Aussie bishop goes \"priest hunting\" in India

MELBOURNE, Australia -- A Catholic bishop has gone to India to find priests to work in a swath of Australia that stretches from tropical islands to the wilderness of the Australian outback.

Bishop Brian Heenan of Rockhampton in the state of Queensland told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that Indian priests could help overcome an extreme shortage of native clergy.

Vatican stops women's ordinations in Catholic church

MELBOURNE, Australia -- An Anglican ordination that was scheduled to be held in a Roman Catholic church in rural Australia was moved to a Protestant church because the Vatican refused to have women ordained in a Catholic building.

Catholic Bishop Joseph Grech of Sandhurst had given permission for the Anglican bishop of Bendigo, Andrew Curnow, to ordain seven candidates in St. Killian's Catholic Church on Nov. 29 after the local Anglican cathedral was closed for safety reasons.

But when it was discovered that four of the ordinands were women, Rome vetoed the local leadership, saying the ordinations could not take place within the Catholic building, even though it was an Anglican service.

Curnow told Ecumenical News International that he had been informed that the decision was entirely due to the presence of female ordinands. "It was felt that this would be sending the wrong signal regarding the ordination of women from a Catholic perspective," he said.

Instead, the ordinations were shifted to a local church of the Uniting Church in Australia, a Protestant denomination that has a history of ordaining women.