23/04/2015 12:01 am

Nuns on the Rise

The number of women entering convents in England and Wales has hit a 25-year high. From a low point of just seven in 2004, the numbers have steadily increased to a high point of 45 in 2014. Religious life is an attractive choice for an increasing number of educated and dynamic young and older women. 

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21/04/2015 9:00 am

Bishop Campbell establishes two Personal Parishes for the Syro-Malabar Church in the Diocese of Lancaster

Bishop Michael Campbell has, after consultation with the Diocesan Council of Priests, responded to the request (made in January 2015) of the Major-Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, Cardinal George Alencherry and has, by canonical decree, established two Personal Parishes for the Syro-Malabar Church, effective from 23 March 2015, with Fr Mathew Jacob as Parish Priest.

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20/04/2015 7:06 pm

Bishop Declan Lang on the atrocity committed against Ethiopian Christians in Libya

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Bishops' International Affairs department, has prayed for the 30 Ethiopian Christians apparently murdered by Daesh in Libya and said, in a statement, that the Christian faith "encourages us to stand in solidarity with all those vulnerable peoples and communities across the MENA region that spurn merciless and ungodly ideologies." 

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20/04/2015 4:45 pm

Statement on the Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

Responding to the loss of several hundred lives after a vessel carrying 700 migrants capsized in Libyan waters south of Lampedusa on 19 April, Bishop Patrick Lynch, Bishop for Migrants, called on European Union member states to 'work collaboratively' to find a solution to these humanitarian disasters. 

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17/04/2015 4:45 pm

Bishop asks, “is God calling fewer people" as he invites diocese to 'storm heaven' for vocations

In a Pastoral Letter to be read in all the churches of the Diocese on the weekend of 25/26 April, the Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth, challenges all in the Diocese to promote priestly vocations. Bishop Mark notes: “Is God calling fewer people? I think not. God is still calling; but many are not able to discern His call. When a vocation goes unanswered it is not only a sadness for the one who does not respond, but also a sadness for the entire Church which has just lost another priest. God, in His loving Providence, gives to the Church all the gifts she needs. The challenge today is not a lack of vocations, but rather a lack of responses.”

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13/04/2015 3:00 pm

Cardinal Nichols: Erbil's displaced refugees 'need our help'

The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has travelled to Erbil, the capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, to meet displaced Christians living in makeshift camps who have sought refuge from ISIS violence. They were driven out of their homes with little more than three hours notice. Then, at check points, they were robbed of anything of value. A fifty mile trek brought them to the relative safety of Erbil.

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13/04/2015 9:28 am

Cardinal: Much more needs to be done to help refugees in Iraq

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has praised the Catholic community in Erbil, Iraq, for the 'admirable and effective' welcome given to thousands of people displaced by instability and fighting in the region. 

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08/04/2015 8:45 am

Bishop Declan Lang: Delight at the Cremisan Valley Final Judgement

I am delighted that the High Court of Justice in Israel ruled on Maundy Thursday that the extension of the separation wall through the Cremisan valley “violated the rights” of the people of Beit Jala. The proposed wall through the Cremisan valley threatened to separate the nineteenth century Salesian monasteries and a convent school. The Court has instructed the Israeli government to plan a new route, although it has set no time frame for the new plans. 

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05/04/2015 1:37 pm

Peace in Iraq and Syria the Focus of Pope's Easter Message

In his Easter message, Pope Francis, prayed that the Risen Lord would "lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence." 

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02/04/2015 6:57 pm

East is Easter

Our Middle East North Africa consultant has experienced Lent and Easter many times in the East and almost as many in the West. So, as we head towards Good Friday, Dr Harry Hagopian talks about his Holy Week experiences in Jerusalem and in the UK. 

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02/04/2015 5:04 pm

Book Now: National Scripture Conference

In November 2015, to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Vatican II Document, Dei Verbum, there will be a national Scripture conference in Manchester. The theme of the conference will be Luke’s gospel. 

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31/03/2015 5:41 pm

Middle East: Over Militarised, Over Weaponised

Why did the heads of states at the Arab League summit in Egypt agree, in principle, to a joint military force to combat crises across the Middle East North Africa region? In this short audio clip, our consultant on the MENA region, lawyer and analyst, Dr Harry Hagopian, says he isn't convinced that adding another military presence to the Middle East is a sensible or practical solution.

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30/03/2015 3:35 pm

Proclaim ’15: Sell-Out National Catholic Evangelisation Conference

The first event of its kind in living memory, a full capacity city-centre venue is preparing to welcome Cardinal Nichols, around 20 bishops, ecumenical guests and over 800 evangelisation leaders from across England and Wales, for a national event focussing on Catholic evangelisation. Proclaim ’15 is the name of a new Bishops’ Conference initiative that aims to support the building of missionary parishes through promoting prayer and offering practical resources in support of parish evangelisation. A highlight of the year will be the National Catholic Evangelisation Conference at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 11 July, for which a number of dioceses already have a waiting list.

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30/03/2015 10:12 am

Right to asylum must never be denied when people's lives are truly threatened

It was until recently fashionable to complain that immigration was never debated in politics. Now politicians seem sometimes to argue about little else. Where does the Catholic Church stand on this important policy area? As Christians, we need to pause amid a sometimes times frenzied debate, and think carefully about our response to immigration. The forthcoming general election in May provides a good reason to reflect. 

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30/03/2015 12:00 pm

Migration in the Light of Catholic Social Teaching

Archbishop Bernard Longley’s offers a moral perspective on resettlement at a Citizens UK Birmingham event held at Birmingham University. Based on the life and teachings of Jesus, the Church’s teaching has provided the basis for the development of basic principles regarding the right to migrate and the attempt to exercise a God-given human right. At the same time the root causes of migration – poverty, injustice, religious intolerance armed conflicts – must be addressed so that migrants can remain in their homeland and support their families.

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26/03/2015 5:28 pm

Seven Cathedrals Benefit from First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund

The announcement by the Chancellor earlier today of the last round of grants to cathedrals in England under the First World War Centenary Cathedrals Repairs Fund brings welcome news to seven Catholic cathedrals and 24 Church of England cathedrals.

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26/03/2015 5:08 pm

Cardinal Welcomes Modern Slavery Act 2015

Following Royal Assent being given to the Modern Slavery Bill today, Cardinal Nichols welcomed the Modern Slavery Act 2015: "I welcome the Modern Slavery Act 2015 as the Bill receives Royal Assent today. While no Act can cover everything in the serious criminal activity of human trafficking and modern slavery, which abuses vulnerable people, the enhanced support and protection for victims is particularly to be welcomed."

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26/03/2015 9:00 am

New Leader for Father Hudson Society

Andrew Quinn has been appointed as the new head of Father Hudson’s Society. Andrew has worked for Father Hudson’s Society for the last ten years, latterly as its Head of Community Projects and Development. He succeeds Tim Bradford who will retire at Easter after nearly twenty years at the Society, the last four of which, as its CEO, developing an exciting new vision for its social action work. 

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25/03/2015 3:45 pm

Pope Francis asks for prayers for the Synod on the family

On the solemnity of the Annunciation, during this Wednesday's general audience held in a rain-soaked St Peter's Square, the Pope announced to the faithful that today would be a special catechesis, a pause for prayer during his path of reflections on the family.

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24/03/2015 4:00 pm

New book looks at “hidden gem” of the North

The treasures of one of the North of England’s hidden gems are revealed in a new book to be published today. Treasures of Ushaw College presents more than 50 highlights from the collections of the former Catholic seminary on the outskirts of Durham City. The book - beautifully illustrated and with texts by leading experts – also gives an account of the architectural development of the site and an outline of the College’s history penned by historian and academic Eamon Duffy.

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