Pope Francis commends Bethlehem song

There will be no Christmas tree or traditional festivities in the place of Jesus Christ’s birth this year in response to the thousands killed in the conflict in the Holy Land. Instead, the focus in the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square in Bethlehem will be on praying for peace.

One Bethlehem resident, Youstina Safar, a student at Bethlehem University, has collaborated with the London-based band Ooberfuse to deliver a powerful message through their Christmas song, Hear Angels Cry. The song resonates with the belief that hope for a better future, born in the hearts of humanity. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has not only heard about the song, but has sent a message to Cardinal Vincent Nichols commending it for drawing attention to “the sublime significance of the city where Jesus Christ was born.” Read more.

Environment Bishop: “There is no option but for COP28 to succeed”

As the COP28 climate summit gets under way, the Lead Bishop for Environmental Issues, Bishop John Arnold, has reiterated his call for the nations of the world to act:

“Whilst the extreme heat of last summer may be a distant memory for many of us, huge numbers of people around the world have had their lives devastated by climate disasters in the last year or so. Given that the impacts of climate change will only worsen, there is no option but for COP28 to succeed.”

Read more.

Bishop wants shrine to be beacon of hope and healing for women

Bishop Peter Brignall, Bishop of Wrexham, wants the newly-elevated St Winefride’s Shrine, now a national shrine, to be a beacon of hope and healing for women who have suffered from violence and abuse in parallel with the experiences of the saint herself. Read more.

Catholic News
Catholic News
Bishop of Wrexham celebrates Shrine’s elevation to National Status

National Tribunal Service (NTS)

The National Tribunal Service of England and Wales will enhance impartiality, transparency and consistency in the application of canon law across its jurisdiction in penal cases. Read more.

Laudate Deum

Pope Francis has released his Exhortation Laudate Deum, ‘Praise God’, to “clarify and complete” what he started in 2015 with Laudato si’.

Lead Bishop for Environmental Issues for the Bishops’ Conference, Bishop John Arnold, praises the Pope’s intervention as ‘timely’ and ‘vital’:

“I thoroughly welcome the timely and prophetic words of Pope Francis in Laudate Deum who once again implores the international community to alter the path of destruction down which we are heading.

Read more.

New Lectionary to be launched in England and Wales for Advent 2024

The Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has confirmed the approval by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales for the new Lectionary. 

The Lectionary, which includes the scripture readings for Mass and the sacraments, will come into use in Catholic parishes in England and Wales from Advent 2024.  

Cardinal Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery, wrote to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops’ Conference, confirming the new translation of the Lectionary, which has been done in collaboration with the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.  Read more.

Love the Stranger

Love the Stranger is a publication from the Department for International Affairs that presents a Catholic response to migrants and refugees. It places the human being at the heart of our pastoral outreach, looking beyond statistics and policies to the person – each with a name, a face and a story. Read more.

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#RedWednesday Praying for persecuted Christians across the world at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark