Pope John Paul II regularly whipped himself with a trouser belt that he kept in his wardrobe, and wanted to step down as pontiff in the event of incurable illness, said Vatican postulator, Monsignor Slawomir Oder. The practise has now been confirmed by
Pope Benedict XVI---Pope Benedict has lamented "religious indifference and a growing aversion to the Christian faith", while addressing a service marking the closure of the week of prayer for Christian unity.Benedict urged Christians to invigorate efforts to
Apostolic visitator, Mother Mary Clare Millea, has sent letters to US women religious leaders asking once again for their full co-operation in filling out questionnaires as part of the visitation process. The questionnaires, sent last year to the heads of
The French doctors group Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) is dedicated to helping the poor and needy across the world. It has a comprehenisve website with details of its activities, and a directory of all the countries it operates in.
Auschwitz --- At the end of his general audience yesterday, Pope Benedict recalled that "65 years ago, on January 27, 1945, the gates of the Nazi concentration [camp] Auschwitz, were opened and the few survivors freed".
The Vatican's Philatelic and Numismatic Office has issued a special stamp to raise funds for the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. The stamp is dedicated to the 1500th anniversary of the shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Lazio, Italy. The
Dr Dan White --- The Catholic Education Office Sydney says it values a national testing program "that can be used to inform on areas of need and drive improvements", but has cautioned against "simplistic, one dimensional
Reforming Queensland's surrogacy law will degrade parenthood and the family and create "legally fatherless and legally motherless" children, says the director of the Queensland Bioethics Centre, Ray Campbell. The law reform bill is
Fr Michael Sinnott--- Irish Columban Father Michael Sinnott, who was kidnapped in the Philippines in November last year, returned this week to his missionary work in the area. Fr. Sinnott, 80, returned to Pagadian city. He was snatched by Moro rebels
L-R: Greg Page, Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook and Anthony Field --- The four original members of The Wiggles, who have made the St Vincent de Paul Society one of their special causes, were made Members of the Order of Australia this week, The
Ten days ago marked the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the legalisation of abortion in the United States. There aren’t very many other days in the United States that manifest such division. I can’t think of any other anniversary that
A couple of years ago former hard rocker Paul Stewart was dying of liver failure in a Melbourne hospital. His life of excess had finally caught up with him. One night, which he thought might be his last, a nun appeared at his bedside. She promised to
In the 1930s, a young Catholic professor at Oxford University began writing stories to read his children at Christmas. They were tales full of well-known magical creatures -- elves, dwarfs, knights, wizards, witches - but what made them unique was a
This American-based site considers the moral implications of climate change, what Catholics can do and how communities should respond. It applies virtues such as prudence, poverty and the Common Good to the challenges of global warming. For those
Pottery shard with ancient Hebrew writing --- An ancient Hebrew inscription on a shard of pottery, deciphered by an Israeli academic, shows that the Hebrew Bible could have been written hundreds of years earlier than previously believed.
A "40 Days for Life" campaign, scheduled to begin on Ash Wednesday and run until March 28, is calling for support. The campaign will focus on fasting, community outreach and prayer - with a "prayerful vigil" running
Australians top the list as the world's most envious people in a global tally of the seven deadly sins. They also score highly for the other six, making Australia the "most sinful nation" on earth, according to a BBC magazine show. While
First-century Roman building work has been uncovered beneath the Domus Australia (Australia House) pilgrim centre being created for Australians in Rome. Cardinal George Pell and the ambassador to the Holy See, Tim Fischer, yesterday
J.D. Salinger -- Jewish-Catholic writer J. D. Salinger, author of the celebrated novel The Catcher in the Rye, has died at the age of 91. Salinger, who died on January 28, was born in 1919 in Manhattan, lived in
The drift from public to private schools has slowed, according to new figures from the the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The ABS preliminary schools data show that independent school enrolments grew by almost 10,000 between 2008 and 2009,