Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Institutional Churches Place in Society

Pyramid of Capitalist System (1911) by IWW
I interpret this pyramid as representing power over others. Similar power structures are evident in all hierarchical political systems including state socialism and communism.

Top tier = The ruling elite (politician, monarch and industrialist/CEO/major shareholder) run the country, make/influence the law, raise taxes, decide/influence when to go to war etc.

2nd tier = The Church. About 80% of the world's population belong to an institutional religion, so religious doctrine/dogma is still powerful. For example, US Catholics who opposed conscription during WWI were tried as deserters following the American Catholic Church's decision to support the war (see Ben Salmon). In the UK, Anglican priests take an oath of allegiance to the monarch.

3rd tier = The military has power over everyone other than their paymasters and religious intermediaries. They are trained killers and take an oath of allegiance to either the monarch or state.

Bottom tier = The middle class and rich have power over their workers and tenants.

Under all tiers = The working class and poor are powerless, at least in the Earthly realm...

"The meek will inherit the Earth." (Matthew 5:5)

"The last will be first and the first will be last." (Matthew 20:16)

One day...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Catholic Worker Study Day

Catholic Worker Study Day Timetable
Sunday 27th January

London Catholic Worker
49 Mattison Road
London N4 1BG
tel: 020 8 348 8212
10.00   Arrivals, Tea / Coffee
10.30  Prayer
10.45  Introductions
11.15  Scripture reading and discussion – Sermon on the Mount / Works of Mercy
12.30  Bring and share lunch
13.30  Watch Dorothy Day film
14.30  Introduction to Dorothy Day, Peter Maurin and CW history 
15.30  Tea break
16.00 Action – share further action that people might like to be involved in and/or short
          presentations from Catholic Worker House community, e.g. about the work hospitality,
          direct action, suggestions for further study
17.00  Mass
18.00  Social – dinner and party and music

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sharing your house with asylum seekers

Maria Albrecht has only hazy memories of the first homeless person she and her husband, Scott, invited into their home to stay. But he was almost certainly an alcoholic, in his 50s or 60s, and he wouldn't have had a shower in a long time. He slept on a camp bed in the couple's sitting room: the family, with two small children at the time, were living in a two-bedroom semi.

That was about 20 years ago: since then, the Albrechts have welcomed approximately 300 homeless people into their home – some straight off the streets, others referred by the British Red Cross. "I know people think it sounds impossible, to just take in homeless people," says Maria, "but the motivating factor for me is this: if I was sleeping on a park bench, I would hope someone would do this for me. So I do it for others.

Further reading (Guardian).

Even if we did mention it before (it probably happened but I cannot find where) it should be a pleasure to point again to the Catholic Worker Farm in Watford.