- Exodus of biblical proportions
Hounded out of their homes by Islamist violence, Iraqi Christians face what many fear may be their final festive season in the land of their fathers as many prepare for exile
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From the editor's desk
A mass murder of schoolchildren in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, has shocked and stunned a country already too familiar with terrorist atrocities. It has sent a warning round the world that jihadism, violence falsely justified in the name of Islam, is now the greatest single threat to world peace.
The Vatican’s mainly favourable report on the state of female religious orders in the United States suggests a significant change of tack under the influence of Pope Francis. The American Catholic Church has sometimes displayed itself as a house divided – between those working for social justice
One of my childhood Christmas Day rituals was morning Mass, clad in whatever awful anorak or jumper Santa had left under the tree. Each time the church door would creak open, I’d peep over my shoulders during a chorus of “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” to see which of my friends had just come in, trussed up in their new togs, and evaluate at a glance how terrible (or cool) they were.
Christmas is the time of year when you want to break a stout stick over the head of the first person who says that the whole thing is over-commercialised. Or at least I do. It is not only that it is a cliché, but, like every reader of The Tablet, I have already worked out ways of finding space in the Yuletide froth. It is a technique, like stopping a saucepan of milk from boiling over.
I love having four children, but every once in a while I encounter someone who is critical of my big family, and rude enough to tell me. It is irresponsible, they say, to have more than two kids, which is the “right” number because that replaces my husband and myself on the planet when we die.
Back in 2012, a star of the global commentariat declared that oil prices would “skyrocket to permanently higher levels”. Since then, the price of a barrel of Brent crude has plummeted by more than 40 per cent, proving yet again the folly of making predictions.
A REPORT INTO the apostolic visitation to the nuns of the United States published this week should have been out before the Year of Consecrated Life began on 30 November, but was slightly delayed. A separate report into American nuns accused of “radical feminism” is likely to be delayed far longer as the panel is having difficulty reaching agreement.
Up and down the country, and indeed across the whole world, robins have been recently flying through letter boxes and landing on doormats. It is no surprise that these little birds are a favourite on our Christmas cards.