Having read some interesting articles lately urging greater consultation with the laity by the bishops, I am delighted that this issue is being discussed. We know that the Pope wants a more synodal Church. He wants the bishops to consult with the church at large. He denounces clericalism as 'a gross deformation' and states that by receiving the Holy Spirit in baptism we all have the right to be involved in the decision-making processes of the Church. One way we can do this is through parish councils.
Due to the school league tables and increased pressure on schools and teachers, pastoral care has taken a back seat. Education used to be holistic and child centred but now now children are fodder for government statistics. Education is a political football: every new education secretary wants to plant their own view and the goal posts keep being moved. Teachers at the chalk face are the last to be consulted. OFSTED have a culture of 'how can we catch them out.' It's a far cry from the HMI culture.
Like many of you, I've watched the Sioux and their First Nation Water Protectors standing strong at Standing Rock in North Dakota, protesting the development of a fossil fuel pipeline that would threaten their drinking water and desecrate their sacred sites. I have been filled with admiration for their courage and resolve. These past several days have seen an escalation in the violence directed at them. Native American leaders have called for people of faith to stand with them.
The Development Manager of the National Shrine of Saint Jude, Matt Betts, is walking from Westminster Abbey in London to the National Shrine of Saint Jude in Faversham, raising funds for the Order of Carmelites in the UK and abroad. If you would like to donate, please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/judewalk/301506, or people can send their cheque or postal order made payable to: "The Carmelites" to: Sponsored Walk, Carmelite Friars, P.O. Box 140, Kent, ME20 7SJ. Thank you.
The Israeli Ambassador Ze'Ev Boker says ( Irish Times 18th August) that " Israel still hopes ...for a final agreement, based on bilateral negotiations resulting in two states for two peoples, the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people" . That is indeed great but I ask Ambassador Boker if he seriously believes that such negotiations will have any chance of success, or even starting, where his Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that he too is in favour of a two state solution, but " only
Five years ago back in 2011, I spent four weeks volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. I worked at an orphanage for children with cerebral palsy and cystic fibrosis. The orphanage was called Daya Dan and looking after the children was a wonderful experience. In the end it was us (my friends and I) who gained so much from it. I have memories clear as crystal which I will never forget - children like Gabriel, Rosa, Pingku, Angel, Arudhana, Santosh who are very dear to me.
Ruby Almeida, chair of Quest (LGBT Catholics) has approved the following text in response to Pope Francis' apology for past harm done to gay people: Quest welcomes Pope Francis' clear words of apology to lesbian and gay Catholics. We share the view of some LGBT people who point out that this could and should have gone further, but there is time for that, later. For now, what matters is that this is a major turning point in the Catholic Church's response to lesbian and gay people. (Regrettably, the apology offered nothing to transgender Catholics).
The Catholic Church needs to speak out against the bullfight partly because of the Church's ability to exert influence in Catholic countries like Spain where bullfights take place and partly because the Church is complicit in this cruelty. For instance bullfights are promoted, enacted and watched by Catholics, bullfights are staged to celebrate feast days of Catholic Saints, and far from condemning them priests might be involved. Your emails are a very important stage in this campaign.
A few weeks ago, hundreds of Church Action on Poverty supporters emailed editors in the media, asking them to adopt new guidelines created by the National Union of Journalists to ensure responsible, sensitive reporting on poverty issues.
Kindly let the Christians know if Fr Tom has been crucified or not. Too much rumours now. Thank you. Mrs Winnie Kambora (OFS) Dear Mrs Kambora, Thanks for your message. We have not received any concrete news yet. If the terrorists had killed him I think they would have issued a statement and even a video. They haven't issued one word yet. Neither has the Vatican or Fr Tom's order, the Salesians.
I had the opportunity to join a medical mission recently, just as a roadie, moving supplies & equipment but I was able to see the best and worst of humanity all in one place. The doctors, dentists, and nurses were giving their time and expertise for free to the poor community and a wealthy sponsor paid for the medicines and transport. Several hundred people came and received whatever treatment they needed but could not afford... which was a wonderful thing to see. As Christians the motivation of the workers was really to bring the love of God to the people through sharing their skills.
As a practising Catholic, I am saddened to say that the moral aspect of our treatment of other creatures is a part of Catholic teaching which we have long neglected. Pope Francis is trying to put that right. We should support him by expressing our abhorrence of cruel spectacles. The Spanish bullfight, the corrida, is the ritual torturing to death of bulls. It is practiced by Catholics, in a Catholic country, and paid for by Catholic spectators, as well as by tourists.
Thank you for your fascinating article about West Ham United. It was wonderful to learn about the Catholic connections with the club, the history of the Boleyn ground and hear the marvellous stories about Fr Denis Hall. As Hammers supporters we owe a great deal to the Catholic Church and I hope the links can be maintained somehow even after the move to the Olympic stadium. A plaque perhaps?
You are cordially invited to a Quiz to raise £1500 which will pay for a permanent fresh water well in two villages in the developing world. Come and have a great time at the St Catherine's Quiz at 7 pm on Monday 8th February. The address is St. Catherine's School, The Main Hall, Cross Deep, Twickenham, Middx., TW1 4QJ.
How can we not feel full of joy when we are celebrating the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus
Merry Christmas... this picture is from our 2015 Christmas play... the village
children performed the nativity play in the village of Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan.
Once again we are seeing parts of England and Ireland underwater. It would seem the government has done nothing since last year's floods - or the ones in years before them to build up flood defences. The impact on people who have lost their homes is shocking and rarely publicised. Some homes can be repaired - but in the Lake District, entire caravan parks have been washed away. Will the people who have lost their homes receive any compensation?
Maybe I don't get out enough but I've still not met anyone who was not dismayed by the decision taken in the House of Commons to join in the bombing of Syria. The principles of Just War theory have a presumption against the use of force, ie there are a rigorous set of conditions to be met before war should be launched. The principles of Just War theory state that for military action to be justifiable there must be:
We are very distressed at the decision to expand airstrikes in Syria as we consider that military options are not the best way to solve violent conflicts and nor have the criteria of a Just War been fulfilled.
After prolonged silence on the issue of Isis, Cardinal Nichols appears to support the British Government's plan to authorise air strikes in Syria. The doctrine of proportionality in warfare leads him to condone this attack as part of some mythical peace process. What kind of peace process starts with an armed onslaught against the opposing side?
Jeremy Corbyn is the only leader who speaks the truth without a hidden agenda, and I hope very much that he will be able to persuade his MP's to vote against the bombing of ISIL in Syria. He is the one hope in a fearfully dangerous scenario. I hope he will not be brow-beaten by his opponents who have the hidden agenda of using the present crisis to try and unseat him. Obama, Cameron and Hollande know that it is not true to say that this bombing will keep the terrorists from the streets of Europe.
Thank you so much for your help in publicising the Christmas Concert at Ealing Abbey in aid of Iraqi Christians In Need. A very significant £25,000 was raised from the evening and associated donations which will provide huge financial support at this time to displaced families in Iraq, Syria and Jordan.
I have noticed lately that in movies there is an increasing fascination with the supernatural and of the eternal battle between good and evil with a multitude of special effects to add to the drama and portray the horror of the evil one. It's usually depicted as being a close run thing though, as if there is something close to equality between the two sides, but nothing could be further from the truth. I had a peculiar illustration of this recently following the long awaited opening of our parish's
In 1977, as a schoolboy, I had the opportunity to visit the Soviet Union. I had little appreciation of faith in those days but did attempt to attend Mass on Sunday. Arriving at the one church that was still open we met with the news, from a few grandmothers, that there would be no Mass as the priest was ill. Sixty years after the revolution the youngest priest must have been in his mid-eighties. The lights must have almost gone out on the church in Russia in those days
I know you have many calls on your hard-earned cash, but if you could spare a few pounds towards our forthcoming cycle ride I would be really grateful. This is not a joy ride to Paris, but a rather gruelling late November trek, to be there for the Climate Talks. Most of the money will go to towards paying our support services costs and publicity for the trip, not our own individual costs. Pope Francis wants us to have an ecological conversion. November cycle rides are surely a bit penitential and might lead us to something of this!