Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources
 

NEWS ARCHIVE FOR DECEMBER 2007

   
Cooking nun dreams up cakes in sleep
A nun, who had been dubbed Poland's best cook and sold more than 850,000 recipe books, has just released a DVD sharing her cooking tips.
21 Dec 2007

Council recognises Parramatta schools director
The Australian Council for Educational Leaders has awarded its prestigious Presidential Citation to Parramatta Diocese Schools Director Greg Whitby.
21 Dec 2007

Vinnies 'Santas' busy building wheels for disabled kids
Vinnies 'Santa' volunteers will be putting their mechanical skills to good use by building wheelchairs for landmine victims today at the Mary MacKillop Outreach workshop in Sydney.
21 Dec 2007

Archbishop says saving Bali 9 requires consistent opposition to death penalty
Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby has said that sparing the Bali 9 drug runners on death row will only occur if Australia's opposition to the death penalty is consistent.
21 Dec 2007

Pope says Christmas without Christ is 'empty'
In a meditation during the final days of Advent, Pope Benedict has said that celebrating Christmas without mentioning of the birth of Christ is like having an "empty holiday".
21 Dec 2007

Pell says Virgin Birth no legend
Sydney's Cardinal George Pell has vehemently disagreed with the worldwide Anglican head, who has said Christians don't need to believe Christ was born of a virgin.
21 Dec 2007

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers
Church Resources would like to thank you for your support during 2007, and advise that CathNews will be taking a break. We will resume on Monday 7 January with a review of the best stories of the past year. Our office will also open on 7 January. However customer sales and service representatives in our Telecommunications Department will be available to answer urgent queries from Wednesday 2 January.
21 Dec 2007

Feature - The true meaning of A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's been 42 years since A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on TV. After all this time, it's striking how well the show has aged. While it gently scolds America for its exploitation of the season, it really centres on the education of its main character. By letting commercialism spoil his Christmas, Charlie Brown becomes the prototypical "Scrooge in reverse."
21 Dec 2007

Opinion - Lend a hand to make Christmas Mass special
As individuals and as communities, we can make Christmas Masses something special and not just 'same old, same old'? Lend a hand, arrive early, be hospitable... And don't forget that every parishioner at Christmas Masses can seize this once-a-year chance to evangelise simply through their joyful celebration of Christmas. - Elizabeth Harrington
21 Dec 2007

Australia Post begins selling WYD products
Australia Post joins World Youth Day as an official licensee with a range of products.
20 Dec 2007

Pell awards grant to dental pulp cell researchers
Cardinal George Pell has announced the winner of the Sydney Archdiocese $100,000 grant to support adult stem cell research.
20 Dec 2007

Holocaust questions derail Pius XII beatification bid
The cause for beatification of Pope Pius XII has been sidetracked, according to a Roman news agency report.
20 Dec 2007

Bishop says opposition to death penalty must be total
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council will today release a new paper on the death penalty, in the Brisbane parish of Bali 9 death row inmate Scott Rush.
20 Dec 2007

Catholic Holy Land leader put peace onus on Israel
The head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land has rejected the idea of a religious State saying it would exclude other religions and that peace depends on
Israel's recognition that Palestinians are equal.
20 Dec 2007

Catholic Social Services plea to leaders to protect children
Catholic Social Services Australia has appealed to the new government to make child protection a priority as both state and federal leaders come together for the first time since the election.
20 Dec 2007

Feature - From murder mysteries to the mystery of faith
One of the most unlikely women to have plotted mysterious murders was writer Dorothy Leigh Sayers, Christian apologist, dramatist and translator of Dante. "The death of the detective novelist," said her friend John Stewart, "was the birth of the Christian apologist." With the financial security the Wimsey stories brought her, she began the work she liked best.
20 Dec 2007

Opinion - Transparency, independence and good decisions go together
The Reserve Bank has announced that it will publish the minutes of its monthly Board meetings. It is a further step towards ensuring that the decisions made by the Board are made on the basis of evidence and principle rather than interest and influence. This greater transparency will make it more difficult for the Government to influence the Bank's decisions.
20 Dec 2007

Nativity scene in foyer of State Parliament House
The Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty has set up a Christmas nativity scene in the foyer of the NSW Parliament House.
19 Dec 2007

ABC to televise Midnight Mass from St Peter's
Pope Benedict's celebration of Midnight Mass will once again be beamed into homes, hospitals and nursing homes across Australia via an ABC telecast on Christmas Day.
19 Dec 2007

Hundreds join Brazilian Bishop's hunger strike for threatened river
Hundreds of protestors have come out in force to support a Brazilian Bishop's hunger strike to stop the environmentally destructive diversion of the country's fourth largest river.
19 Dec 2007

Pell blasts Betta Christmas ad as "inappropriate"
Cardinal George Pell has branded a TV advertisement depicting baby Jesus hurling back gifts to the wise men as "inappropriate".
19 Dec 2007

Church leaders distressed by Palestinian suffering
Retired Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Francis Carroll and other Australian church leaders were concerned by the suffering of Palestinians that they witnessed during their recent visit to Israel-Palestine.
19 Dec 2007

Vatican says al-Qaeda fears inter-religious talks
The Vatican has dismissed condemnation by al Qaeda saying the militant group is "worried" by the historic meeting between the Pope and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah.
19 Dec 2007

Feature - Long-lasting friendship with the mentally disabled
Jean Vanier is the French-Canadian former naval officer and academic who founded L'Arche, the worldwide organisation of small, homely communities where men and women with a learning disability live alongside -- he would rather say "in communion with" -- their carers. In an age where everyone is entitled to a sexual relationship and where disabled people, when not aborted before birth, are often vulnerable to the well-meaning abuse of those who care for them, Vanier's is a prophetic voice.
19 Dec 2007

Opinion - Mary travels through a damaged land
As she moved through the Palestinian countryside, Mary would have seen a land reeling under the impact of a growing population and over-grazing by flocks of sheep and goat. She would have also witnessed the first century version of 'agribusiness' - wealthy people buying up large tracts of land, to grow cash crops (wine, olives, grain), and so forcing the peasants into poverty. - Br Moy Hitchen CFC
19 Dec 2007

Christmas campaign welcomes Brisbane lapsed Catholics
Brisbane Archdiocese has launched its Come and Celebrate Christmas campaign in an attempt to reach the more than 500,000 people within the archdiocese who identify as Catholics but do not have close contact with the Church.
18 Dec 2007

ACU expands early childhood education to regional Vic
The Australian Catholic University will offer new early childhood education specialisation its Aquinas Campus in Ballarat from next year.
18 Dec 2007

Another priest attacked in Turkey anti-Christian violence
An Italian priest who has lived in Turkey for 27 years is the latest victim in a string of violent attacks on clergy.
18 Dec 2007

Sydney official says gay unions undermine society
The Sydney Archdiocesan Marriage and Family Office has said proposed legislation permitting same-sex civil unions in the ACT should cause us to reflect on the "social importance" of heterosexual marriage.
18 Dec 2007

Pope's Holy Land visit hopes dashed
The Vatican spokesman has said Pope Benedict will not visit the Holy Land next year after a Vatican meeting with Israel failed to resolve outstanding issues.
18 Dec 2007

Marist Brother plans surrender to face abuse allegations
An elderly Marist Brother will co-operate and surrender to police in Canberra in response to allegations of child abuse spanning three decades.
18 Dec 2007

Feature - Renowned Dominican Schillebeeckx still working at 93
Holland's towering Dominican theologian, Fr. Edward Schillebeeckx, is with us yet, though at 93 his physical presence has diminished even as his influence flourishes. This man's theological ideas, expressed in some 400 books and articles, published in 14 languages, have influenced several generations of Catholic thinkers.
18 Dec 2007

Opinion - Christ told us to evangelise
Although this week's Doctrinal Note on some Aspects of Evangelisation from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith claims that many people believe that to evangelise is to limit the freedom of others, this is, as Gerald O'Collins has noted, rather doubtful. Rather than an imposition on other people, or an intolerance of other beliefs, the Note argues that every person has a right to hear the Gospel, just as they have a right to hear the truth on any topic. - Martin Teulan, National Director, Catholic Mission
18 Dec 2007

Zefirelli offers to make a "happier" Pope
Pope Benedict has been offered a make-over by famous Italian film and opera director to help him portray a "happy image"
17 Dec 2007

WYD Sydney receives Vatican thumbs up
Operational plans for World Youth Day Sydney 2008 have been approved by the Vatican body that oversees preparations.
17 Dec 2007

Melbourne Anglicans support abortion decriminalisation
The Catholic Church is absorbing news that the Melbourne Anglican diocese has made a submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission supporting the decriminalisation of abortion.
17 Dec 2007

Vatican asserts Catholic right to make conversions
In the face of increasing hostility in Russia and elsewhere, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has defended the right and duty of Catholics to undertake evangelisation intended to convert people of other faiths.
17 Dec 2007

Bishops listen to reasons for Mass exodus
Australia's Catholic Bishops have discussed the results of a survey that reveals many Catholics have stopped attending Mass because they feel the Church is irrelevant to their lives.
17 Dec 2007

Vinnies says Howard legacy will spoil Christmas for poor
St Vincent de Paul National CEO John Falzon has said the previous government's welfare to work arrangements will spoil Christmas for many single mums, people with disabilities and unemployed people.
17 Dec 2007

Feature - Love and politics in that order
The gift of Vinnies founder Frederic Ozanam was to maintain a single-minded focus without allowing the context within which he worked to be blurred. As the title of hihs new biography, Love and Politics, indicates he kept in sharp focus the faces of the poor. Faces make a claim on compassion and on practical love. He saw this practical love, and the Christian faith that motivated it, as central to the group he founded.
17 Dec 2007

Opinion - The trouble with welfare reform miracles
There are no miracles in welfare to work policy. If Australians want their government to move single parents off welfare and reduce child poverty at the same time then it's going to cost money. - Frank Quinlan, Catholic Social Services Australia
17 Dec 2007

Judge throws 'The Book' at illegally parking priest
A priest who can't afford to pay his parking fine has been ordered to recite psalms every day for three months as "punishment" for his traffic offence.
14 Dec 2007

Catholic health chief appointed AMA secretary-general
The Catholic health system is in "pretty good shape", according to Francis Sullivan, who, after 14 years as head of Catholic Health Australia, will take up a five-year contract as secretary-general of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in February.

14 Dec 2007

Study says Catholic children stay at home longer
Catholic kids are staying at home longer than those who attended public and independent schools, prefering to focus on saving money and education, a new study has found.
14 Dec 2007

Edmund Rice Centre pleads for low-lying Pacific Islanders
Australia must consider the needs of low-lying Pacific Island nations who are under threat rather than just focus on the science of climate change, the Edmund Rice Centre says.
14 Dec 2007

Pope stresses moral education for young people
Pope Benedict has appealed to all people in power to replace violence with dialogue in an effort to restore hope.
14 Dec 2007

Church was 'unware' of WYD payout
The Church has distanced itself from the $41 million payout to the racing industry for World Youth Day.
14 Dec 2007

Feature - Christmas in a barrel
In Jamaica the children left behind by emigrants are called "Barrel Children." Regularly, throughout the year they receive barrels of food and clothing from absent parents around the world. These barrels are symbols of love, affection and care, an effort to bridge gaps of loss and loneliness. - Fr Bobby Gilmore
14 Dec 2007

Opinion - What determines a holy day?
Commemorations such as Father's Day, World AIDS Day and Refugee Week are not found in any liturgical calendars. While these special days or causes should certainly find a place in our prayers, they do not determine the character of the celebration as official feasts and seasons do. The simplest method for liturgy planners to find out the official status of such observances is to refer to the Ordo. - Elizabeth Harrington, The Liturgical Commission (Archdiocese of Brisbane)
14 Dec 2007

Oldest Chinese priest dies at 110
The world's oldest Chinese priest has died only a few week shy of his 111th birthday.
13 Dec 2007

Group says revenge no way to deal with wrongdoers
Tasmania's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has said restorative justice is a more appropriate way of dealing with inappropriate behaviour than sanctions based on retribution.
13 Dec 2007

Canberra bishop highlights China human rights violations
Bishop Pat Power has said that in the lead-up to next year's Beijing Olympics, China must appreciate that its human rights violations are being noticed overseas.
13 Dec 2007

Brazil Bishop continues hunger strike for threatened river
A Brazilian Bishop who has been on a hunger strike for over three weeks has continued his protest despite a court ruling halting construction or the river diversion.
13 Dec 2007

Portuguese priest 'ruined' by McCanns
The Portuguese priest who gave solace to the McCann family after the 'disappearance' of their daughter Madeleine has stripped his church of all traces of the girl.
13 Dec 2007

Police to protect Pope under tough new laws
Special police powers similar to those during the APEC summit will be imposed in Sydney to protect Pope Benedict during his visit for World Youth Day.
13 Dec 2007

Feature - Story behind the song 'Do You Hear What I Hear?'
Many people mistakenly assume this Christmas classic has been around for years and that it is of European origin. But it was written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, as a powerful plea for peace by a man who had experienced the horrors of war.
13 Dec 2007

Opinion - How to find God in ordinary human hope
Pope Benedict's encyclical Spe Salvi assumes the fragmentation of hope in today's world will not be addressed simply by the secular world adding God to its limited hopes. Instead it involves the nurturing of a Christian imagination that overcomes the breach between divine and human. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ
13 Dec 2007

Gift vouchers to help young people attend WYD
World Youth Day organisers are providing parents, grandparents, teachers and friends with the opportunity to make a Christmas contribution to their young relatives or friends aspirations to attend next July's event.
12 Dec 2007

YCW surveying 10,000 young people
The Young Christian Workers have launched a web survey designed to provide input into the organisation of a major youth forum at next year's World Youth Day.
12 Dec 2007

Death Penalty paper for launch at Scott Rush parish
A discussion paper titled Confronting the Death Penalty: People, politics and principle will be launched next week in the parish of the parents of Bali 9 death row inmate Scott Rush.
12 Dec 2007

Congregation says prayer will help solve clergy problems
Acknowledging problems within the ranks of the clergy, the Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy has said that prayer may not be the only solution, but it is the best starting point.
12 Dec 2007

Israel-Vatican relations hit rocky ground
Officials are pessimistic about the outcome of today's meeting to finalise legal and financial status of the Church in Israel.
12 Dec 2007

Pope says protecting family fosters world peace
Pope Benedict has said that attacking the institution of the family harms the entire community, as the family is the foundation for society.
12 Dec 2007

Feature - The really big issue
Adelaide resident David Norman and soccer superstar David Beckham have a lot more in common than a first name and a "very sharp haircut". Beckham is one of the many celebrities worldwide who have championed innovative British street magazine The Big Issue.
12 Dec 2007

Opinion - We don't need gore to show the horror of abortion
Gruesome photographs of aborted foetuses are often distorted for greater impact. These images undoubtedly tell stories about the gruesome reality of abortion, but these pictures and associated websites also tell another story - about the people who promulgate them. - Joanna Jepson
12 Dec 2007

St Michael back on top
St Michael the Archangel has been restored to his preeminent position overlooking the old Catholic section of Sydney's Rookwood cemetery after being struck by lightning 12 years ago.
11 Dec 2007

Leaders winding up Palestine-Israel interfaith visit
Archbishop Francis Carroll is part of a high level delegation of leaders from the National Council of Churches in Australia nearing the end of a nine-day visit to Palestine and Israel.
11 Dec 2007

Bishop says sterilisation won't end poverty
An Argentinian Bishop has said "greater equality and social justice" - not sterilisation programs - will counter the poverty attributed to overpopulation.
11 Dec 2007

Jakarta authorities forbid Mass at suburban church
A parish priest in the western outskirts of Jakarta has been prevented from celebrating mass by Indonesian authorities who have bowed to pressure from Muslim extremists agitating for the closure of his church.
11 Dec 2007

Christian Brothers hand education to new body
The Christian Brothers have taken a further step in making social justice the primary focus of their mission, with the handing of formal responsibility for their education mission to Edmund Rice Education Australia.
11 Dec 2007

Christian unity being built "brick by brick"
Following a rocky start, last week's positive meeting between the Pope and the ecumenical head of the Russian Orthodox Church has produced "great feelings of hope".
11 Dec 2007

Feature - In Sudan 'you must work with a broken heart'
Melbourne Sister of Mercy Cathy Solano has just completed two years as Education Co-ordinator for the Diocese of El Obeid in central Sudan. The area has been traumatised by a 21-year civil war, and she experienced many black periods of doubt, but overwhelmingly it was "an anger fuelled by hope".
11 Dec 2007

Opinion - Dialogue does not rely on doctrinal agreement
In their letter A Common Word, the Muslim leaders asked all readers to recognise that Christianity and Islam are both based on the foundation of love of God and love of neighbour. Dialogue between different religions is not about coming to an agreement on doctrinal issues. The first step in dialogue is always respect. And respect can lead to love.
11 Dec 2007

Vatican discovers rare Michelangelo sketch
A rare sketch of St Peter's Basilica drawn by Michelangelo has been discovered by the Vatican.
10 Dec 2007

Life Office director says children are gift, not project
Sydney Archdiocese Life Office director Dr Brigid McKenna, has rejected claims that new sperm and egg donor legislation in NSW will pose a "huge incursion" on privacy.
10 Dec 2007

Dalai Lama "sorry" he didn't meet Benedict
The Dalai Lama has expressed his disappointment at not having met the Pope during his ten day visit of Italy.
10 Dec 2007

Pope says Christmas consumerism exploits children
Pope Benedict has said children and adolescents are being deceived by "false models of happiness" pushed by adults who "lead them down the dead-end streets of consumerism".
10 Dec 2007

Lourdes 150th begins on Feast of Immaculate Conception
Celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes began on Saturday with 20,000 faithful attending, and over 400 priests presiding.
10 Dec 2007

Columban ecologist praises Rudd Kyoto ratification
Irish ecologist Fr Sean McDonagh has written from the UN climate change meeting in Bali that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's signing of the Kyoto protocol was an early highlight of the meeting.
10 Dec 2007

Feature - Woman of art
Leopoldine Mimovich arrived in Australia in 1949. The young sculptor/artist embarked on a new life away from war-torn Europe in suburban Yarraville, after uncomfortable first weeks at Bonegilla Migrant Camp in north-east Victoria. While working in a factory, she spent her free time pursuing her passion of carving religious sculptures.
9 Dec 2007

Opinion - Ecumenists must manage expectations
Once again this week, the Russian Orthodox Church said it's disrespectful for Catholics to set up shop in its territory. But close by in Belarus, Catholics and Orthodox forged an unprecedented close partnership, in HIV/AIDS strategy. Whatever a unified Christian church does, it's doing it right now. "Full, visible communion" is unrealistic. - John L. Allen
9 Dec 2007

New Merc Popemobile in 'Vatican mystic white"
A brand new Mercedes Popemobile painted in "Vatican mystic white" has been unveiled minus bullet proof glass.
7 Dec 2007

Call for volunteers for Melb WYD event
More than 600 volunteers are needed to take part in the program - TEAM DID08 - to assist in the Commissioning Mass at Telstra Dome and the mass transport movement of over 50,000 pilgrims to World Youth Day Sydney.
7 Dec 2007

Bishop says don't sign marriage docs on altar
Bishop Kevin Manning of Parramatta has reminded engaged couples that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal forbids the signing of marriage documentation on the altar.
7 Dec 2007

Milan Cardinal meets Dalai Lama
Italian media are reporting a meeting yesterday between Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan and the Dalai Lama.
7 Dec 2007

Pope urges knowledge of Eastern Christianity
Pope Benedict has said Christian unity can be achieved through knowledge of Eastern Christianity and support from their churches.
7 Dec 2007

Religious orders ask Rudd to make Australia more just
An appeal by Australia's Catholic Religious has sought the ear of newly elected Prime Minster Kevin Rudd, to lead the nation into more just relationships that help Australians to become "better people".
7 Dec 2007

Feature - Christmas on Kadavu
Kadavu is one of the most sought after tourist destinations of Fiji. Catholic communities live scattered among other denominations. They have no resident priest. At Christmas and Easter, a priest will come from Suva. The people look forward to their visits. There are usually plenty of confessions, marriages, Eucharistic and sacramental instructions squeezed into these short visits.
7 Dec 2007

Opinion - Unwrap Christ this Christmas
When people wish you a Merry Christmas, from those serving us in the stores, television presenters and radio journalists, through to work and personal colleagues, what do they really mean? What seems to have happened is Christ has been so deeply wrapped in the tinsel of Christmas He can often remain the unwrapped gift in the room. - Pauline Connelly
7 Dec 2007

Church uses comics in anti-abuse campaign
New York Archdiocese is taking an innovative approach to the problem of sex abuse, using comic and colouring books to warn children about sexual predators.
6 Dec 2007

Bishops discuss married priests petition
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Philip Wilson has responded to a petition calling for married priests.
6 Dec 2007

50,000 pilgrims to be blessed in Melbourne's Telstra Dome
Melbourne's Telstra Dome has been announced as the venue for the Commissioning Mass for an expected 50,000 pilgrims who will attend Days in the Dioceses on 11 July next year.
6 Dec 2007

"Barbarian" Cuban cops raid church
A Cuban priest has described police as "barbarians" after his church was raided by undercover police who kicked down the doors, beat parishioners and used pepper spray on a group of dissidents.
6 Dec 2007

Church targets Christmas movie-goers
The Catholic Church in Australia will be focused on movie-goers in this Advent and Christmas season by, with today's debut of its first ever cinema advertising campaign.
6 Dec 2007

Special plenary indulgence for Lourdes pilgrims
A special plenary indulgence has been authorised by Pope Benedict to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary's appearance to St Bernadette at Lourdes.
6 Dec 2007

Feature - New Australian prime minister has Catholic roots, Christian policies
When his father died in 1969, Rudd was the only child living at home. His older brother was away in the army, his sister was a novice at a Mercy sisters' convent, and his 14-year-old brother was boarding at the Marist College Ashgrove in suburban Brisbane. With the family evicted from their farm, Rudd recalled that he and his mother spent a night in their car before being taken in by other family members. The eviction, said Rudd, aroused "my earliest flickering of a sense of justice and injustice".
6 Dec 2007

Opinion - Dressing with dignity
The clothes of Versace, the music videos of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, and sexualised childhood toys like Bratz have created an atmosphere where any woman who covers up anything is deemed a frump. Colleen Hammond, a celebrated model and TV presenter gave it all up to become a Catholic mother, author and campaigner for feminine clothing.
6 Dec 2007

Holy phone!
A company in Italy is offering images of holy cards send to its customers' mobile phones.
5 Dec 2007

Heritage award for Parramatta presbytery
Murphy House, the restored presbytery that now serves as a diocesan centre within Parramatta's St Patrick's Cathedral precinct, was last month awarded the local council's Public Heritage Award.
5 Dec 2007

Archbishop urges new 'spirituality of Sunday'
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Canberra-Goulburn has said that a "deeply restless culture" requires a "new spirituality of the Lord's Day".
5 Dec 2007

Vatican delegation at climate change conference
The Vatican's delegation to this week's United Nations climate change conference is largely composed of Church officials and experts from East Asia.
5 Dec 2007

Holy See optimistic after Annapolis talks
The head of the Holy See's delegation to last week's Annapolis middle east peace conference said there remains a 'glimmer of hope' for peace between the Palestinians and Israel.
5 Dec 2007

Vatican says Pope did not slam UN
Vatican Press Office director Fr Federico Lombardi says inaccurate media reports accusing Pope Benedict of criticising the United Nations are creating unjustified tensions.
5 Dec 2007

Feature - School farewells large family of individuals
The Moloney children have been continually enrolled at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School at Beresford (Maitland-Newcastle Diocese), since 1979, when Michelle, 37, first attended the school. The community farewells the family at the end of term when Brydie, 11, completes Year 6 to become the last Moloney to attend the school.
5 Dec 2007

Opinion - Advent is not ...
Advent is not Christmas. It is only from 17 December that the readings and prayers start to refer directly to the birth of Christ. Before this, we should not even think about singing Christmas carols at Mass or putting up the nativity scene in the church. But not is Advent Lent. In the past, Advent took on penitential characteristics, but the liturgical documents describe it as a time of 'devout and joyful expectation'. - Elizabeth Harrington, The Liturgical Commission
5 Dec 2007

Baby Jesus a retail hit
Nativity scenes are selling in record numbers across Australia, with particular appeal to thirtysomething Christmas shoppers.
4 Dec 2007

National Business Achievement Award for Sydney CEO
Sydney's Catholic Education Office has been recognised as a leader in the advancement of women in the workforce.
4 Dec 2007

Brisbane launches Life Centre
Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane recently launched the John Paul II Centre for Family and Life in Ashgrove.
4 Dec 2007

Cardinal Murphy O'Connor's call to 'come home for Christmas'
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor in London has said a "warm welcome awaits" those who wish to return to the Church this Christmas.
4 Dec 2007

China appoints bishop backed by Holy See
A new Chinese Bishop who has publicly declared his loyalty to the Vatican, will be ordained in Guangzhou today.
4 Dec 2007

Pope and NGOs share passion for human dignity
Pope Benedict has said the Holy See and Catholic nongovernmental organisations share the same passion to promote human dignity.
4 Dec 2007

Feature - Preparing for a life in the service of others
Andrew Bass is preparing to be ordained a deacon in St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta, this Friday. His father's work in the oil industry saw the family live a peripatetic life. He says being a Christian in Saudi Arabia was a "transformative experience" in his Catholic faith life.
4 Dec 2007

Opinion - Credit where it's due
The transition to our new Labor government has come peacefully with gracious speeches from both leaders. As he departs it is time to acknowledge John Howard's achievements. He has been, with Bob Hawke, the most outstanding figure in Australian public life since Bob Menzies. He understood that traditional families are the cement which hold society together. - Cardinal George Pell
4 Dec 2007

5,000 apply to take part in WYD performances
More than 5,000 entertainers, artists and community leaders from around the world have applied to take part World Youth Day.
3 Dec 2007

Catholic teachers lured west
A desperate shortage of primary school teachers in Western Australia has led to a recruiting campaign in Queensland for the 2008 school year.
3 Dec 2007

Good Sams in Bali
Two Good Samaritan sisters have arrived in Bali to participate in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, which begins today.
3 Dec 2007

Herald-Sun reports scrutiny on Adelaide priest
The Melbourne Herald-Sun reported yesterday that Fr Tony Pearson has been stood down by the Adelaide Archdiocese pending an investigation.
3 Dec 2007

Rudd election buoys Bishops' Reconciliation hopes
Australia's Catholic Bishops have issued a statement reflecting the hope that "Indigenous Australia will be listened to", on the back of Prime Minister Elect Kevin Rudd's acceptance speech.
3 Dec 2007

Hope encyclical rejects atheism
In his encyclical released on Friday, Pope Benedict states atheism is responsible for some of the "greatest forms of cruelty and violations of justice" in history.
3 Dec 2007

Feature - New chancellor for Adelaide Archdiocese
It took Cathy Whewell a surprisingly short amount of time to accept one of the most challenging leadership roles open to women in the Catholic Church. She never expected to become among the handful of Australian Catholic lay women appointed to the position of chancellor of an archdiocese.
3 Dec 2007

Opinion - Technology does not replace personal contact
No matter how effectively we use communication technology, personal contact is absolutely necessary if people are to be encouraged to participate more closely in the life of the Church, especially to participate in worship. Each parish should have a culture of hospitality that encourages parishioners to seek out people searching for faith. - Archbishop John Bathersby
3 Dec 2007