Follow usTwitterFacebook


11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (37)

Why can't I be re-baptized as a Catholic?

Full Question I was baptized in a Lutheran church as a baby and would now like to enter the Catholic Church. Because I have not been living a Christian lif…

Read more

31 Dec 2015 Q&A No comments

What is the difference between doctrine and dogma?

Full Question I have heard that the teaching on Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces is official Catholic doctrine but not a dogma of faith. I am not clear on t…

Read more

11 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (8)

What is the Church's view on organ transplants?

Full Question What is the Church's view on organ transplants? I feel that they are wrong. If God calls someone, who are we to stop the death process? Answer …

Read more

26 Apr 2016 News No comments

George Clooney presents Catholic woman with humanitarian award

Clooney said the award to Marguerite Barankitse should inspire everyone to stand up for those in need George Clooney has presented a $1.1 million humanitaria…

Read more

22 Jan 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

Does God send wars as a punishment for sin?

Full Question A tract about Our Lady of Fatima's peace plan states that wars are a punishment from God for sin. Is this true? It doesn't seem reasonable to…

Read more

17 Oct 2016 News Comments (1)

Crucified and beheaded - Christians slaughtered for refusing Islam

Eleven missionaries, including a 12-year-old boy, were slaughtered outside Aleppo, Syria. According to Breitbart, the murders occurred on August 28 when the …

Read more

23 Feb 2016 Americas News Comments (1)

Bishop Bradley of Kalamazoo Diocese calls for an end to all forms of violence in the wake of Kalamazoo random…

In a statement released on February 21, Bishop Paul Bradley of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo called for an end to all forms of violence, following the barba…

Read more

27 Jan 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Can the cannibalism charge be true?

Full Question Your answer to the question about cannibalism and the Eucharist in the December 1990 issue of This Rock disturbs me. The promise in John 6 of…

Read more

25 May 2016 News Comments (1)

Catholic leaders condemn ‘moral failure’ of world’s humanitarian system

The criticism was made at the the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey Catholic leaders have said that the global humanitarian system is a “moral failure” durin…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

St Mary’s University launches Benedict XVI Centre to ‘play a key role in public life’

The centre, at Britain’s largest Catholic university, seeks to ‘bring the riches of Catholic teaching into the national conversation’

St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Britain’s largest Catholic university, has launched a major new research centre which it hopes will play a significant role in public debate.

Speaking at a launch, the rormer education secretary Ruth Kelly said she was “convinced” that the Benedict XVI Centre “will play a key role in public life”. Kelly said the centre would have a strong Catholic identity alongside a research profile specialising in politics, economics and the social sciences.

The centre was first proposed after Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain in 2010, when he came to St Mary’s. During his visit, the Pope Emeritus spoke about the interdependence of faith and reason, and the necessity of a dialogue between religion and politics.

The centre’s director, Stephen Bullivant, who is also a contributing editor of the Catholic Herald, highlighted these principles in his speech at the launch. He said the centre would “bring the riches of the Catholic tradition of Catholic social thought, the riches of Catholic teaching on faith and reason, into the national conversation.”

The centre’s work will include a Catholic Research Forum, providing “empirically rigorous, pastorally useful research, at the service of the Church”. It has already been commissioned by the Bishops of England and Wales to research the non-religious population of the UK.

Other immediate projects include the study of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae and its aftermath – a project which will culminate in an edited volume for the 50th anniversary in 2018; a seminar series on Catholic Social Thought, Politics and Society, led by Professor Philip Booth, which will bring together the Church’s teaching with current political, economic and social questions; and a research project on non-religious belief, funded by the Templeton Foundation and carried out in collaboration with Coventry University and University College London.

The centre will also take up Benedict XVI’s call for a Courtyard of the Gentiles – a meeting-place where believers can speak to non-believers. An inaugural event is planned for later this year.

Fr Friedrich Bechina, who manages the international work of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education, said he had talked about the centre with Pope Benedict and that the Pope Emeritus had give it his blessing.

Fr Bechina said a key question in increasingly secular societies was: “Where are the fora where the Church will speak openly in the public square?” He said that freedom could not be taken for granted in the light of recent legislation, but that “academic freedom is the safest place, probably, for the Church, in today’s society”.

Fr Bechina said it was appropriate that the centre took the name of the Pope Emeritus. Benedict XVI “had no fear of truth”, Fr Bechina said, but encouraged Catholics “to receive the truth wherever it is coming from”, on the understanding that no truth can ever contradict the Gospel.

St Mary’s University was founded in 1850, as one of the first acts of the newly restored Catholic hierarchy. It is the only Catholic university in London. As well as Ruth Kelly, its faculty includes Mary McAleese, the former president of Ireland, and Sir Vince Cable, the former Business Secretary. The vice-chancellor, Francis Campbell, was previously Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See.

Visiting the university in 2010, Pope Benedict said that there was a place for the human and natural sciences, although they “cannot satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart, they cannot fully explain to us our origin and our destiny, why and for what purpose we exist, nor indeed can they provide us with an exhaustive answer to the question, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?”’

However, the Pope Emeritus added, “The quest for the sacred does not devalue other fields of human enquiry. On the contrary, it places them in a context which magnifies their importance, as ways of responsibly exercising our stewardship over creation.”


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories