Leila Sansour's film Open Bethlehem has been shown to full houses and received very positive reviews since it went on general release just before Christmas. Professor Avi Shla said: “As an Israeli Jew and a historian of the Arab-Israeli conflict, I am not a newcomer to the dilemmas of co-existence. But I was moved to tears by this beautiful film and I learnt a great deal from it about the temper and tenor of Palestinian families who are striving to protect something very precious not just for Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land but for humanity as
Today, on the feast of St John Bosco, the Salesians re-launch CatholicYouthWork.com a resource for everyone who is involved in working with young people in the Church. It offers a place for resources, jobs, a forum to share ideas and find support as well as somewhere to keep up to date with the latest youth ministry news and events. Dermott Donnelly, Chair of CYMFed, the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation in England and Wales, said: “this is a fantastic resource that will help strengthen and support the Church’s important work with young people”.
God certainly makes news, because the media loves to pick up on religious themes, sometimes in a sympathetic way but quite frequently to critique ideas and practices of faith. Of course the more provocative the statement concerning religious matters, the better the story, especially if it generates a heated debate. In the western media this often occurs when those who challenge religions worth or place in human affairs are called upon to comment about such things as sickness, suffering and the existence of benevolent God.
Read More ... Fr Robin Gibbons - Posted: Saturday, January 31, 2015 7:17 pm
On 15 February, shower facilities for homeless people in Rome will open under the colonnade in St Peter's Square. A group of local barbers and hairdressers have now volunteered their services to offer haircuts and shaves, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski told the Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire on Thursday. Archbishop Krajewski, whose official title is the Pope's almsgiver, said the barbers would be available on Mondays, the day their shops are traditionally closed in Italy.
On Tuesday 3 February, MPs will vote to amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Both Catholic and Anglican church leaders have expressed their grave concern over Mitochondrial Donation. Bishop John Sherrington, from the Bishops’ Conference department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship, said in a statement: "Many people are rightly concerned about the profound implications of Parliament passing regulations under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act to licence the creation of human embryos using DNA of three people
Solas Bhride “light/flame of Brigid” .A double celebration will honour St Brigid on her feast day on Sunday, 1 February as Solas Bhríde Centre and Hermitages - Faith, Hope and Love – opens officially at the start of this year’s week-long annual Féile Bríde festival. Its theme is Light: A New Awakening. The Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Bishop Denis Nulty along with Church of Ireland representatives, Brigidine sisters, Cairde Bhride, Associates of Brigidines and the people of Kildare and beyond will gather for the official opening,
Read More ... M P Mulhall, csb - Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015 4:30 pm
Catholic charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has provided support to the family and relatives of crew members after their vessel vanished in rough seas in the English Channel on Wednesday (28th January). The Belgian trawler, the Z85 Morgenster, went missing in the English Channel on Wednesday with four people on board. During Thursday two bodies were recovered from the sea. Fr Dirk Demaeght, AoS Chaplain Fisheries and the Belgian Costal Ports has been visiting families to provide support at this tragic time.
Fr Joe Ryan, Chair of Westminster Justice and Peace Commission will be attending the Rally and a Presentation to the European Parliament in Strasbourg for Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned Kurdish leader and human rights campaigner. He writes: I am very excited about this visit to Strasbourg on 13 - 14 February. Whatever the outcome, it is another phase in a very important saga! Keep in mind the whole story of Nelson Mandela... here we have a mirror image of his life, imprisonment, patience and struggle for human rights in South Africa.
Read More ... Fr Joe Ryan - Posted: Friday, January 30, 2015 3:41 pm
The British love their churches, according to the results of a poll for the National Churches Trust by ComRes. The National Churches Trust is the only UK-wide independent charity dedicated to promoting and supporting church buildings of historic, architectural and community value. A major part of the work of the National Churches Trust is providing grants to pay for the repair and restoration of churches and the provision of modern facilities such as toilets and kitchens. Key findings show that:· Four in five (79%) British people think that churches and chapels are
Starting from 29 June this year, Archbishops will no longer go to Rome to receive the Pallium. Instead the ceremony of investiture of the Pallium will take place in the Metropolitan Archbishops home dioceses. Pope Francis has changed the ceremony to emphasize that the investiture is an ecclesial event of the whole diocese, and not merely a juridical or ceremonial event. Monsignor Guido Marini, Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations, told Vatican Radio the ceremony will be celebrated in two significant moments:
'Ecclesial elites' who form cliques and scorn others are privatizing the faith and not following the way of Jesus, Pope Francis said during his homily at morning Mass on Thursday at Casa Santa Marta. Reflecting on the day's readings, Pope Francis said: “It’s true, Jesus has saved us all, but not in a general fashion. All of us, each one with their name and surname. And this is our personal salvation. I am truly saved, the Lord looked at me, gave his life for me.... But there’s a danger of forgetting that He saved us individually but at the same time as part of his people
The Government laid the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations on the 17th December 2014. The Regulations permit two new techniques which seek to replace diseased mitochondria while allowing a mother to have a genetically related child. The Regulations will be debated within the next couple of weeks. WHY ARE THESE TECHNIQUES OBJECTIONABLE? The techniques permit: 1. The germ-line modification of human beings; 2. The creation of human life only to be destroyed;
Christian leaders have thrown their weight behind a new campaign for political parties to promise to act against tax avoidance if they get elected. Leading voices from Methodist, Quaker, Anglican, Catholic, Salvation Army and evangelical traditions have declared their support for the idea that a new law is needed to curb multinational tax avoidance in the UK and developing countries. They are responding to a campaign calling on all political parties to pledge that if they win the coming UK election, they will rapidly introduce
“There is not a single day when Pope Francis doesn’t call us to go out to share our faith,” were the decisive words addressed to European delegates in The Vatican recently, meeting to identify effective ways to pass on the Catholic Faith. Speaking to around 40 representatives from 25 countries, including England and Wales, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, said: “The Church transmits to all generations all that she is.
When it comes to the harsh difficulties many Native Americans face every day, the saying “out of sight, out mind” hits home. Many people have only a vague sense of the serious past and present injustices suffered by Native Americans. From the very beginning, starting with Christopher Columbus’ voyages to the Bahamas, we get a sad introduction of how Europeans, Americans and Canadians, would steal from, enslave and kill Native Americans largely for their land and natural resources.
Read More ... Tony Magliano - Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 9:43 am
Pope Francis called on fathers to be more present in the lives of their children pointing out that the absence of a ‘father figure’ can have grave consequences. Speaking to thousands of pilgrims gathered in the Pope Paul VI Hall on Wednesday for weekly General Audience, the Pope continued in his catechesis on the family, focussing on the dignity and role of fathers. He said that teaching us to call God our Father, Jesus gave new depth and richness to this relationship, so fundamental to the life of society.
The cause for the beatification of Chiara Lubich, founder of the international Focolare Movement, was opened on Tuesday. The official inauguration of the Diocesan Process of Inquiry into Lubich’s life, followed the praying of Vespers in the Cathedral of Frascati, near Rome. While Chara was born in the northern Italian region of Trento, she established the International Centre for the Focolare Movement, whose charism is the promotion of peace and the unity of all people, in Frascati.
Six out of ten people in the UK say they could not go a day without access to the internet, while the majority could not survive without their smartphones, according to a survey by the country’s leading fair trade organisation Traidcraft. The nationwide survey found that: • More than a third need a morning coffee to get them through the day • More than two thirds of 16-24 year olds listed their smartphone as their top necessity. Half of all Londoners quizzed listed their smartphone as their top necessity
An ethnic Chin elder is due to appear in court today on trumped-up charges which Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) believes are connected with his involvement in the planting of a cross on a hill in Hakha town, Chin State, in April last year. The Chin State government has ordered the 54 foot-high cross, which it argues has been erected illegally to be removed on 30 January. The Chin Human Rights Organisation (CHRO) reports that the elder, Tial Cem, has been accused of cutting down pine trees without official permission,
Bishop Declan Lang and other senior faith leaders are calling for David Cameron to increase the number of Syrian refugees resettled in the UK in response to ‘one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of our time’. In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, joined the Anglican Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, Head of the Jewish Reform Movement, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, and Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain
MSP Clare Adamson has given her backing to a campaign of solidarity with persecuted Christians spearheaded by a leading Catholic charity in Scotland. The Scottish National Party member for Central Scotland stated her support for Aid to the Church in Need’s Solidarity Campaign – which at a time of increased Christian persecution is calling on Scots to stand up for religious freedom. In a statement to ACN, Clare Adamson MSP said: “The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 18
Read More ... Michael J Robinson - Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 5:33 pm
American journalist Chris Hedges writes in Common Dreams: “American Sniper” lionizes the most despicable aspects of US society—the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a “Christian” nation to exterminate the “lesser breeds” of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression. Many Americans, especially white Americans
Nominations have opened for the Catholic Women of the Year 2015. Any Catholic woman can be nominated. It only requires a letter listing the reasons why she should be put forward for this honour. The Committee is looking for the 'unsung heroines' - women who care for the frail and elderly, teach children the Catholic faith, visit prisons, raise funds for charity, or are involved in community projects... women who are good neighbours, who defend and uphold Christian values, care for the common good...women who are married or single, religious
Read More ... Joanna Bogle - Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 4:01 pm
Guidance for Catholic voters ahead of the forthcoming General Election will published by the bishops of England and Wales within weeks. The Rt Rev Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, told justice and peace activists that work on the document has been under way since the bishops announced its publication after they met in Leeds in November. “The bishops of England and Wales have drafted a statement for the General Election which
Read More ... Simon Caldwell - Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 3:41 pm
Pope Francis' Message for Lent 2015 was released by the Vatican today. In his letter the Holy Father invites all believers to open their hearts to God and to overcome a 'globalization of indifference' that, he said, is threatening to spread a feeling of distress and powerlessness and causing individuals and communities to withdraw into themselves, closing “the door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him.” The full text of Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2015 follows: