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Quotes of the week

31 December 2020


Church Times, Financial Times, Titbits — nothing but the best

Call the Midwife Christmas Special (BBC1), laying out newspapers to protect a mattress during labour


The teachings of Christ have served as my inner light, as has the sense of purpose we can find in coming together to worship

The Queen, Christmas Day broadcast


The deliverer of humankind is delivered, slimy with vernix, in a place smelling of dung. If God can come here, amid the shame and straw, he can come anywhere. If God came here, he has come everywhere

Michael Gerson, columnist, The Washington Post, 24 December


Our sin lies in failing to recognise value, in wanting to possess and exploit that which we do not value as a gift. Sin always has this same root of possessiveness, of enrichment at the expense of other people and Creation itself

Pope Francis, Let Us Dream, quoted by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, 25 December


The jigsaw of the common good

Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin, 25 December


I want to talk about what for me is the deeper meaning of Christmas, this amazing festival at the turn of the year. Because it’s not about presents or turkey or brandy butter — much though I like all of them, and that kind of stuff. It’s about hope. It’s about a basic idea of rebirth and renewal. And though we may not be able to celebrate as normal this year, I still think that feeling of hope is all around us this Christmas, because there really is a star in the sky, and it is glowing brighter and brighter — and you know what it is: it’s thanks to the efforts of wise men and women, in the east and elsewhere, we have a vaccine

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, Christmas Eve broadcast


There will be a giant free trade zone of which we will at once be a member

Boris Johnson, describing the EU post-Brexit, 24 December


Lots of Jewish friends and leaders said to me, we will judge you by what you do, not what you say. We are in that process. . . We are doing this in good faith, but we are going to make mistakes along the way. We need to be prodded on it and respond to it — and sometimes, say: ‘Sorry, we got it wrong.’ The power of saying that is huge

Kier Starmer, leader of the Opposition, on ridding Labour of anti-Semitism; interview for Limmud, 28 December 


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