- 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 oldest dictum of statecraft must be “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. As the terrorists of the Islamic State (IS) advance to the very barbed wire of Turkey’s southern frontier with Syria, this telling phrase helps explain recent events.
The question seems simple: should Catalonia be independent? But as the British found out with their own referendum, supplementary questions stick together like cranberries in muesli while any particular answer may long remain undiscovered, like the last teaspoon in the washing-up.
We all know how the film footage runs. The sound of honking draws the camera to a sky bruised with autumn, and then we see the geese. The flock stays in shot for a while, their beautiful, seemingly effortless skein rippling over the world.
Chatting to a taverna keeper during my recent holiday abroad, we discussed the secret of his success. “First, good meat, fresh vegetables, good chef; second, satisfied customers; then the money comes.”
It probably reveals something lacking in me, but I do love a list. My mother, in moments of exasperation, used to refer to my father as “Old Tidyitis” and I fear I have his genes in this respect.
HAS ANYONE ever compiled a list of remarkable public benches? When I have retired I may well do so, and one of the first to be registered will be the bench at Byland Abbey, North Yorkshire.
This week we celebrated the Feast of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman. Among the many things the late cardinal is remembered for is his text The Idea of a University, published in 1852, but initially presented as a series of lectures
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. This provocative pensée by Oscar Wilde has a certain depth to it, despite his brazen rejection of “deep ideas”. When he visited New York in 1882, a city then of a mere million, the tallest building was Trinity Church at Wall Street.
Although the secular press carried previews of the Synod in Rome, the piece on godly matters with the most impact this week was surely The Sunday Times Magazine’s 11-page photo feature #IamMuslim. The title was not merely an example of trendy design.
I stepped out of the back door and straight into autumn. After a month or so of unseasonably warm September weather, the “phoney war” was over and the October winds had arrived.
Historians always crave that which they cannot acquire. For British constitution watchers, there has always been one special network that never leaks, and of which no note of meetings is taken – the conversations between head of state and head of government.
Long before I had my own babies, I knew exactly how children ought to be raised. In my early twenties, I was full of retrospective advice for my own parents, and more than happy to point out the multitude of mistakes they’d made raising me, my sister and our two younger brothers.
if crane flies had an autumn weather wish list, then the past week would tick all the boxes. Warm, dry days followed by warm, dry nights. It’s their egg-laying time, and each tussock of yellowing grass plays host to a female crane fly producing the next generation.
It has become the ultimate cliché, wheeled out by diplomats, politicians and United Nations officials. “There is no military solution to this problem,” they intone, whether the problem in question is terrorism in the Middle East or any other international crisis.
I live just off a 13-mile stretch of twisting, hilly, unfenced, single-track road, with passing places, some of them official ones with triangular markers and tarmac
I want to write about Buster Bottley, but first I’d like to say that I was glad the Pope was not assassinated during his visit to Albania. “What has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear,” The Mail on Sunday quoted Iraq’s ambassador to the Holy See as saying.