In the year of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, the UK has formally triggered its departure from the European Union. These two events, so distant in time, are inherently connected in a specific way that we all need to recognise.
In a recent judgment the UK Supreme Court upheld a law requiring that a UK citizen earn a minimum level of income in order to bring their non-UK/EU partner to live with them in the UK. The court accepted that this led to “significant hardship” which impinged upon their human right to family life. However, this was held to be justifiable on the grounds of the state’s “interest in ensuring that the couple do not have recourse to welfare benefits and have sufficient resources to be able to play a full part in British life."
In 1864, Father Nugent of Liverpool set up a night shelter for homeless boys, one of many projects he established for destitute children and young people in the city. A few years later, he described its work; the boys ‘were provided with a wash, a basin of coffee and half a pound of bread with a dash of treacle.
The ground was frozen solid. Frosted sleeping bags lay discarded along the rough edges of the dirt track leading into the camp.
It was breakfast time as we wandered into the main "street," lined with small shacks set up as cafes and selling small amounts of food and other provisions.
This summer Europe has been shaken to the core, caught between an open hearted response to an image of a tiny body washed up on a shoreline, and complicated cycles of fear about the arrival of strangers.
From discussing ISIS to Development Goals, to Papal visits, to migration flows, various aspects of the broad phenomenon that we call ‘religion’ have become a regular feature of current affairs. However, the extent to and the logic through which religion is or can be associated with conflict and with peace remains a highly disputed issue.
It's tough out there in the choppy waters of the UK economy, with its rising swell of inequality. Oxfam has been asking: 'How can the UK ensure that the basic rights of its 64.8 million citizens are met, while living within the planet's environmental limits?'
France has been the target of several attacks perpetrated by so-called Muslim fundamentalists over the past few years, but the shooting of editors and cartoonists at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo marks a new low.