From the editor's desk

Why does the designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel cause such bitter controversy?

The prime minister’s negotiating triumph in Brussels last week, undoubtedly considerable, was achieved at the cost of blurring the truth.

What would Beijing have made of Pope Francis’s recent visit to Myanmar?

Theresa May’s unusually difficult week began not with more bad news regarding Brexit, but failure on another front altogether – social justice.

The conciliatory speech delivered by Emmerson Mnangagwa at Harare’s National Sports Stadium on 24 November, when he assumed the presidency of Zimbabwe, could not have been delivered by Robert Mugabe in the past 30 years of his own 37-year presidency.

A new industrial strategy announced by the Government is a bold admission that market forces by themselves cannot be relied upon to drive prosperity. Wealth creation requires both capital and labour, and labour needs a voice too.

The mass exodus of refugees fleeing conflicts in the Middle East was the biggest challenge to the conscience of Europe for a generation.

An opportunity missed

22 November 2017
“Just grin and bear it” is not a rubric that appears in the currently authorised translation of the Mass into English.

It is a moot point whether there has been a worse government of the United Kingdom than the present one.

Can the Church in England and Wales and in Scotland heed the Pope’s anti-nuclear leadership?

A year has passed since Donald Trump astounded the world by winning the 2016 presidential election.

The more money people have, the more tightly they hang on to it.

Ending a vile culture

01 November 2017
The sexual harassment (and worse) of young women by powerful men is older than the Bible.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the recently departed head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has offered an ingenious way to reconcile Pope Francis with his critics.

Two key questions are raised by the evolving relationship between China and the Holy See, a relationship both sides would apparently like to become warmer

Under Theresa May’s Government, the noble Tory aspiration to unite the country under the banner of One Nation is fast receding.

Abortion and the law

18 October 2017
All abortion is wrong. All human life is precious. On those simple principles there should be no uncertainty. But should all abortion be against the criminal law?

The proverb “Physician heal thyself,” a rabbinical precept quoted in St Luke’s Gospel, could fairly be applied to Theresa May’s launch this week of a campaign against racial injustice in public services in Britain.

Of the reforms of the Catholic Church promoted by Pope Francis, most attention has been given to his shaking up of the Vatican

The original disciples did not come to recognise the divinity of Jesus Christ as a result of reading a theological textbook.

It was an almighty mistake on the part of the Spanish Government to order the police to crush Sunday’s unlawful referendum on Catalan independence.

A Church reluctant to change

27 September 2017
Why has there not been more progress in taking up the priorities which Pope Francis has defined for his papacy?

The renewal of Angela Merkel’s mandate as German Chancellor has come at a heavy price.

Let Father Martin speak out

20 September 2017
Cafod, the overseas aid agency that stands for all that is truest and best in Catholicism in England and Wales, has allowed itself to succumb to a combination of trolling, no-platforming, and the Catholic alt-right – that is, the mad-as-a-hatter version of American Catholicism.

The attack on a London underground train at Parsons Green

Asked on television whether he agreed that a woman who had been raped by a family member had a right to an abortion, the Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is a Catholic, replied ...

Rome takes a welcome step back

13 September 2017
Translations of the Mass

A good life well lived

06 September 2017
Father Cormac Murphy-O’Connor led a fulfilled life which ended peacefully in hospital in West London on Friday 1 September, surrounded by friends and family.

Mrs May has lost her way

30 August 2017
Theresa May increasingly looks like a Prime Minister who has lost control of her own Government.

Public opinion never made a clear distinction between the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq and Nato’s (mainly Anglo-American) intervention in Afghanistan.

The world is facing the most serious threat of a nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Given the unstable characters of Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the risk may be even greater this time.

Leaders of the Conservative Government are edging towards an ever tougher tone with regard to Britain’s exit from the European Union. This is despite the fact that most Conservative MPs – and most members of the Cabinet – were in favour of Britain remaining.

The deadly upheavals in Venezuela continue to come under international scrutiny, not always from concern for its long-suffering people. Right-wing commentators take a certain satisfaction in holding up Venezuela as a compelling demonstration of how left-wing revolutionary movements invariably go wrong, as if by ideological predestination.

Plato advocated that women should take part in sport because it is good for them. Aristotle believed physical activity is an ethical responsibility. They were not wrong. Even the most sombre moralist, therefore, should be throwing her cap in the air at the way female team sports have captured the public imagination.

The deadly upheavals in Venezuela continue to come under international scrutiny, not always from concern for its long-suffering people.

Even the most sombre moralist … should be throwing her cap in the air at the way female team sports have captured the public imagination.

Two parallel conversations are going on about Brexit, with little connection between them. One is about the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the remaining 27 nations of the European Union.

The Third Battle of Ypres, universally known as Passchendaele, has epitomised for 100 years the sheer ugliness and cruelty of war.

Conservatives and Brexit

Democracy on the edge

26 July 2017
Poland in crisis

The Holy See is deeply puzzled by the United States of America.

Literally, Rerum Novarum means “new thing”. The title of Leo XIII’s seminal 1891 encyclical could be modified to provide a sub-title to the Review of Modern Working Practices – “another new thing”. Published this week and known as the Taylor report after its chairman, Matthew Taylor, the review looks very closely at the so-called “gig economy”

The co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaking in London on World Population Day this week, repeated her plea to the Catholic Church to reconsider its attitude to birth control.

The Taylor report

12 July 2017
Literally, Rerum Novarum means “new thing”. The title of Leo XIII’s seminal 1891 encyclical could be modified to provide a sub-title to the Review of Modern Working Practices – “another new thing”. Published this week and known as the Taylor report after its chairman, Matthew Taylor, the review looks very closely at the so-called “gig economy”

If reports are correct, it is impossible to see how the newly appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer SJ, can take up his new post.

There is a widespread and almost visceral feeling at home and abroad that the law made a gross mistake in the tragic case of Charlie Gard.

If reports are correct, it is impossible to see how the newly appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer SJ, can take up his new post.

Although he has been selective in how he applies it, Jeremy Corbyn believes in the power of the political mandate: politicians represent the people who voted for them, and should therefore carry out their wishes

Cardinal George Pell may be about to go on trial, but the Catholic Church is on trial too...

Pope Francis is staying at the helm. That was the message of his sermon when he celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop at the Vatican this week, indicating that he had more to do to impart his “dream” to future generations.

The fire which last Wednesday morning engulfed Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, killing many of its residents, ranks as one of the worst-ever peacetime disasters. The building was clad in flammable material and went up like a firework, with people trapped inside.

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