Holy See Lecture by Archbishop Paul Gallagher

On Monday 5th March, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States (Foreign Secretary), Archbishop Paul Gallagher, gave a fascinating lecture at Clare on the peacebuilding activities of the Holy See.

He began by arguing that the pursuit of peace can be seen as threefold - between God and humans, between humans and the wider world, and within ourselves. Archbishop Gallagher explained how Catholic thought on peacebuilding is rooted in a wide variety of Magisterial teaching, but that peace must always build on the fundamental recognition of human dignity. The Archbishop discussed practical examples of Vatican diplomacy, from the Cold War to Venezuela and other more recent international engagement. A wide-ranging question and answer session followed, and Archbishop Gallagher ended by highlighting the essential role played by NGOs who do not have a party political investment in international affairs, the essential, often underappreciated work of diplomats, and the value of "soft" power in establishing and preserving peace.

The Lecture was followed by a drinks reception for all, and concluded with a discussion-dinner hosted by the Master in the Lodge. This event was the culmination of a term’s reflection in Chapel on the broad theme of peace, in preparation for the commemoration of the centenary of 1918 Armistice.