Welcome, but …
Welcome, but …
Catholic Social Services Australia Executive Director, Frank Quinlan, has welcomed news that unemployment figures remained at 4.9 per cent, but he said there was still an urgent need to invest more in skills and training, especially for young people, people with a disability and sole parents. (media release)
Medical facilities increase
The Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, has opened new state-of-the-art nursing school facilities at the University of Notre Dame, in Fremantle. The facilities were built with the support of $1 million in funding from the Australian Government, and are part of a refurbishment and redevelopment of existing buildings to create a world class educational facility for the School of Nursing.
A further $2 million has been allocated to the university this year to fund infrastructure at its Fremantle medical school, significantly enhancing the medical teaching and training facilities available to students.
The opening follows the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of a further 70 Commonwealth-supported nursing places at Notre Dame’s Fremantle campus, and 40 places at the university’s Sydney campus. A further 20 places have been allocated to both the Fremantle and Sydney campuses in mental health nursing. The university will also receive a further 20 Commonwealth supported places in medicine at its Fremantle medical school.
The Prime Minister has announced also that ACU National will be allowed 205 new nursing places from next year: 85 at St Patrick’s campus, Melbourne; 35 at Acquinas campus, Ballarat; 35 at McAuley (Banyo) campus, Brisbane; and 50 places to establish a new nursing course at Signadou campus, Canberra. These new places support the 135 new places created at the MacKillop campus, North Sydney, in 2005.
Radical theologians to meet in Kenya before World Social Forum
In recent years the word ‘radical’ has become a by-word for extremism when it comes to religion – with the term being used to denote everything from the Christian right in the United States through to militant Islamism.
But next year, theologians whose concern is for the flourishing of people and planet and for practical ecumenism in a world dominated by oppression and violence will meet in Kenya, the week before the World Social Forum.
They will emphasise that the word radical actually refers to the ‘rootedness’ that is needed to tackle change at the frontiers of life.
The Second World Forum on Theology and Liberation will take place in Nairobi from January 16-19, 2007, hosted by the Carmelite Fathers. The venue is near Tangaza College.
The forum will bring together Christian theologians from six continents (150 from Africa and 50 from the other parts of the world) who favour radical change – but by life-enhancing means. Protestants, Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox and independents will participate, many from the grassroots rather than from church hierarchies. ‘Liberating theologies’ - as they are often now called - across Africa, Asia, Latin America and in the Caribbean have been trying to help people increase their self-esteem, their literacy level, their social-community organisation, as well as their cultural, economic, and political associations.
The president of the World Forum on Theology and Liberation is Sergio Torres, a Catholic theologian from Chile. The general secretary is Luis Carlos Susin (Capucin Father) from Brazil. The forum's general secretariat is at Porto Alegre (Brazil) – which was also the venue of the most recent World Council of Churches assembly.
The World Social Forum, which the Nairobi theological gathering will feed into, is a periodic grassroots assembly of social and ecological movements campaigning against neo-liberal globalisation and for the global development of humane and sustainable alternatives.
Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union is set to open a new 95,000 sq ft academic centre. The building will feature an assembly space to accommodate 400 people with a worship area that has a sacred space for the entire community to gather, generous sized classrooms with the latest technology, conference rooms, breakout rooms, computer lab and meditation room. CTU is the largest Catholic graduate school of theology in the US. Along with seminarians from 25 religious communities, the student body includes ever-increasing numbers of lay men and women who are preparing to serve the church of the future. CTU says that this partnership of lay and religious leaders brings new vitality to the church as well as the beauty and strength of the gospel to a new generation.
Cardinal Bertone and others
Further to the comments of Dr Paul Collins in last week’s Online Catholics (Ecclesiastical movers and shakers), Sandro Magister looks in detail at the changing face of the Church’s central governance in Ratzinger’s new team trains in the Holy Office.
Heart of peace
VATICAN CITY: The theme of Benedict XVI's message for the 40th World Peace Day, which will be observed on January 1, 2007, is The Human Person: Heart of Peace. The theme "expresses the conviction that respect for the dignity of the human person is an essential condition for peace within the human family”. Human dignity "is the stamp imprinted by God on man, created in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27); it is the sign of the common destiny of humanity and the foundation of love of God and of one's neighbour."
Zambian archbishop breaks with Rome
WASHINGTON: Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo says he has no intention of launching a new sect in Africa funded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon as a rival to Roman Catholicism, and charged that his latest break with the Vatican is the result of "intolerable restrictions" imposed on him over the last five years, as well as a deep "lack of appreciation" for his spiritual gifts as an exorcist.
Now, Milingo says, he wants to help reconcile married priests with the Catholic church, as well as to promote better understanding between Catholicism and Moon's Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. In a press conference on July 14, he announced the formation of a new group, "Married Priests Now!", which will agitate for the return of roughly 150,000 married priests who have left the church in recent decades.
Milingo, who was made a bishop by Pope Paul VI in 1969 at the age of 39, has long been a thorn in the side of church authorities because of his controversial practice of mass exorcism ceremonies. In 2001, he broke away from the Catholic church and wed a follower of Moon, a then-43 Korean acupuncturist named Maria Sung. After a tempestuous few weeks, including a surprise meeting with Pope John Paul II, Milingo returned to obedience. (full report National Catholic Reporter)