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SEPTEMBER 20 2013 THE CATHOLIC HERALD

Archbishop: peace in the Holy Land affects us all

BY DAVID V BARRETT

PROMOTING a just peace for all must be world leaders’ goal in the Holy Land, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said last week.

The Archbishop of Westminster discussed the plight of Christians affected by the Israeli security wall with Mahmoud Abbas, president of Palestinian Authority.

They met in London for talks on the urgent need for progress on the peace process and the importance of the continuing support of the Church in England and Wales for all in the Holy Land.

President Abbas said the presence of Christians in the Holy Land was vital as they are not viewed as a minority but an integral part of the Palestinian community. He thanked the Church in Britain for its work in supporting a peaceful solution, for its advocacy and for helping projects in the Holy Land. The Palestinian Authority is collaborating with the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem on house-building projects to enable Christians to remain in Jerusalem, he said.

The meeting followed discussions between President Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry about getting the peace process back on track.

President Abbas said that the continuing expansion of settlements on Palestinian land, particularly the cutting off of the West Bank from the rest of Palestine, posed a major threat to progress.

He called on the archbishop and all Christians for further

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Archbishop Nichols met to discuss the peace process last week help on the issue of Cremisan, where the building of the security wall and the appropriation of lands in Beit Jala, a suburb of Bethlehem, was affecting livelihoods and leading to an increase in Christians emigrating. Archbishop Nichols said Christians in England and Wales would continue to pray for peace and for the people in the Holy Land, and to support them in practical ways.

He cited the work of the Holy Land Co-ordination, mandated by the Holy See, and Friends of the Holy Land.

Archbishop Nichols said the meeting “gave an added dimension to our many visits and the continuing work of the Holy Land Co-ordination.”

Bishop criticises privatisation of prison sector

BY DAVID V BARRETT AND PAUL DONOVAN

THE GROWING role of the private sector in Britain’s prisons has been challenged by Bishop Richard Moth, the bishop for prisons.

Speaking at Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN)’s launch of a new Criminal Justice Forum in London Bishop Moth questioned the morality of companies making money out of incarcerating human beings. He said any private enterprise would need to have a financial return for shareholders.

“So there is a temptation to make money out of another’s crime – morally that has to be questionable,” he said, expressing similar concerns over the privatisation of the probation service with the work to be split between 21 companies including Serco and G4S.

Bishop Moth praised the role of the House of Lords in putting a hold on privatising probation until further assessment. “The Church needs to

Bishop Moth says making money out of anotherʼs crime is ʻmorally questionableʼ

maintain a voice as this debate goes forward,” he said, stressing that “the prison system must continue to offer the opportunity for reform and rehabilitation”. More can be done by parishes to help ex-prisoners, he said. “A welcoming community will do much to change the pattern of reoffending,” he suggested.

The bishop highlighted overcrowding in prisons and the detrimental effect this has on efforts to educate and rehabilitate prisoners.

“Staff-to-inmate ratios continue to be a difficulty,” said Bishop Moth, adding that overcrowding led to prisoners being kept for longer in their cells. “This is a backward step on the path to rehabilitation,” he said.

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright said: “Under our proposals, we will only pay providers in full when it is proven the services they provide cut reoffending.”

He said the changes would see the “best of the voluntary and private sector” working to turn offenders away from crime.

The Criminal Justice Forum will meet four times a year and it aims to enable people working in the sector to share their experiences and give a stronger voice to victims of crime.

Kolbe’s relics to be venerated Youth 2000 leader mourned

BY MADELEINE TEAHAN

RELICS of St Maximilian Kolbe will be venerated in London this month.

On the evening of Friday September 27 the relics – consisting of hairs from St Maximilian’s beard – will be placed in Notre Dame de France church in Leicester Square.

The evening coincides with the production of a play about the saint’s life, Kolbe’s Gift, on at the Leicester Square theatre in October.

The movement Spirit in the City, which brings together churches in London, inspired the visit of the relic.

A spokeswoman for Notre Dame de France said the community had been reflecting on the life of the saint.

She said: “We feel passionate about him because he was a contemporary evangeliser.”

St Maximilian was a missionary who gave his life for another man when he was detained at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. Although his body was cremated a fellow friar who trimmed his long beard had saved hairs in a handkerchief.

BY DAVID V BARRETT

A LEADING figure in the Youth 2000 movement has died in a car accident.

Dr Daniel Brudney had been involved in Youth 2000 for many years, and became a member of the leadership team in 2008.

Fiona Mansford, Youth 2000 managing director,

said: “Daniel was a living witness and example of faith and love in action, particularly at the Walsingham prayer festivals, where Doctor Daniel, a consultant microbiologist, would be seen often with his sleeves rolled up, a smile on his face, and a mop and bucket in hand, ready to serve wherever needed. Whatever Daniel did, he did with his whole heart and he loved the opportunity to serve others.

“He was driven by a love of God and of life and has left a trail of good behind him. If anyone deserves to hear the words ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ it is him.”

Youth 2000 organises weekend prayer festivals for young people.

INSTITUTE OF CHRIST THE KING SOVEREIGN PRIEST

The Shrine Church of SS Peter & Paul & Philomena

New Brighton, Wallesey, Wirral CH45 9LT (Rector: Canon Amaury Montjean. Tel: 0151 638 6822)

30 September - Monday Class All welcome. Come for all or part of the evening to learn about our Faith & the Liturgy 5.30 pm Holy Hour and Benediction; 6.30 pm Lecture on the significance of gestures in the Latin Mass; Tea and coffee.

Join the Polyphonic Choir afterwards!

www.domeofhome.org

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James Quantrill on 020 7448 3610 or email james@catholicherald.co.uk

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Experts: the law permits abortions on basis of gender Petition compels MEPs to consider embryo research

BY SIMON CALDWELL

THE GOVERNMENT should call an inquiry into the working of Britain’s abortion laws following claims that “sex-selective” abortions of baby girls are legal, the head of a pro-life charity has said.

Professor Jack Scarisbrick, the chairman of LIFE, accused clinics of using the 1967 Abortion Act to permit abortion on demand, including sex-selective abortions of girls, and said the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Department of Health should intervene.

His comments came after Ann Furedi, the chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the largest private abortion provider in Britain, defended sex-selective abortions as both legal and morally justifiable.

Professor Scarisbrick said her remarks showed that abortion services were “scandalously under-policed” and had become a “runaway bus”.

“How else could gender-selection abortion – aborting unborn girls simply because they are female – be potentially widely available?” Professor Scarisbrick asked.

“How can 98 per cent of abortions be done on mental health grounds when the experts, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, in a major study commissioned by them and funded by the Department of Health, conclude that abortion can never be better for a woman’s mental health and, on many occasions, can be the worse option?

“Effectively the experts are telling us that the great majority of abortions are not allowed under the Abortion Act and are therefore seriously unlawful. So the mental health clause simply amounts to abortion on demand.”

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry have questioned the decision by the CPS not to prosecute two doctors for reportedly agreeing to abortions on grounds of gender amid an outcry from parliamentarians and the media.

This followed the announcement by Jenny Hopkins, the Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, that although there was “enough evidence to justify bringing proceedings” it would not be in the public interest to do so.

In an article for Spiked, the online magazine, Mrs Furedi said there was nothing in the Act to prohibit such abortions, which she said were “rare”.

She challenged politicians critical of the practice “to get real about sex-selection abortion and stop playing politics with it”.

The British Medical Association and Neil Addison, a Catholic barrister believe the current law allows for sex selective abortion.

BY DAVID V BARRETT

A EUROPE-WIDE petition destructive protect human embryos from destructive stem-cell research has reached the million signatures necessary for the European Parliament to consider it.

The One of Us Campaign, launched last year, has raised a million signatures within a 12-month period, including that of Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark.

Under the European Citizens Initiative, One of Us leaders will now be given an official public hearing in the European Parliament.

They will outline the need for new European legislation that would recognise the dignity of the human embryo and block any future European funding for any activity that damages or destroys the human embryo including the use of human embryonic stem cells.

They are guaranteed a formal response from the European Commission on the merits of their proposal.

As the one million mark was passed last Thursday Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern,’ in Britain, said: “We were all embryos once. Today is an historic day. People across Europe have spoken. They have responded to the simple truth that every human embryo is ‘One of Us’ and worthy of protection and honour. It’s right that we take action to safeguard those who share our common humanity. Destroying human life is never justifiable... European political leaders wanted to encourage greater participation in EU decision-making. Now they need to show that they are listening by taking on board these proposals.”

The One of Us campaign, endorsed by Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, is only the second petition to reach the one million mark since the European Citizens Initiative scheme was introduced in February 2011.

In Britain the response to the campaign has been “shameful”, according to Josephine Quintavalle, cofounder of Comment on Reproductive Ethics. The target was 55,000 signatures – less than 0.1 per cent of Britain’s population – but the petition has only raised just under 11,000 signatures.

In contrast Italy, with the same quota, raised 370,000 signatures.

“It is not too late for the United Kingdom pro-life movement to wake up and participate in one of the simplest calls to witness ever asked of them,” Ms Quintavalle said.

The petition, which can be signed at Oneofus.org.uk. remains open until November 1. Comment: Page 12

NEWSBULLETIN Mgr Cushley: cardinal should not return home THE NEW archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has said that it would be wise if his predecessor does not return to Scotland.

On the subject of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Mgr Leo Cushley said: “I think it would probably be wiser and more helpful for the future of the Church here if he were not back in the country.”

He emphasised the cardinal was a “free man in a free country so he can come back if he wants”, adding: “But the Holy See will be the ones to ask him to do whatever it is they intend. We all have our own opinions about that and what would be best for him and what would be best for those who have been affected by his actions.”

Archbishop Martin criticises blogs THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN has described Catholic blogs as a “worrying phenomenon”.

In an address last Friday afternoon to the Faith of Our Fathers conference in Kilkenny, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said: “There is a growing tendency to ‘tabloidism’ in sectors of the Catholic press and there is a growing and worrying phenomenon of blogs, which are not just partial and sectarian but at times very far away from the charity with which the truth should be expressed.

“The Catholic journalist and the Catholic newspaper must be professional and live up to the highest professional standards of the broader profession to which they belong.”

The archbishop added: “This requires balance in reporting and the normal professional standards about verifying sources.”

Romero cross to be installed A HUGE Romero cross was due to be installed at St George’s Cathedral, south London, yesterday.

The cross is also a reliquary containing a fragment of Archbishop Romero’s blood-stained alb and his zucchetto.

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark will preside at an ecumenical ceremony attended by Mgr Ricardo Urioste, the 88-year-old former secretary to the archbishop.

Aberdeen hosts walk of witness CATHOLICS and Anglicans in Aberdeen will walk together between their two cathedrals on Saturday.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen said: “At a time when many secular voices urge the removal of a Christian perspective from our national life, we come together as Christians to bear witness to our faith and to show how far ecumenical friendships in Scotland has deepened and grown.”

Plater Trust invites charities to bid THE CHARLES PLATER TRUST is inviting bids for grants from organisations seeking to provide “education for people from the most marginalised sectors of society”. Visit Plater.org.uk for further information.

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