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  1. The Primacy of Christ in the Vision of Edward Holloway

    Therefore, we can legitimately pose the question: what if these law-governed principles are simply two aspects of one Unity-Law that holds them in distinction in the order of being but have a dynamic unity of purpose and end in the person of Christ?

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  2. FAQ: Why do Catholics have to go to Mass on Sunday? Why not Monday?

    FAQ: Why do Catholics have to go to Mass on Sunday? Why not Monday?
    In the Old Testament God commanded his people to keep holy the Sabbath. The Church, which is the new People of God, observes Sunday as the Sabbath in commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ which happened on a Sunday. We keep holy our Sabbath by attending Mass and in this way obeying Christ&r...
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  3. ARCHIVE: The Cardinal, the Pope & the Scientists

    ARCHIVE: The Cardinal, the Pope & the Scientists
    Editorial FAITH Magazine November-December 2005If they had the power to know so much that they could investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things? (Wisdom 13,9).Science And The Magisterium, A New ControversyHis Eminence Cardinal Schonborn managed to spark ...
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  4. ARCHIVE: Holiness is Fitting for your House, O Lord

    ARCHIVE: Holiness is Fitting for your House, O Lord
    Editorial FAITH Magazine September-October 2003“If anything constant remains in our days of recurring crisis, it is that the certainties have gone out of life, out of the life of the individual and out of the life of society.It is a heartbreaking realisation.The feeling of insecurity i...
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  5. FAQ: If disease & death are a result of Original Sin, then how come they affect organisms that cannot sin & predate the Fall?

    FAQ: If disease & death are a result of Original Sin, then how come they affect organisms that cannot sin & predate the Fall?
    Properly speaking, it is human suffering and death which are a result of the Fall, not disease and death in the purely material creation. Clearly, if God gave humans and animals the plants for food (Gen 1:29-30), then He envisaged that plants would die before the Fall. And presuming that we are n...
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  6. ARCHIVE: The Crusades - Seeking the Truth

    ARCHIVE: The Crusades - Seeking the Truth
    Nicholas Schofield FAITH Magazine May-June 2006The crusades capture the imagination – but over the years they have done so in many different ways. Here are three modern examples:When I was a boy, I spent many a happy hour with my toy soldiers. I was particularly keen on playing ‘...
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  • Faith and the Future

    Faith and the future
     
    Over to Mary
     
    THE DECISION BY THE Bishops of England and Wales to renew the dedication of the country to Mary – following the original dedication by Richard II in the 14th century – taps into an important spiritual reserve. The Scottish Bishops similarly dedicated Scotland to Our Lady at the shrine of Carfin in 2017. And without ignoring that great nation, with its own heritage and noble story, we need to explore this English thing for a moment.
     
    Running a bit low?
     
    We use the word “reserve” in the sense that a reservoir holds water, or a good cellar a reserve of wine and food. A nation can have a reserve of spiritual strength, perhaps running a bit low – water can do that in a dry spell too – but still available for use. There is, among Catholics in Britain, a reserve of faith, a recognition of a rich heritage kept with great courage by martyrs and cherished down generations, that exists in a sort of collective family album. It is multi-racial, is not associated with nationalism and is not political. It does not seek to be integriste or to indulge in notions of a Church/State alliance that is associated with unhelpful examples abroad and a folk memory of bitter Reformation conflict at home. It is not even particularly nostalgic. It is more like a family album - perhaps one of those new on-line sort – muddled, but recognisable, with pages yet to be filled and new sections opened.
     
    Bafflement
     
    This spiritual reserve was opened up – and was also replenished by – the successful State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, exactly a decade ago this year. There was goodwill and a cheerful neighbourly mood which - to the bafflement of the mass media in general and the BBC in particular – brought crowds into the streets to cheer the Pope and coachload after coachload to the Mass at Cofton Park for the beatification of John Henry Newman.
     
    Newman – yes, he is an important part of this heritage. A very English saint in so many ways: Oxford, of course, and London up to a point, but more importantly also unfashionable Birmingham, and railway journeys, and humour, and a strong sense of justice. And, as a Catholic, being misunderstood, and regarded as marginal to national life until reality dawned and the public came to grasp the bigger picture. And attractive in an ecumenical spirit: we were touched by the moving message of HRH the Prince of Wales at Newman’s canonisation, revealing as it did a real knowledge of the saint, and a love of his beautiful poems and hymns.
     
    Who we are
     
    A first point to grasp about the Catholic community of England and Wales is what a mix we are. By far the biggest annual pilgrimage to Walsingham is that of the Tamils. Another large group is Caribbean. Many of our parishes, and our priests – notably in South London, for example – are African. There are large numbers of Filipinos among us. There are substantial numbers of Indian people, many from Kerala. There are a good many Poles – they have their own churches and parish structure dating from the years following WWII, but are present in plenty of other parishes too.
     
    Saints
     
    Newman is our newest saint, and he joins those whose names have become more and more familiar to Catholics in Britain since the canonisation of the Forty English and Welsh Martyrs by Paul VI in 1970. Here, too, there was a reclaiming of truth. How pleasing it is to note that many of our newer Catholic schools and colleges are named in their honour: St Edmund Campion, St John Payne, St Richard Reynolds, St Philip Howard, and the others are now familiar to Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the 21st century.
     
    And more
     
    We are not particularly tribal. Catholic events tend to have ecumenical guests, and there is a general and genial feeling that a common Christian witness is important and should be presented whenever feasible. We are uninterested in old polemics: there are new issues to tackle.
     
    We are uncomfortably realistic about the state of the Church (revelations of sexual sins etc) and about falling Mass attendance and a shortage of clergy.
     
    We know our Catholic schools are popular and successful, but also that many (most?) of the children and staff involved are not regular Massgoers.
     
    We quite like sharing gloomy statistics and announcing solutions that reflect our varied personal opinions and loyalties.
     
    Heritage
     
    And now the Bishops of England and Wales unite us all again with all of this heritage: this March they will dedicate the country to Mary.
     
    Who will be interested? Walsingham sees large Rosary processions each summer, notably with the New Dawn gathering and with Youth 2000. Thanks in part to St John Paul and the revival of the Rosary during his pontificate, Marian devotion is definitely a part of Catholic life in Britain in 2020 and cherished by many: anyone born since the 1990s grew up with the “new” Luminous Mysteries and with a knowledge of vast pilgrimages to Lourdes and Fatima. Travelling to Lourdes to help with the disabled pilgrims is almost a rite of passage for many young Catholics, and even if the chief memories are social rather than spiritual, indelible images remain of massive candlelit processions, affirmations of faith, solidarity with the suffering, the hugeness of a worldwide Church
     
    That said, it seems unlikely that there will be massive crowds at the re-dedication events this March. This won’t be a rerun of a Papal visit. Nor will it be a media event, or one that impinges in any dramatic way on the national consciousness. But we can and should expect some spiritual fruits.
     
    Mary
     
    As we dedicate England and Wales to Mary we might think of things that we could ask of her. Hymns to Mary traditionally beg her, plead with her, for help, reminding her that she is a mother who cares for her children, and who intercedes for them. So FAITH magazine offers some suggestions for our readers to use in their prayers.
     
    • We might first of all beg for courage –particularly for our bishops, tasked with leading us and directing us. And let’s be specific: courage to tackle instructions from official Government bodies obliging schools to adopt “relationships education” forcing children to listen to false and crude statements on sexual matters. We might ask for a clear and united statement from our Bishops announcing that Catholic schools will use only material that strictly conforms to Catholic teaching both in style
    and in detail, centred on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
     
    • It’s March – season of spring and the traditional time for some house-cleaning and tidying up, work generally supervised by mothers. Might our household bureaucracy benefit from this? Some months back, the Catholic Education Service made a terrible mess of itself by adopting wholesale chunks of verbiage from a militant homosexual lobby group. We are overdue for a major tidy-out there.
     
    • And let us beg for more and more men to respond generously to the call to the priesthood, for more religious sisters, for more Catholic teachers. And those requests should come with a sense of discomfort: in today’s culture making a firm commitment is not easy, and the call can quite easily be brushed aside as irritating.
     
    • But not all prayers have to be announced publicly, and perhaps the most important will be those added from the depths of our hearts on matters of the heart. Mary as mother is particularly open to pleas for personal help – for Catholics seeking good spouses, for the lonely and the forgotten, for the many broken families…
     
    Solemn
     
    With this prayer-list ready, let us approach this solemn re-dedication of England with open hearts. Walsingham is a popular place of pilgrimage, and is central to our selfunderstanding as Catholics in our country. The destruction of the shrine under Henry VIII and its revival at the end of the 19th century is echoed in the whole story of Catholicism in Britain. And it’s a death-and-resurrection story which is rooted in the centrality of what we understand as Christians. That is why we dare to ask for a revival of the Faith in our land. That is why re-dedicating England to Mary is not some exercise in goodwill or a feel-good thing for people who like Marian hymns. As so often happens in the life of the Church, something offered with faith, hope and love will – perhaps after some testing and some challenges and difficulties – be fruitful and achieve more than we can imagine.
     
    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee….