(Photo of Archbishop Nichols)
In response to the 2010 visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the UK, the Bishops of England and Wales embarked on a programme to examine how the Church can encourage a deeper social engagement, saying in a statement: “The Church does not exist for her own sake, but for the healing and flourishing of humanity. In coming months we will be seeking to strengthen our work in partnership with other Christians, other religions and with central and local government to help promote a more compassionate, fair and just society.”
A conference was held for those working in Catholic social action to examine the scale of Catholic involvement. An academic seminar of thinkers, theologians and commentators was also convened to explore the intellectual underpinning of the work the Church engages in.
On 6 April, the Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) organised a Catholic social action conference in central London to bring the results of these events to a wider group at national level, comprising Government, Parliamentarians, Civil Servants, Catholic agencies, commentators, academics and Bishops.
The conference was titled: Building a new Culture of Social Responsibility.
“The origin of the conference is twofold. First, there were the pressing needs of the times. Second, there was the imperative of faith, highlighted for many by the visit last September of Pope Benedict. At the end of that visit came the Prime Minister’s memorable commitment to create a new culture of greater social responsibility, in which people of faith were to be the “great architects”. In response, the Bishops of England and Wales reflected on our priorities. We embarked on a programme to enable the Catholic community to contribute as fully as possible to this project.”
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster
Below you will find a useful pdf report of the event.