Welcome to the Diocese of Gibraltar!
Through our Diocesan website, I would like to open our doors to all. As the Shepherd of this Community: you are all invited; everyone is welcome!
It will be good to tell you about the things that are happening and offer you resources to help you grow in your own Faith. We are all called to know and serve Christ more deeply in His Church.
You are invited in this way, to become more actively involved in the life of our Church.
If you are not a Catholic, you may wish to learn more about us through these pages.
Our mission is simple: to preach Jesus Christ, the Son of God; to come to know and serve Him as Lord; and, to make “disciples of all nations” [Matthew 28: 19], belonging to this “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church” [the Creed], untied with Peter and his successors.
Peace be with you!
Bishop of Gibraltar
PRAY WITH US
Look upon your Church, O God,
with unfailing love and favour,
so that, renewed by the paschal mysteries,
she may come to the glory of the resurrection.
Through Christ our Lord.
From Easter Sunday Mass, Prayer after Communion
- June 26 @ 10:30 am - July 31 @ 12:00 pm
- June 28 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm at Shrine of Our Lady of Europe
CHANGES TO MASS TIMES
As from Monday, the 24th June 2019, due to the fact that priests in the Cathedral are or will be away or convalescing, apart from the fact that we have also lost Fr Mario Tong, we need to suspend temporarily one of the Masses celebrated in the Cathedral.
Therefore, the 7.30 morning Mass will be suspended for the time being.
This decision was not taken lightly, but under the extraordinary and unexpected circumstances we are in, we are sure that you will understand.
During the summer months commencing on Saturday 29th June, the weekend AND weekday evening Masses will be at 7.15 pm.
For the time being during the summer months, in order to ensure we have a Priest available, the Mass schedule will be as follows as from Saturday 22nd June :
Friday 28th: Feast of the Sacred Heart, followed by the traditional Parish celebration. Mass will be at 7 p.m.
All Saturdays & Holy Days of Obligation: 8:00 p.m.
All Sundays: 9:30 a.m.
YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
POPE PROMULGATES NEW LAW ON SAFEGUARDING FOR THE CHURCH
The Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, promulgated new norms for the Church’s handling of abuse on May 9th through a motu proprio (‘on his own initiative), titled, Vos estis lux mundi (“You are the light of the world”). He approved its promulgation on an experimental basis for a period of three years. It will enter in effect June 1, 2019.
The Pope wrote: “The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful”. The Bishop has the primary responsibility of ensuring that all issues concerning the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable persons, including the processing of any allegations, is handled efficiently with a ‘zero tolerance’ standard or practice.
Nevertheless, it is also the responsibility of everyone to ensure an environment of safeguarding is maintained and that there is vigilance to report abuses when they occur. It is clear through these norms, that there can be no ‘cover-up’. “Therefore, [the Pope wrote] it is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful”.
The norms regard what are called, in canon law, “delicts against the sixth commandment of the Decalogue,” consisting of:
-sexual acts with a minor or vulnerable person;
-forcing someone to perform or submit to sexual acts through violence, threat, or abuse of authority;
-and the production or possession of child pornography.
The new law also sanctions any actions intended to cover-up a civil or canonical investigation into accusations of child pornography use, sexual abuse of minors, or sexual coercion through abuse of power. It also emphasizes that “the person under investigation enjoys the presumption of innocence”.
Furthermore, it requires that the Church authorities be committed to ensuring “that those who state that they have been harmed, together with their families, are to be treated with dignity and respect,” be welcomed, listened to, and supported, offered spiritual assistance, and medical and psychological assistance.
A crucial aspect of the new legislation for the entire Church is that it introduces obligatory reporting, requiring that every cleric or religious man or woman who has become aware of an accusation of abuse or cover-up report it “promptly” to the proper Church authority.
The motu proprio also states that every diocese in the world is required to create a stable mechanism or system through which people may submit reports of abuse or its cover-up. The exact form of the system, which could also be an entire office, will be left to the discretion of the individual diocese, but must be established by June 2020.
In Gibraltar, a Diocesan Safeguarding Commission was set up in 2018, on the Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels.
A diocesan Policy was also established and appropriate Safeguarding training, beginning with our clergy, is being offered to all the groups and persons helping in any way in our parishes.
As Pope Francis wrote: “In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed, attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church…. This becomes possible only with the grace of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, as we must always keep in mind the words of Jesus: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing’ (Jn 15:5). Even if so much has already been accomplished, we must continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past, looking with hope towards the future’”.
If you wish to learn more about Safeguarding in our Diocese, please visit the pages specifically dedicated to this on our website.
To contact our diocesan Safeguarding Officer or relevant agencies for any concerns you may have, please visit the contact details page.
If you believe that a child or vulnerable adult has suffered or is in immediate risk of suffering significant harm, for example, physical or sexual assault or theft of their property, then you should contact the Police / the Care Agency (Social Services) Department immediately.
DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION!
In all cases where such a situation arises within a church or church-related context, then the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer should be contacted too.
From Death to Life.
The Lord is Risen!
This is the Christian proclamation that resounds throughout the Churches around the world that profess the Christian faith on Easter Sunday.
Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead. His followers saw him executed through being crucified, being laid in the tomb, and then they met him unexpectedly as one who has risen from the dead.
As such we don’t really know what exactly happened at the resurrection, what we know is that Christ was dead and then he rose from the dead.
The resurrection is always and everywhere.
Easter is right at the heart of our life. When we look at life with Easter eyes, then we experience that forgiveness comes beyond grievance, that peace comes beyond conflict, that joy comes beyond sorrow, freedom comes beyond all different kinds of imprisonment, and that love triumphs over fear. In such instances we have the resurrection. Once again the stone is rolled away and Jesus rises from the dead and we rise with him.
The New Testament says that Jesus wasn’t the only one to rise from the dead. He is the first born of many brothers and sisters, us, and therefore where he has gone, from death into an unimaginable life, we are called to follow. We do so as we celebrate Easter, celebrating the resurrection which in reality is happening all around us.
Easter is a call to come out of our tombs. There are so many of us who unfortunately are more prone to remain in our tombs. We continue to remain in our tombs when we lose the perspective of hope in our life. Very often, in facing problems and in dealing with our trials and difficulties, we begin to wonder: is Jesus really alive? That is why many of us allow sadness and grief to continue to hold on to us, and that is why we cannot see the bright light, the joy of Easter.
During Easter we are called to focus on those who have encountered the risen Lord. We realise that the Apostles, who encountered the risen Lord, experienced a change in their life. From a life of pessimism to one of joy, one of courage and hope.
That is what we need to learn from the Apostles. In our daily lives, are we ready to release all hurts, injustices, the anger, the resentment, and learn to heal ourselves and others, and become transforming agents?
This is what we need to enter into the Easter experience, of encountering the Risen Lord, so that our lives will be changed and transformed.
Have a wonderful and blessed Easter celebration.
Bishop of Gibraltar
THE BISHOP’S CHARITY
Aid to the Church in Need
Is a charity helping Christians in persecution and suffering in various parts of the world, especially where there is conflict. This year the bishop has chosen ACN (Gibraltar) as the charity of choice for the Diocese.