At a time when disputes and international conflicts are increasing in frequency all over the world and, sadly, wars are even being fought in some places, we should be grateful for any event that, like the Global Leadership Forum, offers a platform for peaceful debate about what are certainly sometimes controversial positions or, like the World Culture Festival in New Delhi, facilitates a cultured meeting of minds between different nationalities and religions.
On the day I got up as usual, it was still dark, and made breakfast. I prayed the Lord's Prayer - 'give us this day our daily bread!' and asked for strength in fasting as a spiritual exercise. I finished breakfast around 06.30 (discovering later that the fast should began at 05.30, no imam for guidance though I could have researched it better - this was several years ago).
Whiteboards have become the most crucial weapon in the battle for social justice since Tumblr was invented. It has become a fortunately common practice in academic circles to stand in some picturesque part of your university holding a whiteboard with either a pro-social justice claim inscribed thereon, or an example of some unpleasant piece of bigotry hurled your way by some socially unreformed reprobate...
You might also have thought that after fifty years, the Catholic Church would have reached a fixed mind as to the significance of the Council. Not so either. Its consequences are contested, its nature, continuity or break with the past disputed, and all subject to opposing interpretations. Zhou Enlai's assessment of the French Revolution applies: "too early to tell".