In this most touching and revealing book - the nearest Pope Benedict will probably ever get to writing an autobiography - the author speaks with disarming honesty and humility of the causes célèbres which impacted his pontificate, as well as his inner life, his life of prayer and his firm belief in God. This book comes as a final and fitting sequel to his previous works on Jesus of Nazareth.
About 40 parishes were represented at three Laudato Si Autumn Gatherings across the diocese. Based in Hitchin, Chiswick and Kensington respectively they attracted parishioners throughout the diocese as well as Anglicans from Hampton Hill, Methodists from Acton and a LiveSimply representative from Petts Wood in the Southwark diocese. The days were organised by Westminster Justice and Peace, Caritas Westminster and CAFOD to discuss the challenge of climate change, the message of Pope Francis in his 2015 encyclical 'Laudato Si' and practical ways for parishes
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on Tuesday published a new instruction on the burial of the dead and on the conservation of the ashes in cases of cremation. The instruction reiterates the long held view that the Church is not opposed to the practice of cremation, though it continues to recommend that the bodies of the deceased be buried in cemeteries or other sacred places. However the new document insists that ashes should not be kept in private houses and that the scattering of ashes on land or at sea is not permitted.
The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran has sent a Message to Hindus for the Feast of Deepavali (Diwali), entitled Christians and Hindus: Promoting hope among families. "The health of society depends on our familial bonds and yet we know that today the very notion of family is being undermined by a climate that relativizes its essential significance and value," Cardinal Tauran writes.
It's morning in the camp. Humanity Crew, an organization of translators, comes by to pick up a vanload of Pikpa residents to take them to Moria detention center for the day. They are going for interviews and to fill out paperwork related to appeals for asylum or relocation. One woman approaches, asking if they can take her to the hospital. She has an appointment to have stitches removed from her bandaged hand. Other men and women have gathered under the pavilion to wait for the daily food distribution to begin. A tween-age girl from the Congo is slouching in a plastic chair
The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) hosted a ground-breaking 2-day summit 19-20 October which brought together more than 50 expert speakers, including His Grace Bishop Angaelos, and over 170 participants from 38 countries, to explore how the promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief can help prevent violent extremism. In the opening address during the conference, FCO Minister for Human Rights, The Rt Hon the Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE, said: "Freedom of Religion or Belief is fundamental to a successful society.
The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) has provided moral and practical support to a group of Ukrainian crew following their colleague's death. Last Thursday, a 29 year-old crew member from the bulk carrier Brasschaat fell to his death while working on board his ship, which has been lying at anchor off Tyne port since June after the ship owner filed for bankruptcy. AoS Tyne port chaplain Paul Atkinson visited the ship on October 22, with St Mary's Cathedral Newcastle assistant priest Fr Shaun Purdy, to offer support to the crew.
Entries are now invited for the 2017 SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) John Betjeman Award, which celebrates excellence in conservation and repair projects at places of worship (of any faith) in England and Wales, and recognises the highest standards of craftsmanship used in carrying out those projects. The closing date 21st February 2017. The award is always made to a building rather than to an individual or individuals - so this is a chance for all faith communities to celebrate the quality of work completed in their building.
A Catholic woman from East Anglia, 69-year-old Mary Kirk, has completed an epic 2,000km pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome, shedding tears of emotion and relief as she walked into St Peter's Square last Friday. Mary, who worships in Harleston in the Catholic Parish of St Edmunds (Bungay), spent 75 days on the road walking through five countries - England, France, Switzerland, Italy and the Vatican. A knee injury forced her to take a break mid journey to recover, but she finished the route known as the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome on Friday October 21, walking the final
The Alliance of Pro-Life Students held their Celebration & Fundraiser event on Thursday 20th October, with a stirring and emotional endorsement of their work by Dr Peter Saunders, CEO of the Christian Medical Fellowship and Campaign Director of Care Not Killing. The event also included the launch of the Alliance of Pro-Life Students Handbook. Niall O Coinleáin, Chairman of the Alliance of Pro-Life Students, said: "This event is a pivotal moment for the student pro-life movement. The Alliance of Pro-Life Students has a track record of success over its four-year history.
A Public discussion took place at St Michael's Cornhill, City of London on 6 October. Organised by Together for the Common Good, in partnership with the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary's University, Twickenham, the event was sponsored by CCLA and Social Stock Exchange. Chaired by James Featherby, the speakers Dr Sam Gregg, Fr Augusto Zampini Davies, Sian Ferguson and Fr Séamus Finn. To watch the talks, click on the links below.
Church groups and representatives from eight London councils, joined Lord Alfred Dubs, actresses Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson and children dressed as Paddington Bear outside the Home Office on Monday afternoon, to hand in a petition appealing for the government to take in more refugee children, as the Calais 'Jungle' is demolished. The event was organised by Citizens UK and the charity Help Refugees. Around 10,000 migrants and refugees have been living for months in the camp in squalid conditions.
Pope Francis warned against rigidity in his homily at Casa Santa Marta on Monday. God gives us the freedom and the gentleness to be merciful, he said. Reflecting on the Gospel reading of the day in which Jesus, who was teaching in the synagogue, healed a crippled woman and ignited the anger of the righteous, Pope Francis said "it is not easy to keep to the path indicated by God's Law." Matthew's Gospel tells us that Jesus' action provoked the fury of the leader of the synagogue who was "indignant that he had cured the woman on the Sabbath"
Ahead of World Mission Day, Senator Ronan Mullen paid tribute to the work of Irish missionaries at the launch of 'The Legacy of Irish Missionaries Lives On' by Matt Moran, in St Paul's Church, Arran Quay, Dublin last Wednesday. The book also deals with the role of faith in international development, the work on advocacy, social justice and climate change by religious at the UN, the increasing role of lay missionaries, parish twinning as a new bridge and link between communities in Ireland and developing countries, and the how missionary development remains an integral part of Ireland's overseas aid programme.
Messages from Prince of Wales, politicians, church leaders at Coptic New Year Service, Westminster Abbey
Messages were received from HRH The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury as religious freedom was highlighted at the annual Coptic New Year (Nayrouz) Service at St Margaret's, Westminster Abbey. Addresses were also delivered by HE Ambassador David Saperstein, The Lord Alton of Liverpool, HE Ambassador Nasser Kamel and The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth. Joining members of the Coptic community at the service were members of the House of Lords, House of Commons, the Diplomatic Corps, Foreign Commonwealth Office, Home
The people of Syria are suffering. Countless thousands have been killed. Millions more have been forced to flee their homes. Across the world, Catholics and Christians from other traditions will hold vigils on 31 October as part of a global day of prayer for peace called by Pope Francis while he is visiting the Lutheran church in Sweden. London: join Pax Christi, CAFOD and the Council of Lutheran Churches in the UK for simultaneous prayer vigils for peace in Syria at the Foreign Office, (junction of Whitehall and King Charles Street) or the Russian Embassy,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, met with refugees from Mosul and the surrounding areas last year on a visit to Erbil. With a concerted push to liberate Mosul and other areas currently underway, Cardinal Nichols said: My prayers are with the people of Mosul as efforts continue to liberate the city and surrounding areas from the tyranny of Daesh. It is vital that protection of civilians, respect for humanitarian conventions and support for those fleeing their homes are at the forefront of this operation.
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South Africa: Bishops ask government to reconsider decision to withdraw from International Criminal Court
The Catholic Church in South Africa has 'noted with sadness' the decision by the South African government to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, saying: "Now more than ever, the ANC must show the high moral ground that was its trademark during the apartheid and stand in solidarity with the victims of human-rights violations in Africa."
"We must never tire of sharing the joy of the Gospel", said the keynote speaker at Saturday's Columban day 'Sharing Gospel Joy' in Central London. Columban Fr Tom O'Reilly, a Director of the Society in Britain for five years and with a decade of experience working in Pakistan, also underlined that "all of us are missionaries, rooted in our baptism". He focused on how our understanding of mission has evolved since Vatican II. "Reading the signs of the times" he said, "we must listen and receive before we speak and give". Using the famous Rublev icon as a focus, he
I joined the Columban Missionaries in 1961, the year before the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) began. Pope John XXIII called the Council to explore what it meant to preach the Christian message in the context of the major political and cultural changes in the twentieth century. He spoke of reading the 'signs of the times' and responding accordingly. The Council was also meant to be an occasion of renewal for the Church, a time for opening its windows and allowing the fresh winds of change to blow through. While Vatican II gave us a whole new perspective, it did not give all the answers for the years
From 22 October, the pontifical apartment in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo will be opened to the public for the first time ever. Visits to the formerly private apartment are being run by the Vatican Museums and details of the opening and closing hours can be found by going to the official website of the Vatican Museums. At a special inauguration ceremony on Friday, the Director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, paid tribute to this "unexpected gift from the Pope" and spoke of the beauty of the setting with its views over Lake Albano
Pope Francis made an appeal for the safety of citizens trapped inside the embattled Iraqi city of Mosul today. Speaking to the crowds gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus, Pope Francis said: "In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire population of Iraq, especially that of the city of Mosul." He continued: "Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that for too long have been perpetrated against innocent citizens: whether they be Muslims, whether they be Christians, or people belonging to other ethnic groups and religions."
'Marbhna' - A Requiem Mass with music composed by Odhrán Ó'Casaide will take place at Knock Basilica on 12 noon November 6th commemorating all those who died in 1916. The Chief Celebrant will be Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry. Requiem 1916 Marbhna, in Irish, featuring the voice of Sibéal Ní Chasaide, is a solemn expression of commemoration, combining chamber choir and orchestra, classical solo voices, traditional and early music instruments. The blend of Irish and classical music reflects two great musical traditions in Ireland at the time of the Rising.
Leicester Square is one of London's busiest places on a Friday night. The community at Notre Dame de France keep the church open from 7-11pm and invite people who pass by to experience prayer and enjoy a moment of tranquility in the busyness of the city. The evening begins with a shared supper and prayer, before a night of Eucharistic worship in the church, confessions, music, street evangelisation and welcoming people all night.