Friday, 5 June 2009

On the roof of Rome - an evening hosted by Francis Campbell, British Ambassador to the Holy See

The Craighead Institute was honoured to have its certificate giving ceremony at the residence of the British Ambassador in Rome this evening. We walked up almost 10 sets of staircases to reach a roof terrace with of course stunning views - this is Rome in June. Ambassador Francis Campbell
was very welcoming and gave a good speech about how without religious organisations delivering services to real people at the grassroots, it would almost impossible to achieve the millenium development goals. He also particularly welcomed our group as there were far more women than at the usual receptions hosted at the residence!
Later after we had moved downstairs, the ambassador gave us fascinating insight into the complexity of the issues followed by the British embassay to the Holy See - using diplomacy to push the millenium development goals; the multilateral approach that the posting requires and the growing understanding of the importance of religion in diplomacy and international affairs. A heartening and interesting evening.
There's a link here to an article by Campbell in the Tablet in which he says:

Europeans take it for granted that modernisation and secularism go hand in hand. But the experience of the rest of the world tells a different story. The challenge is maintaining faith while living peacefully with those who do not share it. Retreat is not an option.


Tom Zwiefler said...

That's one way of looking at things but another perspective is here which argues that the US religious model goes hand in hand with modernising globalisation. There's a critique here from John Gray.

Jane said...

Danke HErr Besserwisser