National

More people than ever, around the world, are being forced to flee their homes from war and oppression. Thousands of people have risked their lives to seek a new life in Europe, setting off with little more than the clothes they are wearing, with no idea what the future holds. Many are now living in poor conditions, with European governments struggling to provide adequate support.

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Pope Francis released two documents on 8 September reforming the way that the Church deals with the handling of annulments of marriages. The documents were released in the form of a Motu Proprio, which is a Papal document issued on his own initiative and signed by the Holy Father.

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‘Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me (Mt 25:40)’

At last Sunday’s Angelus, 6 September, Pope Francis invited every parish, religious house and monastery in Europe to respond to the growing refugee crisis by offering a place of sanctuary to families fleeing from war and persecution in their home countries. The Pope calls on our generosity and solidarity to recognise and act upon our common humanity.

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Proclaim 15 was a gathering of enthusiastic people from across the dioceses of England and Wales that came together in Birmingham last Saturday to explore what it meant to embrace a spirit of evangelisation and how in our parish communities we might form a people fired up for mission and for proclaiming and living the Gospel. So many diocesan groups were accompanied by their bishop which gave a real sense of a diocesan family being ‘in it together’!

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Last week the Bishops of England and Wales met in Rome for a week of reflection and discussion.

In addition to the Bishops’ own reflections, there were a number of talks:

Fr Wojciech Giertych OP, the Papal Theologian, who spoke on Philosophical and Theological Anthropology.

Fr Nicolas Steeves SJ, Professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, who spoke on the Imagination and the Person.

Mons. Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who spoke on the Church in a Digital World and how we communicate Good News.

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Writing to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Pope Francis has sent a message to the police chiefs, government officials and bishops gathered in London for an international conference on human trafficking. “We must never forget, nor may we ignore, the suffering of so many men, women and children whose human dignity is violated through this exploitation.”

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Recently, Mr Julian Oliver, President of the Cirencester and South Cotswolds Catenian Association, presented a cheque to Fr Matt Anscombe, Clifton Diocese Vocations Director, for £1000.

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The Bible – “Answer To Seasonal Stress and Anxiety”
“The Bible offers everyone, especially those experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety in these weeks leading up to Christmas, life-changing words of peace and hope,” affirmed the Catholic bishop who oversees the work of mission in England and Wales.

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