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BY John Lilly
Cardinal Supports Call for Faith-Based Counseling
ABC ONLINE, Feb. 21 — Australia’s Federal
Cabinet will consider increased funding for faith-based pregnancy counseling
services on the advice of Health Minister Tony Abbott, the Australian news
Cardinal George Pell of Australia
heartily endorsed the move.
Abbott, a Catholic, recently lost a
debate over the availability of the abortion drug RU-486. He indicated he wants
to give Church-affiliated groups more funds to counsel women. Cardinal Pell
said Catholic agencies would certainly be interested in offering pregnancy
The cardinal added, “I don’t exactly
know what [Abbott] is proposing, but like nearly 90% of Australian people, I’m
happy to go along with whatever ways will, we hope, try to reduce this
appalling rate of abortion in Australia.”
Pakistanis Condemn Church Burnings
Feb. 20 — An alliance of Pakistan’s minorities condemned attacks on two
Catholic churches during a protest over publication of cartoons depicting
Prophet Mohammed, the Indian news service reported.
Some 400 protestors set ablaze two
empty churches Feb. 19 in the city of Sukkur in Sindh province. Police arrested
23 people and accused them of arson, disrupting the peace and damaging
All Pakistan Minorities Alliance
Chairman Shahbaz Bhatti said that besides the attacks on St. Francis Xavier
Church and St. Mary’s Church, the mobs have ransacked pastoral residences, and
have destroyed Bibles and other holy books.
“Religious minorities have contributed
wholeheartedly in the development and prosperity of the country even ready to
sacrifice everything for its integrity,” he said. “The blasphemous act of a newspaper
cannot be linked with Christianity
or Pakistani Christians.”
Scotland’s Church Looks to Poland for New Priests
GLASGOW DAILY RECORD, Feb. 23 — Bishop Peter Moran of Scotland is on a mission to Poland to
attract priests to serve in the Church in Scotland, the Daily Record reported.
The Aberdeen bishop
is seeking to make up for the shortfall of Catholic clergy in northeast
Scotland and wants to cater to the fast-growing Polish population in Scotland,
most of whom are Catholic.
Poles have flooded
into Scotland since their country joined the European Union. They can make
several times their wages at home. It’s the second such influx. Many Polish
servicemen stayed on in Scotland after fighting in the Free Polish Army during
World War II.
Bishop Moran met
with Cardinal-designate Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow and Pope John
Paul II’s former secretary, to ask for his help.
“The percentage of
Catholics in the diocese is 3% of the population,” the bishop told Polish
radio, but with the arrival of many people from Poland, the Catholic population
is increasing rapidly. … I have come to Poland because these Polish Catholics
need pastoral care. I also need priests for my own Catholics.”