News & Blog

Defending freedom of religion or belief worldwide

  Defending freedom of religion or belief worldwide     FCO Minister Baroness Warsi chairs a meeting of the FCO Advisory Group on freedom of religion or belief in London, 25 March 2014. Earlier this week, the Senior Minister of State and Minister for Faith, Baroness Warsi, held the first meeting of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Advisory Group on freedom of religion and belief. The group usefully supplements the FCO’s regular dialogues with religious leaders by bringing together lay experts from a wide spectrum of faiths (and none, as freedom not to believe must also be protected) that will advise FCO Ministers and staff on how to build on the active approach we are already taking to promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide. One of the members of the group is...

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Father Andrés Taborda, SSS, witnesses a ‘theft’

Blessed Sacrament Father Andrés Taborda was in the crypt when the Pope took the little rosary cross from the hands of his deceased confessor. He is the only witness By Andrea Tornielli, Vatican City  “I am the only one who witnessed Bergoglio’s small “theft”, when he took the rosary from Fr. Aristi’s coffin…” Fr. Andrés Taborda is a Blessed Sacrament Father of Argentinean origin who lives in Rome. He spent a number of years serving in the Basilica of the Most Blessed Sacrament of Buenos Aires, where José Ramón Aristi had spent a lifetime living and confessing people. In April 1996 Francis removed the small cross from a rosary the confessor was holding in his coffin. Since then, it has been with Francis everywhere he goes.   The Pope told this story to Rome’s parish priests last 6 march,...

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Twiplomacy and the Communicator Pope

Twiplomacy and the Communicator Pope Nigel Baker, British Ambassador to the Holy See Modern diplomats, and modern Popes, are in the communications business. It remains right that there are still some government activities that are conducted behind the scenes, in confidence, with discretion, without fanfare. But modern diplomats must also persuade, which means delivering a convincing message, sometimes to the broadest possible audience, including on twitter and other social media (the rather ugly neologism is “twiplomacy”). And that is one thing we share with Church leaders. Pope Francis dedicated a large part of his Apostolic Letter Evangelii Guadium to the importance of communication. “Positive preaching”, he wrote, is essential to evangelisation. And “the message has to concentrate on the essentials”. The best of social media forces us to do just that, and it is one reason why British ambassadors...

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Date for ending musical settings of former Roman Missal

Bishops of England & Wales fix date for ending use of musical settings according to the former ‘translation’ of the Missal The Bishops of England and Wales have fixed the end date of the transitional period for implementing music in the new translation of the Roman Missal which was introduced in 2011. As from Pentecost Sunday, 8 June 2014 only settings of the Ordinary of the Mass using the new translation are permitted to be sung at Mass. Settings using the previous translation or paraphrased texts may no longer be used in our parishes, schools and communities.     Download Singing the Mass Singing.pdf 447.51 kB A resource to help Parishes and Schools deal with the end of the transitional period for implementing music in the new translation of the Roman Missal.     More information For more information visit...

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International Symposium on Church Goods

International Symposium on Church Goods   The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (= CIVCSVA) promoted the first initiative in the year dedicated to “Consecrated Life”. It was an International Symposium on the ‘Management of Ecclesiastical Goods in Service of the Humanum and Mission of the Church”, held in the Antonianum Auditorium in Rome on March 8 and 9, 2014, divided into four sessions and the Conclusion. The first session, moderated by Br. Sebastiano Paciolla, sub-secretary of CIVCSVA, opened with an address by the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation, João Braz de Aviz; it was followed by the speech of Bishop José R. Carballo, Secretary of the CIVCSVA on the Administration and Management of Ecclesiastical Goods of both IVC and SVA at the Service of the Humanum and Mission in the Church. Ecclesiological Lines....

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Russia defies the Pope, and the world, on Ukraine

Russia defies the Pope, and the world, on Ukraine When Pope Francis spoke about Ukraine at the Sunday Angelus on 2 March, he called for all Ukrainians to overcome misunderstandings and to build the future of the nation together and made “a heartfelt appeal to the international community to support every initiative on behalf of dialogue and concord”. Regrettably, there is one country in the international community that appears to have no intention of promoting dialogue and concord. That country, Russia, has just promoted a referendum in the Crimea – part of Ukraine – in breach of the Ukrainian constitution and in defiance of calls by the international community for restraint. As the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said after the referendum took place: “The United Kingdom in common with the rest of the European Union will not recognise the...

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So that Christians may be one

So that Christians may be one · The motto and logo of Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land ·   [left] The logo and the motto for Pope Francis’ pilgrimage in Holy Land.   The leaders of the Catholic communities in Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Cyprus have chosen the logo and the motto for Pope Francis’ pilgrimage, dated for May 24-26 this year. The theme ‘So that they may be one’ was picked at the meeting of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land (AOCTS), held March 11-12 in city of Tiberius on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Pontiff’s forthcoming meeting with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and the heads of the Churches in Jerusalem is at the very core of his trip to the Holy Land. Much of the...

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Papal Message on Symposium on Ecclesiastical Goods

MESSAGE OF POPE FRANCIS TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE MANAGEMENT OF ECCLESIASTICAL GOODS   Pontifical Antonianum University, 8-9 March 2014 To the Venerable Brother Cardinal João Braz de Aviz Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life   I cordially greet you and all the participants attending the International Symposium on the theme: “The management of the ecclesiastical goods of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, at the service of the humanum and of mission in the Church”.   Our age is characterized by significant changes and developments in various fields, with important consequences for the life of mankind. Despite having reduced poverty, the goals attained have oftentimes contributed to building an economy of exclusion and inequality: “Today everything is regulated by the laws of competition...

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What do governments talk to the Holy See about?

What do governments talk to the Holy See about? Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson I hope that regular readers of this blog will already know the answer to this question. As Ambassador to the Holy See, I find myself engaging with the Holy See on a wide range of issues covering British foreign policy priorities and Holy See concerns, across our respective global networks. Perhaps a couple of examples from this week, during which we have two senior official visitors in town,  will help to illustrate this in greater detail? First, we have the visit of our Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign Office, Hugh Robertson MP. Mr Robertson will make a number of calls, including on the Secretariat of State, the Congregation for Eastern Churches (which looks after those churches of Eastern rite in...

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