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NOVEMBER 11 2011 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Somerset parishes pray for victims of M5 crash
BY ED WEST
MASSES have been celebrated across Somerset for the victims of last Friday’s M5 motorway disaster in which seven people were killed and 51 injured.
Thirty-four vehicles, including six articulated lorries, were involved in the accident on the northbound carriage of the motorway, which occurred after heavy fog rapidly descended on the area, less than five miles from Taunton.
A 200ft stretch of motorway was damaged by intense fire after at least one of the lorries erupted into a fireball, with flames rising 20 feet into the air. One witness described the scene as being “like something from Afghanistan”.
Fifteen fire vehicles were called to the scene of what was the worst crash on a British road for almost 20 years, and it was initially feared that the death toll would rise far higher.
In the aftermath of the fire Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton, who often uses the road, said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the people involved with the horrific tragedy on the M5.
“In particular I remember the people who have died together with those who have been injured as well as their families and friends.
“I am also praying for those in our emergency services whose bravery and dedication is appreciated by us all. It must be a shocking time for them as well.”
Canon John Cunningham, parish Priest of St George and St Teresa of Lisieux in Taunton, said: “The Catholic community here in Taunton is devastated following the horrific accident on the M5 last night.
“It is the worst accident anyone can remember. Our prayerful sympathy is with the families of all who lost their lives and with those injured in this terrible accident. We will be praying at all Masses this weekend for those involved in any way.
“We give thanks to God for the bravery of all the emergency services including ambulance staff, fire personnel and police.”
He added: “The Catholic community was actively involved through the chaplaincy at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton and were there to give support, if needed, to people who were injured and their families.” The parish priest of nearby St John Fisher, Wellington and St Richard of Chichester, Wiveliscombe, Fr Vincent Curtis, provided chaplaincy support in Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital on Friday night.
Fr Curtis remained in the hospital for the entire evening, in the family room of the hospital where people’s injuries, many of them very serious, were being treated. Fr Curtis said: “I was called in case I needed to anoint anyone. Basically I was waiting on call.”
Fr Curtis, who said that all the local Masses Catholics had prayed for those who had lost their lives, said: “It must have come as a terrible shock. I must admit that this did affect me. I was really shook up.”
The victims were named as father-of-five Terry Brice, 55, of Bristol, one of two lorry drivers working for the owners of the Cornish pasty brand Ginsters, and his colleague, Kye Thomas, 38, from Gunnislake, Cornwall. He was a father of four who served in the King’s Royal Hussars before becoming a lorry driver.
Grandparents Tony and Pamela Adams, 73, and 70, were on their home to Newport after visiting grandchildren.
Their daughter Dale, one of their seven children, had been killed in a motorcycle crash four years ago.
The pair were devoted churchgoers and Canon Andrew Willie of St Mark’s Anglican church broke the news of their deaths on Sunday, saying the couple were “childhood sweethearts” who were married for more than 50 years.
Mr Adams served as a people’s warden and would occasionally conduct church services and was due to do so on Sunday morning. Canon Willie took the service using hymns chosen by Mr Adams.
Michael Barton, 67, and his daughter Maggie, 23, were both killed on their way home to Berkshire. Mr Barton’s other daughter, Emma, 19, and her boyfriend, Chris Burbull, 23, were treated in hospital.
The seventh fatality was fatherof-two Malcolm Beacham, from Woolavington in Somerset.
The last comparable motorway disaster in Britain was in 1991, when 10 people were killed and 25 injured in a 51-car pile-up on the M4 near Hungerford, Berskhire.
Bishop Alan Hopes visits Travellers under flyover
AUXILIARY Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster visited Irish Travellers who live under the Westway flyover in west London this week. Mass was celebrated in a portable building normally used as a creche and afterwards coffee and tea were served and a tray of biscuits passed around.
Bishop Hopes then went to see many of the families in their caravans and blessed homes, cars, pets, children, unborn babies and religious figurines. Sister Petronia Williams, chaplain to Travellers, organised the visit. The site, near Notting Hill, is home to about 20 Traveller families as well as boxing champion John O’Donnell.
Benedictines should no longer run Ealing school, says report BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A REPORT commissioned by St Benedict’s Catholic Independent School in Ealing, west London, has concluded that monks from the neighbouring Ealing Abbey should no longer be involved in the running of the school, following allegations of clerical sex abuse said to have occurred over the past 20 years.
At a press conference on Wednesday the report’s author, Lord Carlile of Berriew, said that in essence his recommendations “remove all power over the school from the abbey, while still retaining the Benedictine connection which is important to many parents”.
His report said the existing trust structure “lacks elements of independence, transparency, accountability, diversity and is drawn from too narrow a group of people”.
Chris Cleugh, headmaster of St Benedict’s School, said that Lord Carlile’s recommendations would be implemented by September next year and a new system of governance would be established to separate the abbey from the running of the school.
He said: “Past abuses at the school have left a terrible legacy for those affected and have tarnished the reputation of St Benedict’s. On behalf of all at the school, I offer my heartfelt apology for past failures. The school could have, and should have, done more.”
The report follows the jailing in October 2009 of Fr David Pearce, who admitted indecently assaulting pupils between 1972 and 2007. Fr Pearce was headmaster at the school until 1993 and afterwards resided at Ealing Abbey.
Scrutiny of the school and abbey has intensified since the disappearance of Fr Laurence Soper in March following allegations of abuse. Fr Soper was bailed from Rome to a west London police station but failed to turn up and has been missing ever since, causing further embarrassment for the abbey.
Speaking at the press conference, Lord Carlile said Fr Soper’s disappearance had caused difficulties for the investigations into St Benedict’s School.
He said: “I would encourage Laurence Soper to surrender himself to the police... He may feel he has a personal and ethical duty to do so.”
The Vatican ordered an Apostolic Visitation of Ealing Abbey in a historic intervention as the scandal intensified. Auxiliary Bishop John
Arnold of Westminster and Fr Richard Yeo, abbot president of the English Benedictine Congregation, have reported separately to the Vatican.
Bishop Arnold said that he welcomed Lord Carlile’s report and that he had appealed to the Holy See to make public the content of the visitation’s findings. The Holy See has agreed to look sympathetically at his request.
Lord Carlile expressed concerns about possible conflicts of interest stemming from Fr Yeo’s involvement with the Apostolic Visitation and he said that individuals with no connection to St Benedict’s school should conduct future visitations.
Mr Cleugh made clear that some connection between the abbey and the school would be retained on a day-to-day basis. He said that three abbey monks were working at the school, who were much “revered” by parents, pupils and teachers. But Mr Cleugh asserted that the monks are answerable to him and are subject to the same safety checks as all other members of staff.
Lord Carlile said he hoped the change would provide a “template” for the governance of other Benedictine schools in Britain.
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Diocese appeals against English Heritage listing Missal shortfall ‘forces parishes to buy £230 editions’
BY MARK GREAVES
THE DIOCESE of Shrewsbury is appealing against a decision by English Heritage to list a church building that was on the brink of being sold to developers.
St John the Baptist church in Timperley, near Altrincham, Cheshire, was registered as Grade-II listed just days before it was due to be sold.
The company that was to buy the property, Churchill Retirement Living, had applied to build 49 retirement flats once it had been demolished.
But the sale – at a price of more than £2 million – will now not go through unless the diocese wins its appeal.
The church, designed by Francis Reynolds and Adrian Gilbert Scott and built in the 1950s, was closed in 2009 but the diocese promised to convert part of the presbytery into a chapel.
The chapel was used for Eucharistic Adoration, prayer meetings and a weekly Mass for 18 months before the diocese announced that the whole site was to be sold.
One parishioner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said people were “very sad” at the chapel’s closure.
He said parishioners felt the diocese had put practical considerations ahead of the spiritual welfare of the faithful. He said: “There are a lot of question marks now over what the outcome will be. People are confused. They don’t know what [the listing] means.
“I would be delighted if it was God’s will that [the building] should be used as a chapel.”
The English Heritage listing had been sought by a parishioner, Fiona Cox, strongly opposed to the sale of the church.
In August she said: “The church is one of the most beautiful buildings in Altrincham. We don’t want it to be demolished, we want to be able to worship in it again.”
Her campaign had won the support of Lord Clarke of Hampstead, who said there should be “a full and proper examination of the possible alternative uses for the church”.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Shrewsbury said the diocese planned to invest some of the money generated by the sale into new facilities, including a parish hall, for the neighbouring parish of St Hugh of Lincoln, with which St John the Baptist parish was merged in 2009.
The English Heritage listing described the church’s “impressive sense of space” and its “bold and finely articulated design, employing the use of stripped Perpendicular Gothic styling”.
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
PUBLISHERS of the new Roman Missal have been criticised by priests and chaplains after running out of chapel missals, the cheaper version of the missal for use by priests.
The Catholic Truth Society, which has the exclusive right to publish the priests’ editions of the missal, failed to stock a sufficient number of chapel missals to meet growing demand.
One source said that as a result of the CTS running out of chapel missals, sold at £115, parishes are being forced to purchase the larger altar missals at £230, which is double the price.
Pierpaolo Finaldi, commissioning editor of the CTS and project editor on the new Roman Missal, said that the CTS was the only publisher to provide three types of the new missal which include the altar edition priced at £230, the chapel edition at £115 and the study edition at £50.
He said: “We did not anticipate the second option of the new missal, the chapel edition, to be in such high demand and at present we do not have any more in stock. There is, however, the study missal which is cheaper, so parishes are not forced to buy the most expensive edition of the missal.
“Making each missal is an incredibly complicated process with great attention to detail and so we cannot immediately order more chapel missals in order to meet demand.
“We do hope to publish more chapel editions in the future but we are currently assessing how high the demand is as we do not want to order too few or too many.
“The process takes four months, so the earliest date for a fresh batch of new chapel editions would be mid-March 2012.”
Parishes are, however, under pressure to order their missals ahead of March given that all parishes are to use the new translation from the beginning of Advent.
The study missals that are still available and are the cheapest and smallest version of the Roman Missal contain the full text of the Roman Missal but do not include any readings.
According to the CTS website “its purpose is to serve as a handy reference volume for use in presbyteries, libraries and so on”.
There is some concern that the larger altar missals, which weigh 11 lb, will be too bulky for some smaller chapels. The chapel missal weighs only 5 lb.
People’s Missals and Sunday Missals are being published by HarperCollins and Redemptorist Publications as well as the Catholic Truth Society.
NEWSBULLETIN Judge rules that Church is liable for actions of priests A JUDGE has ruled that the Church can be held responsible for the wrongdoing of its priests.
Portsmouth priest at a children’s home in Hampshire.
The ruling, which would make it easier to bring compensation claims against the Church, comes after a test case at the High Court in which Mr Justice Macduff ruled in favour of a woman, known as JGE, who claims she was sexually assaulted by a
In response the Diocese of Portsmouth said that the judgment involved “complex and fundamental legal issues which remain the subject of legal proceedings” and that it could not comment further. “The diocese... works hard to ensure the welfare of children and vulnerable individuals,” it said.
A hundred pro-lifers attend vigil AROUND 100 people turned out for a prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic as part of the 40 Days for Life campaign last Friday.
Fr Paschal Ryan, episcopal vicar for Westminster diocese, represented Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes during the candlelit vigil. Bishop Hopes was expected to attend but had to pull out at the last minute.
Pro-lifers outside the BPAS abortion clinic in Bedford Square, central London, read an examination of conscience, prayed the rosary, Stations of the Cross and a litany for life. The vigil continued all night and throughout the next day.
More than 1,000 people took part in London’s 40 Days for Life campaign, which runs twice a year and ended on Sunday, and eight women who were scheduled for an abortion changed their minds. Vigils were held in 301 cities worldwide.
MP pulls out of Oxford lecture LABOUR MP Jon Cruddas pulled out of a Dominican-sponsored conference last month after criticism of his stance on abortion.
Mr Cruddas had been due to speak at Blackfriars Hall in Oxford on “Building Democracy”, but cancelled after criticism from Dominican Fr Leon Pereira and the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. Mr Cruddas has said that abortion should be legal.
Nuns appeal for £200,000 BENEDICTINE nuns in Oxfordshire are appealing for £200,000 so they can buy a permanent home for their monastery.
For seven years the Holy Trinity monastery has been based in rented accommodation but is now seeking to expand its charitable work and open a retreat and guest house.
The website of the “digital nuns”, as they are known, is Benedictine nuns.org.uk.
St Pauls appoints new director ST PAULS Publishing has appointed a new national director. Stephen Moseling, former London bookshop manager, is replacing Fr Joseph Eruppakkatt SSP, who has returned to his native India.
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