Pell blesses Labor education policy
In a wide ranging series of comments yesterday, Sydney Cardinal George Pell has backed the Opposition's new school policy reversing Church opposition to Labor's policy in 2004. [More]

Nuncio dies in US
Holy See nuncio to Australia, American born Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli has died in a Miami hospital. [More]

Priests' life sentence for murder
A Roman Catholic priest has been sentenced to life in prison for collaborating in murders, kidnappings and torture during Argentina's 1976-1983 military
dictatorship. [More]

Priest faces 23 counts of abuse
A court has heard a priest accused of abusing students at a school in Sydney's south asked one of his alleged victims to tell staff he was not a pedophile. [More]

Pope calls for prayers after Orthodox walk-out
Pope Benedict has asked for prayers for participants in the Catholic-Orthodox international theological dialogue after the Russian Orthodox delegation walked out of the meeting. [More]

Thief sentenced to read Bible behind bars
A Singaporean judge sentenced a man to four months in jail for stealing a Bible, admonishing him with Scripture before hauling him off to prison, The Straits Times newspaper reported. [More]

The wisdom to judge which refugees merit resettlement
Whether the African component of the immigration quota has been reduced too sharply is a matter of judgment. But it is part of the necessary business of government to evaluate the relative need of different groups. To to this, we need to understand their experience. - Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ [More] - Eureka Street Extra

Finding inspiration for mission in Colorado Springs
Brisbane archdiocese representatives Mike Humphrys and Michele Vuleta have returned from a United States visit inspired about new possibilities for mission. The pair visited six parishes while taking part in the Making Disciples course run by the Catherine of Sienna Institute, Colorado Springs. [More] - Catholic Leader

WYD 2008 Broken Bay
The current big event is Activating ACT1v8, the one-day WYD Conference on 20 October featuring Sr Eileen McCann csj, veteran of six World Youth Days and current Programs Co-ordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Broken Bay's HomeStay Program is looking for volunteers, and the CD Recording Project is seeking original songs from talented writers aged 16-35.
- www.wydbrokenbay.org.au


Dali's gift to exorcist uncovered

An art expert has uncovered a sculpture of Christ on the Cross he claims Salvador Dali made to thank an Italian friar who exorcised him

The Italian ANSA news agency reports that Armando Ginesi found the piece, measuring 60cm by 30cm, among the personal belongings of Gabriele Maria Berardi, a friar who died in 1984, in a storeroom in Rome.

He has shown the work to two Spanish experts on the Surrealist artist. They agreed that there are "sufficient stylistic reasons" to believe it was made by Dali.

According to Ginesi, Berardi told friends and relatives he exorcised Dali of a demon in 1947 during a spell in France. At the time Berardi had temporarily been suspended from his Italian religious order - apparently for failing to honour financial commitments. He did a variety of jobs, but continued to perform religious rites, including exorcisms.

The reported exorcism took place during a period in which Dali had broken away from Surrealism and started producing more realistic works, often with religious imagery.

Dali's sculpture of Christ on the Cross is a symbol of "piety filtered by a sense of the paradoxical," Ginesi explained. "While the figure portrays the death and suffering that came before, the light colour of Jesus (which stands out on the dark brown cross) seems to allude to life and something positive."

ANSA says Dali may have given Berardi the sculpture in France following the friar's intervention or possibly later, during a visit to Italy, after Berardi had been readmitted to his order. The revelation of the exorcism presents a new twist in the life story of one of the 20th century's most eccentric and fascinating personalities. The artist had a tumultuous life. He was expelled from Art School, for example, for refusing to sit an exam on Raphael, on the grounds that he knew more about the subject than his teachers did.

He also had poor relations with the rest of the Surrealist movement, which threw him out for greed, ambivalence towards Fascism and a flamboyance that sometimes overshadowed his art. The sculpture of Christ belongs to the charity Berardi founded, Associazione fra i Volontari della Carita', which intends to sell the piece to finance good works.

Dali's gift to exorcist uncovered (ANSA.it 12/10/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Salvador Dali (answers.com)

Dali sculpture found in Rome (The Universe 13/10/05)
First day of school for aspiring Vatican exorcists (Leading the Charge 13/10/05)

14 Oct 2005