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Pope Francis' Message for 52nd World Day of Peace

The Vatican has issued Pope Francis' Message for the 52nd World Day of Peace, which takes place on 1 January 2019. In his message the Pope reflects on the role of "good politics at the service of peace." Those who hold political office, he says, must exercise their office in service to others, basing their work on the foundation of charity and human virtues.

At the same time, P...

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Caritas launches new rough sleepers hub in east London

image: ICN/JS

People sleeping rough in the London Borough of Newham, where homelessness is the worst in the country, will now be able to access the support they so desperately need. As part of the government's new Rough Sleeping Strategy, and the London Borough of Newham's commitment to tackling homelessness in the borough, local homeless charity Caritas Anchor House has launched a rough sleeper's...

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The Great 'O' Antiphons: 18th December - O Adonai

Burning Bush - St Isaac's Cathedral, St Petersburg

O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with outstretched arm. (Common Worship trans)

Adonai is the Hebrew word meaning 'My Lord' used by Jews as a substitution for the holy name of God which cannot be spoken, and so is a reminder of the heritage the Christian community receives fr...

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Australia: Bishops urge end to island detention of refugees

image: Refugee Action

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference (ACBC), released a message today, 18 December, on the country's offshore detention crisis Australia's Catholic Church is calling on the government to put an end to the five-year saga of refugees and asylum seekers detained offshore on Nauru and Manus Island, saying: "Enough is enough. Let'...

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Egypt: Government begins restoration work on 500 vandalised churches

To mark the inauguration of the national social construction plan, President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi has renewed his commitment to restore churches destroyed or vandalised by the Muslim Brotherhood - a project that was neglected by previous governments. At the same time, the Egyptian government is working to legalize other Christian holy buildings and is granting permits for the construction of ...

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Book: The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages

The Golden Rhinoceros: Histories of the African Middle Ages, by FX Fauvelle, publisher: Princeton University Press.

Too little is known of the pre-colonial history of Africa, partly because there are almost no surviving accounts written by Africans, and partly because Europeans refused to believe there were sophisticated empires on the continent before they arrived.

T...

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Nigeria: Bishop says attacks by Fulani militants are a forgotten tragedy

Aftermath of a Fulani raid

Violent attacks by Fulani herdsmen are a worse threat to Nigeria's Christian community than aggression by Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram - but authorities are failing to act - according to a Christian leader. Bishop William Amove Avenya of Gboko Diocese said: "The Fulani have claimed far more victims during 2018 than Boko Haram, but no one is doing anything about it." According...

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Ampleforth: Fr Aidan Gilman RIP

Ampleforth: Fr Aidan Gilman

Ampleforth: Fr Aidan Gilman, Monk of Ampleforth Abbey, died peacefully at 1.27 on Saturday morning, 15th December 2018. He was 91 years old and has lived 72 years in monastic life, and 61 years a priest. May he rest in peace.

Fr Aidan's body will be received into the Abbey Church at 6pm on Wednesday 19 December, followed by Vespers for the Dead at 8.15pm.

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CAFOD: World leaders at COP24 have failed to listen

CAFOD campaigners make a 1.5 at COP24

In their final statement at the end of the COP24 UN climate talks, CAFOD said: "World leaders failed to listen to the cries of the poor and those on the frontline of the climate crisis at COP24 UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland. CAFOD believes countries' efforts so far has been inadequate to the challenge in front of all of us. Whilst the UN summit in Katowice, Poland agreed on most...

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The Great 'O' Antiphons: December 17th - O Sapientia

Short History One of the great treasures of the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours are the 'O' antiphons that accompany the Gospel Canticle of the Magnificat, sung at Evening Prayer from the 17th to the 23rd of December. They are wonderful poetic and scriptural images of Christ, taken from the prophecies of Isaiah. There are seven of them, and each one unfolds in a sequence starting...

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Pope begs for end to death penalty

Pope Francis received in audience members of the International Commission against the Death Penalty on Monday. In prepared remarks which were given to members of the Commission, Pope Francis begged countries still applying the death penalty to "adopt a moratorium."

Since the beginning of his ministry, Pope Francis told Commission members, the truth that "every life is sacred" had convince...

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Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

As Pope Francis celebrates his 82nd birthday on Monday, well-wishers in the Vatican and around the world send their greetings. The Holy Father once described birthdays as an occasion in which to "remember all that God has done for us", saying that "memory is an aspect of life." and that it is "a great misfortune to lose the memory of all that God has done for us."

The Pope's bi...

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Dover: Dedication of memorial to refugees lost at sea

Some 40 people braved the rain and wind on Saturday afternoon, 15 December on Dover seafront, to attend the inauguration of a new memorial to the over 200 migrants who have died in the last 20 years in attempts to reach and cross the Channel to seek sanctuary in the UK. The service was led by the Bishop of Dover, the Right Rev. Trevor Willmott, assisted by the Parish Priest of the Good Shepher...

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Urgent appeal for children's nutrition project

A children's nutrition project run by the St Paul's Missionary Community in northeast Kenya is in urgent need of funds.

For the last few years, the UK-based New Ways charity, has organised an Advent Ball to raise £50,000 to run the first six months of the nursery programme which feeds 2,500 children each day of the year. Since the area has suffered a severe drought, for many children, th...

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