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 11th November, 4pm

But see below for the Pontifical Divine Liturgy in Westminster Cathedral on 28th October, to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Exarchate & Eparchy in the UK, served by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Father & Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

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 johnchrysostom@btinternet.com for details.

"It's Now or Never: The Return of the Eastern Christians to Iraq and Syria" - John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need gives the annual Christopher Morris Lecture in the Society's 90th year. Monday 27th November at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 pm Divine Liturgy, 7-15 pm Lecture, 8-15 pm Reception. £10 donation requested. RSVP to johnchrysostom@btinternet.com







Tuesday, 24 December 2013

George Carey: Christians, stand up for your beliefs for the sake of your fellow Christians in the Middle East and Africa - Daily Telegraph

The Most Revd Dr George Carey has spent the twelve years of his retirement making constant interventions in the press and public debate by turns undermining or stealing the thunder of his two successors as Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. Yet now his rightful moral authority and seniority can be called upon, after others' tact and even insistent pleading have fallen on the deaf ears of the UK Foreign Office's incompetent dealings with the Middle East for two decades and its indifference to the special plight of the world's persecuted Christians at the hands of Islamism. See here Peter Oborne's recent critique of the Foreign Office's mystification over the Middle East, and see here an account of the shameful reaction of both Labour and Government front benches to a privately sponsored debate in the House of Commons on the worldwide persecution of Christians as if it were a human rights problem no different from those of others. And see here our post about the enlightened debate in the House of Lords sponsored by Dr Rowan Williams when he was Primate.

On BBC Radio2 yesterday was broadcast the Houses of Parliament choir of Members, Peers, and Palace of Westminster staff singing their Christmas Carol Concert. In the House of Commons, it seems, Christ only matters for an English Christmas - not the survival of Christianity and its people in the land that cradled it - and the Church from which England's derived.

As it is the season of good will, Lord Carey, we will say no more than to note your caricatured dig at Pope Benedict and your implied disdain for Archbishop Williams. Otherwise, thank you for recalling us all not to forget our brothers and sisters around the world, whose lives are at stake merely for loving Christ as its King and Saviour.


The pressure in Britain to keep quiet about our faith must be resisted – and governments have to stop ignoring the persecution of churchgoers by Islamists in the Middle East and Africa

The Prince of Wales’s powerful intervention last week on the persecution of Christians is a reminder that ancient Christian communities, pre-dating Islam, are on the verge of disappearing from their homelands in the Middle East.

After years of bringing together Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders in dialogue, Prince Charles admitted that in spite of many such efforts, “fundamentalist Islamist militants” were “deliberately” targeting Christians.
 
This is something that Western governments have been strangely and inexplicably reluctant to confront. In a recent House of Commons debate on the issue, the Government response was full of denial that this was a problem uniquely affecting Christian communities. But, then, successive governments have done little to speak up for Christians facing human rights abuses in Africa and the Middle East.
 
In fact this Government, which has conspicuously sought friendly and co-operative relationships with the Churches, is doing just as much to wash its hands of persecuted Christian communities as any of its predecessors.
 
I imagine that in the West our politicians think that because churches have until recently been in extraordinarily powerful opinion-forming positions, they cannot possibly be pictured as a persecuted minority.
            
Yet far from being important and influential, in many parts of the world Christianity is weak and despised, and Christians are attacked and killed. In Nigeria, churches are firebombed; in Pakistan, churchgoers are prosecuted under draconian blasphemy laws, while in Egypt, they are either marginalised or assaulted.

This is a reminder, if ever we needed one, that Christianity’s uniqueness lies in its ambivalent relationship with power. Nelson Mandela once told me, after some of the shine of being his country’s saviour had become a little tarnished by messy presidential politics, that the economic “apartheid” represented by wealth inequalities was a lot harder to confront than racism.

Politics and the art of wielding power is rarely a simple choice between good and evil, as it was in the case of apartheid – it’s usually a lot more messy than that.

We are constantly faced with the question of where power lies in the business of everyday living. Power is sometimes measured by the wealth you have at your disposal, or by the number of people you employ. But there is also power in the ability to think of big ideas and then to have the ability to put them into action.

If we were making up a story about a leader coming into power to save the world, I doubt very much you would have dreamt up the story of the birth of Jesus as it is recorded in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Let us leave to one side the beguiling questions about the virgin birth, shepherds, angels and wise men and focus on the really interesting question of what it reveals about the nature of the Christian faith.

Christianity’s really unusual insight is into the use of power – or rather its lack of it, as we see in the life of Christ. This Christ forsook the path of the revolutionary zealot and rejected the role of both politician and jurist. Weakness and humility are the values chiefly in the foreground – although lurking in the background lies considerable power to redeem and change the world. At this time of the year some preachers exaggerate Jesus’s lowly origins. He is described as a working-class lad from a poor town who made good. But the narrative suggests otherwise: that he came rather from a middle-class home. Yes, his birth in a stable must have been unpleasant, for his mother at least, but he was only born there because the customary hotels were full.

Later we find the family could flee Herod’s wrath by retreating to Egypt – the really poor could not have done that. It was when he was an adult that Jesus turned his back on comfortable living, embraced poverty and sought to speak up for the poor. Jesus made friends from among the poor – sinners, prostitutes, widows – and he regularly challenged the wealthy over their meanness and complacency.

I cannot be the only Christian who has found this approach dominating our thinking this year. Indeed, the Church is at its best when it is following a Lord who is most at home with those in need.
We began the year with two very significant new leaders. Installed respectively in the Vatican and Canterbury within days of each other, the Pope and Archbishop have had a profound impact already. Pope Francis, Time magazine’s personality of the year, has made headlines not by his scholarship or even profound holiness – even though he is no fool and is certainly a holy man – but by his ability to identify with the people. He has cut through the clutter of ritual, robes and formality to embrace even those disfigured by tumours. And he has always spoken from the heart. He is increasingly seen as the Pope for the poor.

Though the new Archbishop of Canterbury comes from a rather more privileged background, it is his varied life experiences that make a parallel with Pope Francis possible. This is a church leader who has worked in the City and has been intimately involved in the thorny and urgent question of banking reform. He has shown a breathtaking ability to challenge the rich and powerful and to speak for those in need. He has also negotiated with terrorists and defended persecuted Christians. Both Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis are men who have rightly earned the respect and admiration of many.
Of course, there are so many others doing work that is hidden from view. Canon Andrew White is perhaps the Church of England’s best export – working in Baghdad among Christians and Muslims, where he is respected by Sunni and Shiite leaders alike. He has put up with death threats from Islamists who would like nothing better than to ethnically cleanse the Christian community, one of the most ancient of Christian congregations.

Closer to home, I admit I am worried about the future of faith in the West. Many Christians I meet say there is a pressure on them to be silent about their faith. Though there can be no question of a comparison with the powerlessness and weakness of the Church in the Middle East, there is an increasing timidity on the part of churchgoers in the West – about even admitting that they have a faith in the workplace.

Just a week ago, an American, learning that I was going to write this Christmas message, said teasingly: “I hope you will mention the name of Jesus!” Well, that is what Christmas is all about and I cannot but speak his name.

He is Christmas. It is in his name that we give to one another and it is because of his name that the Christian Churches in all their weakness may regain the strength to become strong once more. True power lies in how we use it on behalf of others. This is the meaning of Christmas. And I wish all Telegraph readers a very happy Christmas.

Lord Carey was Archbishop of Canterbury, 1991-2002

Read Dr Carey's article and readers' comments, with photographs, online here:
George Carey: Christians, stand up for your beliefs - Telegraph
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