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 10th June, 4pm

SSJC Committee Open Meeting: Monday 19th June, Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 Liturgy, Talk at 7-15, followed by meeting.

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.













Thursday, 19 December 2013

How many more times can the Foreign Office get it so wrong? - Telegraph

On 18 December, The Daily Telegraph featured this analysis from the excellent journalist, Peter Oborne, on how UK and US foreign policy has been so comprehensively ill informed that it has effectively allied the West with forces inimical to the supposed aims of the Arab Spring - far from liberty, pluralism and democracy, it is the objectives of Islamism and Al Qaeda that have been advanced. Despite Britain's long informed history of understanding the Middle East, its failure with regard to Egypt and Syria has the precedent of two disastrous interventions in Iraq.

As a result, it is the ancient Christian Churches which have been brought to their knees, partly because they are seen by Islamists as agents of the West, and partly because the so-called Christian powers championing human rights have abandoned those of the Christians.

The article deftly tails into the piece immediately below it on the columnists' page: a guest piece by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the terrible plight of Christians across the Middle East, written to draw attention to a recent event he held in support of the diaspora Christian communities of the Middle East in the UK, in contrast to the British Government's failure and indeed reluctance to acknowledge the persecution of Christians around the world at a recent debate in Parliament. The Prince how strange it is for this Christian country to be revelling in Christmas, heedless of the suffering of our brothers and sisters and even refusing to lift a finger to help them.



This December has seen the final collapse of British and American policy in Syria. David Cameron’s favourite general, Salim Idris, was meant to unify the rebels, bring down Assad, and vanquish al-Qaeda. Instead his Free Syrian Army has taken to its heels, giving up its equipment to its Islamist rivals, while Idris himself has reportedly gone on the run.



Officially, the Prime Minister still insists President Assad must go. Like an old gramophone record, Downing Street was even yesterday stressing the importance of “a political transition… to bring this brutal regime to an end”.
 
Privately, it is now a different story. The emergence of al-Qaeda and its various allies and associates has led to a sudden change of attitude. At a meeting in London last week, Syrian rebels were informed that removing Bashar al-Assad was no longer the priority. According to the former CIA chief Michael Hayden, speaking in a recent conference in Washington, the survival of Assad, “as ugly as it sounds”, may now be a better outcome than any of the alternatives.
 
We are supposed to have first-class diplomatic and intelligence services. Yet from the start of the rebellion – and there is no other way of putting this – they haven’t had the faintest idea what was going on.
 
First of all, they failed to understand the underlying stability of the regime in Damascus: the strength of the army, the level of support among the population, the loyalty of insiders, and the ruthlessness of its leader. British diplomats repeatedly told ministers that Assad would be toppled in a coup – which never materialised.



HRH Prince Charles' article is in the next post. Read more of Peter Oborne's piece online here:
How many more times can the Foreign Office get it so wrong? - Telegraph
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