Australian Catholic University theology lecturer Fr Daniel Donovan is
fighting a complaint by a former student that he taught that the
concept of original sin was not in the bible as well as other allegedly
The Australian bishops' Pastoral Projects Office has released the full
report of a research project into "disconnected Catholics" as the
project moves to its second consultative stage.
A study of 20,000 Australians shows that while religious believers are
most likely to be against premarital sex and pornography, their
attitudes did not appear to stop them taking part in these activities.
Despite opposition from Melbourne's Catholic and Anglican archbishops,
Victoria's parliament has adopted a bill legalising "therapeutic"
cloning, with 15 MPs crossing the floor in a conscience vote.
UFO buffs are claiming that a strange light spotted in a Polish
tourist's photo of St Peter's Basilica in Rome may in fact be a "UFO
Catholic bloggers are light-heartedly claiming that the pope is not
infallible after discovering a number of minor errors in Pope
Benedict's newly published book Jesus of Nazareth.
As Pope Benedict warns that Christian faith is key to avoiding a clash
of civilisations, Australia's bishops have invited Christians, Muslims
and Jews to a meeting on the role of religion in achieving Middle East
As Germans and other pilgrims flocked to the Vatican to pay tribute to
Pope Benedict as he turns 80, the pontiff has thanked God's "divine
mercy" for sustaining him in his "weakness".
Describing the internet as an opportunity to spread the Gospel message,
Telstra chief Sol Trujillo has announced that the company has signed a
letter of intent to supply communications services for next year's
World Youth Day.
Following yesterday's tragic killing of 32 people at the Virginia Tech
University, American and world Christian leaders have called on US
authorities to end easy access to guns.
In a boon to Germany's Catholic Church, the country's economic boom has
boosted the collection of church taxes by 800 million Australian
dollars over the last two years - but people are still leaving in
Three people had their throats cut and a fourth person also died after
jumping from the third floor office in a bid to escape from an attack
on a Christian publishing house in Malatya, Turkey.
Turkish police have arrested ten young men as suspects in the throat
slitting murders of three people at a Protestant Bible publishing
On his first trip to Europe as the new UN Secretary-General, South
Korean Ban Ki-moon met with Pope Benedict and has invited the pope to
visit the international body's headquarters in New York.
The British Caritas development agency, CAFOD, has called for the
resignation of embattled World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz saying
that he has lost his credibility in the fight against corruption.
In a restriction described by a New Zealand party leader as "political
correctness gone mad", Kiwi prison authorities have banned the taking
of communion wine into prison, saying that they have no legal
discretion to grant an exemption.
A non-government recognised Chinese bishop from Shaanxi province in
Central China is still missing a month after government official
detained him to attend a three-day "learning class".
A Perth man whose brother, Fr Nguyen Van Ly, was recently sentenced by
a Vietnamese court to eight years for political activities, says that
the dissident priest has converted many people to Catholicism,
including prisoners and guards, during his many years in prison.
In a move welcomed by Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, the Holy
See nuncio to Israel has reversed his decision to boycott a memorial
ceremony because of his concerns over the museum's wartime photo of
A Puerto Rican-born ex-drug addict who has the number 666 of the
Antichrist tattooed on his arm but claims to be Jesus Christ has been
banned from entering three Central American countries.
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz is being accused of undermining the
Bank's commitment to women's health after appointing an El Salvadorian
Catholic with alleged links to Opus Dei who reportedly removed all
references to contraception in the Bank's Madagascar program.
Mexican Catholics are outraged over a floor-length dress adorned with
crosses and scapulars as well as images of the executions of 1920s
Cristero martyrs that the country's Miss Universe contestant had
planned to wear.
Melbourne's Xavier College says that a video of an alleged wheelie bin
bullying incident was a student hoax but a new video has emerged
showing students from the elite school fighting in front of a crowd of
At a Melbourne ceremony tonight, the De La Salle Brothers will launch
the Lasallian Foundation in support of the congregation's projects in
developing countries including India, Burma and Papua New Guinea.
A Sydney man charged with sexually assaulting a practising Muslim woman
allegedly told her to "let your Jesus help you" after she listened to
Christian preachers and read the bible.
The remote West Australian Catholic mission of Kalumburu is in turmoil
after police flew three 12-year-old girls out of the town after
discovering an alleged pedophile ring involving a community leader
working at a local school.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School in Wadeye Aboriginal community,
south-west of Darwin, is seeking an apology and compensation for
alleged discrimination that has caused it to miss out on millions of
dollars in federal funding.
Students who attended Catholic high schools had a higher rate of
university completion than students from other schools, according to a
study by the Australian Council for Education Research.
Fourteen days after a major earthquake and tsunami ravaged the western
Solomons diocese of Gizo, the World Youth Day cross and icon has
arrived in the hard hit region.
Dr Damien Kingsbury, an Australian observer at last week's East Timor
presidential election, has called for the replacement of Fr Martinho
Gusmao, the Church's representative on the country's election
commission, over bias allegations.
The distaste at performing abortions combined with ethical and
religious convictions has led to an unprecedented increase in the UK in
the number of doctors who refuse to carry out the procedure. Catholic
general practitioner James Gerrard is among the growing list of
conscientious objectors refusing to refer patients seeking the
operation. "I had made my mind up on abortion before entering the
medical profession," he says. "I have not come up against any
aggression because of my stance ... I think people understand it is a
personal choice and respect that."
The Church's attention in recent years has been constantly directed on
the social question, and in particular on that of work. We remember the
encyclical Laborem Exercens
published in 1981 by my well-loved predecessor John Paul II. This
reaffirmed and updated the great intuitions developed by Leo XIII and
Pius XI during Europe's industrialisation period. In a context of
economic liberalism conditioned by market forces, of competition and
competitiveness, these documents forcefully call on the need to
evaluate the human dimension of work and to protect the dignity of the
person - Pope Benedict XVI
The news I'd been reading on the plane home just after Easter was
mostly of broadcaster Alan Jones and the media watchdog's findings on
his contributions to enlightenment during the Cronulla riots. Jones'
reflexes on air were not unlike those of the lithe young fellow next me
on the plane: assertive and territorial as his biceps shoved me off the
armrests during the flight and his person shoved me out of way as soon
as we landed. A "power of one" he may be, but Jones also makes a
powerful appeal to the tribal in all of us - Morag Fraser
If the danger of the John XXIII and Paul VI era was throwing the baby
out with the bathwater, the chief risk in today's politics of identity
cuts in the opposite direction, towards rigidity and exaggerated
defensiveness - a sort of "Taliban Catholicism" that knows only how to
excoriate and condemn. Potentially, Benedict XVI's legacy may lie in
pointing a way around these shoals. Given all that he represents,
Benedict is in a unique position to illustrate that one can embrace
Catholic fundamentals without becoming a fundamentalist - John L Allen
For the central Burma archbishop, the local Church's biggest challenges
are forming priesthood candidates, continual formation for priests and
empowering laity. For almost four years, since he was appointed to head
Mandalay archdiocese, Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng has been
stressing that his role is that of a servant who animates, supports and
coordinates the Church's apostolate work. As he joked to 30 Catholic
young people at his 68th birthday celebration last month, he carries
out Church activities "like a 28-year-old, who has forgotten 40 years"
of his life.
Many women were thrilled to see Dove's magazine and TV ads featuring
older women apparently proud of their wrinkles, potbellies, and sagging
skin. The women in the ads are white, black and several colours in
between. Real beauty, we're told, comes in all shapes and sizes. Who
could disagree with that? Well, when I first saw these ads on
television, my eyebrows were raised and I murmured, "That's
refreshing." But, about ten seconds into the commercial, I felt a
creeping sense of discomfort. There was something terribly cynical
about the whole thing - Maura Hanrahan
The recent scandal over the bullying allegedly caught on mobile camera
at Melbourne's Xavier College seems to surprise some people: this is
after all a prominent private school noted for its religious
affiliations. But those who are surprised forget one crucial thing:
despite its expensive amenities and spiritual values, Xavier is in the
end still a school, and schools are hog-heaven for bullies. Bullies
still bully, usually without sanctions. The ones who deny this are
typically either bullies or their teacher-colluders - Juliette Hughes
A recurring episode in Mexican history has been a periodic reappraisal
of the Catholic Church's role in the overwhelmingly Catholic society,
which has usually resulted in a lessening of its power. Such a moment
has again arrived, with the catalyst being the proposed
decriminalisation of abortion in the nation's capital. But abortion is
not the only issue that illustrates the Church's waning influence on
social issues. A recent series of events has reinforced what has long
been true: the Church now, more than ever, is not Mexico's pre-eminent
moral guide - Patrick Corcoran
Ever since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, "lockdown" is a
word that's been dropped into student handbooks across America. When
shots are heard, go immediately into a protective lockdown mode and
await further instructions. But how do you lock down a sprawling
campus? Malice can find its way into the minds and hearts of persons
young or old. Once there, malicious intent can release destructive
force. Prevention failed at Virginia Tech but preparation, through
counselling centres and campus ministries, is always possible - Fr William J Byron
The world has come a long way since the discourse of the inevitable
class conflict between capital and labour prevailed. We have moved
towards a better balance of the rights of employers and employees, and
that balance is what Catholic social teaching seeks to articulate. Yes,
there is a Catholic position on industrial relations, and it is nothing
less than that the preservation of the balance between the rights of
employers and employees. When this balance is tilted one way, and the
disadvantaged are denied redress, the Church must speak - Bishop Kevin Manning