Iraqi Christians

17 May
The Dominicans are posting a series of three interviews with Fr. Nageeb Michael, OP. The second video focuses on the current suffering of Iraqi Christians. Fr. Nageeb speaks at length about the current persecution of the Christian community in his homeland and even introduces his viewers to priests he knows personally who were martyred for the faith. The interview concludes with a plea for solidarity with and prayers for the Christian community of Iraq.
For more on Fr. Nageeb’s work, visit:
To learn more about the Dominican Friars, visit:
This video produced by:

Anscombe Bioethics Conference on “a giant among women philosophers”

15 May

The Moral Philosophy of  Dr Elizabeth Anscombe

On 27th and 28th September 2013 the Anscombe Bioethics Centre will host a major international conference on the moral philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe, after whom the Centre is named.

Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe has been described as ‘a giant among women philosophers’, as ‘the greatest English philosopher of her generation’ and as one of the ‘pioneers of a genuine renewal of Catholic thought’. She was ‘a titan in the world of philosophy’ who was ‘widely recognised as one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century’.

The venue will be St Hugh’s College, Oxford (where Dr Anscombe was an undergraduate student).  The price is £140 for ‘early bird’ conference registration, light refreshments and lunch only for the two conference days (without accommodation). Concessions £70. For details please see the booking pages.

Participants, who are all bioethicists and moral philosophers of international standing, will include:
Christopher Coope,
Rev Prof Kevin Flannery SJ
Dr Mary Geach,
Rev David Goodill OP
Prof Luke Gormally,
Dr Edward Harcourt,
Dr David Albert Jones,
Prof Anselm Müller (Anscombe Memorial Lecturer 2013),
Dr Matthew O’Brien,
Prof Thomas Pink,
Prof Duncan Richter,
Dr Roger Teichmann,
Prof Jose Maria Torralba and
Prof Candace Vogler.

For more information, programme and to register visit here

To read more about Elizabeth Anscombe read here

National Secular Society takes exception to NHS funded chaplains – again

13 May


Terry Sanderson, writing in a blog piece It’s the Church’s Christian duty to support the health service, not leech off it for the National Secular Society, takes exception to Archbishop Vincent Nichols and to NHS funding of chaplains. Again.

Archbishop Nichols, says that hospital chaplaincy services   ought never to be seen as a luxury to be discarded when budgets are tight; or chapels as spaces to be sacrificed to other purposes when needs arise. People need spaces where they can come to pray for their sick relatives and friends. Those who are sick need places to pray, to receive the consoling touch of the divine. Healthcare professionals need somewhere to pray as part of their care for their sick brothers and sisters, as well as to receive strength for their ministry.”

Mr Sanderson feels that religious groups in advocating for the Chaplaincy services the NHS provides, ignore the current NHS financial situation. Medics, not chaplains, make you better he says.

Liverpool Care Pathway

13 May

Liverpool Care Pathway 

Whistling Sentinel’s blogpost on the Liverpool Care Pathway considers criticisms and good points about the LCP, and provides some food for thought.

Food for the journey, theological resources for healthcare

13 May

Food for the Journey, Theological Foundations of the Catholic Healthcare Ministry

The 2013 edition is now available from Catholic Health Association US.

For more than two decades, this formative resource has inspired the women and men who are leading and serving in Catholic health care.

The 2013 edition offers an updated look, but the same original text. In addition to the hardcopy edition, this resource is now available as an audio book in CDs or MP3 files as well as an eBook, which will be available in May. Also, CHA has produced a set of five notecards that includes some of the images from each of the chapters of the book and are blank inside.”

Liverpool Care Pathway Review Submission

12 May

Prof David Jones has made a submission to the Neuberger Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway.  This submission was prepared in an individual capacity, by Professor David Jones, Director of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, at the request of the Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

The submission sets out a Catholic understanding of the ethical principles relevant to the evaluation of end-of-life care. It explains the concerns that generated the call, by Archbishop Peter Smith, Chair of the Department for Citizenship and Responsibility, for an inquiry into the implementation of the Pathway and identifies empirical questions that need to be answered in order to address these concerns.

You can download a copy of the submission here.

A Manifesto for Catholic Health and Social Care Workers

11 May

Reflection: A Manifesto for Catholic Health and

Social care Workers

Jim McManus



















I often get asked for resources to help  Catholics, other Christians and people of faith working in Health and Social Care. What people working at the most important end  – caring for and working alongside real people – seem to want more and more is something short which can remind and inspire them. What they want less and less is the long is the theological and policy justification, though people clearly want this done.   “We expect the Church to support us by advocating for us to Government, while nurturing and supporting us in our faith” was what one Director of Nursing and her team recently told me.

The points below are adapted from the Catholic Health Association of Texas. You can find many resources from a range of states and US wide at the Catholic Health Association of US website. They have devised a  statement of faith for Catholic presence in Healthcare. This covers both their healthcare facilities and their staff, as well as how they will deliver healthcare in a setting with a strong, visible Catholic Ethos. I have used this with small and large groups and so far everyone finds it useful.


We believe

  • in the dignity of the human person and in the resulting holistic approach to patient care which recognizes and integrates the physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological care of both patient and family.
  • in those Catholic/Christian principles and standards, which create a total environment which assist administration and medical staffs in making difficult ethical decisions.
  • in justice and equity for associates in the workplace that fosters personal and professional development, accountability, innovation, teamwork and commitment to quality.
  • that advocating for social justice can enable the neglected in society to empower themselves and their communities.
  • that the Catholic health ministries must recognize their social accountability to the communities they serve, developing policies and procedures to ensure this accountability, and responding pro-actively to engage in community outreach,
  •  each Catholic in healthcare is directly participating in the healing ministry of Christ and the mission of the Holy Spirit
  •  the Church should foster and maintain collaborative linkages with the broader community – Catholic, ecumenical and community-based to re-humanise healthcare
  •  that to be effective stewards of our ministry, we must develop organizational structures that promote management effectiveness, continuous quality improvement, well-trained medical staffs, and comprehensive programs and services.


Questions for Reflection or Discussion

When I have been working with groups on this statement, we often focus around three questions for discussion

  1. What is specifically Catholic about this understanding? Is it about the value we put on people?
  2. What would be your guiding principles and beliefs in healthcare work?
  3. Does healthcare in the UK need a statement of faith and values? If so, what can we add to that?