British Archbishop to honour 'new martyrs' of the Church

Former Pope Benedict with Archbishop Gallagher


Rome – Every year during Holy Week, the Community of Sant’Egidio remembers the many Christians around the world who are constantly subjected to persecution, discrimination and the deprivation of religious liberty.

 This year, a special service at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, presided over by the Head of Foreign Affairs for the Vatican, Paul Richard Gallagher, is being held Tuesday in  honour of those who have given their lives bearing witness for the Gospel in recent years.

 “There are places where people die because you go to church, where churches and Christian schools are burnt, where people are  threatened, intimidated or killed because they educate their youth and break up criminal gangs,” said the Community of Sant’Egidio in a statement.

 “We will remember them with ecumenical prayers, to be attended by representatives of the Churches and Christian communities of all denominations.”

 Originally from Liverpool, Paul Richard Gallagher joined the Vatican diplomatic corps in 1984 and speaks four languages fluently. Having previously been considered for the position of Archbishop of Westminster, his appointment to one of the most senior positions in the Vatican state in November sparked speculation that Gallagher could be in line to become a Cardinal.

 The service was being held Tuesday evening at 5:45 pm at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere.