- Conscience and the Commons
Following his election as Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron was grilled by the media about his beliefs as an evangelical Christian. Has the focus on faith, which began with Tony Blair, reached the point where it is harder than ever to hold religious beliefs and play an active role in political life?
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- The living Spirit
- Deacons aren’t just decaffeinated priests Dr Bridie Stringer
- The Church can and must pronounce on scientific matters Paul Younger
- Families, like the Church, should be havens for the broken Diana Russell
From the editor's desk
That the British welfare state needs some fundamental modification seems to be common ground across the political spectrum. The crucial question is how to make changes that carry consent. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in an article in The Guardian this week, appealed for cross-party consensus on what needed doing.
Two counter-narratives are developing in the Catholic Church designed to neutralise some of the more trenchant teachings of Pope Francis. He will run into both of them when he visits the United States in September. One of them, concerning climate change, he will already have heard from the lips of Cardinal George Pell, the Australian who heads the Vatican’s financial machinery.
The last canon in the Code of Canon Law, 1752, declares the “salvation of souls” to be “the supreme law” of the Catholic Church. This clearly means that it must take precedence over all other laws. But it is rarely cited, even in the debates and disputes over divorce and remarriage, where it could seem particularly apt.
The current media chat about “mindfulness-meditation” exposes a tendency to catchy headlines at the cost of depth and thoroughness. What journalists loosely call “mindfulness” or “meditation” or “mindfulness-meditation” usually ignores the necessary nuances of these terms.
Take a group of high-profile politicians, arrange them around an empty cot, and don’t be surprised when the mother of all rows erupts. Providing, of course, those politicians are female. But then again, neither the New Statesman – who put that image on last week’s cover – or any other magazine would dream of picturing a group of childless male politicians around a cot, empty or otherwise.
Not a breath of wind as we set off. Evening was deepening; the last shift of high, screaming swifts were clocking off for the day. I was showing a good Glaswegian friend of ours round my local “patch”.