Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 13th May, 4pm
To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.
To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.
The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Pope Benedict's Address to the Annual Orthodox Delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the Feast of SS Peter and Paul
Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave today when he was visited by a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The Orthodox delegation made the now traditional visit to the Holy Father to mark Wednesday's feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. A Catholic delegation similarly visits Constantinople for the feast of St. Andrew.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
You are welcome in Rome on the occasion of the Feast of the Patrons of this Church, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. It is particularly gratifying to me to greet you with the words that Saint Paul addressed to Christians of this city: "The God of peace be with you all" (Romans 15:32). I thank from my heart the Venerable Brother, the Ecumenical Patriarch, His Holiness Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate who wished to send you, dear Brothers, as their representatives to participate here with us in this solemn celebration.
The Lord Jesus Christ, having appeared to his disciples after his Resurrection, gave them the mission to be witnesses of the Gospel of Salvation. The Apostles carried out this mission faithfully, on attesting their faith in Christ the Savior and their love of God the Father even to the bloody sacrifice of their life. In this city of Rome, the Apostles Peter and Paul faced martyrdom, and since then their tombs have been the object of veneration. Your participation in our Feast, like the presence of our representatives in Constantinople for the Feast of the Apostle Andrew, manifests the friendship and genuine fraternity that unites the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, bonds solidly founded in the faith received through the testimony of the Apostles. The intimate spiritual closeness that we experience each time that we meet is for me a motive of great joy and gratitude to God. At the same time, however, the incomplete communion that already unites us must grow until it attains full visible unity.
We follow with great attention the work of the Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as a whole. From a purely human point of view, one might have the impression that the theological dialogue is having trouble in progressing. In reality, the rhythm of dialogue is linked to the complexity of the themes being discussed, which call for an extraordinary effort of study, of reflection and of reciprocal openness. We are called to continue this course together in charity, invoking light and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, in the certainty that He wishes to lead us to the full accomplishment of the will of Christ: that they may all be one (John 17:21). I am particularly grateful to all the members of the Mixed Commission and in particular to the co-Presidents, His Eminence the Metropolitan of Pergamum Ioannis and His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, for their tireless dedication, their patience and their competence.
In a historical context of violence, of indifference and of egoism, many men and women of our time feel lost. It is precisely by the common testimony of the truth of the Gospel that we can help people of our time to rediscover the way that leads them to truth. The search for truth, in fact, is always also the search for justice and peace, and it is with great joy that I witness the important involvement with which His Holiness Bartholomew spends himself on these subjects. Uniting myself to this intention which is common to us, and recalling the beautiful example of my predecessor, Blessed John Paul II, I wish to invite Christian brothers, representatives of other religious traditions of the world and personalities of the world of culture and science, to participate next October 27 in the city of Assisi, in a Day of Reflection, of Dialogue and of Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, whose theme will be: "Pilgrims in Truth, Pilgrims in Peace." Walking togethe r along the streets of St. Francis' city will be a sign of the will to continue to advance on the path of dialogue and fraternity.
Your Eminence, dear members of the Delegation, thanking you again for your presence in Rome on this solemn occasion, I ask you to transmit my fraternal greeting to my venerable Brother, Patriarch Bartholomew I, to the Holy Synod, to the clergy and to all the faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, assuring them of my affection and of the solidarity of the Church of Rome, which today is celebrating its Holy Founders.
[Translation by ZENIT]
Saturday, 25 June 2011
Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered today on receiving in audience members of the Assembly of Societies for Aid to Eastern Churches (ROACO).
Esteemed Cardinal, Your Beatitude, Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood, Dear members and friends of ROACO,
I wish to express to each one of you my most cordial welcome and I gladly return, with my best wishes, the courteous words of greeting addressed to me by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Easter Churches and president of the Assembly of Societies for Aid to Eastern Churches (ROACO), accompanied by the archbishop secretary, the undersecretary and the ecclesiastical and lay collaborators of the dicastery. I address a fraternal greeting to the new Maronite patriarch, His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, and extend my thought to the other prelates, to the representatives of the international agencies and of the University of Bethlehem, as well as to the benefactors here present. I thank all for the generous cooperation with the mandate of universal charity that the Lord Jesus entrusts incessantly to the Bishop of Rome as Successor of the Blessed Apostle Peter.
Yesterday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord. The Eucharistic procession, over which I presided from the Lateran Cathedral to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, constitutes always an appeal to the beloved City of Rome and to all the Catholic community to remain and walk in the not easy paths of history, among the great spiritual and material poverties of the world, to offer the charity of Christ and of the Church, which springs from the Paschal Mystery, mystery of love, of total gift that engenders life. Charity "will never end" (1 Corinthians 13:8), says the Apostle Paul, and it is able to change hearts and the world with the strength of God, sowing and awakening everywhere solidarity, communion and peace. They are gifts entrusted to our frail hands, but their development is certain, because the power of God acts precisely in weakness, if we are able to open to his action, if we are true disciples who try to be faithful to him (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:10).
Dear Friends of ROACO, never forget the Eucharistic dimension of your objective so as to remain within the ambit of ecclesial charity, which particularly seeks to reach the Holy Land, but also the Middle East as a whole, in order to support the Christian presence there. I ask you to do everything possible -- including intervening with public authorities that you interact with on an international level -- to ensure that the pastors and faithful of Christ can remain in the East where they were born, not as strangers but as citizens (Ephesians 2:19) who bear witness to Jesus Christ as the saints of the Eastern Churches did before them. The East is their earthly homeland. It is there that they are called today to promote, without distinction, the good of all mankind. Everyone professing this faith must be recognized as having equal dignity and true freedom, thus favoring more fruitful ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration.
I thank you for your reflections on the changes that are taking place in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, which are a source of anxiety throughout the world. Through the communications received at this time from the Coptic-Catholic Cardinal-Patriarch and from the Maronite Patriarch, as well as the Pontifical Representative in Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, the Congregation and the agencies will be able to assess the situation on the ground for the Church and the peoples of that region, which is so important for world peace and stability. The Pope wishes to express his closeness, also through you, to those who are suffering and to those who are trying desperately to escape, thereby increasing the flow of migration that often remains without hope. I pray that the necessary emergency assistance will be forthcoming, but above all I pray that every possible form of mediation will be explored, so that violence may cease and social harmony and peaceful coexistence may everywhere be restored, with respect for the rights of individuals as well as communities. Fervent prayer and reflection will help us at the same time to read the signs emerging from the present season of toil and tears: may the Lord of history always turn them to the common good.
The Special Assembly on the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops held last October in the Vatican and in which some of you participated, has brought brothers and sisters of the East in a more decisive way to the heart of the Church and it has prepared us to perceive the signs of novelty of the present time. However, immediately after that summit, absurd violence struck fiercely defenseless persons (cf. Angelus of Nov. 1, 2010) in the Syro-Catholic Cathedral of Baghdad and, in subsequent months, in other different places. This sorrow suffered by Christ can be of help for the growth of the good seed and to bear even more fecund fruits, God willing. Hence, I entrust to the good will of the members of ROACO, what arose in the Synod and also the precious spiritual patrimony, constituted by the chalice of the passion of many Christians, as reference for an intelligent and generous service, which begins from the least and excludes no one, and that will always measur e its authenticity in reference to the Eucharistic Mystery.
Dear friends, under the guidance of your generous pastors and also with your irreplaceable support, the Catholic Eastern Churches will always be able to confirm communion with the Apostolic See, jealously protected for centuries, and to make an original contribution to the New Evangelization, both in the homeland as well as in the growing diaspora. I put these wishes under the protection of the Most Holy Mother of God and of the Precursor of Christ, Saint John the Baptist, on the liturgical Solemnity of his birth. Approaching also is the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul: on that day I will thank the Good Shepherd, as Cardinal Sandri has mentioned, on the 60th anniversary of my priestly Ordination. I am most grateful to you for the prayer and good wishes, of which you made me a gratifying gift. I ask you to share my prayer to the "Lord of the harvest" (Matthew 9:38) that he will grant the Church and the world numerous and ardent laborers of the G ospel. And as a sign of my affection, I am very happy to impart to each one of you, to all your loved ones and to the communities entrusted to you, the comforting Apostolic Blessing.
[Translation by ZENIT]
Thursday, 23 June 2011
A longtime friend of leaders in the Russian Orthodox Church, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray visited Russia for Pentecost, inviting the faithful to "walk by the Spirit" in bettering relations between the two Churches. Cardinal Etchegaray is vice dean of the College of Cardinals. He served as president of the Pontifical Councils Cor Unum and for Justice and Peace. He was in St. Petersburg June 9-15, beginning his visit with prayer at the tomb of Metropolitan Nicodemus, whom he visited in St. Petersburg more than 30 years ago. The 88-year-old cardinal has been a pioneer in Catholic-Russian Orthodox dialogue; his visit to what was then Leningrad was made at the invitation of Metropolitan Nicodemus.
The cardinal has also been a longtime friend of Vladimir, the present metropolitan of St. Petersburg. They met in the framework of the Second Vatican Council, in which the cardinal, then a priest of the French Diocese of Bayonne, took part as an expert, and the future metropolitan as an observer of the Moscow patriarchate.
Cardinal Etchegaray celebrated Pentecost with the Orthodox, as the feast was marked on the same date this year by both Churches. The cardinal attended an Orthodox vigil for the feast, exchanging the kiss of peace with Metropolitan Vladimir. The next morning, Cardinal Etchegaray gave Metropolitan Vladimir a letter from the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch. The letter recalled the importance of Vatican II in the development of relations between Catholics and Orthodox.
Bishop Ambrose, rector of the Academy of Orthodox Theology, invited the cardinal to stay at the academy during his time in St. Petersburg and organized a reception in his honor.
At the time of the cardinal's first visit to that city, the rector of the academy was the present head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill.
Cardinal Etchegaray also celebrated Mass with the Catholic community of St. Petersburg in the Church of St. Catherine, as well as visiting the seminary. He also met with representatives of Russian culture, including Boris Borisovich Piotrovski, former director of the Hermitage Museum, which houses numerous masterpieces of Western religious art.
Monday, 20 June 2011
The Coptic bishop of Assiut, Egypt, is optimistic about a new government proposal that, if passed, would make building a Church in Egypt a little easier. Bishop Kyrillos Kamal William Samaan told Aid to the Church in Need that a new proposal to ease restrictions on church-building mark a crucial step forward for the 10 million Christians in Egypt, where tight restrictions on Church-building are frequently cited as one of the most serious forms of anti-Christian oppression.
Currently, the law states that permission to build a Church must be given by the president himself, and decisions over applications for new churches can take years, even decades. According to the new law, put forward by the interim military regime that replaced President Hosni Mubarak’s government in February 2011, proposals would go before the regional governor for a decision within three months.
"If these proposals come into law," Bishop Samaan said, "it could mean that building churches will be almost on the same level as constructing mosques. It is a major step forward for the citizenship of Christians." "What we are seeing here is one of the first fruits of the demonstrations back in January," he added. "When the Christians demonstrated, they asked for their rights and the first right they demanded was the construction of churches. Everybody knows that this has been a big problem for the Christians. Many moderate people have recognized it. In fact more than 50% of the problems Christians face will be resolved if we can make progress on this issue."
The bishop reported that permission to build two churches in his diocese in Upper Egypt came through before the January Revolution that ended with Mubarak’s departure from office. Applications for another three churches have been approved in the last few weeks, he added, leaving just one outstanding, with a decision expected soon.
Friday, 17 June 2011
Russia is honoring the papal nuncio who served eight years in Moscow (2002-2010), during a time a Russian Orthodox official has called a "very difficult moment" for the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. Archbishop Antonio Mennini, now the nuncio in Great Britain, was awarded the honor June 10 by the Russian ambassador in Britain, A. Jakovenko.
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chairman for the Russian Orthodox patriarchate's Department of External Church Relations, sent a congratulatory message to Archbishop Mennini. The metropolitan recognized the archbishop's efforts "in the development of friendly relations between the Holy See and the Russian Federation" as well as his contribution toward "a mutual understanding between the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church."
Metropolitan Alfeyev noted that Archbishop Mennini began his service in Russia "at a very difficult moment for relations among the Orthodox and Catholics." He lauded the 63-year-old prelate for his esteem for "the traditions of the Christian East and his lively interest in the history, customs and modern life of the Russian Church." Metropolitan Alfeyev said this had gained him the esteem of Russian churchmen and laypeople alike.
"I am very glad," the Orthodox official concluded, "that now carrying out your distinguished ministry as apostolic nuncio in Great Britain, you have not lost your link with Russia and the Russian Church, where you are remembered by everyone as a true friend and a brother in Christ."
Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič succeeded Archbishop Mennini as nuncio to Russia in February.