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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  • Why Newman matters to us

    A time to rejoice: John Henry Newman is honoured as a saint. The Church in our country needs an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks…we too often remind ourselves of the problems, challenges, and difficulties that we face, along with reminders that many (most?) of these are self-inflicted. October’s ceremonies and celebrations in Rome for the canonisation are a time to remind ourselves of the many blessings God has sent, and is sending, to the Church in Britain.
    We had a glorious Eucharistic Congress in September last year – with that unforgettable Procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of Liverpool, rain-soaked and somehow the more splendid because of that. A nationwide Marian project will culminate in the re-dedication of England to Our Lady next year – and Scotland has already been so dedicated with a great gathering at Carfin. We have seen a steady increase, in recent years, of attendance at devotions which not so long ago were deemed to be vanishing from Catholic life: such as Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary, along with popular new initiatives of which such devotions form a major part including Nightfever, Days with Mary, Catholic Underground and the various large summer gatherings of different groups at Walsingham. These might seem to be small things compared to the larger secularised country in which we live. But God so often works through small things.
    Fr Ian Ker, biographer of Newman, interviewed in this issue of FAITH, notes Newman’s prophetic understanding of “Movements” in the Church. Certainly an observable reality in the Church in Britain today are the New Movements: the Charismatics, the Neo- Catechumenate, Focolare, Opus Dei, and, yes, the Faith Movement. One fact about these Movements is that they are composed of the whole faithful – lay people and priests together. This was very much an understanding of the Church that Newman grasped: the model is not first and foremost hierarchical – the Church is, as Lumen Gentium (Vatican II) puts it, essentially “in the nature of a sacrament”. This document speaks of a “messianic people” in whom the Holy Spirit “dwells as in a temple”.
    Newman is often misunderstood: he sought to help Christians grasp their calling, the calling that flows from Baptism and Confirmation. This has sometimes been suggested as meaning that we should downplay the specific calling of priests, but this is all wrong: the call is to us all, each in his or her calling, and the New Movements exemplify this. Newman, so often and rightly called the “Father” of the Second Vatican Council, struggled against the over-clerical approach of his day. Misunderstood then, he is still misunderstood by some today. But he has also been faithfully interpreted, notably by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope (now Emeritus) Benedict XVI. Specifically, this great theologian grasped the true nature and significance of the New Movements, championing them at a time when many Bishops were wary and many commentators were confused about them.
    Fr Ker notes: “The future Pope Benedict XVI was certain that the new phenomenon in the life of the Church represents the fifth great charismatic movement of the Spirit in the history of the Church, in succession to the monasticism of the third century, the mendicant friars of the thirteenth, the Jesuits and other active orders in the sixteenth and the missionary congregations of the nineteenths. The fact that the ecclesial movements and communities embody the ecclesiology of the first two chapters of Lumen Gentium is not surprising. For charisms are given to the Church by the Holy Spirit in response to the particular historical situation in which the Church finds sherself.” (Ker, Newman on Vatican II, Oxford University Press, 2014 p.105).
    Newman, living in what we today might see as a notably religious era – Victorian Britain with its full churches, its networks of Christian organisations of every sort, its overseas missions – could see secularisation on the far horizon. The Church needed a deeper and more sacramental self-understanding, a well informed and educated laity, a confidence in dialogue with a changing world.
    Newman is important for us as Catholics in Britain today for a great many reasons. One of these is his understanding of popular Catholicism: people giving voice to their faith. Truth imposes itself because it is true. The faithful – lay and clergy together – have often, in the history of the Church, held fast to the truth against great odds. When, as Catholics in Britain, we walked rejoicing in the rain last September, when we gather rejoicing in Rome this October, we are singing out our love of that Truth which has been handed down to us and gladly affirming that one of our own is being held up for us to honour.
    Our bishops need to listen to the authentic voice of the faithful in this: there is a great deal of affection and loyalty among Catholics in Britain, who have a strong sense of a folk memory of persecution by the public authorities (the Tudors, penal laws, and all that), a legitimate pride in the establishment of Catholic schools (up and running, serving the needs of the poor, decades before government legislation on compulsory education in 1870), and in recent decades two hugely successful papal visits.
    We will celebrate this canonisation with joy – and we must allow it to boost us, and give us a sense of renewed energy and zeal.