SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – In Australia, the Catholic Church has established a new independent non-profit to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse.

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CANBERRA – The Australian government's proposed permanent ban on visas for refugees and asylum seekers who have recently arrived by boat drew strong criticism from a bishop who is a former refugee himself.

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VATICAN CITY – Australian police questioned Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, in Rome regarding accusations of alleged sexual abuse.

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ROME - Australian Cardinal George Pell promised to work with a group of abuse survivors to help prevent suicide among victims and support healing and protection programs.

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SYDNEY - For a third consecutive day, a top Vatican official gave testimony to an Australian commission about what he knew of the Church's reassignment of abusive priests.

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SYDNEY - When former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns of Ballarat moved a pedophile priest from parish to parish in the early 1970s without divulging the underlying reasons for the moves, the appointments implied the bishop had confidence in the priest, Cardinal George Pell told Australia's Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

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SYDNEY - The Vatican's Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, told a special hearing of Australia's Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he was not trying "to defend the indefensible."

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When the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace launched its Share Lent “Sow Much Love” campaign, it didn’t know just how much love it might get. Thanks to its first-ever mobile phone app, it is getting a better idea.

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VATICAN CITY - Twelve Chaldean religious men and priests living in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden have been suspended from exercising their priestly ministry for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq.

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- One hour before the Mass at which he was to be ordained as a Catholic priest, Father Harry Entwistle, 72, was named by Pope Benedict XVI as the first head of the personal ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, a jurisdiction for former Anglicans in Australia.

Father Entwistle, who was ordained an Anglican priest in England in 1964, immigrated to Australia in 1988, joined the Traditional Anglican Communion in 2006 and was later named Australia's Western regional bishop. The Traditional Anglican Communion is a worldwide group of Anglicans that separated themselves from the Anglican Communion led by the archbishop of Canterbury.

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SYDNEY - The governing body of the Traditional Anglican Communion has suspended Archbishop John Hepworth, whose allegations that he was raped more than 40 years ago as a young Catholic priest by three other clerics were found to be unsubstantiated by investigators.

The disciplinary action by the College of Bishops makes Archbishop Hepworth ineligible to continue in his role as bishop ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and as head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the breakaway group seeking membership in the Anglican ordinariate established by Pope Benedict XVI.

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SYDNEY - Australia's new personal ordinariate will be a "homecoming" for former Anglicans joining the Catholic Church later this year.

The ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, under the patronage of St. Augustine of Canterbury, will be established June 15 by the Vatican.

Holy Cross Church in Melbourne is the first church to be designated for the ordinariate.

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TORONTO - A leaked private e-mail between two Australian bishops that was critical of Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins briefly threatened to halt the process of forming a Catholic Anglican ordinariate in Canada.

The message from Traditional Anglican Communion primate Archbishop John Hepworth to Melbourne’s Catholic Bishop Peter Elliott accused Collins of “the wanton destruction of their (Anglican Catholic Church of Canada) communities, the absolute disregard for their ecclesial integrity, and the brutish manner in which these edicts are being communicated.” Hepworth said that he and Anglican Catholic Church of Canada Bishop Peter Wilkinson would immediately place “on hold” further steps toward creating an ordinariate in Canada.  

Collins has been put in charge of the processes of forming an ordinariate for ex-Anglicans in Canada under the terms of the 2009 apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.

In a statement posted to the archdiocese of Toronto’s web site May 16, Collins said his job was to offer the terms of Anglicanorum Coetibus to any and all former Anglicans, not just the Traditional Anglican Communion, of which the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada is a member.

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SYDNEY, Australia - In the longest-lasting and longest-distance trip of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to Australians and to young people from around the world about God's plan for all creation, but especially for people.

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