News & Blog

From blasphemers to evangelisers: The Beatles fifty years later

From blasphemers to evangelisers: The Beatles fifty years later “L’Osservatore Romano”, the Holy See’s daily newspaper praises the legendary British band which had not been popular in the Vatican in the peak years of Beatle-mania Giacomo Galeazzi Vatican City Fifty years on from their leap to fame, the Beatles still symbolise a period of great change and rebellion against all established powers, including Churches. The book “The Gospel according to the Beatles” (Claudiana), published recently by the Methodist pastor, Peter Ciaccio, is an attempt to rebuild the dialogue between the Christian faith and pop culture, that was interrupted half a century ago. A 112 page journey from Moses’ era to the present day, passing throughLiverpool. Half a century after the release of chart-topper “Love me do”, the historic Liverpudlian band’s first single, the Beatles remain the symbol of rebellion...

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Angelus: Rediscovering the Rosary in the Year of Faith

Angelus: Rediscovering the Rosary in the Year of Faith In his Angelus address, delivered at the close of Mass Sunday in St Peter’s square, Pope Benedict XVI invited the faithful worldwide to rediscover the gift of the Holy Rosary, Mary’s school of prayer.     Dear Brothers and Sisters, We now turn in prayer to Mary, whom we venerate today as Queen of the Holy Rosary. At this time, at the Shrine of Pompeii, the traditional “Supplication” is being elevated to which countless people throughout the world are joined. While we associate ourselves spiritually in this choral prayer, I would like to suggest to everyone to renew the prayer of the Rosary in the forthcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ,...

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Pope opens the Synod of Bishops

St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of Avila are now Doctors of the Church. Pope also opens the Synod of Bishops With this morning’s Mass in St. Peter’s Square, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI officially named two new Doctors of the Catholic Church. The title is given to those whose theological teachings remain relevant regardless of time. Thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, as St. Hildegard of Bingen, was officially given this title.  Through her teachings, the German nun reflects human’s natural desire to connect with God. BENEDICT XVI “Saint Hildegard of Bingen, an important female figure of the twelfth century, offered her precious contribution to the growth of the Church of her time, employing the gifts received from God and showing herself to be a woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognized spiritual authority.”...

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Benedict Appeal

Benedict Appeal   The Friends of Westminster Cathedral are raising funds for a commemorative stone to mark the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the Cathedral in 2010. We are halfway to our target and urgently need donations so that the project may be completed. The stone will be placed at the West Door where Pope Benedict made his inspiring address to the young people of Great Britain.                 Cheques should be made payable to The Friends of Westminster Cathedral and sent to The Benedict Appeal, Friends Office, Clergy House, 42 Francis Street London SW1P 1QW.   For further details of the project and to view the design please telephone Christina White on 0207 798 9059....

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PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR THE YEAR OF FAITH

  PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR THE YEAR OF FAITH      According to a decree made public today and signed by Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro and Bishop Krzysztof Nykiel, respectively penitentiary major and regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Benedict XVI will grant the faithful a Plenary Indulgence for the occasion of the Year of Faith. The indulgence will be valid from the opening of the Year on 11 October 2012 until its end on 24 November 2013.   “The day of the fiftieth anniversary of the solemn opening of Vatican Council II”, the text reads, “the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI has decreed the beginning of a Year especially dedicated to the profession of the true faith and its correct interpretation, through the reading of – or better still the pious meditation upon – the Acts of the Council and...

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A Pastoral Letter for the Year of Faith

A Pastoral Letter urges Catholics to take a full part in the Year of Faith to discover the gift of Faith     My brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,   On this coming Thursday, 11 October, the Catholic Church throughout the world begins the Year of Faith. It is called for by Pope Benedict XVI and we respond to it generously.   The Holy Father tells us that his overall objective is that through this Year of Faith we may ‘rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith’ (Porta Fidei para 1).   In particular he hopes that we will come to a deeper understanding of the truths of our faith and a renewed relationship with Jesus, Our Lord. This Year of Faith marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican...

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Looking towards the Synod

Looking towards the Synod Amidst the media frenzy over the trial of the Pope’s butler, and betting shop speculation over the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, you could be forgiven for forgetting that the coming week will see a series of significant events and milestones: the Opening of the Synod of Bishops in Rome, the formal declaration of the Year of Faith by Pope Benedict XVI, the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, and the final visit to Rome as Archbishop of Canterbury by Dr Rowan Williams. Vatican II was without doubt the most important event in the life of the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy See in the 20th century. It sent the Church in new directions, confirmed its response to tendencies already developing around it, and established a revised (and healthier) basis for...

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Shanghai Religious undergo re-education

  Shanghai Religious undergo re-education Classes thought to be official response to Bishop Ma ordination (Right: Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin at his ordination) All priests and Sisters in Shanghai diocese have been forced to attend compulsory “study classes,” which observers believe were imposed by authorities in response to Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin’s controversial ordination in July. The 45-year-old prelate quit the Catholic Patriotic Association at his ordination on July 7.  Since then, he has been in “retreat” at the Sheshan Seminary with a “certain degree of freedom,” sources say. Government-sanctioned Church authorities said his recognition seriously violated regulations in relation to Episcopal ordinations. As a result, according to sources, some 80 diocesan priests and 80 Sisters of the Our Lady of Presentation Congregation were divided into three groups to take three-days of classes at the Shanghai Institute...

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