As one who serves an Eastern Catholic community that was born in the Church of Antioch, older perhaps than the Church of Rome, the first served by Peter, and where Paul received Christ, the feast of Pentecost brings a deep and abiding sense that whatever happens, whatever tragedies are playing out in the world around us, the Spirit is still actively at work amongst us. The signs are there to see even in the great suffering of faithful in the Middle East and elsewhere.
Pax Christi International rejoices with the beatification of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero and celebrates in solidarity with the people of El Salvador and the peoples of the world who recognize in Msgr. Romero a witness of a peace which is the fruit of justice. Mgr Romero's legacy is the persistent search for truth, justice and reconciliation; his journey was marked by a unique coherence between his values and faith and his practice. While Mgr Romero was leading the Archdiocese of San Salvador, the political repression of the popular demands for justice and human rights reached brutal levels of violence.
From the opening moments, Amir Amirani's We Are Many is a powerful documentary, revisiting the demonstrations against the war on Iraq that took place in 789 cities - one after another around the globe - across 72 countries, plus Antarctica, on 15 February 2003. Besides the rousing crowd scenes, there is vintage footage of Blair and Bush together and apart, repeating the story of those weapons of mass destruction. Then there's testimony and reminiscing from Jerry Corbyn, Noam Chomsky, Tony Benn, Jesse Jackson, Clare Short, Ken Loach and Tariq Ali, Sir Richard Branson, Susan Sarandon,
One of the groups who were very close to Archbishop Oscar Romero, are rejoicing over his beatification in El Salvador tomorrow. "His beatification fills us Marists who were closest to him with joy and hope," said Marist brother José Antonio López. "We give thanks to the Lord for this because he is the first saint of El Salvador... he said, in an interview with the Marist general house press office in Rome.
Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall paid a visit to Saint Patrick's Church, Donegall Street, yesterday. Saint Patrick's celebrated its 200th anniversary in March, and the visit is one of the highlights in the Parish's year-long calendar of celebrations. It was the royal couple's first engagement in Northern Ireland on their four-day tour of the Island. Accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, Fionnula Jay-O'Boyle, the royal visitors were warmly welcomed by Parish Administrator, Father Michael Sheehan.
A biographical booklet on the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero, written by Revd Dr Ashley Beck, Pastoral Ministry Programme Director at St Mary's University, Twickenham has been reissued ahead of the beatification of the Archbishop this Saturday 23rd May in San Salvador, El Salvador. Oscar Romero Martyr for Faith (CTS) is one of the few studies of the archbishop, who was martyred in 1980, to be written and published in the UK, and the new edition includes a revised introduction from Dr Beck. It explores martyrdom and torture within Christianity and the misconception that Archbishop Romero
An evening newsflash on 24 March 1980 reported the shooting of Archbishop Oscar Romero in his cathedral in El Salvador, saying that he was just in the process of being transferred to hospital. A short time later, we heard that "'El Monseñor", had died as a result of bullet wounds received whilst he celebrated Mass. Very few people set out to become a martyr. Most of us are only brave when we have no alternative. Romero also became brave. He took a deep breath and confronted injustice knowing that it would probably cost him his life.
A press conference was held yesterday at the Vatican to present the second International Conference on Women which opens today. The two-day event is organised by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the World Union of Catholic Women's Organisations (WUCWO) and the World Women's Alliance for Life and Family (WWALF). The theme of the conference is: 'Women and the post-2015 development agenda - the challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)'.
Buckfast Abbey School of the Annunciation to collaborate with Franciscan University Steubenville, USA
The School of the Annunciation, Buckfast Abbey, has signed an agreement with Franciscan University Steubenville to form a collaborative partnership. In the first phase of the partnership Dr Andrew Beards, Academic Director at the School, has joined the online teaching staff of Franciscan University's popular online, distance-learning MA in Catechesis and Evangelisation (MACE). Dr Beards joins a faculty teaching US students that includes Dr Hahn, Dr Bob Rice, Sr Johanna Paruch and Dr Petroc Willey.
Our Pax Christi UK group was sitting in a café in the old city of Jerusalem enjoying our final Falafal before returning home. Another group, dressed bright turquoise with yellow scarves, joined us at the two tables either side. The all black group hailed from the Catholic Archdiocese of Capetown and we were delighted to share stories about our two pilgrimages. As we chatted, it struck me as ironic that this group - 25 years after the end of apartheid, during which South Africa's black community faced severe repression - was now free to visit Jerusalem and yet the majority of Palestinians in Bethlehem, six miles down the road, cannot.
Under the One-Child Policy, a Chinese schoolteacher, five months pregnant, was ordered to have an abortion by the end of May or lose her job. This order has just been reversed, following domestic and international media attention. Qin Yi (sometimes translated Tan Yi) and Meng Shaoping were both divorced and both have daughters from their first marriages. Qin Yi's residency is in Huangshan City in Anhui Province, where officials told her that she could have a second child because she divorced the father of her first child.
"My heart palpitates when I remember," says Zarah, a tall, slender woman in her forties, her long legs folded beneath her as she sits on a mat. "I'm OK during the day," she continues, "but at night it all comes back to me - the soldiers killing three people, right in front of me, at the market." She pulls her Paisley pattern scarf to cover her hair. Despite the 45C degrees in the refugee camp in Chad, she is swathed in a floor-length blue and yellow dress, miraculously clean, given the dust and rubbish everywhere. It defies logic that this woman, who narrowly escaped death in her native
The Presidents of Churches Together in England have expressed their deep sorrow at the alarming increase in violence and murder against Christians in many parts of the world. Receiving reports, in some cases eye-witness reports, of martyrdom in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, India, Pakistan and Indonesia, among other places, the Presidents call upon all people of goodwill to uphold respect for the sanctity of life and the flourishing of every human being. Stressing the fundamental God-given right and freedom to practice one's faith and belief, the Presidents call for peaceful
...You're left with the impression that aid money has been spent on aiding the efforts of corporations to expand their markets in the global south rather than to support economically marginalised communities to access to basic amenities." Global Justice Now has raised numerous concerns and criticisms of DfID's increasing involvement with the private sector - a policy that was ramped up over the course of the previous government.back New Alliance for Food Security was fuelling the 'corporate scramble for Africa."
South Sudan: Aid agencies say renewed fighting in Melut, is plunging country from crisis to catastrophe
CAFOD and Trocaire are gravely concerned about the attack on the town of Melut in South Sudan. The international aid agencies have been forced to withdraw their staff and halt their life-saving humanitarian work with vulnerable communities who have been caught up in nearly two years of conflict between government and opposition forces. Jane Andanje, Country Representative for CAFOD and Trocaire, gave the following report: "We have three staff bunkered inside the UN compound in Melut, and our staff report that there is the constant sound of shelling
"The God of peace is never glorified by human violence," wrote the famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton. Whether it's on an individual, city, national, or international level, violence always dishonors God, and makes bad situations worse. The recent Baltimore City riots were no exception: people were injured, neighbourhood stores were burned, and violence was further engrained into a city and world already steeped in violence. But, and this is a big but: What are the reasons that led to violence?
Thirty three international humanitarian aid and advocacy organisations, including Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Pax Christi have written today to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, urging him to give his "personal attention" to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma) and to take "a personal lead" in negotiating for humanitarian access to all areas of Rakhine State. In an open letter, the NGOs quote the UN Assistant General-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Kyung-hwa Kang, who said after visiting camps for internally displaced people
In his catechesis at the General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis focused on the role of parents in the education of their children, which he called "an essential characteristic" of the family. The Holy Father noted the many difficulties facing parents today, especially those who find themselves in difficult situations. He spoke especially about the difficulties of separated couples, calling on them to "never, never, never take the children hostage!" He spoke out strongly against "intellectual critics" who have "silenced" parents in order to defend younger generations from real or imagined harm.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines has been elected as the new president of Caritas Internationalis at the confederation's 20th General Assembly in Rome. Speaking on the phone, Cardinal Tagle told delegates from over 130 member organisations from all over the world: "Buona sera a tutti! Thank you for your trust. I'm limited in my capacities but with all of you, with the love that Jesus has poured into our hearts and in the name of all of the poor people in the world, I accept this election.
Cardinal Vincent will celebrate a special Mass in thanksgiving for the Sacrament of Matrimony this coming Saturday 23 May in Westminster Cathedral at 3pm. The Mass for Matrimony has been an annual event since 2008 and this year, over 600 couples celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2015 are expected to join the Cardinal to renew their vows. One couple will this year be celebrating their Diamond Jubilee on the day itself.
Dear Editor, In America, physician assisted suicide is legal in a few states and under various stages of review in other states. It was anticipated that it would be only occasionally used but this is no longer the case. Even the most basic health insurance plans include a minimum level of care for terminally ill patients, that being to provide 'a pain management protocol' for however many months, weeks or days until the patient's natural death.
We should all reflect on our own final farewell from this life, and what it means for Christians to entrust themselves to God, Pope Francis said during Mass on Tuesday morning at Casa Santa Marta. The Pope's homily was a reflection on how our lives are marked by saying goodbye, how we do it and the reasons why we do it. He took as his inspiration the day's readings where Jesus bids farewell to the disciples before his Passion and death and where St Paul bids farewell before going to Jerusalem and weeps on the beach with those who have come to say goodbye to him.
"Our vocation is to listen when the Lord asks us: 'Console my people'. Indeed, we are asked to console, to help, to encourage, without discrimination, all our brothers who are oppressed by the weight of their crosses, without ever tiring of working to lift them up again with the strength that comes only from God", said Pope Francis yesterday afternoon to the bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference, as he inaugurated the 68th assembly held in the Vatican to analyse the reception of the Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii Gaudium' (The Joy of the Gospel).
My Bethlehem hotel room looks out across a valley to an Israeli settlement. Or does the settlement look out over the Palestinian town of Bethlehem? Some of my Pax Christi colleagues can remember when the hill was covered with trees. Now it is, according to Israelis, a de facto suburb of its capital, Jerusalem, and reserved for Israeli settlers only. However, for Palestinians and much of the world Har Homar is an illegal settlement built from the late 1990s on territory annexed during the 1967 war. Sandwiched between Bethlehem and the Palestinian
'Pope Francis on Preaching' with Fr Ed Foley' - A Day Conference jointly organised by the College of Preachers and the Mount Street Jesuit Centre takes place next Friday, 29 May at Mount Street Jesuit Centre. This is a day open to all, lay or ordained, and of any faith or none, and so is a complement to Fr Foley's conference organised by the Catholic Association of Preaching on the same topic for Catholic deacons and priests on May 26 in Crawley. Fr Foley is Professor of Spirituality, Liturgy and Music at Catholic Theological Union of Chicago, author of 21 books, and a widely acclaimed speaker on preaching.