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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Articles related to Paul Donovan


Viewpoint:  Why has Guantanamo not shut?
Viewpoint: Why has Guantanamo not shut?

When Barack Obama became US President eight years ago, one of his early promises was to close the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay. As he leaves office, that promise remains unfulfilled, with a number of men remaining detained there, Paul Donovan writes in his latest blog. The broken promise comes to mind, when visiting Edmund Clark's War on terror exhibition, presently running at the Imperial War Museum. The exhibition chronicles the conditions that hundreds of people were held under at Guantanamo Bay for many years,

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Documentary warns of the coming war on China
Documentary warns of the coming war on China

Over the past decade the United States has built up a chain of military bases in the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea, encircling the coast of China. Catholic priest Father Mun Jeong-hyeon has been protesting for a decade against the building of a US base on the Korean island of Jeju. Together with other priests Fr Mun celebrates Mass every day on the site of the base. He has been arrested and manhandled many times for his protest. There are other similar protests in Okinawa.

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Viewpoint: Remembrance has become a struggle between war and peace makers
Viewpoint: Remembrance has become a struggle between war and peace makers

There has been another silly argument over the past week concerning whether the England and Scotland football teams should be allowed to wear the poppy on their shirts for the international match on Friday, Paul Donovan writes. It is a stupid objection from FIFA to the wearing of the poppy, yet it has brought the issue into the public discourse. Remembrance Sunday has been an important event for the best part of the past century, paying tribute to those who died in the world wars.

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'War on Terror' exhibition at Imperial War Museum
'War on Terror' exhibition at Imperial War Museum

Edmund Clark's exhibition at the Imperial War Museum touches on some of the most disturbing elements of the so called War on Terror, Paul Donovan writes in his blog 'Between the Lines.' The conditions that hundreds of people were held under at Guantanamo Bay for many years juxtaposed next to Britain's own internal security model - the control order, which turned houses into prisons, with individuals being held in true Kafakaesque style never told of what they were accused.

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Film:  I Daniel Blake
Film: I Daniel Blake

Paul Donovan reviews 'I, Daniel Blake' in his latest blog. Ken Loach's film, I, Daniel Blake, offers a great insight into the way that the welfare system has been changed from a support structure for those in need to a means of punishing the poor and vulnerable. The film demonstrates this transition, highlighting how in the worst cases, the punative inhumane actions of those in charge are actually killing people.

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 Viewpoint: Sad demise of Progressio
Viewpoint: Sad demise of Progressio

The sad news that Progressio is to cease operating will have dismayed if not surprised many in the social justice world - Paul Donovan writes in his latest blog. The organisation seems to have been in terminal decline for some years, becoming increasingly dependent on government money to perform its aid work. Now that this funding has diminished so the organisation has ceased to operate. Progressio has a proud record stretching back over 70 years to its founding in the 1940s by Cardinal Hinsley.


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Book: The Truth about Trident: disarming the nuclear arguments
Book: The Truth about Trident: disarming the nuclear arguments

This timely book from Timmon Milne Wallis, a former Director of the National Peace Council, provides a comprehensive demolition of most arguments for the UK to continue to hold Trident nuclear weapons. Wallis argues in a methodical style outlining the various arguments for and against these weapons systems. He then dismantles the claims of those who favour renewal, providing a comprehensive case for the UK to give up its nuclear weapons arsenal and set an example for the rest of the world to follow.

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Tribute to Theresa Helm - a courageous fighter for justice and peace
Tribute to Theresa Helm - a courageous fighter for justice and peace

The news of the death of Theresa Helm will have saddened the many people who have known her over the years. I have known Theresa for almost 20 years; though have seen less of her in recent times. She was part of a group of people who came together and energised the mission of justice and peace in the Brentwood diocese and nationally during the 1990s and into the noughties. Theresa was active in her justice and peace group in Hornchurch parish, together with Fran Marshall. Both then became more involved when they helped launch the justice and peace

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   Goodbye to Haynes Baptiste - a true fighter for racial justice over 50 years
Goodbye to Haynes Baptiste - a true fighter for racial justice over 50 years

Haynes Sylvester Baptiste was laid to rest yesterday at St Gregory's Catholic Church in Earlsfield, south London. Haynes, 83, has been a fighter for racial justice in this country for the best part of the 50 years during which he has resided here since migrating from Dominica in 1956 as part of the Windrush generation. He lived through the years of the no blacks, no irish, and no dogs notices being routinely put up in bedsit windows.

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Viewpoint: Archers plotlines show unique power of soaps to communicate social problems
Viewpoint: Archers plotlines show unique power of soaps to communicate social problems

The dramatic domestic abuse plotline in the BBC Radio 4 soap the Archers has been hitting the headlines recently. The story, involving characters Helen Archer (Louiza Patikas) and her husband Rob Titchener (Timothy Watson), has been played out over a couple of years, only now reaching a crescendo with the first physical abuse, following on months of mental torment. Only when the abuse turned physical did the programme start giving out the domestic abuse helpline. The number of people turning to organisations

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Will Catholic links be broken when West Ham United moves to the Olympic stadium?
Will Catholic links be broken when West Ham United moves to the Olympic stadium?

There is growing anticipation at West Ham United about its move to the Olympic stadium next August. Among the fans there is excitement tinged with sadness about leaving the ground that has been their home for more than a century. Memories of the great players who have graced the sacred turf, from World Cup winners Bobby Moore, Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst through the likes of Sir Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds to the stars of today like Dimitri Payet and Mark Noble.

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Viewpoint: New report identifies welfare system that seeks to punish rather than help
Viewpoint: New report identifies welfare system that seeks to punish rather than help

The government's reforms of the welfare state mark a step back to Victorian times, with a system that was intended to provide a safety net of support being turned into a vicious punitive process that blames the individual for all that befalls them. A report from Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), entitled the Impact of Welfare Changes, claims that: "The culture of the existing support system has changed from one based on compassion and support to one focused on efficiency and process."

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Viewpoint:  We need a Church of mission not maintenance
Viewpoint: We need a Church of mission not maintenance

Brentwood has become the latest diocese to announce dramatic restructuring proposals due to budget shortfalls. The present language of deficits and devolution abounds in the announcement from the diocese, including the news of a number of redundancies resulting from the process..... It is strange that in an organisation that professes to be so concerned with humanity, it is people that always seem to be the first casualties of these restructuring processes.

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Viewpoint: How the Church could play a key role in ensuring migrants exercise their democratic right to vote
Viewpoint: How the Church could play a key role in ensuring migrants exercise their democratic right to vote

The news that the votes of migrants could prove decisive in the upcoming general election represents a significant challenge to the political parties, as well as an opportunity for the Church to play a positive role in the democratic process. The research conducted by the University of Manchester and Migrants Rights Network, confirmed that four million foreign-born voters in England and Wales will be eligible to cast a vote on May 7. Migrants could constitute more than a third of voters in about 25 seats in England and Wales

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MP warns growth of foodbanks marks return to workhouse culture
MP warns growth of foodbanks marks return to workhouse culture

Former Leeds MP and chair of the Leeds Justice and Peace Commission John Battle has claimed that the institutionalisation of foodbanks is another step back toward the poor law and workhouse of the 19th century - Catholic journalist Paul Donovan reports in his blog today. The former MP claimed that the parcelling out of food in the way that is happening in the UK today “marks a move back to the poor law and ends at the workhouse.”

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Viewpoint: Report charts growth of foodbanks - but are they a welcome development?
Viewpoint: Report charts growth of foodbanks - but are they a welcome development?

Christmas is a time of good cheer and consumer excess for many but in this rich country it is also a time when the growing levels of poverty become most visible. Nowhere is that more so this year than with the growing numbers of people going to foodbanks. The Trussell Trust, which runs the nationwide network of foodbanks, reports 913,000 going to foodbanks over the past year – an increase of 129,000.  The Trust point out that there have been 500,000 people coming to foodbanks 

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Viewpoint: Church must rethink its approach to the world of work
Viewpoint: Church must rethink its approach to the world of work

The accusation has been made that the leadership of the Catholic Church in England and Wales is more at home in the boardroom than on the shop floor. The accusers question that while Cardinal Vincent Nichols contributes to the CBI 'great business debate', citing his own 'Blueprint for Business' initiative – begun in 2012 – what is the equivalent on the workers side. There is certainly no one from the Bishops Conference of England and Wales addressing the Trade Union Congress, like the late Bishop John Jukes did for so many years.

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Dignity or slavery – does work still work for the Common Good
Dignity or slavery – does work still work for the Common Good

The film, Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard as Belgium factory worker Sandra will have struck a chord with many workers today. Sandra is told she will be made redundant unless she can persuade her fellow workers to give up their bonuses. She goes one to one seeking to persuade the different individuals of her cause. In the end she succeeds in converting half the workforce to her cause. This is not enough but the boss is impressed at her fortitude and says she can have a job when one of the other workers is released.

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 Death of Gerry Conlon highlights shameful failures in British justice
Death of Gerry Conlon highlights shameful failures in British justice

The funeral of Gerry Conlon,  who was wrongly convicted of being an IRA bomber and spent 15 years in prison before he was cleared, took place on 28 June at St Peter's Cathedral in Belfast. During the service, Mr Colon's lawyer Gareth Peirce, who campaigned for his freedom, said how he was punished year after year in solitary confinement for protesting his innocence."His father who came to help, was arrested, convicted and died in prison . His aunt, his uncle his cousins, their neighbours were all imprisoned. All on false evidence" 

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Campaigners march against racism
Campaigners march against racism
About 10,000 people took part in the Stand Up to Racism and Fascism protest in London last Saturday. Over 1,000 protested in Glasgow and up to 700 in Cardiff. The Stand up to racism and fascism event to mark UN anti-racism day was organised by the TUC and Unite Against Fascism. Among the sea of banners there was CARJ (Catholic Association for Racial Justice) migrants groups, Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football, the Woodcraft Folk, the Filipino Domestic Workers Association, trade unions, and Roma and Irish Travellers groups.
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Journalist challenges Church's acceptance of government austerity agenda
Journalist challenges Church's acceptance of government austerity agenda
Journalist Paul Donovan gave a hard hitting lecture at the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Justice and Peace Annual General Meeting where he questioned the Catholic Church hierarchy’s 'meek' acceptance of the government’s austerity agenda. Speaking at the St Charles Gosforth parish centre, Mr Donovan questioned why in a country that boasts 88 billionaires, more than 350,000 people have to go to food banks. He accused the Coalition government of using the deficit caused by the banking crisis five years ago to adopt an option for the rich.
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Tribute to inspirational Kathy Piper  RIP
Tribute to inspirational Kathy Piper RIP
The former chair of the Brentwood Justice and Peace Commission and Central America desk officer at Catholic Institute of International Relations (CIIR) Kathy Piper has died at the age of 75. Kathy was a fighter all of her life. She finally succumbed to cancer after a long battle. At first the disease was defeated and went into remission for some years. Then 18 months ago it came back. Kathy was always upbeat about the disease, determined to carry on but it finally overcame her.
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Viewpoint: Caring
Viewpoint: Caring
“Just get me out of here,” was Mum’s appeal after her latest eight week stay in hospital. It’s been a bad year for Mum and hospitals. She spent seven weeks in hospital and rehabilitation between February and April. Now she’s back in again, the cause this time a chest infection but it has been lack of mobility that has delayed her return home.Along the way she has been struck down by the norovirus and urine infections, contracted as a result of being in the hospital. We’re told that when she can get around better she’ll be let out. The hospital has a duty of care.
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Catholic campaigners outraged as water companies put profit before leaks
Catholic campaigners outraged as water companies put profit before leaks
Catholic aid agencies and environmentalists have reacted angrily to the news from regulator Ofwat that despite the recent drought, more than half the water firms in the country will not be required to reduce their leakages by a single drop before 2015. The reported details show that 11 of the 21 companies responsible for water supply
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Some of this week's Catholic blogs
Some of this week's Catholic blogs
Mary, who lives in California, has some thoughts on what we should and should not include on our Facebook pages  on Young and Catholic; Fr Stephen Wang writes of the joy of being read to; Fr Tim Byron SJ  who is working in India talks about the transformative power of hope; Paul Donovan in London would like to see the renationalization of water
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Let's pray for our environment
Paul Donovan is quite right to suggest that our water companies should be nationalised. It makes perfect sense that a commodity like water should be seen as a service not as something to make a profit from.
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What are the blogs saying this week?

This week Fr David raises the issue of confirmation age. Paul Donovan discuss the structure of the Church and asks: 'Is Vatican 3 the answer?' Fr Stephen Wang talks about Gay Marriage, The Queen, Obama and Romney; Dom Donald, Abbot Emeritus of Nunraw in Scotland writes on: 2nd Nocturn: The Life in Christ by

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Dale Farm Travellers 'cut off in No Man's Land'
Dale Farm Travellers 'cut off in No Man's Land'
The television cameras have gone. But the majority of Irish Travellers who lived at Dale Farm in Essex have been left in a No Man's Land following their high profile eviction last month. Some 32 of the 49 evicted families, have parked up on the pitches of those living on the adjacent permanent (legal) site.
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Viewpoint: Economic system should be focus of Churches' pro-life work
Viewpoint: Economic system should be focus of Churches' pro-life work
The biggest threat to sanctity of life today is the voracious economic model that defines nearly every aspect of our daily lives. This particular variant of market capitalism runs completely at odds with the teaching of the Church. Where the Church places the human being and sanctity of life at the centre of its concerns, the market capitalist model only sees value in the individual as a unit of exploitable labour. In
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Viewpoint: Time for Church to stand up for worker's rights again
Viewpoint: Time for Church to stand up for worker's rights again
The latest attempt by the Coalition Government to get everyone else to pay for the deficit caused by the bankers seems to be manifesting itself in an attack on the working conditions of ordinary people. There has already been the cutting of the jobs, wages and pensions of those working in the public sector. Other moves now see rules for employment tribunals being changed
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Church charities calls for action to close poverty gap, count street homeless
Church charities calls for action to close poverty gap, count street homeless
Church Action on Poverty has called for a closing of the growing gap between rich and poor in the UK. They are also mobilising faith communities to conduct their own counts of street homeless people,  as official statistics have been shown to underestimate the numbers of people sleeping rough.
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Promoting the common good means higher taxes on the rich
Promoting the common good means higher taxes on the rich
The news that the collective wealth of the 1,000 richest people in the UK rose to £335.5 billion over the past year, provides ample food for thought at the start of Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (30/1). The wealth of this exclusive group increased over the past 12 months by 29 per cent from its previous level of £258.24 billion.
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Archbishop Peter Smith's  J&P address – Thoughts from a laywoman
Archbishop Peter Smith's J&P address – Thoughts from a laywoman
I’ve just spilt tea over my keyboard! What’s this? “Scathing criticism” of a conference I helped plan and which was widely regarded as being very successful. The National Justice and Peace Network (NJPN) needing to be revitalised! I was reading my daily ICN e-mailed news when I came across Archbishop Peter Smith’s address to the Archdiocese of Southwark Justice and Peace Assembly on 16 October. I’d like to give a personal rejoinder, particularly since I chaired the group planning the event referred to
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Viewpoint: Justice & Peace activism in need of formation
Viewpoint: Justice & Peace activism in need of formation
On Friday we published Archbishop Peter Smith's speech to  the Southwark J&P assembly  in which he quoted an article by journalist Paul Donovan which the Archbishop said made 'scathing' about the way social justice work is carried out in the Church in England and Wales.  See: http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=16958 There were a number of calls over the weekend asking for more information about Donovan's article. The author has now given us permission to publish the original piece in full:
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London Citizens leader responds to Paul Donovan's J&P article
London Citizens leader responds to Paul Donovan's J&P article
Paul Donovan makes a plea in his article for Catholics involved in justice and peace work to receive a more solid formation. He praises Citizens UK / London Citizens for their campaigns and achievements, rightly noting that it has become a key means for Catholic parishes to engage in work for social justice. But he thinks community organising is "more of a method than a process", and no better than others at providing "a process for the formation of people".
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Text: Archbishop Smith at Southwark J&P Assembly
Text: Archbishop Smith at Southwark J&P Assembly
Last July, Paul Donovan, a journalist who writes for the Universe, wrote a pretty  scathing criticism of the National Justice and Peace Network Conference, and expanded his remarks to include the work of Justice and Peace in the Dioceses of England and Wales.   He asserted that the commitment at diocesan level has become “pretty sketchy with few dioceses having workers and some lacking commissions.” 
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Paul Donovan
Award-winning London-based Catholic journalist.
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