Daily Archives: August 18, 2011

The Pope denounces economies that put 'profit ahead of people' as he visits crisis-hit Spain

Greeted by hundreds of thousands of euphoric young Catholics gathered in the city to celebrate World Youth Day the Pontiff chose to highlight the difficulties facing young people in his first address of the four-day visit.

“Many young people look worriedly to the future, as they search for work, or because they have lost their job or because the one they have is precarious or uncertain,” he said in a speech delivered in Spanish.

He arrived in recession-hit Spain ”“ where unemployment is 20 per cent rising to above 40 per cent in the under 25s ”“ with a thinly veiled attack on financial institutions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Religion & Culture, Spain, Theology

Peter Oborne–The moral decay of our society is as bad at the top as the bottom

It is not just the feral youth of Tottenham who have forgotten they have duties as well as rights. So have the feral rich of Chelsea and Kensington. A few years ago, my wife and I went to a dinner party in a large house in west London. A security guard prowled along the street outside, and there was much talk of the “north-south divide”, which I took literally for a while until I realised that my hosts were facetiously referring to the difference between those who lived north and south of Kensington High Street.

Most of the people in this very expensive street were every bit as deracinated and cut off from the rest of Britain as the young, unemployed men and women who have caused such terrible damage over the last few days. For them, the repellent Financial Times magazine How to Spend It is a bible. I’d guess that few of them bother to pay British tax if they can avoid it, and that fewer still feel the sense of obligation to society that only a few decades ago came naturally to the wealthy and better off.

Yet we celebrate people who live empty lives like this….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Violence

An FT Profile Article on Rick Warren

All good brands need a mission statement or a manifesto. Warren’s breakthrough to a mass audience came in 2002 with The Purpose Driven Life. His book describes itself as a “40-day spiritual journey for Christian living in the 21st century”. Though he rejects descriptions of it as a “self-help book” for the religious, it is reminiscent of the genre, with its folksy prose and short chapters. It reassures those with busy lives that they can converse with God “while shopping, driving or working” and that everyday tasks can be devoted to God including “taking out the trash”.

Warren says: “There’s not a new idea in [it] that hasn’t been said in 2,000 years of history. It’s been said all before. If I had a 15-word sentence, how could I say it in nine? How can I say it in five?”

Warren’s revolutionary tactic was to bypass bookshops and market the book directly to evangelical America, through its churches. It became a classic word-of-mouth success: it has sold more than 30m copies in the US, been translated into more than 50 languages and generated sequels.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture