Saturday, May 24, 2008

Faith and Foreign Policy

On Tuesday 12 February 2008 in Belfast as part of a series of Talks on faith in public life, HM Ambassador to the Holy See Francis Campbell delivered a lecture entitled 'Faith and Foreign Policy' .

He explained why ``to understand the world in which we live, we have to comprehend religion as a source of influence and motivation in peoples lives.'

He set the context by looking first at foreign policy and religion more generally; then why religion was often ignored in foreign policy considerations; and why it now deserves to be taken seriously and in a balanced perspective.

In light of the forthcoming Papal Encyclical, the second part of the Ambassador`s speech makes interesting reading.

The second part of the talk focused on the practical application of religion and foreign policy: International Development as an example of one area of engagement with the world of faith in which faith communities can play a major part.

"It is an area which shows the new dimension to foreign policy and faith – and aims to build a partnership which can lead to a noble joint endeavour. It is the challenge of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015."

The speech can be accessed and downloaded here on the Embassy website (Note. pdf file )