- United against Moscow
Support shown by Russia’s Orthodox Church for President Putin’s annexation of Crimea has seriously damaged its relationship with other Churches in Ukraine. Historical enmities have been revived as the region’s Christians fear a new era of persecution may be about to unfold
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It was apparently Bishop Basil Christopher Butler OSB who coined the term “creeping infallibility”.
I am not a particularly pious or devout person: passages from Scripture do not tend to replay themselves through my mind on a regular basis, nor do they trip easily off my tongue.
There are names aplenty, few of them kind, that have been thrown at me as a journalist, but “walkie-talkie” is new. It came my way when I recently met the remarkable Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, who prefers to be called Jane.
I am just back from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I have never been before and I am still feeling overwhelmed.
IS THERE anyone still alive who can remember the heyday of the cowslip?
Just as the statues in church were being swaddled with purple cloth last weekend, the advertisements from rival supermarkets were getting well stuck into Easter consumption. Superior cheese, which I hadn’t previously reckoned a paschal speciality, was being pushed by Lidl under its Deluxe brand in the so-called quality press.
“Slam dunk” has entered popular American speech from the religion of basketball to signify a “sure thing”. It refers to a certain crowd-pleasing shot in which a player places the ball in the net from above and does so with at least one hand touching the rim.
France has the mistral, North Africa its sirocco. Western Australia is known for the Fremantle Doctor, and we have the haar. All these winds can radically alter the quality of life.
This is more appropriate for someone previously baptised – who is already, in the words of Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism, in “imperfect communion” – than for someone who is not (as indeed was my own case).
As a historian, I’m not a “history-repeats-itself” man. Yet I am with Mark Twain when he said, “History doesn’t repeat itself but sometimes it rhymes.” Does the Ukraine/Crimea crisis have a touch of the Mark Twains about it? Is it a rhyming couplet with the Cold War?
AS MARCH gives way to April, how hard it is to remain patient. I want to see the full pantechnicon of spring rolling past, and I want it now! Far better to savour every small step in the cavalcade of growth.
The world is a violent place, but one country very rarely annexes the territory of another. The formal and forcible incorporation of Crimea into Russia marks the first such act in Europe since 1945.
It was raining in Venice on Sunday as I made my way to noon Mass at St Mark’s. A small group huddled under gold and red flags bearing the Lion of St Mark was standing about in the colonnade at the west end of the square.
AS THE distinguished Orcadian poet (and prolific contributor to The Tablet) George Mackay Brown once wrote, in time all human materials grow beautiful – except concrete. To many perhaps, the abandoned petrol station at the top of the village couldn’t be considered proof of the Orkney man’s words.
The riots and demonstrations in Cairo in 2011, and the similar breakdown in public order in Kiev last month, were both fuelled by popular resentment at corruption.
It’s Sunday evening and, once again, we’ve left Mass until the last minute.
Monday is the anniversary of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, gunned down at the altar on 24 March, 1980, while saying Mass, because he spoke up for the poor and oppressed of his homeland.
Pope Francis will be celebrating Christmas Mass in Bethlehem on 26 May at the conclusion of his three-day trip to Jordan, Israel and Palestine.