75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

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STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN BISHOPS’ CONFERENCES (CCEE) AND FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMISSION OF THE BISHOPS’ CONFERENCES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION (COMECE)

ON THE 75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIBERATION OF THE GERMAN NAZI EXTERMINATION CAMP AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU

75 years have already passed since the liberation of the German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau (27/01/1945), and this place still inspires terror. Continue reading

Homily for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

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Brothers and Sisters, as your bishop, my great longing is that Christ be real to us. Ever more real. Real, though physically unseen. Real to the eyes of faith. Real in this life and real for ever. As real, in our measure, as he became to Mary and Joseph, Peter and Paul, to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, to so many saints throughout the Christian centuries. He is not a figment of the imagination, he’s not an idea, not just a figure from the past. He is real and alive, here and now, contemporary, eternal. And he longs to be real for us. It is, of course, a life-long process, suffering and failure are part of it, but it’s what we’re made for. Continue reading

Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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Today, as it were, we fast forward. The child in the manger is suddenly an adult by the river. Instead of the arms of his mother, there’s the voice of the Father: “This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.” Instead of a birth, a baptism. Today John the Baptist’s mission comes to its climax and conclusion, and the prophetic baton, as it were, is passed to Jesus. He is anointed by the Holy Spirit and goes out to his life’s work, “doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.” Continue reading