Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Not long to go for Festival 50 - Amex Stadium Brighton 5 July

The Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Football Club
It is now not long to go to Festival 50 and the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton on Sunday 5 July at the Amex Stadium, Falmer near Brighton.

The day begins when the doors open at 9.30am for Morning Prayer with Bishop Richard Moth at 10am. Around and in the Amex there will be a funfair, exhibitions, displays, speakers, bands, dance, school choirs, a chapel for prayer and reflection and much, much more.

We are expecting over 200 coaches for the day plus those attending by train or bus. There is still lots of space though in the stadium for people to come on the day by public transport - why not let the train (or bus) take the strain!

The day will end at 3pm with a Mass of Thanksgiving for 50 years of the diocese. It will be led by Bishop Richard in the presence of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor and the clergy, laity and religious of the diocese.

All are welcome to join us for the day. For more information see www.dabnet.org/festival50

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Diocese Mourns Death of Lady Sarah Clutton

Lady Sarah Clutton
It is with great sadness that the Diocese heard of the death of Lady Sarah Clutton's on Sunday 14 June. Many in the Diocese know her well from the Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage which she served so generously for many, many years as its Director.

Bishop Richard says: "Although new to the Diocese I am well aware of the tremendous love and esteem in which Lady Sarah was held. The Diocese owes her a huge debt of gratitude for her witness to the Gospel, notably in her wonderful work for the Lourdes Pilgrimage."

Michael Thoms, the current Director of the Lourdes Pilgrimage says of his predecessor: "In this life she was a tower of strength, helping others throughout her time with us, and showing through example what it is to serve from the heart."

We would ask you to pray for her and her family at this time. There will be a Private Funeral this week with a Memorial Mass to be held at Arundel Cathedral on Monday 28 September.

May she rest in peace.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Laudato Si' - New Encyclical Letter from Pope Francis



Vatican Radio have produced this useful summary of the Pope's new encyclical letter Laudato Si':
Pope Francis’ encyclical is focused on the idea of "integral ecology," connecting care of the natural world with justice for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Only by radically reshaping our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the natural world, he says, can we hope to tackle the threats facing our planet today. Science, he insists, is the best tool by which we can listen to the cry of the earth, while dialogue and education are the two keys that can “help us to escape the spiral of self-destruction which currently engulfs us."

At the heart of the Pope’s reflections is the question: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” The answers he suggests call for profound changes to political, economic, cultural and social systems, as well as to our individual lifestyles.

Chapter 1 sets out six of the most serious challenges facing “our common home”
Pollution, waste and our throwaway mentality: “the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth”
Climate change: “one of the principle challenges facing humanity in our day” but “many of those who possess more resources and economic or political power seem mostly to be concerned with masking the problems or concealing their symptoms”
Water: “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right” yet entire populations, and especially children get sick and die because of contaminated water
Biodiversity: “Each year sees the disappearance of thousands of plant and animal species” and the consequences cannot be predicted as “all of us, as living creatures, are dependent on one another”. Often transnational economic interests obstruct this protection
Breakdown of society: Current models of development adversely affect the quality of life of most of humanity and “many cities are huge, inefficient structures, excessively wasteful of energy and water
Global inequality: Environmental problems affect the most vulnerable people, the greater part of the world’s population and the solution is not reducing the birth rate but counteracting “an extreme and selective consumerism”

And Chapter 3 explores six of the deep root causes of these growing crises
Technology: While it can bring progress towards sustainable development, without “a sound ethics”, it gives “those with the knowledge, and especially the economic resources… an impressive dominance over the whole of humanity”
The technocratic mentality: “the economy accepts every advance in technology with a view to profit……yet by itself the market cannot guarantee integral human development and social inclusion”
Anthropocentrism: we fail to understand our place in the world and our relationship with nature. Interpersonal relations and protection of human life must be set above technical reasoning so environmental concern “is also incompatible with the justification of abortion”
Practical relativism: environmental degradation and social decay is the result of seeing “everything as irrelevant unless it serves one’s own immediate interests”
Employment: Integral ecology needs to take account of the value of labour so everyone must be able to have work and it’s “bad business for society” to stop investing in people to achieve short-term financial gains
Biological technologies: GMOs are a “complex environmental issue” which have helped to resolve problems but bring difficulties such as concentrating land “in the hands of a few owners”, threatening small producers, biodiversity and ecosystems

So where do the solutions lie? Here are six of the best:
In “The Gospel of Creation”: Chapter 2 examines the Old and New Testaments to show how human life is grounded in our relationships with God, with our neighbours and with the created world. We must acknowledge our sins when we break these relationships and realize our “tremendous responsibility” towards all of God’s creation
In Integral Ecology: Chapter 4 explores this new paradigm of justice which means “the analysis of environmental problems cannot be separated from the analysis of human, family, work-related and urban contexts”, while solutions must be based on “a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters”
In Dialogue: Chapter 5, entitled ‘Lines of Approach and Action’ stresses the need for “honest and open debate, so that particular interests or ideologies will not prejudice the common good”. The Church does not presume to settle scientific questions or to replace politics, but it can promote dialogue on global and local governance, transparent decision-making, sustainable use of natural resources, as well as engaging in respectful dialogue with other people of faith and with the scientific world
In Education: Chapter 6 urges schools, families, the media and the churches to help reshape habits and behavior. Overcoming individualism, while changing our lifestyles and consumer choices, can bring much “pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power” causing significant changes in society.
In Ecological Conversion: Chapter 6 also highlights St Francis of Assisi as the model of “a more passionate concern for the protection of our world”, characterized by gratitude and generosity, creativity and enthusiasm
In Spirituality: Finally Chapter 6 and the two concluding prayers show how faith in God can shape and inspire our care for the environment. The Sacraments, the Trinity, the model of the Holy Family and our hope for eternal life can teach, motivate and strengthen us to protect the natural world that God has given us.