FOR LIVE COVERAGE OF THE INSTALLATION OF ARCHBISHOP VINCENT NICHOLS
YOUR GUIDE TO THE INSTALLATION EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS WEEK’S EVENTS PAGES 10 & 11
May 22 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Archbishop calls for new dialogue in Britain Archbishop of Westminster urges the country ‘to go beyond the superficial’ at installation Mass
BY MARK GREAVES
THE NEW Archbishop of Westminster was expected to issue a powerful call for a new kind of dialogue between believers and non-believers at his installation Mass on Thursday.
Speaking at the nationally televised Mass at Westminster Cathedral, Archbishop Vincent Nichols was due to appeal for a more reasoned public debate in Britain.
“This dialogue needs to go beyond the superficial and slogans,” the Archbishop said in a homily issued under embargo on Tuesday.
“Respectful dialogue is crucial today and I salute all who seek to engage in it. In this the media have such an important part to play, not by accentuating difference and conflict, but by enhancing creative conversation.
“Let us be a society in which we genuinely listen to each other, in which sincere disagreement is not made out to be insult or harassment, in which reasoned principles are not construed as prejudice and in which we are prepared to attribute to each other the best and not the worst of motives.”
The Archbishop, chosen by Pope Benedict XVI to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, was expected to call for a greater appreciation of the Church’s contribution to society.
“Faith builds community and it expresses itself in action,” he said. “As a society, if we are to build on this gift of faith, we must respect its outward expression not only in honouring individual conscience but also in respecting the institutional integrity of the communities of faith in what they bring to public service and to the common good.
“Only in this way will indi
Archbishop Vincent Nichols is pictured outside Westminster Cathedral, where he was due to be installed as the 11th Archbishop of Westminster on Thursday Photo: CNS
viduals, families and faith communities become wholehearted contributors to building the society we rightly seek.”
In his homily the Archbishop described the Church as an attempt to fulfil “a vision of true social cohesion”.
“Faith in Christ always draws us into a community
and has a public dimension,” he said. “This community of faith reaches beyond ethnicity, cultural difference and social division, opening for us a vision of ourselves, and of our society, as having a single source and a single fulfilment.
“Indeed this vision of faith is expressed powerfully by St Paul when, in his letter to the
Galatians, he says that in Christ: ‘There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.’
“This is a vision of true social cohesion, a promise which lies ahead and a signpost of which churches con
struct, Sunday by Sunday, with their communities of unity in diversity.”
The Archbishop added that a knowledge of Christ discloses “the true worth of our humanity”.
“We human beings are not Plasticine figures, to be moulded into shape at the hands of a political ideology,
or under economic demands. Nor, at the end of the day, can we shape ourselves as we please, according to fashion or our untutored desires. We are not self-made. Our humanity, thankfully, is more deeply rooted and therefore resilient. Indeed our humanity is a gift to be respected not only from its beginnings to its
natural end, but also in the other ethical demands it places on us all.”
Those expected to attend the Mass included the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl Marshal; Lord Guthrie, representing the Prince of Wales; Paul Murphy, Secretary of State for Wales, representing the Prime Minister; Cardinal
Roger Mahony of Los Angeles; Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh and Cardinal Seán Brady of Armagh. Also expected were 18 canons, 60 bishops, 27 Monsignori, nine Provincials and three Deans, together with the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
During the installation Mass Cardinal MurphyO’Connor was expected to pass the crozier, representing the authority of the Archbishop of Westminster, to Archbishop Nichols.
In his homily the Archbishop defended the reasonableness of faith.
“This is the true nature of the belief in God: it opens us to all that lies beyond,” he said. “It’s a constant invitation to go beyond our immediate knowledge and awareness.
“Faith in God is not, as some would portray it today, a narrowing of the human mind or spirit. It is precisely the opposite. Faith in God is the gift that takes us beyond our limited self, with all its incessant demands. It opens us to a life that stretches us, enlightens us, and often springs surprises upon us. Such faith, like love, sees that which is invisible and lives by it.”
Archbishop Nichols was elected president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales last month. From 2000 to 2009 he served as Archbishop of Birmingham. His new diocese consists of 500,000 faithful in 216 parishes served by 600 priests and religious. It is considered the pre-eminent diocese in England and Wales and its archbishop is described as the spiritual leader of English and Welsh Catholics.
Installation guide: Page 10-11 Editorial comment: Page 13
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BY SIMON CALDWELL
POPE BENEDICT XVI has explicitly rejected assertions that Christianity was to blame for the Holocaust.
Before boarding his plane to Rome after an eight-day visit to the Holy Land the Pope said the genocide was the work of a “godless regime” that propagated an ideology of anti-Semitism and hatred.
He implicitly rejected the claim by some Jews and western secularists that the Holo
caust was the culmination of centuries of anti-Semitism rooted in the texts of New Testament, which should be acknowledged by the Church.
David Cesarani, the British Jewish historian, had earlier written on the Guardian website that “to Jews the record of the Catholic establishment is indelibly stained with, at worst, active collaboration or, at best, a passive acquiescence in the persecution and mass murder of Europe’s Jews. Until it acknowledges this complicity, relations between
the two faiths will always be compromised.” He added: “It may be generations, if ever, before the Catholic Church is able to... accept its responsibility for cultivating the climate of hate and theological rationalisations that contributed so heavily towards the genocide against the Jews.”
But Pope Benedict’s analysis reflected that of John Paul II, who in the 1998 statement We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah stated that the Holocaust was the work of a
“thoroughly modern neopagan regime” which had its “roots outside Christianity”.
John Paul II distinguished between the Nazi creed of anti-Semitism – which he said was contrary to centuries of Church teaching – and antiJudaism, of which some Christians had been guilty. He said that many Nazi Party members had given proof of a “definite hatred directed at God himself”.
Pope in the Holy Land: Page 6 Letters: Page 13
Archbishop defends Commons Speaker
Carla Bruni criticises Pope over condoms
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BY ANNA ARCO
THE ARCHBISHOP of Glasgow has defended House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin, calling him a popular public servant who was hounded from office. Mr Martin was the first Catholic since the Reformation to hold the post. He announced on Tuesday that he would resign from the position in June over his han
dling of the parliamentary expenses system.
Criticising the parliamentary culture of “greed, selfishness and secrecy”, Archbishop Conti said: “Witnessing the unseemly and undignified attacks on the Speaker brought to my mind the scene of an assembly of unruly pupils seeking to humiliate their headmaster for misdemeanours they themselves had perpetrated.”
He said that few parliamentarians had emerged from the expenses claims scandal with flying colours.
BY PETER ALLEN IN PARIS
CARLA BRUNI has launched an astonishing attack on the Pope, accusing the Church of “damaging” African countries by its teaching on condoms.
The wife of the French president Nicholas Sarkozy said she was so dissatisfied with the Pontiff that she no longer practised her faith. Miss Bruni’s outburst, made at the Elysée Palace in Paris, caused outrage among Catholics
who accused her of “shaming” the French presidency. Others said Miss Bruni was
herself guilty of cultural imperialism because, as an anti-Aids campaigner, she regularly tells Africans how many
babies they should be
allowed to have.
Miss Bruni said: “I was born Catholic, I was baptised but in my life I feel profoundly secular. I find that the controversy coming from the Pope’s message... is very dam
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