholic Mission seeks help for Ethiopian clinics
The Australian arm of the Catholic Church's global mission aid agency has launched a Christmas appeal to provide for medicines and food for the children of the Ethiopian region of Awassa.
15 Nov 2007

Archbishop Wilson in ABC Election Special
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson, will take part in an election special being screened by ABC TV's Compass program on Sunday evening.
15 Nov 2007

Fiji's Archbishop in line for Australian Govt ban
Fiji's Archbishop Petereo Mataca may not be allowed to enter Australia due to his political ties to the country's interim military-led regime that led the coup earlier this year.
15 Nov 2007

Melbourne Cath Ed welcomes special needs help
A new summer school for teachers to assist students with special needs, such as behavioural or learning difficulties, has been praised by the Catholic Education Office, Melbourne.
15 Nov 2007

Resolution closer on papal authority over Orthodox bishops
A Commission working to heal the 1000-year-old rift between the Orthodox and Catholic Church has announced the Pope has primacy over all bishops - but the lines are still blurred as to what the Holy Father's authority entails.
15 Nov 2007

Feature - Caroline Chisholm's Christian motivation
There is no doubt that Caroline Chisholm is one of Australia's most significant pioneers. What is less well known is the explicitly Christian motivation for her work. Chisholm felt that she had been chosen and gifted by God for the specific purpose of caring for immigrants.
15 Nov 2007

Opinion - Neither John nor Kevin is Lord
The Christian vote can't be bought, not even with tax-free fees for parents of children at religious schools. The early Christians were adamant that Caesar the political ruler of the moment was not Lord. - Kylie Crabbe
15 Nov 2007

Call for submissions for women's prayer book
The Office for the Participation of Women is currently undertaking a project to produce a book containing prayers, reflections or meditations from Catholic women throughout Australia.
14 Nov 2007

Melbourne Archbishop meets youngest chief Rabbi
Archbishop Denis Hart was part of a Catholic group that met Israel's Chief Rabbi, Yona Metzger, during his recent visit to Melbourne.
14 Nov 2007

New book responds to Abbott social justice slur
A collection of 18 essays published this week counters Tony Abbott's recent dismissal of social justice as "socialism masquerading as Justice".
14 Nov 2007

Pope to make Lourdes pilgrimage
Pope Benedict XVI will be attending the 150th anniversary celebrations of Our Lady of Lourdes, although an exact date of his trip has not been set.
14 Nov 2007

Melbourne's Bishop Hilton Deakin retires
Pope Benedict has approved the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Hilton Deakin, who reached the designated retirement age of 75 yesterday.
14 Nov 2007

PM commits to "absolute sovereignty of parental choice"
Prime Minister John Howard said during his visit to a Brisbane Catholic school yesterday, that the Coalition is "passionately committed to the "absolute sovereignty of parental choice".
14 Nov 2007

Feature - Vietnamese priest sharing disadvantage of East Timorese
Fr Pierre Truong Van Phuc SJ, 38, says evangelisation is not a matter of teaching theology, but living the joys and sufferings of a people plagued by poverty, sickness and illiteracy. After reaching Dili in May 2006, he spent a month caring for people made homeless by widespread riots and clashes between armed street gangs.
14 Nov 2007

Opinion - Not play-acting, but praying
Sometimes a priest actually breaks the Eucharistic bread during the Consecration, at the words "he took the bread, blessed it, broke it...". This is incorrect. The Eucharistic Prayer is not directed toward the people. Rather, the priest leads the people in directing the prayer to God the Father. - Fr Tim Deeter, Liturgy Office, Archdiocese of Sydney
14 Nov 2007

Marist Brothers' headstones desecrated
A Catholic cemetery at Kilmore, north of Melbourne, has been hit by vandals, who have stolen 42 brass plaques from the graves of Marist Brothers who had taught in the town.
13 Nov 2007

Tasmanian Centacare program a national winner
A Centacare program helping the long-term unemployed return to work, has been named the Australian Adult Learning Program of the Year.
13 Nov 2007

Josephites leaving Kimberley spirituality centre
The Sisters of St Joseph are leaving Australia's most remote spirituality centre after 21 years, handing over to lay management.
13 Nov 2007

Pope to visit Washington, New York
A Papal visit of the east coast of the United States has been confirmed for next April.
13 Nov 2007

Chinese shrine off limits to pilgrims
A Catholic shrine in China has been saved from destruction, but police continue to refuse entry to pilgrims who are not locals.
13 Nov 2007

Catholic schools question Howard election promise
Welcoming the tax relief for families, the Catholic education sector is disappointed that yesterday's Coalition announcement did not include funds for resourcing schools.
13 Nov 2007

Feature - FCJ Sisters' milestone
"The foot of the cross will be our rallying point," was at the heart of the vision of Marie Madeleine Victoire de Bengy de Bonnault d'Houet when she founded the Society of the Sisters Faithful Companions of Jesus in 1820. It remains at the heart of the Sisters' ministry and service 125 years after coming to Australia.
13 Nov 2007

Opinion - The liturgy not a museum piece
Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio is a significant development in the history and law of the liturgy. But while it intends to heal division over the liturgy, there is the danger that it may sharpen divisions and allow the liturgy to be treated as a museum piece. A fixed, unchanging liturgy is symbolic of a fixed, unchanging theology. - Andrew Cameron-Mowat
13 Nov 2007

World Youth Day looking for actor to play Jesus
An open casting call to find Australia's Jim Caviezel is taking place next month, in a bid to find actors to play roles that include Mary and Pontius Pilate.
12 Nov 2007

Museum opens near Mary MacKillop birthplace
On Friday, the Victorian Josephite Province opened a museum to commemorate Blessed Mary MacKillop, just a few blocks from her birthplace in Fitzroy.
12 Nov 2007

Pope points to Martin of Tours as justice role model
Pope Benedict has said Catholics should follow the example of St Martin of Tours, who cut his cloak in two, and gave one half to a poor man.
12 Nov 2007

Maths first for Melb Catholic schools
Melbourne's CEO will spent about $22.5 million over the next five years to improve the level of mathematics teaching in its schools.
12 Nov 2007

Pope's appeal to Lebanon warring factions
Pope Benedict has warned that Lebanon's survival rests on resolving the political deadlock ahead of the country's looming presidential election.
12 Nov 2007

US Bishops warn Condie against Iran strike
The US Bishops have pleaded with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice consider military action in Iran only after every other attempt to resolve the situation is exhausted.
12 Nov 2007

Feature - God at your fingertips
The Gospel of Mark relates how, as Jesus laid his hands upon the ears of a man who was deaf and mute, he looked to heaven and spoke the Aramaic word "Ephpheta" meaning "Be Open". Ephpheta, the Catholic Centre for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People at Flemington in Sydney, is best known for co-ordinating Masses for the deaf.
12 Nov 2007

Opinion - The test of a good election policy
To determine whether a policy serves the common good, we ask what impact it will have on those who are poor and vulnerable. While many politicians offer individual satisfaction, people of faith long for leaders who consider the needs of all. - Fr Mark Raper SJ / Catholic Religious Australia
12 Nov 2007

Blair's Catholic conversion
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will soon be received into the Catholic Church.
9 Nov 2007

Presentation Sisters gathering in India
18 Presentation Sisters from around Australia are en-route to India for an International Presentation Association (IPA) meeting with the theme Cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor.

9 Nov 2007

Good Shepherd Sisters appeal for Indigenous scholarship support
Good Shepherd Sisters in partnership with the Mary MacKillop Foundation have launched an annual Indigenous Reconciliation Scholarship program in a bid to nurture women's leadership within the Aboriginal community.

9 Nov 2007

Parish priest supports bid to save Scott Rush
Fr Tim Harris of Corinda-Graceville Parish in Brisbane has joined parishioners Lee and Christine Rush, in a bid to save their drug smuggler son Scott and fellow parishioner Michael Czugaj from the firing squad in Indonesia.
9 Nov 2007

"Contant contact" with Scripture is pivotal: Pope
Pope Benedict has reasserted the importance of the Bible in every Christian's life saying sacred Scripture is not just a past text, rather the living word of God.
9 Nov 2007

Beijing Olympics Bible ban
The Chinese government has slapped a Bible ban during the 2008 Olympics listing the holy text as a 'prohibited object' for athletes.
9 Nov 2007

Feature - Opening hearts to God
Brisbane grandmother Linda Norris recently returned from a life-changing experience among HIV/AIDS sufferers and orphans in South Africa. She was there with World Hope Australia's Memory Book Project, which aimed "to enable parents living with HIV/AIDS to make a memory book a way of sharing their lives with their children".
9 Nov 2007

Opinion - The moment after tragedy
For the first days after a tragedy, there is almost nothing we can say that is helpful. Words such as "They are with God!" will eventually bring the consolation they contain, but in the first hours and days after a tragedy they don't carry their full power. This is not because they aren't true, but because, like a seed, they need time to take root and grow.
9 Nov 2007

NZ Christians and Jews boycott TV channel
The Wellington Council of Christians and Jews is urging their congregants to boycott free to air TV channel TV3 for one week starting today.
8 Nov 2007

Spiritual support offered to struggling farmers
South Australian churches are working alongside financial advisors to support farmers struggling to cope with the crippling drought.
8 Nov 2007

Office urges parents to learn about 'net'
Parents need to know something about email, chat rooms and the risks associated with the use of the internet to protect their children from sexual exploitation and bullying, Sydney's archdiocesan Marriage and Life Office has warned.
8 Nov 2007

Philippines to spend $49m on birth control
The Filipino government will spend $49 million on birth control initiatives despite the Church's staunch opposition.
8 Nov 2007

Vatican embryonic conference to address origins of life
A conference on embryonic research has been organised by the Vatican saying current bioethical debates regarding stem cells, cloning and assisted fertility often overlook what it considers the crucial origin of organisms.
8 Nov 2007

Sofia's "evil" killer jailed for life
A life sentence has been handed down to the killer of 8-year-old Sofia Rodriguez-Urrutia-Shu who was found strangled and sexually abused in a Perth shopping centre public toilet.
8 Nov 2007

Feature - Friends of Romania
From 1948 to 1989 under the Communists, Catholic churches and hospitals had been closed and nuns and priests had been forced to flee. After the Revolution, the Pope asked religious orders to move back into the country to help the people re-establish their Catholic faith and structures. The FCJ Sisters' three communities in Romania include Australian Sr Margaret Kelly.
8 Nov 2007

Opinion - Government role is to enable, not to enforce
Nowhere has paternalism failed more spectacularly in Australia than in indigenous affairs. The system of reserves and missions often took control away from individuals, in favour of managers. When it ended, a disempowered population was set up for failure. Now political leaders want to reestablish a regime of externally imposed supervision. - Frank Quinlan / Catholic Social Services Australia
8 Nov 2007

$13m crucifix church to be built
A $13milllion crucifix shaped church will be built in California much to the delight of the local Catholic community.
7 Nov 2007

NSW parliament group support E.Timor Teachers College
The Asia-Pacific Friendship Group of the NSW Parliament, which is supporting the work of the Marist Brothers Teachers' Training College in Bacau, East Timor, will be addressed tonight by the College's Br Mark Paul.

7 Nov 2007

Harvard Law Professor Picked for Vatican Post
Harvard University law professor, anti-abortion scholar and opponent of gay marriage Mary Ann Glendon has been picked as the new US ambassador to the Vatican.
7 Nov 2007

Canadian Eucharist Congress could draw Pope
A Papal visit could be on the card for Canada as the country's first Eucharistic Congress since 1910 is set to take place next year.
7 Nov 2007

Vinnies welcomes Labor commitment to homeless
St Vincent de Paul Society National CEO, Dr John Falzon welcomed Labor's commitment yesterday to half the number of people turned away from homelessness services across Australia within five years.
7 Nov 2007

Pope welcomes Saudi King for historic meeting
Pope Benedict has welcomed Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to the Vatican - an historic first audience between the head of the Church and a Saudi monarch.
7 Nov 2007

Feature - Bali 9 lawyer says justice isn't served by killing offenders
There's nothing ambiguous about Melbourne lawyer Julian McMahon's stance on the death penalty. "In my opinion, state sanctioned killing demeans a community, destroys respect for human life generally, and is cancerous of both decency and respect within a community", says Julian. "It's really planned vengeance dressed up as justice."
7 Nov 2007

Opinion - Benedict XVI must lead the 'ecological conversion'
There was much talk of Pope Benedict XVI devoting his second encyclical to the importance of man's right relation with the natural world and to setting out a "theology of creation". Recent reports suggest that the next papal encyclical is about salvation through hope, but rumours persist that Benedict XVI will soon release a major document on environmental matters. - Mark Dowd
7 Nov 2007

WYD Cross brings light rain to Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese
While the rain didn't last long it was warmly welcomed by the residents of the drought affected area.

6 Nov 2007

Pope celebrates Mass for deceased clergy
Pope Benedict has celebrated Mass for the souls of the Cardinals and Bishops who have died this year.
6 Nov 2007

Catholic Students oppose human cloning Bill
The Australian Catholic Students Association (ACSA), has opposed a push by the South Australian Parliament to debate a bill for Human Cloning.
6 Nov 2007

Ex-Bishop's presidential campaign divides Paraguayan Catholics
A former Catholic bishop who swapped his religious vocation for a political career has polarised the Church, with some backing him as a force for change and others saying he violated age-old doctrine.
6 Nov 2007

Immigrants to replace Australia's Anglo-Celtic Catholic core
In a major address to last week's migrant chaplains' conference in, RMIT Intercultural Studies Professor Des Cahill suggested that the future of Australian Catholicism may lie more with Catholic immigrants and their descendents than its Anglo-Celtic core.
6 Nov 2007

Caritas Election challenge on Millenium Development Goals
Caritas Australia CEO Jack de Groot has said the major political parties have failed to live up to the Australian Government's commitment in 2000 to realise the Millennium Development Goals (MDG's) to halve extreme poverty by 2015.

6 Nov 2007

Feature - Paula cornered the catechist recruitment market
Paula Cowling retired from the ministry of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in Parramatta, after 31 years. Catechist Yvonne Malouf said it was Paula's "knack of making each of us feel special" that had made the catechists "a happy band". Yvonne said it was a tribute to Paula's gentle guidance that she had been able to recruit and keep her catechists for many years.
6 Nov 2007

Opinion - Don't write off the losers
In human relationships, when one person believes they are of greater value than their partner either through intellect, finances or gender, then one person will be damaged and be unable to fulfil the potential their life may hold. If we serve rather than dominate, assist growth and not annihilate, give and not thrash, and nurture and not flog, our community will flourish and prosper. - Pauline Connelly
6 Nov 2007

Priest smashes "offensive" Evangelist's fresco
A French priest who destroyed a fresco in his village chapel on the grounds it depicted St Luke as an ox with testicles is facing two-years behind bars and massive fine.
5 Nov 2007

New editor for Brisbane Catholic paper
Archbishop John Bathersby has approved the appointment of Catholic Leader journalist Peter Bugden as the paper's new editor.
5 Nov 2007

ACU announces new Chair in study of Islam
Australian Catholic University has appointed Dr Ismail Albayrak to its inaugural Chair in the Study of Islam and Muslim-Catholic Relations.
5 Nov 2007

Petition fires Bishop's support for priestly celibacy
A request to Parramatta's Bishop Kevin Manning to sign a petition in favour of married clergy has backfired, with the Bishop issuing a statement stressing that the Church has been "constant in reaffirming the importance of clerical celibacy".

5 Nov 2007

Pope's call for immigrants' rights
Pope Benedict called for the respect of immigrants rights in Italy yesterday after the government began the expulsion of people they deemed a "threat to public safety."
5 Nov 2007

Pell celebrates Mass in Latin
Cardinal George Pell is the first Sydney Archbishop in 40 years to celebrate Mass in Latin according to the 1962 Roman Missal.
5 Nov 2007

Feature - Humbled by those who have nothing
"Three months in Vietnam as a volunteer English teacher to sisters from Our Lady of the Missions (RNDMs) was the first time I had been confronted by extreme poverty and the experience will stay with me," says South Australian journalist Elizabeth Macintosh. "While the sisters showed me that humanity, humour and love are ever present even where money is not, it seems little consolation to families who have nothing."
5 Nov 2007

Opinion - Ill-gotten wealth in our midst
It has been estimated that prices of consumer goods rose by up to 8% as a result of the cartel between AMCOR and VISY, which overcharged the public $700 million over five years. Richard Pratt is widely known as a generous person, but is reported to donate just $10 million a year to charities. Some organisations pay little attention to ethics, the starting point for reform is often somebody inside asking a question. - Edmund Rice Business Ethics Initiative
5 Nov 2007

Pope gets a tractor
Italy's Fiat Motor company has given Pope Benedict an unusual and rather unique gift - a tractor.
2 Nov 2007

Holiness is the task of all: Pope
Pope Benedict has called on all Christians to strive for holiness on the Feast of All Saints.
2 Nov 2007

Tim Costello expresses preference for Labor
Australian Christians are being urged to vote Labor by the brother of the future leader of the Liberal party - Tim Costello.
2 Nov 2007

Hobart Archbishop urges Upper House to reject cloning bill
Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle has urged Tasmanian Legislative Councillors to reject moves to allow the creation of human embryos for experimentation and destruction because other more ethical and scientifically proven methods of stem cell research already exist.
2 Nov 2007

Parish offers to fly drug Scott Rush's parents to Bali
A Brisbane parish has offered to fly the parents of a convicted Australian drug mule on death row to Bali so they can be with their son.
2 Nov 2007

Commission releases draft Missal translation
The International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), yesterday sent to the Bishops of its 11 member Conferences, its draft translation of the Roman Missal that was first published in Latin in 2002.
2 Nov 2007

Feature - World Youth Day 1997 shaped Maryanne's life
When Maryanne Hacker attended World Youth Day in Paris in 1997, she realised that she was not the only young person in the church! While Paris has its own attractions, the experience of being one of 1.2 million young people gathered in the name of church has had a profound and lasting impact. Fast forward to 2007: Maryanne is 26, married to Andrew, and mother of ten month old Dominic.
2 Nov 2007

Opinion - Keeping a safe distance from religion
Our secular age is schizophrenic, or better, deeply cross-pressured. People are not conscious of a need for religion, yet they are moved to know that there are dedicated believers, like Mother Teresa. - James McEvoy. Catholic Theological College, Adelaide
2 Nov 2007

Pope's landmark meetings with Saudi King, Dalai Lama
Pope Benedict will meet with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah next Tuesday, a landmark first encounter.
32 Nov 2007

Green tick for Adelaide Archdiocese building
The Archdiocese of Adelaide's 'VS1' building in the city's Victoria Square is the first building in the country to be awarded the top six star green rating.
32 Nov 2007

Bunbury Cathedral plans released
Plans have been unveiled for the Cathedral to replace the former building that was demolished after being extensively damaged by a tornado that ripped through Bunbury on 16 May 2005.
32 Nov 2007

Priest says Sudanese fears baseless
Racially based fears of the Sudanese community are unwarranted and unhelpful, according to the local parish priest in the Melbourne suburb that is home to Australia's largest concentration of Sudanese refugees.
32 Nov 2007

Dialogue with Muslims not possible: Vatican
The Vatican is unsure "theological dialogue" is possible with Muslims following a letter signed by 138 Islamic scholars calling for shared religious values.


32 Nov 2007

Court hears Catholic schoolboys filmed sex attack
Two Catholic School boys faced court yesterday accused of sexually assaulting a young teenage girl and filming the attack on a mobile phone.
32 Nov 2007

Opinion - Heaven is other people: The feast of All Saints
Jean-Paul Sartre thought that 'hell is other people'. All Saints' Day, though, reminds us of another truth-that heaven is other people. For this feast is, among other things, a celebration of heaven. It's not so much a celebration of heaven as a place, but rather of heaven as the people we find there. - Robin Koning SJ
32 Nov 2007

Feature - Many hands make light work of the WYD Cross
The Journey of the Cross and Icon (JCI) Team awoke to the unfamiliar sound of rain on Sunday morning in Maryborough. We were soon on the road to St Arnaud, gathering for an Ecumenical walk beginning at the Anglican Church and processing down to the grounds of the Catholic Church. It was great to see different representatives of a range of Christian Churches sharing the weight of the Cross together
32 Nov 2007