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CAFOD eyewitness report from COP 24 in Katowice

On 5 December, CAFOD sent a group of 35 climate campaigners to take part in a series of activities around the UN climate meeting near Krakow in southern Poland. This was a mixed group with half being young adults. This group, from dioceses all over England and Wales bonded swiftly over a 24-hour coach journey over the sea and through France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. It felt a bit l...

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Prayer of the Grey Long Eared Bat

As COP 24 approaches its last day on 14 December, Canon Robin Gibbons sends this 11th hour plea, from one small species on behalf all living beings who cannot speak for themselves but trust humans to do this for them!

Pope Francis to us all through Laudato si' -

'It is not enough, however, to think of different species merely as potential "resourc...

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Campaign disappointed at new guidelines for treatment of brain-damaged patients

Care Not Killing has expressed "disappointment" and "concern" with the newly published guidance from the British Medical Association (BMA) on the withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CAHN) from brain-damaged patients. It means that clinical staff can now effectively starve and dehydrate people to death without having to go to the Court of Protection if it is de...

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Australia: Cardinal Pell convicted on five charges of 'historical child sexual offenses'

Cardinal Pell

Australian Cardinal George Pell has been convicted on five charges of 'historical child sexual offenses' that go back several decades. A 12-member jury gave their unanimous verdict in the County Court of the State of Victoria in Melbourne on Tuesday, 11 December. He is also facing another trial on a separate charge next year.

Presiding judge Peter Kidd issued a suppression order forbiddin...

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Mass helps lift crew's grief after captain's death

The celebration of Mass on board a ship in Immingham Port, Lincolnshire, lifted the despair felt by its crew after their captain died of a heart attack. The Star Nina bulk carrier had been at anchorage near the port since October 23 when the master suffered a heart attack on board on November 15. He was immediately evacuated from the ship but pronounced dead by shore paramedics.

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Three Cardinals retired from C9

Three Cardinals have left the Pope's Advisory Council of Cardinals. At a press conference yesterday, marking conclusion of the 27th Council meeting, Vatican Press Office, Director Greg Burke told reporters:

"In October the Pope had written to three of the more elderly Cardinals - Cardinal Pell (77) from Australia, Cardinal Errazuriz (85) from Chile and Cardinal Monsengwo of Congo (79) tha...

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Vatican urges action and solidarity at COP 24 climate talks

Mercy Chirambo,  Caritas Malawi

The Holy See made an urgent call for "ambition, action and true solidarity" at the COP 24 climate talks currently underway in Katowice, Poland. At a Vatican press conference yesterday, Mgr Bruno-Marie Duffé - secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and coordinator of the Holy See delegation in Katowice, led by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of ...

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Poems for St Lucy's Day

Saint Lucie's Day

Midwinter comes and in the North, the light denigrates into inky royal blues so often tinged with dark grey closing over us in squid-ink darkness.

There are lights there in the pitch-purpleness, Sparkles of light coming and going Some ever so long dead by millions of human yea...

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Pope Francis celebrates Mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St Peter's Basilica on Wednesday evening, to mark the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas. A translation of the Pope's homily follows: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness" (Lk 1,46-48). Thus begins the hymn, the Magnificat, thr...

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Trump signs law to support victims of genocide in Middle East

President  Trump

Yesterday, President Donald Trump, signed the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018. The law, which defines as Genocide crimes perpetrated in recent years by Jihadists on Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, commits the US government to supplying aid to victims of violence and pursuing those responsible for such crimes. Among those present for the ceremo...

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Church voices concern over Settlement Scheme for EU citizens

Bishop Paul McAleenan

The British government has announced plans to launch a Settlement Scheme, offering EU citizens living here a legal route to remain in the UK after Brexit. Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migration and Asylum Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has expressed a number of reservations about the costly scheme in the following statement today: The Catholic C...

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Text: COP-24 Prayer cards

St John Paul II

The prophetic words of St John Paul II feature on a prayer card which has been distributed across Poland to all of the 10,000 Catholic parishes, to coincide with the UN climate conference meeting in Katowice from December 3 - 14. The card was published in Polish. An English version is also being distributed to participants. The full text follows:

As St John Paul II said in 1990:<...

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Reflection: Migrant families and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Season of Advent

image: mural at Sacred Heart Parish in El Paso, TX of Our Lady of Guadalupe offering relief to migrants

Advent is a season of waiting, a season of hope. In a special way, Advent is a season of migration, a season that reminds us of the journey of Maria and Jose on their way to Bethlehem to give birth to Jesus, the journey of the three kings from the East to pay homage to the Christ child, and the journey and flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, as King Herod sought the child to slay him.

Esp...

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Ireland: Capuchin, Br Kevin Crowley receives Human Dignity Award

BR Kevin with Senator Ronan Mullen

Br Kevin Crowley - the Capuchin Franciscan Friar - who runs the Capuchin Day Centre for Homeless People in Bow Street in Dublin is the recipient of the Oireachtas Human Dignity Award for 2018. Now in its fourth year, the award was presented by the Ceann Comhairle (chairman), Seán Ó Fearghail TD at a ceremony in Leinster House. The award is given annually to a person or group whose commitment ...

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