Saturday, 27 February 2010
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
Saturday, 20 February 2010
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Even before Mass it was obvious to those arriving that we are entering a new season. The Cathedral looks very bare: no flowers, some of the decoration removed. The starkness of Lent stands in stark contrast to the vibrancy of the Easter feast which follows.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Monday, 15 February 2010
Yesterday our own Cathedral hosted events marking the anniversary of the Archbishop's murder. Although the anniversary is still a few weeks away, it has been marked now so that it does not interfere with the liturgy of Lent. Bishop Campbell celebrated the Cathedral's main Sunday Mass, at which the Archbishop was remembered. You can read the Bishop's homily on the diocesan website: click here. After Mass Jan Graffius of Stonyhurst College, a member of the Romero Trust, gave a fascinating talk about his life and the context in which his work took place. A good crowd turned out to hear her words, as can be seen in the picture above.
Saturday, 13 February 2010
In the evening the Bishop led the Rosary and presided at Vespers. In his homily at Vespers he invited us to ask Our Lady's intercession for the Diocese, for all who are sick, and for priests. You can read the full text of the homily on the diocesan website: click here.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Monday, 8 February 2010
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Yesterday it was the turn of the Scottish bishops to meet with Pope Benedict, as their Ad Limina visit takes place. The Holy Father spoke on a number of issues, including two important challenges facing the Church at present: supporting faith schools and promoting the sanctity of human life. He also encouraged the bishops to promote vocations to the priesthood and to work effectively with lay people, and as expected he confirmed that his forthcoming UK visit would include a trip north of the border. You can see a short video summary of the Pope's address by clicking on the image above, and the full text can be found here.
Friday, 5 February 2010
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
After their audience, the Bishops posed with Pope Benedict for a souvenir photograph. You can enlarge each image by clicking on it.
If you're really keen-eyed, you might spot Bishop Campbell, second from the right on this image.
He's much more visible on this image, just a to the right of the Holy Father. All of the above images are (c) L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper, and are used with permission.
The Vatican's photographic service carries a few images of the Bishop's private audience with the Pope, which took place last Thursday. Note the map of Britain on the table - no doubt each bishop had the opportunity to show the Pope the geography of his diocese. Copies of photographs in the archive can be purchased from the service: for details, and to see other pictures, click here. (If necessary, click the option 'English Version' at the top of the page, then 'Simple Search' over on the left hand side. Typing 'Lancaster' into the 'page caption in Italian' section seems to bring up a few images of the Bishop's private meeting with His Holiness).
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
He then turned to a matter which has clearly been discussed by the Bishops during their visit: that of religious freedom. The Holy Father said, "Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs." There is a clear concern that some recent legislation has unfairly restricted religious liberty in our society.
Developing his argument, Pope Benedict spoke of the Gospel's "right to be heard" in our country: "Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth. Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them: when so many of the population claim to be Christian, how could anyone dispute the Gospel’s right to be heard?"
There was a powerful call to unity, which - the Holy Father noted - is even more important at a time when there are great challenges before us. It is important for all members of the Church to work together: "Make it your concern, then, to draw on the considerable gifts of the lay faithful in England and Wales and see that they are equipped to hand on the faith to new generations comprehensively, accurately, and with a keen awareness that in so doing they are playing their part in the Church’s mission. In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free."
Monday, 1 February 2010
Just posted on the Vatican's YouTube channel, this short video gives a summary of the Holy Father's address to the Bishops of England and Wales, which he delivered earlier today. Already the headlines are centred around the fact that he made reference to his forthcoming visit to Britain (thereby giving the first official confirmation of the trip), but there is a great deal else to consider in his words. We will have more on the address tomorrow, but you can find out more by watching the video (click on the image above) and by reading the Pope's address in full - click here for the full text, from the Vatican website.
The pictures here show the Bishops at Mass in the Papal Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls; the Mass took place last Wednesday. Our own Bishop can be seen second from the left on the front row.
The principal celebrant at the Mass was Archbishop Bernard Longley, recently installed as Archbishop of Birmingham (see our post on the installation here). Red vestments are being worn; presumably a votive Mass of St Paul was celebrated, as the altar here is only a few yards from the Apostle's tomb.