In a letter to the Prime Minister sent on Tuesday, a day before Parliament was due to debate the new restrictions, Cardinal Nichols argues that public worship has an invaluable role to play in supporting vulnerable people, both by improving social cohesion and mental health.
News in Activities
Pope Francis has condemned a terrorist attack at a Catholic church in the French Riviera city of Nice that killed three people, adding his voice to a chorus of world leaders who have denounced the attack and expressed solidarity and support for France.
The World Food Programme (WFP), a Rome-based United Nations agency that Pope Francis has on many occasions praised, won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 for its efforts to combat hunger, food insecurity and improve conditions for peace in conflict areas.
Jesuits worldwide are mobilising in protest after an 84-year-old Jesuit priest and human rights activist was arrested in India accused of terrorist links. Fr Stan Swamy SJ, a prominent and popular human rights activist, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency for alleged Maoist links on October 8.
A London-born teenager beatified in Italy yesterday showed that heaven is an “attainable goal”, according to the cardinal who read the papal letter proclaiming him “blessed”. Carlo Acutis was born on 3 May 1991 to Italian parents and was baptised at Our Lady of Dolours in Fulham on 18 May 1991 by Fr Nicholas Martin OSM. Soon afterwards, the family moved to Milan, Italy. He died of leukaemia in 2006.
It’s now six months since the lockdown began, and a second wave of the coronavirus may be upon us. We have learnt that in a crisis what makes the difference is not algorithms or protocols, but virtue and character. One of the things we have witnessed over the past months – clearer, perhaps, than for a generation – has been the virtues in full swing.
If you want to understand Pope Francis, it helps to know tango, soccer lingo, and colloquial Argentinian Spanish. Making sense of Francis, I propose, also requires an ability to think in hyperlinks. In other words, what he says opens paths to multiple references that further enrich and expand possibilities for interpretation. Francis plays with language and space.
About 5000 books survive from English monasteries, and I’m the proud owner of two of them. Don’t get too excited. They’re not luscious manuscripts with glorious illuminations but humble paper printed books. But they’re treasures nonetheless, especially as both volumes provide priceless insights into the last phase of English medieval monasticism before Henry VIII brought it to an abrupt end.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's infant son has been baptized Catholic. The Archdiocese of Westminster has confirmed that the baptism of Wilfred Johnson took place in London's Westminster Cathedral on September 12. That private ceremony was attended by both parents and a limited number of guests.
On Ash Wednesdays, Joe Biden’s forehead carries a tell-tale smudge. If he wins in November, he will be the second Catholic President of the United States, after John F. Kennedy. Yet his pro-choice position aggravates those who see abortion as the pre-eminent issue in public life.
What kinds of things help induce mysticism in our lives? I was asked that question recently and this was my immediate, non-reflected, answer: whatever brings tears to your eyes in either genuine sorrow or genuine joy; but that response was predicated on a lot of things. What is mysticism? What makes for mystical experience?
It comes as many churches have resumed Sunday and weekday services, with social distancing measures in place, and ceased live-streaming of Mass. But the return to a new “normal” is now once again under threat with the announcement today of what is trending as “lockdown 2” on social media, after prime minister Boris Johnson announced a ban on social gatherings of six or more starting next Monday.
So it is perplexing to me as a relatively young Catholic that the Diocese of Hong Kong has reportedly banned a prayer for the city and its freedoms. They are concerned, it seems, that this particular prayer could be seen as a criticism of an “oppressive” government. But isn’t it the Church’s duty to speak out against oppression?
In a statement last night, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the result was discovered after Cardinal Tagle, 63, was administered a swab test upon his arrival in Manila on Thursday. “His Eminence does not exhibit any symptoms and will remain in self-isolation in the Philippines, where he is located,” Bruni said.
How does religious practice continue when people are apart? What is the long term impact of coronavirus on religion and belief? Ed Kessler, Founder of the Woolf Institute, interviewed religious and community leaders around the UK and posed these and other questions.
Bishop Alan gives parting tribute to Mgr John Armitage as Director of the Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham
At a farewell Mass at the National Shrine in Walsingham, Bishop Alan recounted the achievements of Mgr John Armitage over the last five years. His text is reproduced below.
The Tablet was born, at a time of bitter divisions, hunger and disease, into the world of railways, mills and factories, and dawning scientific awareness and religious doubt. The world’s oldest religious newspaper was launched just at the moment when the ‘sea of faith’ appeared to be draining away.
Priests who rely on church collections for their livelihoods have endured a catastrophic drop in income after churches closed in March because of the coronavirus lockdown. Now they have had their applications for a special government benefit turned down.
The best Indian tradition is dialogic, eclectic and inclusive. But notice how different things are today. In the strong desire for uniformity of thought and opinion, there is rising intolerance of dissent. Nay, independent thinkers are jailed or murdered.
The lockdown has been more than a passing financial crisis for the Church in England and Wales. It has been a wake-up call that is challenging the way parishes and dioceses are funded and managed. When the doors of Catholic churches across Britain clanged shut in late March, it was a terrible blow to Massgoers. For priests, too, it was a terrible moment – and not just for spiritual reasons.