On Thursday evening, Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass for the Feast of Corpus Christi on the steps of Rome's cathedral Basilica of St John Lateran. An official English translation of the Holy Father's homily follows: Do this in remembrance of me. Twice the Apostle Paul, writing to the community in Corinth, recalls this command of Jesus in his account of the institution of the Eucharist. It is the oldest testimony we have to the words of Christ at the Last Supper.
In the light of Pope Francis' dream of Europe, the Caritas Europa Regional Conference 2016 calls on European leaders to join forces with people, civil society organisations and churches to build an inclusive and outward looking Europe. Europe is increasingly challenged by rising poverty, social injustice, conflicts, xenophobia and nationalism. Caritas Europa urges European governments to strengthen the role of the Council of Europe in ensuring that social rights are respected, including the right to be protected against poverty and social exclusion (art. 30,
A British mezzo soprano has been chosen to provide the official song for the Pope's Jubilee Year of Mercy celebrations in Rome. Nottinghamshire-born Carly Paoli's track, Ave Maria has been chosen by the Vatican as the official song of the Jubilee Tours for visitors the Eternal City throughout 2016. Nearly eight million pilgrims have already visited Rome this year to take part in the Jubilee events and official walking tours of the city.
Imagine what it must be like to be born in a country that is not your own. To have ended up in a foreign land because of the actions of others and not by your own choice. Imagine that you have lived all your life in a camp known as a "refugee camp" because your own home country, Somalia, has been embroiled in a civil war since 1992. Imagine you are a 24 year old woman, born in this camp, who has fallen in love with your husband and given birth to your first child in the camp.
A bishop in Syria has described desperate efforts to tend to the injured and the dying following multiple Daesh (ISIS) attacks in Tartous and Jableh, which left more than 200 dead and nearly 650 injured. Bishop Antioine Chbeir stressed that Monday's attacks in his diocese were the first of their kind in an area where displaced Syrians had gathered in their hundreds of thousands, believing it to be one of the last remaining safe areas of the country.
Catholic peace campaigners have welcomed the 'Colloquium on Catholic Approaches to Nuclear Proliferation and Disarmament' which took place in London this week. But they express their disappointment that the renewal of the Trident nuclear defence system, which will be voted for in Parliament this autumn, was apparently, not discussed at the conference and "no one working in this country for an end to nuclear weapons was invited to the closed seminar."
CAFOD, was at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul this week. Governments, UN agencies, and nearly all the big international aid bodies were represented, but CAFOD spoke up for the unsung NGOs in the countries where most humanitarian aid money is spent. "In any natural disaster or emergency, it is these local partners who are first on the scene," said Anne Street, CAFOD's Head of Humanitarian Policy. "Their members understand the local culture better than anyone else, and they will carry on when the
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, will be taking part in a live conversation via Facebook about prayer, unity and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ on Friday afternoon. The two leaders previously appeared together at the Royal Albert Hall, in a joint interview hosted by Nicky Gumbel. Last Thursday, the Archbishop of Canterbury hosted a live Bible study on his Facebook page which has been viewed more than 890,000 times.
Cardinal Bo visited the Salesian community and parish at Sacred Heart Church in Battersea on Pentecost Sunday, where he celebrated two Masses, enabling him to meet many parishioners in this multicultural community. In his homily, the Salesian Cardinal of Myanmar spoke of the challenges of life in Myanmar, where as a Salesian since 1976, and more recently as Cardinal, he has carried out his mission to the 800,000 members of the Catholic Church through decades of conflict, and his assurance that 'peace is still possible'.
During his General Audience today, Pope Francis focussed on the importance of persevering in prayer. He told pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square: "Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now turn to the parable of the unjust judge and the widow. In telling us that even an unscrupulous judge will finally render justice to a poor woman because of her persistence, Jesus encourages us to persevere in prayer to our heavenly Father, who is infinitely just and loving.
We thank you for sharing in our grief, in the past days, at the painful and tragic loss of Sister Veronika, Theresia Racková, SSpS. Sr Veronika was born in Slovakia on 8th January 1958. She made her first vows in the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit in 1987 and final vows in 1994. She was a medical doctor with specialization in tropical diseases. She has worked as a missionary in Ghana. She served as Provincial Leader of the Province of Slovakia from 2004-2010.
Professor Bernard Carr will lead an evening on 'Making Time for Matter, Mind and Spirit' at the Meditatio Centre in Islington on Thursday. Although physics claims to be close to a 'Theory of Everything', two features of the world are still far from understood: time and consciousness. The role of time is very different in relativity theory and quantum theory, so its physical status is unclear. Most physicists neglect consciousness altogether,
Mina Thabet, an Egyptian human rights defender who was arrested on 19 May, has been remanded in custody for an additional period of 15 days of preventative detention. Mr Thabet, who specialises in Coptic and Minority rights, was initially held for four days in preventative detention following his arrest at his home by plain-clothes police officers in the early hours of 19 May.
Thanks to Lord Dubs and his supporters, the 2016 Immigration Act obliges the government to take action to help unaccompanied refugee children who are already in Europe to come and resettle in the UK. But Phil Kerton and Ben Beno from the charity Seeking Sanctuary have expressed concern that time is passing and children are still on their own in potentially dangerous situations - living in poor conditions with inadequate shelter, hygiene and nutrition, missing out on education and secure home life essential to their development.
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has welcomed a major commitment to education made by international community at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on Monday. The Education Cannot Wait fund follows on the heels of the JRS Global Education Initiative launched last December. "Education Cannot Wait is an important step forward in helping to ensure that the most vulnerable and disenfranchised have access to an education," said Jesuit Refugee Service International Director Fr Thomas H Smolich SJ in Istanbul
During his homily at Mass at Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis reflected on one of the readings, from the First Letter of St Peter, which he called a "small treatise on holiness." Holiness means "to walk in the presence of God without reproach," he said. Holiness cannot be bought. Neither can it be earned by human strength. No, "the simple holiness of all Christians ... ours - the kind we are called to every day," said the Pope, "can only be attained with the help of four essential elements: courage, hope, grace, and conversion."
Pope Francis received the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheik Ahmed Muhammad Al-Tayyib yesterday. Vatican Press Office director, Fr Federico Lombardi said the 30 minute meeting was "very cordial" and that the Grand Imam of Egypt "was accompanied by an important delegation, which included: Dr Abbas Shouman, Undersecretary of Al-Azhar; Dr Mahmaoud Hamdi Zakzouk, member of the Council of Senior Scholars of Al-Azhar University
Father Nguyen Van Ly was granted an early release from prison on 20 May, in what media have reported as a goodwill gesture ahead of US President Barack Obama's three-day visit to the country, which started on 23 May. However, it has been reported that a number of human rights activists were detained this week, in apparent attempts to prevent them from meeting the US delegation. Most have since been released.
There has been a seven-fold rise in the persecution of Christians in China since 2008, according to a report by a partner of UK-based Release International.The report claims China is seeking 'complete control over the nation's churches' with the aim of replacing "Christ as the head of the church with submission to the Communist Party." To that end, China has increased its crackdown on Christians and churches....."In all conscience, Britain cannot put trade before human rights."
Bishop Declan Lang called for an end to all nuclear weapons as he welcomed delegates to a conference on nuclear proliferation, deterrence and disarmament in London today. The conference is taking place at the University of Notre Dame London Global Gateway and features Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Des Browne, the vice chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor of international relations at the Catholic University of America.
A debate on 'This House Urges Catholics to Vote Remain' will take place in Westminster Cathedral Hall on Wednesday June 15, organised by Catholic Voices. Four prominent Catholics from both sides of the Referendum debate will be discussing whether Catholic values are best served by the UK's continued membership of the European Union or not. Labour MP Gisela Stuart and Daily Telegraph journalist Tim Stanley will be speaking against the motion.
Christy Beam (Jennifer Garner) enjoys a picture-perfect life in Texas with her husband Kevin (Martin Henderson) and their three daughters. Every Sunday the Beams go to church and hear sermons about a God who loves them. Given all of the blessings they enjoy, this is easy to believe. But then middle daughter Annabelle (Kylie Rogers) starts complaining of mysterious stomach pains, and life takes a frightening turn. While medical professionals shrug their shoulders and Annabelle's symptoms get worse,
Children from Syria's different Christian denominations will be joining together to pray for peace in the country on International Children's Day, 1 June. The plan, which is being backed by Syrian Church leaders, was described in a joint message from the country's Catholic and Orthodox Patriarchs. They wrote: "On this International Day of the Child, Christian children in many of the towns and cities of Syria are going to gather together and pray that peace may come at last."
Pope Francis has decided that the World Meeting of Families will be held in Dublin on 22 to 26 August 2018, with the theme "The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World". It is too early to know if Pope Francis will attend the WMOF. The announcement of the date and theme for the 9th World Meeting of Families (WMF) was made at a press conference in the Vatican this morning, attended by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, and the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Archbishop Vincenzo Pagila.
A District Judge has refused to allow the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to appeal against the acquittal of eight anti-arms trade activists who were charged with blockading the DSEI arms fair in London last September. The CPS application to appeal was refused on the basis it was 'frivolous' and 'misconceived'. On April 15 2016, eight activists were acquitted on the basis that they were seeking to prevent greater crimes such as torture and the mass indiscriminate killing of civilians in places such as Yemen, Kurdistan, Palestine and Bahrain.