Category Archives: Events Past

Catholicism in the Secular World

Francis Campbell 308Lecture by Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St. Mary’s University, Twickenham

Press Release
Available for Immediate Release.

On Thursday 25th February, Francis Campbell BA, MA, gave a talk to the members of the Catholic Union at the University of Notre Dame, Suffolk Street. The topic of Catholicism in the Secular World proved to be an insightful look into how Catholicism is evolving in the UK and the world based on current events.
There were many sub-topics that were covered with Mr Campbell using the concept of Faith Schools and their importance to British culture to battle the concern of radicalisation. This comes at a very opportune time with Louise Casey’s reports on cultural differences that are being used to show the positives and negatives of secularism.
It was certainly a talk that the members found thought provoking as Mr Campbell delved back centuries to other cultural divides such as the various Enlightenments to show how reason and faith have always been linked. This was accompanied by quotes from academics and Pope Francis himself to show how identity and individuality, religious or not is vitally important to create a functioning society.
The Catholic Union would like to thank Francis Campbell for taking the time out to give this informative presentation and answer questions on a subject that is a concern not just for Catholics but the United Kingdom as a whole.

For the text of the speech please click this link Francis Campbell speech 250216

Craigmyle Lecture 2015 – Report

The Craigmyle Lecture 2015 was delivered by Sir Rocco Forte.

Sir Rocco Forte

Sir Rocco Forte by Hugo-Burnand

Sir Rocco Forte MA, FCA, FIoD. was educated at Downside, and Pembroke College Oxford, where he read modern language. While studying, he also won a Blue for fencing. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1969 and started work in the Forte Group, taking over from his father as CEO in 1992.

Sir Rocco set up his own group of hotels in 1996, initially known as RF Hotels and re-branded as Rocco Forte Hotels. The group encompasses ten hotels in Europe, Russia, and is soon to launch into the Middle East.

Sir Rocco was knighted in December 1994 for services to the UK tourism industry. He received the highest Italian accolade, the Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana, for his entrepreneurial merits and strong links with Italy in 2005. He was President of the British Hospitality Association from 1991 to 1996, and a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council.

The text of the speech is here.

Teaching Sexuality Following the Mind of the Church – A Lecture by Louise Kirk 

On 8th June, 2015, Louise Kirk gave a talk at Notre Dame University, London SW1, on how the Catholic Church could take the lead in sex education away from an existing establishment whose evident failures make it vulnerable to attack. Her talk was followed by a lively discussion over a glass of wine. Read her address here.

Louise Kirk is UK Co-ordinator for the international PSHE programme Alive to the World and author of Sexuality Explained: a Guide for Parents and Children. She serves on Shrewsbury Diocese’s Commission for Marriage and Family Life. To read more about her work, see:

Catholic Union Charitable Trust Launch Reception

His Grace the Most Reverend Peter Smith hosted a reception at His Grace 307Archbishop’s house on Tuesday 10th February launching  the Catholic Union Charitable Trust (CUCT), the charitable arm of the Catholic Union of Great Britain.

The purpose of the CUCT is to advance the Roman Catholic religion by means of a series of seminars, lectures and conferences. It will take over all the activities formerly operated by the Catholic Union, other than lobbying, the Parliamentary and Public Affairs committee and the medical ethics committee. Being a registered charity the CUCT can attract funds from other grant making trusts and obtain Gift Aid refunds from donations.

About eighty invited guests and members enjoyed a convivial evening 289with His Grace the Archbishop, Sir Edward Leigh, the President of the Catholic Union and Jamie Bogle chairman of the CUCT. Mr Robert Rigby chairman of the Catholic Union was also present as were a number of trustees of the CUCT and members of the Council of the catholic union.

Jamie Bogle welcomed all present and outlined the need for the CUCT and the type of work it will undertake in the future.

Sir Edward Leigh spoke about the difficulties of a Catholic member of the House of Commons in this secular age. He described the loss of the vote last week concerning the regulations for three parent IVF babies and how he and a number of like minded Catholic MPs struggle to present the Catholic Christian point of view to Parliament.325

His Grace the Archbishop affirmed his support for the work of the Union which is so important to the Catholic community