From the editor's desk

Aid is first of all a moral duty Premium

26 October 2016
The Prime Minister is not famous for her sense of humour, but she seems to have displayed it in the appointment of certain Cabinet ministers, notably Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary and Priti Patel as International Development Secretary.

Common sense was missing ingredient Premium

26 October 2016
A perception is growing that in any collision between the right to freedom of religion and the right of gay men and women not to be discriminated against, the gay side of the argument always wins.

A disaster in theory and in execution Premium

20 October 2016
Two of the most inflammatory words in the field of child abuse are “cover up” – implying a conspiracy to conceal abuse of vulnerable young people, thereby allowing it to continue.

The link between slavery and refugees Premium

20 October 2016
Among refugees rescued from sinking boats in the Mediterranean this year, a surprisingly high proportion have been pregnant women. Yet the overland journey from their country of origin to Libya, from which the people-smugglers’ boats embark, sometimes takes more than a year.

Francis forms his grand design Premium

12 October 2016
Pope Francis will preside over a consistory next month at which 17 new red hats will be presented to their chosen recipients, 13 of whom are eligible to take part in papal elections.

American electors are about to give their answer to one of the classic questions of democratic politics. Is character what matters most? Or is it policy? And where does sexual misconduct, by word or deed, fit in?

Brexit talks must be open to scrutiny Premium

06 October 2016
An admiral about to conduct a battle was asked by an aide what to tell the newspapers. “Tell them nothing,” he replied. Then he added: “When it’s all over, tell them we won.” That sums up Theresa May’s attitude to the forthcoming negotiations regarding Britain’s exit from the European Union.

On the road to eugenics Premium

06 October 2016
Medical science has made remarkable progress in recent years in attempting to cure and even eradicate diseases. Doctors who do so can change the world and billionaires want to help them. The Gates Foundation, run by Bill and Melinda Gates, has committed itself to eradicating malaria.

Time of joy but hard work remains Premium

29 September 2016
A ring has long been seen as a sign of a bond, of a promise to be honoured, and sometimes as a sign of authority. So when Pope Paul VI took off his papal ring and gave it to Michael Ramsey, the then Archbishop of Canterbury, during his visit to Rome in 1966, it was rich with meaning.

Education still the Jesuit charism Premium

29 September 2016
When Jesuits from across the globe meet to pray close to the tomb of the order’s founder, St Ignatius Loyola, in Rome this week, their primary focus will be the election of a new Superior General.

Moral challenge facing Mrs May Premium

22 September 2016
The lady is clearly “not for turning”. To adapt a famous remark of Margaret Thatcher’s, Theresa May as Prime Minister has dug herself into the same position that she adopted as Home Secretary: refugees should as far as possible remain someone else’s problem. Her contribution to the United Nations’ review of the world refugee crisis this week was merely to reiterate her existing policy.

Labour’s failure means a one-party state Premium

22 September 2016
When the Labour Party gathers for its annual conference in Liverpool this weekend, it will have reason to be cheerful – if all it is concerned about is numbers. Party membership is around 500,000, making it the biggest political party in the UK.

Reforms must help faiths and society Premium

15 September 2016
Theresa May continues to brush aside her predecessor’s policies, and this week her new broom reached the world of education. Her new Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, announced the lifting of two government-imposed limits on the schools system.

A common cause for clergy and laity Premium

15 September 2016
Individualism has its limits. Though he insisted his speech had no headlines, that in a nutshell is what Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster told a gathering of priests in Birmingham, his former archdiocese, this week.

Volunteer recruits on true front line Premium

08 September 2016
In raising Mother Teresa to the altars on Sunday, Pope Francis lauded not only her unique witness to the mercy of God but the work of countless volunteers who for decades have flocked to share in her mission to the poorest.

Brexit means social justice Premium

08 September 2016
Theresa May’s arrival at 10 Downing Street may have been unusually painless for an incoming Prime Minister, though painful for those she replaced. Her outlook is becoming clearer.

Making sense of Brexit Premium

01 September 2016
Theresa May has volunteered to organise the greatest disturbance to British political and economic life since the Second World War. She has to make sense of her own phrase “Brexit means Brexit”, which was her way of reassuring the winning side in the EU Referendum debate that, although a cautious Remainer, as Prime Minister she would obediently implement the national will.

The work of a good shepherd Premium

01 September 2016
When the new head of the new Vatican department for the laity, marriage and the family says “I think bishops need to pay attention to their pastoral councils,” many Catholics might ask “What pastoral councils?” or indeed “What are pastoral councils?” Outside the United States, where Irish-born Kevin Farrell served as a bishop for 16 years, they are quite rare birds.

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