Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa OFM has been elevated to Archbishop and appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem upon retirement of Patriarch Fouad Twal. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem who reached the age of 75 for retirement last October. The Pope has elevated to Archbishop Franciscan Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, former Custos of the Holy Land for twelve years, and appointed him as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Latin
Pope Francis on Friday met with Armenia's political, diplomatic and civil society representatives,at the presidential palace in Yerevan. During his address he recalled both the genocide suffered by the nation a century ago and the suffering of Christians around the world today. As he greeted the Armenian president, Serzh Sargsyan, and the nation's political leaders, Pope Francis spoke of the rich history and natural beauty of Armenia, believed by some to be the location of the biblical garden of Eden.
Pope Francis arrived in Armenia's capital Yerevan at 12.55 pm Rome time on Friday 24th June to begin his 14th apostolic journey abroad. Before his visit he paid a private visit to the Basilica of St Mary Major in Rome to pray, leaving a bouquet of flowers, in the colours of the Armenian flag, before the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as 'Salus Populi Romani'. The Holy Father was warmly welcomed by the President of the nation's Republic Serzh Sargsyn and the Catholicos of All Armenia Karekin II. Also present were the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Armenia
Given that those of us in the UK have been part of a seismic shift in the political direction of our country, how do these words of Jesus, quoted by Luke, seem to you? Jesus said: "No one who sets a hand to the plough and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God." I guess some of you reading this will feel that the earth you know and understand has shifted its axis, some will be fearful, some resentful, others hopeful, the uncertain waters ahead cannot be fathomed as of yet!
Pope Francis commented on Britain's decision to leave the European Union today, saying it must be followed by "guarantees" for the good of both Britain and countries on the continent. Speaking to journalists aboard the Papal plane during his journey to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, the Pope said the referendum result must be respected because it was wanted by the people. "It was the will expressed by the people and this requires a great responsibility on the part of all of us to guarantee the good of the people of the United Kingdom,
The new Anglican Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Ipgrave, has paid a visit to St Chad's Catholic Cathedral in Birmingham, to pray and to venerate the relic of St Chad prior to his installation in September. Welcoming him, Archbishop Bernard Longley described it as an opportunity to give thanks for all that Anglicans and Catholics share in faith. They prayed together in silence in front of the relic which was placed on the Altar; Archbishop Longley led a prayer for Bishop Ipgrave's ministry as well as Lichfield Cathedral and its parishioners.
Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop John Sentamu have issued this joint statement today after the UK voted to leave the European Union: On Thursday, millions of people from across the United Kingdom voted in the referendum, and a majority expressed a desire that Britain's future is to be outside the European Union The outcome of this referendum has been determined by the people of this country. It is now the responsibility of the Government, with the support of Parliament, to take full account of the outcome of the referendum, and, in the light of this,
Over this past week, the United Kingdom has experienced a series of significant, challenging and sometimes painful milestones. With the long-awaited results of the EU referendum, and the tragic death of Jo Cox MP in the lead-up, emotions are high and there is potential for hostility and divisiveness to flourish. There is however the more positive outcome that these events serve as a catalyst for a greater unity and collective stance for the good of all. While Jo's tragic and wasteful death was unequivocally horrific and heart-breaking, it also gave rise to
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales: "A great tradition of the United Kingdom is to respect the will of the people, expressed at the ballot box. Today we set out on a new course that will be demanding on all. Our prayer is that all will work in this task with respect and civility, despite deep differences of opinion. We pray that in this process the most vulnerable will be supported and protected, especially those who are easy targets for unscrupulous employees and human traffickers.
The Festival Day of Saint Oliver Plunkett will be celebrated in Saint Peter's Church, Drogheda, this Sunday 3 July. This year the organisers are pleased to welcome as homilist Father Sean Henry PP Trim, Diocese of Meath. The 2016 procession, culminating in the celebration of the Festival Mass, will commemorate the 96th anniversary of the beatification of Saint Oliver Plunkett by Pope Benedict XV on 23 May 1920, as well as the 41st anniversary of his canonisation as a martyr by Blessed Pope Paul VI on 12 October 1975.
The Diocese of Clifton, in the west of England, will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with a night of prayer and reflection in Clifton Cathedral in Bristol, on Thursday, 30 June. The World War One battle was one of the bloodiest in history, taking place in northern France between 1 July and 18 November 1916, and tragically saw over one million men wounded or killed. The vigil starts with a multi-faith service at 8.30pm and ends the following morning with Mass at 7.30am.
It is good to be able to welcome you here on this day when we celebrate the eve of the birthday of Saint John the Baptist - who suffered for speaking the uncomfortable truth to powerful people - and are aware of the UK poll on membership of the European Union. As people of faith from across our continent, you represent diverse languages and cultures which do not have one currency but do share one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and which espouse a European homeland that breathes with two lungs. We welcome you as representing the Church incarnate in your
Israel stands accused of using 'water as a weapon' as water supplies to the West Bank have been drastically cut, and some West Bank homes have gone without water for a week, news services and aid agencies report. The crisis began on the first day of Ramadan, when water supplies were cut completely for 24 hours. While summer temperatures are well over 30 degrees centigrade and rising, families across the West Bank now have barely enough to drink, let alone wash. Agriculture is particularly under stress and dairy farmers face the prospect of
An amazing 3,400 years of marriage were represented by 80 couples who received certificates from Bishop Alan Hopes at the annual Marriage and Family Celebration Mass at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Norwich on Saturday. "This Mass is offered in thanksgiving and celebration of the goodness of marriage and family, and as an affirmation of the life-long commitment husbands and wives make to each other," said Kerry Urdzik, Marriage and Family Life Co-ordinator.
Francis has sent a video message to the people of Armenia, ahead of his visit to the country this weekend. In the message, delivered in Italian, the Holy Father said: "It is as a servant of the Gospel and a messenger of peace that I desire to come among you, to support your every effort towards peace - and I would share our steps on the pathway of reconciliation, which generates hope." ... I invite you to pray for this Apostolic journey. With the help of God, I come among you to fulfil, as the motto of the trip says, a "visit to the first Christian country".
The polls open at 7am on Thursday morning, 23 June 2016, for the most critical poll in a generation - the referendum on whether to stay in Europe or leave. Over the past eight weeks ICN has been publishing statements, reflections and prayers, from church leaders, politicians and Catholic organisations expressing their views on this issue - seen from a Catholic perspective. See the updated list of all our 'Brexit updates' - published in chronological order below:
During his weekly General Audience on a very hot and sunny Wednesday, attended by thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel story of the leper who was healed by Jesus as a sign of God's mercy and forgiveness. As Jesus reached out and touched the unclean man, he said, so we must never be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and those most in need. At the same time, he said, the Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch.
The international disability event: 'Living Fully 2016' began with an academic Symposium in Rome today. The event was officially opened by Cardinal Ravasi. The four days will be a celebration of disability, culture and faith. Theologians and practitioners in the field of disability - both physical and intellectual, are gathering from the four corners of the globe to share their knowledge, insights and experience to foster greater engagement in Church communities far and wide. The event has been pioneered by The Kairos Forum, a Caritas member disability
In an age of credit default swaps, quantitative easing and computerised trading, whatvalue does money have? What does it mean? Can it in any way tell the truth? Join the Las Casas Institute for a day conference that seeks to unpick contemporary questions in the light of Catholic social teaching. The Las Casas Institute has assembled a distinguished set of theologians, economists, and other experts to discuss what the lens of money reveals and conceals about our world. This conference will take place at the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School on 9 July
An anti-terrorism court in Lahore has acquitted five Christians accused of blasphemy. The case was registered on August 16, 2015 against 16 persons accused of having published material considered offensive to Islam. The court had also added charges of "inciting sectarian hatred". Among the victims there was a Protestant Christian pastor Aftab Gill of Gujrat, who published a poster with the word "rasool" for his late father Fazal Masih, founder of his community. The Muslims were offended because the term "rasool" is an attribute of the Prophet Muhammad.
On the occasion of the World Refugee Day, Caritas Europa reminded the European Union and its Member States that there are solutions to Europe's current solidarity crisis. There is no need to put the lives of migrants and refugees at risk and to unnecessarily prolong their suffering. Caritas continues to believe that Europe's founding values of dignity, equality and respect for human rights are not just hollow words, but make more sense now than ever. "Our older brother was kidnapped by ISIS and we have no news from him.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has sent a message to the annual Anglophone Safeguarding Conference currently underway in Rome. He stresses that although much has been done, there's much more to do "in both the prevention and response to this crime." The Rt Revd Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds and Vice Chair of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, delivered the message to delegates at the event that runs from 20 - 23 June and is jointly hosted by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and Kenya's Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people," Bishop Robert Lynch of St Petersburg, Florida, said on his blog after the mass shooting of 49 people in a gay bar in Orlando. We have to face the fact that gay-bashing is often encouraged, perpetrated and justified by believers. In the aftermath of the heinous crime committed at Pulse nightclub, many so-called religious people took to social media suggesting that this was a punishment from God. I was shocked to read
In a video message to participants of the Sixth World Conference Against the Death Penalty, taking place this week in Oslo, Norway Pope Francis has strongly reaffirmed the Catholic Church's rejection of the death penalty. The Holy Father said: "The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is an auspicious occasion for promoting worldwide ever more evolved forms of respect for the life and dignity of each person. It must not be forgotten that the inviolable and God-given right to life also belongs to the criminal."
A common refrain from many of those campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union is that Britain has no need for the EU when it has the Commonwealth. For these campaigners, the EU embodies an apparently arbitrary group of states with widely differing histories, cultures and legal systems. The Commonwealth - the group of 53 independent states largely coterminous with the former British Empire - represents the diametric opposite: a body of like-minded nations with common political systems and heritage, and growing economies,