New Year Pastoral Letter from the Bishop of Lancaster. "At the beginning of this New Year I would ask you to join me in grappling with the two-fold task of planning how our diocese’s parishes and schools adapt to these new circumstances and secondly to make ourselves ready to launch into the challenge of the New Evangelisation."
News in Church Issues
Cardinal Peter Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso, from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace have released Pope Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Peace 2012, which will be celebrated om 1 January. The theme of this year's message is: 'Educating Young People in Justice and Peace'. Extracts from the message are given here.
The new translation, which seeks to introduce concepts that do not exist in English-speaking cultures and, consequently, the words or grammatical constructions to express them do not exist either.
From Africa and from the World Youth Day in Madrid, a powerful remedy against faith fatigue and weariness The joyous experiences of faith lived in Madrid with the youth of the world, then the recent Visit to Benin were moments of “great encouragement” for the Pope, showing him that it is possible to give life to “a new, more youthful form of Christianity” able to overcome the “ faith fatigue” ever more present in Europe.
“If we don't succeed in eradicating poverty and ignorance in our Country, then we will not be able to combat the the phenomenon of religious intolerance”. This was a comment made to L'Osservatore Romano by Paul Bhatti, Adviser to the Prime Minister for National Harmony in Pakistan.
Christians account for almost a third of the world's population. This was one of the findings in a report published Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The data from the 2010 survey of more than 200 countries found that worldwide, there are 2.18 billion Christians.
Archbishop Dominique Mamberty, head of the Delegation of the Holy See addresses the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and thanks its efforts in promoting a growing political will that seeks to reinforce a dialogue of culture and of peace within the OSCE region.
“We’ve got to find the ways of speaking to people about the positive values of marriage as it’s always been understood, while not getting boxed off by somehow being accused of being homophobic,” Archbishop Nichols told CNA on Dec. 1 in Rome.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity is currently celebrating its twenty-fifth plenary assembly on the theme: "The Question of God in Today's World".Turning his attention to World Youth Day, Benedict XVI said: "An extraordinary cascade of light, joy and hope illuminated not only Madrid, but also Europe and the entire world, clearly re-establishing the importance of seeking God in today's world."
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said in a speech to MPs, peers and charity workers that Government cuts are “already being felt disproportionally by the most vulnerable”. It is the closest a Catholic bishop in England and Wales has come to criticising the Coalition’s austerity measures.
There are serious questions of integrity here. Mainstream Catholics are having imposed on them profound changes that are not self-evidently for the better. The real challenge of the new translation centres on how we handle those human and ecclesial realities. For my part, I am at something of a loss.
"Today, the celebration of the Synod concludes with the signing of the Exhortation 'Africae Munus'", he said. "The Synod gave an impetus to the Catholic Church in Africa, which prayed, reflected on and discussed the theme of reconciliation, justice and peace.
Vladimir: “Did you ever read the Bible?” Estragon: “The Bible…. I must have taken a look at it.” This exchange by the two vagabond protagonists of Samuel Beckett’s celebrated play,Waiting for Godot (1952) expresses an attitude which is common to many: the Bible, which is so acclaimed, is at least worth a glance, but like the classics it is so little read.
Let us seriously respond to the expectations of the young. Benedict XVI’s indications on the vital art of education.
In recent years, we “adults,” have had difficulty taking seriously into consideration the possibility of indicating to young people authentic values and correct choices. Not to mention the difficulty and near allergy to addressing the theme of the search for truth.
Twelve nurses in New Jersey have filed a lawsuit against a local government hospital for being told they would lose their jobs if they refuse to perform abortions. The case shows evidence of “a systematic attack on the right of pro-life professionals to engage in their careers without being forced to violate their fundamental moral and religious beliefs,” Matt Bowman, attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, told CNA.
Major national Churches are often the focus of protest. A homeless man, known to the authorities for his radical activism, once slipped into one with his supporters and wrecked it, overturning tables and lashing out with a homemade whip. His point was that what should have been a place of prayer for all people had become an institution fleecing the poor. Those were tougher times than now, and he was executed a week later.
The Church does not wish to enter into the technical issues behind the current economic crisis, but remains within the ambit of her religious and ethical functions. Thus she highlights not just the moral causes of the crisis but, more specifically, the ideological causes. Old ideologies have been replaced by new ones, "neo-liberalist, neo-utilitarian, and technocratic which, by reducing the common good to economic, financial and technical questions, place the future of democratic institutions themselves at risk".
According to the latest census of Catholic schools published by the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales (CES) the overall percentage of Catholic pupils in Catholic state schools fell to little more than 70 per cent last year. In Catholic sixth-form colleges the figure was closer to half.
“The Catholicity of our schools is not defined by the religious backgrounds of the children they take in, but by what they have to offer children,” said Mr Mannix. “[Catholic schools] are one of our most important tools for evangelisation. They can show children the good things Catholicism has to offer.”