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Catholic-Animals
THE ARK

A Publication of
Catholic Concern for Animals

 

Selections From The Ark Number 215 - Summer 2010


EDITORIAL

There are several different modes of writing in this issue – readers may have to work a little harder than usual. As well as the academic (Gilhus), the straightforwardly biographical (Agius), and the usual various accounts and descriptions, there is an animal fable (The Lament for the Swan) – which allegorically tells of the fallen human soul about to succumb, until Christ (the dawn) comes and revives the drooping soul, allowing safe passage to the promised land, at which all fellows join in praise of God. It is the use of animals as spurs and incentives to us to honour and praise God that the seventeenth-century writer Bishop Godfrey Goodman describes in his little-known book, extracted here. The language may cause some difficulties, but the sense should come through clearly. It is worth working through for the amazing insights and sympathies expressed by this fascinating historical figure. What is slightly depressing is that, nearly seven hundred years later, there are so few churchmen and theologians willing to take animals as seriously as did this clerical scholar.

Some official reports are mentioned throughout this issue, and members might like to know that CCA plays a full part in responding to invitations by such bodies as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) to comment on proposed legislation and matters of concern. CCA also objected to the planning permission sought for a proposed massive intensive factory farm in Lincolnshire, and is daily active in signing on-line petitions, writing letters of protest etc to government leaders at home and abroad, and to journalists and editors of newspaper and magazine articles, and to television and radio producers. There is much ‘back-room’ work conducted on members’ behalf, mostly unseen and unknown – but not, I hope, ineffective. Of course, with more members, our views could carry more weight.

Readers of previous Arks will remember our last winner of the essay competition, seminarian Dieudonne Rizinde Mahirwe. Dieudonne has now been ordained priest and, after learning the local language, has been sent to his first parish, Kasamba, a rural parish in Mansa Diocese, in northern Zambia. The two other priests there are aged 70 and 80, so Dieudonne will be fully involved in the work of primary evangelisation. Catholics form only nine per cent, with the rest of the population following traditional practices, or are Jehovah’s Witnesses. He tells me that Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation, primary evangelisation and ecumenism are the main themes of the apostolate. He will do what he can too to raise awareness of animal welfare. Please remember him in your prayersThere are several different modes of writing in this issue – readers may have to work a little harder than usual. As well as the academic (Gilhus), the straightforwardly biographical (Agius), and the usual various accounts and descriptions, there is an animal fable (The Lament for the Swan) – which allegorically tells of the fallen human soul about to succumb, until Christ (the dawn) comes and revives the drooping soul, allowing safe passage to the promised land, at which all fellows join in praise of God. It is the use of animals as spurs and incentives to us to honour and praise God that the seventeenth-century writer Bishop Godfrey Goodman describes in his little-known book, extracted here. The language may cause some difficulties, but the sense should come through clearly. It is worth working through for the amazing insights and sympathies expressed by this fascinating historical figure. What is slightly depressing is that, nearly seven hundred years later, there are so few churchmen and theologians willing to take animals as seriously as did this clerical scholar.

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