Plans for next year's World Meeting of Families, on the theme: 'Love is our mission: the family fully alive' in Philadelphia, were unveiled at the Holy See Press Office on Tuesday. Archbishops Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Charles Joseph Chaput, OFM Cap, of Philadelphia, gave a presentation on the meeting which will take place from 22 to 27 September 2015. In his presentation, Archbishop Chaput commented on Philadelphia's deep religious roots and expressed his hope that Pope Francis will be present.
Christian Aid has today welcomed the publication of a new report outlining in economic terms the global benefits of transitioning to a low carbon economy. The New Climate Economy report has been produced by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate which includes former Mexican President Filipe Calderon, British economist Nick Stern and Bank of America Chairman Chad Holliday, among others. The report, Better Growth, Better Climate, states that between now and 2030,
The third meeting of Catholic and Church of Ireland bishops took place in Dublin on 11 September, in the spirit of the recommendation of the International Anglican/Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission. Ten bishops were present representing the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, and the House of Bishops. The Catholic Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, was among the participants in his first week as Archbishop of Armagh. Archbishop Richard Clarke was also present
Two more detainees from Nanle County Christian Church, Henan Province, detained in November 2013 after a group of church members attempted to petition a higher authority about a land dispute involving the church, have been found guilty of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order”. On 9 September Zhang Cuijuan was sentenced to one and a half years in prison, while Zhao Junling was sentenced to one year in prison with a reprieve of two years, during which he will be under surveillance.
A bishop in India has described the areas engulfed by catastrophic floods last week, as 'Ground Zero'. Bishop Peter Celestine, bishop of Jammu-Srinagar said: "The State of Jammu and Kashmir has experienced the worst-ever floods in living history and our area is like Ground Zero. Bishop Celestine said that as a result of the floods the lives and livelihood of the people of the state, particularly in the Kashmir region have been completely upturned. He said: "The Catholic Church needs to respond to this grim situation, We need to provide urgently,
The Charles Plater Trust is inviting bids for grants from research and educational organisations in England and Wales for projects which explore the specific Catholic character of the church’s activities in the field of social action and justice. This year’s theme for grant aid is 'The intellectual endeavour of reviewing and contributing to Catholic Social Thought (CST) in Britain by identifying and analysing (through research, scholarship and/or policy formation) the specifically Catholic character of the mission of Catholic charities today and their links to CST'.
Pope Francis reflected on the role of pastors, during his homily at Mass this morning, the feast of the martyr saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, bishop. Beautiful homilies are useless if you are not close to the people, if you do not suffer with the people and do not give hope, they are vanity, he told the congregation in Casa Santa Marta. The Gospel of the day speaks of Jesus approaching a funeral procession: a widow of Nain lost her only son. The Pope said that not only does the Lord perform the miracle of bringing her son back to life, he does something more,
A Nigerian bishop said this week that at least 2,500 Catholics from his diocese have been killed by Boko Haram. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme, from the diocese of Maiduguri in north eastern Nigeria, has taken refuge together with thousands of Catholics, in the parish of Saint Teresa in Yola in Adamawa state. He said the majority of the displaced faithful now sheltering in the parish, narrowly escaped death as Boko Haram rampaged through their villages. When people fled, families were separated, and many desperate parents are still searching for their children.
Some history textbooks, still used in Turkish schools today, when outlining the end of the Ottoman Empire, describe Armenians and other Christian communities, as enemy forces at the service of foreign powers - the Armenian magazine Agos has learnt. Journalists from the magazine, examined text books listed on the website of the Ministry of Education, for use in primary and secondary schools in Turkey for the new school year, which just started.
Five hundred representatives from around the world, present at the Focolare Movement’s General Assembly in Rome, elected Maria Voce on 12 September for a second consecutive term as its President. Maria Voce, is an Italian lawyer. She also studied Theology and Canon Law. A significant part of her Focolare life was spent in Istanbul where she established warm ecumenical and interreligious relations, including with the present Patriarch Bartholomew I. Maria Voce was the first president to succeed the founder, Chiara Lubich, who died in March 2008.
Delegates to next week’s Labour Party conference in Manchester will be asked to support aid and protection for minorities facing oppression in the Middle East. Christians on the Left (formerly known as the Christian Socialist movement) is proposing a resolution calling on Labour and the UK government to do more to help Christian and other minorities facing persecution by ISIL, the Islamist extremist group fighting in Iraq and Syria. Members of minority communities, including Christians, Muslims, and Yazidis, are being murdered,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby have both condemned the murder of British aid worker David Haines, whose death was announced in video released by IS militants in Syria. In a statement, Cardinal Nichols said: "It is with great sadness that we hear of the killing of David Haines in what can only be described as a repugnant and chilling attack on human life. In its destructive savagery, it is an act that expresses the worst and most misguided aspects of human nature.
Read More ... Claire Bergin - Posted: Monday, September 15, 2014 9:43 pm
A Mass to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Great Dock Strike and to give thanks for the work of Cardinal Manning in helping to bring the strike to an end was celebrated on 14 September at St Mary and St Michael Catholic Church, Commercial Road in East London. Organised by Caritas Anchor House, the Mass and reception which followed were a celebration of the legacy of Cardinal Henry Manning and his role in bringing the strike to an end. The Mass commemorates the 'Cardinal's Peace', which was signed on 14 September 1889 in a local school in Poplar.
The National Shrine of Saint Jude has announced that they will be taking part in a Green Pilgrimage to Canterbury on 3 October 2014. The Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN) is an initiative of the Communities and Partnerships Framework of the Diocese of Canterbury. The GPN is a 'global network of pilgrim cities and sacred sites around the world intending to be models of green action and care. The vision is that pilgrims, and the places that host them, will be cleaner, greener, and leave a positive footprint on the earth.'
Progressio supporters are celebrating a new victory for international development. A private members bill promising that 0.7% of gross national income will be given in foreign aid passed its first vote in the House of Commons on Friday (12 September), with an overwhelming 164 MPs throwing their voices behind the International Development Bill. "This is a significant step towards the International Development Bill becoming law," said Daniel Hale, Progressio’s Director of Public Engagement.
Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Marcus Stock, currently the general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference, as Bishop of Leeds. He will be the 10th Bishop of Leeds. Mgr John Wilson has been diocesan administrator since former Bishop of Leeds, Archbishop Arthur Roche, left for Rome in 2012 to take up the position of secretary of the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Sacraments in the Curia of the Holy See. Bishop-elect Stock was ordained priest in 1988 and served as parish priest across the Birmingham Archdiocese,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols spoke at the Marriage Care Annual Conference in Daventry on 13 September. In his address, the Cardinal recognised the work of the charity since its inception at the end of the Second World War in helping couples and families.... The Cardinal also explained the aims and objectives of the Extraordinary Synod to be held next month. He said: "Among the many challenges identified in the working document for the Bishops who will be attending the Synod this October,
Read More ... Maria Saba - Posted: Sunday, September 14, 2014 10:07 pm
The was gentle harp music at Peter's Basilica in Rome on Sunday morning, as Pope Francis presided over the marriage of 20 couples from the diocese of Rome. The brides and grooms included people of different ages. Some had been living together. One man's previous marriage had been annulled. One of the women had a child from a previous relationship. This was the first marriage Pope Francis has conducted in his 18-month papacy. The last wedding to be presided over by a Pope took place under Saint John Paul II in 2000.
On Saturday morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Italian Military Memorial of Redipuglia which is set in an area which was the scene of heavy fighting between Italian and the Austro-Hungarian forces during WWI. The Mass, which marked the centenary of the beginning of the war, was offered for the victims of all wars. Standing at an altar under the massive monument, where around 100,000 Italian soldiers are buried, the Pope said: "even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal,
Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross - The historical context of this feast is the anniversary of the dedication in 326, of the Basilica the Anastasis (or as the West calls it, the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem). This was built over the sites of Golgotha and the garden tomb by Constantine, following his mother St Helena’s pilgrimage and discovery of ‘the life giving cross’ and inscription above it in this place. It also commemorates a later recovery from the Persians of the relic of the Cross!
The Great Dock Strike is widely acknowledged as a key event in the development of the modern trade union and labour movement in this country. Following on from earlier strikes by match girls and gasworkers, the dock strike signalled a remarkable new era of leadership and organisation in the working classes, contributing to, among other things, the formation of the Labour Party in 1900. The lives of the dockers and many others in the dock side communities at the time were marked by crushing poverty, disease, squalor and horrendous living and working conditions.
This year is the 125th anniversary of the Great Dock Strike in which Cardinal Manning (1808-1892), then the Archbishop of Westminster, played a key role in bringing to a resolution. Manning’s legacy as a great champion of the poor, the dignity and rights of workers, education and family life is still with us, most notably in the lasting contribution he made to the development of Catholic social teaching. He was, and still is, widely admired by many in London’s dock side communities. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster,
At the entrance of 'Azza refugee camp in front of our house is a large 'Boycott Israel' painting. I can see it through the window while typing. After the horrible bloodshed in Gaza, Mary, the kids and I decided not to buy anymore any Israeli products in the nearby supermarket. That's not so easy because the shops here are full of Israeli products, as a result of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s (the so-called Paris Protocols, associated with the Oslo agreements), which in practice gives Israeli products preferential treatment.
Read More ... Toine van Teeffelen - Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014 10:15 pm
Medical workers are on high alert against Ebola, in Sierra Leone, as the death toll continues to rise. Don Dante Carraro, Director of the NGO Doctors with Africa CUAMM, who has just returned from a visit to the country, gave a harrowing report of conditions there. He said: "I arrived in Freetown, where besides checking your passport and entry permit they also check whether you have a fever. They do this with a sort of 'laser gun' aimed at the temple." Dr Carraro visited Pujehun, a rural district in the south of the country,
Pope Francis focused on the Gospel command to love our enemies, during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday. In the Gospel reading (St Luke 6:27-38), the Lord tells his disciples: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” The Holy Father said that this is a model of Christian life – of unconditional love in action. “Do good .. lend without hoping to have back what you have lent – without interest, and your reward will be great,” he said.