"A constantly developing situation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region requires an equally constant and developing vigilance," comments regional expert and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian in introducing his latest podcast for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
As we report today (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18061), the Jubilee Debt Campaign, of which is Ekklesia is a backer, is using the 60th anniversary of Germany's post-war debt deal to highlight the contrast between the settlement reached then and the disastrous austerity policies being imposed on Europe today -- pointing out the need for a radical shift in thinking and policy.
2013 is set to be an important year for both the Catholic Church, which elects a new pope, and Croatia, which will become the 28th member of the European Union (EU), writes Alex Sakalis for openDemocracy. These two entities share a long history, with the former wielding significant, yet often ignored, influence on political life in the latter.
Life in the European Union is one of continuing political negotiation. No political realist is surprised that national leaders constantly seek to protect and advance the interests of their country, says social theologian Dr Graeme Smith. The European Union is the place of permanent dialogue between different interests, and more substantially different political cultures, interestingly mirroring some different Protestant and Catholic instincts. Meanwhile, ecumenical lessons can help us to see why it's negotiation all the way, in a positive sense.