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Posts Tagged ‘Westminster Cathedral

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Benedict XVI insisted that “the universal Church precedes the particular Churches” during his homily at Mass on Pentecost Sunday (video, full text).

Pope Benedict said that “without the Spirit the Church would exhaust its strength” at the Regina Coeli (video).

On Saturday that Pope said the global financial crisis was caused by a “lack of trust and adequate creative and dynamic solidarity for the common good”.

On Friday the Pope urged lay Catholics to be more active in the public square during a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (video, full text).

On Thursday Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I arranged for a concert to be held in honour of Pope Benedict (video, full text of papal address, Fr Federico Lombardi’s commentary).

Astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was reburied in a Polish cathedral on Saturday. Austen Ivereigh applauds.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster blessed 600 married couples at a Mass on Saturday at Westminster Cathedral.

An ecumenical jury at Cannes has awarded its top prize to a film about a massacre of French Cistercians in Algeria.

Benedict XVI has appointed the American lay canon lawyer Dr Edward Peters a Referendarius (Referendary) of the Apostolic Signatura.

John Allen takes a detailed look at the Vatican’s response to claims that it is liable for clerical sexual abuse.

Michael Sean Winters duels with Professor Robert George over a Supreme Court ruling.

Michael Liccione examines the controversy surrounding the excommunication of Sister Margaret McBride.

Tess Livingstone hails the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

Professor Nicolas Standaert considers the impact of the Chinese on the missionary Matteo Ricci.

And Lady Gaga says she would be happy to play for the Pope – minus her raunchy dancers.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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The Vatican will unveil a new worldwide zero-tolerance approach to abuse in the autumn or earlier, says Rome Reports (video).

The bishops of Malta have issued a statement on child abuse ahead of Pope Benedict’s visit on April 17 (audio).

The image of the Catholic church is virtually in ruins, one of Africa’s most senior churchmen has said.

Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times, has defended his paper’s coverage of the scandal.

Fr Federico Lombardi has denied claims that Benedict XVI blocked an investigation into Fr Maciel.

A Chinese bishop has been placed under house arrest for refusing to concelebrate Mass with a state-approved bishop.

A renewal of Christianity is desperately needed, says Catholic blogger Andrew Sullivan.

Bishop James Conley says he “learned from direct, first-hand experience that Benedict XVI is truly a man of God, a gift to the Church and a shepherd after the heart of the Good Shepherd”.

The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart criticises the Church over abuse in his characteristic style (video).

And an exhibition about the Turin Shroud will go on display at Westminster Cathedral from this Sunday.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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There was a torrent of comment on Pope Benedict XVI and the sex abuse crisis at the weekend. Here is a selection: John Allen, Fr Raymond de Souza, Fr Federico Lombardi, Richard Dawkins, Andrew M Brown, Ross Douthat, Maureen Dowd, Tim Rutton, Andrew Sullivan, India Knight, Rod Dreher, George Weigel, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Matt Taibbi, Conrad Black, Elizabeth Lev, John Hooper, Catherine Pepinster, Fr Raniero Cantalamessa, Rocco Palmo, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Michael McCarthy.

About three dozen demonstrators” held a protest outside Westminster Cathedral yesterday.

The Guardian publishes an extract from Philip Pullman’s controversial new novel, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. Insight Scoop tears it apart.

Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has given a rare television interview (video).

And Mark Oppenheimer gives the thumbs down to a new computer game based on Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Newman miracle deacon assists at Westminster Cathedral Mass

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Deacon Jack Sullivan, left, assists Archbishop Vincent Nichols at Mass in Westminster Cathedral yesterday. Mr Sullivan was healed miraculously in 2001 through the intercession of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Photo: Catholic Church (England and Wales)’s photostream

Written by Luke Coppen

November 10, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Archbishop Nichols’s Thérèse homily now on video

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The Diocese of Westminster has just posted a video of Archbishop Vincent Nichols’s powerful homily before the departure of St Therese’s relics from the Cathedral last week.

He said:

Yet Thérèse teaches us the ancient Christian message: without love all our efforts are little more than a ‘gong booming or a symbol clashing’.

She had her own way of expressing this: ‘Finally I understood that love comprises all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and all places… in a word that it is Eternal.’ Then she cried out, ‘My vocation is love…Yes, I have found my place in the Church… in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be love.’

As often as we listen to these words, well-known and inspiring as they are, we need to remember that they were written in October 1896, nine months before she died. They were written, then, at a time of anguished pain and suffering. They are not the words of a young romantic, day-dreaming of an ideal future. They are born of abandonment to God, in darkness and desolation. They are, therefore, powerful testimony to the grace of God at work in our weakness, and not to the power of a self-centred romantic imagination. They are words to shape our mission today.

These words speak directly to us today when, as a society, we struggle to understand and respond to the experience of terminal illness and approaching death. In the shortened perspectives of many, such moments are pointless and actually rob life of all its meaning. Therefore some seek the right to exercise the only solution that is within their own power: that of killing themselves and having others free to assist them to do so.

St Thérèse lived through those same moments. She too experienced suicidal thoughts of ending the pain and the overpowering sense of futility. She warned the sister who cared for her that when she had patients who were ‘a prey to violent pains’ she must not ‘leave them any medicines that are poisonous.’ She added, ‘I assure you it needs only a second when one suffers intensely to lose one’s reason. Then one would easily poison oneself.’

So Thérèse too lived the tension that many experience today, the tension between her individual, autonomous choice, on the one hand, and, on the other, the bonds which bound her to her community, to her family, to those who cared for her, to life. She argues, as we do today, that reason, in the context of our relationships, must acknowledge life as a gift and not an individual possession and, at the same time, embrace death when it comes.

Full text here.

Photo: St Thérèse’s relics are carried out of Westminster Cathedral (Catholicrelics.co.uk)

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 19, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Antony Gormley: Inspired by saints?

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By a curious coincidence, two of the biggest crowd-drawing events Britain has seen for a while both came to a close in London this week.

On Wednesday, the day before St Thérèse of Lisieux’s month-long tour of England and Wales ended at Westminster Cathedral, the performance artwork One & Other finished a mile or so away in Trafalgar Square.

The work, created by the Antony Gormley, featured 2,400 different people standing on the square’s vacant fourth plinth in hour-long shifts for 100 days.

I wonder if the work had a saintly inspiration. Gormley is a nominal Catholic who served Mass twice weekly as a boy and spent “a lot of time waiting to be told something by the Virgin Mary”.

Perhaps Gormley’s idea was inspired by the statues of saints that were a familiar sight in his youth.

(Photo: Antony Gormley pictured with Emma Burns, the last person to occupy the fourth plinth. PA Photos)

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Archbishop Nichols on the message of St Thérèse

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster speaks about the significance of St Thérèse of Lisieux in this video, which is to be shown to pilgrims at Westminster Cathedral on a giant screen as her relics are venerated this week.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm

A new bishop for the Forces

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Mgr Richard Moth, former Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark, was ordained Bishop of the Forces at Westminster Cathedral today.

You can listen to an interview with England’s newest bishop here.

Photo: Catholic Church (England and Wales)

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Written by Luke Coppen

September 29, 2009 at 6:23 pm