From Sunday's Gospel:
“But before all this
happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the
synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors
because of my name – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness. Keep
this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence, because I myself
shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be
able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and
brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death.
If only there were more Dr Halliday Sutherlands today. Perhaps he would have the courage to stand up
for the rights of those who are under threat from the increasing prevalence of
assisted suicide in our world. Perhaps
he would have the courage to stand up for the rights of the preborn child under
threat of death by abortion.
Dr Halliday Sutherland, born in Glasgow in 1882, was a man
who stood up for the people society felt unworthy of life. He lived in a time when the middle and upper
classes of Britain fought for the legal right to sterilise the poor and the
Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 7: 55-60)
‘Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and
saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven
thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At
this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with
their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned
him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called
Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit.
I am astonishedand no less disappointed to see that few of
the major UK news outlets have covered yesterday’s House of Commons vote, when
MPs voted 278 – 0 in favour of declaring ISIS/Daesh atrocities against
Christians and Yazidis as genocide.
If the Holocaust were to occur today, would the media recognise
the atrocity and label it as genocide?
If the massacre of Srebrenica were to occur today, would the media
recognise the suffering people of the city and label it as genocide? And what about Rwanda in 1994?
Pope Francis welcomes some of the migrants to Rome
Pope Francis has once again thrust the Catholic Church into
the spotlight; this time by bringing a group of twelve Syrian migrants from the
island of Lesbos to live in Rome. The
families travelled with the pope back to Italy after he made a visit to the
small Greek island last weekend. It is
understood the three families, all Muslim, were fully prepped for the move
ahead of the pope’s visit.
The finer details of how all of this will pan out remain to
be seen, but the gesture itself is one of great love and generosity on the part
When will the West listen?
A motion is to be put before the UK Parliament next week calling on the House to recognise that Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East are facing genocide.
The terror being wrought by ISIS is well known to all, though the fact that it is mainly targeted towards Christians is not so well documented in the West.
This is an opportunity for the UK government to take a stand against ISIS by declaring their actions to be a genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities.
It has been reported that a group of Muslims protected Christians by refusing to allow themselves to be split up into groups when their bus was ambushed by gunmen.
The incident happened in the village of El Wak in Kenya, near to the country's border with Somalia.
This as an extremely brave gesture and we commend those who stood strong in the face of violence. We are all God's children and we must resist such despicable and unnecessary violence.
Click here for the full story at bbc.
Pope Benedict at the University of Regensburg
When Pope Benedict started speaking at the University of Regensburg in 2006 there was little clue as to the controversy that was about to unfold. The pope would use the lecture to respond sternly to increasing instances of violence by Islamic extremists across the globe, a move that many westerners felt most uncomfortable with.
While I would not wish to delve into the intricacies of Pope Benedict’s lecture, his fundamental message with regard to Islam is that, unlike Christianity, Islam (or at least some of its members) does not appear to link God to reason.
The pope received several standing ovations in Congress
Pope Francis, in his historic address to US Congress, has urged the world to follow Christ’s Commandment of love. The pope used the opportunity to tackle critical issues such as the dignity of human life, the death penalty and the refugee crisis. He also addressed recent attacks on marriage and family life, and his concerns that the very basis of the family and marriage is being called into question.
Here are the main quotes from the pope’s address to USC ongress this afternoon:
The first few days of Pope Francis' visit to the United States have been fascinating, not least because of his clever tactics in putting US President Barack Obama firmly, yet politely, in his place.
The depth of Obama's hypocrisy on religious freedom simply cannot be underestimated following his welcome speech to the pope on the south lawn of the White House. Obama, ever the impressive statesman, spoke of how "here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty" and promised the pope that "we stand with you in defence of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.