6 thoughts on “Dr Anna Rowlands, St Hilda Associate Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Practice, Durham University

  1. “Let me discuss the resistance shown by two non-Catholics, one of whom resisted a Catholic (Hitler)”. An odd choice of characters for a Catholic, I’d’ve thought.

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  2. Hitler of course was brought up a Catholic and was never excommunicated. The only one of his inner circle to be excommunicated had committed what was presumably the most unforgivable sin of all: he married a Protestant. Naughty sinful Goebels.

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  3. Two Christians stood up against injustice. One of them paid with his life.

    Other people “of all faiths and none” have managed to stand up against injustice throughout history. On the other hand, Christians have also been known to support and even instigate acts of injustice of their own.

    It is neither necessary nor sufficient to be a Christian in order to stand up against injustice. Just being an ordinary, empathetic, ethical human being will do for a start.

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  4. “In the big news today, some people were born on 4th February. Yes, it is amazing, isn’t it.
    “Happy birthday to Dietrich Bonnhoeffer & Rosa Parks. Both were brave to stand against injustice so we Christians love to quote them even though they believed in not-quite-correct versions of the Invisible Magic Friend.”

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  5. “….learning what to stand up to, and what to stand – or sit down – for, might be the only way to be truly free.”

    This sentiment can of course (the faith motivation of Parks and Bonhoeffer notwithstanding) be applied to standing up against religion, religious bodies, the corruption and crimes etc of the churches. I hope Dr Rowlands sees this.

    I don’t think Bonhoeffer founded the Confessing Church of 1930s Germany though he was a member of it, and that breakaway from the mainstream Lutheran Church was about maintaining the integrity of the Church. It wasn’t formed to oppose Nazism. Only a couple of its members – Bonhoeffer included – chose to make a political stand and practical opposition against the Nazis.

    Dr Rowlands thought it ‘a pity’ that Rosa Parks’ religious faith is less well known than Bonhoeffer’s – but he was a Lutheran minister! Rosa Parks’ protest helped fire the Civil Rights Movement. Black Christian congregationsbut may have supported the movement; but it was a primarily a moral and political battle.

    The strangest thing to me is still this. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, which had persecuted a religious minority to the edge of extinction; how come the USA – whose troops and airmen had helped in that defeat (many of them Black) – felt it was acceptable to carry on with a ‘color-bar’ and the segregation of Blacks from mainstream society (and all the dehumanising and racist laws) after the war? If it was wrong to have park benches marked “Fur Nicht Jude,” then benches marked “Whites Only” were surely as wrong and unacceptable.

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  6. Much better than Rowlands’ previous effort, but two birthdays is hardly something in the news is it Today editor? Nazism and racial incidents are nowhere near the top of the news agenda. Knowing that Parkes was a Christian is hardly thought provoking either as she came from the American south.
    I suppose every TFTD presenter could take this approach and we could have a piece tomorrow about John Dunlop, the rubber entrepreneur whose Australian arm of Dunlop Rubber started making condoms in the 1890s in the South Melbourne area. Dunlop’s Catholic chairman Nicholas Fitzgerald however wasn’t comfortable with the company making condoms and by 1905 forced the business to stop making them altogether.
    Surely a Catholic commentator could make something positive of that.

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