- The state we’re all in
Popular notions of hard-working families forking out for benefit scroungers are well wide of the mark, argues the author of a new book, which shows that virtually everyone at some point in their lives needs government support
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- The living Spirit
- Pope Francis urges 'haggard' Europe to rediscover its Christian roots and keep human dignity central to policies
- St Louis archbishop calls for peace following night of violence in Ferguson
- Plea for Catholics to embrace children with autism and support their parents
- Cardinal Nichols ‘traumatised’ by Gaza visit, urges Catholics to lobby for peace
Pope Francis asked those attending the Synod on the Family in Rome this month to speak their minds, and they’ve obeyed him.
In its discussions this week and last, the Synod on the Family has been looking at the marriage annulment process as it currently operates, in the context of possibly making it easier for divorced and remarried couples to receive communion. One rallying cry for those who want a change to current practice is “show them mercy”. One way this might be done, the thinking seems to go, is to make annulments easier.
I wanted to buy a book recently – a 60-year-old bestseller that I could have got anywhere. Instinctively I hopped onto Amazon and found I could get it for as little as £4.49, or just 74p on Kindle – and by tomorrow if I was quick.
I have never thought being gay was unnatural. I came out to my parents unwittingly at the age of 13 when they heard me utter the name of a strikingly attractive boy at school in a dream.
As an obedient and conforming eldest child I always took church teaching on who may receive Holy Communion on trust: that you must make sure you are in a “state of grace”.
“Home is a holy place,” I have been told. I used to imagine that God resided in a place of peace, beautiful music, respect, tidiness, flawlessness.
Events in Hong Kong over the last week have ensured that the region will never be the same again. Foot soldiers in a political war have filled the city’s broad streets, demanding democratic rights.
A Belgian prisoner, Frank Van Den Bleeken, serving a life sentence for murder and rape, has won the right to an assisted suicide under the country’s euthanasia law. This widens the scope of the law. It has also encouraged 15 further prisoners to ask for the same option.
The night is drawing in and there is a half moon visible as I stand and look over the River Mersey. I am in Liverpool for the annual conference of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Leaning on the railings I think about the painting of ‘The Family of Darius before Alexander’ that was used earlier today at the conference to illustrate compassion.
One of the most common arguments in favour of ordaining married men is that the Catholic Church in many parts of the world is suffering a priest shortage and it can’t afford to lose any more good men to marriage.