Faith Blog

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  1. FAQ: If God is All-Good, why do bad things happen?

    God has created different sorts of things. In particular He has created matter, which is simply controlled by His laws of nature (the laws we attempt to discover in the natural sciences). He has also created 

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  2. What has Ethiopia to Teach us?

    What has Ethiopia to Teach us?
    Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali FAITH MAGAZINE July-August 2014The introduction of Christianity to Ethiopia is charted in the Acts of the Apostles. The contemporary story of this ancient Christian church, though, has much to teach us, says Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali.The St Frumentius Lectures in Addi...
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  3. FAQ: What does being Confirmed mean?

    FAQ: What does being Confirmed mean?
    We are made members of the Body of Christ through receiving three sacraments - Baptism, Confirmation,  which we receive only once, and the Holy Eucharist which is Christ Himself. Confirmation completes and strengthens ('confirms') the spiritual “character” and belonging t...
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  4. New edition of Faith Magazine online!

    New edition of Faith Magazine online!
    The New July-August edition of Faith Magazine is now online. ...
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  5. New series of talks in London!

    New series of talks in London!
    All are welcome to our Autumn series of talks Jesus Christ and Human Love.The talks are a great opportunity to deepen your faith and to connect with other Catholics.Talks will take place on alternate Tuesday evenings at 19:30 from 23rd September in the Crypt of Our Lady of Assumption Catholi...
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  6. Summer Session Roundup Video!

    Summer Session Roundup Video!
    The Faith Summer Session 2014 was as good as any in recent memory, set in the beautiful grounds of Woldingham School in Surrey. The theme was especially relevent given contemporary challenges to family life and the upcoming Synod on that subject.Here our very own David Edwards provides a quick su...
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  7. ARCHIVE: Confusion over the Meanings of Marriage

    ARCHIVE: Confusion over the Meanings of Marriage
    Editorial FAITH Magazine March-April 2006The "Ends" of Marriage: An Unresolved TeachingThe old Code of Canon Law (1917) stated that “the primary end of marriage is the procreation and education of offspring; the secondary end is mutual love and support, and the remedying of c...
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  8. New photos from Faith Summer Session!

    New photos from Faith Summer Session!
    See more photos in the new album on our Facebook page and please like us too!   ...
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  9. Summer Session Success!

    Summer Session Success!
    The Faith Summer Session 2014 has just come to a close. Young people from across the UK and beyond gathered to hear talks on the topic of The Family In God's Plan and the Modern World. The Summer Session combines time for presentations on the faith, daily Mass, prayer and the opportunity for ...
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  10. Summer Session 2014 Update

    Summer Session 2014 Update
    See our new video update from the Faith Summer Session 2014. Sr Andrea Frailie describes what has been going on at the conference so far which is addressing the theme of The Family in God's Plan and The Modern World. She speaks about the presentation she gave to the conference on th...
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  11. Summer Session 2014 begins!

    Summer Session 2014 begins!
    Faith Summer Session 2014 has begun at Woldingham School, Surrey. The Conference is for those aged 16-35 and is addressing the theme "The Family in God's Plan and in the Modern World". The first speaker of the conference was Dr Stephen Dingley, tutor of Theology at St John's Sem...
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  • Editorial: Courage as we look ahead

    Courage as we look ahead

    It is not going to be easy being a Catholic bishop or priest in the Britain of the next few years. The combination of ignorance – most of the rising generation in Britain have very little first-hand knowledge or experience of the Christian faith – and of prejudice, in a social climate increasingly alert to the glee of denouncing anyone possibly guilty of having violated the rules of political correctness, make for a grim atmosphere.
    The ignorance about the Church is massive. For large numbers of people, the only known facts about Catholic belief is that Catholics are against abortion and that the Church “hates gays”. There is very little general knowledge about the basic tenets of the Creed: God becoming man and living among us, dying and rising again and establishing for eternity the bond between humanity and God planned by God from “the beginning”.
    All of that would be bad enough. But of course there is more. There is a general vague notion that “hundreds and hundreds” of Catholic priests have routinely subjected children to sexual abuse and that nothing has ever been done about it.
    And in discussing the whole ghastly topic of sex abuse, the prospects of getting a fair hearing are not great. Nor should we complain about that: if the hearer assumes that we are going to defend evil behaviour, he is obviously not going to make much effort to listen to us. It is no use beginning the conversation by noting that the number of priests who have ever been involved in this evil is tiny – far smaller than in any other comparable profession. It just doesn’t matter. The retort will probably something along the lines of “one is one too many” – a cliché which, like most clichés, is true. It is crucial to establish that this evil behaviour shames the Church and is a source of penitence for every Catholic, and to seize the opportunity to get to the heart of things and note that we rightly call priests to a far higher standard than any one else, and ask why. We can then start talking about what a priest is, and whether or not there is a God, and why and how we know about good and evil, right and wrong. We can note in passing the truth that the number of priests who have been involved in this evil is tiny: but simply re-stating that will not help to get people nearer to Christ.
    In this climate, it is tempting to retreat and leave all evangelisation to others. A lack of action can be comfortably filled by criticising bishops, denouncing any missionary efforts as a waste of time, or gleefully reporting the latest depressing Mass attendance figures.
    What line does the Faith Movement take? We run regular and well-attended youth events which have grown in number and in size over the 40-plus years of the Movement’s work, and we frequently and frankly discuss the Mass attendance figures and related statistics and invariably link this with specific and practical plans and actions for reversing the trend.
    Above all, we show how the Faith can be presented in a scientific perspective with clarity, integrity and conviction.
    Within the Faith Movement, we have a range of ideas for that latter point. To take one example, the Editor takes issue with those who affirm that “all our Catholic schools are a waste of time – better to get rid of them”. For many young people, baptised into the Catholic Church but rarely attending Mass, a school could be one place where some contact may be made with a Catholic Faith that is otherwise completely alien to them. The Editor is aware of initiatives in Catholic schools that have included Rosary Clubs, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (“surprisingly popular” I was told “they seem to like the atmosphere”), talks on the plight of persecuted Christians, visits from religious sisters explaining their vocation and message, and meetings of “mini-vinnies” – the junior version of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
    Reactions of pupils to Religious Education can be unexpected. The Editor recalls “Have you come to talk about abortion?” as being the first question asked by VI formers on three separate occasions when arriving to speak. The well-intentioned arrangements for having regular speakers on that subject had produced the assumption that this was the only subject on which the Church had anything to say. (It is good to be able to report that pupils at these and other schools have responded well to talks on, among other subjects, saints John Paul II and John Henry Newman, the Church’s calendar of feasts and seasons, ancient Marian shrines in England, and the story of how the Anglo-Saxons became Christian.)
    The way ahead
    The way ahead is evangelisation. We need prayerful Bishops who are courageous and give us clear leadership. We need good and holy priests. We need young men and women who are prepared to become RE teachers in Catholic schools. We need parish catechists who are prepared to be properly trained (the Maryvale Institute offers excellent courses).
    It seems likely that there will be attempts to introduce legislation stating that priests must reveal what they hear in confession if it relates to any form of sexual abuse. But no Catholic priest can ever reveal what he hears in confession: and there have been those who have refused to do so, and have died because of that refusal. The Church cannot and will not ever suggest that there could be any change in that. As one bishop has recently put it: "The history of the Catholic Church has a number of people who’ve been put to death in defense of the seal of confession,It might come to that" . Courage will be needed in the years ahead.