Dominican tapped to replace Cardinal Pell as Archbishop of Sydney

  Details:  The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, has been appointed the ninth Archbishop of Sydney, replacing the controversial Cardinal George Pell. The Vatican announcement comes several months after Cardinal Pell was appointed to a newly created Secretariat for the Economy in Rome, charged with cleaning up the Vatican’s finances. Bishop Anthony immediately committed the [Read More...]

Cardinal Pell Admits Cover-Up for “Fear of Scandal”

Details: Fear of scandal prompted the cover-up of child sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church, Australia’s top-ranking Cardinal George Pell admitted Monday. Pell, speaking at an inquiry by Victoria’s parliament into child sex abuse in the state, denied being personally involved in the cover-up of paedophile priests, but said it was clear it happened. [Read More...]

Australian prime minister launches federal investigation into Catholic sex abuse

This is roughly the equivalent of an American president — or, perhaps, the Attorney General—ordering an investigation into the Catholic Church hierarchy in America. Details: Australia’s prime minister ordered a federal inquiry Monday into allegations of child sex abuse in state and religious institutions and community groups following a string of sexual abuse accusations against [Read More...]

Disappearing breed: “bad Catholics”

Australia’s Cardinal George Pell observes: Some decades ago when I was a priest in the country I blessed many marriages and generally attended the wedding reception. As a priest my presence was acknowledged and welcomed.  I tried to ensure the telegrams and speeches were not too crude; efforts that met with mixed success. Regularly when [Read More...]

At dissident Catholic liturgies, even animals receive communion

Incredible, but true. Details, from The Age in Australia: Father Greg Reynolds wants his church of dissident Catholics to welcome all – ”every man and his dog”, one might say, risking the non-inclusive language he deplores – but even he was taken aback when that was put to the test during Mass yesterday. A first-time [Read More...]

Retiring bishop: “Wider reform is needed” in the Church

He has a reputation for being both progressive and outspoken — and both qualities were on display in an interview with Australia’s ABC News: Father Pat Power has resigned after more than 25 years as the bishop of Canberra and Goulburn. He has become known as one of the church’s more progressive leaders, questioning the [Read More...]

RIP Deacon Elliott Casalegno

A friend noted on her FB page this morning that for the first time a permanent deacon — Deacon Elliott Casalegno — has died in the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia.  The diaconate there is still very new, and very small.  The archdiocese ordained its first deacon in 1997, and added just four more in 2000. [Read More...]

Australia moves to eliminate B.C. and A.D. from textbooks

Christians Down Under are outraged over changes in the national school curriculum that would remove the use of Before Christ (B.C.) and Anno Domini (A.D.) in school textbooks in favor of terms that are more politically correct.  Details, from the Christian Post: London-based Daily Telegraph reports that the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) [Read More...]

"I was ordained to proclaim the Good News, and that's what I'm about"

That’s the happy conclusion of this joy-filled deacon from Australia, who shares his enthusiasm for his vocation with the Catholic Leader newspaper of Brisbane: If a barometer existed to measure exuberant faith, Deacon Gary Stone’s reading would be off the charts. “I’m hyperactive,” he admits, grinning, easily elaborating on how ministry as a married deacon [Read More...]

From Anglican bishop to Catholic layman

A controversial Anglican from Australia is now a happy Catholic: A former bishop who resigned from the Anglican church under a cloud has become a Catholic. Ross Davies resigned as bishop of the Murray last September, just before a church tribunal found he had failed to deal appropriately with sexual misconduct allegations against an archdeacon. [Read More...]