STATEMENTS AND SPECIAL NOTICES
23rd March 2020
In the light of the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday evening, Monday 23rd March, and requested to do so by Cardinal Vincent Nicholls
Ealing Abbey Church will remain closed until further notice
May the Lord bless you all and keep you and your families safe and under his care and protection.
The Monks of Ealing Abbey continue to celebrate mass and pray the Divine Office throughout the day.
Fr Ambrose McCambridge OSB
Parish Priest, Ealing Abbey
18th March 2020
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
A letter from the President and Vice-President on behalf of all the Bishops of the Conference
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, so many aspects of our lives must change. This includes the ways in which we publicly express our faith. It is very clear that, following official advice and in order to keep each other safe, save lives and support the NHS, at this time we must not gather for public acts of worship in our churches. This will begin from Friday evening, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
Our churches will remain open. They are not closing. They will be a focal point of prayer, where you will find solace and strength. In visiting our churches at this time, we will observe with great care the practices of hygiene and the guidance on social distancing.
However, the celebration of Mass, Sunday by Sunday and day by day, will take place without a public congregation.
Knowing that the Mass is being celebrated; joining in spiritually in that celebration; watching the live-streaming of the Mass; following its prayers at home; making an act of spiritual communion: this is how we share in the Sacrifice of Christ in these days. These are the ways in which we will sanctify Sunday, and indeed every day.
We want everyone to understand that in these emergency circumstances, and for as long as they last, the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days is removed. This is, without doubt, the teaching of the Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2181). This pandemic is the ‘serious reason’ why this obligation does not apply at this time.
You will find more details about the pathway of prayer and sacramental life we are now to take in the accompanying document and on the Bishops’ Conference website (www.cbcew.org.uk). Your own bishop and parish priest will provide further support, encouragement and information about our way of prayer together in the coming weeks.
The second vital aspect of these challenging times is our care for each other. There are so many ways in which we are to do this: being attentive to the needs of our neighbour, especially the elderly and vulnerable; contributing to our local food banks; volunteering for charitable initiatives and organisations; simply keeping in touch by all the means open to us.
During these disturbing and threatening times, the rhythm of the prayer of the Church will continue. Please play your part in it. The effort of daily kindness and mutual support for all will continue and increase. Please play your part in this too. For your commitment to this, we thank you.
‘The Lord is my shepherd, There is nothing I shall want.’
May God bless us all.
Vincent Cardinal Nichols President
18th March 2020
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon OP Vice-President
18th March 2020
CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES
Liturgical Advice for the Bishops of England and Wales
in the light of the COVID-19 Pandemic
18th March 2020
This advice will be reviewed and developed as necessary weekly
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, having consulted the Ordinaries of the Dioceses, has agreed that the cessation of public liturgies should begin from Friday evening 20th March 2020. Because of the situation the Church finds herself in, the obligation for the faithful to attend Holy Mass on a Sunday or Holy day of Obligation is removed, until further notice.
The following instruction is now given for the celebration of the Sacraments and sacramentals of the Church at this time.
Celebrations of Holy Mass
Priests (parish priest and assistant priests) who hold parochial office should continue to celebrate Mass in a church within their parish without the faithful on a daily basis. Other priests (i.e. retired from office or entrusted with a non-parochial ministry) may celebrate Mass without the faithful in a church, chapel or their private home. Deacons should not participate in these celebrations.
The continuing celebration of Mass ensures that the faithful can join in spiritual communion with the priests of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states (1364): As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which ‘Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed’ is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out. Daily liturgical resources for those at home, including thosefor making a “Spiritual Communion” with the priest, will be available on the CBCEW website.
Information about the live-streaming of the celebration of Mass will be made widely available in our dioceses so that the faithful can participate in the prayers of the priest at Mass at home. A fine example of this is from The National Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham will continue its full liturgical programme and this will be available to all via the Internet (www.walsingham.org.uk)
Wherever possible, during this period, churches will remain open, especially on Sundays, for individual private prayer, without any organised services, and offering prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Baptisms should be deferred until such time that the public health advice is that congregations can gather safely. In case of necessity, baptisms should be celebrated with all the hygiene precautions that have been laid down by the Church in its COVID-19 advice.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Confession may be offered on request as long as hygiene and social distancing requirements are observed (eg a physical barrier between the penitent and the priest such as a grille and cloth). The use of Rite II and Rite III of the Rite of Penance is not permitted as this, by necessity, requires the gathering of people in our churches.
First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion
These celebrations should be postponed until a time that allows for families and friends to gather safely within our churches.
The celebrations of Confirmation should be deferred until such time that the public health advice is that congregations can resume public worship.
If possible, the celebration of the sacrament of Matrimony should be deferred until such time that people can gather in numbers safely. However, if this is not possible and only in the most pressing of circumstances, then those present for the marriage should be restricted to the celebrant, bride and groom and immediate family, and if necessary, the legal Registrar.
Anointing of the Sick
No pastoral visits should be made to people who are self-isolating until the isolation period ends. However, do offer phone support. When anointing the sick, the Oil of the Sick can be applied using a cotton bud which can be burned afterwards (one end for the head and the other for the hands) and the priest extend his hands over the sick person for laying on of hands, without physical contact. This has been confirmed as a valid mode of celebrating the sacraments which involve “laying on of hands.” Visits to people in care homes or hospitals should follow advice from the staff on infection control.
Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil
This will be dependent on the forthcoming decisions of the Bishops for the Holy Week ceremonies.
There must be great pastoral sensitivity to this issue. The funeral service should take place at the graveside or at a crematorium, subject to the conditions laid down by the cemetery or
crematorium authorities. Arrangements should be made for a Mass to be celebrated in memoriam when congregations are allowed to gather.
Rev. Canon Christopher Thomas General Secretary
18th March 2020
With ongoing CONCERNS OVER THE CORONAVIRUS !
PLEASE USE THE HAND SANITISERS PROVIDED AROUND THE ABBEY AND PARISH PREMISES !!!
we are recommending that Communion be received on the hand.
We also ask that at the sign of peace, members of the Assembly, give a simple reverential bow to the people around them.
The Parish Lunch on 29th March has been CANCELLED
Coffee Shop on Sunday mornings CLOSED until further notice
OFFERTORY COLLECTION will take place in both porches at the end of each Mass.
NHS ADVICE ON THE BEST WAY TO STOP THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds (eg. sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY’ twice, to yourself while washing) and whenever you:
- get home or into work
- blow your nose, sneeze or cough
- eat or handle food
It’s important to use soap and water or a hand sanitiser.
PLEASE CLICK here FOR GOVERNMENT INFORMATION ON CORONAVIRUS
PARISH LUNCH IN AID OF THE LENTEN PROJECT
SUNDAY 29TH MARCH AT 1pm is CANCELLED!!
A WORD FOR LENT
SMALL FAITH-SHARING GOUPS
Will be meeting again during Lent.
If you would like to join a group, please contact the parish office.
(Group Leaders – books now available from the parish office)
Registration is now open for applicants. Please complete the form online on the
(Go to Sacraments and click on Confirmation).
A VERY BIG ‘THANK YOU’ from Mary’s Meals Rags to Riches clothes collection. 630kg of unwanted clothes donated along with cash donations of £135.38 making a total contribution of £488.18.
QUIZ NIGHT IN THE BENET CLUB
On Saturday 2 May 2020 7.30pm – 8pm start
Fish & Chips Supper
Don’t miss out on a Great Evening
Teams of 4/5 or 6. Tickets £10p.p.
PARISH PILGRIMMAGE TO WALSINGHAM
England’s Historic National Shrine of Our Lady, dating back to A.D. 1060
Monday to Friday 10-14 August 2020: the cost of 4 nights’ stay, bed & breakfast with evening meal will be approx. £200. Limited number of places, so please apply a.s.a.p. to the parish office: also apply to the office for more information.
IICSA (Independent Inquiry, Child Sexual Abuse) held a hearing into Ealing Abbey and St. Benedicts School in February 2019.
The report, was published on 24th October 2019
Dear parishioners, please click on the link below for important safeguarding information-
Financial information –
Fr. Ambrose Thanks
STATEMENT FROM ABBOT MARTIN SHIPPERLEE OSB
THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE
As you may well know, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) held hearings concerning Ealing Abbey, from Monday, 4th – Friday, 8th February.
Abbot Martin gave evidence on Wednesday, 6th and Thursday 7th February.
For full information and details of the timetable and procedures and to read the transcripts of the Inquiry, please follow the link to the IICSA website at www.iicsa.org.uk
Bishop Paul McAleenan, the lead Catholic Bishop for Migration and Asylum, has issued a statement on the government’s forthcoming Settlement Scheme for EU citizens living in the UK. Any EU citizen who wants to remain in the UK after Brexit (with the exception of Irish citizens) will have to apply through the scheme, which is expected to launch in March 2019. Full Statement The Catholic Church in England and Wales stands in solidarity with all EU citizens who have made their home here. As the majority are themselves Catholic this is a special pastoral concern for us. The Church has experienced first-hand the extensive contribution that people from across Europe have made to our society. They are an integral and valued part of our parishes, schools and communities. We also recognise the evidence that immigration from Europe has not undermined opportunities for UK citizens, but rather brought considerable economic and social benefits. It is clear that since the 2016 referendum many people living here have faced profound uncertainty and insecurity about their future. Although the reassurances offered by senior politicians are important, people have been given far too little information or binding commitments about their right to stay. For some this has been worsened by the appalling rise in hate crime, which has left them feeling unwelcome or even threatened in the country that has become their home. The Settlement Scheme The government has now launched, offers EU citizens living here a legal route to remain. While this is an important step we understand that, especially for people who have contributed to our society over many years, it may feel unjust and divisive that they are now required to apply for permission to stay. We also expect that some people, particularly those who are already vulnerable, may face difficulties in practically accessing the scheme, leaving their immigration status at risk. We have strongly opposed the decision to charge people for securing the rights they already have. This is not only unprincipled but will also create a barrier for larger families or people facing financial difficulties. The Bishops’ Conference has made representations on these issues to ministers and through the Home Office working groups set up to discuss the Settlement Scheme. We will continue to do so as it is implemented. (A charge NO LONGER APPLIES). Applying for the scheme notwithstanding our concerns about these principles and practicalities, it remains a fact that EU citizens must apply if they are to protect their existing rights and their place in our society. We therefore ask Catholic parishes, schools and organisations to bring the Settlement Scheme to the attention of all who need to avail of it and to be aware of vulnerable people who may face barriers to applying or not realise that they need to apply. In particular we encourage you to signpost people towards the official information on the Settlement Scheme:
gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families and to make use of the various information resources available:
Finally we urge the whole Catholic community to take up Pope Francis’ call to welcome, protect, promote and help to integrate everyone who has made their home here – with particular concern at present for our European brothers and sisters.
Bishop Paul McAleenan
Parishioners can access the
- LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD First published 20th August 2018
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.
- If one member suffers…
In recent days, a report was made public which detailed the experiences of at least a thousand survivors, victims of sexual abuse, the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests over a period of approximately seventy years. Even though it can be said that most of these cases belong to the past, nonetheless as time goes on we have come to know the pain of many of the victims. We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death; these wounds never go away. The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced. But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity. The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side he stands. Mary’s song is not mistaken and continues quietly to echo throughout history. For the Lord remembers the promise he made to our fathers: “he has scattered the proud in their conceit; he has cast down the mighty from their thrones and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Lk 1:51-53). We feel shame when we realize that our style of life has denied, and continues to deny, the words we recite.
With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them. I make my own the words of the then Cardinal Ratzinger when, during the Way of the Cross composed for Good Friday 2005, he identified with the cry of pain of so many victims and exclaimed: “How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to [Christ]! How much pride, how much self-complacency! Christ’s betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his body and blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie Eleison – Lord, save us! (cf. Mt 8:25)” (Ninth Station).
- … all suffer together with it
The extent and the gravity of all that has happened requires coming to grips with this reality in a comprehensive and communal way. While it is important and necessary on every journey of conversion to acknowledge the truth of what has happened, in itself this is not enough. Today we are challenged as the People of God to take on the pain of our brothers and sisters wounded in their flesh and in their spirit. If, in the past, the response was one of omission, today we want solidarity, in the deepest and most challenging sense, to become our way of forging present and future history. And this in an environment where conflicts, tensions and above all the victims of every type of abuse can encounter an outstretched hand to protect them and rescue them from their pain (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 228). Such solidarity demands that we in turn condemn whatever endangers the integrity of any person. A solidarity that summons us to fight all forms of corruption, especially spiritual corruption. The latter is “a comfortable and self-satisfied form of blindness. Everything then appears acceptable: deception, slander, egotism and other subtle forms of self-centeredness, for ‘even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light’ (2 Cor 11:14)” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 165). Saint Paul’s exhortation to suffer with those who suffer is the best antidote against all our attempts to repeat the words of Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9).
I am conscious of the effort and work being carried out in various parts of the world to come up with the necessary means to ensure the safety and protection of the integrity of children and of vulnerable adults, as well as implementing zero tolerance and ways of making all those who perpetrate or cover up these crimes accountable. We have delayed in applying these actions and sanctions that are so necessary, yet I am confident that they will help to guarantee a greater culture of care in the present and future.
Together with those efforts, every one of the baptized should feel involved in the ecclesial and social change that we so greatly need. This change calls for a personal and communal conversion that makes us see things as the Lord does. For as Saint John Paul II liked to say: “If we have truly started out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he wished to be identified” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 49). To see things as the Lord does, to be where the Lord wants us to be, to experience a conversion of heart in his presence. To do so, prayer and penance will help. I invite the entire holy faithful People of God to a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting, following the Lord’s command. This can awaken our conscience and arouse our solidarity and commitment to a culture of care that says “never again” to every form of abuse.
It is impossible to think of a conversion of our activity as a Church that does not include the active participation of all the members of God’s People. Indeed, whenever we have tried to replace, or silence, or ignore, or reduce the People of God to small elites, we end up creating communities, projects, theological approaches, spiritualities and structures without roots, without memory, without faces, without bodies and ultimately, without lives. This is clearly seen in a peculiar way of understanding the Church’s authority, one common in many communities where sexual abuse and the abuse of power and conscience have occurred. Such is the case with clericalism, an approach that “not only nullifies the character of Christians, but also tends to diminish and undervalue the baptismal grace that the Holy Spirit has placed in the heart of our people”. Clericalism, whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons, leads to an excision in the ecclesial body that supports and helps to perpetuate many of the evils that we are condemning today. To say “no” to abuse is to say an emphatic “no” to all forms of clericalism.
It is always helpful to remember that “in salvation history, the Lord saved one people. We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual. Rather, God draws us to himself, taking into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in the human community. God wanted to enter into the life and history of a people” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 6). Consequently, the only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God. This awareness of being part of a people and a shared history will enable us to acknowledge our past sins and mistakes with a penitential openness that can allow us to be renewed from within. Without the active participation of all the Church’s members, everything being done to uproot the culture of abuse in our communities will not be successful in generating the necessary dynamics for sound and realistic change. The penitential dimension of fasting and prayer will help us as God’s People to come before the Lord and our wounded brothers and sisters as sinners imploring forgiveness and the grace of shame and conversion. In this way, we will come up with actions that can generate resources attuned to the Gospel. For “whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world” (Evangelii Gaudium, 11).
It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others. An awareness of sin helps us to acknowledge the errors, the crimes and the wounds caused in the past and allows us, in the present, to be more open and committed along a journey of renewed conversion.
Likewise, penance and prayer will help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other people’s sufferings and to overcome the thirst for power and possessions that are so often the root of those evils. May fasting and prayer open our ears to the hushed pain felt by children, young people and the disabled. A fasting that can make us hunger and thirst for justice and impel us to walk in the truth, supporting all the judicial measures that may be necessary. A fasting that shakes us up and leads us to be committed in truth and charity with all men and women of good will, and with society in general, to combatting all forms of the abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.
In this way, we can show clearly our calling to be “a sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race” (Lumen Gentium, 1).
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it”, said Saint Paul. By an attitude of prayer and penance, we will become attuned as individuals and as a community to this exhortation, so that we may grow in the gift of compassion, in justice, prevention and reparation. Mary chose to stand at the foot of her Son’s cross. She did so unhesitatingly, standing firmly by Jesus’ side. In this way, she reveals the way she lived her entire life. When we experience the desolation caused by these ecclesial wounds, we will do well, with Mary, “to insist more upon prayer”, seeking to grow all the more in love and fidelity to the Church (SAINT IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA, Spiritual Exercises, 319). She, the first of the disciples, teaches all of us as disciples how we are to halt before the sufferings of the innocent, without excuses or cowardice. To look to Mary is to discover the model of a true follower of Christ.
May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them.
Vatican City, 20 August 2018
Response from Westminster
As a priest and bishop, I have found the last few weeks both shocking and distressing. I am sure that you will have, too.
The plain and detailed disclosure of the extent of the abuse of children which has taken place in various parts of our Church, over so many years, has been so painful to follow and to take to heart. Yet to do so is absolutely necessary.
The initial response of Pope Francis was that of ‘sorrow and shame’. I fully share that response.
I am so sorry for the hurt that has been caused, primarily to those whose lives have been radically damaged by childhood abuse, to their families, and to those who know personally a deep sense of trust that has been betrayed.
I am utterly ashamed that this evil has, for so long, found a place in our house, our Church. This evil has particular abhorrence because not only is it a terrible abuse of power, but also because, in its evil, it both employs and destroys the very goodness of faith and trust in God. As a Father in this House, I bear this shame in a direct way, for it is the direct responsibility of a father to protect his household from harm, no matter how difficult and complex that might be.
On Monday, Pope Francis, our Holy Father, addressed a letter to all members of the Church. I am sure you will have read it (see above). Please urge your people to read it, too. It is available in many places and, in its entirety, on the website of the Diocese of Westminster. The Pope’s Letter begins with a quotation from St Paul: ‘If one member suffers, all suffer together with it’ (1 Cor. 12.26). In doing so, he reflects on the ways in which we have paid insufficient attention to the suffering of those who have been abused, and on the ways in which we have to tackle this together, starting with the renewal of holiness which comes only with prayer and penitence.
Let us read this Letter over and over again. It has so much to give us.
I share these thoughts with you as they have been constantly on my mind in these last weeks and days. Please be sure of my prayers for you. Please do share this letter, or these thoughts, with your people in the way you think best.
Let us turn to the Lord in our sorrow and shame, remembering the words of the Prophet Isaiah from Tuesday’s Office of Readings: ‘If you do not stand by me, you will not stand at all’ (Is. 7.9).
And let us pray for the renewal of family life through the World Meeting of Families, this weekend, so that all family life may find strength and joy in standing with the Lord!
With my renewed prayers and best wishes,
Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster