News & Blog

Human Rights and Democracy

Human Rights and Democracy Foreign Secretary William Hague launches Human Rights and Democracy: The 2011 Foreign & Commonwealth Report. London, 30 April 2012. On 30 April the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, launched the FCO’s Annual Human Rights and Democracy Report for 2011. This is one of the British Government’s major annual human rights events, highlighting our global human rights priorities. It is intended to increase awareness of the UK’s role in promoting human rights worldwide, as well as to influence countries to take more concrete steps towards upholding and maintaining international human rights obligations. It details the successes there have been, and the challenges that remain. The report highlights 28 featured countries of concern. This is not an exhaustive list, but they are amongst those countries where we have the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns.  And the report...

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Seventh Anniversary of the Election of Pope Benedict XVI

Seventh Anniversary of the Election of Pope Benedict XVI    The Bishops of England and Wales have extended their “warmest congratulations” to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as he recently marked both the seventh anniversary of his pontificate and his 85th birthday. Meeting in plenary at Hinsley Hall in Leeds, 23 April, the Bishops also offered their prayers for the Successor of St Peter: Your Holiness, At our meeting on 23 April 2012, the Solemnity of St George, we the members of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales wish to convey to you our warmest congratulations on the recent occasions of your 85th Birthday and the Seventh Anniversary of your Election as Supreme Pontiff. We assure you of our love and we pray that Almighty God will grant you unfailing strength in the exercise of your ministry as...

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Statement: Catholic Education Service on marriage

Statement: Catholic Education Service on marriage     The Archbishops’ letter was circulated to all Catholic parishes and secondary schools. The letter is a positive affirmation of marriage, as is the Coalition for Marriage’s online petition. As the letter says, Catholics believe that “marriage is a high and noble vocation”. We reject the suggestion that Catholic schools have acted illegally. The Equality Act 2010 applies to all schools and we are fully supportive of the Act. It is central to Catholic teaching that all individuals should be treated with respect and dignity. Catholic state schools have always been permitted by law to teach matters relating to sex and relationships education, including the importance of marriage, in accordance with the teaching of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church’s view on the importance of marriage is a religious view, not a...

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National Vocations Framework

National Vocations Framework     A three-year vision for encouraging Catholic vocations in England and Wales has been released by the National Office for Vocation. The ‘National Vocations Framework’ is the practical expression of the Bishops’ desire to “proclaim the universal call to holiness in Christ by promoting a culture of vocation.”1 It takes to a new level the culture of vocation that has been developing in recent years. The desired outcome is for more people to be actively discerning how to respond to the call of Christ by, for example, every deanery or equivalent area having at least one discernment group. This will naturally lead to more people responding to a particular call, including vocations to the priesthood and the religious life. In essence, the Framework invites those who have been called to call others. This involves outreach...

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Sikhs honoured by Catholics

Sikhs honoured by Catholics   Birmingham sits at the heart of  England. It was the home of Cardinal Newman for many years. And it is also the home of many different faith communities, one ofBritain’s most racially and religiously diverse cities. Inter-religious dialogue is therefore a crucial aspect of Birmingham’s civic, social, cultural and political existence. One of the most successful inter-religious initiatives of recent years is the Birmingham Faith Leaders Group, whose Co-Presidents include the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, the Right Reverend David Urquhart, Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, and Major Samuel Edgar, Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army in the West Midlands. The close relationship between faith leaders was symbolised at a ceremony on Sunday 22 April in Birmingham when Sikh community leader Bhai Sahib Bhai Dr Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia was invested by Archbishop...

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    ARE YOU AGED 13-21 AND THINKING ABOUT THE PRIESTHOOD ? On Sunday 6 May the Liverpool Archdiocesan Vocations Team will be holding its monthly discernment meeting at St Mary’s, Lowe House, St Helens. The meeting begins at 5.00pm, and after we go into Church for the monthly Youth Alive Mass. If you would like to attend this event or would like more information please contact: Fr James Preston on 0151 489 1296   See also:               ...

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The Order of Preachers

  The Order of Preachers   Dominican Co-operator Brother What’s a Brother? Co-operator Brothers are men whose love for God and desire to serve the Church has led them to seek to live as vowed Religious. They are freed by the vow of poverty to give what they have to others; freed by the vow of obedience to do what the Church, through the Order, asks of them; and freed by the vow of chastity to love all those they encounter. With the support of their community of fellow Dominicans, they go about their prayer, study, ministry and preaching with joyful hearts. And though they are not priests, their lives are rooted in the sacramental life of the Church. “How can God’s love survive in a man who has enough of this world’s goods yet closes his...

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Merseyside churches assist asylum seekers

  Liverpool Cathedral launches online directory to help Merseyside churches assist asylum seekers   Liverpool Cathedral has launched a new online directory,   to help Merseyside churches assist asylum seekers. The directory, which has been supported by a Church Urban Fund grant, points churches to local and national organisations that can assist asylum seekers with both practical and emotional support. Richard White, Canon for Mission and Evangelism at Liverpool Cathedral and who has overseen the project said, “Churches have long associations as places of safety and sanctuary, so they are often one of the first places asylum seekers will go to for security and support. However, churches often don’t know how best to respond to people’s needs. Many churches can feel powerless because they don’t know where to turn.” Richard continues, “There is a lot of help out there,...

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Westminster Cathedral opens toilet facilties for visitors

  Westminster Cathedral opens toilet facilties for visitors   Westminster Cathedral has opened a toilet block with disabled access,  in response to many requests from visitors. This will be the first time in the Cathedral’s history that street level washrooms, which include a baby-changing room, have been made available to the public. Until now, there has only been one loo for visitors – at the back of the small cafe, which is at the bottom of a  narrow spiral staircase. The building has been built on the former car park on Morpeth Terrace. The facilities will be accessible from inside the Cathedral, during the building’s opening hours.   Special attention had to be paid to the materials used in construction. The Historic Churches Committee ruled that the bricks for building the toilet block had to match the 12.5 million...

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