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Several weeks ago I returned to London from a visit to Rome the day after those horrendous bombings in Madrid. Here at the Cathedral, thousands of people, many of them Spanish, had gathered to pray for the victims and the injured and to be together during that terrible sense of loss. As I mingled with the young people who had gathered spontaneously on the piazza after that ceremony, I found it a most moving experience. Occasionally, one of them would shout out, 'Let us be silent' and for several moments there would be a hushed and reverent silence in the crowd. Many held lit candles and left them as a symbol of their prayer against the outside walls of the Cathedral. That silence was not only a dignified and authentic response to the evil which had confronted them but also, it seemed to me, an act of faith. It was a belief that terrorism could never conquer the human spirit, that death would not ultimately prevail and that, even in darkness, there is always light and hope.

11 April 2004

Today, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor will preach at midday Mass at which the oil of Chrism used at baptisms and in the anointing of the sick, will be blessed. Traditionally, most of the priests of the Diocese attend this special Mass during which they renew their promises to serve the community of the faithful.

06 April 2004

DARTON, LONGMAN & TODD are pleased to announce the publication of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's book 'At the heart of the World'


PRICE: 8.95

The Cardinal's vision for the future of the Church and its role in the revitalisation of society:

'The Church has often been in crisis, and is always in need of reformation. Through the ages the Church has lived, in a mystical sense, through a hundred deaths and a hundred resurrections. As I look at the Church in the world today, in particular the Western world, I see the same pattern of death and resurrection.'

Cormac Murphy-O'Connor's first book as Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster is part personal memoir and part reflection on the challenges that face the Church in the contemporary world. He looks back with affection and wry humour at his own personal faith journey, with its Irish Catholic roots, English upbringing, and training for the priesthood in Rome. He considers questions of authority and leadership in the church, shares his passionate commitment to the search for Christian unity, and urges the renewal of parish life through the small communities which, he believes, 'are the secret of the future'. A unique vision for the future of the church and its role in the revitalisation of society emerges, marked by joy and hope as well as realism, integrity and humility.

For further details please contact Eleanor Fletcher on 020 8875 0155 or e-mail:
02 April 2004

The Diocese of Westminster is pleased to announce that Jean Vanier is to give a talk entitled 'Working for Peace' on Wednesday, 31st March, at St. Martin's-in-the Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2. The talk will commence at 19:00 hrs.

Jean Vanier is well known as the founder of the L'Arche and Faith and Light organisations. He is a person of great insight and this is a rare opportunity to hear him speak. All are welcome. Admission is free.

For information contact: St Martin's-in-the-Fields Parish Office - 020 7766 1100

29 March 2004

The following message from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor will be read by Bishop George Stack at the Special Mass for the Spanish community this evening in Westminster Cathedral. The Cardinal is in Rome attending a Plenary session of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Dear friends,

I am sorry that I cannot be with you this evening. I want you to know that my prayers are joined with yours. I know how deep is the shock which the people of Spain, and you - the Spanish community in London have experienced in the past two days. I know because I am here in Rome with the Archbishop of Madrid. We all share a deep sense of shock and outrage.

You have come to the Cathedral to pray for the dead and the injured, the bereaved and the grieving, for loved ones who mourn, and for families who are in shock - some of whom may be known to you personally. Together we raise them up to the Almighty and ask his blessings upon them. Our faith is in the God of love. He alone can heal the terrible wounds which the men of violence wreak on the innocent. We pray for His healing now.

Moment of silent prayer

We make this prayer in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

For information contact: Tim Livesey, Public Affairs Office- 020 7798 9031

12 March 2004

This morning (Friday 12 March) Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, wrote to the Archbishop of Madrid Cardinal Rouco Varela, in the wake of yesterday's terrorist outrage. He conveyed on behalf of the bishops of England and Wales and the people of the Diocese of Westminster his deepest condolences, as well as shock and outrage, at the terrible loss of life and devastation caused by these terrible attacks.

Today Solemn High Mass at 17:30 at Westminster Cathedral will be offered for the victims, their families and loved ones. Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor has asked that prayers for the dead and injured be said at Sunday Mass in every parish of the Diocese of Westminster.

A special mass for the Spanish-speaking community will be celebrated at 20:00 this evening at Westminster Cathedral. The Papal Nuncio, H.E. Archbishop Pablo Puente will be the Principal Celebrant. The Spanish Ambassador and members of the Spanish community in London will attend.

For information contact: Tim Livesey, Public Affairs Office- 020 7798 9031

12 March 2004

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the Archbishop of Westminster addressed fellow Cardinals on 11 March 2004 at the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture in Rome. His short address on his personal experience of dialogue with people who profess to have no faith focused on three areas: ethical goodness, aesthetic beauty and the role of community leadership.
11 March 2004

The question of what it means to be human, and to live the fullness of human life as God intends we should, is one of the most important challenges we face. The question takes on added urgency for all who are actively engaged with young people - in education, in intellectual and spiritual formation, and in family and community life. How do we help young people to contribute not only to their own happiness, but to the flourishing of our society and of our culture?

25 February 2004

Cardinal says Christians are called to live as migrs within contemporary culture.

In an address to students and teachers of the University of Swansea, Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor rejected the idea that young people are no longer interested in Christianity. The Christian faith had not only been a primary influence in the development of our culture over 2,000 years, it had also been the key to human flourishing. The living tradition of the Church still had an enormous amount of wisdom to offer.

18 February 2004

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-OConnor, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales and Archbishop of Westminster, today (Monday, February 16) told a Treasury summit on globalization, including the Chancellor, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, that poverty is as big a scourge as terrorism.
17 February 2004

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