The Queen makes a groundbreaking church visit as she tours one of the towns hit hardest by Northern Ireland's Troubles. For the first time, the Queen has stepped inside a Roman Catholic church on the island of Ireland in what is being seen as a hugely symbolic moment.
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"Today we come to thank God for the sixty years of the reign of our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II. The intention of our prayer in the offering of this Mass is that God will bless her, and her family, in all that she does as our Monarch and for all that she represents in her person." The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, gave this address in Westminster Cathedral on 5 June 2012, the final day of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
For the London 2012 Olympic Games, Christian Churches in the UK have also picked up the theme of 100 days of peace around this major sporting event. It will be launched at an all night prayer vigil in London’s central Trafalgar Square on Friday June 8th by Church leaders including Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and the Anglican Bishop of London Richard Chartres.
“Commending Your Majesty and all the Royal Family to the protection of Almighty God, I renew my heartfelt good wishes on this joyful occasion and I assure you of my prayers for your continuing health and prosperity.”
Bishop Methodius Qu Ailin was ordained today, the second prelate this year to be ordained with both the Vatican’s approval and recognized by the Chinese government. The ceremony took place at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Changsha city, with Bishop Joseph Liu Xinhong of Anhui – an illicitly ordained prelate – taking part.
Father Pervez Khalid, one other senior priest and six Church workers were assaulted by a group 70 people on April 16 after entering the playground of Cardinal Cordeiro High School which has been seized by land grabbers. One parishioner in his forties was taken to hospital after receiving several heavy blows
The eighth year of the pontificate of Benedict XVI is just beginning. He was elected on 19 April 2005 at the age of 78. The Pope feels their closeness in the Communio of Saints just as he feels the friendship of so many people who pray for him every day, or even only look at him with liking, listening attentively to his words.
Dion DiMucci tells Rory Fitzgerald that a ‘sudden and brilliant’ encounter inspired him to give up heroin and embrace the faith. He says that Catholics nowadays need to try to “infiltrate the culture”. “That’s our job, I think, to infiltrate the culture.” Not, he explains, to impose, but to expose “what’s important in life and give people an opportunity to see the truth.”
More than 3,500 adults were received into the Catholic Church in England and Wales last week. They included 1,397 catechumens, who had prepared to be baptised, and 1,843 candidates, who had already baptised in another Christian tradition.
Important though it was to Mexican Catholics, Pope Benedict’s first visit to a Central American country was remarkable mainly for the stamina the 84-year-old pontiff displayed after a long and tiring journey. He made one remark that raised eyebrows, saying it was not right that the laity “should feel treated as if they hardly count in the Church”, and calling for an end to “sterile divisions, criticism and unhealthy mistrust”.
Dear young friends, I am happy to address you once more on the occasion of the 27th World Youth Day. The memory of our meeting in Madrid last August remains close to my heart. It was a time of extraordinary grace when God showered his blessings on the young people gathered from all over the world. Now we are looking forward to our next meeting in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, whose theme will be: “Go and make disciples of all nations!” (cf. Mt 28:19).
Sindh governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad had handed Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam prizes to Australian priest, Father Robert McCulloch, and an Irish nun, Sister John Berkmans Conway, for their “untiring efforts in the development of the country in the fields of education, health and promoting interfaith harmony.”
The Pope was greeted by thousands in central city of Guanajuato, and welcomed by President Felipe Calderon. Mr Calderon said the visit had enormous importance as Mexico was suffering greatly from drug-related violence. Before his arrival, the Pope said it was vital "to fight this evil" and urged the young to renounce drugs. After Mexico, he will travel to Cuba.
Reasons for the Pope's trip to Mexico and Cuba: The bicentenary of the independence of the peoples of Latin America; the Mexicans' enthusiastic desire to welcome the Pope; the twentieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Mexico and the Holy See, and the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the image of "Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre" in Cuba.
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has announced he is to stand down in December. He is stepping down and will take the position of Master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge from January 2013, his website says.
“I have worked for many years very closely with the Holy Father and I can tell you from my personal experience that he has always had, and he continues to have, a great love for the people of Ireland and a high regard for the Catholic Church in Ireland,” the Pope's representative said at his formal welcome.
In his Lenten message, Pope Benedict XVI called on the faithful to be concerned for one another and "not to remain isolated and indifferent" to the fate of others. Materialism and a sense of self-sufficiency are obstacles to a Christian life of charity, the pope said.
Catholics in British cities hosting events for the 2012 Olympic Games are being urged to show hospitality to athletes who cannot afford to stay in hotels. They are being encouraged to register with the Athlete Family Homestay Program and open their homes for eight days or more to Olympic and Paralympic competitors and their families from poor nations.
Faith Matters – the Diocese of Westminster’s Catholic Lecture Series – returns on Tuesday evenings in Lent 2012 to Westminster Cathedral Hall to address some of the Church’s key priorities identified by the Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales in their 2011 document ‘A Vision for the Church in Our Land’.
The news of the death of Father Lawrence Zhang Wenchang has sparked heated words on the popular Chinese website Tianzhujiao Zaixian (Catholic Church online). Some netizens praised Fr Zhang’s fidelity to Rome. He was arrested in 1958 and sent to prison for counter-revolutionary crimes. He received reform-through-labor in a farm from 1962-82, after which he began to visit Catholics and work part-time.