- Grim parody of a golden age
The jihadist group now calling itself the Islamic State, which has terrorised religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, has declared its intention to restore the caliphate. Yet the extremists’ aims are remote from those of earlier Islamic rulers
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- Leadership Conference of Women Religious avoids confrontation at annual meeting in US
- Francis will travel to Tamil territory next year when he becomes first Pope to visit Sri Lanka
- Leading Catholic aid agency in Scotland accuses big business of exploitation
- Survey launched to hear about faith in the workplace
- Stop scapegoating Muslims: social disaffection has many causes, and they won’t be solved by blunt Government intervention Francis Davis
- Pope Francis has transformed the Church – it’s time the Church stopped stifling groups who embrace that transformation Chris McDonnell
- Francis' support for Romero cause is exciting because of its urgency - could he be beatified by end of 2015? Julian Filochowski in El Salvador
Twenty years before Hitler, the Jewish community in Germany was one of the best- integrated in Europe. It followed a deliberate policy of assimilation into German life and culture. Yet under the Nazis, Germany became the torch-bearer for the most extreme anti-Semitism the world has ever seen.
High summer is when the rest of the country winds down, increasingly falling in with the southern European model of a long lazy August, even if we do not have quite the weather to justify it.
BEYOND THE harbour wall, the sea roared like a bull seal. Riding into the gale, a boat slowly took shape. The lobster men were coming back without a haul – you can’t bring in lobsters with such high winds.
Late last year, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, wrote an article highlighting his concern about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Asked about it a few weeks later, he summed up the difficulty at the heart of Western indifference
Until the first week of this month, many people had not heard of the Yazidis. Readers had to catch up with the horrors of Iraq rapidly. Kurdish leaders, reported Richard Spencer, the Telegraph Middle East correspondent, on 4 August, were “caught unawares” by the sudden advance of the forces of the Islamic State (previously known as Isis) to capture the town of Sinjar.
EVERY TIME you look out of the window, there is a masterpiece being unfurled. A moment ago I spotted a butterfly on one of the apples. It was a red admiral and the rosy fruit echoed the deeper red of the black butterfly’s wing bands.
Responses to the worldwide consultation in preparation for this autumn’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops suggest that, with regard to the issue of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Holy Communion, a consensus exists around three propositions. The first is that the existing method of dealing with second marriages in the Church is doing more harm than good.
I’m sorry,” I said to a friend the other day. “Oh,” she replied. “What for?” And on inspection I really did not know. I did not mean, “I repent of something or other.” I meant something much vaguer, about smoothing a rough edge or ending a mild argument.
The first surprise was Chicago itself. A real city. A place through which the peoples of the world flow and mingle, looking at each other across the great divides of culture and learn that the world is bigger than they imagined. Cities teach people how to get along with those different from themselves.
WOKEN BEFORE dawn by an unearthly screeching, I stumbled to the window. Had an owl caught a hare? Or worse? The shrieking grew louder. “Pigs,” my nephew informed me the next day. “They’ve just moved into Robson’s farm. Weaners.”
How we all long for a break, for a rest from the usual routine: an end to the nine-to-five, to the routines, to the worry and the stress. It is a simple thing for those of us with the wherewithal to organise it, but nigh impossible for others.
If the Queen’s coming round for tea,” the Daily Mirror advised, “leave oysters and lobster off the menu.” The Pope, too, “likes much more basic fare”, though “he takes the occasional break to treat himself to his favourite meal of bagna cauda (‘hot bath’ in Italian).
Are you a grasshopper or an ant? The story is as old as humanity. In the red corner we have the industrious, though dour ant, who works all year preparing for winter; in the blue, the fiddle-playing, goodtime grasshopper, who spends summer making music, and then the first cold breath of winter blows and …
But what if ATC gets it wrong; what if that total trust is not absolutely warranted? The explanation of the tragic and horrific crash of another Malaysian 777, this time in Ukraine, has many contributing factors, not least the irresponsibility of letting state-of-the-art anti-aircraft missiles fall into the hands of ill-disciplined militiamen.
I’ve just attended my first gay wedding. Two long-standing and very dear friends, originally of my wife’s, now of our whole family, got married on a sunny Friday lunchtime on the south coast, surrounded by their families, and those closest to them. There was a general sense among us of “what on earth has taken you so long?”