In the late 1970s I lived in rooms in Oriel College, Oxford, a few metres from the infamous statue of Cecil Rhodes in the city’s High Street. I don’t recall the statue, or the smaller ones also on the wall (including Cardinal William Allen) ever being discussed. Rhodes was only at Oriel for one term in 1873, leaving a lot of money to the college and to the university, partly for the scholarships bearing his name. What does Catholic Social Teaching have to say about the statue’s future, and that of similar monuments?Read more >>
Rapidly developing events and protests springing from the United States to much of the Western world (and elsewhere) have once again brought discussion about individual rights and equality – both in theory and in practice – to the forefront of public debate.Read more >>
Earlier this year, we commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II. A multitude of articles, conferences and events has marked the date but perhaps the best way to recall John Paul II is through the authorised biography produced by George Weigel titled “Witness to Hope” and first published in 1999.Read more >>
In a recent letter, Pope Francis suggested that we consider the provision of a universal basic wage. In this article, which summaries an article that will appear in Pastoral Review in the autumn, we ask “Should the Universal Church support a universal basic income (UBI)?”Read more >>
This post by Philip Booth considers freedom of speech, conscience and religion in the context of specific laws in the UK which allow a great deal of administrative discretion in restricting those freedoms.Read more >>
In this post, Philip Booth discusses how the language we use in debates can get in the way of agreement and how Catholics interested in environmental issues should study the work of Elinor Ostrom for inspiration.
In the last blogpost on this site, I wrote about the importance of private property rights for environmental conservation. But there is more to this debate. And sometimes semantics gets in the way of reaching a common understanding on these issues. My garden, for example, is private property and nobody would doubt that. However, a community of monks might care for their (possibly very large) grounds, farm, gardens, bee hives, and so on by holding it in common – though they still hold it privately in common. Indeed, property titles can be quite complex. Under English law, there will sometimes be restrictive covenants, nested leaseholder and freeholder arrangements and property held under trust (including by charities such as the National Trust) and many of these devices will be designed to ensure good outcomes when it comes to sustainability.Read more >>
In this week’s post, Philip Booth discusses the papal encyclical Laudato Si, responding to Pope Francis’ desire for dialogue on the issues raised.
Bishop Robert Byrne of Hexham and Newcastle described Laudato Si, published five years ago next week, as a “prophetic document that has given a theological and spiritual framework to the environmental crisis facing our world”. An earlier post on this blog developed a similar point.Read more >>
One lasting legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic and the actions taken to slow its transmission will likely be a renewed understanding of the importance of work, not only as a means to earn one’s livelihood, but also as an essential aspect of man’s humanity and a vital element of the human person.Read more >>
This article follows the same theme as last week’s article in a rather different context. The virtues of social justice and solidarity demand that we all play our part in ensuring that those who die experience a good death and have the support they need. Catholic organisations are working to ensure this in these difficult times, as are a range of other organisations. However, ultimately, when things return to normal, we know that, though we will learn from the use of technology during this difficult period, we still need human contact.Read more >>
It seems that England has moved from being a nation of shopkeepers, in Napoleon’s apocryphal phrase, to become a nation of broadcasters. The movement to online presentation and teaching and learning has, of course, taken place worldwide. In this week’s post, Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector of the Catholic University of Portugal and President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities reflects on this move and the importance of personal relationships in the provision of higher education in a Catholic context.Read more >>