Several years ago, Mel Gibson produced and directed a movie which enjoyed a spectacular popularity. Entitled, The Passion of the Christ, the movie depicts Jesus’ paschal journey from the Garden of Gethsemane to his death on Golgotha, but with a very heavy emphasis on his physical suffering.
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Few, apart from practising Christians, will today commemorate Christ’s crucifixion. How have we come to allow such a momentous event to mean so little? I am 63 years old. Throughout my lifetime, the observance of Good Friday in Britain has become ever more secularised.
Indeed, it struck me while watching the BBC comedy Rev on Mondaynight that the problems our pubs face are similar to those faced by the CofE. Most Brits think of themselves as Christians (59 per cent of the population at the time of the 2011 census), but only a third go to church at Christmas, and for many that will be their sole visit.
Clarity on ultimate responsibility and liability must be established. You could be forgiven for not knowing where the buck stops in the Catholic Church these days. In any society, organization or Church community, it is important to know who is ultimately responsible in decision making; otherwise, chaos or worse would prevail.
Blame the Sahara desert for the present air pollution. Blame Europe. Blame climate change – or even the spring sunshine, or the hole in the ozone layer. But if you are in government please don't mention the fact that the toxic air much of Britain has been breathing is mostly of our own making.
We are meant to love our mothers. Whatever they do, however embarrassingly they behave. But we don’t get to choose them. And who is there to tell us how to cope when they turn out to be unlovable, devious, cruel, bullying, exhaustingly anxious, or just not very bright? How many of us grow up silently promising never to repeat our mother’s worst shortcomings?
Some women already hold prominent positions in the offices of the Holy See. While there are presently canonical impediments (which could be changed, since they are man-made), the possibility of appointing women as prefects (heads) of some Roman congregations (departments) might be further explored.
Creighton Prep, a Jesuit High School in Omaha, Nebraska, will begin testing their students for drug and alcohol use next year. A first positive test will result in counseling, a second in disciplinary action, and a third in dismissal. While some libertarians are irritated, many parents are thrilled the school is creating an environment that addresses the problems of drug use and underage drinking.
The war on Christianity: The religion's followers are dwindling in the land of its birth - and it's not a crisis of faith, but one of violence
Every corner of the Middle East is locked in more or less violent struggle, but whatever course the future takes, it is safe to predict that Christians will play only a marginal part in it – if they survive at all. Already, as the Prince of Wales recently pointed out, there is a smaller proportion of Christians in the region than in any other part of the world: just 4 per cent, and falling fast.
In several passages of Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis focused on the excluded. He states, “It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it.
It is hard not to think of the Faith in connection with one great Beatles song: Paul McCartney’s “Let it Be,” from the album of the same name. That song features a “Mother Mary” who comes to us in “times of trouble” with her comforting “words of wisdom”: “Let it be.”
More than just having to do with "doing," the New Evangelization depends firstly on prayer - a lesson that monasticism teaches well. When we discuss the "New Evangelization," we tend to think of the many active ways in which the Church seeks to engage the world and to share the Gospel with it.
Joseph Mitchell is sleeping rough. He had been made redundant from his job which came with accommodation and his life spiralled downwards very quickly. The fact that he had lost not only his livelihood but also his home in one go meant that he simply hadn’t had the chance to think about applying for jobs before he was sleeping on the streets.
Having unbelieving friends who challenge us to live our professed ideals and who point out with sometimes cringe-inducing accuracy our failures, hypocrisies and betrayals is a blessing. It is too easy for us believers to create a world of our own where science, wisdom and even common sense get short shrift.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has told those in Religious Life to “wake up the world”, according to an article appearing in La Civiltà Cattolica, the Rome-based Jesuit weekly. Editor Antonio Spadaro, SJ, has written an article recounting the private meeting last November between Pope Francis and the Union of Superiors General of religious men at the end of their 82nd General Assembly.
Pope Francis’ comments on the need for the Church to develop non-Western expressions of the faith are a breath of fresh air. In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium he reaffirmed the spirit of the Second Vatican Council that had been obscured in the past decades by a militant restorationism.
My dear friends, our wish for all of you is that, out of all the many seemingly powerful yet fleeting lights, the quiet light of Christ may shine and that we may all work together with him for the whole world. Merry Christmas.
I have witnessed the trauma our supposedly pro-marriage government is inflicting on thousands of families and their children. The people I met are all victims of the new regulations regarding foreign spouses of British nationals coming to live in the United Kingdom.
In this exclusive interview, Pope Francis speaks about Christmas, hunger in the world, the suffering of children, the reform of the Roman Curia, women cardinals, the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and the upcoming visit to the Holy Land.