Thursday was a very unusual day for me. After Mass at Christ the King, I was at the Law School in the University from 11 to 4. They have a project on at the moment on, er, social cohesion, religion and society. Basically my involvement is that they are studying the way that three faiths look at the role of law, and marriage and family law in particular. So as Judicial Vicar (ie boss) of the National Tribunal for Wales, I am representing Christianity (no pressure there!), while London Beth Din (the court of the Chief Rabbi) and the Shariah Court of the Central Mosque in Birmingham represent Judaism and Islam respectively.
We've already been interviewed, as have various of the other people who work with me on the Tribunal, and now the University was bringing reps together for a dialogue (should that be trialogue?). So we had two professors and two other academics from the Uni, myself for the Catholics, a woman from Birmingham for the Moslems and a very imposing chap from the Beth Din, who was unable to come down to Cardiff, and took part via Skype video-conference. Very hi-tech...
It was a hard day, but fascinating. We hear so much for example about shariah law, some of it negative, yet here was the opportunity to hear about it from the inside. What about all those laws about which Jesus got very agitated? Here was the top man in Britain, to explain how they see God Law operating. I too got griled about some of the more obscure aspects of canon law. While there was lots of questioning, by the university and by one another, the atmosphere was very good, and there can't be many canon lawyers like me who have the visiting card of a woman member of a shariah council!
I got home about 5, belatedly did my weekly task of my contribution to the newsletter and emailed it off to Luke the editor, and the day was rounded off with St Brigid's and St Paul's Finance Committee. They feel that Christ the King should be coughing up a bit more to the running costs of the presbytery and clergy - so that should test the warm relations of Tuesday's meeting (see last posting)!