On Tuesday 13 October, At least a thousand people, from community and faith groups will meet outside the Houses of Parliament, dressed in their warmest winter clothes, for a candlelight vigil, organised by Citizens UK, for the six Syrian children who froze to death last year in camps. They will tell David Cameron that he must agree to resettle 1000 Syrian refugees before Christmas, so that this does not happen again. Their slogan is: WE THE PEOPLE WELCOME REFUGEES. Since the crisis began, hundreds of thousands of British people have stepped forward to welcome refugees,
Pope Francis has urged participants at an international Climate Change Conference to be guided by the "principles of a fair and integral ecology" that takes people into account. In a message signed on his behalf by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope expressed his encouragement for the initiative and sent greetings to the organizers and participants of the Second World Conference on Climate Change taking place in the Bolivian city of Tiquipaya. The three-day conference end today, Monday, October 12. It was convened by Bolivian President Evo Morales
Pope Francis has sent a message to the participants in the Fourth National Meeting of Missionary Groups, which took place in Santiago del Estero, Argentina from 10 to 12 October, examining the theme "Mission, a way of life". The Holy Father writes: "Let us always remember that we cannot show to others what we ourselves have not seen or heard. Therefore, to be a missionary, before announcing and communicating, it is necessary to see. To see that Jesus, who made Himself small to experience our weakness, who assumed our mortal flesh, to clothe it in His immortality
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that three Christians who were part of a group of 200 held captive by Daesh (Islamic State) since February have been executed. The terrorist group released a video on 8 October showing Dr Abdel-Maseeh Aniyah, Ashur Rustam Abraham and Bassam Issa Michael in orange jumpsuits. The men were ordered to confirm their names before being shot dead. Daesh have threatened to execute the remaining hostages if their ransoms were not paid.
Fr Jacques Murad, the Syrian priest abducted by ISIS in central Syria five months ago, has been set free, Fides reported this morning. Fr Murad was kidnapped at the same time as around 200 other Christians, in May, two months before jihadists captured Qaryatayn, the Christian-Sunni town where Fr Murad lived and served as prior of the ancient monastery of Mar Elian. Syrian Fr Jihad Youssef from the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa said: "We are grateful to the Lord and give praise to the merciful God for this gift. And we thank all the friends in the world who prayed
A prayer in honour of the Virgin Mary has been recited and sung in the churches and chapels of Syon Abbey for more than 600 years. It is the unique daily office of the Bridgettine Sisters of Syon, the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, and never before heard outside their monastery. Their special Daily Office of our Lady, known as The Syon Breviary, has now been translated from Latin and published in English for the first time. The Bridgettine Sisters of Syon are presently celebrating the anniversary of their foundation in 1415, by King Henry V, the hero of the Battle of Agincourt,
..The Syria conflict has generated one of the largest refugee crises since the Second World War. There are 4.1 million Syrian refugees outside the country, as well as 7.6 million people displaced inside Syria. According to the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, Syrians make up the largest proportion of those who have been seeking to reach Europe by boat in 2015. More than 200,000 people have lost their lives in this conflict. This is an international tragedy that requires an international response. This is a human tragedy that has already provoked a compassionate response
ICN editor Jo Siedlecka will be taking part in the CEO Sleepout at the Kia Oval tonight, 12 October, to raise funds for the Cardinal Hume Centre. Jo writes: "Thanks very much to all those generous people who have already sponsored me. If you haven't yet, and would like to - please see the details below. I'm taking part in the sleepout because I am really concerned about the number of young people I see sleeping on our streets.
The St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is to host a live music event to mark International Eradication of Poverty day 2015. 'Shout Out Loud' will be an evening of live performances taking place at the O2 Academy Islington, on Saturday 17th October at 6-10pm. Performing live will be three bands: Shak and the Banned, alexLANYON, and Hot Teeth, who will provide a mixture of soul, funk, and rock throughout the evening. Vas Nicolaou, a member of the SVP team organising the event, said:
Hundreds of Iraqi Christians living in Ankawa, a suburb in Erbil, staged in a peaceful demonstration on Friday, to protest against the arrival of sleazy nightclubs offering gambling and prostitution in the area where their community is mainly concentrated. The protest march through the streets of Ankawa started from St Joseph Cathedral. The marchers met a representative of the governor of Erbil, and presented him with a list of demands. In recent years there has been an "explosive growth" of nightclubs, discos and brothels in the suburb.
Before the Angelus, with thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on the day's Gospel reading from Mark, which recounts Jesus' encounter with the "rich young man". The Holy Father explained that this text was built around the "three gazes of Jesus." The first is his "intense gaze full of tenderness and affection," when the young man expressed that "for him observance of the precepts is not enough, since it does not meet with his desire for wholeness." The Pope noted that Jesus understood the man's weak point, and made a concrete
Cardinal Seán O'Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has condemned Governor Jerry Brown's signing of the new California law legalizing assisted suicide. Cardinal O'Malley called the governor's decision "a great tragedy for human life," and a tragedy "compounded by confusion among those who supported this law. A government that legalizes assisted suicide sends the terrible message Pope Francis has so eloquently warned us against,
Prayers were said at Masses across Ireland on Sunday for the victims of a fire which tore threw a Travellers site near Dublin on Saturday. Ten people, including five children from two families died in the blaze. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the news was heartbreaking. The victims were Willie Lynch and Tara Gilbert, their daughters Kelsey and Jodie, Thomas and Sylvia Connors and their children Jim, Christy and six-month-old Mary. Jimmy Lynch, 39, a brother of Willie, also died in the blaze.
Following the Angelus with pilgrims in St Peter's Square today (Sunday) Pope Francis spoke of his sadness and pain at the bombing in Turkey on Saturday which killed dozens of people and left many more injured. The attack was all the more tragic, he said, because it had struck defenseless people gathered together to demonstrate for peace. The Holy Father asked the Lord to welcome the souls of all those who were killed and to comfort the suffering and their families.
Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, told a press conference on Saturday that there were 75 interventions in the plenary session of the Family Synod. Interventions came mainly from Fathers representing Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. There were few interventions from North America. Themes that emerged from the interventions included the spirituality of family life, the missionary responsibility of families to look after and foster good marriages, the role of various family movements in the Church, and ways that the Church
Christian Aid today joined calls for a commission set up under the Geneva Conventions to investigate the US bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Afghanistan which killed 12 medical staff and 10 patients. A further 24 staff and nine patients remain unaccounted for. The airstrike six days ago in Kunduz in the northern part of the country forced MSF to evacuate the area, leaving thousands of civilians in a war zone with no access to health care. The attack was in breach of international humanitarian law, which prohibits the targeting of hospitals.
HCPT has released the first pilgrimage resources for 2016 - its Diamond Jubilee year. The theme for the 2016 pilgrimages is 'Thanks be to God!' There are many reasons for the organisation to thank God in 2016. First and foremost it is HCPT's Diamond Jubilee. For 60 years the charity has travelled to Lourdes with disabled and disadvantaged children and with vulnerable adults. In all that time it has changed thousands of lives through pilgrimage.
I love the image of Wisdom alive and active in our world, that's possibly because I have always loved the Eastern Church's devotion to Holy Wisdom, finally present in Christ. The dedication of Justinian's great church in Constantinople to Hagia Sophia, a central focus for the Byzantine tradition of the Eastern Church, is a continual reminder that in our scriptures we have many images of God, which we should use more often in our prayers and devotions.
...We are painfully struck and we follow with great concern what is happening in Syria, in Iraq, in Jerusalem and the West Bank, where we see an escalation of violence that involves innocent civilians and continues to fuel a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions. War brings destruction and multiplies the sufferings of peoples. Hope and progress come only from choices for peace. Let us unite, therefore, in an intense and confident prayer to the Lord, a prayer that intends to be an expression of solidarity at once with our brother Patriarchs and Bishops from those regions,
During his homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta on Friday, Pope Francis reflected on the necessity to discern at all times, whether something comes from God or from the Evil One "who always seeks to deceive, to make us choose the wrong path". In Friday's Gospel reading, Jesus drives out a demon, doing good to the man once afflicted, but some from the crowd of witnesses accuse him of being in league with Beelzebul.
On Friday morning, during the fourth General Congregation, the various Circuli Minori - 13 in total - presented the results of their reflections on the first part of the Instrumentum Laboris examining the mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world. In general the rapporteurs from the various groups, which were divided according to language (English, French,Spanish, German and Italian) considered that it was necessary to offer, as Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, Australia, writes, "a less negative reading of history, culture and
The following article is a reworking of a talk given by Dr Gillian Paterson, Research Fellow, Heythrop College, University of London at the ACTA meeting on The Synod and the Modern World. Dr Paterson was in Rome for the beginning of the Synod, and was a panelist at the symposium to launch the book 'Catholic Women Speak'. I have just come back from Rome, where - on Sunday morning - we dragged ourselves out of bed and set off across the city to St Peter's, carefully not forgetting the little red tickets that would let us into the Papal Mass for the opening of the Synod
Caritas Anchor House in Newham has warned that hundreds of homeless people in one of the country's most deprived boroughs will be put at risk after it was presented with an unexpected bill for an additional £1 million in VAT by HM Revenue and Customs. In a statement the charity says: "We have been told by HMRC that this bill relates to our construction of 'move on' flats, a pivotal feature of our Home and Hope Appeal, designed to help homeless residents achieve a sustainable transition back into independent living.
The former Shadow Minister of State for Employment, Stephen Timms MP, has praised a Catholic charity's work to provide a sustainable path out of homelessness and "their capacity to transform despair into hope". The comment was made at a reception to mark World Homeless Day at the House of Lords, organised by homeless charity Caritas Anchor House and sponsored by The Global Noticeboard. Timms congratulated the charity for raising the aspirations of people that have faced complexities that many of us can only imagine.