First the serious one. Lush cosmetics are promoting a petition from No One Is Illegal. I know that the shops smell like an explosion in an eight year-olds dressing up box, but Lush really do seem to live up to their ideals, and this about immigration really is an important issue to me.
To get a little heavy for a minute; There is a Papal Encyclical called Populorum Progressio which came out in 1968 and is at the foundation of catholic Social teaching, and it says:
“We cannot insist too much on the duty of giving foreigners a hospitable reception. It is a duty imposed by human solidarity and by Christian charity, and it is incumbent upon families and educational institutions in the host nations.
Young people, in particular, must be given a warm reception; more and more families and hostels must open their doors to them. This must be done, first of all, that they may be shielded from feelings of loneliness, distress and despair that would sap their strength. It is also necessary so that they may be guarded against the corrupting influence of their new surroundings, where the contrast between the dire poverty of their homeland and the lavish luxury of their present surroundings is, as it were, forced upon them. And finally, it must be done so that they may be protected from subversive notions and temptations to violence, which gain headway in their minds when they ponder their “wretched plight.” (58) In short, they should be welcomed in the spirit of brotherly love, so that the concrete example of wholesome living may give them a high opinion of authentic Christian charity and of spiritual values.
68. We are deeply distressed by what happens to many of these young people. They come to wealthier nations to acquire scientific knowledge, professional training, and a high-quality education that will enable them to serve their own land with greater effectiveness. They do get a fine education, but very often they lose their respect for the priceless cultural heritage of their native land.
69. Emigrant workers should also be given a warm welcome. Their living conditions are often inhuman, and they must scrimp on their earnings in order to send help to their families who have remained behind in their native land in poverty. “
(you thought we only go on about sex? Silly you!)
I am including this rather preachy bit because there are various high-profile Catholic politicians who got asked to speak for the Church, and pontificated about moral values while at the same time bringing in laws ro restrict the rights of immigrants and refugees,lock up children and use them as hostages to make sure their parents leave the country quietly . And because in our own parishes there are people (embarassingly) complaining about all of “them” coming over here —.
Please stand up for the rights of people to find work and peace and stabilty for their children where they can.
The second recommendation is more fun. If you get the chance go and see Stirling Castle. They have just finished an enormous restoration project on the Palace Apartments, and they are wonderful.