Felipe Fernández-Armesto Why I find Catholicism incredibly liberating
CHARTERHOUSE, PAGE 24
Simon Sebag Montefiore Writing about Jerusalem very nearly killed me INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
September 9 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Bishops make sweeping changes on first anniversary of papal visit
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE BISHOPS of England and Wales will celebrate the first anniversary of the papal visit with a thanksgiving Mass a week on Sunday as sweeping changes are introduced to the Catholic Church in Britain.
Following the introduction of new translation of the Roman Missal last week, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales will re-establish abstinence from meat on Fridays on September 16.
This day will inaugurate a three-day period of papal visit anniversary celebrations, with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Saturday and a Mass of Thanksgiving on Sunday at Westminster Cathedral.
Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the bishops’ conference, said that Catholics needed to “renew understanding about the importance of penitence in Christian life”.
In a statement concerning Friday penance he said: “Every Friday is set aside as a special day of penitence, as it is the day of the suffering and death of the Lord. They [the bishops] believe it is important that all the faithful again be united in a common, identifiable act of Friday penance because they recognise that the virtue of penitence is best acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness.
“The law of the Church requires Catholics on Fridays to abstain from meat, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the bishops’ conference. The bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this penance should be fulfilled simply by abstaining from meat and by uniting this to prayer. Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat
Visitors attend an exhibition of photographs of Pope Benedict’s historic state visit to Britain at the Grant Bradley Gallery in Bristol Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake.”
Fr Stock said the visit of Pope Benedict XVI had rekindled the hope and faith of many. He noted a “spiritual yearning” among Catholics and said that their desire to witness to their faith would benefit from traditional devotions. These devotions, he said, “such as making the Sign of the Cross with care and reverence, praying the Angelus, saying a prayer before and after our meals, to name only a few, are straightforward actions which both dedicate certain moments in our daily lives to Almighty God and demonstrate our love and trust in His goodness and providence.
“If these devotions have been lost or even forgotten, particularly in our homes and schools, we have much to gain from learning and living them again.”
Fr Stock said that the initial abandonment of abstinence from meat on Fridays in 1984 stemmed from the “spirit of the time and an awakening of personal freedoms”. He hoped that a return to the practice will provide Catholics with a
“common identity” and enable them to be “more confident in the expression of their faith”.
He said: “The Holy Father enabled the people of this country to see the Catholic faith as something which is not a problem but instead as something which is very valuable in its contribution to society.”
The Mass of Thanksgiving to commemorate the papal visit will take place on Home Mission Sunday, a day dedicated to supporting missionary work and evangelisation. The Mass will be attended by people who helped to ensure that the papal visit was a success. Feature: Page 9 Editorial comment: Page 17
Parishes ‘adapt well’ to new Mass translationBYEDWEST
PARISHES in England and Wales are adapting well to the new English Mass translation after it was introduced last week, a leading liturgy official has said. Martin Foster, acting secretary for the Department of Christian Life and Worship of the Bishops’ Conference, said the change over had gone well.
He said: “Different parishes have done a different amount of preparation. Some had heard about it but some parishes have been introducing it for a long while and so people were ready for it. But otherwise it went well.”
The bishops announced in January that the new translation of the Order of Mass would be introduced three months before Advent.
Fr Ray Blake of St Mary Magdalene’s church in Brighton said that introducing the text was “not as messy as I feared”. He said: “One person enthused about the beauty of the Gloria and how it seemed easier.”
Fr Tim Finigan of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, Kent, wrote on his blog: “This morning, for the first time, I was able to celebrate Mass in English at which we used a decent translation... I was rather moved to be able to use it fully for the first time.” Pastor Iuventus: Page 21
Pope praises greatest Lutheran composer on eve of Germany trip BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE POPE has praised the world’s most famous Lutheran composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, on the eve of his visit to Germany.
Approximately half the population of Pope Benedict XVI’s homeland is Lutheran, which will provide a significant context to the Pope’s visit to Germany later this month.
Speaking at his general audience at Castel Gandolfo the Pope recalled listening to a
Bach cantata at a concert in Munich in 1981.
He said: “I felt, not out of reasoning, but deep in my heart, that what we had listened to had given me something of the great composer’s faith, and it compelled me to praise and thank the Lord.”
He said he also turned to Lutheran Bishop Johannes Hanselmann, who was sitting next to him, and they both agreed that “anyone who has heard this knows that the faith is true”.
It is reported that the cantata to which the Pope was referring, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, was composed by the German musician for the Mass of the 27th Sunday after the feast of the Holy Trinity, the Sunday before the beginning of Advent in the Lutheran liturgical year.
After the general audience the Pope was treated to a concert in his honour by Italian Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, a composer and former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir.
The Pope will visit Germany from September 22 to September 25. His itinerary will include a meeting with Lutheran leaders at the Augustinian monastery in Erfurt. The monastery is particularly significant because Martin Luther took his monatic vows there in the early 1500s.
The Pope will also meet the German president Christian Wulff and the chancellor Angela Merkel. Full report: Page 4
Indian parish offers cash to big families BY STAFF REPORTER
A PARISH in the state of Kerala is offering incentives to encourage families to have more children amid worries that the Catholic population has begun to drop.
St Vincent De Paul Forane church hands out fixed-rate deposits of 10,000 rupees (US £135), held in the name of the family’s fifth child.
Fr Jose Kocharackal, parish priest, said that by the end of the month the Church had issued deposits to two families, adding that part of the Sunday collection was set aside for funding the deposits.
Salu Mecheril, co-ordinator of the Sion Pro-Life Movement, which is helping to fund the initiative, said a second parish was adopting the same plan.
Newspaper reveals Pope’s summer diet BY CINDY WOODEN
JOURNALISTS at the Vatican newspaper have been allowed access to the papal farm at Castel Gandolfo for the first time in years.
The farm, which covers 50 acres, supplies the Pope’s table with extra-virgin olive oil, milk, eggs, free-range chicken, honey, apricots and peaches. The farm took shape in the
1930s under Pope Pius XI, according to L’Osservatore Romano. It is home to an olive grove, fruit trees, 25 cows, 300 hens and 60 chickens.
Saverio Petrillo, director of the papal villa, said Pius XI had “great affection” for two gazelles there and used to feed them. Sadly, he said, they jumped the fence in fright one day and, to the pope’s “great sorrow”, were hit by a car.
Douglas Murray After Regensburg no one speaks out PAGE 8
Fr Tim Gardner Meatless Fridays don’t have to be boring PAGE 9
Mission Solidarity Welfare Hospitality
Masses for Seafarers
To mark the feast of Our Lady Star of the Sea,
Stella Maris also World Maritime Day, the Apostleship of the Sea invite you to Mass Wednesday 28th September 2011
at 17:30 Westminster Cathedral Thursday 29th September 2011
at 17:45 St Aloysius 25 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RE
for more info contact John Green: email@example.com or 0207 012 8607 I thank the Lord for the work of the Apostleship of the Sea, which for many years has offered human and spiritual support to those who live this difficult and challenging way of life.
Pope Benedict XVI