A leading Vinnies volunteer who is a non-Catholic is suing the Society
for religious discrimination after it advised her to either become a
Catholic, resign her elected position, or leave the Society.
After a career spanning more than 50 years, the Australian Catholic
University has awarded acclaimed Indigenous performer Jimmy Little an
In an emotional ceremony, the Goulburn Mercy Sisters have handed over
the running of Albury's Mercy Hospital to their Melbourne counterparts.
"Nothing positive comes from Iraq", Pope Benedict lamented in his
Easter message while Australian churches filled in what Sydney Cardinal
George Pell earlier attributed to a post 9/11 religious reaction.
In remarks published in a new book yesterday, Pope Benedict refused to
endorse "intelligent design" theories, instead backing "theistic
evolution" which considers that God created life through evolution with
no clash between religion and science.
Malawi's Catholic justice commission has joined other NGOs in a legal
bid to block Australian mining company Paladin from opening a
controversial uranium mine because an environmental impact assessment
allegedly fails to address mining effects on local people.
Nearly 500 years after it was written, a manual on magic and the power
of numbers written by Leonardo Da Vinci's best friend and teacher,
Franciscan monk Luca Pacioli, has finally been translated into English.
American Sr Sheila Salmon will go to jail later this month after being
convicted of trespassing at the site of the notorious former School of
the Americas whose graduates tortured and killed scores of people
including four US church women.
McDonald's in the US has agreed to a substantial pay rise for low-paid
tomato-picking farm workers after intensive lobbying by American
religious congregations and bishops.
Beatrice, the idealised muse of medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri,
is still winning hearts as young singles from around the world leave
notes on her tomb in an 11th century Florence church seeking her
The Spanish Church is in uproar over the closure by Cardinal Antonio
Rouca Varela of a Madrid parish run by three priests who celebrate Mass
wearing plain clothes and with biscuits for children instead of the
traditional communion wafer.
Flying less and planting more trees are not enough to avoid a
devastating environmental catastrophe, Edinburgh Cardinal Keith O'Brien
A number of samurai who chose non-violence in spite of their fighting
skills are among 188 mostly lay Japanese martyrs expected to be
beatified in November, according to Tokyo-born Cardinal Stephen Fumio
Japanese Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao has rejected a call by Pope
Benedict to learn Latin prayers and Gregorian chant as Euro-centric and
"impossible for Asians", saying that Vatican officials treat Africans
and Asians as second or third class.
Citing the failure of a Jerusalem museum to remove an "offensive" photo
caption criticising Pius XII, the Holy See nuncio to Israel is refusing
to take part in an annual diplomatic ceremony to commemorate the Shoah.
Indian Fr Charles Kakumanu and American Fr Stephen O'Donnell who were
killed in a tragic car accident on the Pacific Highway near Coffs
Harbour have been farewelled following a packed Requiem Mass at
As the Pax Christi peace movement calls for prayer and action for
Zimbabwe, a local political analyst says that a pastoral letter by the
country's bishops calling for the removal of the Mugabe regime may help
end the crisis.
Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has called on Catholic state premier
Steve Bracks to reconsider plans to introduce a proposed Victorian law
that would legalise the cloning of human embryos for medical research.
Police has seized a small quantity of cannabis that Xavier College in
Melbourne had earlier confiscated from a student but the Victorian
Premier is backing the college's right not to report the matter to
In another incident at Melbourne's elite Xavier College, five students
have been suspended after a mobile phone video of a student being
kicked and dragged along the ground by other students was distributed
at the school.
Melbourne's exclusive Xavier College has expelled one student and
suspended three others over their alleged sale and purchase of
marijuana but critics say the school should have reported the matter to
Youth advocate and Brisbane priest, Fr Wally Dethlefs, who is one of
four members of a national panel looking into youth homelessness, says
that the phenomenon is growing.
Warning that moves to promote a centralised national curriculum for
schools risk enshrining "faddism" and placing decision making in the
hands of Canberra "boffins", Adelaide Bishop Greg O'Kelly has called
for schools to be consulted about any changes.
Western Australia's Rockingham parish priest, Fr Finbarr Walsh, has
expelled a self-styled visionary who has a "weeping" statue of the
Virgin and is reputed to have Christ's wounds, saying that the
apparitions, wounds, and statues' tears may be fake.
It was a sight that was totally unexpected for a group of Singapore
Catholics holidaying in Cambodia recently. The group was taking a
leisurely boat ride down the Siem Reap River when one of them spotted a
wooden cross on top of a wooden structure from afar. As the boat drew
nearer, they discovered to some excitement that the wooden structure
was that of a Catholic church. So happy were the holidaymakers to see
such an unusual sight that they asked their guide to make an
unscheduled stop - Sia Cheong Yew
Caroline Pemberton, who was last week crowned Miss World Australia, is
serious about using her status to help others, as a recent trip to East
Timor with Fr Chris Riley shows. "It was my first purely humanitarian
trip and my first with Youth Off The Streets", Caroline says. In Timor
for a week, Caroline's time was spent mainly with the kids, playing and
showing them love. "They were 16 hour days. Every waking moment was
spent playing with the kids", she says. "We were 'on duty', as Father
called it" - Matthew Smeal
Freedom Park is just one of a half-dozen squatter camps that are home
to 100,000 people near South Africa's border with Botswana. They sit in
the shadow of platinum mines, which rely on migrant labour. The men
come for contracts of a year or two, and leave their families at home.
In the wake of the miners come the women, fleeing poverty. It's the
ideal environment for the spread of HIV. There are so many women here
with stories of pain. The local bishop Kevin Dowling heard them, and he
did what he knew was the right thing: distributed condoms - Stephanie Nolen
All humans and not just historians yearn to assign names to singular
achievements. The name of St Benedict attaches to the Rule that he
compiled out of several preceding ones. Once his Rule began to
establish itself after 650AD, a need arose to know something about such
an influential abbot. That is how the supposed life of this saint came
to be written. Given how many Christian innovators remain nameless, I
am grateful that we at least know the name of St Benedict - Will Johnston
You may be familiar with the adage, "the one thing you can count on is
change". It is difficult to disagree with this statement, particularly
in these uncertain times. Change is an unavoidable part of life, yet we
sometimes struggle to come to grips with new stages in life. Retirement
from the workplace is a major transition that most of will have to
manage. Many of you will have been through this stage of life. Men and
women deal with this experience in various ways - John R O'Neill
Easter is one of the times when even nominal Christians like to
celebrate, but many are perplexed by hearing, all over again, stories
that strain their faith. And that raises more general questions about
Christianity, including questions about the veracity of biblical
accounts of what Jesus is supposed to have said and done. Scepticism is
appropriate. That's precisely why it's all a matter of faith. If we
knew for sure what happened, there'd be no need for faith. Those who
try to "prove" the events of Easter are missing the point - Hugh Mackay
The incredulity of Thomas and his following profession of faith - "My
Lord and my God!" - are at the centre of the message that Benedict XVI
addressed to the world on Easter Sunday. But little or nothing of this
proclamation of the risen Christ was picked up by the major media
outlets. These highlighted only the list of countries stricken by wars
and calamities. There is a limit beyond which the words of Benedict XVI
do not go. They reach completely only those who listen to them in
person - Sandro Magister
Unfortunately, because feminism has become so inextricably linked to
evils like abortion, divorce, promiscuity, the destruction of the
traditional family and even the destruction of our sense of ourselves
as male and female, many Christians take a reactionary stance against
it. This is dangerous both because it makes it difficult to dispel the
feminist myth that Christianity is fundamentally sexist, and because it
can prevent Catholics from supporting much needed social reforms that
are completely in line with Church teaching - Melinda Selmys