The Archbishop of Westminster called for the public sphere not to be ‘faith-blind’ but ‘faith-sensitive’, in a lecture delivered at the Thomas More Institute.
In the lecture, entitled 'Faith in God is not a problem to be solved, but a vital part of the national conversation’, delivered on Wednesday 7 December, the Archbishop discussed the role of religious reasoning in the secular public sphere.
The human longing to live in a community was emphasised by the Archbishop, as he acknowledged ‘the deep seated desire not to live life in isolation, but in a network of stable, lasting and testing relationships.’ In today’s society the innate human need to belong to a community must be reconciled with modern ideas of autonomy and independence. This can be done through sharing common interests with people, such as a love for music, and learning to listen, depend upon, and respond to the needs of others in order to achieve a shared aim. This reinforced a point made by the Archbishop’s ‘Pause for Thought’ on BBC Radio 2.
The search for a meaningful life and need to reject the idea of having no purpose during our time on earth was the second key point of engagement between the world of faith and our secular society highlighted by the Archbishop. The third and final point of engagement outlined was the work done by organisations such as Caritas. This spirit of generosity, of caring for those in need, is not exclusive to people of faith, or those without. He appealed for such charities to never lose their ‘human face’ and encouraged all present to realise the Gospel’s performative and not merely informative nature.
Click on the links below to hear or read the Archbishop's lecture in full.