- Conscience and the Commons
Following his election as Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron was grilled by the media about his beliefs as an evangelical Christian. Has the focus on faith, which began with Tony Blair, reached the point where it is harder than ever to hold religious beliefs and play an active role in political life?
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Irish Catholic LGBT groups meet with Archbishop of Armagh to discuss Church's treatment of gays
- 'Bishop of bling' sued by his former diocese for €3.9m after lavish refurbishment project
- Right to die is someone else’s duty to kill, warns Nichols ahead of new bill
- Chinese bishop, 89, leads protests against Government's cross-removal campaign
- Deacons aren’t just decaffeinated priests Dr Bridie Stringer
- The Church can and must pronounce on scientific matters Paul Younger
- Families, like the Church, should be havens for the broken Diana Russell
Archbishops echoed Pope Francis’ call for a compassionate Church that serves the most vulnerable at Midnight Masses in England last night.
The Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, urged Catholics to follow the Pope's example and look after people who were “urban remnants … outcasts or leftovers.”
Christian communities must befriend and support migrants and refugees in particular, he added.
“Every Christmas the details of the Nativity story urge us to be people and communities that do welcome others, especially the stranger who is in need, and to pray for those who are far from their homes and their loved ones for many different reasons,” he said.
Both Archbishop Longley and the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, prayed for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
“Churches in Iraq and Syria, in Egypt and in the Holy Land itself feel that there is now no room for them,” said Archbishop Longley.
Archbishop Nichols, in his homily for Midnight Mass at Westminster Cathedral, said that Christians are the most widely persecuted religious group in the world.
He said: “As Prince Charles said last week: ‘Christianity was literally born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters.’”
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called on Christians to take an active role in fighting injustice.
He said church could not be separated from politics. “The action of the churches in the last five years is extraordinary, reaching out in ways not seen since 1945. Yet no society can be content where misery and want exist, unless through our love collectively we also challenge the greed and selfishness behind it,” he said.
Archbishop Welby also reflected on the plight of threatened communities in the Middle East where he said Christians were “attacked and massacred, driven into exile.”
Read the full text of Archbishop Nichols' address here
Read the full text of Archbishop Longley's address here (via Birmingham archdiocesan website)