Bruce Kent’s family has announced that he died yesterday, 8 June, after a short illness. He would have been 93 on 22 June.

Today we heard the sad news of the death of Bruce Kent, a wonderful and committed campaigner for peace and non-violent action over so many years. Some years ago, Bruce contributed to the ‘Speaking Personally’ column in the NJPN newsletter and I offer the link to his article  as a tribute to a great advocate for justice and peace. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

Anne Peacey

Speaking Personally - Bruce Kent 

The Rome Monti Declaration on a Shared Humanity 2022 

Signed on 25th May 2022 at Roma Monti 

Human societies are in crisis. Extreme weather and mass extinction are already upon us. Wars,  climate disasters, and displacements are leading to acute human suffering, especially of those  who have historically been most oppressed, those who carry the burdens of humanity on their  shoulders. We recognize that dignity and material wellbeing are unequally distributed, that  we do not do enough to redress the daily injustices that plague our societies, and that we are  yet to chart a clear path to place the dispossessed and disempowered at the centre of our  service and together enable their emancipation from the structures that oppress them.  

Synod

The dioceses have now submitted their synodal reports to the Catholic bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. The bishops will consider the views expressed and try to reach some consensus. In the coming months, some broad synthesis will be produced which will contribute to a European perspective before the bishops meet in Rome in October 2023.

Read all the Diocesan Reports Here: https://acalltoaction.org.uk/synod-2023/diocesan-synod-reports

It might seem premature to make any pronouncement on the synodal process at this stage, and yet, with the ink hardly dry from episcopal signatures we are entitled to wonder what we have learnt about ourselves, our Church, and its place in the society in which we live. The first, and most obvious point, is that the process was a success, at least in being held at all. A conversation across all the dioceses of England and Wales was and is an achievement. That it was conducted against a tight timeframe adds somewhat to that sense of achievement. We were reminded frequently of the unique position that we occupied – the first time the people of God have been consulted since the Council of Jerusalem.

 


This is both a cause for joy and concern: joy that it has happened, and concern that it has taken so long. Synodality has joined the lexicon of the Catholic Church; a concept that was at the heart of religious organisations, in terms of discerning their way forward, has been extended so as to enfranchise all the baptised. With it have come many of the misconceptions that accompany any sudden cultural change. It was presented as an opportunity for the bishops to listen to the people of God, but with the proviso that there were limits to what might be discussed. It was intended to be a period of reflection and maturation but frequently ended in hasty re-writes of a synthesis to meet a deadline. It should have been an opportunity to reach out to the many who no longer wish to journey with us.

John Wilkins

John Wilkins

 

1936 -2022

 

John Wilkins’ death was announced earlier on Tuesday 26th April. The tributes to his work will emphasise, and rightly so, his work as Editor of The Tablet. Under his guidance the circulation increased and he ensured a balanced and lively mixture of articles.

Members of ACTA - A Call to Action - will remember John as a valued member of the leadership team from the earliest days of the organisation. With an eye  for detail and an ear for the right tone of a press release, he was the  consummate professional. His manner was gentle and he could be quietly  spoken but there was a firmness of intellect that made itself felt. His  generosity of spirit was evident in the way he used his many contacts [the  BBC/ print journalism] to help to develop the media awareness of members. He managed the website and the press releases from the early days and his  easy understanding of how to engage with his fellow professionals earned  our respect, our admiration and thanks.  

Any discussion of issues benefitted from his encyclopaedic knowledge, but  that intelligence was balanced with a gentle amiability that touched many. Others have spoken of his infectious enthusiasm and his capacity to  encourage and support others to flourish. He was a man who was generous  of his skills, his experience, his capacity to engage. 

The Trustees are aware of the debt we owe John for the all he did and all he  encouraged to be done. For all this, and more, we extend to his family, friends  and colleagues our deepest condolences at this time. 

Rest in Peace 

Frank Callus on behalf of the ACTA Trustees

The days that follow Easter and the Resurrection share a common characteristic, they are days of wonder and a degree of apprehension. We are told that the disciples gathered in the upper room because they were fearful and yet in the Emmaus story, they were curious. “Didn’t our hearts our hearts warm within us?”

I want to reflect on those days that we are now experiencing through lines that I have written over the years about this period of time, words written as poems that also serve as meditative prayers or reflections.