There are many future saints in prison

dr chijioke nwalozie

‘We incarcerate more people than any other country in Europe. Far too many people in our prison system are there as a result of mental illness. And every year, for far too many people, prison is a death sentence, as a consequence of suicide or violence.’ This is how Pact’s CEO Andy Keen-Downs opened our 10th Sir Harold Hood Memorial Lecture event last week.

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Child euthanasia – the next stop on the slippery slope

euthanasia

Talk to Oxford University Students by Lord Alton of Liverpool

I want you to imagine Marie. It is 2025 and Marie is a 15-year-old Canadian girl. Three months ago, her relationship with her first boyfriend ended and she remains heartbroken. Life doesn’t seem worth living anymore. Her self-esteem has plummeted. She feels less popular, less attractive and less talented than most of her friends at school. And, in her state of distress, she reasons the rest of her life will be worthless and miserable. Not uncommon for girls her age, Marie has been ill with anorexia in recent years. Her recent circumstances have led her to relapse. So, her parents take her to the local psychiatric hospital to see a doctor.

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When your mother’s not your mother: the problems of normalising surrogacy

Surrogacy

For most couples, the desire to have children is deeply imbedded in their relationship. After all, human beings are made for love and children are a real expression of love. So, when couples discover that they cannot have children this can be devastating. On the other hand, some couples, notably same sex couples, enter their union knowing from the outset that having their own children together is impossible, yet they still yearn to be parents, as do some single people who are not in any relationship. ‘Welcoming’ a child via a surrogate mother seems to provide the answer. Influential celebrities who use surrogate mothers have become role models for surrogacy and hold out this as an option for all. However, the desire to be a mother or father does not justify any right to have a child. Children have the right to be born in their own real families with their own mother and father.

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Politics as life-long engagement

protest

I remember the scene clearly: it was just after midnight and the house lights were switched on in the auditorium of the Teatro Argentina in Rome. Moving from stage lighting to the lighting of the whole house was meant to affirm the role of the audience in the dawning of a democratic process in Eumenides, the third play in Aeschylus’ The Oresteia cycle, as a vote is cast on Orestes’ charge. Is he guilty or innocent? Athena, then, declares the theatre to be a court crowded with people. Sadly, while the lights revealed the glories of the theatre’s internal box features, it also revealed how the seats had emptied during the performance. As the show ran so late, many of the spectators had to leave early to catch public transport.

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Organ harvesting and trading

In his encyclical, Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis highlights the related practices of slavery, trafficking in person, women subjugated and forced to abort and kidnapping for organ harvesting or organ trafficking. He notes that, whether by coercion, deception, or by physical or psychological duress, human persons, created in the image and likeness of God, are deprived of their freedom, sold, and reduced to being another person’s property.

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Love the Stranger – youchat’s “perspective”

This week’s post on the Catholic social thought blog is a bit different. Instead of the usual article written by one of our authors, the article is a reflection on the document published by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Love the Stranger, which has been produced by youchat which is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Specifically, youchat was asked to produce an article summarising the document. The article follows (no changes have been made to the original produced by youchat).

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