THE CATHOLIC HERALD JULY 4 2014
Catholic National Library is forced to close BY ED WEST
THE Catholic National Library has closed its doors to the public, citing its inability to “provide an adequate service to members with the existing staff we have”.
The library, which has struggled since its move from London to St Michael’s Abbey in Farnborough 10 years ago, is now searching for a permanent home.
Having lost a number of patrons through work commitments, the library was also hit by the death of trustee Ronald Kearney last month. In a statement Antony Tyler, secretary to the trustees, said: “You may be aware that for a number of years the Trustees of the Catholic National Library have been seeking a permanent home for the entire collection. Discussions are still taking place and we hope it may be possible to take a decision shortly. In the meantime the Trustees regretfully have to announce that the Library at Farnborough must close until further notice as from Friday June 27.”
The library consists of a vast collection of theology, spirituality, Catholic biography and history, as well as mission registers dating back to the 17th century, and an 18th Century translation of the gospels by Rev John Lingard.
Fr Ian Ker, one of the trustees, said that the main hope was that the library found a fixed, permanent home.
He said: “It is hard to find backers when it does not have a permanent home.”
Dom Cuthbert Brogan, Abbot of Farnborough, said that the library was welcome to stay there. He said: “The library operates separately to the monks, it’s an independent thing to us. We have noticed it has slowed down, and with the death of Ronald Kearney, who was a great strength.
“It’s not operating now but we keep it warm and dry until they make a decision. The abbey has given it 10 years of free space and a place to be, and we’ve tried to play a part in preserving it.”
The abbey does face some space constraints because of the library, especially as it has now established a new liturgical institution in collaboration with the bishops’ conference.
“We also have questions of space,” the abbot said. “They do take a lot of space, twice as much as we originally planned, over two levels of basement in the large classic monastic building.”
The library had been based in London and many of the items had suffered from damp after being left in the basement. The abbot said: “It has become effectively storage, but the monks have been very enthusiastic about the collaboration, if we can help.” He added that if the library was able to maintain itself they were happy for the collection to stay.
“The whole culture has changed, and secular libraries are having the same problems. They’re emptier because you can find most of the information in the library on the internet. My view is that we monks are oldfashioned: we l ike things of apiece, there i s a something special about a library, as long as it’s looked after and dry.”
The l ibrary moved f rom
London in late 2004 after it was forced to move from its home in St Pancras Church House, an Anglican church hall, opposite Euston Station. At the time the organisers hoped to move the 70,000 volumes to Bloomsbury but failed.
The Catholic Central Library was founded in the 19th century by a wealthy American, William Reed Lewis, who had amassed a large private collection and lent Catholic books to US soldiers during the First World War. After his collection was sold to the Catholic Truth Society, the library was established in its present form in 1957 and in 1959
the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement took over responsibility.
But the library’s future has been uncertain ever since 1997 when it moved from its home behind Westminster Cathedral, and was saved by intervention by the Catholic Writers’ Guild.
It has been dogged by financial concerns and in 2004 it lost an annual grant from the Archdiocese of Westminster.
Its location at Farnborough, once nicknamed “the book factory” because of the high publication rate under its first abbot, was described as permanent in 2007.
Irish abuse survivors to meet the Pope
Vatican cricketers to tour England
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
BRITISH survivors of clerical abuse are due to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican this week.
They will be among other victims from Ireland, Poland and America who will attend a private audience with the Holy Father at his residence Domus Sanctæ Marthæ.
This will be the first meeting of its type during Pope Francis’s pontificate since his election in March 2013.
Pope Francis first hinted that the meeting would take place during a press conference on the plane home from the Holy Land in May.
The meeting is designed to help the healing process for people who have been traumatised by abuse.
In December 2013, Pope Francis announced a new Vatican commission established to tackle the problem of clerical abuse.
The new commission includes lay people, such as Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, as well as members of religious orders and priests such as Cardinal Séan O’Malley of Boston.
Marie Collins told the Irish Times that she felt “hopeful” and “positive” about the new commission.
She said although it was still early days, “from what I’ve seen, I think it’s going in the right direction. I do think the people involved are sincere.” She said that she was “more positive after the first meeting than I was beforehand”.
Benedict XVI also met abuse survivors on several occasions in different countries during his pontificate.
Saint on display Body at heart of cathedral
THE BODY of the Reformation martyr St John Southworth was displayed at the centre of the mother church of England and Wales last week.
The saint, who is usually located by the grilles of the small St George’s Chapel, was placed in the main aisle of Westminster Cathedral to celebrate his feast day on June 27. St John Southworth was born in Lancashire in 1592 to a Catholic family and trained for the priesthood in France. He returned to England twice. The first time he was deported, the second time he was arrested and sentenced to death for being a priest.
Academic post is funded by Sisters and executives
BY STAFF REPORTER
CAMBRIDGE economist Dr Mark Hayes has been appointed the first holder of the newly created St Hilda Chair in Catholic Social Thought and Practice at Durham University.
Dr Hayes, who was educated at Stonyhurst, has a background in the finance industry and is currently a Fellow and Director of Studies in Economics at Robinson College, Cambridge.
The new post, within the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham, has been funded by a £2 million endowment paid for by women’s religious congregations, business people and charitable foundations.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said the appointment showed the “vital contribution” Catholic teaching can make to society.
Dr Hayes is the author of The Economics of Keynes: A New Guide to The General Theory.
Professor Alec Ryrie, head of the Department of Theology and Religion and Durham, said Dr Hayes would connect the academy to “real-world economic issues such as Fair Trade”. He added: “Having him in this post in Durham offers a unique opportunity to bring Catholic social thought and practice into conversation with a very wide range of ecumenical and secular dialogue-partners.”
Dr Anna Rowlands, chairwoman of the Centre for Catholic Social Thought and Practice, described it as a “truly groundbreaking post” and said Dr Hayes would be taking up the “invitations of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis to rethink and remodel our dominant forms of economic life”.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said: “Indeed the time has urgently come to educate and form men and women in Catholic Social Thought and Practice.
“Their challenge is to integrate this discipline into their faith life, and through greater dialogue and principled leadership, to implement it in social and charitable efforts, in economic and commercial enterprises, and in communications, politics and culture.
“The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace congratulates Dr Mark Hayes on his appointment.”
The Centre for Catholic Studies was established in 2008.
Its first post was the Bede Chair of Catholic Theology, which was made possible after donations totalling £2.1 million from the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, Ampleforth Abbey, the Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of La Retraite and the Ballinger Trust.
Film about Catholicism wins festival accolades
BY ED WEST
A FILM criticised for being antiCatholic has won the Edinburgh Film Festival’s Student Critics Jury Award.
Stations of the Cross, directed by Dietrich Brüggemann, was given the award by a jury of seven aspiring film critics from the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and St Andrews, under the guidance of leading newspaper critics.
The film is an allegorical story of a 14-year-old girl who, on the verge of adulthood, goes through 14 stages corresponding to the Passion of Jesus. Her parents belong to a strict Catholic community with some resemblance to the Society of St Pius X. Torn between the mockery of her secular school friends and the constant disapproval of her mother, she yearns to become a saint.
As well as featuring a fanatical Catholic mother who opposes choir practise as sinful, the film shows a priest who manipulates the girls’ Confession to suggest that she has lustful thoughts towards a fellow pupil.
A review for Variety magazine said that the “monolithic extremism” of the group grows “tiresome” and that there is “a sneaking suspicion that the rush to preach against religious excess – a worthy pursuit – has merely resulted in another form of sanctimonious sermonising.”
Stella needs you to get
Stella walks for three hours every day to fetch river water which carries disease. She has no choice. The dam that once provided clean water has silted up and now Stella’s land is arid and barren.
Please give £8 a month to help Stella’s community get hands on and restore their dam.
cafod.org.uk/handsDonateat or call 0303 303 3030 (9.30-5.30 Mon-Fri)
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE VATICAN cricket team will visit England in September and go head-tohead with their Church of England rivals.
St Peter’s Cricket Club’s “Light of Faith Tour” will culminate in a charity game between them and an Anglican XI.
The match is scheduled to take place at Kent County Cricket Club near Canterbury Cathedral on September 19 at 4pm.
The game will be held following a friendly challenge posed by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council of Culture, to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “I am delighted and intrigued at the initiative of a cricket club, with the remarkable title of St Peter’s Cricket Club visiting this country to compete with, among others, a cricket team gathered together by the Church of England. This must surely be a historic first. When I was a student in Rome there was a regular series of cricket matches between the various Colleges but we never thought of going on tour! I hope this visit is a great success and does much to strengthen friendships between us all.”
The St Peter’s team is made up of two priests, four deacons and seven seminarians, all men involved in formation for the priesthood in Rome. There are eight Indians, two Sri Lankans, and one each from Pakistan, England and Ireland. The majority are from the international Pontifical Colleges Maria Mater Ecclesiae and Collegio Urbano.
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