The Church Around the World

The Church Around the World

1535 Society launched at the Tower of London

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and the Anglican Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, participated on 22 October in the launch of The 1535 Society to promote an understanding of the role of St Thomas More and other martyrs in British history.

The Society was launched at the Tower of London where Thomas More was imprisoned between 1534 and 1535, until he was executed on 6 July 1535.

In addition to promoting the legacy of St Thomas More and the other martyrs, Society members will also contribute to the restoration of the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula at the Tower of London and its Crypt of St Thomas More.

The Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula is the parish church to the Tower of London and is a Chapel Royal, directly under the jurisdiction of the Queen. It is the final resting place of three queens of England as well as St Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher.

In 2012, The Constable of the Tower of London, General the Lord Dannatt, launched an appeal to restore the chapel and to secure the future of the Choral Foundation.

"The Chapel is a vital focal point for the Tower community and St Thomas More is a key figure in the Tower 's history," General the Lord Dannatt said.

The archbishop of Westminster and the bishop of London released a joint statement saying: "We must never forget our past if we want to walk wisely into the future. That is why it is so important that we preserve this shrine to remind us of the dangers of religious intolerance and to recall men and women of faith to the primacy of love for God which leads to love of neighbour."

Zenit News Agency

US bishops review liturgical reform

The US Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship is marking the 50th anniversary of Sacrosanctum Concilium (This Sacred Council), Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, with a reflection on the liturgical reform of the last half century, titled, "Stewards of the Tradition - Fifty Years After Sacrosanctum Concilium".

This document was the first text promulgated by the Second Vatican Council and was issued on 4 December 1963.

The Committee's reflection acknowledges the ssignificance of the reform of the liturgy in the years following Vatican II, affirms the work of those engaged in the liturgical apostolate, and offers some guidance and direction for the future.

Addressing a variety of subjects within the liturgy, the committee emphasised the role of art and music: "The setting for the celebration of the Liturgy should be beautiful and should reflect the best of our artistic heritage" with liturgical song having a "pre-eminent place" in celebrating the liturgy. "Not only is it a means of active participation, but it is another source of beauty that can lift hearts and inspire worship."

Zenit News Agency

Korean Catholics warned on secularism

At a meeting with Korean lay representatives in October, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, expressed gratitude for the tremendous growth of the Church in South Korea over the past five decades while warning against three threats.

In 1949, 1.1% of Koreans were Catholic, and there were 81 priests; just after the Second Vatican Council, 2.5% of South Korea was Catholic. Today, 10.3% of the nation is Catholic, and there are over 4,600 priests and 1,500 seminarians.

In the midst of this growth, Cardinal Filoni warned against secularism and materialism. "If fidelity to the message of Christ and our convicted testimony are lacking, either at the personal or at the social level, the Church waters down her proper proclamation and her witness, thus rendering a terrible service to God and to mankind.

"The temptation to live a comfortable faith implies a certain sense of being satisfied with the results reached, and consequently, reduces or loses the vision even of missionary and pastoral commitment.

"An additional danger, in a country with a high propensity for technology, is represented by the tendency toward bureaucratisation and hyper-efficiency ...

"A further problem, it seems to me, consists of the tendency, according to a Confucian way of thinking, to break apart the composite reality of the Church, where the virtues of fraternity and ecclesial communion do not prevail, but rather, distinction, rank, and age."

Catholic World News

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