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Retired Supreme Court judge is Church council’s new chair

Neville Owen

FORMER judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia Neville Owen is the new chair of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council (TJHC). Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Denis Hart and Catholic Religious Australia chair Sisters of Charity Sister Annette Cunliffe announced the appointment on Thursday, June 5. The TJHC is co-ordinating the Church’s engagement with the ... Read More »

Filipinos giving thanks

By Paul Dobbyn FILIPINO woman Kristele Agote has a personal message for generous Australians whose support is helping her rebuild after last year’s devastating Typhoon Haiyan. “We want to thank every one of you who helped us, who donated to help us,” she said. Ms Agote is one of many in Philippines communities rebuilding six months after Typhoon Haiyan and ... Read More »

Coalition asylum policy ‘appalling’

By Paul Dobbyn BRISBANE Archbishop Mark Coleridge has made an unequivocal call to Australia’s politicians to examine their “hearts and consciences” on the issue of ongoing cruelty to asylum seekers, particularly on Papau New Guinea’s Manus Island. During an interview last Monday on an ABC Four Corners program, The Pope’s Revolution, interviewer Kerry O’Brien asked Archbishop Coleridge (pictured) what Pope ... Read More »

Catholic sector welcomes increased State Government investment in education


QUEENSLAND Catholic Education Commission has welcomed an overall increase in recurrent spending on education in the non-state sector announced in the State budget on June 3.  Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls announced an increase of about seven per cent in that spending.  QCEC executive director Mike Byrne said: “We are pleased that in a tough fiscal environment the Newman Government has ... Read More »

Pope would be appalled by Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers

prisoner's hands through fence

POPE Francis would be appalled at the Australian Government’s treatment of asylum seekers, Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a TV interview on Monday night. Archbishop Coleridge said in an interview on ABC TV’s Four Corners program that the Holy Father would be “appalled” if he visited Manus Island, where asylum seekers were held under a policy he described as “cruel ... Read More »

Rockhampton’s new bishop ordained

bishop michael mccarthy

By Paul Dobbyn ROCKHAMPTON’Ss newly-ordained Bishop Michael McCarthy has invited young people to answer the call to religious life.  “We need you to help us folk in the faith,” he told a packed congregation during his episcopal ordination Mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral today Thursday.  The episcopal ordination of Rockhampton’s 10th bishop was held in glorious sunshine.  Bishop McCarthy was ... Read More »

Budget’s downsized global role

By Paul Dobbyn THE Federal Budget’s cutting of billions of dollars in foreign aid “marks a notable turn to a more insular Australia for the first time in several decades”. Caritas Australia chief executive officer Paul O’Callaghan made the comment after the government’s announcement it would slash nearly $8 billion from foreign aid funding in the next five years. “This ... Read More »

Focus on faith

By Paul Dobbyn AN “overwhelming religious illiteracy” in Catholic schools and the loss of Catholic identity in public life were among issues discussed at the gathering of the Oceania bishops in New Zealand. More than 80 bishops and delegates attended the Assembly of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania in Wellington from May 12 to 16. Topics discussed ... Read More »

Budget dismay

By Paul Dobbyn THE 2014-15 Federal Budget’s widespread cuts to welfare, health, education and foreign aid have drawn sharp criticism from Catholic agencies. The cuts include changes to family benefits, resuming fuel excise increases, a $7 health care co-payment for GP visits and an estimated $7.6 billion decrease in foreign aid funding over the next five years. Federal Treasurer Joe ... Read More »

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