James MacMillan Catholics cannot trust Alex Salmond
FEATURE, PAGE 8
Lord Guthrie My fears for the Falkland Islands
INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
Paul Johnson The Brothers who taught me to box
CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 20
Pope asks abbey choir to sing at St Peter’s
Faith is light at end of the tunnel, says Pope
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
POPE BENEDICT XVI has invited Westminster Abbey’s choir to sing at St Peter’s Basilica in June.
Following their performance during the Pope’s visit to Britain in September 2010, Pope Benedict has invited them to sing alongside the Sistine Chapel Choir on the feast of St Peter and St Paul, which will be broadcast across the world.
The two choirs will sing at First Vespers in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls on June 28 and together again the next morning in the Vatican basilica during the papal Mass. The choirs will mark a significant point in the history of ecumenism as it will be the first time in 500 years that the Sistine Chapel Choir has sung with another choir.
Dr John Hall, the dean of Westminster, said: ‘This is a wonderful invitation, a fruit of the memorable visit of Pope Benedict to Westminster Abbey, when the abbey choir played its significant part in the ecumenical liturgy. I am heartened by this sign of the Holy Father’s wish to receive from the rich Anglican tradition that informs the daily worship at Westminster Abbey. It is more than ever important that Christians of different traditions pray together and receive from each other.”
Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, also expressed his delight with the invitation. He said: “I am delighted that the abbey choir will be taking part in the celebration of St Peter’s day in Rome. St Peter is the patron of the abbey; and celebrating together his apostolic witness and example is a powerful reminder of the call that our churches share to be faithful to the apostolic fullness of the Gospel today, ‘so that’, says St Peter, “in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ.’”
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster described the invitation as a “generous ecumenical gesture” from the Holy See and expressed his excitement that the Sistine Chapel Choir will also be performing in Britain for the first time when it sings at Westminster Cathedral on May 6.
WHEN life feels like a dark and silent tunnel, faith gives a Christian light and music, Pope Benedict XVI said at the end of his weeklong Lenten retreat.
Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa led the Pope’s retreat in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Apostolic Palace.
The Pope said he was particularly struck by the cardinal’s story about a friend of his who was in a coma and “had the impression of being in a dark tunnel, but at the end he saw a bit of light and heard beautiful music”.
March 9 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Bishops turn up heat on Cameron over gay marriage
BY ED WEST
PARISHIONERS up and down the country will be warned this Sunday about the threat from gay marriage.
In a letter to be read at all 2,500 Catholic churches in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster will say that Government plans to legalise same-sex marriage would be a “profoundly radical step” that stripped the institution of its “distinctive nature”.
The unusual move comes as the Coalition Government prepares to announce the terms of a national consultation on a proposed change to the law on marriage.
The letter, co-signed by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, says that extending marriage to same-sex couples would reduce it to a vague commitment between two people, where marriage between a man and a woman is “at the foundation of our society”.
Although quoting the Catechism and setting out Church teaching, they say that their “instinctive understanding” of marriage as a setting both for secure relationships and bringing up children will be shared by wider society. “Neither the Church nor the state has the power to change this fundamental understanding of marriage itself,” they write. “Nor is this simply a matter of public opinion.”
The bishops said: “Understood as a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman, and for the creation and upbringing of children, marriage is an expression of our fundamental humanity. Its status in law is the prudent fruit of experience, for the good of the spouses and the good of the family. In this way society esteems the married
Our present law does not discriminate unjustly when it requires both a man and a woman for marriage
For the latest
Catholic news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk couple as the source and guardians of the next generation. As an institution marriage is at the foundation of our society.
“There are many reasons why people get married. For most couples, there is an instinctive understanding that the stability of a marriage provides the best context for the flourishing of their relationship and for bringing up their children. Society recognises marriage as an important institution for these same reasons: to enhance stability in society and to respect and support parents in the crucial task of having children and bringing them up as well as possible.”
The archbishops’ letter is accompanied by a cover note asking priests to encourage their parishioners to sign a petition set up by Lord Carey’s Coalition for Marriage, opposing the redefinition of marriage. The petition has already gathered over 100,000 signatures.
The archbishops write: “The reasons given by our Government for wanting to change the definition of marriage are those of equality and discrimination. But our present law does not discriminate unjustly when it requires both a man and a woman for marriage. It simply recognises and protects the distinctive nature of marriage.
“Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now.”
Last weekend Cardinal Keith O’Brien described David Cameron’s proposals as “madness”. He said it “represents a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right” to “a mother and a father for every child”. Pastoral Letter: Page 2 Editorial Comment: Page 13
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Lord St John of Fawsley, faithful Catholic statesman, dies aged 82 BY ED WEST
FORMER Catholic Herald columnist and statesman Lord St John of Fawsley has died aged 82.
A former Conservative MP and Arts Minister and Leader of the House under Margaret Thatcher, Lord St John later served as Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and as chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission, and was the country’s foremost expert on the constitution and the Royal family. Born Norman Anthony Francis St John-Stevas on May 18, 1929, he was the only son of an engineer and company director, Stephen Stevas, and his Irish Catholic wife, Kitty St John O’Connor.
He was sent to Ratcliffe, and spent six months in Rome studying for the priesthood, but discovered he had no vocation and instead went up to Fitzwilliam House, Cambridge, where he became president of the Union.
From the 1950s he became a noted academic lawyer, lecturing and tutoring at Yale, Oxford and King’s College London, and also wrote extensively for the Economist, as well as a column for The Catholic Herald for several years during the 1960s.
Having contested the Labour stronghold of Dagenham in the 1951 election, St John-Stevas won Chelmsford for the Conservatives in 1964, and remained its MP until his elevation to the Lords in 1987. Although on the Left of the party, he supported Margaret Thatcher in the 1975 leadership election and become Opposition spokesman on education.
Later, as Leader of the House, he inaugurated the present system of parliamentary select committees.
A faithful Catholic, his house was decorated with images of Pius IX. He was also Grand Bailiff of the Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Catholic Herald is shortlisted for award
BY ED WEST
THE CATHOLIC HERALD has been selected as one of the five best Catholic newspapers in the world, according to readers of the American About.com Catholicism website. We have been nominated alongside the National Catholic Register, the Monitor, the National Catholic
Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor and the Wanderer.
Readers of The Catholic Herald can vote via our website, with voting ending on March 12.
The About.com awards also offer the chance to vote for the best Catholic book, blog, website, podcast, magazine, iPhone app and iPad app. The Herald was nominated last year, finishing in third place.
Heart of saint stolen from Dublin cathedral BY ED WEST
THE PRESERVED heart of St Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin, has been stolen from the city’s Christ Church Cathedral.
A burglar broke into the cathedral on Saturday and stole the heart, which has been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century. It was stored in a heart-shaped wooden box and secured in a small iron cage on the wall of a chapel dedicated to his memory.
The thief had cut through two bars, pried the cage loose, and made off with the relic.
Christ Church dates back to 1030. The Anglican Rev Dermot Dunne, the cathedral’s dean, said he was “devastated”. He said the relic had “no economic value” but was a priceless link to the past.
Miguel Cullen The dead of El Salvador gave me nightmares PAGE 6
Mary Kenny How the Empire liberated women PAGE 12
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