A HOSTILE SECULAR CLIMATE
“The Bishops of Shrewsbury and Portsmouth have issued appeals for Catholics to be brave and faithful in the face of a hostile secular climate as the Year of Faith [drew] to a close.
In a pastoral letter which [was] read out in churches on Sunday to parishioners in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, Bishop Mark Davies [called] on Catholics to profess their faith with ‘courage and constancy’.
The letter says that unless Catholics profess their faith in Jesus Christ, the Church will become little more than a charitable, non-governmental organisation. Quoting Pope Francis, it says: ‘When we do not confess Jesus Christ, we confess the worldliness of the Devil.’
WHEN WE DO NOT CONFESS JESUS CHRIST, WE CONFESS THE WORLDLINESS OF THE DEVIL’
Bishop Davies’s letter goes on to say: ‘I have no doubt that the future of our diocese will be decided by the courage and constancy of such faith. In my first letter to the diocese three years ago I echoed the prayer of the first Apostles who said to the Lord: ‘Increase our faith!’ (Lk 17:5). At the end of this Year of Faith I ask you to renew with me this same prayer in the Mass today where ‘the sacrifice of Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present’.
COURAGEOUS AND CONSTANT WITNESS
‘Before Christ our Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, let us say: ‘Lord, increase our Faith!’ Increase our faith that we may go from Mass every Sunday to give our own courageous and constant witness to Christ the King.’
‘POWERFUL FORCES OF CHAOS AND MORAL MALAISE’ THREATEN BRITAIN
In his message to his diocese, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has announced that he will consecrate his diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Sunday, to mark…the end of the Year of Faith. Bishop Egan said that indifference towards God was releasing ‘powerful forces of chaos’ in society. He said: ‘This consecration is not simply an act of piety. In Britain today, we have so much to thank God for and we rejoice that the Holy Spirit is clearly at work far and wide in people’s hearts.’
CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART
‘Yet we also recognise that many people in our society reject God, or they are indifferent towards Him, to their eternal destiny and to the role of religion in human living. ‘Such attitudes are releasing powerful forces of chaos and moral malaise, which undermine our Catholic community too.
Bishop Egan concluded: ‘So at Mass, on November 24, the Feast of Christ the King, the national Day of Prayer for Young People, I wish to invite everyone to consecrate themselves, through the Heart of Mary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That means: put Christ first! Put yourself under His Word! Promise to live your life entirely In Corde Iesu [‘in the heart of Jesus’].’
The Year of Faith was launched by Pope Benedict XVI last October to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. It also coincided with the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
– This article by Madeleine Teahan entitled “Bishops: English faithful will need to be courageous” was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue November 22 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).