- The state we’re all in
Popular notions of hard-working families forking out for benefit scroungers are well wide of the mark, argues the author of a new book, which shows that virtually everyone at some point in their lives needs government support
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- The living Spirit
- Pope Francis appoints Guinea’s Robert Sarah to lead Congregation for Worship
- Cardinal Nichols ‘traumatised’ by Gaza visit, urges Catholics to lobby for peace
- Francis names longtime parish priest and missionary as bishops for Scotland and Ireland
- Heythrop chairman quits as west London's 400-year-old Jesuit college considers its future
From the editor's desk
People cannot make good democratic decisions on the basis of misinformation. This issue has long bedevilled the debate over immigration, where surveys find that the average person grossly over-estimates the number of people living in Britain but born abroad.
This week, the General Synod of the Church of England has finally made the ordination of women bishops its official policy. The first women bishops can be expected in a matter of months or less. Why is it then that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome ...
It is estimated that one in 10 priests in diocesan ministry in the Catholic Church in England and Wales began his priestly vocation in the Church of England. Many of them are married. This is very relevant to the question increasingly being raised about the compulsory celibacy of the Catholic priesthood – compulsory except for former Anglican clergy, who are given a dispensation.
Far from diminishing, the national appetite for remembrance seems to grow. The centenary of the start of the First World War was always likely to be special. But public responses have far exceeded expectations. Nothing has displayed that better than the extraordinary artwork created at the Tower of London, and the size of the solemn crowds it has drawn.
The Prince of Wales has a good reputation in the Islamic world, in both Britain and the Middle East. So his urgent call for “faith leaders” to speak up against religious persecution deserves to be heeded in the right quarters. Whether it will be, particularly in areas where the persecution is most intense, is another matter.
Ann Maguire, the much-loved Leeds teacher murdered in front of her class, would be the last to agree that her killer, then aged 15, should be dismissed as irredeemable. Her reputation was that she never gave up on any teenager, however wayward. What we know of him, however, puts him at the extreme edge of abnormality.
The plight of refugees trying to reach southern Europe in open boats is already horrendous. But the European Union, with full British support, wants to make it worse. It has made the shocking and shameful decision to let the Italian navy close down its search-and-rescue operation in the Mediterranean without replacing it with something equally effective.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has made few contributions to the life of the Church since his retirement, preferring instead to “watch and pray”. But he has just issued one lengthy reflection on the dangers of relativism, which because of its rarity as well as its revisiting of old themes, deserves more attention than it has attracted so far.
The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome ended with a superb exposition of Catholic teaching on marriage and family life by Pope Francis, which rightly received a standing ovation. That was a much clearer demonstration of a consensus around fundamental principles than the voting on the various clauses of the final report.
Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip), has called the forthcoming by-election in Rochester and Strood “the most important for 30 years”. He has a point. The then Conservative candidate, Mark Reckless, won this Kent parliamentary constituency by nearly 10,000 votes in 2010, and the by-election ...