The offices of the Africa Faith and Justice Network are tucked into a corner of the fourth floor of a building on the campus of Trinity College in Washington, D.C. On the wall, a map of Africa is covered with pins to which are tied strings leading to little slips of paper that surround the map. Each slip of paper lists the name of the country and the different religious orders working within its borders. This little office reaches an entire continent.
Distances and demographics combine to tell the story.
Three-quarters the size of the United States, Australia is mainly uninhabited except along its coastline. While the U.S. shelters close to 313 million people, latest Australian census statistics report only 22 million persons on the continent’s nearly 3 million square miles.
MELBOURNE and SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA -- Ten days in Australia isn't nearly enough, except to find that the church is alive and kicking.
My first-time-ever trip to Melbourne and Sydney in mid-May was as guest of Garratt Publishing, which publishes Australian editions of my books Women Deacons: Past, Present, Future (with Gary Macy and William T. Ditewig) and Women in Ministry: Emerging Questions about the Diaconate. Garratt sponsored conferences and talks, and introduced me both in person and on various radio programs to an alive and questioning church.
MARIKINA CITY, Philippines -- Social media's popularity among Filipino youth is increasing, and the Philippines church is tapping these tools to spread the Gospel.
More than 400 people from various cities gathered at Renaissance Hotel in Marikina City, east of Manila, for 1st Catholic Social Media Summit over the weekend. They examined the advantages of and problems with various types of social media and explored ways to make full use of the tools for forming vibrant Christian communities online and in real life.
OTTAWA, Ontario -- The federal government has announced it will appeal the June 15 British Columbia Supreme Court decision that struck down Canada's laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide.
"After careful consideration of the legal merits," the government of Canada will appeal the so-called Carter decision to the British Columbia Court of Appeal and seek "a stay of all aspects of the lower-court decision," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Rob Nicholson on July 13.
"The government is of the view that the Criminal Code provisions that prohibit medical professionals, or anyone else, from counseling or providing assistance in a suicide are constitutionally valid," said Nicholson. "The government also objects to the lower court's decision to grant a 'constitutional exemption' resembling a regulatory framework for assisted suicide."
Adding a new name to the growing list of bishops fired by Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Róbert Bezák of Trnava, Slovakia, was deposed on July 2, setting off protests and rallies in support of the ousted prelate in this overwhelmingly Catholic nation.
WASHINGTON -- One-tenth of an inch puts Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker above some of the best marksmen in the country.
Fifty meters away from Parker, a bull's-eye less than the size of a dime has been pockmarked by his air rifle, signaling a trip to the Olympic Games in London.
Melinda Gates has pledged $560 million as part of a campaign to expand access to contraception for women in some of the poorest countries in the world.
The funding commitment was unveiled Wednesday at the London Summit on Family Planning alongside other pledges that total $4.6 billion from the British government and leaders from African nations, which are wrestling with the health and social problems brought on, they say, by high rates of unplanned pregnancy.
MARYKNOLL, N.Y. -- To the more traditional elements of their job description, two Maryknoll missioners in Guatemala have added the responsibility of being a presence in the face of injustice and inhumanity.
Fr. William F. Mullan and Br. Martin J. Shea said their combined 110 years of service to Maryknoll, most of it in Guatemala, included evangelization and pastoral care of the local church, as well as temporal and emotional support for people displaced by that country's civil war.
VATICAN CITY -- Chinese Fr. Joseph Yue Fusheng has been automatically excommunicated for allowing himself to be illicitly ordained a bishop despite repeated warnings from the Vatican.
"The Holy See does not recognize him as bishop of the apostolic administration of Harbin, and he lacks the authority to govern the priests and the Catholic community in the province of Heilongjiang," the Vatican said in a written statement Tuesday.