Former Jesuit Refugee Service worker and King Cross, Sydney's
parishioner, Liz O'Neill, is believed to have died in Wednesday's plane
crash at Indonesia's Yogyakarta airport, rescuers say.
Acting quickly in the wake of the resignation before his installation
of Warsaw archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, Pope Benedict has named Bishop
Kazimierz Nycz as his replacement.
Although there are still few women working at the highest levels of the
Holy See hierarchy, the percentage of women working in Vatican offices
has nearly doubled from 11 to 21 per cent since the beginning of John
Paul II's pontificate.
The Holy See's permanent observer, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, told
the United Nations last week that women "bear the brunt of the world's
child prostitution, sexual exploitation, abuse, domestic violence,
child labour and human trafficking".
Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano
has praised an Italian doctor who resigned from the Italian College of
Physicians after his colleagues failed to discipline an anaesthetist
who unplugged a patient's respirator, ending his life.
Christians have often "lacked the imagination" to use the media well in
making known the good news of Jesus Christ, according to the President
of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop John P
When he learned that John Paul II was to appear with famous singer Bob
Dylan at a 1997 concert, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was so appalled
he unsuccessfully tried to stop the double act from proceeding, Pope
Benedict has revealed.
In a statement for today's International Women's Day, an Asia-Pacific
Catholic student group has called for effective work for gender justice
and equality and criticised men as the main perpetrators of gender
Adelaide Catholic grandmother, Jan Ruff-O'Herne, who was raped "day and
night" by Japanese soldiers during World War II, has described a
statement by the Japanese Prime Minister denying the existence of
wartime sex slavery as "unbelievable" and an attempt to avoid paying
A high ranking Vatican official has restated Church teaching on Masonic
associations, saying that Catholics who enrol in such associations are
in a state of grave sin and may not receive communion.
Edmund Rice Camps is one of a growing number of small charities and
church groups who have turned to the social networking website,
MySpace, as a means of raising their profiles - and funds for their
A member of online encyclopedia Wikipedia's team of experts, who used Catholicism for Dummies
as a source for some of his contributions, has been outed as a
24-year-old college dropout and not a religion professor with a canon
Canberra Archbishop Mark Coleridge has commissioned a team of six young
people from Corpus Christi parish in South Tuggeranong who will live in
community with the parish's priests to prepare for next year's World
Youth Day in Sydney.
With less than 500 days left in the countdown to World Youth Day in
Sydney, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile has announced that the
Government will grant free three-month visas for all participants.
Distinguishing "Islamists" from the "many wonderful Muslims" he says he
has met, Sydney Cardinal George Pell says that most victims of "extreme
Muslims" are in fact Muslims.
A new building featuring rooftop solar panels and energy-efficient
lighting being developed by the Archdiocese of Adelaide to house SA
Water and facilities for St Aloysius' College will be South Australia's
first six-star green office building.
Describing it as a lesson in trust, American priest Fr Bill Key
volunteers to lead legally blind skiers down the slopes of a US
Days after the US announced that it plans to develop a new hydrogen
bomb for submarine-launched ballistic missiles, Glasgow Cardinal Keith
O'Brien told a local protest rally that the Scottish bishops' nuclear
opposition has Holy See backing.
Responding to what he calls the Opposition's campaign of "innuendo and
slime", ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says that he was dining with
his wife and a local Catholic priest on the night of the 2003 Canberra
firestorm - and not with another woman.
Writing in a pastoral letter on the eve of the NSW state elections,
Parramatta Bishop Kevin Manning says that politics cannot be separated
from faith and Catholics must embrace what he calls the "apostolate of
Declaring that he admires Kevin Rudd as a "serious Christian", Health
Minister Tony Abbott, a Catholic, says that that it is not sectarian to
question the Opposition Leader's religious credentials.
Trappist monks want to re-open a monastery in the Algerian Atlas
mountains where seven fellow French monks were killed by Muslim
terrorists in 1996.
Stockholm's Catholic Archbishop Anders Arborelius has launched an
appeal to the government not to make Sweden an "abortion paradise"
following a proposal to open the Nordic country's hospitals to women
from countries with tighter abortion restrictions.
German bishops visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories on a
peace mission have been accused of anti-Semitism after one bishop
compared West Bank conditions with the Warsaw ghetto.
Church authorities in Italy have slammed a doctor involved in a
mistaken abortion attempt that left an Italian baby born at 22 weeks
fighting for his life after an erroneous diagnosis of a birth defect.
A high level delegation from the Holy See has arrived in Hanoi to begin
a week's visit described by the local press as the next important span
in the "diplomatic bridge" between Vietnam and the Vatican.
In a ruling described by a Mumbai archdiocese representative as a
"landmark", the Indian Maharashtra State Commission has recognised an
unborn child as a consumer and therefore entitled to insurance
John Therry Catholic High School in Macarthur, NSW, is open again after
a severe storm, which dumped 90mm in less than an hour, left the
Wollongong diocese school with only 13 usable classrooms.
The NSW Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by an inner Sydney
brothel against a closure order that followed complaints by the
neighbouring Catholic girls school, St Vincent's College.
The Toowoomba diocese's Catholic Social Justice Commission says that
people should be more concerned about Aboriginal health and education
than with the distribution of a Ku Klux Klan recruitment brochure in
the Queensland provincial city.
My seminary studies were done at a time of upheaval in the Church. It
was a time of great liturgical ferment, as "the new Mass" in English
appeared and took hold. But in my work with the Roman Missal Editorial
Committee, I have been forced to go back to the Latin. As I discovered
more of what the Latin contained, the Roman Missal stirred in me a
sense of awe. Not everything in it is a masterpiece, but I now think
the Missal is one of the West's greatest cultural artefacts - Archbishop Mark Coleridge
Sr Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary, and a number of Catholic
sisters were pioneers in the struggle for civil rights in Selma,
Alabama back in 1965. It was three days after a peaceful protest march
had been brutally attacked by white-supremacist local authorities. The
sisters' appearance among the protesters in the following days - and
especially African-American Sr Antona - made worldwide headlines. What
brought Sr Antona to the Franciscan sisters is a story in itself, one
that helps explain how she wound up in Selma - John Feister
Dili resident Luisa, whose husband was killed by militiamen during the
1999 East Timor independence vote, was evacuated with her children to a
refugee safe haven in Sydney. After returning home in June 2000, Luisa
began working as a counsellor supporting survivors of violence,
including domestic and sexual violence. Sadly, rape and sexual assault
were used as a form of cruelty against women by the Indonesian military
in East Timor. "Independence meant we had to rebuild our own country
but first we needed to rebuild our broken people," says Luisa.
Celebrating 50 years of married bliss on New Year's Eve 2006, Brian and
Nanette D'Arcy have resided for 47 years in the parish of St
Bernadette's, Castle Hill, NSW. Stalwarts of the parish, the D'Arcys
are engaged Catholics who live their faith in practical ways and carry
their warmth and generosity into the community. As a young married
couple, the D'Arcys arrived in Castle Hill when it was still a sleepy
rural place of bush blocks and "streets full of children playing" - Dan McAloon
I was born out of the black dust of Walgett country, in far
north-western NSW, with a mostly indigenous population. There wasn't
much learning going on at school. Rather, like other kids in Walgett
and Dubbo, I learned how to smoke pot, drink, steal cars and wag
school. But through a cousin I learned about St Joseph's College, in
Sydney's Hunters Hill. With the help of my parish priest I was
sponsored and enrolled there. Before going to Joey's I couldn't read or
write. I had no idea of the rewards that come from learning - wisdom,
knowledge and an opportunity to serve my people - Craig Ashby
In the 1970s a number of theologians proceeded to deny that the
Scriptures, the Tradition and the hierarchy have any "strong"
magisterium in moral matters. We are all well aware of how thoroughly
the 1970s-80s style of moral thinking filtered down through many of our
societies, even if it was rarely dressed up in the highfalutin language
of "ontic evils" and "authenticity." In a slightly more sophisticated
form it was taught to a generation of priests and lay theology
students. It will take some time to recover a more Catholic sense of
the role and content of conscience and the magisterium - Bishop Anthony Fisher
My perception of jihad is mostly shaped by the mass media. I used to
think jihad referred to the use of physical force or war. I thought
engagement in jihad was restricted to the Muslim community. My view of
jihad has now changed. I have been convinced the authentic jihad in
Islam is related to peaceful coexistence in society and that jihad is
not the monopoly of Muslims. While I do not embrace Islam, I have
started exercising this authentic jihad through my involvement in an
interfaith peace campaign in Papua - Fr Neles Tebay
This is a year of elections, Federal towards the end of the year, and
this month, the statutory four-yearly election in NSW. This is not
fresh news. Federal and State politicians have been hard at work for
some time convincing us theirs is the party to follow. The media is
consumed with stories about politicians, their wives and sometimes,
mercifully, even their policies. We should always be ready to detect
the slant or perceived bias. So as Christians, how do we decide our
vote? - Margaret Rodgers
While the Howard government weighs up how it will choose to respond to
the boatload of men, including 83 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, now being
held on Christmas Island, it is time to remember that these are
vulnerable people who have fled from extreme danger. Statements from
the Australian government indicate generalised violence against
civilians in Sri Lanka. The men have fled from danger and should not be
returned to danger. The other option of returning these men to their
most immediate prior location, Indonesia, would also be untenable - Georgina Pike
Each time I look at the World Youth Day website the number of people
expected to participate keeps rising. Many of the Australian
participants will fly in to Sydney. More than 100,000 international
visitors are also expected - nearly all of whom will fly for up to 25
hours. It is obvious from available figures that the "carbon cost" of
hosting World Youth Day in Sydney could easily reach half a million to
a million tones of CO2 equivalent. So how will WYD08 respond to the
environmental challenge? - Stefan Gigacz