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PRAYER OF POPE FRANCIS FOR THE JUBILEE
News - Newsletters
Written by Parish Office   
Friday, 04 December 2015 10:41

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father, and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!”

You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. 

We ask this of you, Lord Jesus,
through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 December 2015 19:04
 
MAYOR'S CHARITY FUND RAISING APPEAL
News - News Stories
Written by Parish Office   
Friday, 18 September 2015 10:52

SUMMER PARTY


Her Worshipful The Mayor of Enfield, Cllr. Patricia Ekechi

is holding a Summer Party on Saturday 26th September at St Edmunds Catholic Church Hall, 115, Hertford Road, N9 7EN

to raise money for

Dementia Awareness


Tickets are £15 per person, and include food, drink music and raffle and can be purchased from Bernadette Igboaka on  07813 367787.  Children under 12 are free of charge.

 

 
Archbishops comment on the defeat of the Assisted Dying Bill (No2) at Second Reading
News - News Stories
Written by Parish Office   
Monday, 14 September 2015 13:05

Archbishop Peter Smith, Chair of the Bishops' Conference Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship:

"I welcome Parliament’s recognition of the grave risks that this bill posed to the lives of our society’s most vulnerable people. There is much excellent practice in palliative care which we need to celebrate and promote, and I hope now the debate on assisted suicide is behind us, that this will become a focus for political action.

"I am encouraged by the participation of so many Catholics throughout England and Wales in this important discussion and hope that everyone involved will continue to support calls for better quality care as life nears its end."

Cardinal Vincent Nicols, President of the Bishops' Conference added:

"I thank all Catholics in our parishes who took the time to write to or visit their Member of Parliament to express their concern about the Bill.

"It was an important moment of witness to our Christian faith and the value it places on each and every human life.

"Now let's strengthen personal palliative care and see it developed in all our hospitals!’

Last Updated on Monday, 14 September 2015 13:06
 
Q&A on Assisted Suicide
News - News Stories
Written by Bishops of England and Wales   
Friday, 24 July 2015 08:27

Q & A on Assisted Suicide

On Friday 11th September 2015 the House of Commons will be debating and voting on a Private Member’s Bill to legalise assisted suicide.  Below you will find some answers to frequently asked questions about the law and ethics of assisting suicide in the light of Catholic teaching.

What will the Bill do?
The Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill is a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by Rob Marris MP.   It would ‘enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life’. That means it would licence doctors to supply lethal drugs to terminally ill patients to enable them to commit suicide.

What's the law on this now?
Suicide was decriminalised in British law in 1961 because it was recognised that people attempting to commit suicide needed care, support and often medical treatment because of depression, rather than a criminal conviction. The serious tragedy of suicide meant that it remained against the law to ‘encourage or assist’ another person’s suicide or attempted suicide. 

In 2010 the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) issued guidance about the factors that are taken into account in deciding whether to prosecute this offence.  For example, prosecution is more likely if there is evidence of pressure having been brought to bear, or the assister had stood to gain from the suicide, or there was a duty of care for the person concerned. It is less likely if the assistance was given reluctantly and was ‘wholly motivated by compassion’.  The law, which protects vulnerable people, is able to deter assisting suicide and, if necessary to deal with malicious assistance with suicide, while also having discretion not to press charges in tragic cases.

Why shouldn't it be legal to assist suicide if the person wishing to die is old or disabled or ill?
Every person’s life is equally worthy of respect and protection.  Even if someone loses sight of the dignity and value of their life (whether through pain, suffering or loneliness), they remain valuable in themselves and a member of the human family. They deserve care, support and sometimes medical treatment for depression, not assistance with suicide.  Neither the criminal law nor the DPP guidance distinguishes between suicide of young people who are physically-well and of someone who is old, disabled or ill.  Indeed, as a society we rightly go to great lengths to prevent each and every suicide.  In the words of the World Health Organisation, ‘every single life lost to suicide is one too many’.

How can we stand by while people die in pain?  Don’t we have a duty to do something?
We do have a duty to do something.  The United Kingdom was a pioneer in the hospice movement and the development of palliative care but most people do not have access to a hospice. There is need for more resources to support improved palliative and end of life care. Most hospitals focus on curing people and sometimes ‘could do better’ when it comes to care of the dying. Over 95% of pain can be controlled with specialist help and as a last resort a person could at least be comfortably sedated. 

What does the Church say about the value and dignity of dying people?
In a message addressed to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, Pope Francis said, ‘Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect’.  The Church teaches that life is a gift from God and supports high quality care for the dying and protection for the weak and vulnerable. 

What does the medical profession have to say about physician assisted suicide?
The British Medical Association, and the Medical Royal Colleges are strongly opposed to legalising physician–assisted suicide.  A key principle of professional medical ethics, reflected in the criminal law, is that doctors should never intentionally shorten life.  This principle, which dates from the ancient, pre-Christian, Hippocratic Oath, can be found today in the General Medical Council’s statement about the duties of a doctor, and in the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Geneva: doctors must show ‘the utmost respect for human life’. 

Need life be preserved at all costs?
Doctors may withdraw futile or burdensome treatments, or respect a patient’s refusal of treatment, or give much needed palliative treatment even if they foresee that, as an unintended side-effect, death may come sooner.  In fact palliative drugs, properly administered, do not generally hasten death.  Palliative care focuses not on cure but on care and ‘intends neither to hasten nor to postpone death’.  It is no part of medicine to kill or to assist suicide but nor does it require doctors to preserve life at all costs. 

Wouldn't there be safeguards in any legalised system?
Once you concede a principle and cross a line in ethics and law, it is wishful thinking to imagine that bad consequences can be averted merely by qualifications, conditions, or procedures.  In the small number of jurisdictions where assisted suicide has been legalised or where it is not prosecuted under certain conditions (Holland, and a handful of states in the USA) there is ample evidence that the safeguards don't work.  For instance, some laws seek to restrict access to assisted suicide to terminally ill people with a specific prognosis.  But prognosis of terminal illness is fraught with difficulty: terminally ill people often live for much longer than the predictions they are given when they are diagnosed - occasionally they even recover.  Furthermore doctors often fail to spot clinical depression in people who would meet the legal requirements for assisted suicide.  Each year the numbers dying by assisted suicide increase and the ‘safeguards’ are taken less and less seriously.  For more information on this see the website of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre (www.bioethics.org.uk). 

What should I do if I am concerned about the dangers of assisted suicide?
If you are concerned about how legalising assisted suicide will put vulnerable people at risk, affect palliative care or encourage suicide please contact your local MP before the assisted Dying Bill is debated in the House of Commons on 11th September 2015.  If you have personal experiences to share with them please do. MPs listen to their constituents and will want to hear about your concerns. You can send an e-mail to your MP via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference website www.catholicnews.org.uk/assisted-suicide

This is a crucial opportunity to make your voice heard.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 08:31
 
Sample Letter to MP
News - News Stories
Written by Bishops of England and Wales   
Friday, 24 July 2015 08:32

Here's an example of the sort of letter you might write to your MP about the bill to legalise assisted suicide.

MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

Dear

I am contacting you regarding Rob Marris MP’s Private Member’s Bill on Assisted Dying which is due to have its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday 11th September.

If passed, this Bill will have a profoundly negative impact on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

As my Member of Parliament, I hope that you will attend the debate and vote against the Bill at its second reading.

I would be very grateful if you could let me how you intend to vote on this important matter and how you have taken my views into account.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 08:34
 
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Sunday Readings

Acts 6: 1-7
The ministry of deacons is established for the care of those who are poor in order to free the apostles for the ministry of the word.

1 Peter 2: 4-9
Close to Jesus, we are a holy priesthood, offering with Jesus the spiritual sacrifices he has made acceptable to God.

John 14: 1-12
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  He leads us to the Father’s house, where there is a place for all of us.

Prayer Intentions

PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE UNWELL:
Kathleen Ferns, Richard Rayney, Kathleen Maher, Bernadette Dillon, Peter Tournas, Jean Payne and Maria Calus.

PLEASE PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY DIED
Assunta Di-Lieto, Maria Christodoulou, and Sarah Lyons.