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Westminster: Lecture series on 'Being Catholic Today'
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General Lord Guthrie

Faith Matters: Being Catholic Today - the biannual Catholic lecture series held in Westminster Cathedral Hall,  invites us to "engage with the real issues of how we live out our Catholic Faith in the midst of modern society."  The organisers say: "Each speaker represents a different strand of British society today and reflects on the issues specific to living out the Catholic Faith in the world they inhabit."

The series begins on Tuesday 8 March [please note the change of date] with a lecture by General The Lord Guthrie on 'The Just War: the Moral and Ethical Questions that have to be addressed'. Lord Guthrie is a former Chief of the General Staff of the British Army and Chief of the Defence Staff and a leading Catholic.

On Wednesday March 16 DCI Joe Hackett of the Serious Crime Directorate of the Metropolitan Police asks: ' when it comes to social behaviour, are we bound by law, morality or our belonging to a community? To which does a Catholic Police Officer turn to? To his or her community at work or at home, to the law or to their faith?' His response will be given in his lecture 'Faith Dilemmas: Policing Our Community in Modern Day Britain'.

On Wednesday March 23 Mr Charles Moore, the former editor of TheSpectator, Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph, addresses the question: 'Journalism - can the news be good?' The Church's Pastoral Instruction on the means of Social Communication says: 'all men of good will are impelled to work together to ensure that the media of communication do in fact contribute to the pursuit of truth and the speeding up of progress. The Christian will find in his faith an added incentive to do this. And the message of the Gospel thus spread will promote this idea which is the brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God'. As an experienced journalist Charles Moore will consider how this ideal may be lived out in the world of journalism today. He is currently Group Consulting Editor of Telegraph Group and Chairman of Policy Exchange. Previously an Anglican, he became a Catholic in 1994.

On Wednesday March 30 Professor Conor Gearty, Professor of Human rights law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, asks 'Human rights - does faith matter?' Professor Gearty writes: 'The idea of human rights is strongly rooted in religious and in particular Catholic tradition but it is a perspective on the world that is also increasingly shared by many who have no religious belief at all - who are indeed often very hostile to religion and (as they see it) the irrational faith that it demands. But what is rational about human rights without God? Can you believe in human rights without believing that humans are in some important and defining way God's creatures?' Conor Gearty brings a broad experience of academic and legal expertise to this field as Professor of Human Rights law at LSE and a barrister at Matrix Chambers. From 2002-2009 he was also the inaugural director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at LSE.

The series concludes on Wednesday 6 April in the world of diplomacy. In his lecture on 'Diplomacy and Faith' Mr Francis Campbell will bring his unique experience of public life culminating in his post as Her Majesty's first Catholic Ambassador to the Holy See since the Reformation.

All lectures start at 7pm and are open to all. After each lecture there will be a question and answer session. There will also be an opportunity to take part in an online discussion forum on the Westminster diocesan website.

The organisers advise that you book your place as soon as possible to guarantee your seat. You may do so on line at: or by e-mail to

For more information please contact Ausra Karaliute on 020 7931 6078 or by e-mail at

Faith Matters is an initiative of the Agency for Evangelisation of the Archdiocese of Westminster in conjunction with the Mount St Jesuit Centre.

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Tags: DCI Joe Hackett, Faith Matters: Being Catholic Today, General The Lord Guthrie, Mr Charles Moore, Mr Francis Campbell, Professor Conor Gearty

Members Opinions:
February 21, 2011 at 12:06am

'Being Catholic Today' is an interesting title for the series of talks organised by the Westmister Agency for Evangelisation and the Mount Street Jesuit centre.

I wonder however if it was wise to choose, as speakers for the first series, five middled aged to elderly men, only one of whom is clearly not a conservative with a small 'c'.

No women?No young people?

We need to hear their witness as well.

yours faithfully
Bruce Kent
February 21, 2011 at 12:10am

It is always interesting to hear Catholics in public life addressing issues such as these, and the organisers are to be congratulated on the relevance and interest of the themes. However, anyone who took this particular line-up as typical of what it means to be Catholic today would have a very lop-sided view of Catholicism. These are indeed ‘all men of good will’ representing a certain kind of ‘brotherhood of man under the fatherhood of God’ (to quote from the ‘blurb’ about Charles Moore taken from a Vatican document). I hope a note in the programme will inform the audience that there are also women, sisters and mothers in the Catholic Church, who might have something to say about these issues.

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