Faith communities unite to pray for victims.

Faith communities unite to pray for victims.  

Cardinal, Moderator and Bishop join with Interfaith leaders to commemorate disaster.  

The special Mass which Cardinal Keith O'Brien will celebrate for the victims of the Indian Ocean disaster in St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday 2 January at 7.30pm will also be attended by Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist members of Edinburgh's Interfaith Council.  

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Dr. Allison Elliot will participate, together with the Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Rev. Brian Smith.  

In his homily, Cardinal O'Brien will call for long term development aid to the region and urge Scots to ask their government to Plan peace not war .  

The full text of the Cardinal's sermon is shown below.  

You are invited to send a photographer/reporter/camera crew to St. Mary's Cathedral, Broughton Street (Top of Leith Walk), Edinburgh on Sunday at 7.30pm.  

ENDS  


Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  




HOMILY FOLLOWING ON DISASTER IN SOUTH ASIA  

PREACHED BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN  

SUNDAY 2 JANUARY 2005 AT 7.30 PM  

ST MARY S CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH  


Introduction:  

I extend a very warm welcome to you all to our Cathedral this evening. That welcome is extended not only to my own Catholic parishioners within the City of Edinburgh, but to peoples of other Christian faiths, to members of other faith communities in our country, and indeed to all peoples of goodwill, who have gathered here this evening.  

We are united in our prayer together as we are united in our times of silence. We are united in our beliefs in one all powerful God, and we acknowledge the presence among us of those who do not share those beliefs. We are united in our awareness of our common humanity, aware also that our fellow human beings in other parts of the world have suffered and are suffering in ways that are almost beyond belief.  

Need to gather together:  

The media has portrayed in vivid detail something of the tragedy which has happened to our sisters and brothers in another part of the world. That tragedy has come home to us “ as some of our own communities have been and are on holiday in the beautiful lands where people are now suffering. But that tragedy has come home to us quite simply because of the realisation that fellow human beings are suffering in a particularly horrible way. Many messages of sympathy have gone to the peoples of the lands most affected by this disaster “ particularly to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand; but we are aware also that this devastating event has hit other countries too, among them; Somalia, Burma, the Maldives, Malaysia, Tanzania, the Seychelles, Bangladesh and Kenya.  

To them all, we extend our sympathy. I have taken the opportunity to communicate with the consular representatives and diplomatic missions of those countries which have been most seriously affected. Further, as President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, I have also communicated with the Presidents of the Bishops Conferences of India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand “ while extending my prayers and those of my people to everyone who has been affected in any way.  



Realisation of the extent of the calamity:  

Perhaps initially on hearing news bulletins on 26 December 2004, we did not realise the seriousness of the situation in the Indian Ocean. However, the full impact of the calamity caused by the sub sea earthquake and then by the tsunami off the Indonesian coast has now dawned on us and we realise something of the terrible loss of life and the sufferings which have taken place.  

A disaster such as has just been experienced, is one the like of which has been seen in our world before but rarely. We are told that the earliest tsunami-type wave was described as hitting the Northern Aegean Sea in 479 BC; and as recently as 1868 about 25,000 people were killed when a huge wave struck Chile while up to 1,500 died after a tsunami hit Ecuador and Colombia in 1906. We are told that as a result of this recent tsumani, there have been at the latest reckoning over 125,000 deaths. In a statement from the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka, they record: A tragedy of this magnitude has not struck our country since the time of Vihara Maha Devi recorded in the Mahawamsa “ and similar statements are made by leaders of the community in each of the countries affected.  
It is heartening however, to realise that in statements which have been issued peoples have been asked to turn back to God more than ever before. In that same statement which I have just quoted, the Bishops of Sri Lanka state: We are consoled by the Holy Scriptures (Psalms145-146) that we are not abandoned to ourselves and that the vicissitudes of our day are not dominated by chaos or fate and so we call on our people to take courage and face the situation bravely. We ask all our people to go to the help of those affected irrespective of differences in ethnicity or religion. We are all brothers and sisters and in this tragedy we should display our love for each other .  

Response to need for help:  

I am sure that the peoples of the countries which have suffered must take some consolation in the response throughout the world to their suffering, caused by our global realisation that we are all members of the human family. As the Sri Lankan Bishops stated: In t.his tragedy we display our love for each other .  

So many individuals, peoples of goodwill, of the Christian faith, of other faiths and of no faith want to give and are giving. Having visited countries in the Third World which have suffered before “ last year, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and preparing now to depart for Guatemala and Chiapas in Mexico prior to our visit in two months time to Ethiopia “ I assure you that every little helps. I ask you if you are able to continue your donations, sending money to those agencies which have been approved by our Churches and countries nationally and whose contact numbers are available from the media.  

And I take this opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers of our own Catholic Aid Agency (SCIAF) for their speedy response and ongoing appeal and for their tireless campaigning in the cause of global fairness and justice.  



I am sure I speak for very many people when I indicate that we appreciate the increased sums of money being given by our own Government and by other Governments in the first world. Aid must be given and it must be given immediately on a very large scale. Immediate response is of primary importance.  

As we give now in response to the immediate problems on an ever increasing scale, we must also look to the future. At this time I take the opportunity of urging Western Governments to look beyond the immediate imperatives of disaster relief and to help countries like those affected to rebuild and develop their infrastructure so that they are better able to cope with the ravages of natural disasters in future and ultimately provide higher long-term standards of living for their populations.  

As an editorial in the Jakarta Post said just three days ago;  
It is good that our efforts may have saved a baby today, but are we not condemning that child to destitution if we cannot provide him with something worth growing up for, other than life in a rundown refugee camp?  

Further we must realise that what has happened in South East Asia does not mean that the poverty and destitution of other countries in the world has suddenly stopped. No “ the poverty in so many other countries in the Third World still grinds on “ in Africa, in Central and South America, in other parts of Asia. We must work and we must urge our Governments to work to ensure that disasters such as have just been experienced by our world and poverty which we tend to take for granted in so many parts of the world must become a part of our history.  

I think what has affected us most in our own country of Scotland is that this disaster has occurred at a time when we have so much. We think of the extravagance of expenditure at Christmas and New Year and we realise the tragedies of those people who had little and now that little has been taken from them in this natural disaster.  
Conclusion:  
I conclude my words by asking you to realise that perhaps at this present time the peoples of the world are experiencing a solidarity such as we have rarely experienced before. Peoples of different races, colours, beliefs, ethnic origins are experiencing something of our common humanity. Those who have are giving in a way such as perhaps has never been experienced before to those who are classed among the ˜have-nots .  

Perhaps the call of the ordinary peoples of the world at this time at the beginning of the year 2005 is quite simply: Plan peace and not war . Perhaps the call going out to our leaders at the forthcoming G8 Summit in Scotland in July is a call containing those same words: Plan peace and not war  

Perhaps the call from the lips of all peoples of goodwill in Scotland and throughout the world is quite simply that same call: Plan peace not war .  


We can and we must make our world a better place for us all in which to live. We must make the brotherhood and sisterhood of all peoples a reality “ not only in times of tragedy, but at all times as we seek ongoing peace in our world.  

Plan peace not war .  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 129 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Bishops urge politicians to put human life at centre of Scotland’s political discourse

| 2 days ago | Blogging

Sunday 11 April 2021 Bishops urge politicians to put human life at centre of Scotland’s political discourse.   Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have released a pre-election Pastoral letter, urging Catholics to play their part “in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse” and to warn politicians against imposing “unjust restrictions on free speech, free expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.   In a 1,000-word letter distributed online and via Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes, the Bishops ask Catholic voters to give consideration to six key areas, when selecting a candidate:   Beginning and end of life Family and Work Poverty, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Environment Free speech, free expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion Catholic schools   Pointing out that “society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish” the bishops add; “government should respond to this reality with policies creating economic and fiscal advantages for families with children.”   Voters are also urged to visit the website rcpolitics.org and to use the resources there to help them consider a range of election issues and to question candidates.     ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Note to Editors:   The Election resources are available here:  https://rcpolitics.org/scottish-parliament-election-2021/   The full text of the Pastoral Letter is shown below:       Scottish Parliament Election 2021 - Putting Human Life and  Dignity at the Centre   A letter from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland   Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,   This election presents us with an opportunity to play our part in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse. As Catholics we have a duty: to share the Gospel and to help form the public conscience on key moral issues. It is a duty of both faith and citizenship.  This election is an opportunity to be the effective witness our Baptism calls us to be.  The new parliament and government will be tasked with leading the recovery from the damage wrought by the current health crisis and to tackle the significant impact it has had on many aspects of life including health care, mental health and wellbeing, religious freedom, and care for the poor. It must also build on the positives arising from the Pandemic, including caring for the most vulnerable, and a renewed sense of respect for human life, human dignity, and the value of community.   These are some of the issues you may want to consider in the forthcoming election:   Beginning and end of life It is the duty of parliamentarians to uphold the most basic and fundamental human right to life. Elected representatives ought to recognise the existence of human life from the moment of conception and be committed to the protection of human life at every stage. Caring for the unborn and their mothers is a fundamental measure of a caring and compassionate society; a society which puts human dignity at the centre.   We ought to be mindful of a further attempt to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, likely to happen in this parliament. Legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia suggests that some lives are not worth living, contrary to the Christian belief that every life has equal dignity and value. It is incumbent upon our parliamentarians to show compassion for the sick and dying. This is not achieved by assisted suicide or euthanasia but by ensuring support is provided through caring and attentive politics, including investment in palliative care.   Family and Work Society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish. The love of man and woman in marriage and openness to new life is th...

Return to Worship in time for Easter

| 01st March 2021 | Blogging

Return to Worship in time for Easter 1 March 2021 Responding to last week’s statement on the reopening of Places of Worship by the First Minister, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland have issued a statement welcoming the move and calling for a removal of the cap, which limits the number of people who can attend. Instead, the bishops maintain congregation size should be calculated in accordance with the size of each church, a system similar to that used in the retail sector, which still maintains social distancing regulations.   The full text of the statement is shown below. ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     As Scotland’s Catholic bishops, we welcome the recent announcement by the First Minister foreseeing a return to our churches for the most important celebration of the liturgical year at Easter. We also welcome the recognition of the status of public worship implicit in this decision. The Catholic Community recognises the seriousness of the pandemic and is committed to working with others to avoid the spreading of infection. At the same time, we anticipate ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding the requirement of a numerical “cap” on the number of worshippers. As we continue to observe social distancing  and the protocols on infection control and hygiene formulated by the Bishops’ Conference working group under the leadership of the former Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns, we maintain that it would be more appropriate for each church building to accommodate a congregation in proportion to its size rather than on the basis of an imposed number. We echo here the timely words Pope Francis addressed to the representatives of countries to the Holy See on the 8th February 2021: Even as we seek ways to protect human lives from the spread of the virus, we cannot view the spiritual and moral dimension of the human person as less important than physical health. The opening of churches is a sign that the sacrifices endured so far are bearing fruit and gives us hope and encouragement to persevere. We pray that the Risen Christ, for whom we long during this holy season of Lent, will bless and bring healing to our nation.  ...

Church leaders urge withdraw of controversial section of Hate Crime Bill

| 12th February 2021 | Blogging

Church leaders urge withdraw of controversial section of Hate Crime Bill to allow “adequate consideration”   Friday 12 February   An unprecedented alliance of Catholic and Evangelical church leaders are urging the Scottish Government to drop part of its proposed Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill to allow time for “detailed consideration of crucial provisions.” The Bill, which would potentially criminalise any criticism of Transgender ideology has been criticised by the Catholic Church, the Free Church of Scotland and the Evangelical Alliance.   In a letter addressed today (Friday 12 February) to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf, the church leaders call for greater protections for freedom of expression and say:   “We believe that people should be completely free to disagree with our faith in any way, including mocking and ridiculing us. We are convinced that our faith is true and has a sufficient evidential basis to withstand any criticism, we therefore welcome open debate.”    By contrast, concerns are raised that any disagreement with or criticism of Transgender identity could fall foul of the new law, if passed in its current form. The church leaders point out, that “Transgender identity has been subject of extensive and emotional public discussion. Such free discussion and criticism of views is vital as society wrestles with these ideas.” They warn however, that they “cannot accept that any position or opinion at variance with the proposition that sex (or gender) is fluid and changeable should not be heard.”   The letter marks the first time Catholic, Free Church and Evangelical Alliance leaders have jointly petitioned the Scottish Government and sought a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Supporting “open and honest debate” the letter ends with an assertion, that “A right to claim that binary sex does not exist or is fluid must be matched with a right to disagree with that opinion; and protection from prosecution for holding it.” As well as a warning that: ”The Parliament now has approximately four weeks to complete the passage of the bill. This is extraordinarily tight and risks inadequate and ill-thought through legislation being passed. No workable solutions to issues of freedom of expression have so far been suggested. If no such solutions can be found we hope the Scottish Government will now consider withdrawing the stirring up hatred offences in Part 2 of the bill to allow more detailed consideration and discussion and to ensure freedom of expression provisions, which enshrine free and open debate, are afforded the scrutiny they require.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors:   The full text of the letter is shown below. Humza Yousaf MSP Cabinet Secretary for Justice The Scottish Government St. Andrew's House Edinburgh EH1 3DG   Friday 12th February 2021   Dear Mr Yousaf,     Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill – Stage 2 amendments   We are writing to you as representatives of three communities of churches in Scotland in relation to the progress of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) bill at Stage 2 and to ask if we may be able to meet with you in the coming days in relation to this.   As you know we have engaged extensively throughout the bill process including a number of meetings with you and your officials, and all gave oral evidence to the Justice Committee on 10th November. In all of this we have sought to play a constructive role. We recognise the sensitivities involved in this bill, have sought consensus, and looked to help play our part in protecting vulnerable communities from hate crime whilst at the same time protecting fundamental freedoms on which we all depend for our common life. Our approach has never been to just narrowly consider...

FUNERAL MASS FOR BISHOP VINCENT LOGAN 26 JANUARY 2021

| 26th January 2021 | Blogging

FUNERAL MASS FOR BISHOP VINCENT LOGAN 26/01/2021 It seems almost a cliche to say it, but every human person is a mystery. It’s not surprising though, as it is in God ‘we live and move and have our being’ and he himself is the ultimate mystery, and we have our origin in God. The Catechism reminds us that ‘we are most like unto God in our soul’, and since each one of us is unique in every way, to say we are a mystery seems almost like an understatement. And this mysteriousness is at so many levels. From the biological point of view, we are a mystery because we are formed by the mixing of our parents’ genes and by the environment in which we are planted. From a psychological point of view, we are formed by our parents by our families, by our siblings, friends and relations, by the circumstances of our lives and our loves, our knocks and our disappointments. Most of us have had the good fortune to have been conceived in love and nurtured and nourished in love. Others, though, regrettably haven’t had that great start. And often, for those who are fortunate, there is one great thread of God’s goodness that powerfully shapes us. For most of us, this powerful goodness originates in the Faith passed on to us from our parents, a thread which runs throughout our lives and more than any other influence, arguably, shapes and guides the direction of our lives. Also, for those of us fortunate enough to be baptised, as well as inheriting the common humanity into which we are created in the image and likeness of God, our baptism in Christ also confers on us divine filiation - sonship and daughtership in God - enabling us, as St Paul says, to call God, Abba, our Father. And we spend the rest of our lives on earth finding out what are the consequences for us of this wonderful gift: we never stop learning how to become a better son or a daughter of God. All of this is true of Vincent Paul Logan. Vincent was born on 30th June 1941 to Joseph and Elizabeth Logan (nee Flannigan) into a committed Bathgate Catholic family and - like all Bathgate Catholic bairns – Vincent, together with their other four sons, inherited a strong faith from them. Of Vincent’s brothers James, John, William and Joseph. Only James now is still alive. Later also, Vincent’s four married brothers’ spouses (Esther, Maeve, Grace and Celia) and subsequently their families – nephews (Vincent and Joseph here today), Gerard and Edward, also Paul, now deceased, who like Bishop Vincent, tried his vocation also at Drygrange Seminary, and nieces Elizabeth, Margaret, Lisa and Anne-Marie - All members of this great extended family had their influence on Bishop Vincent throughout his life, just as today they mourn for him, assisting him by their prayers and Masses on the cleansing road to the Heavenly Kingdom. But for a baptised Catholic man, who has in addition received a vocation from the Lord to priesthood, it is also his special relationships, outside the family - school friends, close friends met on life’s journey, fellow seminarians, priest friends and the pastoral and personal relationships a priest makes through his pastoral work, also continued to shape Vincent, up until almost the moment of his death. From his earliest days, Vincent Paul Logan wanted to be a priest. His desire to attend and serve Mass daily, as a young boy with his mother and brothers after their dad went off to work, of course pointed him in the direction of a vocation to priesthood. As a committed Altar Boy, Vincent’s first desire to put himself forward as a candidate for priesthood resulted, as he says himself, in ‘being chased’ in 1952 by Canon Davitt his parish priest because he was too young - only 11. A year later 1 though, in 1953, he went to Blairs, our National Junior Seminary, at 12 and his journey to priesthood began in earnest. Drygrange, the seminary for the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh was the next step towards priesth...