politics

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash
Questions about the source and execution of power are dominating political discourse, as the Supreme Court has now been asked to rule on whether the Prime Minister’s prorogation of Parliament was lawful. Patrick Riordan SJ draws on a long tradition of political theory to outline the different ways in which political power can be considered to derive from or be given to the populace. So much depends on a preposition. The slogan, ‘power to the people!’ calls for something to be given to some...
Interns in Rome with Sally Axworthy
In the days before Palm Sunday, the Faith in Politics interns of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) visited Rome, as each year, to help them understand how the Church and the World are served by the offices which assist the Pope there, known as the Roman Curia.The interns are graduates from all over Britain, who work with Catholic Members of Parliament or Catholic Agencies, are studying Catholic Social Teaching, the first part of a Masters Degree currently with St...
2016 Presidential campaign Wikimedia Commons
Some years ago, a young English trainee journalist was invited to have the experience of going on the campaign of an American presidential candidate. Like most trainee journalists, he had little respect for politicians (and not just American ones). He saw them as vain, boastful, proud men – and women, with few principles and even fewer scruples - sometimes corrupt, often complaisant, almost always deceitful. But he thought it would be good experience anyway, so he went. And, straightaway, his...
The 2016/17 interns
The Faith in Politics Internship Scheme, provided by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales took nine recently-graduated interns in the academic year 2016-2017. These young people work in a variety of roles surrounding the Church and its social action work, with five interns working  with Christian MPs and Peers, one with Caritas Social Action Network, one with CAFOD, and two in the Bishops' Conference and its agencies. Several months into the scheme, Rory, Laura and...
Laboratory robotics: Wikipedia
A Jesuit in South Africa - formerly a region of the British Province - has warned that jobs are seriously at risk in the age of robots and automation, and has urged the Church to work with politicians to present a more honest picture of the ‘brave new world’ that lies ahead. Writing on the Jesuit Institute South Africa website, Fr Chris Chatteris SJ predicts a “robot-driven jobs bloodbath in the next decade”, as white-collar posts, as well as dangerous, dehumanising or...
Photograph of EU scrabble tiles
The focus of the campaigning leading up to the referendum on UK membership of the EU has been too narrowly economic and misrepresentations abound on both sides, writes Frank Turner SJ. The opportunities for scrupulous consideration of the issues and for authentic political debate have been missed, and now ‘the character of the debate threatens the EU whatever the outcome on 23 June.’ Which areas of interest and importance has the public forum struggled to accommodate? The...
Photograph of map of Europe
Later this month, voters in the United Kingdom will decide whether or not they want to remain in the European Union. Arguments on both sides are dominating the current political landscape, but Patrick Riordan SJ is worried about the lack of depth to the referendum debates: ‘we have neglected to form the political culture in which a reasonable debate about membership of the EU can take place.’ ‘NHS doctor leaves family in Sheffield to join Islamic State in Syria.’[1...
Photo of Pope Francis
When Pope John Paul II visited Chile in 1987 he was welcomed as a ‘messenger of life, pilgrim of peace’ – Nathan Stone SJ remembers it well. How did Pope Francis live up to these same accolades on his visit to Cuba and the United States? I was there in April 1987 when Pope John Paul II visited Chile. It was quite the affair. Chile was small, far away and off the beaten track. Whenever an international figure of any stature came to town, it was a big deal, but John Paul was the Vicar of...
Photo of Pope Francis
In recent decades, the dynamics within the Catholic Church in America have grown increasingly to resemble those that define the U.S. political scene, writes Vincent Rougeau. Pope Francis’ refusal to align himself with either liberals or conservatives on his recent visit was a challenge to all those who accept such divisions, inside and outside of the Church. A five-year-old girl breaking through security to offer Pope Francis a letter and a t-shirt was probably the most iconic image...