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 161 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

Statement on nuclear weapons from the Bishops of Scotland and England & Wales

| 04th August 2020 | Blogging

Statement on nuclear weapons from the Bishops of Scotland and England & Wales Tuesday 4 August 2020   During his historic visit to Japan last year, Pope Francis declared that “the use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possession of atomic weapons is immoral”. Seventy-five years on from the unprecedented and horrific destruction of life at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are called to reflect prayerfully upon the UK’s own possession of nuclear weapons.   Pope Francis reiterated that the threat of mutual destruction, the massive loss of innocent lives and the annihilation of any future for our common home, is completely incompatible with our efforts to build peace. “If we really want to build a more just and secure society, we must let the weapons fall from our hands”, said the Pope.   He also reminded us that it is unjust to continue squandering precious resources on manufacturing, maintaining and upgrading ever more destructive technology. The cost of nuclear weapons should be measured not only in the lives destroyed through their use, but also the suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable people, who could have benefited were such vast sums of public money invested in the Common Good of society instead. The Scottish and English and Welsh bishops' conferences have in the past called on the UK government to forsake its own nuclear weapons.    We therefore recommit ourselves to the abolition of these weapons and to the Holy Father’s call to pray each day “for the conversion of hearts and for the triumph of a culture of life, reconciliation and fraternity. A fraternity that can recognize and respect diversity in the quest for a common destiny.”    +William Nolan,  Bishop of Galloway and on behalf of the Commission for Justice and Peace of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.   +Declan Lang,  Bishop of Clifton and Chairman of the international Affairs Department of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales    ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org  ...

Freedom to disagree must be protected, say Scotland’s Bishops

| 29th July 2020 | Blogging

New Hate Crime Bill – the freedom to disagree must be protected, say Scotland’s Bishops Wednesday 29 July 2020The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Bill. In a submission to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee the Conference has stated that any new law must be ‘carefully weighed against fundamental freedoms, such as the right to free speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.’ The bill proposes to modernise, consolidate and extend hate crime legislation in Scotland, including introducing a new offence of stirring up hatred, possession of inflammatory material, and new protection of freedom of expression provisions in relation to religion and sexual orientation.  Commenting on the submission, the Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan said;“Whilst acknowledging that stirring up of hatred is morally wrong and supporting moves to discourage and condemn such behaviour the bishops have expressed concerns about the lack of clarity around definitions and a potentially low threshold for committing an offence, which they fear, could lead to a ‘deluge of vexatious claims’.”  “A new offence of possessing inflammatory material could even render material such as the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church...inflammatory.  The Catholic Church’s understanding of the human person, including the belief that sex and gender are not fluid and changeable, could fall foul of the new law. Allowing for respectful debate, means avoiding censorship and accepting the divergent views and multitude of arguments inhabiting society.”Mr Horan added; “The Church believes that fundamental freedoms must be protected, as the right to exercise freedom, especially in moral and religious matters, is ‘an inalienable requirement of the dignity of the human person’ and ‘a right that must be recognised and protected by civil authority, always within the limits of the common good and public order’. The courts have noted that the freedom to shock, offend and disturb, as well as the contentious and unwelcome are protected by the right to freedom of expression, and the bishops have declared that freedom of expression provisions must be robust enough to protect the freedom to disagree.Mr Horan concluded; “The bishops decry so-called ‘cancel culture’ in their submission, expressing deep concern at the ‘hunting down of those who disagree with prominent orthodoxies with the intention to expunge the non-compliant from public discourse and with callous disregard for their livelihoods’. They say that ‘no single section of society has dominion over acceptable and unacceptable speech or expression’ and urged the law to be proportionate and fair and allow for respectful debate and tolerance lest we become an ‘intolerant, illiberal society’.”ENDSPeter Kearney 
Director 
Catholic Media Office 
0141 221 1168
07968 122291 
pk@scmo.org 
www.scmo.orgNote to Editors:The full text of the submission to the consultation is shown below:Catholic Church responds to Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill ConsultationJustice Committee – Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) BillConsolidation2.    The Bill brings together the majority of existing hate crime laws into one piece of legislation. Do you believe there is merit in the consolidation of existing hate crime laws and should all such laws be covered?We agree that there is merit in consolidating existing hate crime laws.Other forms of crime not included in the Bill5.    Do you think that sectarianism should have been specifically addressed in this Bill and defined in hate crime legislation? For example, should a statutory aggravation relating to sectarianism or a standalone offence have been created and added?Existing legislation, including existing statutory aggravations, adequately covers offences relating...

A New Lectionary for Scotland

| 24th July 2020 | Blogging

A New Lectionary for Scotland 24 July 2020 Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have approved the preparation of a new Lectionary (a book of readings used at Mass) to update and replace the three volume Lectionary in use in the dioceses of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland for almost 30 years. The current Lectionary was first published in 1981 using the Jerusalem Bible (1966) as its base text. Commenting on the publication, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said; “In reaching a decision about a translation for the Lectionary, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland itself considered the values they would most expect a Lectionary to embody, for example, accuracy, dignity, facility of proclamation, and accessibility. The Catholic Edition of the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible, published in 2018, will be used as the base text for the new translation, it has been accepted by the Bishops of England and Wales as the basis for their own Lectionary and the Scottish Bishops voted at their July 2020 meeting to use it as well. It makes practical and pastoral good sense for the same translation to be used in Scotland, England and Wales.” Bishop Gilbert added; “The National Liturgy Commission has looked closely at the issue of a new Lectionary and hope that its publication will keep the biblical word alive and active for the holy People of God and shape thought and culture in our changing world.” ENDS Peter Kearney 
Director 
Catholic Media Office 
0141 221 1168
07968 122291 
pk@scmo.org 
www.scmo.org Note to Editors: 1. The work of editing and publishing the new Lectionary is expected to take several years. 2. A full statement on the new Lectionary from the National Liturgy Commission is shown below. The Lectionary and the Word of God The Church, throughout her history, sets before the faithful the riches of Sacred Scripture to be read and broken open in worship and for use in private devotions. The Second Vatican Council, in an effort to restore the practice of the early centuries of the Church of a continuous reading of a breadth of Scripture,  promulgated a new lectionary for the Roman Rite, with a revised structure and a wide selection of Scripture texts. St Paul writes: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17). Thus, the Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures as she venerated the Body of the Lord, in so far as she never ceases, particularly in the sacred liturgy, to partake of the bread of life and to offer it to the faithful from the one table of the Word of God and the Body of Christ (Dei Verbum, 21). By listening to and understanding the Scriptures we encounter God and understand how he reveals himself to us, enabling us to grow in faith. But we do not listen alone. Through a faithful proclamation of the word of God within the tradition of the Church we benefit from the holiness and wisdom of all the faithful who have gone before us. According to the General Introduction to the Lectionary: through his word, God unceasingly calls to mind and extends the plan of salvation, which achieves its fullest expression in the liturgy. The liturgical celebration becomes therefore the continuing, complete, and effective presentation of God’s word. Developments leading to a revised translation of the Lectionary The three volume Lectionary in use in the dioceses of England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland was first published in 1981 using the Jerusalem Bible (1966) and the Grail Psalms (1963). It was subsequently re-printed, although is presently out of print. In recent times, English-speaking Bishops’ Conferences worldwide have approved a new translation of the Book of Psalms – “The Abbey Psalms” – for the Liturgy of the Hours. This new translation is the w...

Catholic Bishops announce resumption of communal worship

| 09th July 2020 | Blogging

Thursday 9 July 2020Catholic Bishops announce resumption of communal worshipScotland’s Catholic Bishops have welcomed the First Minister’s comments today (Thursday 9 July) on places of worship and have announced the resumption of communal worship in Catholic parishes from 15 July. Commenting on the move, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said;“Over the past month, our parishes have been preparing for the safe resumption of communal prayer and the celebration of Mass, which is at the centre of the life of the church. To have been unable to attend Mass for many months has been a source of real sadness for Scotland’s Catholics and I am sure there will be great joy at the prospect of returning.”“Thanks to the widespread implementation of the church’s Infection Control protocols, Catholic parishes will begin the resumption of public Masses and other communal activities from 15 July.”Bishop Gilbert added;“The bishops are extremely grateful to all those who have worked tirelessly to prepare our parishes for public worship and to those who made their views known to their parliamentary representatives and the government on the subject of communal worship.While thanking the Scottish Government for listening to these calls, we would remind parishioners that the obligation to attend Sunday Mass remains suspended and ask those who return to do so in accordance with the infection control measures in force in each parish, mindful always of the need to protect themselves and others.”ENDS Peter Kearney 
Director 
Catholic Media Office 
0141 221 1168
07968 122291 
pk@scmo.org 
www.scmo.orgNote to Editors:The Infection Control Working Group’s Report can be viewed here:https://www.bcos.org.uk/Portals/0/Documents/COVID-19%20Infection%20Control%20Advice%20230620.pdf...