Latest Issue: 7 March 2015
7 March 2015
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  • Opening the books needs a big lever

    Cardinal George Pell was never the most popular man in Australia, not even among his fellow bishops – which means it was extraordinarily shrewd of Pope Francis to put him in charge of the Vatican’s finances. They were in such a mess, and in such a need of a shake-up, that only somebody prepared to tread on toes and who was not too bothered about being popular would be equal to the pressure.

  • If benefits outweigh costs, tell the voters

    Immigration remains one of the public’s prime concerns in the run-up to the general election, reinforced by the latest figures which show it to be running at a higher rate – nearly 300,000 a year – than at any time since the 2010 general election. This has gravely embarrassed the Conservative Party because it foolishly promised that by about this time the figure would be limited to below 100,000.

  • On a mission to the world George Weigel

    This coming Friday marks the second anniversary of Francis’ election to the papacy. In the first of a series of articles reflecting on his influence, a senior Catholic commentator considers the Pope’s emphasis on evangelism, witness and mercy

  • An afterlife for our times Greg Garrett

    Images of Heaven, Hell and Purgatory loom large in popular culture, but less so in Scripture. The human imagination bridges this gap and creates music, films, games and novels that help us to make sense of our lives

  • I was a teenage fundamentalist Jonathan Tulloch

    ‘Jihadi John’ and the three London schoolgirls who travelled to Syria to join Islamic State were radicalised in Britain. Here, our writer describes his own experience of being lured to the extremist fringes of a religion

  • Moral boundaries and national borders Melanie McDonagh

    Cardinal Vincent Nichols says he is dismayed that immigration has become a defining issue of the general election campaign. But are Catholics making a moral choice if they seek to use their vote to limit the numbers coming to live in Britain?

  • Thanks to official negligence, Jimmy Savile got away with it right to the end Clifford Longley

    Compared with the fate of other former disc jockeys, elderly pop stars and motley faded celebrities who have recently been sentenced for child abuse, the 16-year term handed down to singer Gary Glitter, real name Paul Francis Gadd, doesn’t seem out of line. If it departs from the sentencing guidelines and tariffs currently in force, no doubt the Court of Appeal will correct it.

  • Images of the mystery Diana Klein

    A few years ago, I was invited to the confirmation of one of my godsons at the Easter Vigil in his parish. A young African girl came to sit next to me in the front row. She was nearly bald, wearing shorts, a skimpy T-shirt and had flip-flops on her feet. She told me how she had been sent to the UK to live with her father and his new family so that she could get treatment for a brain tumour.

  • Decline and fall Robert Thicknesse

    It is a long way from the raucous eighteenth-century London of William Hogarth to the rarefied post-Second World War Hollywood Hills where Igor Stravinsky made his home, but they are joined by the scatty rich boy who comes a cropper in Hogarth’s 1732 tale in eight paintings, “A Rake’s Progress”, and who was then rewritten by the Russian exile as opera for the mid-20th century.