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Arabic Heritage League Award to Bishop Manning

Public comment invited on Australian Certificate of Education

Conscientious objectors gather

Concerns about religious freedom grow

The grass-roots Church speaks out

The Innocence Project: guilty until proven innocent

Where are all the leaders of faith?

International conference brings together science and religion

Germany sees Benedict XVI differently now

In honour of Catherine McAuley

Seeking common values

 

Arabic Heritage League Award to Bishop Manning

The Bishop of Parramatta, the Most Rev Kevin Manning, has received the 2006 Kahlil Gibran International Award from the Arabic Heritage League.  He shared the 2006 prize with Dr Kamal Sabbagh, a musician and composer who lives in Paris and Miss Nadia Jamal, a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald.  They received their awards on Sunday night at a celebration to mark the 25th anniversary of the Arabic Heritage League in Australia, which concerns itself with the recognition of outstanding contributions made by individuals in society in their various fields and who pursue the values of truth, goodness and beauty.   Bishop Manning said he was deeply honoured to receive the award, not only for the personal recognition, but for the recognition given to the positive role of religion in developing a culture of peace and harmony in the world.

 

Public comment invited on Australian Certificate of Education

The Minster for Education, Science and Training, Ms Julie Bishop, has invited public comment on a new report that considers the options for a common Year 12 Australian Certificate of Education.   To advance key findings of the report, Australian Certificate of Education: exploring a way forward, work to examine ways of assessing employability skills for senior secondary students will be commissioned.  The Minister also announced a new, independent study to compare the content, curriculum and standards of selected Year 12 subjects across Australia, to be undertaken by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).   A copy of the report and the submission of public comments can be accessed at www.dest.gov.au/ace

 

Conscientious objectors gather

From May 11-16, conscientious objectors (CO's) from around the world will gather in New York City and Washington DC for Operation Refuse War, a week of conferences, demonstrations, and actions in celebration of International Conscientious Objectors Day, May 15.  Operation Refuse War provides an opportunity for conscientious objectors, anti-war activists, and military families to share strategies and build community. Participants will be attending from South Korea, Eritrea, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Canada, Britain, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia, Germany, and across the United States.   This week of action will highlight the difficulties that current conscientious objectors face as well as help build relationships and connections between the various communities within the anti-war movement.  (a full schedule of events can be found at operationrefusewar.org)

 

Concerns about religious freedom grow

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 6, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom this week issued its annual report on the global situation. As well, it announced this year's recommendations to the U.S. secretary of state on "countries of particular concern" - CPCs, in government lingo.  Under its International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the United States designates as CPCs those countries whose governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to freedom of religion or belief.  After last year's report, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice designated as CPCs the following countries: North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Vietnam and Myanmar (formerly Burma). This week's report recommended that these eight countries remain on the list, and that Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan be added.   (see Zenit daily dispatch, May 6)

 

The Pope is asking China for freedom, not forgiveness

The Chinese authorities have begun ordaining illegitimate bishops again. But this time the Vatican is responding firmly in a new course inaugurated by Benedict XVI   (report)

 

The grass-roots Church speaks out

The European Network “Church on the Move” (EN), at its yearly conference in Wiesbaden-Naurod/Germany, discussed the challenges that Judaism, Christianity and Islam – the three Abrahamic Religions – are facing over the changing status of women and men in both religion and society.  As the current inter-religious dialogue is often limited to top level representation and hierarchy with little room for the voices of grass roots people and movements to be heard, the European Network plans to hold a symposium on “Social cohesion in a multi-cultural Europe. Impact and role of religions and currents of thought” in 2007, within the framework of the Council of Europe.  It also has been participating in the European Social Forum in Athens in early May, where it hosted a seminar on “A common social ethic for the future of Europe”. It will take part in the World Forum on Theology and Liberation, Nairobi, January 2007.  The EN also expressed the hope that the vision of Pope Benedict XVI during his forthcoming visits to Poland, Spain, and Germany will move towards a more inclusive community of the faithful.  EN says that this new vision is particularly necessary in Poland because the institutional Church there is currently persecuting human rights and restricting civil liberties.  The EN, founded in 1990, consists of about 30 grass roots groups for Catholic Church reform in 13 European countries: Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom and has affiliated members in the USA.

 

The Innocence Project: guilty until proven innocent

Capital punishment in the US is under the microscope and lawyers using the latest forensic science techniques have found justice wanting.    by Andrew Gumbel

 

Where are all the leaders of faith?

Where are the activist priests and ministers who took strong stands during the Vietnam War and hit the streets with their protests?   Three years into the war against Iraq, the silence of the clergy is deafening, despite U.S. abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and a reported American policy of shipping detainees to secret prisons abroad where, presumably, they can be tortured. by Helen Thomas

 

International conference brings together science and religion

PHILADELPHIA, USA… A new curriculum proposal for more effective science education and current perspectives on the evolution/intelligent design controversy will be highlighted at the Metanexus Institute's annual international conference on science and religion, June 3-7, on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The conference, Continuity + Change: Perspectives on Science and Religion, will present leading international scholars whose work delves into important new and emerging ideas at the intersection of science and religion scholarship and research.  The tension between continuity and change is not simply philosophical conundrum; it is also at the root of the most pressing questions of this time as the tensions of tradition vs. innovation in the law, religious thought, and political life are wrestled with. The pace of change in scientific discovery, technological advancement, environmental transformation, and globalised culture is accelerating at such a rate that abilities to cope are tested to the limits. Complete details of the conference are posted at www.metanexus.net/conference2006

 

Germany sees Benedict XVI differently now

ROME, MAY 4, 2006 (Zenit.org).- "Oh, mein Gott!" was the front-page headline of the German newspaper Die Tageszeitung the day after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's election as Pope.  A year after that negatively charged exclamation, the headlines in the Holy Father's native country are highlighting the "beneficial" effect of the election of a German Pontiff.  There seems to be a rebirth of the faith in Germany, some observers say. The number of students of theology and of adult baptisms is increasing, as is that of Catholics returning to the Church.  Meanwhile, the number of those leaving the Church is decreasing, reveals a study carried out by Vicente Poveda Soler, correspondent of the main German news agency, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA).    (see world features in the Zenit daily dispatch, May 4)

 

In honour of Catherine McAuley

The inaugural annual Eucharist to celebrate the life of Venerable Catherine McAuley will be held in St Andrew’s Church, Westland Row, Dublin, on Saturday (May 13).  The celebrant will be Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.  The celebration will coincide with both the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Sisters of Mercy and with the presence in Dublin of the world’s Mercy leadership teams.

 

Seeking common values

The debate on abortion, bitterly polarised for three decades between pro-life and pro-abortion advocates, is shifting ground. Neither side is giving way on their basic objective to make abortion completely lawful or unlawful, but points of agreement are emerging. by Nicholas Tonti-Filippini

 

Prayers for miners answered

The prayers of millions of Australians over the past fortnight have been answered with the successful rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb at Beaconsfield yesterday morning, the Archbishop of Hobart, the Most Rev. Adrian Doyle, said, from Sydney.

“As we join together in giving thanks to God for the survival and rescue of Todd and Brant, we must also keep Larry Knight and his family in our thoughts and prayers on this momentous day,” Archbishop Doyle said.  “We should also remember all those who have worked so hard in the past two weeks to bring the rescue effort to a successful conclusion, especially the miners who have put their own lives at risk to save two of their colleagues.  I am personally also very grateful for the support given by the Catholic community in Northern Tasmania, especially the West Tamar Parish Priest, Fr Brian Lester ofm, and the Parish Sister based at Beaconsfield, Sr Frances McShane mss.  I know that Sr Frances, in particular, has been a special comfort to the Knight family during a most difficult time for them and for the friends and colleagues of Larry Knight.”

The Catholic Bishops of Australia, in expressing their joy at the safe rescue of the two miners, said that they joined with all Catholics and people of goodwill in continuing to pray for the people of Beaconsfield as authorities take stock of the magnitude of the mine disaster and the community begins looking to the future.

 










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