Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front leader and presidential candidate is currently on a 48-hour visit to the Lebanon. She has already been received by President Michel Aoun in the Presidential Palace in Babda. The agenda for her short trip includes meetings with Maronite Patriarch Boutros Bechara Rai, Lebanese Premier Saad Hariri and politician Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese Forces. In her talk with President Aoun, Lebanese media report that Marine Le Pen said she saw the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism as a context for collaboration between Lebanon and France.
Pope Francis will make a historic visit to the Church of England chaplaincy of All Saints, Rome on Sunday February 26th, the first pontiff to set foot inside an Anglican church in his own diocese as the Bishop of Rome. During the afternoon encounter, the Holy Father will join the congregation for a short Choral Evensong service which includes the blessing of a specially commissioned icon and the twinning of All Saints with the Catholic parish of Ognissanti, a Rome church with strong ecumenical ties.
In a letter to the United States Secretary of State on Friday, chairmen of the US Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on International Justice and Peace, along with Sean Callahan, President of Catholic Relief Services, urged the Administration to do everything they can to care for creation both domestically and globally. Building upon Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato si'. . . the letter emphasizes the importance of adaptation policies and specifically calls for continued US support of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Green Climate Fund,
Israeli military bulldozers destroyed a drinking water pipeline funded by the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the occupied West Bank on Monday. The drinking water pipeline was 8.5 kilometres long, and provided drinking water to 47 families. This was the second pipeline destroyed by the Israeli army this month. On the same day Israeli soldiers abducted at least 22 Palestinians In the West Bank in dawn raids and violently searched dozens of homes,
Are you undecided about what subjects to study or what career path to choose? How you want to live? Then a Signpost weekend might be a useful step. Signposts is running a weekend course in making good life choices on April 22nd - 23rd 2017, at Savio House in Cheshire in the foothills of the Peak District. This is skills based training in discernment that makes no assumptions about the participants with regard to faith. The weekend will offer a model of making decisions and leave participants with a tool kit for choice based on the broad spiritual and psychological wisdom of
On Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis visited the church of St Maria Josefa of the Heart of Jesus in Ponte di Nona in the east of Rome. During Mass, he stressed, that the path to holiness was forgiveness and prayer and that revenge and resentment has no place in the Christian life. After greeting parishioners and meeting a group of children, the Pope celebrated Mass telling the congregation present, never to go down the road of revenge or resentment. Instead, he said: "pray for those who want to do evil: this prevents wars and brings peace." It is also the Christian path to holiness,
The spread of violent jihadist fundamentalism is exposing a chasm between Christians in Africa and the West. Christians under attack in Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and elsewhere are bewildered that their co-religionists in the relatively prosperous and safe world are not more engaged on their behalf. They also point to deeper doctrinal divisions making them feel isolated, despite the financial generosity of many congregations in Europe and North America. The Reverend Canon Hassan John, director of media of the Anglican Diocese of Jos, Nigeria, and Vicar of St Christopher's Anglican Church,
On Saturday, 18 February, on the occasion of the visit of the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in the centenary year of the apparitions, to Westminster Cathedral, His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols consecrated England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In the Act of Consecration, a modified version of the one used by Cardinal Griffin in the Abbey grounds in Walsingham on 16 July 1948, he said: 'To your Immaculate Heart, in this centenary year of the apparitions at Fatima, we re-consecrate ourselves in union not only with the Church, the Mystical Body of your Son, but also with
Sunday's Gospel is one of the Biblical passages that best expresses the Christian "revolution," Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered for the Angelus in St Peter's Square today. In the reading from Matthew's Gospel, describing part of the Sermon on the Mount, he said: "Christ shows the path of true justice, through the law of love that overcomes that of retaliation, that is, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth'." Jesus does not ask His disciples simply to bear evils patiently, but to return good for evil: "Only in this way can the chains of evil be broken, and things can truly change."
In the great Jubilee Year 2000, a crowd of well over half a million people gathered in Fatima. It was 13th May, and they were there for the Beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Among them were children who had dressed up in honour of these newly beatified shepherd-children who had, in 1917, been privileged to receive the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. In the homily, Pope Saint John Paul II had this to say: 'Dear boys and girls, I see so many of you dressed like Francisco and Jacinta. You look very nice! But in a little while or tomorrow you will take these clothes off and ... the little shepherds will
The Conference of Major Superiors of Men and Pax Christi International are among 15 major Christian organisations of different denominations that sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration this morning, calling for US policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians. The paper states: "2017 marks 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Over the last 50 years, but particularly since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, there have been
...Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, who is vice president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops told the US Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements at the Central Catholic High School in Modesto Northern California: "If one wants to understand the impact of the raids that US border guards have carried out in more than 60 communities across the country since the beginning of February alone, let us listen to the children: They do not want to go school, because they think that their parents are going to be taken away, while they are not there."
The ongoing conflict in Yemen was singled out by Pope Francis during his speech to Vatican diplomats at the beginning of the year. Speaking of the need for dialogue and calling for courageous gestures, he urged international leaders to foster reconciliation in Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries which continues to be devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.
The Diocese of Chimoio in Mozambique celebrated its 25th anniversary last Sunday with a special Mass and blessing of the newly built cathedral. The Bishops of Beira, Maputo and Quelimane together with thousands of Christians who came to give thanks to God and express their gratitude to Bishop João Francisco Silota, the first Bishop of Chimoio Diocese who is retiring soon. In his homily, Bishop Silota presented a financial report of local and foreign contributions for the construction of the cathedral.
I've always loved that silly little quote by Charles Bowen:
"The rain it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella;
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust hath the just's umbrella."
The Catholic Church of Thailand has offered to cooperate with Buddhists and believers of other religions to "build peace and stability in the nation" through "dialogue, as brothers and sisters". In a message to the new Supreme Patriarch of Theravada Buddhism on the occasion of his investiture on 12 February, Cardinal Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovidhavanij, Archbishop of Bangkok and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand (CBCT) noted that the ultimate goal is "peaceful coexistence" so that Thailand can be "a model for other nations."
The Chaldean Patriarchate issued a statement yesterday after a Christian member of a paramilitary group, Ryan Salem, threatened revenge against Sunni Muslems, on a national television programme. Such comments have "nothing to do with the Christ's moral teachings, messenger of peace, love and forgiveness", and do not represent Christians in any way, the Patriarchate said. The patriarchal statement complained that such statements have the effect of exacerbating sectarian conflict and expressed the wish that all the basic principles of military ethics in the operations of recapture
More than 20 Bishops along the border of Texas and Northern Mexico have issued a joint statement emphasizing the need for us to listen to the cry of our migrant brothers and sisters. The bishops issued the statement while participating in the biannual Tex-Mex Border Bishops meeting this week. The meetings included priests, religious and layperson as well as invited representatives from other border dioceses in the United States and Mexico. The bi-annual meetings have taken place for more than 30 years.
Last Thursday sixth form pupils at Stonyhurst College welcomed Sarah Teather, director of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) who spoke about the work the JRS are doing to help refugees all over the world and shared potential ways in which the school can get involved to help these people local to their area. She described the difficulties refugees face in not only leaving their countries, but also the dangerous travelling they endure in order to get to safety. Once in a safe environment, refugees are often treated unfairly by the legal system making the process of becoming a citizen
Last night, Cardinal Peter Turkson delivered a stirring address to nearly 700 faith and community leaders from 12 countries, urging them to stand together to end the global economy of exclusion. The cardinal's remarks come as part of the first US Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements, which runs February 16-19. Cardinal Turkson surprised the crowd by first reading a poignant letter from Pope Francis in both English and Spanish. Pope Francis, who has been vocal about on immigration in recent weeks has urged communities around the world to welcome people fleeing their
Today is the first anniversary of Pope Francis' historic visit to the US-Mexico border. In recognition of the day, a 20-foot bronze statue of the Pope will be unveiled by Bishop Jose Torres Campos during a special Mass. The Mass is being celebrated at El Punto where Pope Francis delivered his message to hundreds of thousands of people on 17 February, 2016. The statue, depicting Pope Francis in his traditional attire, holding a peace dove, was created by sculptor Pedro Francisco Rodriguez. It was made from scrap metal donated by citizens and built by artisans who volunteered their time.
Several Latino men had just left the hypothermia shelter at Rising Hope Mission Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday, when a dozen federal agents suddenly surrounded them, pushed them up against a wall, and began checking their immigration status. Under a policy set by the Obama administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are supposed to avoid churches and other "sensitive locations." But now that Donald Trump is president, ICE has apparently decided that it's okay to lie in wait outside a church and indiscriminately detain those leaving it.
War begins in a person's heart, for this reason we are all responsible for caring for peace. This was Pope Francis' message during his morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday morning. The Holy Father spoke about the sufferings of so many people whose lives are upset by wars waged by the powerful and arms traffickers. The dove, the rainbow, and the Covenant. The Holy Father spoke about these three images, present in the day's First Reading from the Book of Genesis,
A six week course on Christian Meditation with Laurence Freeman OSB begins at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 1 March at The Meditatio Centre. Fr Laurence is a Catholic priest and a Benedictine monk of Turvey Abbey in England, a monastery of the Olivetan Congregation. He is the Director of the World Community for Christian Meditation and of its Benedictine oblate community. The Meditatio Centre is part of The World Community for Christian Meditation which was formed in 1991. It was inspired by the vision of John Main, a Benedictine monk, to teach meditation as a way to help restore the contemplative dimension of life.
The Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions (CELRA) met in Jordan on February 13 to 15, 2017. It was an opportunity for the Bishops and Vicars to share the specific challenges in their respective countries and to unify their work. Present during the annual meeting were the Latin Bishops of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Egypt, Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula, which was held at the Visitation House of the Rosary Sisters in Husen, Jordan.