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‘ONLY PEACE CAN STOP CHRISTIANS EMIGRATING’ THE LATIN PATRIARCH ON HIS COMMUNITY’S STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL PAGE 7

No. 6423

www.catholicherald.co.uk

September 25 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)

Tens of thousands flock to Thérèse relics 􏰣 Bishop Hollis says visit of the saint’s relics to his diocese was his ‘proudest moment as bishop’

KENT 15/09/09

PORTSMOUTH 16/09/09

PLYMOUTH 17/09/09

TAUNTON 18/09/09

BIRMINGHAM 19/09/09

COLESHILL 21/09/09

Catholics have travelled from every corner of England and Wales to venerate the relics of St Thérèse in a display of devotion that has shocked some secular commentators

Catholicrelics.co.uk

BY ANNA ARCO

THOUSANDS OF Catholic faithful have flocked to venerate the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux which have been on tour in England and Wales since last week.

The relics, which were brought to Britain via the Channel Tunnel, have drawn over 20,000 pilgrims since they started touring just over a week ago.

At their first stop at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth, more than 4,500 people came to venerate the relics. Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth said that the visit had been one of his proudest moments as bishop of the diocese.

He said: “Over the years of the history of our diocese and our cathedral in Portsmouth we have witnessed many great events and occasions. But for sheer intensity of prayer and real devotion, I doubt whether any have matched what we have experienced during the hours of the visit to the cathedral of St Thérèse.”

The relics were then taken to Plymouth where they were met by Bishop Christopher Budd at the doors of his cathedral. Pilgrims travelled in coaches from Cornwall and Devon and the cathedral was packed to capacity, with 3,000 people passing through over the course of 20 hours.

The relics drew their largest crowd so far at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, with 11,000 people in two days. Bishop William Kenney, the administrator of the archdiocese, said: “The visit of the relics has been a time of grace for the diocese and in particular for the many thousands of pilgrims who came to venerate them in person.”

At Coleshill, Birmingham, where the relics stopped at the parish of St Teresa of the Child of Jesus, they were met by several hundred people and Fr Marcus Stock, the new general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, celebrated a welcome liturgy.

Auxiliary Bishop David McGough of Birmingham preached about St Thérèse’s humility and her resolve that everything in her life “would become an expression of Christ’s presence in our world”.

There was also a celebration for the priests of the diocese held at Coleshill before St Thérèse was taken to Cardiff. The relics were then due to be taken to Salford, Manchester and Newcastle before stopping in York Minster, the Anglican cathedral.

The Dean of York, Keith Jones, said: “I am thrilled that the relics of St Thérèse, the Little Flower, are coming to York minster ... she is a gift of God to us all and this is a chance for Christians of differ-

ent traditions to us to pray for unity and renew our faith and our love.”

The relics will then head south via Middlesbrough, Leeds, Nottingham and Walsingham before stopping in Oxford, Buckinghamshire and Aylesford. They arrive in London in mid-October, stopping first at the Carmelite church in Kensington and then Westminster Cathedral. While reports in the secular press were initially positive a backlash soon followed. Matthew Parris of the Times said that the presence of the relics in England and Wales should be a “call to arms” for atheists. He criticised mainstream news coverage of the

event for being uncritical. In the Sunday Times Minette Marrin attacked the Government for allowing the relics to stop at the Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London.

She wrote: “There comes a time when even a peaceable agnostic feels roused to indignation. For me it was last week, at the news that the Home Office has seen fit to let the bones of the Little Flower into Wormwood Scrubs prison ... In so doing, it opens wide the gates of reason to let into any public place any and every fetish or juju that any religious group claims is part of its spiritual life.

“What the starry progress of the relics of the Little Flower has done

for me is to remind me that we have in this country rather too much religious tolerance.”

Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, was also critical of the decision to bring the relics to Wormwood Scrubs.

But Fr Gerry McFlynn, the chaplain at the prison, said in a letter to the Guardian: “In venerating the relics of St Thérèse, Catholics and other Christians are not engaging in some ghoulish ritual, but rather seeking to draw inspiration from the life and spirituality of a remarkable woman.”

Mary Kenny: Page 12 Editorial Comment: Page 13 Saint of the Week: Page 18

and much mor o the uide t f f icial G O h T t ain S S T om C èse – fr hér elics visit e 2009 r èse hér

Saint Thérèse Official Guide to the 2009 relics visit and much more on Thérèse – from CTS

T e on

New Williamson claims could harm Vatican talks with SSPX

visit www.cts-online.org.uk for many more Thérèse titles!

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o se t us t an w t ’ don ou e if y ick her T l l a c r o e n i l n o r e d r o s, r s e d r o d r a c t i d e r c b a y a a p s e u q e h C h . e te i s b e w r u o h g u o r h t 7 £ d d a , 0 , 0 . 0 5 £ r e v o ; 6 £ d d a , 0 , 0 . 0 5 £ o t , 0 , 0 . 0 2 £ o t p u ; 3 £ d d a , 0 , 0 . 5 1 £ o t p u ; 2 £ t p u : e u l a v r e d r o y b e g a t s o p K U d d A , om her writings s, ts fr ac tr en ex ok Sp udio er – A w lo he Little F T . . . . . .

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BY SIMON CALDWELL

THE VATICAN is to enter talks with the Society of St Pius X, a traditionalist group which has separated from Rome, amid renewed controversy over the rehabilitation of a bishop who denied the extent of the Holocaust.

A high-powered delegation will sit down with Lefebvrists in October to discuss a range of doctrinal issues which remain obstacles to full unity.

But the talks could be over-

shadowed by claims by that the Vatican knew that Bishop Richard Williamson had publicly denied the existence of Nazi gas chambers before his excommunication was lifted by Pope Benedict XVI in March.

Vatican observers say the so-called rehabilitation of a “Holocaust-denying bishop” represented a low point in the papacy of the German Pontiff, who quickly sought to make amends by visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Me-

morial in Israel. In a letter to the world’s bishops he said he was unaware of the views of Williamson, an English bishop illicitly ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, when he reversed his excommunication in a gesture aimed at helping to bring Lefebvrists into full communion with the Catholic Church.

In an interview due to be broadcast on Sweden’s SVT channel on Wednesday Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm said: “From our

side we passed the information on. That is so to say the usual way of doing it, the local Church passes important news about the Church on to the papal representation.”

German Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, also told the programme that he thought Williamson’s

Continued on Page 2

Editorial Comment: Page 13

Dublin to host next Eucharistic Congress

Kirsty hails the best location for childbirth

BY ANNA ARCO

THE VATICAN has announced that the next International Eucharistic Congress will take place in Dublin.

The Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses announced the new theme for the Dublin Congress this week: “The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with one another.”

The Irish capital will host the 50th international congress in 2012, a date marking the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council.

The last congress took place in Quebec City, Canada, in 2008.

The theme for the Dublin congress alludes to Lumen Gentium, the document on the Church’s constitution, and is intended to symbolise the renewal of Christ’s teaching.

It also refers to the Church’s understanding of herself as the Body of Christ.

BY ED WEST

KIRSTY ALLSOPP, presenter of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location, has opened the revamped private birth unit at the Catholic St John and St Elizabeth hospital in north London.

She heaped praise on the hospital’s birth centre, where she gave birth to her children, Bay Atlas, three, and Oscar Hercules, one. Miss Allsopp said she

had chosen the birthing centre, which was set up in 1980

and pioneered water births,

because she had difficult pregnancies.

“It’s about the level of experience of the mid-

wives,” she said.

“They’re not

rushed off their feet or having bad relationships with the consultant and doctors.

“It’s about the midwives, not about the luxury. You feel 100 per cent looked

after.”

DON’T MISS: MARY KENNY: DID EDWARD VII DIE A CATHOLIC? P12

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