Christian Aid and its partner organisations across South Asia are calling for the leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to put caste-based discrimination at the heart of the agenda of a vital summit in Nepal this week. After a lull of three years, member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) will meet in Kathmandu on 26 and 27 November to discuss ‘deeper integration for peace and prosperity’.
Church Action on Poverty responded to the publication today of a major new report on poverty in the UK by calling on politicians to do more to build a fair society. 'Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2014', from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, shows an alarming reality which is far removed from politicians' claims of an economic recovery. Many people are still not benefiting from that 'recovery' - work is insecure, wages are not enough to make ends meet, and the housing market has a negative impact on people in poverty.
On Sunday 23 November 2014, during the diocesan pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Cardinal Vincent Nichols took time out to pay a visit to the Catholics in Gaza. During this, his first trip to Gaza, the Cardinal visited an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity who care for 38 children and infants. He also visited Holy Rosary School, run by the Sisters of the Rosary, which has approximately 800 pupils, most of whom are Muslim. The Cardinal also inspected some of the damage caused by the conflict this past summer.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who is leading the Westminster Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, celebrated Mass for the small Catholic community there yesterday. Cardinal Vincent said: "It was a great privilege to be with them and to convey to them the support and prayers of our Catholic community here on this pilgrimage and in our Diocese of Westminster. They were very grateful." He went on to say: "I thanked them for their courage and I encouraged them to be consistent and faithful to their presence in all the difficulties that Gaza
"We need to break down the isolation and stigma of autism" Pope Francis told a gathering of experts, parents and children at the Vatican on Saturday....Pope Francis spoke of the fragility of children and families suffering from autistic spectrum disorders, saying the stigma and isolation they felt was like a cross. The Holy Father called for a network of support and services that more accessible for families. This was the responsibility of governments and institutions but also parishes and friends.
Pope Francis addressed the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People at the end of their Seventh World Congress for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, on Friday. The Congress then issued a message in which they call for civil society and governments "to work towards more comprehensive and just immigration policies, fully implementing international conventions to guarantee job opportunities and better living conditions, to prevent exploitation and/or trafficking of migrant workers.”
Parishioners at St Thomas More's, Manor House in north London are used to getting together for lunch and a social after the one o'clock Mass on Thursdays, but they were in for a treat last week, when the afternoon included a performance by professional jazz singer Magda Supel, accompanied by pianist Raffy Bushman. Magda sang a series of classical numbers, including 'La Vie En Rose', 'It's Marvellous', and 'Come to the Cabaret'. Parish priest Fr Clive Lee said the three-course menu was specially chosen to to blend in with the continental theme.
CAFOD is celebrating the tenth year of its hugely successful World Gifts scheme this year by unveiling a new range for Christmas 2014, featuring over 40 inspiring and unique gifts that will make a lasting difference to people living in poverty overseas. Over the past ten years, the Catholic community across England and Wales have given generously, raising a staggering £12 million through World Gifts. A whole host of presents have been bought by the charity’s supporters including 103,000 school starter kits, 46,000 goats, 38,000 chickens and 3,000 queen bees.
What is the TTIP? John Nightingale, Chairman of Jubilee Debt Campaign, Birmingham explains: “Tea-Tip” is the pronunciation used for TTIP, the initial letters of the “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”. .... I am struck by the words of Jesus: ‘In the evening you say, “It will be fine; there is a red sky”, and in the morning, “Stormy weather today; the sky is red and overcast”. You know how to read the face of the sky, but you cannot read the signs of the times’ (Mt 16: 2-3 Jerusalem Bible).
Read More ... John Nightingale - Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2014 3:32 pm
Bishop John Kirby, Bishop of Clonfert and chair of the Irish Bishops’ Council for Emigrants has welcomed President Obama’s immigration reforms which affect many ‘undocumented’ Irish people living in the USA. Bishop Kirby said: “I welcome President Obama’s change in the deportation system. The President’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions serve to underline the complexity of the problems surrounding migration.” Bishop Kirby continued: “Drawing from our pastoral experience, Irish bishops are acutely aware of the human impact on families
His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the resignation, on the ground of age, of Archbishop Dermot Clifford as Archbishop of Cashel & Emly, and has appointed Bishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA as Archbishop of Cashel & Emly. This announcement was made today in the Vatican at 12pm local time. Archbishop Eamon Martin welcomed the appointment, saying:... I have known Archbishop Kieran since he became Bishop of Killaloe in 2010. In that time, like the people of Killaloe, I have come to know the warmth of his personality and his gentleness and pastoral sensitivity.
Pope Francis has today (Saturday 22 November 2014) appointed Fr William Nolan, as Bishop of Galloway. Fr Nolan is currently parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride and Vicar General of the Diocese of Motherwell. Reacting to the announcement, Bishop-Elect Nolan said: "I am overawed to be appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Galloway. I already know some of the clergy and I look forward to working with them and with the the people of the Diocese to help the faith flourish in the land where Ninian planted the seeds of faith so long ago.
All Christians - not just "the few" - are called to go out to proclaim the joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis said today in his address to more than 700 participants in Italy’s National Missionary Congress, organised by the Italian Bishops Conference and Missio Foundation. Pope Francis urged Christians “to go out and not to remain indifferent to extreme poverty, war, violence in our cities, the abandonment of the elderly, the anonymity of so many people in need and the distance we keep from the least among us.”
... For me the Lord Jesus is not a ‘ruler’ of mind and heart, he does not possess me as a chattel or subject, rather Christ is the one I seek to love and follow. He is the prototype, we are the icon of him, reflecting his love and presence through our lives. It’s wise to remember that Jesus pointed out his kingdom was not of this world, in those hours where he was mocked and reviled before his death on the cross. This type of ‘King’ is a servant and friend, one whose role is to be totally with others in all situations, who will welcome us as friends in his Kingdom.
Every Saturday a group of Israeli settlers and Jewish tourists, escorted by dozens of Israeli soldiers, parade through the Old City of Hebron, in the West Bank, on a tour, in which they hear an exclusive rightwing Jewish narrative of the city's history. Last Saturday, however, was a holiday commemorating Abraham’s purchase of land in Hebron to bury his wife Sarah, so an unusually large number of Israeli settlers, Jewish tourists (many from New York), and Israeli border police and soldiers were present. For nearly three hours,
CAFOD has welcomed the UK Government’s pledge to commit £720 million to the Green Climate Fund which will go to help the poorest countries adapt to the effects of climate change and develop in a sustainable way. Commenting on the Green Climate Fund announcement, Chris Bain, CAFOD director, said: “This is good news for all those who are already suffering from the adverse effects of a changing climate. We know from our own research that nearly half of those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are already living in extreme poverty,
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, MSpS, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, welcomed the news today that the Obama administration will defer deportations for many undocumented immigrants and their families. “We have a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant, and the disadvantaged. Each day, the Catholic Church in the United States, in her social service agencies, hospitals, schools, and parishes, witnesses the human consequences of the separation of families,
People will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people, Pope Francis during morning Mass today (Friday) at Casa Santa Marta, as he marked the feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a prayer that she help us keep the Lord's Temple clean. Basing his homily on the Gospel of the Day in which Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves, Pope Francis said in doing so Jesus was purifying the Temple of God
What has work on issues such as trade justice, climate change, human trafficking to do with the teachings of Jesus and the Church? How can the command to love God and love neighbour be translated into practical action? These were some of the questions explored at an event in Bath last Saturday, arranged by Clifton Diocesan Justice and Peace Commission and using a theme inspired by St Teresa’s prayer ‘Christ has no body now on Earth but yours’. Ozzie Ffield, lead organiser of the event, wrote in the day’s programme leaflet:
Read More ... Sue Ingham - Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2014 11:13 pm
"It is painful to see that the struggle against hunger and malnutrition is hindered by market priorities, the ‘primacy of profit’, which have reduced foodstuffs to a commodity like any other, subject to speculation, also of a financial nature,” Pope Francis said in his address to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Headquarters in Rome on Thursday. “And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain, at the street corner, and ask to be recognised as citizens, to receive a healthy diet. We ask for dignity, not for charity.”
Jesus weeps today when the doors of our hearts are closed - not recognizing the One who brings peace, Pope Francis said during his reflection on the day's Gospel at Thursday morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta. Pope Francis said Jesus wept over Jerusalem because its people did not recognize the One who brings peace. He said the Lord weeps because of the “closure of heart" of His "chosen city, His chosen people. They had no time to open the door. They were too busy, too self-satisfied.
The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia has been inundated by calls from its members expressing grave concern over new proposed changes to the Migration Act (the Asylum Legacy Caseload Bill), and the further blow the amendments would strike to one of the most ostracised and vulnerable groups in our community. Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon, said: “The work of our members and the fate of refugees are inextricably linked. Along with other organisations, we provide emergency assistance in the form
As part of Parliament Week 2014 pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, visited the People’s History Museum in Manchester where they sat down with MPs, academics and policy makers to discuss a variety of issues and create a manifesto for change. The People’s History Museum, together with The Democratic Society and the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy, hosted the event to enable young people to communicate their views to Parliament and experience democracy in action.
Students from St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in Kenton, northwest London have responded to a request from local residents to help brighten up an area of Woodcock Park, by painting a vibrant mural on a 22 metre wall near their school Working to a brief from the Friends of Woodcock Park and the owner of the wall, Mr John Hutton, lower school pupils were asked to submit a design for the mural. The winning design, by Shaniah Da Costa in Year 8, was used as inspiration for the final mural artwork.
Hear the direct testimony of a death row inmate – Nicholas Yarris, who spent 21.5 years in prison, with the accusation of murder, although he was innocent. On 3 September, 2003, based on DNA’s results, the court quashed Yarris’s conviction and he became the 140th person in the United States to be exonerated by post-conviction DNA testing - the 13th DNA exoneration from death row. "With his face inches from mine, the guard began to address me in this very calm, detached voice: You're dead.