The news that the votes of migrants could prove decisive in the upcoming general election represents a significant challenge to the political parties, as well as an opportunity for the Church to play a positive role in the democratic process. The research conducted by the University of Manchester and Migrants Rights Network, confirmed that four million foreign-born voters in England and Wales will be eligible to cast a vote on May 7. Migrants could constitute more than a third of voters in about 25 seats in England and Wales
Read More ... Paul Donovan - Posted: Friday, February 27, 2015 10:45 am
In the early hours today, Thursday 26 February, an arson attack damaged the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate's Theological Seminary of Jerusalem, not far from the Old Town. The fire devastated a hall of the seminar and some annexes. The unknown attackers also wrote blasphemous sentences against Christ on the walls, in Hebrew. No one was injured. The attack was immediately condemned in a statement by the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land.
Sounding very much like Pope Francis, his compatriot, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo confirmed at the CAFOD Pope Paul VI lecture in London in November that the Holy Father would publish an important document on climate change this year. He spoke with real authority in his capacity as Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican and it is a reasonable guess that he will have input in the papal document. This is likely to be another best seller like Evangelii Gaudium of 2013
Read More ... Michael Walsh - Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015 9:30 pm
Although people in Spain are coping with great financial problems - the country has more than 23% unemployment - donations to the Pontifical Mission Societies of Spain are 19.52% higher than they were last year. "We thank the generosity of the Spanish and all the volunteers, who with their work of animation and missionary cooperation have inspired the Spanish with generosity," National Director of the PMS in Spain, Father Anastasio Gil García told Fides. He said the increase was due to collections made in parishes .. the "small offerings of the faithful"
H is for Hawk – so many people chose it for their book of the year that it is in huge demand at the library. I got it after a wait of several weeks and had to give it back tomorrow. And I have just finished it. It is truly worth the tears, even when you shed them on the tube, surreptitiously wiping your eyes. A portrait of grief, bereavement, unadulterated incomprehensible mourning for a father, dying prematurely; and an attempt to escape from that or make sense of it, by seeking the wildest of endeavours –
Read More ... Judy Dixey - Posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015 7:12 pm
Christian Peacemaker Team volunteers have begun escorting Palestinian children as young as four to school each day, to protect them from harassment by soldiers and illegal settlers. The Red Crescent Kindergarten School is well equipped with carpeted floors, multiple rooms for playing and learning, as well as all the supplies needed to teach and entertain the youngsters. Most importantly, it has caring teachers dedicated to their young pupils. In 2000, the school had ten teachers and 90 students, but now
An five-day intensive course will take place at the Edinburgh School of Icon Painting, from 1 - 5 June. The workshop is designed for students of all abilities. No previous experience is required. The aim of the course is to help you understand the tradition of icon painting through studying masterpieces, and through their inspiration to create your own icon. Over five days you will be guided through initial stages of the process of creating an icon. After a short introduction
American Catholic journalist and writer Phyllis Zagano reflects on Lent, the bureaucracy in the Catholic Church and clerical attitudes towards women, in her blog on The Twilight Zone, published today in the National Catholic Reporter.... She writes: ''' Christians are moving through Lent gently, turning away from sin and toward the Gospel. But the bureaucracy chugs along in its own dimension, ignoring the retrograde backdrop, unknowing of the ways
Leeds businesses are coming together to tackle poverty in Leeds by supporting the vital work of charity St Vincent’s Support Centre. The annual ball, which will be held in Leeds Marriott Hotel on Saturday 14th March, will raise funds to support Leeds families in crisis while guests enjoy a glittering night of dancing and fun. Leeds Trinity University has joined with St Vincent’s as the Primary sponsor of the Spring Ball. Professor Margaret House, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University, commented: “Widening participation
Willy Herteleer, a homeless man who was a familiar face around the Vatican, has been buried in the old German Cemetery within Vatican City State. He was around 80 years old. He died on December 12 last year. Willy, who is thought to have been Belgian, attended daily Mass in Sant’Anna parish in the Vatican and spent his days and nights on the streets around St Peter's Square, Borgo Pio and Via di Porta Angelica. The pastor of Sant’Anna in the Vatican, Father Bruno Silvestrini, dedicated the Nativity Scene at Christmas to Willy, adding
The House of Lords has passed regulations to allow the creation of three-parent embryos. Peers rejected a motion against the regulations by 280 votes to 48. The regulations will now become law, making the UK the first country to allow the technique. The controversial procedure is aimed at preventing incurable diseases being passed from mother to child. But Paul Tully, SPUC's general secretary, said: "Legislators have been consistently misled in the past about the prospects of success and the future intentions of those who want to use
Read More ... Claire Bergin - Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:05 pm
For 70 years CPW has been providing "holidays with a difference". The events offer engaging talks and activities, prayer and socialising, in a community setting. Some are for people of all ages - families with children, as well as people (of any age) without children. Others are for those aged 18 and over. In 2015, nine events have been organised, varying between two and seven days, on a range of themes. Topics range from the difficulty of faith, to the love of God, and the nature of Christ.
Read More ... Ellen Teague - Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 10:19 pm
In the wake of the brutal murders of 21 Coptic Christians at the hands of IS in Libya, increased support to protect religious minorities and civilians should be combined with adequate humanitarian assistance and other assets, said the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace. “Pope Francis and the Holy See have reiterated on a number of occasions that it is ‘licit’ to use force to stop these unjust aggressors and to protect religious minorities and civilians from these horrendous attacks,”
An interim final rule published by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the US Department of Health and Human Services risks harmful effects on unaccompanied children resettled by the United States, according to comments filed by Catholic and Evangelical organizations and relief agencies. At issue is whether the rule adequately accounts for the religious and moral concerns of faith-based organizations. Regulations that may force those agencies to restrict their work could create an unmanageable backlog for services.
The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) in Aberdeen has assisted two fishermen who were injured at sea recently. In one incident a fisherman from the Philippines had to be airlifted to Aberdeen hospital for surgery after his thumb was severed while working in Shetland. AoS’ Aberdeen port chaplain Doug Duncan received a telephone call from Roda Bird, a local contact, on February 17 informing him about the incident. “I received further news about the accident from Fr Anil Gonsalves, the local parish priest in Shetland
Young people wishing to join the 2015 Chartres Pilgrimage in May have the chance of a subsidised ticket thanks to the Latin Mass Society. LMS is offering bursaries of £100 to 15 pilgrims aged between 18 and 35, on a first come, first served basis. This will reduce the cost of a place from £275 per person to £175. The 22nd British Pilgrimage leaves St Pancras Station, on Friday 22 May at 1.30pm, travelling by Eurostar to Paris, where pilgrims will walk the three-day 70-mile route from Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, to Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres.
As Lent gets underway, CAFOD is encouraging the Catholic community of England and Wales to reflect on God’s gift of creation and to consider how concern for the environment is linked to faith. In collaboration with respected theologians, including Bishop Sánchez of the Vatican’s Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences and Dr Ann Marie Mealey, Senior Lecturer in moral theology at Leeds Trinity University, CAFOD has produced six reflection cards on key themes of Catholic Social Teaching: creation, the common good, the earth as neighbour,
John Short was an amazingly gifted communicator who used his talents as a journalist, winning the admiration and respect of his colleagues. He loved nothing better than telling a story and, whether his audience was a single listener or many thousands of readers, was an trifle to John. Born and raised in the heart of Liverpool, he was the son of a GPO technician and one of five children raised in a devout Catholic family where he inherited the gift of the gab, from Irish roots.
LGBT Catholic Westminster pilgrims have returned home from Rome. During their visit they took part in the Ash Wednesday Papal Audience, and celebrated Mass in Cardinal Vincent Nichols' Titular Church of the Most Holy Redeemer and St Alphonsus on Saturday, 21 February. The group also held Evening Prayer at the Church of St Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber - from where London's Bart's Hospital was founded in the 12th century - and which is today under the care of the San Egidio Community.
Members of the Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach and the Franciscan Action Network were among campaigners who gathered outside the White House this afternoon to thank President Obama for his decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. For many weeks they have been appealing for the US government not to allow the project to go ahead. The Franciscan campaigners said simply: 'Good News' on their Twitterfeed. In a statement the Columban group said tonight: "Join us in thanking President Obama
Read More ... Jo Siedlecka - Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:21 pm
At the invitation of Mr Paul Givan MLA (DUP), and as part of the consultation process in respect of his private members Freedom of Conscience Amendment Bill, a delegation from the Northern Ireland Catholic Council for Social Affairs (NICCOSA), led by Bishop of Down and Connor, Most Rev Noel Treanor, met with a delegation of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, today led by First Minister of Northern Ireland, Mr Peter Robinson MLA (DUP).
The Catholic Church in Scotland has endorsed the all-party statement condemning anti-Semitism and released by the Jewish community today. Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley said: "In 1965, Pope Paul VI in the document Nostra Aetate proclaimed; "in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism,
During his four day visit to Birmingham, Archbishop Welby met the Birmingham Faith Leaders' Group today (24 February 2015). Archbishop Bernard Longley commented on the meeting: “It was an indication of Archbishop Justin’s commitment to interreligious dialogue and understanding that he wanted to meet with the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group during his visit to Birmingham. Our Faith Leaders Group drew great encouragement from his presence and we reflected with him
Pianist Carl Bahoshy has raised more than £50,000 for the charity Iraqi Christians In Need’ through an ongoing series of piano and organ recitals across the UK. Carl told ICN: "My parents are both Christians from Iraq and so I inherently feel an identity towards both their culture and faith. In view of the increasing destruction of churches in Iraq - where the early churches were founded and flourished - and the plight of Christians and peoples of other minority faiths to Erbil, I realised I had a musical gift that could help raise monies on their behalf.
Read More ... Jo Siedlecka - Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:57 pm
Extremist terror group Islamic State has attacked Christian villages in north-east Syria. The assault took place yesterday (Monday, 23rd February) targeting Assyrian villages in the Khabour region of Syria’s Hassake governorate. Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana spoke to a contact in Hassake city where around 400 families have fled following the advance of IS. “Bishop Mar Aprem Athniel… told me the church and community hall are overloaded with the people and they are now [sending] them to the families in Hassake city.”
Read More ... John Newton - Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:01 pm