Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 8th April, 4pm - keeping Palm Sunday
To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.
To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.
The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Friday, 19 February 2010
The Church's youngest archbishop is asking for prayers as more and more of his faithful leave Mosul because of a violent intimidation campaign that has brought four Christian deaths this week.
Archbishop Emil Shimoun Nona, 42, who has served as the head of the Mosul Archdiocese for less than a month, told Aid to the Church in Need today that the city's few remaining Christians are panicked. Under the pressures of a politically-motivated campaign to force Christians out of the city, many have fled.
Archbishop Nona, whose predecessor was kidnapped and killed in 2008, said if the situation does not improve, the ancient Christian community will disappear.
"If the situation continues as it has done, especially over the p ast few days, all the people will leave. It is very difficult to live in this kind of situation," he told the charity group. "It is panic -- panic always. The Christians don’t know what will happen to them -- it is the same everywhere: in the office, at school or even at home. They don’t know if somebody is going to kill them."
This week, a 20-year-old student teacher, an engineering student, and two traders have been killed in Mosul. Another student was injured. Another man was kidnapped from his home.
Archbishop Nona confirmed the attacks had prompted more Christians to leave the city, saying that Wednesday alone, he received news of up to 10 families fleeing Mosul.
In 2000, as many as 5,000 Christian families lived in Mosul. They have endured multiple attacks, particularly in September 2008, after which about half the Christian population fled the city. Many of those subsequently returned.
Still, according to t he prelate, Mosul is the most dangerous place for Iraqi Christians.
He said there is a concerted effort to force Christians to leave the city, though he admits, "We don’t know who is behind the attacks."
"We think that they are politically-motivated -- that some group has something to gain if all Christians go," Archbishop Nona said.
He added that Mosul authorities have claimed it is impossible to improve security conditions for Christians, though Church leaders have repeatedly requested it.
The archbishop affirmed: "We desperately need you to pray for us."
Monday, 1 February 2010
In a ruling that could affect similar disputes, a European court has ordered the government of Romania to compensate a Greek Catholic parish for failing to return to the parish properties seized from it under communist rule. "Legislative shortcomings have helped create a drawn-out preliminary procedure capable of hindering the applicant parish's access to a court," the European Court of Human Rights said in a January 15 judgment. The court said the Romanian government had violated articles of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. It ordered Romania to pay 23,000 euros to the Greek Catholic parish to cover damages and expenses.
The ruling concerned a case brought by Greek Catholics at Sambata in Romania's northern Transylvania region, whose church was placed in Orthodox hands when their community was outlawed in 1948. The Catholics said the local Orthodox parish had refused to allow them to share the building when their church was re-legalized in 1990, or to form a joint Orthodox-Catholic committee, as required by law, to discuss property issues. "Accordingly, the applicant parish was treated differently from other parishes involved in similar disputes, without any objective or reasonable justification," the Strasbourg-based European court ruled. "This was a violation of human rights regulations which prohibit discrimination."
The Greek Catholic Church is loyal to Rome but shares an eastern liturgical and spiritual heritage with Orthodox churches. In Romania, the post-war communist regime forced the church to surrender 2,588 places of worship to state institutions or Orthodox parishes. Inter-church ties in Romania have been tense since the 1989 collapse of communist rule because the Romanian Orthodox Church, which claims the loyalty of 87 percent of the country's 22 million inhabitants, has refused to return confiscated Catholic properties. These include 1,504 parish houses, and 2,362 schools and cultural centers. Although a Catholic-Orthodox commission was set up in 1998, a year before Pope John Paul II visited Romania, it made little progress and only 160 Greek Catholic churches were returned. In February 2009, Greek Catholic leaders protested a draft law that would confirm Orthodox ownership over still-disputed Catholic places of worship.
In a letter to Romania's President Traian Basescu, the leaders said their church, "reserves the right to use all the legal means, domestic and international," to obtain redress. In an early January 2010 statement, Romania's Orthodox patriarchate said it believed concerns about Greek Catholic properties were "artificial and exaggerated." It said it was again seeking dialogue with the Greek Catholic Church. The Greek Catholic bishop of Oradea, Virgil Bercea, told Ecumenical News International that ecumenical ties had deteriorated since the 2007 election of Patriarch Daniel Ciobotea. Bercea said he was worried Catholic Church members could also be denied access to Greek Catholic cemeteries, which could now be reserved for Orthodox burials. "Even now, the Orthodox are waging a psychological war against us; it seems our government leaders do not appreciate the situation's gravity," said Bercea, whose church, according to government data, currently has 654,000 members compared with 1.5 million in 1948.