Messages were received from HRH The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury as religious freedom was highlighted at the annual Coptic New Year (Nayrouz) Service at St Margaret's, Westminster Abbey. Addresses were also delivered by HE Ambassador David Saperstein, The Lord Alton of Liverpool, HE Ambassador Nasser Kamel and The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth. Joining members of the Coptic community at the service were members of the House of Lords, House of Commons, the Diplomatic Corps, Foreign Commonwealth Office, Home
Messages from Prince of Wales, politicians, church leaders at Coptic New Year Service, Westminster Abbey
The people of Syria are suffering. Countless thousands have been killed. Millions more have been forced to flee their homes. Across the world, Catholics and Christians from other traditions will hold vigils on 31 October as part of a global day of prayer for peace called by Pope Francis while he is visiting the Lutheran church in Sweden. London: join Pax Christi, CAFOD and the Council of Lutheran Churches in the UK for simultaneous prayer vigils for peace in Syria at the Foreign Office, (junction of Whitehall and King Charles Street) or the Russian Embassy,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, met with refugees from Mosul and the surrounding areas last year on a visit to Erbil. With a concerted push to liberate Mosul and other areas currently underway, Cardinal Nichols said: My prayers are with the people of Mosul as efforts continue to liberate the city and surrounding areas from the tyranny of Daesh. It is vital that protection of civilians, respect for humanitarian conventions and support for those fleeing their homes are at the forefront of this operation.
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South Africa: Bishops ask government to reconsider decision to withdraw from International Criminal Court
The Catholic Church in South Africa has 'noted with sadness' the decision by the South African government to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, saying: "Now more than ever, the ANC must show the high moral ground that was its trademark during the apartheid and stand in solidarity with the victims of human-rights violations in Africa."
"We must never tire of sharing the joy of the Gospel", said the keynote speaker at Saturday's Columban day 'Sharing Gospel Joy' in Central London. Columban Fr Tom O'Reilly, a Director of the Society in Britain for five years and with a decade of experience working in Pakistan, also underlined that "all of us are missionaries, rooted in our baptism". He focused on how our understanding of mission has evolved since Vatican II. "Reading the signs of the times" he said, "we must listen and receive before we speak and give". Using the famous Rublev icon as a focus, he
I joined the Columban Missionaries in 1961, the year before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) began. Pope John XXIII called the Council to explore what it meant to preach the Christian message in the context of the major political and cultural changes in the twentieth century. He spoke of reading the 'signs of the times' and responding accordingly. The Council was also meant to be an occasion of renewal for the Church, a time for opening its windows and allowing the fresh winds of change to blow through. While Vatican II gave us a whole new perspective, it did not give all the answers for the years
From 22 October, the pontifical apartment in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo will be opened to the public for the first time ever. Visits to the formerly private apartment are being run by the Vatican Museums and details of the opening and closing hours can be found by going to the official website of the Vatican Museums. At a special inauguration ceremony on Friday, the Director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, paid tribute to this "unexpected gift from the Pope" and spoke of the beauty of the setting with its views over Lake Albano
Pope Francis made an appeal for the safety of citizens trapped inside the embattled Iraqi city of Mosul today. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus, Pope Francis said: "In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire population of Iraq, especially that of the city of Mosul." He continued: "Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long have been perpetrated against innocent citizens: whether they be Muslims, whether they be Christians, or people belonging to other ethnic groups and religions."
'Marbhna' - A Requiem Mass with music composed by Odhrán Ó'Casaide will take place at Knock Basilica on 12 noon November 6th commemorating all those who died in 1916. The Chief Celebrant will be Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry. Requiem 1916 Marbhna, in Irish, featuring the voice of Sibéal Ní Chasaide, is a solemn expression of commemoration, combining chamber choir and orchestra, classical solo voices, traditional and early music instruments. The blend of Irish and classical music reflects two great musical traditions in Ireland at the time of the Rising.
Leicester Square is one of London's busiest places on a Friday night. The community at Notre Dame de France keep the church open from 7-11pm and invite people who pass by to experience prayer and enjoy a moment of tranquility in the busyness of the city. The evening begins with a shared supper and prayer, before a night of Eucharistic worship in the church, confessions, music, street evangelisation and welcoming people all night.
Paul Donovan reviews 'I, Daniel Blake' in his latest blog. Ken Loach's film, I, Daniel Blake, offers a great insight into the way that the welfare system has been changed from a support structure for those in need to a means of punishing the poor and vulnerable. The film demonstrates this transition, highlighting how in the worst cases, the punative inhumane actions of those in charge are actually killing people.
A new shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary has been inaugurated in Westminster Diocese at one of the largest Catholic churches in the capital. The inauguration took place during a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols at the Dominican church of Our Lady of the Rosary and St Dominic in Haverstock Hill. In his homily Cardinal Nichols recalled a visit many years ago that he made to the concentration camp at Dachau and how he knelt in the chapel there and was literally struck dumb at the cruelty that had taken place: "I was lost for words but what I found I could do was recite
We all have our favourite prayers, being somebody whose ability to remember word perfectly is very limited I prefer short prayers and perhaps the one that really engages me more than any other is that simple phrase, Lord have mercy, Kyrie eleison. A few years ago I took part in a BBC Radio 4 Programme that looked at the musical setting of the Kyrie in Faure's Requiem. My task was to look at what those words actually meant. I really enjoyed being part of that broadcast and found that what I researched has made a far deeper impact on me because it changed my perception of
During today's Jubilee of Mercy audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis extended a special greeting to the Polish pilgrims present, remembering the 1050th anniversary of the baptism of their nation, and the feast day the Polish-born pontiff, St John Paul II. In remembrance of the feast day of St John Paul II, Pope Francis recalled these words delivered by his predecessor during his first Mass as the Roman pontiff on October 22, 1978: "Exactly 38 years ago, at about this time, in this square, there resounded these words to men and women throughout the world: 'Do not be afraid. Open wide
This academic year (2016-17) we celebrate 50 years since the Catholic Chaplaincy moved from St Patrick's Soho Square to its present location at Newman House on Gower Street. It is a time to thank God for the work of university chaplaincy and to ensure that the work can continue and develop further over the next 50 years. The celebration includes a series of public lectures - the first is this Monday - and a special anniversary weekend. All are welcome.
A new decorative scheme commemorating forty English and Welsh Catholic martyrs has recently been completed in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral. The chapel will be dedicated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols on 28 October. The chapel contains the cathedral's war memorial and its completion marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. The new design by Tom Phillips CBE RA links this event with another chapter in the nation's suffering, that of the English martyrs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Pope Francis stressed the importance of promoting and supporting young people in his address to members of the John Paul II Foundation celebrating its 35th anniversary. "Providing formation for young people is an investment for the future: young people must never be robbed of their hope for tomorrow" he said. Pope Francis said the anniversary was a good moment to look back and draw up a balance of the work done in the past years, but also a time to look to the future with new goals and objectives.
Humility, gentleness and magnanimity are the three key attitudes to build unity within the Church, Pope Francis said during his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta today. He urged Christians to reject envy, jealousy and conflicts. Reflecting on the greeting at Mass: 'peace be with you', the Pope focused his homily on what is required to nurture peace and unity and avoid war and conflicts. He said our Lord's greeting "creates a bond" of peace and unites us to create a unity of spirit and warned that if there's no peace and if we aren't able to greet each other in the widest sense of the word,
Police chiefs, bishops, religious sisters and representatives from civil society, who make up the Santa Marta Group, are joining together next week (26-27 October) in the Vatican to share and encourage best practice in the struggle against human trafficking. Santa Marta Group delegates will report back to Pope Francis the progress that has been made since signing the SMG commitment two years ago, where each of the 24 police chiefs present committed to developing partnerships with the
South Africa is in the middle of one of the worst droughts in living history. Or if, like me, you were born in the 90s, the worst drought in living memory. Our increasingly hot and dry summers, as well as the El Nino phenomenon - which has resulted in little rainfall over the last year or two - have left water levels in our dams at worrying levels. The drought may well not be the worst the country has ever experienced. However, the change in circumstances between now and the last El Nino event of similar severity (1982/3) means, the impact of the drought may well be more pronounced.
With a heartfelt appeal to the international community for an end to the conflict in Ukraine and a reminder about persecuted Christians especially in the Middle East, the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, this afternoon in the Portuguese capital opened the meeting of the Bishops of the Catholic Eastern Rite Churches in Europe. In the Rua dos Jerónimos parish church hall, in the presence of a large delegation of bishops from Ukraine, led by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Patriarch Clemente recalled the forgotten conflict in the Doneck region, inviting the international
The catechism on its own is not sufficient to truly know Jesus, we need prayer, worship and to recognize ourselves as sinners, Pope Francis said during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today. The Holy Father was reflecting on St Paul's letter to the Ephesians where the Apostle prayed that they may be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ may dwell in their hearts. Noting that Paul spoke of plunging into the immense sea that is the person of Christ, Pope Francis asked: "how can we know Christ, How can we understand His love that is beyond all
A farmer and a Franciscan affected by the tailings dam breach which killed 20 and polluted 280 miles of river in November 2015, were joined by affected communities from Colombia and Indonesia today, to protest at the world's biggest mining company's London AGM. While some campaigners attended the BHP Billiton AGM, outside the meeting, others held a street theatre re-enactment of the destruction of the Doce River in Minas Gerais, Brazil, accompanied by testimonials from frontline visitors affected by the company's operations in Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia.
Rutilio, Romero and Pope Francis is the title of this year's Romero lecture - to be given by guest speaker Fr Rodolfo Cardenal SJ. Fr Cardenal is a Central American Jesuit and Director of the Monseñor Romero Centre at the UCA, the Jesuit University in El Salvador. He is a surviving colleague of the six Jesuit martyrs killed on the UCA campus in 1989 at the height of El Salvador's civil war. Fr Cardenal is a historian and has written the biography of his Jesuit confrére, Fr Rutilio Grande, assassinated in March 1977