The Synod of Bishops, gathered around the Holy Father, turned its thoughts to all the families of the world, each with its joys, difficulties and hopes. In a special way, the Assembly felt a duty to give thanks to the Lord for the generosity and faithfulness of so many Christian families in responding to their vocation and mission, which they fulfill with joy and faith, even when living as a family requires facing obstacles, misunderstandings
Christian Ecology Link (CEL) has been offered a significant donation by the NISA supermarket in Highams Park, North London, under their ‘Making a Difference Locally’ scheme, which earmarks a proportion of sales for good causes. CEL is an educational charity helping to bring people of faith together to work on environmental projects, and has its Resources Office in South Chingford. Information Officer Jo Abbess said: "I'm taken aback by the generosity shown by Nisa. These funds are going to be very welcome in supporting our projects,
'Margaret Sinclair, An Ordinary Girl', is a feature film about Venerable Margaret Sinclair, currently in production by White Lyon Films. Screenwriter and director Dianne Thomas, describes the film as "the work of the Holy Spirit". Dianne has self funded a short film as a taster for the feature film and is looking for supporters to help bring the story of Margaret Sinclair into the public eye. Margaret was born in 1900 in Edinburgh, Scotland to a poor work class family and went to work at a young age as a French polisher
In light of the recent announcement that the Italian search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean will cease and the UK government will not assist the EU-wide operation, Bishop Patrick Lynch, Chair of the Office for Migration Policy at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said...Britain is still Europe's leading naval power.. to refuse to join in Mediterranean search and rescue operations would be a misguided abdication of responsibility to those thousands of men, women, and children ..driven from their homes by persecution and war and forced to risk death at sea.”
Pope Francis said Christian life is a continuous battle against the Devil, the world and the passions of the flesh. His comments came during his homily at morning Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta today. He stressed that the devil exists and we must fight against him with the armour of truth. The Holy Father was reflecting on the words of St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians where he urges Christians to put on the full armour of God in order to resist Satan’s temptations. A Christian life, he said, has to be defended and it requires both strength and courage.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio in November, 2014, (1964-2014), the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through its Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity, Religious Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue, has published the following document: A Church in Dialogue: Towards the Restoration of Unity among Christians. This publication provides an in-depth presentation of the Church's commitment to ecumenical dialogue and is intended for those
Citizens UK, together with London Churches Refugee Network, Detention Action and Detention Forum will be holding a candlelight vigil this Friday, to remember those who have died in immigration detention and show solidarity and friendship for the families hurt by this unacceptable practice and to let all detainees know that they are not forgotten. Britain is the only country in Europe that holds refugees and migrants in immigration detention with no time limit.
The 92nd Annual Solemn Requiem Mass commemorating those members who have recently died, serving officers who in the past year have died or lost their lives in the course of duty, and all deceased colleagues and friends in the police service takes place at Westminster Cathedral at 2.30pm on Wednesday 5 November. All are welcome. The Principal Celebrant will be the Rt Rev Richard Moth, Bishop of the Forces. The Metropolitan Police Male Voice Choir will participate in and sing the liturgy.
A London parish is finally able to erect a war memorial to its war dead, having rekindled memories on the verge of being lost forever. Extensive research into wartime St Anselm’s, Tooting Bec, has uncovered the names of 30 people – service personnel and civilians – who are to be commemorated in plaques in the church and a book which tells their story. The publication, called ‘A Parish in Wartime – Remembering the fallen from two World Wars’ details the lives of former St Anselm’s parishioners – some killed on the field of battle, others shot down over the skies of Germany
Read More ... John Pontifex - Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:00 pm
More than 700 Christian families from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain are now lliving as refugees in makeshift housing and temporary accommodation in Baghdad, after being forced to leave their homes by Islamic State. Raad Jalil Kajaji, head of the finance Office for Christians, Yazidis, Sabean and Mandaeans, said the number of Christian refugees arriving in the capital continues to increase day by day,. He called for and international relief organizations to support the local authorities more vigorously in addressing this humanitarian emergency.
We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’”. This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ general audience today, (Wednesday), which he dedicated to the relationship between the visible and spiritual reality of the Church. The Pope observed that the Church represents the Body of Jesus, and that its visible dimension- that is the structures and people who make up the Church – are at the service of its spiritual reality, witnessing to God’s love for all mankind.
In a private meeting with leaders of the inter-denominational Ark Community, Pope Francis said Christians should not wait for theologians to reach agreement, but should walk, pray and work together now. His words came during a 10 October gathering at Casa Santa Marta with members of the community founded by Evangelical leader Tony Palmer who was killed in a road accident last July. Palmer became friends with Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio when he worked in Buenos Aires as international ecumenical officer of the Communion of Episcopal Evangelical Churches,
Dr Gina Wolfe, Associate Professor of Theological Ethics, at the Catholic Theological Union, Chicago will speak at the next meeting of A Call to Action Westminster (ACTA) next Tuesday, 4 November. Her theme will be: ‘Renewal in the spirit of Pope Francis - Becoming a welcoming, listening, accompanying Church'. The talk will be followed by a discussion, moderated by Fr Patrick McLoughlin. All are welcome. The meeting will take place at Maria Fidelis Upper School, 34 Phoenix Road, London NW1 1TA, off Eversholt Street, five minutes’ walk from Euston Station
Yesterday, Pope Francis met with participants of all nationalities and faiths, attending the World Meeting of Popular Movements which is holding a conference in Rome to discuss problems facing the poor, the unemployed and those who have lost their land. The group chose to hold their three-day conference in the city because of Pope Francis’ particular attention to the struggles of the poor. The event was organised by the Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences and the leaders of
Bishop John Arnold last week (19th – 26th October) visited Cambodia in his role as Chairman of CAFOD to observe how CAFOD’s partners are working to improve the lives of those affected by poverty. During his week there, he visited Phnom Penh and Siem Reap near the Thailand border, the latter being noted for having ‘the highest average wealth of Cambodian cities but its provincial inhabitants are the poorest.’ He met with a variety of delegates including Michelle Broadbent, the British Deputy Ambassador to Cambodia, Bishop Olivier,
"The Big Bang theory does not contradict Divine intervention - but confirms it" - Pope Francis told a group of clergy and academics at the unveiling of a statue of Pope Benedict at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Monday. "Evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve." Read a translation in English of the full text of Pope Francis' speech at the unveiling, here:
The former secretary of the Pakistani Bishops Justice and Peace Commission has appealed for the Pakistani government to protect people suffering from religious discrimination. Peter Jacob said: "The federal and provincial ministries should take the responsibility to monitor, protect and defend cases against people accused of blasphemy, including that of Asia Bibi." "The governments of the country are responsible for allowing the abuse of the blasphemy law, giving rise to a climate of widespread insecurity,
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, 118th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa on the holy Apostolic See of Saint Mark, accompanied by a papal delegation, arrived in Russia on 28 October 2014 ahead of a historic visit. HH Pope Tawadros will visit His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on 29 October 2014, marking 26 years since the visit of the previous Pope of Alexandria, His Holiness the late Pope Shenouda III, who had participated in the celebration of the Millennium of the Christianisation of Russia and the baptism of St Vladimir.
Pope Francis today encouraged all Christians to feel they are an integral part of the Church. Speaking during his homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, the Pope said that Jesus does not seek out man’s sins, but looks to his heart, and he invited all believers not to hover on the threshold of the Church, but to come right in. The Holy Father said Jesus did the “work” 2000 years ago when he chose twelve pillars upon which to build His Church, and positioned himself as the basis and the corner stone.
Diocesan Vocations Directors from around Ireland gathered for their annual conference in Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth on Sunday 26 and Monday 27 October, on the theme "I will make you fishers of men". The conference was opened by Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry and Chairman of the Bishops' Conference Council for Vocations. In his opening address Bishop McKeown said: "Vocations to the priesthood and religious life are firmly on the agenda of the Irish Catholic Church and any opportunity for a group
Read More ... Brenda Drumm - Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 7:18 pm
Louise Zanre, Director of Jesuit Refugee Services has added her voice to protests today at the British Government's decision to stop supporting search and rescue services in the Mediterranean that have saved the lives of thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Louise said: “The decision is unconscionable. It puts peoples’ lives at risk – and purely because of a nonsensical idea that rescuing people at sea is in some way a pull factor. People are being forced to flee across the Mediterranean in unseaworthy
In a year which has seen more than 2,500 refugees - many fleeing ISIS - drown in the Mediterranean, news that the Foreign Office has decided to stop search and rescue operations, has been greeted with grave concern by refugee and human rights groups. Sarah Teather MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, described the decision as "shameful". The official Italian sea and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, is also due to end this week.
Read More ... Jo Siedlecka - Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 2:39 pm
To mark its 25th anniversary, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), the church investor advocacy coalition has released a report: Using Ethical Investment to Close the Gap, a radical call to action for the investor community to use their ownership responsibilities to address ever increasing levels of wealth inequality in the UK. John Arnold, Executive Director of ECCR, said: "For too long investors have presided over a corporate system that over-rewards the elite whilst leaving many employees at poverty level.
Britain's richest 1% own as much as the poorest 55% of the population. So who are ‘the poor’? What does it mean to obey Jesus’ command to reach out to the poor, when in some cases we ARE the poor? The Justice and Peace Annual Study Day studies the current Welfare system by examining myths surrounding those on welfare. John Hills (Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) , London School of Economics) explains the “Welfare Myth of ‘them and us’- How we ALL use welfare as our lives change”,
More than 100 clergy, HIV sector professionals and individual Christians attended ‘Love Tenderly Act Justly: Stories of HIV and Christianity Today’ at St Martins in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London last Saturday, 25 October. Vincent Manning from Catholics for AIDS Prevention and Support (CAPS) said: “..the Conference was a unique event and a great success. We learned about how HIV impacts on faith, and reflected upon what the Christian churches response should be. The large number of people attending shows that HIV remains a significant issue in