Northern Ireland's first shared education campus for Catholic and Protestant schoolchildren has been granted planning approval. Up to six schools with 3,700 pupils are expected to be based at a former Army barracks in Omagh, Co Tyrone, Stormont's power-sharing government revealed today. The relic of the region's 30-year conflict is to be transformed into a 126-acre development to educate the next generation together.
A resolution passed by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly is being lauded as an important – although limited – recognition of religious and conscience rights in the public sphere. “The important step with this resolution is the mention of the right to conscientious objection and the enlargement of its scope of application,”
Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian, who died on 27 April aged 96, revived the Catholic church in Shanghai after years of Maoist persecution. His death leaves one of China's largest and wealthiest dioceses deeply unsettled, riven by tensions generated by the Communist Party's insistence on tightly controlling all organised religions.
THE future of Roman Catholic weddings in England and Wales is now in doubt because of David Cameron’s gay marriage bill, the church’s chief legal adviser on the issue has disclosed. Prof Christopher McCrudden said that there are serious questions over whether the 120-year-old legal basis on which 8,500 Catholic weddings a year are performed can even “survive” the passage of the bill currently before Parliament.
No doubt, also in dealing with this delicate matter the new pope will be inspired by the spirit of his patron Saint Francis who, in the history of the Church was a pioneer of dialogue. Communism has been the staunch opponent of the Church in China. Pope Francis will have to deal with this matter. He will find inspiration in the way his predecessors approached China.
Justin Welby warned against “severing the roots” of more than 1,000 years of Christianity in Britain as he was enthroned as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.
Summer 1936 at the start of the Spanish Civil War. The film tells us about the martyrdom of 51 members of the Claretian Community of Barbastro (Huesca, Spain). Excellent portrait of the human and religious dimension of each person involved in such a real tragedy of our history. The sacrifies of young Claretians proclaim that "Love overcomes death."
A proposal to change this truth about marriage in civil law is less a threat to religion than it is an affront to human reason and the common good of society. It means we are all to pretend to accept something we know is physically impossible. The Legislature might just as well repeal the law of gravity.”
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles told an interfaith prayer breakfast that freedom of religion comes from God and that no one, court, legislature, or government agency, can take it away.
Christians’ rights of conscience are being sacrificed on the altar of “obsessive political correctness” contrary to the values of a democratic society, two European human rights judges have claimed.
The battle has been almost universally one way as the rights of Christians, in terms of the ability to practise their faith in the public sphere, have been eroded to the point where they have virtually no protection. The cases that I have been instructed in are alarming- and it’s not just the “little people”: health workers or junior civil servants.
More than 1,000 priests have signed a letter voicing alarm that same-sex marriage could threaten religious freedom in a way last seen during “centuries of persecution” of Roman Catholics in England.
After 46 years on death row, DNA evidence could prove Iwao Hakamada's innocence. On Christmas Eve 28 years ago, the Catholic Church welcomed a new member in unusual circumstances. Iwao Hakamada, now 76, was in prison for a capital offense when he was baptized.
"Bishop Ma's suppression is a blight for all citizens", writes Shi Feng from Shanghai, China. I witnessed the historic moment on July 7 when Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of Shanghai pledged to defend his faith.
The meeting of the “Caritas in Veritate” Commission of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), held in Rome on the theme of “A Pastoral of Communion for a Renewed Evangelisation” concluded today with the presentation of a “road map” by the Section for pastoral care of migrants.
The media has depicted the Church of England as being on the verge of collapse because of the rejection of a General Synod Measure permitting the appointment of women as bishops. It was seen as a triumph of obscurantism over progress, a refusal to recognise the right of women to equal treatment with men. But there is more to it than that.
Even friends of an Established church like myself – though I’m a Catholic – should think twice about the wisdom of the idea after the naked political interference in the affairs of the CofE in the Commons. The Speaker, who is non-religious/agnostic, was among the most overt in encouraging MPs to overturn the church’s decision not to approve women bishops.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has created a new website dedicated to encouraging education, prayer and public action to protect religious freedom at home and abroad.
Evangelisation is not the work of a small number of specialists but of the entire People of God under the guidance of their pastors. Each member of the faithful, with and within ecclesial communion, must feel the responsibility to announce and bear witness to the Gospel".
This week, four Christians will argue in court that they face discrimination in Britain because of their faith. Discriminated: A woman who was asked to remove her cross while working as a nurse is taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights to argue that she has suffered discrimination as a result of her faith.
Multi-culturalism is not, as its detractors claim, an ideology. It is simply a fact. It is not an aim, but a description. London has 300 languages spoken inside its vast boundaries. It gets along, by and large, without any particularly violent consequences from this unparalleled amalgamation of cultures.
Reprisals against clergy who resisted illicit ordination. The Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Harbin where the illicit ordination took place on July 6. The government is exacting revenge against seven priests in Heilongjiang province who resisted the illicit episcopal ordination of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng in Harbin earlier this month, local Church sources say.
He emphasizes he is not a healing priest. “We use art, honoring the imagination, the soul, but I don’t interpret. I only explore, together with the client his art work, and it’s amazing that what he draws has a connection with his life. The art work is the thing-ly presence of his imagination, its visible, physical presence.
There's a much-quoted line from Leonard Cohen that suggests that the place where we are broken is also the place where our redemption starts: There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
At least 150 people, most of them children, were forced to flee a remote village in Agusan del Sur province in Mindanao Tuesday as a battle between government troops and communist guerrillas intensified.
Being a journalist with integrity is a dangerous way to make a living. People with something to hide fear and hate journalists, because beyond providing sports scores and traffic accident reports, their vocation is to expose what is hidden in darkness so that it might be cleansed in the light. A good journalist is a passionate pursuer of truth, but also a target.
Reaction to the Vatican’s announced reform of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) took form on the social media site Twitter, where supporters of religious sisters dueled with the group’s critics.
"Terrorist attacks on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and Asia increased 309 per cent between 2003 and 2010. Approximately 70 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries with high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices, and religious minorities pay the highest price".
Pope Benedict XVI has urged bishops in the United States to mobilise Catholics against “powerful new cultural currents” in American society that are “increasingly hostile to Christianity” and endanger church freedoms.
Prison director Gareth Sands said music was among a number of activities the inmates take part in. "We see changes in them and music is part of that driver for change," he said."Music and the arts can play a part in their rehabilitation and we hope the Turnage project will be successful in helping prisoners raise their aspirations so they don't return to a life of crime," he said.
What moves you to change? Where do you need to be healed and where can you offer some healing? Take ten minutes to watch this powerful clip and see what feelings and thoughts it stirs up. We often don't think about the chain reaction of love we can set in motion through even the smallest kindness.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino spoke together for several minutes ahead of the celebration, the details of which were not immediately known. Her visit underscores her call for national conciliation to include all in society no matter their ethnic or religious background.
Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has twice refused to recant his Christian faith during two court hearings held in Rasht, Gilan Province on 25 and 26 September. Sources close to CSW indicate that recanting will again be demanded at sessions scheduled for 27 and 28 September, and that if he continues to refuse, he will be executed thereafter.
British authorities recently rescued 24 men that they said were kept as slaves - some for as long as 15 years. the men, from England and parts of Eastern Europe, are "all believed to be victims of slavery." police said. So how big a problem is slaveryh in Europe?
"Our parents and grandparents were suffering for so long because of war. They brought us independence and so I thank them and I thank God," secondary school student Sarah Keji told me. Expectations here are high and the wish list is as long as the Nile. "After independence, life will be better than before. We are going to see justice, prosperity and our country will develop."
On World Refugee Day. The UN's World Refugee Day report shows that 80 percent of refugees are hosted by developing countries, not the richer nations that have the economic capacity to absorb and host refugees.
The focus of Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Zagreb, Croatia, June 4-5 will be on the family and building a community with Christian values.In the 84-year-old pope's 19th trip abroad and his 13th to a European country, he also will continue to underline the importance he places on reviving Europe's Christian roots.
The citizens are tired of oppression, high rates of unemployment and escalating costs of living engendered by poor governance. When pushed to the wall, they will have no option but to take up arms against the dictatorial regime.
Pakistan’s leading Catholic politician has been murdered in the capital Islamabad. Minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti had received numerous death threats after calling for changes to the country’s controversial blasphemy law. The blasphemy law carries a death sentence for anyone who insults Islam, and critics say it has been used to persecute minority faiths.
Two priests with strong ties to Egypt have said they fear young Egyptian Catholics will turn away from the Church because it did not back the protests that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
“The Sudanese government must immediately release all those detained during this blatant attempt to stifle free speech,” said Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International’s Africa Program director, in a statement to newsrooms.
The release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was "long overdue" and that her detention a "travesty", Prime Minister David Cameron has said. He also called her "an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights".
Mark 9:41-50 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."