- Now the talking really begins
Pope Francis wanted frankness and openness and that is what he got. But there is also the sense that the real debate in the Church about marriage and families is only just starting
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The Diocese of Leeds in its annual return recently told the Charity Commission that it was looking forward to the arrival of its new bishop. According to the diocese's trustees, since the now-Archbishop Arthur Roche had left in 2012, Leeds had “not been able to innovate”, but instead had had to focus on putting itself on a viable financial footing, to make sure that outgoings were within reach of income once again.
Catholic women in the Irish Diocese of Killaloe oppose the ordination of male permanent deacons in their parishes. Although I think that Irish dioceses do need to ordain permanent deacons because of their grave shortage of priestly vocations, I do have sympathy with the women in the diocese who have protested at yet another male-only ordained ministry.
Chief Zen escorted me to several settlements of his displaced people. Most displaced Yazidis would gladly trade places with Bushra’s family. Forty-eight destitute Yazidis shelter under a makeshift tent. In a nearby school, over 50 people live in one room. A group of 35 have nothing over their heads apart from the branches of a few trees. The displaced Yazidis are isolated, and don’t have the local and international networks of support on which Iraqi Christians can rely.
As the Church approaches the October Synod, it would do well to return to Jesus’ teachings on the family – from which the notion of ‘nature’ is conspicuously absent.
During my lifetime there have been remarkable developments at Walsingham: a substantial building programme at the Anglican shrine and at the Catholic shrine, the new buildings at the Slipper Chapel showing something of the burgeoning interest of the general public.
It was at one of the large Papal Masses regularly held in St Peter's Basilica that the nature of the Roman Curia first presented itself to me.
“An archbishop, a rabbi, an imam and an ayatollah walk into a church,” sounds like the start of a bad joke but it's actually a reasonable description of Wednesday's vigil for Iraq outside Westminster Abbey.
Tony Blair was recently awarded the Philanthropist of the Year Award from GQ on 2 September in recognition of his charity work both at home and abroad. The social media discussions and other reaction, as ever intense, have asked the question - why?
A starving African child is cradled in his helpless mother’s arms. “I wish we were whales”, he says. This was only a cartoon in a Religious Studies textbook but it provoked discussion and pointed to a hard fact in our world: animals sometimes engender more sympathy and concern than human beings.
The lead story in today’s Times – “Hundreds more UK Muslims choose jihad than army” - should provoke grave concern for its inference that Muslim Britons are disloyal subjects, and tend towards extremism.