EXPLORE YOUR FAMILY HISTORY WITH OUR FREE ONLINE ARCHIVE
Cardinal Burke The Eucharist should change your life
FEATURE, PAGE 8
Melanie McDonagh The things you just can’t say in Britain
COMMENT, PAGE 12
James Le Fanu Is Big Pharma bad for you?
CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20
Writer sees grace in opening ceremony
BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE CATHOLIC writer behind last Friday’s spectacular Olympic Games opening ceremony has spoken about the Catholic message at the heart of the event.
Liverpool-born writer Frank Cottrell Boyce was responsible for writing and storyboarding the hugely complex opening ceremony, which featured pastoral scenes, the industrial revolution and a tribute to the National Health Service. It was directed by Catholic-raised filmmaker Danny Boyle, an altar boy for eight years who once considered training for the priesthood. Writing in the Observer last Sunday Mr Cottrell Boyce quoted Boyle’s words from his introduction to the Olympics souvenir brochure: “We can build Jerusalem, and it will be for everyone”, and commented: “He’ll hate me for saying this but he has a very Catholic sense that yes, this is a fallen world, but you can find grace and beauty in its darkest corners .”
The two main Catholic churches catering to Olympic pilgrims, whether athletes, officials or attendees, reported very little activity at the beginning of the first week of the Games. Both churches are holding Eucharistic Adoration throughout the Games, as well as prayer evenings and healing services.
Fr Michael Dunne of Our Lady and St Catherine of Siena, on Bow Road in east London, said that on Monday they had only had about 30 pilgrims in six hours. The official Olympic traffic was going to the Olympic Village by a different route. “They’re simply not passing us,” he said. “We’re adjusting our expectations. But it should be much busier next week.” By then the Olympic Stadium, will be in full use for events.
Fr Anthony Cho of St Francis of Assisi church in Stratford said on Tuesday: “Today it is like a ghost town.” Editorial Comment: Page 13
Cathedral celebrates the London Olympics
CNS PHOTO/MARCIN MAZUR
THE ARCHBISHOP of Westminster has said that the Olympic Games can help us to understand the link between spirituality and sport.
He was speaking at a Mass of thanksgiving for the 2012 Olympic Games last Saturday.
Natasha Hart, director of the Newham All-Stars
Sports Academy, processed out of Westminster Cathedral carrying an Olympic torch. Report: Page 3
August 3 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Faithful fear for safety as civil war rages across Syria
BY ED WEST
FEARS ARE growing of an exodus of Christians from Syria as fighting intensifies in Aleppo between government forces and the Syrian Free Army. With the crisis now classified by international agencies as a civil war, and thousands of refugees crossing into neighbouring Turkey and Lebanon, concern is growing for the country’s estimated two million Christians,
Bishop Declan Lang of Clifton, chairman of the international affairs department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said people there “are suffering from the awful violence that is being inflicted upon them on a daily basis” and prayed for “reconciliation and plurality and where they will rid themselves from all forms of sectarianism”.
Dr Harry Hagopian, Middle East consultant to the Bishop’s department of international affairs, said the department had been very concerned before the fighting started in Aleppo, but now: “We are even more fearful and apprehensive for the people of Syria. It’s leading to further polarisation, and the risk of future sectarianism even after President Assad is removed.
“It is not true that the Christian communities are hiding under the regime. Many Christians are supportive of the principles of fighting for dignity and freedom, but concerned that things will get worse.”
More than 17,000 people have now been killed in the year-long conflict between President Bashar al-Assad’s predominantly Alawite regime and the
Many Christians support the struggle for freedom but worry that things will get worse
For the latest
Catholic news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk
Sunni-dominated rebels. Although the Syrian opposition contains many moderates, there are fears of extremists fuelling a sectarian conflict similar to that which engulfed Iraq, where the country’s Christians were caught in the crossfire.
Meanwhile Michel Roy, secretary general of Catholic aid organisation Caritas Internationalis, has said that if the war continued it could endanger the Pope’s planned trip to Lebanon in September. He said: “There is already war in the northern part of Lebanon where the Sunni and Alawi people live. The border between Syria and Lebanon on the Mediterranean is a border between people of the same tribes.”
Pope Benedict XVI has renewed his appeal for peace in Syria and humanitarian assistance for civilians, telling visitors at the courtyard of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo last Sunday that he prayed for an end “to all violence and bloodshed” and that he continued “to follow with apprehension the tragic and increasing episodes of violence”.
Caritas Internationalis is continuing to offer help to the thousands of refugees leaving the country. Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has also smuggled in over £15,600 worth of bread for families who are now refugees in the capital, Damascus.
Fr Andrzej Halemba, Aid to the Church in Need’s Middle East expert, said: “Church leaders report that it is a very difficult situation for all those in the city. It is a situation of siege.” Vatican Notebook: Page 4 Feature: Page 9 Editorial Comment: Page 13
New library in Oxford to offer an intimate portrait of Chesterton BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A NEW GK Chesterton Library is due to open at the Oxford Oratory next year.
The Chesterton Library will be housed within the Oxford Oratory’s new library building and will comprise copies of GK Chesterton’s published works, along with manuscripts and paintings.
The library will include memorabilia such as Chesterton’s writing table, a typewriter, rosary beads, a personalised travelling suitcase and a letter from Pope Pius XI making him a Knight of St Gregory.
The website created by the trustees of the GK Chesterton Library said that the collection was: “dedicated to maintaining a study centre through which interest in GKC will be encouraged and scholarship promoted”.
It added: “The quality of clarity and joy which we find in almost every page of Chesterton's writing, intangible though it may be in terms of a practical impact on society, is a most precious legacy: the secret of lasting happiness, the responsibility of freedom, and the joyful duty of thanksgiving and praise.”
The library will have a personal touch with Chesterton’s appointment diaries.
Stratford Caldecott, GK Chesterton Research Fellow at St Benet's Hall, Oxford, said: “Chesterton and his writings are one of the treasures of the modern Catholic Church in this country. It has taken the Americans to rekindle our interest in this extraordinary genius. In recent years more and more books about him have started to appear, and his sayings are quoted everywhere. But as interest grows, there is a need to gather together the resources to study and understand him. That is what the Oratorians are offering in their new library in Oxford – the opportunity to house Chesterton alongside Newman, allies in the reengagement of faith with culture.”
$ ! # # ) $&""!#% $ % # $ $ )# " $ $ !" %! &$ * $ &$ %! ( % $$ %! ! $ !( $&$ %! % " !" + $ "#!' !! $ % # !# % !$ ( ! ' $ ! # "
Ambassador recalls race against Liddell BY DAVID V BARRETT
THE BRITISH ambassador to the Holy See has revealed a family link to a great Olympian hero, Eric Liddell, on whom the film Chariots of Fire was based.
Liddell refused to run in a race on a Sunday in the 1924 Olympics, but later won gold in the 400 m race. Writing in L’Osservatore Romano Nigel Baker told how in the early 1930s his great uncle Noel, serving in China in the Welsh Regiment, met Liddell, who was then working for the London Missionary Society. Noel was practising for an Army race when an “ungainly red-headed man joined him and asked in a broad Scottish accent if he might run alongside”. After a few laps the redhead said: “You're not bad. Tomorrow I’ll be first and you’ll be second.”
The following day he realised that he was competing against Liddell.
“Liddell smiled, and acknowledged my great uncle,” Baker wrote. “The gun fired. The athletes set off. Eric Liddell finished first. Great uncle Noel second.”
US medalist thanks God for her success BY DAVID V BARRETT
A 17-YEAR-OLD American swimmer whose team won an Olympic bronze medal last Saturday said she thanks God whenever she accomplishes something great.
Lia Neal (pictured on the left), from the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Manhattan, and her three team-mates won bronze in the women’s 4x100 freestyle relay.
“I’m so glad and excited to have made the Olympic team because I know just how many people have been cheering for me, praying for me to make it,” she told Catholic New York. “I feel like I'm not only going into the Games for myself, but also for everyone from school.” She said: “I also... thank God whenever I accomplish something great.”
(0+,.. 8(07( 76610 744(; 4(*,56(4(' &+$4,6; ,0 0*.$0' $0' "$.(5 $0' &16.$0'
(8 4 4 45 ,55 ''4(55 156&1'( (0&.15( 6+(4 < < < < 61 +(.2 +4,56,$05 ,0 ;4,$ $0' 6+( ,''.( $56 (0&.15( $ &+(37( 61 ,' 61 6+( +74&+ ,0 ((' 2.($5( '(%,6 /; ! $56(4 $4' /(: $(5641 ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ## ,*0$674( 564,2 &1'( .$56 %.1&- 1) ',*,65 ## ## ## ## :2,4; $6( !$.,' 41/ $6( 557( 1 $(5641 ,*0$674( '1 016 9,5+ 61 4(&(,8( ,0)14/$6,10 $%176 ,' 61 6+( +74&+ ,0 (('