Daily Archives: September 18, 2010

David Cameron (The Tablet)–The Place of faith in British life

Cardinal Newman was one of the greatest Englishmen, not just of his own times, but of any times. Like other courageous men and women of faith, he believed passionately that we should follow our consciences. Many, too many, have died for that same cause. In Britain, their numbers have included both Protestant and Catholic martyrs, such as Thomas More, whose trial took place in Westminster Hall, where the Pope will address representatives of civil society from across our country.

At the end of his historic visit to Britain this week, Pope Benedict XVI will beatify the cardinal during Mass in a Birmingham park where the cardinal used to take his recreation during his years as a simple parish priest in that great industrial city. It will be a moving climax to the first official visit ever made to Britain by a pope.
I use the word “historic” for this visit. That can often be an overworked cliché. But on this occasion it is wholly accurate. That is why television channels around the world will be covering every moment of the four days he spends with us.

As Britain’s Prime Minister, I welcome the fact that my predecessors first invited the Pope to visit this country and I am delighted that he accepted that invitation and the one he received from Her Majesty the Queen. He comes here as a head of state and leader of a Church with more than six million members in Britain and almost 1.2 billion around the world. Like other faith groups, the Catholic Church proclaims a message of peace and justice to the world and we work closely with it in the furtherance of these causes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Notable and Quotable

At the very start of my pontificate I said, “Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary” (Homily at the Mass for the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, 24 April 2005). Life is a unique gift, at every stage from conception until natural death, and it is God’s alone to give and to take. One may enjoy good health in old age; but equally Christians should not be afraid to share in the suffering of Christ, if God wills that we struggle with infirmity. My predecessor, the late Pope John Paul, suffered very publicly during the last years of his life. It was clear to all of us that he did so in union with the sufferings of our Saviour. His cheerfulness and forbearance as he faced his final days were a remarkable and moving example to all of us who have to carry the burden of advancing years.

–Pope Benedict XVI earlier today in his visit to St Peter’s Residence home for older people

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

From the BBC Live Coverage Blog–Richard Dawkins chimes in

Found here:

In Whitehall, the protest march speeches are continuing. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins tells the crowd: “Joseph Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity”. But the BBC’s Daniel Boettcher says some participants have started to drift away.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

The U.K. Papal Visit Live Webcast

I received a number of inquiries about this. Here is one resource that has worked well for me (so far).

There are also a lot of pictures there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Google’s Chief on Social, Mobile and Conflict

Lately, stories about Google often seem to be stories about conflict ”” Google knocking heads with China or the Justice Department or Facebook.

For Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, that is a good sign. “This is winning,” he said this week, speaking to a group of reporters at Google’s Zeitgeist conference in Arizona. “If we were losing, we would not have these problems.”

Mr. Schmidt gave a few updates on those conflicts and rivalries, as well as some others. Expect to see social tools from Google this fall, he said, but do not expect a brand new social network. Instead, Google will add social components to its core products.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Science & Technology

John Allen (NC Reporter): Benedict's in a box in talking about the crisis

The dilemma Benedict XVI will have to face is whether to keep talking about the crisis every time he travels, and if he does, how to do it in a way that’s constructive.

When Pope Benedict XVI tackled the crisis aboard the papal plane to the United States in 2008, saying he was “deeply ashamed” and that “we will do what is possible so this cannot happen again in the future,” it was big news. The pope raised the crisis four other times during his trip, earning credit for candor.

A Gallup poll after the trip found that two-thirds of Americans said it had improved their image of the Catholic church, with most citing the pope’s meeting with victims of sexual abuse and his words on the crisis as the trip’s most important element.

Two years later, Benedict is once again visiting an English-speaking nation, and once again he’s spoken on the crisis multiple times. He responded to a question aboard the papal plane at the outset of his trip to the United Kingdom, and again today.

What a difference two years makes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

CNS–At London Mass, Pope expresses sorrow, sense of shame over sex abuse

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his “deep sorrow” to the victims of clerical sexual abuse, saying these crimes have caused immense suffering and feelings of “shame and humiliation” throughout the church.

The pope made his remarks Sept. 18 in Westminster Cathedral, where an overflow crowd of faithful spilled out into the street for his only public Mass in London.

The 83-year-old pontiff, wearing a brilliant red chasuble, looked good on the third day of a four-day visit that featured a packed schedule of events with civil and religious leaders.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Daily Mail Comment–Pope gives Britain a lesson in candour

Over the past two days, the crowds have turned out in their hundreds of thousands to greet the Pope and celebrate his presence in Britain.

In the process, they have delivered an eloquent rebuke to the bilious hatred poured upon the Pontiff by such nauseatingly self-important individuals as Stephen Fry, who have spent the past week demonising the head of one of the world’s great religions.

If they had hoped to cow the Pope, they could not have been more wrong. For all week he has spoken with extraordinary candour.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Telegraph Leader–Pope visit: The Pope puts religion back in the spotlight

Something unexpected is happening during the papal visit to this country: the British public is listening with curiosity and genuine respect to Pope Benedict XVI. Catholics, non-Catholics and non-believers recognise that the world’s most influential spiritual leader is here to deliver a message not just to Britain but also to an international audience. The Pope is using his presence in one of Europe’s most secular countries to reach out to English speakers everywhere. His opinions ”“ expressed in prose of great clarity ”“ are uplifting, challenging or just plain wrong, depending on your point of view. But, contrary to the predictions of many commentators, they are not falling on deaf ears.

Speaking in Westminster Hall, the Pope declared that Britain’s pluralist democracy had much in common with Catholic social teaching. Both were concerned with safeguarding “the unique dignity of every human being”. Britain had demonstrated its love of freedom by abolishing the slave trade, he said. But, he implied, something had gone wrong: “There are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square.” The Pope did not directly apply this criticism to modern Britain, but no one in the distinguished audience of community leaders will have been in any doubt that he was referring to us.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Benedict XVI's Homily from the Eucharist in the Cathedral in the City of Westminster

Let us pray, then, that the Catholics of this land will become ever more conscious of their dignity as a priestly people, called to consecrate the world to God through lives of faith and holiness. And may this increase of apostolic zeal be accompanied by an outpouring of prayer for vocations to the ordained priesthood. For the more the lay apostolate grows, the more urgently the need for priests is felt; and the more the laity’s own sense of vocation is deepened, the more what is proper to the priest stands out. May many young men in this land find the strength to answer the Master’s call to the ministerial priesthood, devoting their lives, their energy and their talents to God, thus building up his people in unity and fidelity to the Gospel, especially through the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

Dear friends, in this Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood, I invite you once more to look to Christ, who leads us in our faith and brings it to perfection (cf. Heb 12:2). I ask you to unite yourselves ever more fully to the Lord, sharing in his sacrifice on the Cross and offering him that “spiritual worship” (Rom 12:1) which embraces every aspect of our lives and finds expression in our efforts to contribute to the coming of his Kingdom. I pray that, in doing so, you may join the ranks of faithful believers throughout the long Christian history of this land in building a society truly worthy of man, worthy of your nation’s highest traditions.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Edward Pentin (NCR)–The Pope's 'Astonishing' Visit to Britain

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster described the events of yesterday in which the Pope gave addresses in Westminster Hall, Westminster Abbey, and Lambeth Palace as “astonishing.”

It was the first time the Successor of Peter had ever set foot in any of these historic buildings which have been pillars of Church and State in Britain for the past two millennia.

In his first briefing of the visit to journalists today, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the welcome the Pope received at Westminster Hall and Abbey were “extraordinary”. He added that the Pope was “very impressed” by the richness of the Anglican liturgy in Westminster Abbey.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Gerald J. Russello (NCR)–The English Cardinal, the German Pope and the Universal Call

The United Kingdom today is quite a different place than in Newman’s day. Churchgoing Anglicans are few. The cultural atmosphere is one of secular hostility toward religion in general. England is in danger of completely losing its religious patrimony, which includes not just ecclesiastical riches such as the Anglican liturgical tradition and ancient Catholic places of worship, but also the secular results of that patrimony ”” the rule of law, respect for the individual, a free economic system.

Some in England seem to have forgotten that heritage. Recently, for example, the archbishop of Canterbury suggested ”” in the name of tolerance and diversity ”” that the United Kingdom would do well to allow sharia, the harshest form of Islamic law, to govern in some circumstances.

We do not hear similarly high-profile calls for a specifically Christian perspective in the administration of secular law.

Newman’s example, therefore, remains necessary. He challenged ”” as Pope Benedict XVI is doing ”” the central tenets of the modern age and did not shy away from speaking out when he found them wanting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Roman Catholic Bishop of Rhode Island Thomas Tobin–Let’s Bury the Eulogies

The point here is that the funeral liturgy is public worship for the Church ”“ with its own expectations and limitations ”“ and not primarily a memorial service for the one who has died. The homily, therefore, should focus on Jesus Christ and His saving death and resurrection, and not become a testimony ”“ as well-deserved as it might be ”“ to the deceased.

Obviously it’s fitting, even during the homily, to offer sympathy and support to the grieving community, and to say good things about the deceased, to highlight their positive virtues and contributions. But that personal tribute should never be the primary focus of the homily.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edward Bouverie Pusey

Grant unto us, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant Edward Bouverie Pusey, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what thou givest us to do, and endure what thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

We give thanks to thee, O God; we give thanks; we call on thy name and recount thy wondrous deeds.

–Psalm 75:1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture