A death penalty protest near a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 2020 (CNS/Bryan Woolston, Reuters)

Courts in large parts of the United States no longer impose death sentences or carry out executions, according to a report issued by the nation’s Death Penalty Information Centre. Source: Crux.

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An engraving of Pope Joan in a 17th century book by Alexander Cooke (CNS/Google Books/Public Domain)

An official at the Vatican’s apostolic archive has poured cold water on the story of “Pope Joan”, an urban legend about a woman who covertly climbed the clerical ladder in the 9th century and was elected Pope John VIII. Source: NCR Online.

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Cardinal George Pell (CNS/Robert Duncan)

Cardinal George Pell says that he does not harbour ill will toward the man whose sexual assault accusation sent him to prison for 13 months, but he wants to know why the Vatican sent more than $2 million to Australia during his trial. Source: CNA.

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Notre Dame University

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Sr Suzanne Hallams (Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese/Matthew Biddle)

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan will conclude their long ministry to education in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn with the retirement of Sr Suzanne Hallams. Source: Catholic Voice.

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Cardinal Walter Brandmuller elevates the Eucharist during a Latin Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in May (CNS/Paul Haring)

The Vatican has issued further restrictions on the pre-Vatican II Mass, ruling ordinations and confirmations are banned while emphasising new priests must receive Holy See “authorisation” to celebrate the Latin Mass. Source: The Tablet.

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The Women In Synodality seminar in Rome last week (Twitter/AusAmbHolySee)

A panel of women who hold Church leadership positions met to discuss “Women in Synodality” at an event hosted by the Australian Embassy to the Holy See, Georgetown University and the Jesuit magazine La Civiltа Cattolica. Source: RNS.

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The busts of Bennelong and Barangaroo at St Patrick’s, Church Hill (The Catholic Weekly/Giovanni Portelli)

A Sydney parish has unveiled what is believed to be the first statues honouring an Aboriginal couple who were community leaders during the early days of the colony of New South Wales. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

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The audit of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd was ACSL’s final audit for 2021

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd have fully implemented or are substantially progressed in the implementation of all 63 indicators of the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards, an Australian Catholic Safeguarding Ltd audit shows.

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Alex Hawke (ABC News/730)

The Morrison Government has slashed the visa costs for community groups wanting to sponsor refugees by 60 per cent and will establish a new pilot program for refugee support in a move described as “a watershed moment”. Source: The Guardian.

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The CSNSW report and a secondary school report card from 2020 (Catholic Schools NSW)

Parents often find school reports vague, overly cautious and lacking in useful information, with many saying they get more useful feedback from parent-teacher interviews. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

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Bishop Brian Farrell (CNS/Paul Haring)

A group of Catholic and Anglican theologians has publicly called on the Vatican to review and overturn a papal document from 1896 that declared Anglican ordinations “absolutely null and utterly void”. Source: Crux.

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The launch of the three-year campaign coincided with the celebration of Caritas Internationalis’ 70th anniversary (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has encouraged people to take part in a new global campaign launched by Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based umbrella organisation for national Catholic charities. Source: The Tablet.

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Notre Dame University

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The report was tabled in NZ Parliament on Wednesday and is available from the royal commission website (NZ Catholic)

The bishops and congregational leaders of the Church in New Zealand will study the interim redress report of the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care and decide how they can best implement its recommendations. Source: NZ Catholic.

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(Indigenous.gov.au)

The Morrison Government will build an Indigenous Voice from the ground up after Cabinet agreed to form 35 regional and local groups that will be linked to a national body. Source: The Australian.

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The clinics at St Mary’s Cathedral will operate this weekend and again on January 8 and 9 (The eRecord/WA Government)

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has approved two pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics to be held at St Mary’s Cathedral, echoing Pope Francis’ call for people to be vaccinated as “an act of love”. Source: The eRecord.

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Dr Jason McFarland (ACU)

Instituted lay ministry, including the recently created ministry of catechist, and the admission of women to such roles, signals a move towards Pope Francis’ vision for a more synodal Church, says an Australian liturgy expert. Source: ACU.

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Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in Being the Ricardos (CNS/Glen Wilson, Amazon Content Services)

The set of I Love Lucy was a toxic workplace. At least, that’s how it’s portrayed in writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s biographical drama Being the Ricardos. Source: CNS.

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Archbishop Peter A Comensoli (Melbourne Catholic)

Catholics are being encouraged to participate in a nationwide survey on religious discrimination legislation currently before the Australian Parliament and speak up in favour of religious freedom. Source: ACBC Media Blog.

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From Parish of Our Lady of The Way, North Sydney & Lavender Bay. The first Mass of the day on YouTube.
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