Culture and Society

Many people find themselves over-extended and unable to give their best to all the various calls on their time.  They are often advised that the reason for this tension in their life is because of failure to set clear priorities and be faithful to them;  and that this sloppy indecisiveness is unfair to everyone on every side. If I am over-extended, it’s a fault in my life, which I have to correct.But is it really that simple? Are we really meant to have this much control of over our...
          The single, most often quoted line from Pope Francis perhaps,  is his reply to a question he was asked vis-à-vis the morality of a particularly sensitive issue: ‘Who am I to judge?’  This remark might seem evasive or less-than-serious.  In fact it is on safe ground.  Jesus says that ‘God did not send the Son into the world to condemn it, (but so that the world might be saved through him).’ John 3.17That doesn’t mean...
A thinly veiled piece of climate alarmist propaganda.  A groundbreaking exposition of Catholic ecological thinking.  Well intentioned but economically naïve.  A slippery slope towards extremist environmentalist positions.Such are the reactions to Pope Francis’s ecology encyclical — and it hasn’t even been published yet.  Nevertheless Vatican sources have confirmed that the encyclical will appear sometime this month.  It is reported that it will bear the title “Laudato...
         Nature is evolutionary, and in that we can see a wisdom which clearly shows intelligence, intent, spirit, and design. And perhaps nowhere is this more evident than how in the process of evolution we see nature becoming ever more unified, complex, and conscious.How God’s intelligence and intent are reflected in that however, is not always evident because nature can be brutal. In order to survive, many elements in nature have to eat some other...
At the second Jesuit Parishes Conference in February 2014, the delegates from each of the ten Jesuit  parishes in Britain were challenged by the Jesuit Provincial, Fr Dermot Preston SJ to return to their parishes and make them into thriving centres of Ignatian Spirituality.When our delegates returned from the Conference, and started planning to create our thriving centre for Ignatian Spirituality, they were building on strong foundations. A few years ago Evelyn Maloret of Jersey and long a...
Pope Francis greets refugees, Centro Astalli, Italy,
The Apostleship of Prayer is the Pope’s own prayer-group. Here is the first of two intentions he asks us to pray in the month of June, 2015.That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.Few have been unaware of the shocking news coming from the Mediterranean in recent months of so many thousands of desperate migrants rescued from the open sea. Yet they were the fortunate ones; many more have lost their lives in horrifying circumstances, drowning...
Young man raises fist along with many people in a square in El Salvador
The celebrations for the Beatification of Archbishop Oscar Romero lasted three days, officially, although the people of San Salvador are still celebrating.On Friday 22nd May, I spent a long day preparing the bloodstained shirt which Romero was wearing when he was murdered (see below), and then placed it in the newly made reliquary. This was a lengthy and complicated piece of conservation, as the shirt is fragile and the bloodstains have made the fabric brittle. I made a cushion out of...
Blessed Oscar Romero
On Monday 24 March 1980 at 6.26pm, Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot dead at the altar with a single marksman’s bullet in the middle of a Mass he was celebrating in the chapel of the cancer hospital where he lived.The next day an urgent telegram was received from London: “Supreme sacrifice of Archbishop Romero is climax of his peaceful struggle for poor and oppressed.  Will inspire all to continue his Christian witness.  Grieve with Church of El Salvador on loss of incomparable pastor....
One of the most consoling texts of the Hebrew scriptures is the Book of Job, which concerns itself with the theme of why bad things happen to good people - a question to which, intriguingly, it refuses to offer up simple, faith-based answers. The point of the Book of Job is his ultimate recognition of the inscrutable mystery of God's ways and in his penitent recognition of God's sovereignty.  While he cavils at God's providential ordering of men's affairs and beats his fists in vain...
Dancers at the 2015 migrants' mass at St George's Cathedral, Southwark
Jo Siedlecka from Independent Catholic News shares her experience of this year's Migrants Mass at Southwark Cathedral.There was a sea of colourful banners, flags and parasols at St George's Cathedral, Southwark on Monday as an international congregation of more than 1,500 people, many in their national dress, processed in for the annual Migrants Mass celebrating the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.Organised by London's three Catholic dioceses: Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster, with the ethnic...

Pages