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!
On the flight between Cuba and the USA one of the journalists asked Pope Francis if his politics were leaning to the left. Perhaps his heart for the poor and criticism of the 'unfettered pursuit of money' once referred to as the 'dung of Satan' may have contributed to this misunderstanding. Cuba was an interesting backdrop for such an enquiry. Pope Francis's fellow Argentinian, Che Guevara, who famously helped free Cuba from dictatorship and installed the current communist government, was also a man whose principal motivation was compassion for those who were being horribly oppressed and exploited.
Do those who are in favour of "pressing the button" have given little thought of the consequences. We are not playing games on a play station when the button is pressed. We know the devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - one nuclear war head would cause whole cities to be obliterated. One reason for renewing Trident is to keep up employment - the loss of jobs would be a disaster! Could those scientists and workers be employed in means of saving lives rather than obliterating?
The Westminster Justice and Peace Commission would like to support the statement made recently by the Canadian Bishops Conference in connection with the sad situation in that region near Bethlehem, the Cremisan Valley. Many thought that when the Israeli High Court agreed that the Separation Wall should not be built through the valley, that this would be binding. But no, the plans went ahead to divide families from their land; uproot olive trees set for generations and the only means of livelihood for the families concerned.
I first met some Hungarians when I was a little girl in Canada. They were refugees from the Russian invasion. My sisters and I gave up our bedrooms so they could stay. They were with our family for a few weeks. A whole family - parents and two children stayed with our next-door neighbours. They all made quite an impression. We struggled to communicate with them as the language was so different.
Recently we read in the press that over 1000 Muslim scholars and imams of India have issued a fatwa against the leader, fighters and followers of the self-declared Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State (ISIS). In the fatwa the religious scholars "strongly condemned the actions of the IS". They censured ISIS of "guilty of committing heinous murders of innocent human beings, clicking images of their horrific misdeeds and showing them to the world through live videos and Internet posts, and at the same time, wrongly claiming these to be "Islamic Acts done lawfully as per the Shariah (Islamic Law)".
Hello, When Junipero Serra becomes the first Catholic Saint canonized on US soil (during Pope Francis' stateside visit on September. 23), 231 years will have passed since Serra's death. At Value Penguin, this inspired us to collect the data of every saint since 1910, researching how and why it takes so long to become one. Serra, for example, will be the 42nd native of Spain to be canonized, and he waited 36 years longer than his average predecessor.
I am a secular humanist but salute the papal linking of the arms trade to the migration crisis. It is obscene that millions of men and women in the affluent, war-free parts of the globe are being highly paid to manufacture and trade weapons for export to trouble spots where life becomes hell unless or until whole populations migrate - or die in the attempt.
I was shocked to read about the threatened closure of Heythrop College. During my three year stay in England I attended many lectures and other events at the college and found it to be one of the most inspiring places in London. The presence of a Catholic college in that wealthy part of London affects more than the academic world - it is a witness, a symbol
The Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research has sent to Pope Francis a 'Documented Appeal', dated 3rd September 2015, asking him to restore to women their full share in the ordained diaconate. We call it 'documented' because we show that women have ministered as ordained deacons for a thousand years in the Catholic Church.
Dear Friends, Words cannot express the horror of what we are all seeing unfold before our eyes and hundreds of thousands flee a living Hell on earth which
is now the lot of large swathes of both Syria, Iraq and beyond. No wonder they flee. So would I if I was stuck in such a desperate situation.
I have just written to my Member of Parliament on behalf of the voiceless of both Syria and Iraq. I have copied it below for you to see.
Further to Bishop Pat Lynch's recent welcome statement, which mentions the good work being done in Calais and the UK, Ben Bano writes from 'Seeking Sanctuary' - a group which speaks on behalf of migrants and asylum seekers and organises collections of useful items for migrants in Calais. (For information on how to help please contact Ben on 07887 651117 or visit the website at www.seekingsanctuary.weebly.com)
We welcome the statement by Bishop Pat Lynch on the humanitarian crisis in Calais, see Independent Catholic News http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=28031, and the fact that the National Catholic Bishops' Conference will be contributing to the needs of those living in such vulnerable conditions in the camp there as well as their plans for discussions of this urgent situation with French bishops and NGOs.
Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters: You are journeying through the holy month of Ramzan. Roza (fasting) is one of the pillars of your faith, along with Iman, Namaz, Zakat and Haj. On these five pillars you build your personal and communitarian life. It is always impressive to see rows after rows of men bow before God in unison during namaz. Your bowing before God in namaz symbolically reminds all who worship One God that they should also bend their will to the Will of God according to one's own religious traditions.
You are invited to pray this Renewal of the Act of Consecration of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq & all the Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with the Maronite Bishops meeting in Lebanon, following the arrival of Our Lady of Fatima to the Synod of Maronite Bishops at 6pm on Friday June 12th 2015 eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Synod of Maronite Bishops June 10th to 18th 2015
Re: Campaigners ramp up pressure on MEPs ahead of critical TTIP vote http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=27635
There is no doubt that in the UK the NHS in public hands will be over in a relatively short period of time and be destroyed by the TTIP, as MONOPOLIES cannot exist with the TTIP. The trade treaty makes this clear. So once signed and as it is irrevocable, that will sound the death knell of the NHS. No ifs or buts about it and where our political leaders are being deceitful towards the people in the UK.
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US TO PREPARE WELL FOR POPE FRANCIS' COMING ENCYCLICAL!
Canadian parents in Ontario continue to fight the government as it tries to implement a radical sex education curriculum for Grades 1-8 this coming fall. As first educators of their children, parents are battling an intransigent government for their parental rights and cultural values.
The Annual Right to Life Sponsored Walk - this year "The Jim Dobbin Memorial Walk" - will take place in Clitheroe on Bank Holiday Monday, the 25th of May starting at 1pm. The eight-mile circular walk in beautiful Ribble Valley begins and finishes at Saint Michael and Saint John Catholic Church, Lowergate, Clitheroe, BB7 1AG and all are welcome to enter.
Dear Editor, In America, physician assisted suicide is legal in a few states and under various stages of review in other states. It was anticipated that it would be only occasionally used but this is no longer the case. Even the most basic health insurance plans include a minimum level of care for terminally ill patients, that being to provide 'a pain management protocol' for however many months, weeks or days until the patient's natural death.
In April 2015 representatives from six Catholic Priest Associations and seventeen Reform Groups met for a conference in Limerick, as reported in the Tablet (April 30th). This International Network of Catholic Reform Movements now has members from Austria, Australia, England and Wales, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Switzerland and the USA. The four-day meeting was hosted by the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland. The increasing shortage of priests and consequences for the future of parish communities was a particular concern. Last week this International Network, which first met in 2014, sent an Open Letter to Pope Francis expressing deep anxiety for the future of the Catholic Church.
Returning from a visit to Fr Mike Shea, I am taking the unusual step of writing personally to ask you for your generous support for his work. Fr Mike is the founder of Sarnelli House. His work there started 16 years ago with a promise to a woman dying of AIDS that he would care for her children after she was gone.
Dear Editor, During a Lenten visit to the Blessed Sacrament at a local adoration chapel, I came across a couple of street children (maybe 7 and 10 years old) who also came in for a visit. I was taken aback by their reverence as they entered, kneeled at the feet of Jesus, and bowed down, foreheads to the floor; just two pairs of blackened feet sticking up as they prayed silently for a while. They knew their faith; perhaps being on the streets was a recent thing. A few days later another street dweller came in, a man this time, and he too, whilst more vocal and with many tears, made his pleas to the Lord. I added my own prayer to theirs.
The reoccurrence of brutal xenophobic violence in South Africa is deeply disturbing and shamefully embarrassing for the people of South Africa and betrays the whole African continent. The savagery demonstrated is nothing but blatant criminal activity.