news-2


Embargoed: 00.01 Saturday 7 April 2012

Cardinal's Easter Homily

In his Easter Sunday Homily which will be preached in St. Mary's Cathedral,
Edinburgh on Sunday 8 April, Cardinal Keith O'Brien will call for Christians
to identify with the cross and make it more prominent in their lives.

When he preaches in his Cathedral on Easter Sunday, the Cardinal will say
that the cross should be an important part of people's lives suggesting that
every Christian should; "wear proudly a symbol of the cross of Christ on
their garments each and every day of their lives"

He will add: "I know that many of you do wear such a cross of Christ “ not
in any ostentatious way, not in a way that might harm you at your work or
recreation, but a simple indication that you value the role of Jesus Christ
in the history of the world, that you are trying to live by Christ s
standards in your own daily life"

The Cardinal will refer to remarks made by Pope Benedict XVI at Westminster
Hall in 2010 when he said that Christians, "need to be free to act in
accordance with their own principles and specific convictions based upon the
faith and the official teachings of the Church"

Speaking ahead of his Easter Sunday Homily, Cardinal O'Brien said;

"I hope that increasing numbers of Christians adopt the practice of wearing
a cross in a simple and discreet way as a symbol of their beliefs. Easter
provides the ideal time to remind ourselves of the centrality of the cross
in our Christian faith."

"A simple lapel cross pin costs around £1, since this is less than a
chocolate Easter egg I hope many people will consider giving some as a gifts
and wearing them with pride."

ENDS

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org

Notes to Editors:

1. Cardinal O'Brien will celebrate the Easter Sunday Mass at St. Mary's
Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday 8 April at 11.30am

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

3. A JPEG image of Cardinal O'Brien wearing a lapel pin cross is available here: https://www.scmo.org.uk/articles/cardinal-obrien-lapel-pin-cross.html




MASS OF EASTER SUNDAY MORNING
 
HOMILY PREACHED BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN
 
ST MARY S CATHEDRAL, EDINBURGH
 
SUNDAY 8TH APRIL 2012
 
INTRODUCTION:
 
Today we celebrate the joy of Easter Sunday morning “ having concluded the
season of Lent and more especially this past Holy Week.   Just one Sunday
ago, we commemorated the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, being
greeted by the peoples with the waving of palms.   In our own liturgies,
again central to our celebration was our commemoration of that solemn entry
of Jesus “ with each one of us having some form of palm in our hands, many
folded into the form of a cross.
 
On Holy Thursday we commemorated the institution by Jesus of the Sacraments
of the Holy Eucharist and of the Priesthood in our liturgy “ and also
remembered the great humility of Jesus in washing the feet of his disciples.
 
On Good Friday itself, we remembered the passion and death of Jesus “ and
showed by our veneration of the cross our love of that crucified Lord and
our own determination to follow in his footsteps.
 
Now on this Easter Sunday morning, following on our Vigil ceremonies
yesterday evening, we celebrate the ˜Triumph of the Cross “ when Jesus
conquered death, left the tomb and sent his disciples to continue his
mission.
 
Central to our liturgy is the cross “ its testament and its triumph. Veiled
in purple in the earlier part of Holy Week, then changed into the white of
joy, it is a reminder of the glory of the Resurrection.
 
 
IMPORTANCE OF THE CROSS IN OUR LIVES:
 
For all Christians, the symbol of the cross is central to our faith.
 
When we are baptised it is with the sign of the cross;   perhaps the first
sign we learn to make is that ˜Sign of the Cross taught at our mother s
knee;   in our homes and in our schools, it is with the sign of the cross
that we begin and end each day;   when we celebrate our great act of worship
in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, again we begin and end with that sign of
the cross;   and here in Scotland, as indeed in our flag of the United
Kingdom, the signs of the cross represent the nations of the United Kingdom
in the crosses of St. Andrew and St. George.
 
When we use the sign of the cross, it is not in any way because of a morbid
way of looking back on the sufferings of Jesus Christ himself, the Son of
God.   Rather, it is a sign that we ourselves are trying to follow in some
way or another, no matter how weak we are, the path set out for us by Christ
himself.   It was through his sufferings on the cross that he achieved the
glory of the Resurrection “ a transformation that can have parallels in many
of our own lives.
We should always see in the cross a sign of God s love for us and an
indication of our own intention to reach out in love for others, whether or
not they profess the same Christian faith as ourselves, whatever their
lifestyles or lack of belief in any formal religion.
 
I think that is the reason why, as Christians, we honour that sign of the
cross of Christ “ we want to witness to the Kingdom of Christ, we want to
spread the Church to every corner of the world, and we want to work in
charity in a spirit of faith and love.
 
 
THE SIGN OF THE CROSS IN OUR TIMES:
 
So often the teachings of Jesus Christ are divided and ignored;   so often
those who try to live a Christian life are made fun of and ridiculed and
marginalised.
 
Perhaps the more regular use of that sign of the cross might become an
indication of our desire to live close to that same Christ who suffered and
died for us, and whose symbol we are proud to bear.
 
Displaying the Sign of the Cross, the cross of Christ should not be a
problem for others “ but rather they should see in that sign an indication
of our own desire to love and to serve all peoples in imitation of that love
and service of Jesus Christ.
 
Just 18 months ago, Pope Benedict XVI stood in Westminster Hall in London
addressing a vast audience of politicians, diplomats, academics and business
leaders.   There he clearly stated that:   Religion is not a problem for
legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national
conversation.     In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the
increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that
is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great
emphasis on tolerance .
 
Those words were a great clarion call for Christians at this present time to
emphasise that no governments or public bodies should be frightened of
Christians and their influence.   Rather, they should seek closer
collaboration with them as having something important to say and to do “
namely to offer their services in whatever way to those in any sort of need
in our country.   Marginalisation of religion should not be taking place at
this present time “ rather the opposite.   Here in our own country where we
do place a great emphasis on tolerance, surely our Christianity should be an
indication to others of our desire, while living our Catholic Christian
lives to tolerate others who do not have our same values.
 
 
CONCLUSION:
 
So on this Easter Sunday morning, I suggest something very simple to you.  
When the Pope addressed those leaders in Westminster Hall, his cross was
visible over his robes “ as indeed the cross is visible over the garments of
every Cardinal and Bishop.
 
Why shouldn t each and every Christian similarly wear proudly a symbol of
the cross of Christ on their garments each and every day of their lives.   I
know that many of you do wear such a cross of Christ “ not in any
ostentatious way, not in a way that might harm you at your work or
recreation, but a simple indication that you value the role of Jesus Christ
in the history of the world, that you are trying to live by Christ s
standards in your own daily life and that you are only too willing to reach
out a hand of help to others, as did Jesus Christ when he was on earth.
Whether on a simple chain or pinned to a lapel, the cross identifies us as
disciples of Christ and we should wear it with pride.
 


 
When concluding his speech in Westminster Hall, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of
the harmony and co-operation which should be possible between the Church and
public bodies.   He indicated that for this to be fruitful, religious bodies
need to be free to act in accordance with their own principles and specific
convictions based upon the faith and the official teachings of the Church .
 
This co-operation is indeed looked for by our Church in this country and I
think that that symbol of the cross of Christ, worn frequently by our
Catholic community and by Christians of all denominations, is an indication
of our desire to live by Christian standards and to hand on those standards
to others as best we can, living in a spirit of co-operation.
 
May God indeed bless you all at this Eastertide and now, having moved from
that spirit of suffering with Christ, may we continue to rejoice in the
Triumph of the Cross, the Glory of his Resurrection.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 157 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

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

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

Recent Posts

Bishops welcome Review Group’s Annual report

| 26th June 2020 | Blogging

Bishops welcome Review Group’s Annual report Friday 26 June 2020   The Second Annual Report of the Independent Review Group (IRG) monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the McLellan Commission by the Catholic Church in Scotland has been welcomed by the Bishops’ Conference. The report, published on 26 June is available at: https://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/IRG%20Report%20June%202020.pdf   Commenting on the publication, Bishop Joseph Toal, President of the Commission for Pastoral and Social Care said;“On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, I thank the IRG for their work and welcome the publication of their second annual report, which will be given careful consideration.”   Bishop Toal added;   “Safeguarding remains at the heart of the church’s mission and the maintenance of high standards is only possible through independent scrutiny of an autonomous body like the IRG that works separately from the Catholic Church.”   ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org      ...

Bishops appoint new Vice Rector for Scots College

| 12th June 2020 | Blogging

Bishops appoint new Vice Rector for Scots College 12 June 2020   A new Vice Rector has been announced for the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. Fr Nick Welsh (36) was chosen for the post by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and is expected to begin the role in September.   He is currently parish priest at Our Lady and St Andrew, covering Galashiels, Melrose and Selkirk, and Vicar Episcopal for Education for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh.   Commenting on the appointment, Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “The Bishops thank Fr Nick for accepting this role and acknowledge the big change in having to leave his parish to move to Rome. “I am confident he will do an excellent job in forming our seminarians. It’s both challenging and rewarding and, when he returns, our diocese will greatly benefit from his experience.”   Fr Nick attended the college as a seminarian between 2007-14 and has a licence in Theology.   Reacting to his appointment, Fr Nick said: “To go back to Rome is certainly an exciting thing for me. I love being a priest and it is life-giving to be around people who want to be priests. I look forward to contributing to the formation of the seminarians and helping them become good priests. But I will also leave the Borders with a heavy heart and wish to thank all parishioners there.”   College rector Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick said: “We look forward to welcoming Fr Nick who will have a key role in the day-to-day running of the seminary and accompanying students as part of their formation. He succeeds Fr Stuart Parkes who gave us three years of service and enjoyed contributing to the life of the college. We wish him all the best on his return to the diocese of Motherwell.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Note to Editors:   An image of Fr. Nick Welsh is available to download here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157714673928877  ...

Catholic Bishops say Immigration Bill will “drastically alter opportunities” for migrants

| 09th June 2020 | Blogging

Catholic Bishops say Immigration Bill will “drastically alter opportunities” for migrants. Tuesday 9 June 2020   In a strongly worded joint statement sent to opposition party leaders at Westminster, Catholic Bishops from Scotland and England & Wales have encouraged the UK Government to consider amendments to the Immigration Bill currently before parliament.   The Bishops’ call for; a time limit on detention, together with “a significant permanent reduction in the use of detention will allow us to properly protect people’s health and human dignity”, they also propose, that the minimum income threshold for family visas should be reduced and for repeal of the offence of illegal working, since “fear of prosecution currently deters people from escaping abusive employment practices or presenting themselves to the police”.   The statement also calls for changes to the clergy visa system. Scotland’s lead Bishop for migrants and refugees, Bishop William Nolan, said; “Most Catholic dioceses previously used Tier 5 Religious Worker visas for priests to come here on essential supply placements, allowing Catholics to continue attending Mass, the new Tier 2 visas have more than doubled the costs incurred by parishes arranging supply cover.” “Furthermore, seminaries that conduct formation in English are not necessarily recognised by the Home Office as meeting the English language requirement under the Tier 2 route, meaning that many priests who have been educated to post-graduate level in English are nevertheless required to take a language test with extra logistical and cost implications.” Bishop Nolan concluded; “We strongly urge the Government to accept amendments addressing these important issues and hope that MPs from all parties will take this opportunity to help create a more just and humane immigration system.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Note to Editors:   The full text of the statement is shown below: Catholic Church statement on amendments to the Immigration Bill The Immigration Bill currently before parliament will drastically alter people’s opportunities to build their lives here and contribute to our society. The UK’s Catholic population is made up of people from across the world including a significant number of European citizens. Around 60% of Europeans living in the UK are Catholics. We therefore recognise the profound impact that ending free movement will have on so many families and communities. While we do not agree with the principle of making European citizens apply for their existing rights in the UK, the Church is working to raise awareness of the Settlement Scheme and help those who are at risk of losing their status. However, no scheme will reach all European citizens in the UK. Even if a small proportion do not make an application by the June 2021 deadline, this could leave thousands of people without legal status. We encourage amendments to the bill that will create a meaningful safety-net including options to extend the deadline. At the same time this bill and the development of new rules present a chance to make several positive changes to our immigration system: Introducing a time limit on immigration detention The UK remains the only European country without a time limit on detention. This has devastating consequences for the wellbeing of vulnerable individuals who find themselves detained including some victims of torture, survivors of trafficking and people fleeing religious persecution in their home countries. It also has a significant impact on families who are separated with no indication of when they might be reunited. The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted serious health risks in crowded detention centres. While we are grateful for the emergency steps that were taken to reduce infection and save lives, only a significant permanent reduction in t...

Scotland’s Bishops Publish Parish Reopening Guidance

| 06th June 2020 | Blogging

Scotland’s Bishops Publish Parish Reopening Guidance 6 June 2020   In a Pastoral Letter sent to Scotland’s 600 Catholic Priests, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have issued a series of guidance documents, which will govern moves “towards the reopening of churches and the resumption of public worship”. In a Pastoral Letter which accompanies the guidance, the bishops explain that their aim “is to act in harmony with the guidance of the Government and the health authorities, with whom we are in conversation, and to return to our normal liturgical and devotional practice in a safe and phased way.”   The letter signed by all eight of Scotland’s Catholic bishops, stresses that “it is important that we act together as the Catholic Church in Scotland, in step with one another, and clear about what is legitimate and prudent at each stage of the process.”   The bishops conclude with encouragement to the Catholic community, “to remain united in faith, hope and love and to keep responding to our current circumstances with confidence and creativity, assured by the promise of the risen Christ, “I am with you always to the end of the world” (Mt 28:20).”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors: The full text of the letter is shown below.   Together with the letter, the church has also published seven guidance documents which can be downloaded here: https://www.bcos.org.uk/COVID19/tabid/127/Default.aspx       COVID-19 Infection Control for Churches Advice on COVID-19 and Infection control protocol for parishes Preparing for re-opening of churches Guidance on how clergy and parishioners can prepare for a phased re-opening of churches Embracing Hope - a route map for pastoral ministry a route map for pastoral ministry in parishes during the COVIOD-19 pandemic How ready is your church to re-open? This is not a document but a simple on-line assessment tool which parishes can use to assess their readiness for re-opening. Safeguarding guidance for recruiting volunteers Guidance for parishes on Safeguarding requirements when recruiting volunteers as stewards Volunteer Application Form A Form to be completed by current volunteers who will act as stewards Volunteer Application Form B Form to be completed by new volunteers who will act as stewards                 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Peace be with you! For several weeks now, we have all been living through something we did not expect and for which we had no time to prepare ourselves, no real precedents to guide us, no previous experience to reassure us. A microscopic virus has thrown the whole world into disarray, including our normal Catholic life. In these circumstances we, the Bishops of Scotland, want to address you as we are reminded that Jesus alone is our great Hope. First of all, we want to express our closeness to those of you who have lost friends or family to Covid-19 and have not been able to grieve for them in our accustomed ways. We think, too, of those who have been unwell or have felt the pain of isolation in recent weeks, of their loved ones who have not been able to tend to them because of restrictions and also those whose treatment for other conditions has been delayed. We are mindful especially of those of you who are alone, or in care homes, or in hospitals. We hope you have found comfort and consolation. Though public worship has been suspended, the sacrifice of the Mass has still been offered, and Jesus our High Priest “is always living to make intercession” for us (Heb 7:25). God does not abandon his people. So, even in the midst of all this, we can thank the Lord and you for so many good things. We think of the clergy and religious who have been so assiduous and innovative in keepi...