Wednesday 26 December 2007
Monday 24 December 2007
However, beyond the sensationalism of the Headlines, that Britain is now Catholic, lies another reality: the reality of pagan Britain. These religious statistics reveal that proportionally the number of Christians in the country is very small in a society whose predominant culture is antithetical to the Gospel, a culture marked by consumerism, alcohol and drugs poisoning, pornography, chav, gay, violence, and the culture of death, and a mass media which operates at an IQ level of 14 and which is utterly opposed to the Gospel. Indeed, in choosing to give up the Gospel our country is reverting to its original indigenous state, adopting cultures which are virtually impossible to evangelise, as we are experiencing. What’s more, those who are the forefront of evangelisation today are neither the Catholics nor the Anglicans, but the Evangelicals – they are doing our work for us!
Last week’s headline statistics put one in mind of the first evangelisation of our country which was carried out, after the long brutal centuries of the ‘Dark Ages’, largely by celibate Cistercian monks. These monastic communities gradually first civilised, brought order, then evangelised and baptised the peoples of this country. It was a task which took hundreds of years and which brought spiritual, material, social and political benefits. It is that same task which we must begin again, except that today, this task is being experienced as a new Pentecost and is rightly called the New Evangelisation.
Saturday 22 December 2007
Friday 21 December 2007
Saturday 15 December 2007
Sunday 9 December 2007
Friday 7 December 2007
In the twentieth century great efforts were made to stop people believing, to make them reject Christ. Towards the end of the century, the end of the millenium, those destructive forces were weakened, yet they left a trail of devastation behind them. I am speaking of a devastation of consciences, with ruinous consequences in the moral sphere, affecting personal and social morality and the mores of family life. Pastors of souls, who engage every day with the spiritual lives of their flocks, know this better than anyone. When I have occasion to speak with them, I often hear disturbing admissions. Sadly, one could describe Europe at the dawn of the new millenium as a continent of devastation. Political programmes, aimed principally at economic development, are not enough to heal the wounds of this nature. On the contrary, they could even make them worse. Here an enormous task opens up for the Church. The evangelical harvest in today's world is great indeed. We have only to ask insistently, that he send labourers for this harvest, ready and waiting to be reaped.
We need to give our lives to Christ and follow him. No one else will do. He will help us build. That's how it happened before in Europe and that is how it will happen again.
Thursday 6 December 2007
Virgin has put its finger on it - the absence of civilisation. Anti-civilisation is the new Yule! (Oliver Cromwell, here we go!)There'll be ice and snow but the absence of civilisation in Antarctica means you won'tbe subjected to any Christmas merriment there, besides whatever celebrations your fellow cruise passengers arrange...
I'd welcome any suggestions or discussion about how Christain families can avoid the Yule but celebrate the Feast.To the family is entrusted the task of striving, first and foremost, to unleash the forces of good, the source of which is found in Christ the Redeemer of man. Every family needs to make these forces their own so that ... the family will be strong with the strength of God.
Tuesday 4 December 2007
Saturday 1 December 2007
Thursday 29 November 2007
Thursday 22 November 2007
Wednesday 21 November 2007
Saturday 17 November 2007
Friday 16 November 2007
A report in the Huddersfield local newspaper the othe day told how vandals had covered an Anglican church with anti-Christian graffiti.
White painted slogans reading 'Lucifer is rising', 'the Anti-Christ is coming', and a range of swear words have been daubed on the outer stone walls of St Augustine's Church on Busker Lane. Signs linked with the Devil, including pentagrams and the number 666, were also included in the graffiti, which covered the walls, pathways, the church steps and vestry door and some of the stained glass windows. The graffiti is thought to have been written overnight on Friday and was discovered by ashocked resident who was passing through the churchyard early on Saturday morning. Churchgoers had to face the offensive messages when attending the Remembrance Day service on Sunday. Churchwarden Sandra Firth said people were shocked and disgusted by the graffiti and fear it could cost large amounts of money to remove. She said: 'It is just awful and very upsetting, especially as people had to see it on Remembrance Sunday. The church is absolutely covered and the words are quite nasty. It is going to be hard to shift.' Mrs Firth said she is hoping people will come forward with information about the culprit. She said: 'We have had graffiti before but we have never had it as bad as this. 'We used to have kids doing graffiti with marker pens but nothing like this. It seems very specific. I can't understand why anyone would want to go out on a cold night and do this.'
Why Huddersfield have you embraced the culture of death? Why have you taken to yourself a culture of alcohol, drugs and endemic prostitution? Why do you not choose the Culture of Life?
Thursday 15 November 2007
The recent retreat for Diocesan Priests in Ars attracted fifteen priests who travelled out to Ars near Lyon in France for five days of retreat led by Mgr Francis Frost and priests of the Societe Jean Vianney. The retreat was titled "The Priest: brother, father, spouse" and focussed on the three relationships which the priest has with the Church, relationships which have come from the Heart of Christ as he gave the Priesthood to the Church.
Our retreat took place in the Foyer Sacerdotale Jean-Paul II in Ars, which is also the seminary of the Society. We were welcomed there by members of the Society and indeed, by the Cure d'Ars himself, who has inspired the creation of a whole priestly movement in Ars. This house is tangibily seeking the renewal of the Diocesan Priesthood.
In the group photo above, together with the fifteen UK priests, are Mgr Francis Frost and Elizabeth, a lay member of the Society who is at the heart of the running of the Foyer. This retreat has, I think, touched all the partcipants deeply as priests, and such a great grace may inspire all sorts of good things in the Church in the UK. I'll post on some of the themes which were addressed during the retreat. And, just in case you could not make this retreat, there will be more!
Tuesday 13 November 2007
Sunday 11 November 2007
Saturday 3 November 2007
Friday 2 November 2007
1. That in England the free use and exercise of our holy Catholic faith shall be permitted to all catholics, native and foreign, and that the exiles shall return.2. That all places in my Netherlands which the English hold shall be restored to me.3. That the English shall recompense me for the injury thay have done to me, my dominions, and my subjects; which will ammount to an exceedingly great sum. (This third pount may be dropped; you may use it as a lever to obtain the other two.)Its very unclear how things would have turned out had the Armada been sucessful.
Thursday 1 November 2007
Benedict XVI continued, "This overwhelming sentiment of joy is not something light and superficial; it is a sensation achieved through struggle" because "silent solitude [...] had taught Beethoven a new way of listening that went well beyond a simple capacity to experience in his imagination the sound of notes read or written." This was akin to "the perceptivity given as a gift by God to people who obtain the grace of interior or exterior liberation."
Monday 29 October 2007
I don't know of a house in this land where our martyrs would have been more honoured than in the English College Valladolid this year. The chapel was decorated to honour the six canonised, thirteen beatified and one venerable, martyrs of the College during the Penal days. Their relics and their images lay before the altar during all the liturgies. Before High Mass, the relics were venerated and carried in procession through the college in which they had trained, and from which they left to return to the Mission in England and Wales.
Sunday 28 October 2007
Thursday 18 October 2007
Wednesday 17 October 2007
Monday 15 October 2007
Sunday 14 October 2007
Wednesday 10 October 2007
Sunday 7 October 2007
Sunday 30 September 2007
Thursday 27 September 2007
Monday 24 September 2007
"My comments on the Human Cloning Bill were derived from the conviction that Parliamentarians who legislate for the destruction of human life (in any circumstances and especially in this case where no cures from human embryos have been effected during many years of research) are acting in a way that departs from the principles of both the natural law known through human reason alone and Christian teaching. The natural law principles and the teaching in question are that human life should be accorded the full protection of the law without regard to race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, condition of dependency or stage of development. I put forward this moral argument as a contribution to the public debate because it is rational, an argument open to acceptance by all people of no religion and any religion. I was not asserting some supernatural dogma beyond human reason and seeking to impose it on the general community. It would be a sad day for Australia if only members of the Christian majority accepted the unique dignity of the human person. But this is not the case. Defenders of human life -- from conception to natural birth -- come from every section of the Australian population.As a Catholic archbishop I am also charged with ensuring that Catholics know the moral teaching of the Church. The Church's teaching on cloning states that the cloning of a human being is wrong and cannot be justified by any known or imagined effects. The Church also teaches that destructive experimentation on embryonic human beings -- cloned or otherwise -- is an intrinsically evil act, because experimentation involves their dismemberment and therefore mutilation and death."
In taking this position Cardinal Pell has thrown much light on the relationship of the Church and society - if only we had had such a reasonable King and Queen and Parliament in the UK in the 1500's! Nonetheless, Cardinal Pell has done a great work in expressing the vocations of a Catholic Bishop and of a Catholic in today's world. He has challenged, correctly and courageously, Australian society, represented by its Parliament, and he has thrown essential light upon the Cloning issue - light which otherwise would have been missing from the debate. All can see more clearly now. What a great leader he is!