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Clergy irate over Pell inquiry into college

An inquiry into Sydney's leading Catholic theological college has fuelled disquiet over the leadership style of the Sydney Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, and the future of religious university education in Australia.



Churches on the front line

As violence rips through the streets of Northern Ireland, Catholic and Protestant alike working to build peace wonder where they went wrong. Briefly bowed but never broken, they vow to continue their mission


Catholic peace activists charged with civilian Iraq war protest

On March 17, 2003, two days before the US invasion of Iraq commenced, four protesters--now known as the "Saint Patrick's Four"--entered a military recruiting center near Ithaca, New York, and poured small amounts of their own blood around the building's vestibule in a symbolic protest against the coming invasion. By their own account, they were alone in the vestibule and no one was prevented from entering or leaving the center.

For this act of non-violent civil disobedience, the longtime Catholic peace activists--sisters Clare and Teresa Grady, Daniel Burns, and Peter DeMott--have been charged with conspiracy to impede "by force, intimidation and threat" an officer of the United States along with three lesser offenses. If convicted of federal conspiracy in a trial starting tomorrow, September 19, they face up to six years in prison, a period of probation and $275,000 in fines. The trial is the first time the Federal government has pressed conspiracy charges against civilian Iraq war protesters. The obvious intent of the wildly excessive indictment is to chill antiwar dissent.



Vatican bid to find gays in seminary stirs concern

An effort by the Vatican to look for evidence of homosexuality in Catholic seminaries is alarming gay rights advocates but is pleasing conservatives, who are hoping that Pope Benedict XVI will soon issue a ban on gay men as future priests.



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