Divisions, jealousies, misunderstandings and marginalization do not help the Church to grow as the Body of Christ, they shatter it into many pieces, they dismember it. Instead we should remember that we – as the Body of Christ – are called to appreciate the gifts and the quality of others in our communities. This was the main message of Pope Francis' teaching during the general audience this morning, attended by tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square... Referring to Saint Paul’s advice to the quarreling community
The Holy See has confirmed that Pope Francis, has accepted invitations from civil authorities, His Holiness Bartolomaios I and bishops, and will make an apostolic trip to Turkey from 28 to 30 November 2014, during which he will visit Ankara and Istanbul. Leaving on the morning of Friday 28 from Rome's Fiumicino Airport. He will first visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, after which he will transfer to the presidential palace where he will be received by the president of the Republic and the authorities,
Night Fever, a unique open night of prayer and reflection will take place at The Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Talbot Square, Blackpool this Friday, 24 October from 7.30pm – 10pm. The new outreach initiative has been hugely successful and popular across Manchester, London and in cities all over the world and now a team of local ambassadors for the project are bringing the Night Fever event to Blackpool. The aim of Night Fever is inviting people into the town centre Sacred Heart church to experience a moment of candlelit evening prayer,
Read More ... Pearl Mina - Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 1:03 pm
The Feast of Saint Jude takes place next Tuesday, 28 October. At the National Shrine of St Jude in Faversham, Kent, there celebrations will start on Saturday. The feast weekend is the highpoint of the calendar in Faversham, and hundreds of pilgrims come in devotion to the Apostle. Although most come from London and the southeast, many others come from across Britain and even from abroad to celebrate this special time with God and with one another, in the company of the Carmelites.
The National Gallery's long-anticipated exhibition ‘Rembrandt: The Late Works’ is now open. Organised in collaboration with Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, this is an unmissable chance to experience the passion, emotion and innovation of the great master. Through famous masterpieces and rare drawings and prints, the exhibition examines the themes that would preoccupy Rembrandt as he grew older, including self-scrutiny, experimentation, conflict and reconciliation. We will be publishing a review of the exhibition later this week.
Reflecting on the readings during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today (Tuesday) Pope Francis said: “a Christian is a person who knows how to wait for Jesus cultivates a solid hope in Salvation." In the Gospel of Luke and in St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, the Pope said the people of God are united in Christ, Thanks to Him they have a name that goes beyond every enmity. Quoting from Luke, he said: “blessed are the servants who await their master’s return from a wedding with lighted lamps”.
The Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, is to deliver CAFOD’s Pope Paul VI lecture this year. Based in Rome as head of the Vatican’s scientific academy, Bishop Sanchez is an Argentine Catholic Bishop who has published numerous scientific papers. In his address to the annual lecture, which this year will be chaired by ITV News at Ten anchorwoman Julie Etchingham, Bishop Sanchez will consider the themes of climate change and poverty,
The risk of hunger and malnutrition within Ebola-hit communities in West Africa is threatening to undermine the effectiveness of quarantine measures and, with it, the wider Ebola response, warns Christian Aid. As the rate of infection continues to rise, the agency is calling on the international community to address the problem of food insecurity for over a million people in quarantine in Sierra Leone. With hospitals and treatment centres overstretched and at capacity, effective but humane quarantine measures are key to halting
On 4 November 2014, MPs will be discussing the Abortion (Sex-Selection) Bill . The Bill clarifies the Abortion Act to make clear that abortion on gender grounds is illegal. There is no consensus on the incidence of gender abortion in the UK. A recent Government report found no statistically significant discrepancy in gender ratios in the UK even when the data is broken down by ethnicity (the problem is thought to be worse in some ethnic minority communities). However, studies carries out by Oxford and Imperial College academics
Singers and musicians from several Eastern Rite churches, together with friends from mosques and synagogues gathered at Farm Street Church in central London, on Saturday for an evening of music, poetry and prayer, to raise funds for the work of Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) with Syrian refugees. At a reception afterwards, MP Sarah Teather and Fr Dominic Robinson SJ shared their impressions of their recent trip to the Lebanon where JRS are working with Syrian refugees.
On Saturday in Armagh, Northern Ireland, a special Mass was held for His Holiness Pope Francis’ Universal Prayer for Peace and Dialogue among Nations. The extraordinary service was the result of an initiative by the Ambassador of Argentina to the United Kingdom, Alicia Castro, and was attended by Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, the Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Cathy Rafferty, parliamentarians from the Northern Ireland Assembly, MPs and Consulate officials in Belfast, The Mass, which took place in St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral,
The Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley is visiting Amritsar this week (21 -28 October) at the invitation of Bhai Sahib Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia - the spiritual leader of one of the largest Sikh communities in Birmingham. He is travelling together with representatives from the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group – a group which consists of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists created in the wake of 9/11 to discuss issues of common concern to all faiths.
Christian organisations in the UK are coming together to launch a year of prayer and fasting for the climate at special services across the country on 1 November 2014. This initiative calls on Christians to pray and fast on the first day of every month to make a stand for climate justice. The coming year is a crucial time for faith communities to act in response to the climate crisis, as momentum builds towards a new international climate agreement to be signed in Paris in December 2015 to stop dangerous climate change.
A new publication from the Jubilee Debt Campaign, compiled with the assistance of Christian Aid and All We Can: Methodist Relief and Development, is helping churches relate real world economic problems to Biblical teachings. Entitled ‘Jubilee economics: Biblical teaching and financial crisis’, the set of six Bible studies analyses economic issues facing people in the UK and across the world from a Biblical perspective. Jesus’ teachings on hoarding wealth are examined in relation to inequality and financial crisis;
A Middle East without Christians is unthinkable, Pope Francis said on Monday morning at the opening of the Ordinary Public Consistory for the canonisation of Blessed Joseph Vaz, a Oratorian priest who served in Goa, and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception, foundress .... “We are witnessing a phenomenon of terrorism on an unimaginable scale”, he commented. “Many of our brothers and sisters are brutally persecuted and driven from their homes. It seems that an awareness of the value of human life has been lost;
Members of the new direct action group, Christian Climate Action, visited the headquarters of the Church of England on Friday to invite the Church Commissioners to a divestment party. The party is to be held on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral next Saturday to celebrate the growing number of churches and faith organisations around the world showing leadership on climate action and divesting from fossil fuels. The group turned up at Church House with balloons and a large party invitation, informing the Church Commissioners,
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that Pastors Behnam Irani and Matthias Haghnejad, and Deacon Silas Rabbani, who previously had capital charges against them dropped, have been each given six-year sentences by an Iranian court. The verdict, issued by Judge Asef al-Hosseini, ordered Pastor Irani to serve his sentence in a prison in the northern city of Zabol, while Pastor Haghnejad and Deacon Rabbani will be transferred to a prison in Minab, an island in the Persian Gulf. All three are appealing their sentences.
Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy and seminary students will convene around a shared vision of environmental stewardship at the Faith and Ecology Conference in Jerusalem this Wednesday, 22 October. Current and emerging faith leaders and teachers can serve as a unique and powerful vehicle to influence society to address environmental challenges. In the Holy Land, members of the three Abrahamic traditions all share the importance of being stewards of Creation. The conference will instruct over 100 seminary students and clergy on integration of
Rev Dr Adrian Graffy, a priest of Brentwood Diocese, has been nominated by Pope Francis to become a member of The Vatican Commission that takes a lead in Bible scholarship, interpretation and promotion for the Catholic Church. Rev Dr Graffy said of his appointment: "It's an honour to be nominated by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I feel privileged and very much look forward to being of service.” He added: “A great deal has been achieved in England and Wales in recent years
Too many children are denied the most fundamental right to life. Prenatal selection eliminates babies suspected to have disabilities and female children simply because of their sex. Many children lack sufficient food and housing. In many countries they have no access to medicines. They are sold to traffickers, sexually exploited, recruited into irregular armies, uprooted by forced displacements, or compelled into debilitating work,” the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York told a committee on the Rights of the Child at the UN on Friday.
The 14th Extraordinary Synod of Bishops Final Report, released on 18 October 2014, fails significantly to reflect the welcoming and pastorally sensitive discussions which took place during the first week of the Synod. These were summarised in the Relatio, published on 13 October, and although not having official status as a formal working document, this interim document signposted ways in which Synod participants, bishops, priests, and laity were approaching a range of sensitive issues, not least the concerns of lesbian and gay people, their parents and families.
What does the final report of the Synod on the Family mean for the church? Fr James Martin SJ wrote in America Magazine yesterday: Essentially, the “relatio” (or report) published today, at the close of the Synod, will serve as a starting point for future discussion. It was also presented with great transparency, including even sections that did not win the necessary votes for complete approval. Before we look at five things the synod did, it’s important to understand the unique “form” of this unusual final document. Pope Francis asked to have all of the paragraphs
The centenary of the birth of Sir Alec Guinness was celebrated on Friday, 16 October with a special Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, followed by 'Two Halves of Guinness' a one-man show performed by Trevor Littledale telling the life story of the great actor. For many years Alec Guinness lead the Catholic Stage Guild (now the Catholic Association of Performing Arts - CAPA) and often popped into Corpus Christi. During the Mass, Fr Alan Robinson, Chaplain to the Association said members of the acting profession have a vocation, to "to show us ourselves".
Read More ... Jo Siedlecka - Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2014 11:40 pm
The Archbishop of Dublin has welcomed the publication of the final text at the closing of the Synod of Bishops in Rome this evening. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the text must be read in the context of Pope Francis’ extraordinary final remarks to the Synod, after which the Pope received a five minute standing ovation from those present. Pope Francis warned Bishops of the temptation to a hostile rigidity that forces people to lock themselves into the letter of the law, he also criticised the temptation to “come down from the cross to please people
Thousands of refugees who fled from ISIS in Mosul and the Nineveh Plain to refugee camps in Iraq are now enduring violent storms and floods. Since Wednesday 16 October, torrential rains have hit camps in Erbil and Ankawa, the predominantly Christian suburb of the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Chaldean archdiocese together with humanitarian agencies involved in the rescue of refugees, have launched an appeal to the local authorities and the international community to help those in critical conditions. There are at least a thousand tents scattered in Ankawa.