Welcome to the Year of Mark

AS you may know it is now the custom in the Catholic Church to keep the Second Sunday in Advent as Bible Sunday, an observance borrowed from the Church of England, and a day to think a bit about the place of the Bible in our lives. It’s also a

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The Divine Presence in Us

A glance at the world situation could often leave us with the feeling that, God who brought the world into existence has deserted it. The turbulent situation prevalent in the world, the refugee crisis and other events deficient in human love and respect, could call us to question the God

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The Coming of God

An odd characteristic of Advent this year, which of course only occurs every few years, is that effectively it is only three weeks. The fourth week of Advent will end shortly after it has begun and we will then fall straight into Christmas Eve. This makes some of our reflection

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Christ the King, Saviour of the World

If you go to weekday Mass now, towards the end of the Church’s liturgical year leading up to Advent, the Scripture readings day by day focus on particular themes such as the Last Judgment and martyrdom. Those from the Old Testament come from the latest books in that part of

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World Day of the Poor

THIS SUNDAY was designated earlier this year by Pope Francis as the first World Day of the Poor and it will be an annual observance on this Sunday in November. The announcement and the message were made in June on the feast of St Anthony of Padua (of whom we

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How to Get Things Wrong

Well known verses from the second chapter of the book of Isaiah (repeated in the book of Micah) are sometimes used as a canticle in the Divine Office, in Morning Prayer which we say at the beginning of Mass in our religious communities: ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares,

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(Re)Thinking Europe

LAST WEEKEND the Holy See hosted in the Vatican an important international conference entitled (Re)Thinking Europe – A Christian Contribution to the Future of the European Project. It was sponsored by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. Among those who went from here were Francis Campbell,

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The Abortion Act 1967

These are extracts from a statement issued last week by the Bishops of England and Wales and of Scotland to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Act: ‘Over the last fifty years, the bishops of our countries, along with many other people, have spoken consistently in favour of

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Commemorating the Reformation

THIS MONTH sees the five hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. At the end of October 1517 the German Augustinian monk and professor Martin Luther published his Ninety Five Theses (allegedly also nailing them to the door of a church in Wittenberg) which began his

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The Meaning of Subsidiarity

ONE of the distinctive things about Catholic Christianity is that we have something to say about virtually every moral or political issue in the world. Back at the end of 1996 in their teaching document The Common Good our bishops in this country memorably wrote, ‘Nothing is beyond the scope

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