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Catholic Bishops and organisations have voiced their opposition to the arms trade, as the UK prepares to host one of the world’s largest arms fairs next week.

The DSEI arms fair takes place in London 14-17 September, bringing together governments and military delegations from across the world with more than 1,500 companies selling guns, bombs, and other weaponry.

The bishops take up the call of Pope Francis to end the arms trade. Commenting on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway said:

“Tragically, conflicts fuelled by the trade harm the world’s poorest communities, they force people to flee their homes as refugees, and they have devastating consequences for our environment. We urge governments across the world, including our own, to commit themselves to ending the global arms trade and instead pursue the path of peace and reconciliation.”

Full statement:

As the UK again prepares to host one of the world’s largest arms fairs, we recall the message of Pope Francis: “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”  

We recognise the right of every country to defend itself against attack, but we must never ignore, or allow ourselves to become complicit in, the destruction of human life and violations of human dignity made possible by the sale of weaponry. The conflicts fueled by this trade harm the poorest communities, force people to flee their homes as refugees, and have devastating consequences for our environment.  

We stand alongside all those people of goodwill who are peacefully campaigning against the arms trade and join in prayer with the Holy Father that our leaders may commit themselves to ending it, in pursuit of peace and care for our whole human family.  

Signatories:

Bishop William Nolan, President - Justice and Peace Scotland

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair – Department of International Affairs, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Bishop William Kenney, lead bishop for peace and disarmament issues, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Bishop Paul McAleenan, lead bishop for migrants and refugees, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

Ann Farr, Chair, Pax Christi England and Wales

Marian Pallister, Chair, Pax Christi Scotland

Christine Allen, Director, CAFOD

Alistair Dutton, Director, SCIAF

Paul Southgate, Chair, National Justice and Peace Network

Are you looking for a chance to grow in faith? Make new friends? Could you help someone else to do the same?

SPRED (Special Religious Development) is the organisation that supports parishes to welcome their members who have a learning disability and supports people who have a learning disability to play a full part in the life of the Church.

We work in small friendly groups across the Archdiocese. Each volunteer is matched with a person who needs SPRED's support (a friend). Together we grow in faith and take part in parish life.

Would you like to find out more? Could SPRED help someone you know?

Pope Francis will not offer a public Mass during his short visit to Glasgow in November, despite recent misleading press reports

The Holy Father will visit the city for only a few hours to attend the COP26 gathering where he is expected to address world leaders before returning to Rome.

The date of the Holy Father’s visit to the city has not yet been finalised but the Pope has repeatedly emphasised the moral dimension of the climate emergency and the obligation of all to help protect the planet.

Earlier this year in a message for Earth Day he said: “We have the instruments. This is the moment to act. We are at the edge.We need to ensure that the environment is cleaner, purer and that it is conserved. We must care for nature so that nature may care for us."

Social distancing indoors has now ended and there is no obligation to keep 1m distance between household groups. For those who are still wary about being too close, one side of the cathedral has been reserved for social distancing. It is still essential to provide track and trace details, wear face masks and sanitise hands.

Scotland’s official Catholic Aid Agency is launching an appeal to parishioners to sign a petition to the Prime Minister ahead of the COP26 climate change conference to be held in Glasgow in November, at which Pope Francis is expected to participate.

SCIAF point out that with climate change already having a devastating impact on the world's poorest communities, time is running out.

Parishioners are asked to write to the PM urging him to do three things:

Technology offers us the possibility of assisting at Mass even when we cannot be physically present.

Even though it is now possible to celebrate Mass with a congregation once more, covid regluations mean not all who would wish to go to Mass can find a place. Therefore many parishes will continue to reach out through digital means to those who cannot come to church.

Parishes offering live stream liturgies are as follows:

 

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