As World Youth Day 2008 launches in Sydney, SBS Television will screen a new documentary series called My Generation. This six-part series puts Australian youth under the microscope to reveal what they really think and feel about the big issues; religion, politics, adulthood, housing and community engagement. In tonight's episode, convinced generation Y is losing its soul and suspicious that organised religion can't give it back to them, writer and director Ben Lucas sets out to discover the spiritual essence of our youth. Why are more young people turning away from religion and what, if any, are the consequences of this increasing trend?
Five million Australians, one-quarter of the population, call themselves Catholic. At the core of their belief is the Mass, the ritual in which Christ becomes present to the faithful. Only a male unmarried priest can say Mass. The trouble is the Roman Catholic Church is running out of priests and soon won't have enough to conduct Sunday Masses. Though in some places there's been a slight increase in numbers studying for the priesthood, there are still too few to replace ageing and retiring priests. Priests are being brought in from overseas, and some former Anglican priests are filling parish vacancies. But these strategies may present more problems than solutions. Some Anglican-turned-Catholic priests are already married. So, if marriage is no impediment for them, why the prohibition on married Catholic priests? Many Catholics, including priests and some bishops, think it's time to abandon mandatory celibacy and to admit married men and women to the priesthood.
In part two of our special on the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, Geraldine Doogue examines the experience of women in the church. Women outnumber men in the Catholic Church, but rarely are their voices heard. Forty years after the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the church still denies women positions of authority, leadership and power. In this episode we meet four women grappling with what it means to be Catholic in the 21st century.
For 88 years, a small town has pantomimed Christ's passion story in The Holy City, a bizarre reproduction of Jerusalem built into a cow pasture in Oklahoma. Jesus Town is a light-hearted documentary chronicling a 300-strong amateur cast, 46 horses, and Zack - a Buddhist paperboy playing Jesus.
For the first time, eight Vatican insiders break their silence and talk about their duties in the shadow of the Pope. Their stories, combined with unique images, provide an exclusive insight into the world of the Vatican.