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Quotes of the week

19 January 2024


What I’m about to say is not a dogma of the Faith but something I hold personally: I like to think that hell is empty. I hope that’s the reality!

Pope Francis, TV interview, 14 January


In royal circles, it is no secret that [the Prince of Wales] does not share the King’s sense of the spiritual, let alone the late Queen’s unshakeable devotion to the Anglican Church

Robert Hardman, Charles III: The inside story, published 18 January

His father is very spiritual and happy to talk about faith but the prince is not. He doesn’t go to church every Sunday, but then nor do the large majority of the country. He might go at Christmas and Easter but that’s it. He very much respects the institutions but he is not instinctively comfortable in a faith environment

“senior Palace figure” quoted in the Hardman book

Asking an organisational psychologist to offer suggestions on fixing the C of E’s crisis is like asking a plumber to tell you how to fix your crashed hard drive. They may be good at what they do, but they don’t have the right skillset for the job

Gerry Lynch, priest, The Critic, 11 January

What actually afflicts the C of E, and indeed pretty much all of Western Christianity, isn’t a management crisis, but a narrative crisis. Put simply, people no longer believe the things they used to believe about God, Jesus Christ, and the Church during the millennium-and-a-half . . . when England was part of a thriving multi-national Christendom


Whether we like it or not, Parliament and parliamentarians act as role models, including for children and young people. People especially notice how we behave. What we say and how we say it, as well as how we behave more widely and how we ensure that standards of behaviour are maintained, have an effect far beyond the immediate, and can, over time, erode society. Clearly, it is a small minority who do not live up to the standards that we expect of those in public life, but the effect remains

Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford, House of Lords, 11 January

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