scmo_banner_news.jpg


21 December 2011
Christmas and New Year Messages from the Archbishop of Glasgow


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yet again this year I was privileged to lead a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.   It is truly inspirational to walk there in the footsteps of Christ and to see the places which are so familiar to us through our reading of Sacred Scripture.

Amid all the chaos of mass tourism, certain spots retain their sacred character, and cause us to contemplate the events which occurred there. At Nazareth, under the dome of the great Basilica, built in recent times, is the place of the Annunciation. An inscription reads, in Latin: Here the Word became flesh . Yes, at Our Lady s fiat, here the child of the promise was conceived.

The silver star on the floor of the crypt in the ancient Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, proclaims, amid the flickering candles, the words with which we are so familiar, yet which are still truly amazing in their significance: Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary .

On that very spot, tradition has it, Christ entered the world to the song of angels, yet with only poor shepherds to greet Him. Indeed He was born amid anxiety, poverty and fear “ Mary and Joseph were far from home and were desperately in need of shelter.   These were not the circumstances they would have wished for Jesus coming into the world. It was here, in the city of David, that God s promise to the prophet was fulfilled.

Today, many families are similarly affected by anxiety, poverty and fear.   One has only to read a newspaper or listen to a news bulletin to be quite overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness amid the great financial upheavals which threaten to engulf us.   We feel helpless. We worry about our children. We see no easy solution ...

Perhaps this year, as we gaze on the crib, we can identify in a special way with the figures gathered then “ with Mary, feeling worried and alone, far from her home and relatives; and with Joseph, concerned about the health and well-being of his new family.

But let us look deeper.  

At the centre of the scene is the figure of the new-born child. The same Jesus who, some decades later, was to calm the winds and bestill the stormy waters; the same Jesus who speaks to us still, looking us in the eye, and saying: In the world you will have troubles. But be brave. I have conquered the world. (John 16,33)

This Christmas, as the uncertainties of the world pour over us, let us look again to the Prince of Peace, and recall those words of reassurance he spoke to us so long ago, and repeats to us now - Be brave   - I have conquered the world.

The victory over the world is our faith “ it is that which engenders the peace which is the greatest gift of Christ, the best of all Christmas gifts.   May it be yours throughout the coming year.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Archbishop Mario Conti
Archbishop of Glasgow


In his New Year message, the Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, focuses on the effects of the recession in the lives of many, identifying the anxiety over jobs and opportunities; the real poverty affecting many households and fear for the future.  

He reflects on similar experiences witnessed during his recent trip to Bethlehem “ the birthplace of Christ “ where poverty and walls of division contradict the Christmas message, and where the poverty of Christ s birth is still mirrored in the deprivations of the Christian and Muslim population.

The Archbishop notes:   Divisions in our own society are not the result of physical walls, but of the increasing gulf between the incomes of the well-established and richer sections of the community and those who might once have identified themselves as ˜working class but for whom now the very description ˜working is denied.

The Archbishop added: While people of faith will draw comfort and hope from the example of the Holy Family, those for whom the Christian message no longer carries conviction will often experience a measure of despair, and it is for all of us “ especially those in Government “ to address these issues with growing concern and commitment.

The prayers and good deeds of the communities which celebrate Christmas must be directed there, not only during this season, but in the year ahead.

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 110 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

‹ 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

MERCY BUS IS BACK ON THE ROAD

| 27th July 2018 | Blogging

The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland are taking the Mercy Bus back out on the road this summer to spread the joy of the Gospel from a double-decker bus.   Fr Joe Burke will open the tour in Johnstone Square, Renfrewshire on Monday 30 July 2018 at 11 a.m.   Last year, over 200 people boarded the Bus and more than 1,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets were given out on the streets of Scotland.   Organiser Helen Border said:   “Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘church on wheels!’ Today, people find forgiveness hard to accept and sometimes even harder to give. Taking the church to the people shows that the Lord loves and cares for them and wants them to return to him.”   “There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ with literature, tea, coffee and home baking available downstairs.”   The bus will visit: Johnstone, Coatbridge, Greenock, Cumbernauld, Glasgow and Paisley. Holy Mass will be celebrated by Father Stephen Baillie, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s in the Diocese of Paisley on board the bus at 2 p.m. on Saturday 4 August 2018 at Paisley town centre.   Commenting on the initiative, Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley said:     “Up and down the UK the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.  Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. They see the Church coming to be among them with the Good News of God’s mercy very close at hand so they can reach out and touch it, or simply rejoice in its nearness.  The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the Bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”   ENDS   Notes to editors:   1. For further information please contact Helen Border on 07786097147.   2. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to Houston Square, Johnstone at 11.a.m. on Monday 30 July 2018 when the bus will be blessed by Fr Joe Burke and begin its journey.   3. The bus is a Stagecoach Dennis Alexander Trident, fleet number 18334, of Kilmarnock depot and is 55 registered. Sir Brian Souter has donated it for a week’s use with a driver. It’s been branded with the Mercy logo.   4. Image of the bus can be downloaded here: https://www.rcdop.org.uk/events/friends-of-divine-mercy-scotland-with-the-mercy-bus   5. DATES, TIMES AND VENUES Monday 30 July 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Houston Square, Johnstone, Renfrewshire Tuesday 31 July 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Quadrant Shopping Centre, 126 Main Street, Coatbridge Wednesday 01 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cathcart Square, Greenock town centre, Greenock Thursday 02 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Antonine Centre, Tryst Road, Cumbernauld Friday 03 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Buchanan Street, outside the Concert Hall, Glasgow Saturday 04 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Paisley High Street, Paisley where Fr Stephen Baillie will be celebrating Holy mass at 2 p.m....

Bishop calls on UK Government to sign and ratify Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

| 25th May 2018 | Blogging

25 May 2018   Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, will tomorrow (Saturday 26 May) at 12 noon join other Church leaders and campaigners in calling for the Secretary of State to sign and ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.   Taking part in the Pentecost Witness at Faslane Naval Base alongside representatives of the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Nolan will call on the Secretary of State to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the Treaty.   Commenting ahead of the event tomorrow, Bishop Nolan said:   “We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against God’s creation.”   The Treaty opened for signature at the United Nations on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, it will make the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.   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. Full text of the letter sent to the Secretary of State is copied below 2. An image of Bishop Nolan is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/25508101134/in/album- 72157666531058155/ Full text of Letter Dear Secretary of State, As you are aware, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at the UN on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, this treaty will make the possession use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law. We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being and that nuclear weapons violate that dignity and threaten that life. It is evident that the use of nuclear weapons would have indiscriminate and devastating humanitarian consequences that would extend beyond the borders of any single nation state. The World Council of Churches has stated ‘that as long as such weapons exist, they pose a threat to humanity and to creation’. Pope Francis has condemned not just the threat of use, but the possession of nuclear arms as they serve to create a culture of fear for all humankind and consume vast amounts of human and financial resources that could be better used for human development. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against creation. Those signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons agreed not to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer or receive nuclear weapons. The 122 governments so far who have signed the Treaty recognise along with countless numbers of people throughout the world that we have lived with these weapons for far too long and that they must now be outlawed and eliminated. Successive governments of both major parties have affirmed their commitment to multilateral disarmament for the last 50 years, however the decision by Parliament to spend billions of pounds renewing the UK’s arsenal of mass destruction in times of austerity is not a commitment to peacebuilding and is contrary to our commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The British Government, by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, would be taking a positive step towards fulfilling those commitments. We, the undersigned, ask you to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity. We pledge to continue to do our part to realise a world without nuclear weapons. Bishop William Nolan President of the Scottish Catholic Bishops’ Justice and ...

New Safeguarding Manual comes into force

| 21st May 2018 | Blogging

In a letter sent to all Catholic parishes over the weekend, Bishop Joseph Toal, who is responsible for Safeguarding on behalf of the Bishops ofScotland,has marked the publication of new national Safeguarding standards which come into force on Monday 21stMay.   In his letter, Bishop Toal commends the publication of ‘In God’s Image’, a new and extensive manual which offers comprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church.   On behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, he writes:   “Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.”   The publication of these new materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been implementing the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in 2015, with rigorous oversight by an Independent Review Group chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell.   Bishop Toal states that engagement with survivors will continue to be an important task for the Church:   “For some years now, each Bishop has been meeting with survivors and will continue to do so. Given the profound and sensitive nature of this issue, such encounters take place discreetly, at times and paces suited to the needs of survivors.”   Adding:   “Through the protection and care we show to all, and through the compassion, healing and justice we offer to those who have survived abuse, we must continue to renew, rebuild and restore faith and hope in the church by offering faith and hope to one another. “   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:   The new manual can be viewed here:    https://ingodsimage.bcos.org.uk/      Full text of the letter sent to parishes is copied below.   Pastoral Letter for distribution to Congregations on Pentecost Sunday 2018   My Dear People,   I write, on behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, to draw your attention to the publication of our Church’s new Safeguarding materials which come into force on 21stMay 2018.  These include ‘In God’s Image’, the document which offerscomprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding, including compliance with new Safeguarding standards.  This hasbeen shaped by the recent experience and developing expertise of those involved in the front line of Safeguarding in the Church, both in Scotland and internationally.In ratifying this publication, the Bishops have taken the opportunity to repeat and renew apologies made to those who have suffered any form of abuse, at any time, by anyone representing the Church.     Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.  We are most grateful to the teams of Safeguarding personnel in all Dioceses and to over 9,000 trained volunteers who support the work of parishes and religious congregations across Scotland.     The publication of these materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been working quietly, but tirelessly, to implement the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in August 2015.     Since 2013 we have published annual audits of allegations reported to us each year. Last month, we also published a historical review of non-recent cases of abuse, covering the period 1943–2005. The publication of our annual audits, the historical review and our new Safeguarding materials demonstrate our ongoing commitment to openness and transparency.     We recognise, however, that pu...

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia backs ‘journalism of moral integrity’

| 10th May 2018 | Blogging

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, has written to all 500 Catholic parishes this weekend (12/13 May) to mark World Communications Day.     This year, Pope Francis has chosen ‘Truth’ as the theme of his Communications Day message and bemoaned the persistent spread of “fake news”. In his letter, based on the Pope’s theme, Archbishop Tartaglia writes:     “Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good and beautiful.”     Pope Francis has urged Catholics to:     “…contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and of rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.”     Calling on Catholics to be partners in this quest for truth Archbishop Tartaglia says: “Truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather truth involves our whole life…it carries with it the sense of support, solidarity and trust. Journalists are called to be protectors of news and to promote the truth”     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. Full text of Archbishop Targtaglia Letter is copied below. 2. Full text of Pope Francis message for World Communications Day is copied below. My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ In his message for Communications Sunday this year, Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. But he warns us, that when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can distort our ability to communicate. The capacity to twist the truth is a human failing. Today we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. This has caused the Pope to make truth the theme of this year’s communications message, when he urges us to: “contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.” The term “fake news” refers to the spreading of disinformation online or in the traditional media based on non-existent or distorted data designed to deceive and manipulate the reader by mimicking real news. Social networks can allow untrue stories to spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage. Such disinformation can discredit and demonise while fomenting conflict and spreading arrogance and hatred. Preventing and identifying the way disinformation works calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. So how do we defend ourselves? The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather, truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust. We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us, as in the words of the Gospel according to John: "The truth will set you free". To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness. I would like to quote at length from the Pope’s message and urge you to read his text in full which is available on the website of the Catholic Media Office at www.scmo.org. The Pope says; 'The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people...