Climate, women and social media by Stephen Pittman

With some notable absentees, world leaders are gathering in Glasgow for COP26. And Pope Francis has called on them to provide “effective responses” to the environment emergency and offer “concrete hope” to future generations. And he said that “each of us - whoever and wherever we may be - can play our own part in changing our collective response to the unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home.” Will our world leaders listen – or will the demands of big business win the day?


Stephen P

Women priests. It’s been an argument as long as many of us can remember. But, unless the Church changes the policy on who can – or can’t – be ordained, our churches could be empty within a generation, claims theologian Niamh Middleton. Dr Middleton speaks of “sexism”. But is the ordination of women a matter of equality? Or is it about recognising the gifts of all God’s children, regardless of gender? We’d love to hear your views. Please feel free to comment on our Have Your Say forum.


A priest who did his best to help the murdered MP David Amiss has been attacked on social media for “not doing enough”. Father Jeffrey Woolnough has simply deactivated his Twitter account. The Grapevine chooses to make use of social media, with accounts on Facebook and Twitter. But it’s our young people who are most at risk from these all-pervading media. It’s part of their lives and their culture. The Government’s new Online Safety Bill will go some way to protecting young people from harmful content. But it won’t protect them from their peers or from the cruelty of group chat comments. Online bullying is a reality.


The furry feline folk are not too impressed with the fireworks which have been banging away since last weekend. But it was Hallowe’en, after all. “We had to have ours this week,” said a neighbour in full skeletal make-up, “because we’re going to another one next Saturday.” Meanwhile, Mrs Brown’s Boys was back with a live Hallowe’en special. And that good Irish Catholic mammy went into quite a bit of detail, explaining that it was really All Souls Day. Of course, we remember those who have gone before us on Tuesday. And, this year, that’s two days after All Saints Day. And I’m beginning to understand why the furry feline folk are hiding under the bed, waiting for it all to stop!

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