05/05/2015 4:00 pm

Archbishop of Birmingham presents Pope Francis with an icon of St Thomas of Canterbury – a witness to persecuted Christians

At a meeting between Pope Francis and members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) on Thursday, the Catholic Co-Chair of ARCIC III, Archbishop Bernard Longley, presented the Holy Father with an icon of St Thomas of Canterbury. The Saint’s “self-sacrificing love of Christ is honoured and commemorated in both our traditions,” the Archbishop said. “His witness reminds us of all those, from many different Christian traditions, who continue to suffer for Christ today. May their "ecumenism of blood" bear fruit for the peace of the world.” 

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05/05/2015 12:45 pm

Archbishop: Migrants are often "the exploited, the rejected and the vulnerable"

Archbishop Peter Smith, Vice President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, has defended the human dignity of migrants and their right to migrate "so that they are enabled to find peace, security and hope for a better life and the opportunity to realise their God-given potential."

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02/05/2015 10:06 pm

Bishops congratulate Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their daughter

On behalf of the Bishops of England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has written to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to congratulate them on the birth of their daughter, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. "The birth of the new Princess will be a source of joy not only for the Royal Family but for the peoples of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and beyond," the Cardinal wrote. " I assure Your Royal Highnesses of the prayers and best wishes of the Catholic Church in England and Wales for your new family member."

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02/05/2015 9:43 pm

Cardinal condemns the murder of 'peace-loving' Yazidis by ISIS militants

As many as 300 Yazidis held captive by Daesh - ISIS - in Iraq have been murdered by the militant group in a region west of Mosul according to Yazidi and Iraqi officials. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, has condemned the killings.

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01/05/2015 9:00 am

Cardinal invites every parish to join new national network of prayer for evangelisation

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has made a video appeal to Catholic parishes across England and Wales to join, on 11 July this year, a new national network of prayer for the work of evangelisation. The July date is significant because it is the same day that representatives from across England and Wales will gather in Birmingham for the Proclaim ’15: National Catholic Evangelisation Conference, which is the first event of its kind in a generation.

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30/04/2015 8:30 am

Bishops' Plenary Meeting April 2015

Last week the Bishops of England and Wales met in Rome for a week of reflection and discussion. In addition to the Bishops’ own reflections, there were a number of talks and news items to communicate. 

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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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