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Scots Catholic Blog

July 2013

Pope Francis addresses Brazilian President and the World ahead of World Youth Day in Rio - 'I cannot offer silver or gold, but I can offer the most precious thing given to me.....Jesus Christ'

 
 
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff formally welcomed the Pope to Brazil saying: "This is a chance to renew Brazil's ties of affection with Holy See."  She acknowledged the challenges the world faces, referring to an increase in diversity in Brazil, suggesting to the Pope that the mission of the Holy See and Brazil is a common mission and welcomed a dialogue to discuss facing those challenges.
 
The Pope then addressed the President and the gathered dignatories and invited saying: "God wished my first pontifical trip to take me to my native Latin America.

Pope Invites 200 Homeless to Vatican for Dinner

 
 
Picture: Catholic News Agency
 
It may have escaped the notice of the mainstream media but earlier this month Pope Francis invited around 200 homeless people to the Vatican gardens for dinner, to be served by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State.  The Cardinal spent the entire evening with the guests, chatting to them and spending time in their company.
 
The dinner took place near the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican grounds and Cardinal Bertello said “Our Lady who stands before us looks upon us with serenity.

Pope Francis - Angelus - Sunday 21st July....'Listen to the voice of Jesus'

Pope Francis, during his final Angelus before departing for Rio to join Catholic youth for World Youth Day, asked the faithful to accompany him spiritually in prayer for the first Apostolic visit of his pontificate.  He said that he entrusted “this new stage of the great pilgrimage of young people across the world” to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is so loved and venerated in Brazil.  He then urged young people to “listen to the voice of Jesus”.
 
In reflecting on the Gospel and the story of Jesus and the two sisters, Mary and Martha, he said that both sisters, though offering hospitality in different ways, offered something that is needed to serve the Lord.

Pope Francis Sends Message of Life to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales ahead of Day for Life

 
 
Pope Francis has sent a message of support for human life to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland and England and Wales ahead of the annual Day for Life in England and Wales which is to be celebrated on 28 July.  Scotland has already celebrated its Day for life on 28 May and Ireland will celebrate it on October 6 but the Pope includes these countries in his message.

In his message the Pope emphasised the need to care for life from conception to natural end and says that all life has inestimable value, including the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor.

Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion on Grounds of Disability – Commission Recommends Change and Expresses Concerns about Parents Being ‘Steered’ Towards Abortion

 
 
The Commission set up to consider one particular aspect of the Abortion Act 1967 – the provision that allows abortion on the grounds of disability up to birth – has published its report and it makes for very interesting reading.  The Chair of the Commission, Fiona Bruce MP, sent the document by email to those who had responded to the initial consultation.
 
The report broadly summarises by stating that the vast majority of those who gave written evidence believe that allowing abortion up to birth on the grounds of disability is discriminatory, and contrary to the Equality Act.

Jesus Calls us all to Repentance

 
Picture: vocationnetwork.org
 
In today's Gospel (click here to see today's readings) Jesus starts to criticise the towns in which he performed miracles because they had thus far refused to repent for their sins.
 
It's great to have Jesus performing miracles, it's great when he answers our prayers; but we must be careful not to stop short of repentance.  Jesus calls us to repentance through the sacrament of Confession which is a true blessing bestowed upon the Church.

Relic of St Anthony of Padua to Visit Scotland!

 
A relic of St Anthony of Padua, one of the most revered saints of the Church, is coming to Britain between 26th October and 3rd November.  The relics will be travelling around the globe to mark the 750th anniversary of their discovery in 1263 by St Bonaventure.
 
Though the details of the various locations where the relics will be venerated are not yet known we do know that they will be coming to Scotland at some point.
 
For those who do not know what a relic is; essentially, it is an object, most likely a part of the body or clothing, belonging to a saint which is kept as a memorial after their death.

Pope Francis brings about legal changes in response to globalisation of crime

The Pope has this week taken steps to modernise the Vatican’s legal code by explicitly listing certain acts as crimes and enabling the Holy See to prosecute any of its officials who commit crimes outside its walls.  The list of crimes includes crimes of torture, genocide and also further defines the list of crimes against children.  As a result the following crimes are all explicitly covered in the new regulations: the sale of children, child prostitution, sexual violence and sexual acts with children, and child pornography.

Pope Francis Issues Decree Granting Indulgences for World Youth Day

 
Pope Francis has issued a decree granting indulgences for participants in the upcoming World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
 
Monsignor John Kennedy of the Congregation of Faith explains, “The word indulgence is not very familiar to many people today, especially to the younger generation.  In fact, you might be surprised to know that the Christian meaning of the word indulgence really comes from the Latin ‘indulgentia’ and it means kindness or tenderness, and refers, in this context, to God’s kindness in forgiving the effects of sin.

UK Lagging Behind in EU Petition for Life

 
 
Anyone with an interest in our website will know we have been encouraging people to sign the EU 'One of Us' petition which seeks to protect life from conception.
 
As EU citizens we now have the right, under the European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) to directly submit a legislative proposal to the European Commission, provided we have the support of at least 1 million people across the union, coming from a minimum of at least seven member states.
 
At present, the total number of signatures is an impressive 729,796 so the campaign is progressing well but there is still a bit to go before the deadline of 1st November 2013.
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