Wednesday, 30 September 2009

APGL day: moral philosophy, SRE and a new book

Today's conference for the Association of Priests for the Gospel of Life was quite a full day with a good number of priests taking part. Our principal speaker was Professor Thomas Pink from King's College London who gave a lecture on Morality and Human Nature in which he examined different meanings of freedom and showed how the metaphysical understanding of free will was fundamental to the freedom we expect to be guaranteed by law, and freedom as a condition. He also explained how the refusal to accept such metaphysical freedom made talk of human rights and freedom in society utterly incoherent. As he pointed out, you cannot defend someone's freedom to act in a certain way if you do not accept that they have the capacity to determine how they act.

Before lunch, there was a brief presentation of the new programme "This is my Body" for sex and relationships education prepared jointly by SPUC and Lancaster Diocese. The programme follows the teaching of The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality (Pontifical Council for the Family) and assists parents to give information about, for example puberty, at the time at which they consider it appropriate, whilst assisting schools to give information about relationships at the appropriate age in accordance with the teaching of the Church. There is a strong emphasis on the development of the child before birth as something awesome and to be celebrated. I think this is a very important programme: at present, priests and schools are being sent information. You can also look at the dedicated website.

After lunch, we launched the new publication "Proclaiming the Gospel of Life" which is a joint venture between APGL and the Catholic Truth Society. The 72 page A5 booklet contains the text of four lectures as follows:
  • The role of the priest in promoting the Gospel of Life by Mgr Ignacio Barreiro (of HLI's Rome office)
  • Vatican II, Culture and the Gospel of Life by Fr Aidan Nichols OP
  • Pope Pius XII and the Gospel of Life by Fr John Saward
  • Challenges and opportunities in pro-life preaching by Fr Timothy Finigan (me)
At the launch, I spoke about the APGL, Fr Whinder introduced the booklet and Fr Peter Edwards spoke about the role of the CTS.

"Proclaiming the Gospel of Life" is available from the CTS priced £4.50

We finished as usual with Rosary and Benediction in the beautiful Little Oratory. Here is a photo of the altar during the reposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

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