One of the great hallmarks of early Christianity, was the way people lived their faith, it certainly made them distinctive. If you read the list of things an early writer, Hippolytus of Rome, tells us the Catechumens must give up before baptism its easy to see that great sacrifices were made and a radical change to their patterns of life took place. Paul reminds the Ephesians that they must not live like the pagans but 'put on the new self', who has been reborn in Christ through the sacraments of Initiation. It wasn't all about giving up, they also discovered new ways of doing things as
In the past two weeks, Christian Peacemaker Teams have witnessed a significant increase in the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli occupying forces. From soldiers confiscating their bicycles to chasing them down in the street, the Israeli occupying forces are stripping children of their fundamental right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities. These are the stories that CPT has documented in Hebron's Old City, but many more stories of boys and girls remain invisible.
Seeking Sanctuary - a charity organising basic humanitarian aid for the 3,000 migrants mostly sleeping rough outside Calais is becoming increasingly concerned, as are other organisations, about migrants in Calais being 'demonised' as a result of the traffic chaos and delays in Kent. They write in a statement today. FACT: The numbers reported to be entering the Eurotunnel site are likely to be greatly exaggerated - and diminishing as new security measures come into place.
Polio is a crippling and potentially fatal viral disease that mainly affects children under the age of five. There is no cure for polio, but there are safe and effective vaccines. Until the 1950's polio crippled thousands of people a year attacking the nervous system and causing irreversible paralysis within hours of the infection. Thanks to rigorous vaccination programmes the disease has been reduced by more than 99%. (down from 350,000 cases in 1998 to 130 cases of Wild polio virus in 2014).
An 18 month-old baby became the latest victim of the ongoing attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian family homes, early this morning (Friday 31 July). His four year-old brother and parents were severely burned. Their home has been destroyed. The attack took place at about 2.30am, in the village of Douma, in the northern part of the West Bank near the city of Nablus. The home of another family has also been damaged. The child was named Ali Saad Dawabsha. His father and mother, Sa'ad and Reham, and his brother Ahmad, are fighting for life in hospital.
The Rt Rev Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, today warned pilgrims in Lourdes of the dire consequences of Parliament approving an assisted dying Bill. He said that the Private Member's Bill, due to be introduced by Labour MP Rob Marris on September 11, will lead Britain on the path to euthanasia and bring pressure to bear on some of the most vulnerable members of society. The Bishop declared that "we have good reason to fear that the right to die will quickly become the duty to die".
On July 17-19, 2015 the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (PCJP), in collaboration with the Latin American network Churches and Mining, organized a meeting in Rome with representatives of communities affected by mining activities titled 'In union with God, we hear a cry'. There were participants from 18 countries: Chile, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United States, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Mozambique, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India and the Philippines.
One year ago today, the United Nations established the annual World Day against Trafficking in Persons. In an official statement to commemorate this occasion, UN Women wrote: "To prevent trafficking, we must address its root causes and the factors that increase individual's vulnerability to trafficking, including poverty, unemployment, poor access to education and continued gender inequality." Reggie Littlejohn, President of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, stated: "Glaringly absent from this list of the 'root causes' of human trafficking is China's One Child Policy.
Pax Christi's Icon of Peace will be on display in St Patrick's Chapel, Westminster Cathedral, London between 3 - 17 August. People are invited to visit the Icon and spend time in prayer and reflection for peace. The Icon, made in the Monastery of St John in the Desert, near Jerusalem, was given to Pax Christi International in 1999. The people and stories depicted on the Icon, from Eastern and Western Christian traditions and from scripture, open our eyes to forgiveness and reconciliation as part of making peace.
While all are horrified at the sufferings of the refugees and migrants in Calais, most in the UK are paralysed from action because of the huge issues raised. If we 'open the gates', will this act as a magnet for thousands more refugees to come knocking on the UK door? This could mean further competition for scarce housing and resources in the poor boroughs which are already coping with huge shortages. If we continue to pour in extra security money, and simply make Calais a more effective barrier, we risk prolonging the distressing scenes in camp and Eurotunnel in Calais
Newman University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with three Chilean universities that will see the institutions working together for the benefit of students, staff and the local communities they serve. The three Chilean universities - Universidad Católica de la Santísima Conception, Universidad Católica del Maule and Universidad Católica de Temuco - are all members of the Council of Rectors of Chilean Universities (CRUCH), a group of 25 higher education institutions that receive at least some funding from the State.
Catholic and Protestant church leaders, lay Christians and human rights lawyers have spoken out publicly about the ongoing government campaign to demolish churches and forcibly remove crosses from buildings in China's Zhejiang Province. In early 2015, a vice-chair of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, a state-sanctioned religious association, claimed that the government had ordered an end to the spate of cross removals and church demolitions in Zhejiang. However, although the pace of such events has slowed since its peak from April to July 2014, authorities in the
The death toll among refugees attempting to reach the UK from Calais has risen dramatically in recent days. Medical staff in France say they are struggling to cope with the number of seriously injured migrants who are taking ever greater risks to get into the Channel Tunnel. More than 3,000 men, women and children who have fled war and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Sudan Ethiopia and Afghanistan are now crowded into a makeshift camp in Calais. Many of the migrants are sharing food and medicines... Christian migrants are now building a small chapel.
Faith leaders in Sierra Leone and Liberia played an "essential role" in stemming the spread of the Ebola virus, according to a new report, but the delay in involving them in the response cost lives. Keeping the Faith, a joint report by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Tearfund and Islamic Relief, shows that Christian and Muslim leaders were able to deliver health messages in parts of the two countries that governments and NGOs could not reach. As trusted sources of information, they quashed rumours about the disease - such as that the disease was man-made and being spread deliberately
Less than 24 hours after registration opened for next year's World Youth Day (WYD), 45,000 people had already signed up. The first to register was Pope Francis himself who had previously announced that the theme of the meeting would revolve around mercy. According to the website's managers, thus far there are 250 'macrogroups; and 300 volunteers signed up. The countdown to the event is already surrounded by great enthusiasm. In exactly one year - from 26 to 31 July 2016 - young people will meet in Krakow for the 31st WYD.
A blessing to one another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People is the title of an exhibition opening today in the Vatican (Charlemagne Wing, 29 July to 17 September), previously displayed in a number of state capitals in the USA, where it received more than a million visitors. The exhibition, presented as a gift to John Paul II for his 85th birthday, was inaugurated at the Xavier University of Cincinnati, Ohio, on 18 May 2005, just a month after the Pope's death. It then arrived in Rome, and while in Europe its organisers wanted it to visit Krakow, the Polish city where Karol Wojtyla was
This fine book should matter to ICN readers in Europe because it explains why so many Africans are prepared to risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean. No matter how much aid we send to Africa, far greater sums are swindled from resource-rich African countries by unscrupulous international companies, working hand-in-hand with the bloated African elite. As Tom Burgis puts it: "The empires of colonial Europe and the Cold War superpowers have given way to a new form of dominion over the continent that serves as the mine of the world - new empires controlled not by nations
Giovanni da Rimini's Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints - the only high-quality work from fourteenth century Rimini still in Britain - has been acquired for the nation, thanks to Ronald S Lauder providing the funds to enable the National Gallery to purchase it. The gold-ground panel, painted around 1300-05, had been in the collection of the Dukes of Northumberland at Alnwick Castle since 1853, until it was sold at auction in July 2014. A temporary export bar was placed on the 700-year old painting by the Minister for Culture
Three months on from the devastating earthquake, award-winning actress and CAFOD supporter Jo Joyner is calling for urgent action after visiting communities in Nepal. Jo, whose work includes No Angels, EastEnders, Ordinary Lies and most recently The Interceptor, went to Nepal to see how people who were severely affected by the earthquake are coping, and how crucial the work of CAFOD and its local partners has been in providing life-saving aid. The earthquake that struck on 25 April was the most powerful to hit Nepal for more than 80 years.
In a homily delivered in Lourdes on the Day for Life, 26th July, Cardinal Nichols said that we should both cherish life and embrace natural death. Affirming that every human life has intrinsic value, regardless of health or disability, he said, 'this is why we oppose those who wish to pass laws assisting suicide, giving people the right to die when they want. The right to die is somebody else's duty to kill; and we don't accept that. We both cherish life and we embrace death.'
The Thar Parkar Desert is situated in the south east of Pakistan in Sindh province. It covers an area of 22,000 square kilometers with an estimated population of 1.5 million and is one of the most densely populated deserts of the world. It is a place of beauty, especially after the monsoon rains..... that is, when they come, writes Fr Tomas King, an Irish Columban missionary in the Sindh.
Pictures of hungry starving people are always disturbing. Those of us who live in an affluent society cannot begin to comprehend what it must be like to have little hope of food or water. It is to their credit that so many people act according to conscience and with compassion to support charities and aid agencies that help alleviate situations of extreme deprivation. Some of us will help in an active way by becoming involved in these situations.
Every year Pax Christi members around the country commemorate the anniversaries of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the 6th & 9th August. This year is even more important as we mark the 70th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons and mourn that they are still with us - 70 Years on!
This summer, the Volunteer Missionary Movement (VMM) is launching an exciting new initiative entitled International Volunteer Projects (IVP).
Christian mother of five children, Asia Bibi, had her death sentence temporarily suspended by Pakistan's Supreme Court yesterday, as an appeals case against her conviction of blasphemy begins. She has been on death row in a Pakistan prison for five years. "The execution of Asia Bibi has been suspended and will remain suspended until the decision of this appeal," said lawyer Saif-ul-Malook.