Latest Issue: 16 August 2014
16 August 2014
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  • Hesitation in the face of evil

    There has been widespread criticism, entirely justified, of the British Government’s timid and complacent response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq. This is not to question the bravery of RAF air crew flying missions to drop supplies to the tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees trapped ...

  • Choices facing infertile couples

    An Australian couple paid a woman living in Thailand to bear a child for them. In fact she gave birth to twins, one of whom had Down’s syndrome. That child is still with the mother who bore him while the Australian woman has the child’s sibling. This much is agreed: almost all the other facts of the case are disputed.

  • What about the child? Joanna Moorhead

    The potential pitfalls of commercial surrogacy have emerged in the case of a Down’s syndrome baby born to a Thai woman. Yet there may be circumstances in which the Church’s ethical opposition to surrogate motherhood could be challenged

  • Sealed with a handshake Mark R. Francis

    Reactions to the Vatican’s new guidelines on the appropriate way of offering the sign of peace during Mass suggest that the real significance of the document has been misunderstood

  • Papacy forged in the crucible of conflict John Pollard

    When the cardinals met to elect a new pope in September 1914, Europe was at war. But the grim international situation was not the only factor that would influence the outcome

  • Built by numbers Helen Gosh

    A decade of work by volunteers is uncovering an Elizabethan Northamptonshire garden rich in Catholic symbolism, which is testament to the beliefs of an English recusant

  • Get the balance right Bernard Cotter

    It is good for priests to look for saintly role models, but it is not always easy to find someone whose example offers insights into how to deal with the extraordinary demands of contemporary life

  • Faith in the Family: a lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945-82 Alana Harris, reviewed by James Sweeney

    One of the things Pope Francis picks out in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is the importance of popular religiosity. It is now widely acknow­ledged that an unintended consequence of the transformation of Catholic consciousness at the time of the Second Vatican Council was a neglect of the ordinary forms of piety.

  • Uneasy crowns Mark Lawson

    An amusing Hollywood story involves Alan Bennett’s play The Madness of George III being renamed The Madness of King George for its cinema version because of apparent concern in the marketing department that audiences would assume the theatrical title to be the third part in a sequence of summer comedies called “The Madness of George” and choose not to see the movie without knowledge of the previous two.