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Sunday Reflection with Fr Robin Gibbons - 18 February 2018

Arabian Wolf in Jordan, Wiki image by Ahmad Qarmish12

First Sunday of Lent

'At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him'. (Mk 1:12-13)

The simplicity of Mark's account of the temptation of Jesus in the desert gives us a different angle on the story. Gone are the dramatic encounters with Satan that we fi...

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Pope warns against fake fasting

During his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta yesterday, Pope Francis warned against 'fake fasting' during Lent.

"A true Christian must be consistent, not putting himself on show, never despising others or engaging in quarrels or disagreements," the Pope said.

Reflecting on the first reading from chapter 58 of Isaiah, that discusses the correct manner of fasting, Francis warned aga...

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US Bishops call for prayer and healing after latest school shooting

Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing.

The full statement follows:

"We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy...

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Vatican: Pope regularly meets with victims of clerical abuse

Greg Burke - Wiki Image - Jan 2018 by Joseph Manzzuci

The Vatican has revealed that Pope Francis meets frequently with victims of sexual abuse, both in private, with individual victims and with groups, several times a month to "listen to them and try to help them to heal their serious wounds."

Greg Burke, Director of the Holy See Press Office released a statement yesterday and answered questions from journalists about conversations Pope Fran...

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Tributes to Brian Armstrong RIP

Brian Armstrong

The Funeral Mass of Brian Armstrong (26 April 1944 - 26 January 2018) took place today at Farm Street Church, Mayfair, London. These were among the tributes read during the service.

How to describe Brian? A Baptist Catholic or Catholic Baptist, maybe just Fully Christian? The Spirit moves in wondrous ways, so that even today that Baptist element is here in his funeral celebration...

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Healthcare Bishop on proposal to introduce 'opt-out' consent for organ donation

Bishop Paul Mason

The Government has launched an open consultation titled: 'Introducing 'opt-out' consent for organ and tissue donation in England'. This consultation will run until 6 March. (If the scheme is adopted, doctors could be allowed to take organs and tissue from patients without asking for their consent.)

Responding to the consultation, Bishop Paul Mason, the Catholic bishop responsible for heal...

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Bishop Sherrington comments on Abortion Clinic Protest Review

Prayers outside abortion clinic

The Government has been holding a review (the Abortion Clinic Protest Review) into the right to hold peaceful protests or prayer vigils outside abortion clinics. The review, which could lead to the establishment of 'buffer zones' which prohibit protests or vigils near abortion clinics, concludes on 19 February.

Bishop John Sherrington, the Bishop with responsibility for the Day for Life r...

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Jesuits in Britain 'going green'

The Jesuits in Britain will be 'going green' on 1 April 2018.

Nineteen out of the twenty-two Catholic dioceses in England and Wales have got together and formed Interdiocesan Fuel Management LTD (IFM) a not-for-profit company, in which they have taken shares.

The Jesuits in Britain, along with other Catholic organisations, have come to an agreement that all their energy use should ...

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Pope prays for victims of US school shooting

Pope Francis has condemned the "tragic and senseless" shooting in Florida. In a telegram sent to the Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis expressed his deep sadness for the tragic event. On 14 February 2018, Nikolas Cruz, 19, went on a shooting rampage, killing 17 and wounding more than 15, including students and teac...

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WCC 'Seven Weeks for Water' Lent campaign begins in Colombia

Boy observes effects of erosion caused by sand mining in Carepa river, Colombia. ©Sean Hawkey/WCC

The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (WCC-EWN) began the 2018 edition of its annual Lenten campaign 'Seven Weeks for Water' in Bogota, Colombia, on 14 February.

WCC leaders, members of WCC Reference Group of the Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace, and local churches participated in a ceremony at La Giralda, headquarters of the Colombian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

R...

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Ash Wednesday prayers at the MoD

Peace campaigners from Leamington Spa

A record number of people braved freezing rain yesterday, Ash Wednesday, to take part in the annual procession and prayer vigil outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, London. Their message was clear: get rid of nuclear weapons/support the Nuclear Ban Treaty!

Organised by Pax Christi, Christian CND and London Catholic Worker, participants included students from Trinity Catholic Scho...

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Jerusalem: Church leaders protest at local government decision to impose huge backdated taxes on church properties

The Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches have issued the following statement, following the decision of the Municipality of Jerusalem to impose backdated municipal taxes on church properties - amounting to 186million US dollars. They write: Following the statement by the Municipality of Jerusalem declaring that the Churches in Jerusalem should pay municipal taxes (known as Arnona)...

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South Africa: Jesuit statement on resignation of President Zuma

It is a great relief that Jacob Zuma has resigned as President of South Africa. Though one must distinguish between administrative incompetence and poor personal judgment on one hand and corrupt criminality on the other - and, indeed, as much as one may instinctively baulk at anticipating the judgment of the courts as to Mr Zuma's guilt in the latter - the overwhelming evidence of the era that ...

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Pope on Ash Wednesday: 'Pause, See and Return to the tenderness of God'

Pope Francis celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass in the Basilica of Saint Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome. Before the Mass, there was a procession from the Basilica of St Anselm nearby.

The official English translation of Pope Francis' homily follows:

The season of Lent is a favourable time to remedy the dissonant chords of our Christian life and to receive the ever new, joyf...

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