In 1994, the Holy See signed an agreement with the State of Israel, establishing diplomatic relations. Ever since, a debate has been raging about the position of the Catholic Church regarding a state that defines itself as Jewish and sees itself in continuity with ancient Israel in the biblical scriptures, which the Church also regards as sacred.
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The outcome of the COP26 Climate summit in Glasgow has been described as “disappointing” by the lead bishop on the environment for England and Wales. Bishop of Salford John Arnold, who was in Glasgow for the conference, said: “Having seen the enthusiasm of so many people, expressing their hopes for the COP26 conference, having read so much about the science that has accurately explained what damage we have done to our climate and our world... the plan is not there.”
In a recent book, Living Between Worlds, James Hollis offers a piece of wit that carries more depth than is first evident. A therapist says to a client, I cannot solve your problem, but I can give you a more compelling story for your misery. That’s more than a wisecrack. Whether we feel good or bad about ourselves is often predicated on what kind of story we understand ourselves as living within.
Writing an open letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of the COP26 UN climate summit, Carinal Nichols offered a stark warning about the consequences of failure to act against climate change, and represented the hopes of the Catholic community of England and Wales.
The diocesan phase of the groundbreaking 2021-2023 synodal process has launched across the British Isles. The Archbishop of Southwark has followed Westminster in launching a diocesan consultative process with an appeal to “deepen our understanding of what it means to live together in union with Christ”. Many other dioceses across the UK have also now followed suit.
To tell someone, with fullness of heart, ‘I love you,’ is virtually the same as saying, ‘You shall never die. Twentieth century philosopher Gabriel Marcel wrote those words and they echo words written five hundred years earlier by Blessed Magdalen Panattieri, a Dominican Tertiary, who wrote to a friend, I could not be happy in heaven if you were not there too.
No man is an island. John Donne wrote those words four centuries ago and they are as true now as they were then, except we don’t believe them anymore. Today more and more of us are beginning to define our nuclear families and our carefully chosen circle of friends precisely as a self-sufficient island and are becoming increasing selective as to who is allowed on our island, into our circle of friends, and into the circle of those we deem worthy of respect.
The Catholic bishops of Scotland have announced their divestment from fossil fuels in advance of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, alongside 72 other faith organisations internationally. The combined assets of the divesting organisations, from Australia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Nepal, Peru, Ukraine, the UK, the United States and Zambia, amount to more than 3.5 billion pounds.
In a book, When the Bartender Dims the Lights, Ron Evans writes: “There’s a line I came upon in the musings of a preacher: On a Sunday morning many of the people sitting before you are the walking wounded, and you need to give them permission to be sad. In a world obsessed with happiness, where being great is all that matters, let the preacher say, you have permission to be sad..."
The Dictionary of Politics, edited by Bobbio, Matteucci and Pasquino, published in 1976, did not contain an entry on “citizenship.” At the time it was a consequence of the existence of the state. It was only in the 1990s that scholars began to elaborate on the idea. In the interim, what had changed?