18th April 2016
The Pope Francis Minute - Youtube Video Series Explaining Holy Father's Teaching to Children
Catholic Link, a website that provides videos and comments for Catholic apostolate, is producing a series of two minute Youtube videos explaining Pope Francis's teaching to children. There are seven videos in the series to date.
Writer, animators and musicians from 16 different countries have collaborated to make The Pope Francis Minute videos. The scripts are written by teams. The illustrations come from Costa Rica, and editing is completed in Ecuador.
Mauricio Artieda, the Director of Catholic Link, explains, "It's a place where we collect his words, try to be very faithful to what the Pope says in his homilies, in his speeches, and add characters to narrate how I believe the Pope would want to be narrated. It is closely linked to real life people, with many images of everyday life. The Pope's words have always provided that.”
Pope Francis Minute - The Animated Series
18th April 2016
Pope tells Scottish seminarians we live in a time of martyrdom, in a culture so often hostile to the Gospel.
Pope Francis gave the following address to staff and students at the Pontifical Scots College Thursday as they celebrate the 400th anniversary of its founding as a seminary.
"We too are living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel. I urge you to have that same selfless spirit as your predecessors did. Love Jesus above all things! Let your “yes” be marked by a firm resolve to give yourselves generously to your priestly formation, so that your years in Rome may prepare you to return to Scotland and to offer your lives completely. If you have this same passion as your brothers from four hundred years ago, that same love for the Church and Scotland, you will honour the history and sacrifices we recall today. You will also become in this moment a sign to the Scottish people, especially the youth, if you encounter them in their everyday lives, if you reach out to those who are furthest from Christ. Show them, each and every one, that God is always with us and that his mercy endures for ever."
Click here to continue reading this article
6th April 2016
How to Help Fix the 4 Big Mistakes We've Made With Catechesis,
by Mgr. Charles Pope
Here's the second in a series of posts by Mgr. Charles Pope based on a talk he recently gave at a conference on catechesis. Mgr Pope is currently a dean and pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington, and is a popular blogger.
"In this second part I present a model for parishes that includes the parents—indeed the whole family—in the catechetical process. I do not propose here an entire curriculum or program. Rather, I suggest a general model that can be adapted as necessary. My proposal is not original and has been presented by others in various forms, generally termed “whole-family catechesis.” I have applied this model in two parishes where I have pastored. In terms of content, the curriculum emphasizes a “back-to-basics” approach that focuses on the fundamental kerygmaand its message of sin, redemption, and grace."
14th March 2016
Four Big Mistakes We've Made With Catechesis by Mgr. Charles Pope
This is the first of a series of posts by Mgr. Charles Pope based on a talk he recently gave at a conference on catechesis. Mgr Pope is currently a dean and pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington, and is a popular blogger.
"Many approaches and experiments in catechesis have been tried over the past several decades and, frankly, all have ultimately failed. Though we need to try something new, that something new is really something old. We must go back to basics and tell the old stories again, within the family environment rather than just at the parish level. In this first part of this article I’d like to reflect on four failed models of the past. I do not refer to specific programs, but more to some of the educational philosophies that underlie our practices then and now."
To read more of this article, please click here.
9th March 2016
Holy See praises Cardinal Pell’s dignified testimony to Commission
Fr Lombardi SJ, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, has issued a declaration that includes a commendation of Cardinal Pell’s testimony before the Royal Commission:
“Cardinal Pell must be accorded the appropriate acknowledgement for his dignified and coherent personal testimony (twenty hours of dialogue with the Royal Commission), from which yet again there emerges an objective and lucid picture of the errors committed in many ecclesial environments (this time in Australia) during the past decades. This is certainly useful with a view to a common 'purification of memory’.”
Fr Lombardi’s statement also presents the extensive steps taken by the Catholic Church since 2002 to safeguard children and work with survivors of clerical abuse.
To read the full declaration from the Holy See go to:
4th March 2016
Guardians of Ancora – a digital Bible experience for children
Here is an example of the New Evangelisation using a game platform to enable children to discover the Bible.
Maggie Barfield, Scripture Union’s product developer for Guardians of Ancora explained the thinking behind this on-line game:
"Children were increasingly seeing online as the primary place for information and entertainment. Kids love playing games, so a Bible-focused game, delivered online, gave us the chance to reach beyond the Church into networks and communities that enjoyed games and being online. We gave ourselves four goals:
1. This wouldn’t be a product for church children. Our passion was to reach those children who had never seen or read the Bible and had no idea of God’s love.
2. In order for the game to be played repeatedly, it had to embody many of the features of the most successful secular games for children. The graphics had to be great, the gameplay compelling and the storytelling strong.
3. We also had to remove as many barriers to playing as possible. We took the early decision that it would be free: free to download and free to play. Putting a price on the game would restrict the market.
4. This should be about more than simple story retelling. We want children to come to a relationship with Jesus and we will support the child’s faith formation within the game."
25th February 2016
Thomism for the New Evangelisation
Thomism for the New Evangelisation by Fr Thomas Joseph White OP. Photographs by Fr Lawrence Lew OP.
Fr White, who is Director of the Thomistic Institute in Washington DC, offers six reasons why St Thomas Aquinas’s thought, which appeals to the whole human person - mind and heart - provides us with the resources to understand reality and therein to encounter Christ.
What is the significance of Thomism in our own era? Why be a Thomist today? The answers presented here serve only as a thumbnail sketch, a little charter regarding the challenges of evangelization—the new evangelization in the Church today and why St. Thomas’s theology is so vital for this task. I am going to give six brief points as to why Thomism matterThe booklet is illustrated with photographs by Fr Lawrence, and it is ideal for university chaplaincies and students.
24th February 2016
Dr Jeff Mirus Effective evangelization: Initiation into the Church
Evangelization is an invitation to a love affair, to a joyful union which begins immediately and is perfected in the eternal embrace of God.
We are beginning to grasp the proper relationship between the quest for religious unity and evangelization. The quest for religious unity and ecumenism are the logical way to break down barriers, to stimulate mutual understanding, and to forge friendships. They are therefore a kind of prolegomena to evangelization.
But the quest for religious unity can fail of this purpose by focusing too much on collaboration for worldly goals; by considering it discourteous to focus on serious differences; and by fostering a reluctance to speak as if from a larger store of truth. When these occupational hazards of the quest are combined with our contemporary diffidence about the importance of salvation—or at least about a particular way of salvation—the emphasis on religious unity can actually become an obstacle to evangelization.
Producing the play 'Joseph's Dream' a lesson in New Evangelisation
"The play imagines that what the angel revealed to Joseph in his dream (Mt 1:18-25) was Jesus’ birth, ministry, death and Resurrection. At first angry about Mary’s announcement of her pregnancy, Joseph awakes after the dream ready to help Mary raise “our” son."
Bishop McManus spoke of it as evangelization, presented by laity and reaching thousands, many of whom may not have read the Gospel or been catechized in years,
"In some ways, it made a powerful catechetical impact. The integrity of the biblical text was preserved. It engaged the senses very much with the lights, the sound. … I also think it was a great way for many people to start their Lent.”
21st February 2016
Missionaries of mercy come home to Scotland
Pope Francis chooses six Scottish priests to hear confession at every opportunity this year
The Pope has sent six missionaries of mercy to Scotland to help open our hearts to God.
On Ash Wednesday in Rome Pope Francis prayed for more than 700 of the newly commissioned Missionaries of Mercy present, saying ‘May Christ’s voice resound in their words and Christ’s heart in their gestures.’
11th February 2016
Catholic Truth Society launch 'Walk Through the Catechism’ online Lenten Meditations
The CTS have launched 'Walk Through the Catechism' online Lenten meditations, that draws on Dr Petroc Willey's new CTS book "Reading the Catechism: How to Discover and Appreciate its Riches". Dr Willey is the School of the Annunciation's Reader in the New Evangelisation.
To join the meditations go to:
4th February 2016
The Jubilee of Mercy as a moment of evangelisation - watch Pope Francis's deeds, not just words
ROME — While there are many cooks in the kitchen behind Pope Francis’ special Holy Year of Mercy, there’s only one American in the office responsible for organization and logistics, and he’s convinced the pontiff is teaching mercy at least as much with what he does as what he says.
18th January 2016
School's Patron Delivers Key Note Address at Global Economy Conference
Keynote address by His Eminence, George Cardinal Pell AC, to the Global Foundation roundtable on the global economy
Cardinal Pell, a patron of the School of the Annunciation, has delivered the key note address at the Global Foundation roundtable on the global economy. Click here to read the full text.
24th November 2015
The Holy Father explains to the German Bishops some key requirements for the New Evangelisation
Pope Francis' address today to German bishops on their ad limina visit was not the only message for the country's episcopate. It seems his morning homily was, too.
In his address at the end of the German bishops' ad limina this week, the Holy Father said “one can truly speak of an erosion of the Catholic faith in Germany”
23rd October 2015
Synod Diary: “Even Kasperites can count.”
Tonight, the first draft of the final document will be summarized by Cardinal Erdo; it is widely expected that Church teaching will be reaffirmed by a significant majority.
Synod work has slowed slightly, as the bishops digest the reports of their small language based discussion groups. The official schedule is now about a half day behind. It's remarkable that, considering the gravity and depth of their discussions, that the schedule is only a few hours delayed. And, this is good. It means that bishops have taken the task so seriously that a pause to insure better amendments, more discernment and consultation may yet bring forth a final document, based on the Intrumentum Laboris, the working document. As it stands, that is not a certainty.
23rd October 2015
Cardinal Pell, patron of the School, gives an interview to EWTN on the Ordinary Synod on the Family
Cardinal Pell's interview begins at 13 minutes and 10 seconds.
8th September 2015
Catholic higher education and the perils of “preferred peers”
Catholic universities like Notre Dame must set a new standard of true excellence, based on and measured by the Catholic tradition of integrated learning and integral human formation
On Catholic campuses that aspire to Top Ten or Top Twenty status in publicity sweepstakes like the U.S. News and World Report college rankings, one sometimes hears the phrase “preferred peers.” Translated into plain English from faux-sociologese, that means the schools to which we’d like to be compared (and be ranked with). At a major Catholic institution like the University of Notre Dame, for example, administrators use the term “preferred peers” to refer to universities like Duke, Stanford, and Princeton, suggesting that these are the benchmarks by which Notre Dame measures its own aspirations to excellence.
By the current standards of American higher learning, Duke, Stanford, and Princeton are indeed excellent schools. But is their excellence the excellence to which a Catholic institution of higher education should aspire? Are they the benchmarks by which a Catholic university with dreams of glory should measure itself?
To continue reading this article, please click here.
4th September 2015
Letter from the Holy Father to Archbishop Rino Fisichella on the Holy Year of Mercy and how it will be "for all believers a time to encounter the Mercy of God."
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation--to whom Pope Francis entrusted the organisation of the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy--is pleased to present the text of a letter written by the Holy Father to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, dated September 1, 2015. The letter states, above all, that the celebration of the Holy Year will be "for all believers a time to encounter the Mercy of God." In addition, it stresses the special grace of the Jubilee Indulgence. All the faithful in all circumstances, both in Rome and in the various dioceses of the world, can participate in the Indulgence, provided that they have made the necessary spiritual preparations.
To read this letter in full, please click this link.
4th September 2015
Head of CDF, Cardinal Müller warns of a split as big as the Reformation
The Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has criticised in Regensburg on Tuesday a "climate of the German claim to leadership for the whole universal Church". At a book presentation, he pointed out the high number of people leaving the church, the deserted confessionals and empty seminars and religious houses in Germany. Often he has been asked from where the establishment of the so-called "German Church" derives the claim to be pacemaker for the universal Church with all the symptoms of a dramatic decline precisely on questions of sexual morality and the Catholic teaching on marriage. Müller warned against drawing from the situation in Europe conclusions about the future of other continents. "We should not promise others so that is also occurs with them as it is with us – so that the de-Christianisation would be an unstoppable natural process. No. With faith you can move mountains."
To continue reading this article, please click here.
Kasper’s Flawed Path to Mercy for Divorced and Remarried
In a recent interview with EWTN journalist Raymond Arroyo, Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that Pope Francis never approved his “proposal” that would permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion. Most of those commenting on Kasper’s clarification focus on this aspect of The World Over interview. After all, this seems to be something of a startling admission given the fact that for months a definite impression prevailed that indeed the pope was at least sympathetic to Kasper’s revisionist theology. Pope Francis highly praised Kasper’s February 20, 2014 opening speech to the Vatican’s Consistory on the Family in which the German bishop laid out in detail how the Church could admit divorced and remarried Catholics to Communion.
If you would like to watch the full interview between Raymond Arroyo and Cardinal Kasper, it can be found here.
4th June 2015
Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University explains why they stopped doing sex change operations
When the practice of sex-change surgery first emerged back in the early 1970s, I would often remind its advocating psychiatrists that with other patients, alcoholics in particular, they would quote the Serenity Prayer, “God, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Where did they get the idea that our sexual identity (“gender” was the term they preferred) as men or women was in the category of things that could be changed?
Their regular response was to show me their patients. Men (and until recently they were all men) with whom I spoke before their surgery would tell me that their bodies and sexual identities were at variance. Those I met after surgery would tell me that the surgery and hormone treatments that had made them “women” had also made them happy and contented. None of these encounters were persuasive, however. The post-surgical subjects struck me as caricatures of women. They wore high heels, copious makeup, and flamboyant clothing; they spoke about how they found themselves able to give vent to their natural inclinations for peace, domesticity, and gentleness—but their large hands, prominent Adam’s apples, and thick facial features were incongruous (and would become more so as they aged). Women psychiatrists whom I sent to talk with them would intuitively see through the disguise and the exaggerated postures. “Gals know gals,” one said to me, “and that’s a guy.”
13th May 2015
Bishop O'Toole, School patron, praises fidelity those who attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form
Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth has said there should be “systematised provision” of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form for Catholics in his diocese.
Interviewed in the Latin Mass Society’s magasine Mass of Ages, Bishop O’Toole “praised the ‘fidelity’ of those who like to attend Mass in the Extraordinary Form”, and said he would “like to establish a regularity of provision and systematised provision” of the Mass.
12th May 2015
Cardinal Pell expects synod to ‘massively endorse’ Church teaching on communion for divorced and remarried.
Cardinal George Pell said that he expects that the upcoming Ordinary Synod on the Family will “massively endorse” the Church’s traditional teachings on communion for divorced and “remarried” Catholics. “Christ is very clear about divorce … and not quite as important, but nearly as important, St. Paul is very clear about the conditions that are required for a proper reception of communion,” he said. “I think in fact that the synod will massively endorse the tradition.”
6th May 2015
Primate of All Ireland: Don’t Be Afraid to Fight "Gay Marriage".
5th May 2015
Michael P. Foley, a sometime contributor to this site, has just published a welcome book about one of the things that distinguishes Catholics from some (if not most) other faiths: our appreciation of boose.
Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to Happy Hour is a lighthearted book about a serious subject. There’s no doubt that the consumption of alcohol – a morally neutral activity in itself – can be a pleasurable accompaniment to blessed fellowship, but also a destructive enabler of misery and isolation.
4th May 2015
Beauty will save the world – Gaudi's basilica inspires conversions
Though the renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi died nearly 90 years ago and his best-known work remains under construction, the beauty of the Sagrada Familia basilica continues to draw people to Christ.
“Almost nothing leads us to the divine, but then people go there,” said José Manuel Almusara Péres, reflecting on the awe inspired in those who visit the Sagrada Familia.
Almusara told CNA April 18 that “Even the other day someone said to me: 'Jose Manuel, I'm an atheist, what is happening to me?'”
30th April 2015
Germany’s youngest bishop takes bold stand for marriage
In preparation of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome, more voices can be gathered that bring up very valuable arguments in defense of the Catholic Church's moral teaching.
The youngest Catholic bishop in Germany at 49, Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau, who came into his current office only in May 2014, chose as his motto: "Victoria Veritatis Caritas" ("The victory of truth is love"). Fittingly, he has soon after his consecration as bishop taken up the task of speaking the truth in charity. In the context of the last Synod of Bishops of October 2014, and since then, he has come out with some very differentiated and calm, as well as refreshingly original, argumentations against the professedly progressive forces within the Church.
29th April 2015
Beauty and Tradition in the “Church of the Poor”
It would be a mistake to identify Pope Francis with a stripped-down, secularised style of worship – and a still-greater mistake, to see Christian humility and liturgical beauty as opposites rather than harmonious counterparts.
“And whereas such is the nature of man, that, without external helps, he cannot easily be raised to the meditation of divine things; therefore has holy Mother Church … employed ceremonies, such as mystic benedictions, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind, derived from an apostolical discipline and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be recommended, and the minds of the faithful be excited, by those visible signs of religion and piety, to the contemplation of those most sublime things which are hidden in this sacrifice.” – Council of Trent, Session XXII
28th April 2015
Misericordiae Vultus: Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Year of Mercy
Please find here, a PDF version of Pope Francis' Bull of Indiction, "Misericordiae Vultus".
28th April 2015
The diabolisation of culture has begun. Catholic author Michael D O'Brien writes about the 'diabolisation of culture'
It is impossible for us to return to the state of original innocence. The Fall of Man was not simply an unpleasant mistake, best forgotten, as if we could clear up the whole matter by pretending it never happened. This, in effect, is what residents of nudist colonies and European bathing beaches would like us to believe.
It’s a lie. The gates to Eden remain resolutely shut. The mistake was made and a lesson is being learned about the state of the universe and what goes on in it. Yet God in His infinite mercy and justice has sent His only-begotten Son to redeem us from the tyranny of lies.
24th April 2015
Why I'm giving up my academic career to become a nun
The number of women entering religious life is at a 25-year high. What is driving them?
Who’d be a nun? Behind the statistics announced this week, which show that the number of women entering religious life is at a 25-year high, are the stories of 45 real women making the choice to become a nun or sister. I made that decision last year, and this January I entered an order called the Congregation of Jesus.
In many ways, my story is not a dramatic one. I was brought up Catholic, and grew up going to Mass on Sundays, attending Catholic schools and taking a lively interest in my faith. At university, this faith matured in the company of others who were serious about loving God. Many of them were thinking about life as priests, monks or nuns, and several are now ordained. But most have ended up embarking on married life. I’ve begun to think that deciding to get married and deciding to become a nun aren’t as different as they first appear.
23rd April 2015
A Failure to Delineate
A little bit of anger wells up in me every time that I see the Human Right Campaign logo. You know the one; it’s the yellow equal sign on a blue background. If you’ve been on the road at all today, you probably saw it as a bumper sticker on more than one vehicle. HRC Logo For those unaware, the pleasantly named Human Rights Campaign is an organisation whose stated purpose is to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Unfortunately, the reality is that they, like most groups flying the equality flag, are attempting to advance the idea that homosex must be accepted as equal to heterosex.
21st April 2015
The Failure of Gay Marriage
In a 2009 piece in The Weekly Standard, Sam Schulman argues that gay marriage replicates “a very limited, very modern, and very culture-bound version of marriage. Gay advocates have chosen wisely in this. They are replicating what we might call the ‘romantic marriage,' a kind of marriage that is chosen, determined, and defined by the couple that enters into it.”
This isn't what marriage has been through most of human history. Instead, marriage has taken the particular shape it has because it is part of a larger network, the kinship system. by Peter J. Leithart
16th April 2015
Practical help for the demon-possessed: Vatican rolls out new exorcism course
This month the Vatican will gather a wide range experts in the field of exorcism with the aim of shedding light on demonic possession from both theological and scientific perspectives.
The annual course, “Exorcism and Prayer of Liberation,” is designed for priests and lay persons interested in learning how to recognise a case of demonic possession when they see one – and what to do about it.
This year's session will run from April 13-18 at Rome's Regina Apostolorum University, and will feature interventions by a wide range of experts in the field of exorcism from priests – including practicing exorcists – medical professionals, psychologists, lawyers, and theologians. It's sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy and organised by the Sacerdos Institute.
16th April 2015
Pope Francis wishes Benedict XVI a happy 88th birthday
Pope Francis has marked the 88th birthday of Benedict XVI by offering morning Mass for the Pope Emeritus.
According to Vatican Radio, the Pontiff said: “I would like to remind you that today is the birthday of Pope Benedict XVI. I offered Mass for him and also invite you to pray for him, that the Lord will sustain him and give him a lot of joy and happiness.”
15 April 2015
The Mass: Worship, Thanksgiving, Atonement, and Petition
One of the most insightful descriptions of the liturgy which I have read is an excerpt from Von Hildebrand’s Liturgy and Personality: The Healing Power of Formal Prayer. In it, Von Hildebrand explains what the person’s response to the Liturgy ought to be. It is easy to think of all of the benefits that the Mass brings to our soul and to the world. And though these are true and our participation in Mass important, the Mass is not about us. The Mass is the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary being offered to God the Father for His glory and in atonement for our sins. To continue reading this article please click here.
9th April 2015
Fr Ian Hellyer explains the work of the Torbay Ordinariate Mission
Why has the Ordinariate bought a church when we already have plenty of Catholic Churches here?
This is a question that has been addressed in various ways to the Torbay Mission, after they began fundraising to buy a former Methodist chapel in Torbay. I would like to respond to this question and offer my own thoughts as an aid to understanding.
30th March 2015
Bishop Campbell issues warning about A Call to Action
The Bishop of Lancaster has said that the lobby group, A Call to Action (ACTA), is not recognised by the Catholic Church in his diocese.
In a blog post entitled “A Call To Communion in the Diocese of Lancaster” Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said that it was his duty to clarify that “this particular pressure group has no approval or recognition from the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Lancaster”.
“As Bishop of Lancaster and thus as a Successor of the Apostles, I am charged, in accord with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, with a special care in my ministry as ‘overseer’ to uphold the unity of the Church in this Diocese of Lancaster and so to guard against any attempt to confuse the faithful regarding authentic Catholic teaching and ministry in this Diocese,” he wrote.
25th March 2015
Nearly 500 priests in England & Wales strongly reaffirm Catholic doctrine on Marriage and Holy Communion
The international coalition Voice of the Family warmly welcomes the publication of a letter, signed by 461 priests in England & Wales, which strongly affirms the teaching of the Catholic Church on the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and “remarried” persons.
The co-ordinator of the “Support for Marriage Letter” has issued the following press statement... To continue reading this article, please click here.
17th March 2015
Ubi Amor, Ibi Oculus
In Technopoly, Neil Postman says that overly technological cultures, “driven by the impulse to invent, have as their aim a grand reductionism in which human life must find its meaning in machinery and technique.”
The “grand reductionism” is becoming increasingly apparent. We focus too often on becoming good processors and producers, manipulators of data, rather on than on becoming good human beings—critical minds, and noble hearts, capable of appreciation, engagement, and thought—and hungry for adventure and romance.
Christian Smith is a sociologist at the University of Notre Dame. He’s conducted extensive research on the religious beliefs of young Americans from every major faith group. And he’s concluded that regardless of their religious affiliation, young Americans tend to subscribe to a faith he calls Moralistic Therapeutic Deism. To continue reading this article please click here.
16th March 2015
The Catholic Gentleman: Fortitude
In his treatise on fortitude and temperance in the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas says, “it belongs to the virtue of fortitude to guard the will against being withdrawn from the good of reason through fear of bodily evil.” S.T. IIa IIae, Q. 123, a. 3. Certainly, there is no greater evil the body can undergo than its separation from the soul, and so the virtue of fortitude comes to bear more perfectly in danger of death. To continue reading this article, please click here.
10th March 2015
New evangelisation fails unless teachings on traditional marriage upheld, cautions Cardinal Burke
In his address to a meeting of the pro-family, pro-life group Voice of the Family Cardinal Burke said:'if a new evangelisation is not taking place in marriage and in the family, then it will not take place in the Church or in society in general. At the same time, the marriages transformed by the Gospel are the first and most powerful agent of the transformation of society by the Gospel. The witness of the family is, therefore, at the heart of the new evangelisation'.
9th March 2015
The Great Terri Schiavo Divide
At the end of this month, Terri Schiavo will be ten years dead. But she is far from forgotten. Everyone reading these words knows the story, and everyone has an opinion. What began in 1990 as a private tragedy—a vivacious young woman stricken in the prime of life with a severe cognitive disability—became a source of profound cultural division, as likely to spark debate today as when the case first broke into the public’s consciousness.
Why has her story remained so potent? Part of it has to do with the high-profile and vituperative legal and public-relations battle between Terri’s husband, Michael, and her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. Still, most heated public controversies run their course and fade into history. But not this one. Since her death, Terri has become a symbol of deep-seated conflicts in our country about the nature of human life and what role we have in controlling it—or ending it. Click here to continue reading this article.
9th March 2015
Only Jesus Christ can help us triumph over Satan, says Bishop Mark Davies
My dear brothers and sisters,
I am often asked as bishop what the answer is to all the problems we face today. People wonder how we, in such challenging times, can live the vocation of marriage and the family; the call to ordination or the consecrated life; or the apostolic life of a lay person in the world? The answer is always before us, if only we have the eyes of faith to see! Jesus Christ Himself truly present: awaiting us in the Holy Eucharist and in Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Christ wants to give us every grace we need, if only we turn our hearts and minds to Him. At the beginning of this new Millennium, Saint John Paul II wrote of the danger of imagining that there existed some magic formula for dealing with the great challenges facing us today. Saint John Paul insisted: “we shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person, and the assurance which He gives us: ‘I am with you’” (Novo Millennio Ineunte n.29). Please click here to read this article in full.
4th March 2015
Pastoral Strategies in a News-Cycle Age
Richard Royle reflects on how bishops should respond to the hostile mainstream media, in support of San Francisco's Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Kudos to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone who, in liberal San Francisco, instructed his Catholic schoolteachers last week to teach and to act publicly in harmony with Catholicism. Imagine: expecting Catholic institutions and their employees to behave as if they were Catholic. The pushback from the media and “concerned” politicians was predictable. But as you may have noticed, they’re pretty much all already off chasing the next ambulance, and the question is fading from view.
There’s a crucial lesson here. The archbishop – or any Church prelate these days – should follow the playbook of the savvier sort of politicians (on this one point, anyway). Don’t be intimidated or retreat at the initial counterattack. Survive the immediate news cycle. Use the media’s incessant pursuit of novelty and the short attention span of the public to your advantage. Hold your ground until they move on – usually a matter of days, at most. Then fortify the position and treat any additional challenges as old news. Click here to read this article in full.
3rd March 2015
Cardinal Burke on the importance of faithfulness to Sacred Liturgy and the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Cardinal Burke has given an exclusive wide-ranging interview to Rorate Caeli in which he talks about the importance of faithfulness to Sacred Liturgy and the Catechism of the Church for the well being of the Church: Rorate Caeli: Is there anything else that we haven't touched upon that Your Eminence would like to add?Card. Burke: Just to encourage everyone to be devoted to the Sacred Liturgy, which is the highest expression of our Catholic faith, the highest
expression of our life in God, and to be very devoted to the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and to the teaching of the faith in our homes and in our local communities. The Church has suffered terribly from decades of poor catechesis, such that the faithful, children and young people, even adults, don't know their faith, and we need to address that because the two things go together. When we know our faith well, then we have a strong desire to worship in accordance with our faith, and at the same time our worship makes us desire more to know our faith. And then, obviously, all of that gets expressed in action by the charity of our lives, especially on behalf of those who are in most need.
27th February 2015
Reading Scripture and the Catechism together - Ignatius Press' The Didache Bible
The Didache Bible (RSV, Second Catholic Edition): Ignatius Bible Edition, recently published by the Midwest Theological Forum with Ignatius Press, is a 1960-page study Bible featuring extensive commentaries, based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, for each of the books of the Bible. The Didache Bible also includes over 100 apologetical inserts, over two dosen full-color biblical maps, and a 43-page glossary and a topical index.
Rev. James Socias, Vice President of the Midwest Theological Forum, spoke recently about what inspired the creation and publication of The Didache Bible and how it can be used by Catholics for group and individual study. Please click here to continue reading this article.
27th February 2015
Cardinal Pell asks, 'What about Henry VIII?'
Interestingly, Jesus’ hard teaching that “what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19:6) follows not long after his insistence to Peter on the necessity of forgiveness (see Mt 18:21–35).
It is true that Jesus did not condemn the adulterous woman who was threatened with death by stoning, but he did not tell her to keep up her good work, to continue unchanged in her ways. He told her to sin no more (see Jn 8:1–11).
One insurmountable barrier for those advocating a new doctrinal and pastoral discipline for the reception of Holy Communion is the almost complete unanimity of two thousand years of Catholic history on this point. It is true that the Orthodox have a long-standing but different tradition, forced on them originally by their Bysantine emperors, but this has never been the Catholic practice. Please click here to continue reading this article.
23rd February 2015
Pope Francis strongly criticises gender theory, comparing it to nuclear arms
Pope Francis has strongly criticised modern theories that consider people's gender identities to exist along a spectrum, saying such theories do not "recognise the order of creation."
Speaking of gender theory in an interview in a new book released in Italy, the pope even compares such theories to genetic manipulation and nuclear weapons.
Gender theory is a broad term for an academic school of thought that considers how people learn to identify themselves sexually and how they may become typed into certain roles based on societal expectations.
Asked in the book about how important it is for Christians to recover a sense of safeguarding of creation and sustainable growth, the pope first speaks of the duty of all people to respect and care for the environment.
But he then says that every historical period has "Herods" that "destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation."
23rd February 2015
Always carry a pocket sise gospel to fight the devil, says Pope Francis
VATICAN CITY — Lent is a time to fight Satan on the battlefield of the human heart, Pope Francis told pilgrims at today’s Sunday Angelus. And Christians fight effectively by arming themselves with God’s Word and being docile to the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Addressing the faithful in St. Peter’s Square on the First Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis reflected on today's Gospel, in which St. Mark recounts Jesus’ being driven into the desert to do battle against the Evil One. Click here to read this article in full.
20th February 2015
Pope Francis will open the Lenten initiative, called “24 Hours for the Lord” by presiding at a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13
Following the conclusion of this service, a number of churches throughout Rome will remain open for 24 hours, with confessors available as well as Eucharistic adoration.
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, which is organising the initiative, has invited dioceses, parishes and communities around the world to adapt the initiative to their local situations and needs. It has produced a poster to help with the event, as well as a pastoral booklet in Italian, English, Spanish, French and Polish.
The resource “will enable all people, be they near or distant from the Church, to reflect upon and celebrate the great gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness,” the pontifical council says. To download the poster and acquire this pastoral aid, please go to NovaEvangelisatio.va. Click here to read this article in full.
18th February 2015
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the NE has posted details about 24 hours for the Lord 2015
"Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer."
(From the Message of Pope Francis for Lent 2015)
God rich in mercy
Following the enthusiasm of past year, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation proposes the 24 hours for the Lord also for the Lent of 2015, on March 13-14. Pope Francis will preside at a penitential celebration in St. Peter’s Basilica in order to place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center of the Church’s mission of the new evangelisation. The theme which will guide the reflection in 2015 is God rich in mercy (Eph 2:4). Click here to read this article in full.
18th February 2015
“Speak Uninhibitedly of the Good of Marriage” says Bishop Mark Davies
In a homily delivered on St Valentine's Day at St Columba's Church, Chester, His Grace Bishop Mark Davies spoke about Marriage. The Holy Mass was part of the Diocesan Celebration of Marriage.
In “Marriage Week” we come together as a Diocese to celebrate Christian Marriage. It is a wonderful moment to see so many couples celebrating 25, 40, 50 or 60 years of married life. I think of all the years and of the changing situations of your lives in which you have lived the vocation of marriage. In the Marriage Rite we hear the words which I am eager to repeat to you today: “Christ abundantly blesses this love.” On St Valentine’s Day we are not misled into seeing such love as a passing sentiment. This is a love and a romance to be lived every day amid the joys and troubles, the sacrifices and the gifts, which mark the life of every marriage and family. I give thanks with you today for the great good which your marriage has been for you, for your children and your grandchildren and will be for generations yet to come. And today, on behalf of so many, I want to use my voice as bishop to say very simply and wholeheartedly: “Thank you!”
17th February 2015
Pope To Married Couples: Treasure Each Child As A Gift From God
Pope Francis today came out in strong defense of large families and encouraged married couples to treasure each child as a gift from God.
Speaking to pilgrims at the General Audience in a sunny St. Peter’s Square, the Pope dedicated the latest in his new series of catecheses on the family to children.
The Holy Father took as the basis of his reflection the beautiful Old Testament passage from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, which speaks of a parent’s joy in being surrounded by many sons and daughters: “They all gather together, they come to you; your sons sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms. Then you shall see and be radiant, your heart shall thrill and rejoice” (60:4-5a). To read this article in full, please click here.
Statement from Cardinal Pell's Office
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Over 40 students attended the introductory day in Tooting Bec.
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A day of great celebration as students receive their certificates!
The 2016 event will be held on Friday 28 October
Aylesford Priory, 3-4 November 2016