Pope Francis has appointed two auxiliary bishops to the Diocese of Westminster, Canon Paul McAleenan and Mgr John Wilson.
The episcopal ordinations of Canon McAleenan, a priest of Westminster diocese, and Mgr Wilson, a priest of the Diocese of Leeds, will take place in Westminster Cathedral on January 25, the feast of the Conversion of St Paul.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, welcomed the appointments, saying: “Today I thank God for this gift of two new bishops for service in our diocese.”
He said he was “most thankful” to Pope Francis for “this important strengthening of our diocesan family”. He added: “On behalf of my fellow bishops here, Bishop John Sherrington and Bishop Nicholas Hudson, I welcome our new brother bishops. I assure them of a warm welcome from our priests and people.”
Bishop-elect McAleenan said he accepted the office “with a sense of inadequacy and unworthiness”. “To be a bishop was never a part of my plans and certainly not my expectation. I know it is only with the help of God I can carry out this ministry in a way that is pleasing to Him,” he said.
Bishop-elect Wilson described his appointment as “an enormous privilege”, saying he was “reduced to silence” when informed by the nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini.
“Aware of my unworthiness it was only after prayer, and with complete trust in God’s provident goodness, that I accepted,” he said.
Bishop-elect Wilson said he was, however, sad to leave Leeds. “Over the past 20 years I have received countless blessings through the bishops, clergy, Religious and laity of the diocese. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.”
Humanists win legal battle over Religious Studies
The High Court has ruled in favour of the British Humanist Association (BHA) after it launched legal action against the Education Secretary for leaving “non-religious world views” out of the GCSE curriculum.
Three families, supported by the British Humanist Association, brought the case against Nicky Morgan, arguing she had taken a “skewed” approach to religious studies.
Mr Justice Warby ruled that there had been “a breach of the duty to take care that information or knowledge included in the curriculum is conveyed in a pluralistic manner”. Changes to the content of the Religious Studies GCSE were announced in February.
BHA chief executive Andrew Copson said: “The law is clear that when teaching about religions and beliefs, schools should follow a broad and balanced syllabus which includes both religious and non-religious world views like humanism on an equal footing.”
Among the religious leaders who had urged the Government to include Humanism in the new syllabus was the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
Cafod activists cycle to Paris
Catholic campaigners on climate change gathered in Paris ahead of the UN summit this week. They included 17 Cafod activists who had cycled from London, among whom was one priest, Fr Joe Ryan. A petition from different religious groups calling for urgent action at the UN summit was signed by 800,000 Catholics.
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