Nanni Moretti How I took comedy to the Vatican
INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
Stuart Reid The unlikely new traditionalistsCHARTERHOUSE,PAGE20
Pat Buchanan Why we need a new St Paul
INTERVIEW, PAGE 8
Thousands more go to Mass after papal visit
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE DIOCESE of Westminster has confirmed there was a “Benedict bounce” after last year’s papal visit.
Sunday Mass attendance in the diocese increased by nearly 3,000 between October 2009 and October 2010, statistics published by the Diocese of Westminster showed.
The Mass count for 2010 was 158,574 compared to 155,880 in 2009. Other parish statistics for 2010 also showed an increase in baptisms, receptions into the Church and marriages.
The figures seem to be an empirical indicator that the Roman Pontiff was well received in England despite protests from some sections of British society.
The numbers are confirmed in the 2012 Westminster Year Book, with a foreword authored by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.
The archbishop writes: “Much has changed in our diocese since 1953. However it is interesting to read in that first edition [of the year book] a Letter from Pope Pius XII in which he writes ‘Never before has the world been so directly in need of prayer at the present time’.
“He was referring to the threat of Communism. Sixty years later, at a time of great economic and social change, the practice of prayer is still vital. I hope that over the coming year in our parishes and schools we will all seek to deepen our life of prayer. Only prayer roots us in Christ. Only prayer sustains the poise and purpose in life that becomes a witness to the reality of God’s presence.”
Archbishop Nichols also highlights the 50th International Eucharistic Congress and the London Olympics next year: “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the life of every follower of Jesus,” he wrote.
“In 2012 the 50th International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Dublin. The purpose of every Eucharistic Congress is to deepen understanding of, and devotion to, the Holy Eucharist... I hope that as many of you as possible will take the opportunity to attend the Eucharistic Congress.”
Millions of Russians venerate Marian relic
A BELT said to have belonged to the Virgin Mary has been venerated by an estimated three million Russians.
The belt – or “cincture” – is on loan from the Mount Athos monastery in Greece and is believed to help women’s fertility. It toured 10 cities before being welcomed in Moscow by Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, and Dmitry Medvedev, the president.
Pilgrims in the capital queued for up to 26 hours in a line that stretched over three miles. Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, above, is a replica built in 1997 on the spot where the original cathedral stood before it was blown up in 1931.
December 2 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Archbishop Nichols: cuts are hitting the poor hardest
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE ARCHBISHOP of Westminster has said Government cuts have had a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in Britain.
Addressing Ministers, peers and MPs Archbishop Nichols said: “The effects of economic austerity and cutbacks are already being felt disproportionately by the most vulnerable. The increase in youth unemployment, the pressure on housing provision and support, and the impact of personal debt are bringing hardship and distress to those least able to sustain them.”
The archbishop added that there were aspects of the distribution of wealth that caused “scandal and dismay”.
Archbishop Nichols was speaking at a reception in Parliament last Wednesday, hosted by the Caritas Social Action Network, a national umbrella group of different Catholic charities.
Archbishop Nichols highlighted “the enormous pressures on families and particularly on our young people” who are “struggling to maintain their dignity and self-respect”.
He said that the riots in August “demonstrated a callous disregard for the common good of our communities, increasing the burden for those whose homes and businesses were affected”.
His comments echoed criticisms by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, about the impact of Government policy on the poorest and most vulnerable. Writing in the New Statesman earlier this year, Dr Williams said the Government’s vision of the Big Society was viewed with “widespread suspicion”, and that the Government had committed
Economic austerity is bringing hardship and distress to those least able to sustain them
For the latest Catholic news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk the country to long-term policies which “no one voted for”.
Archbishop Nichols also urged the Government to listen to experts “on the front line”, including those who worked for Catholic charities.
He said: “It is important that we address these challenges in the correct way, so that the decisions taking place here in Parliament on the future of the social security system, the health system and the criminal justice system are shaped by a practical recognition of the needs of, and really influenced by the experience of those on the front line of this work.”
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions, led by the Catholic MP Iain Duncan Smith, responded to the archbishop’s comments. He said: “We have one of the highest rates of workless households in Europe, with 1.9 million children living in homes where no one has a job. That’s why our welfare reforms must focus on incentivising people into work.
“With Universal Credit, someone in work will be better off than someone on benefits and this is the driving principle at the heart of our welfare reforms which we have developed with a wide range of people, charities and groups who work on the frontline.
“People who are too sick or disabled will receive our unconditional support and those who are able to work will get the tailored help they need to find a new job with the Work Programme.”
The Archbishop of Westminster praised Caritas for its “inspirational ethos of compassion and care” and said that it was the Christian faith that had inspired many initiatives in society. .................................................................... Editorial Comment: Page 13
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Pope appoints doctrinal official as new ambassador to Ireland BY JOHN THAVIS
POPE BENEDICT XVI has named Mgr Charles Brown, an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as apostolic nuncio to Ireland.
The appointment, announced by the Vatican on Saturday, comes at a delicate moment in Vatican-Irish relations. In July, the Vatican recalled its previous nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, after Irish prime minister Enda Kenny and others sharply criticised the Vatican’s handling of clerical abuse. Last month the Irish government said it was closing its embassy to the Holy See for economic reasons, although keeping diplomatic relations open.
A r c h b i s h o p - d e s i g n a t e Brown, a 52-year-old priest of the Archdiocese of New York, has worked since 1994 in the doctrinal congregation, which was led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger until his election as Pope in 2005.
Vatican officials said it was unusual to appoint a nondiplomat to such a position. Some observers pointed to the fact that the doctrinal congregation has overall responsibility for cases of clerical sex abuse of minors. They said that the Vatican appears to expect the nuncio to play a key role in the healing of the scandal.
Reaction to the appointment was generally favourable in the Irish media. The Irish Times said in a leading article that the new nuncio would arrive with two major advantages over his predecessors. “As an Irish- American he will have an intuitive understanding of the Catholic people of this state and of this island. As a man who has served at the [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] for 17 years he will be deeply familiar with the issue that has plagued the Irish Catholic Church for almost two decades,” it said. Vatican Notebook: Page 4 Editorial Comment: Page 13
Practising yoga is satanic, says exorcist BY ED WEST
PRACTISING yoga is satanic, a leading Church exorcist has declared.
Fr Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s former chief exorcist, said the popular exercise is satanic because it leads to Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation”.
The 86-year-old also said that reading Harry Potter books was also dangerous, because although they “seem innocuous” they encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry. “Practising yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter,” he said. “In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses.”
Pope may be fined for not wearing a seatbelt BY ED WEST
POPE BENEDICT XVI could be fined £30 for failing to wear a seatbelt.
The Pope was been accused of breaking the law after travelling through Freiburg.
A hundred thousand people welcomed the Pope as he was driven around the city in south-west Germany, at one point stopping in his customary manner to bless a child.
Johannes Sundermann, the lawyer for an unnamed plaintiff in the city, said that video evidence would prove that Benedict XVI was not wearing his seatbelt “for more than an hour”.
But another German lawyer said the Pope would probably be granted diplomatic immunity as a head of state.
Will Heaven I knew the ‘boarding school bomber’ PAGE 12
Mary Kenny Suicide must never be seen as heroic PAGE 12
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