National Catholic Register


World Notes & Quotes

From selected publications

BY Jim Cosgrove

March 14-20, 1999 Issue | Posted 3/14/99 at 2:00 PM


Some Clergy Balk at General Absolution Ban

SUNDAY MORNING HERALD, Feb. 27—Religion writer Chris McGillion reports that a group of “priests and religious brothers and sisters from around the nation have rejected what they say is the Vatican's “overwhelmingly negative estimation of Australian Catholicism.”

The letter was signed by 75 priests, brothers and sisters who took part in a national colloquium in Sydney on the Statement of Conclusions that resulted from a meeting last October between Vatican officials and a group of Australian bishops held in the Vatican in conjunction with the Synod of Oceania.

The clergy group also expressed “dismay” with the statement's call to end the practice of general absolution. McGillion described the Vatican's insistence on individual confession as “controversial.”

Millions Fleeing Indonesia Violence

FIDES, March 2—More than 2 million Indonesians have fled an island in panic amid violent clashes between Christians and Muslims, reported the news agency operated by the Vatican's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Local dioceses and the apostolic nunciature to Indonesia had donated $50,000 to assist the refugees, but further funds were needed, the news agency reported.

Fides said 160 people had died in the past month in fighting among Christian and Muslim groups in the Molucche archipelago of Indonesia, which includes the island of Ambon.

An unnamed source working for the Diocese of Amboina, Indonesia, told Fides that the clashes were less over differences in religion than ``various ethnic, economic, cultural and social reasons.”

Church in U.K. Accused on Not Following Own Norms

BBC, March 8—Priests accused of child abuse in England and Wales are being allowed to continue working, according to BBC News.

Church officials have admitted that some bishops in the UK may be failing to follow the Church's own child protection guidelines. The Church's strict child protection procedures, in place since 1994, state that in any case where a complaint is made against a priest, social services should be informed and the priest removed from parish duties.

However, the BBC found one priest under investigation who was still working. Another, recently suspended, was allowed to work in a primary school while under suspicion of abusing children.