From the editor's desk
Backbench revolts in Westminster can look like political game-playing. But current unrest among MPs about proposed changes to the funding of state schools is different. This pressure comes from the grass roots.
Does the concept of “fake news” logically imply the existence of real news? Otherwise, all news is fake. Good news, bad news, indifferent news: none of it is to be believed. This is the world view that appears to be methodically and unscrupulously promoted by Donald Trump.
Parliament has cleared the path for Britain to leave the European Union, and the opening of negotiations is imminent. With the consequential announcement of another referendum on Scottish independence, this moment may turn out to be the tipping point in the break-up not only of the European Union but of the United Kingdom.
Plenty to smile about Premium16 March 2017
The famous smile on the face of Pope Francis may become even broader when he reads the fulsome tribute to his leadership from Cardinal Vincent Nichols on the fourth anniversary of his election, thanking him for “the steadfast way you uphold the teachings of Christ and the Church”.
What makes a Christian life Premium09 March 2017
By his emphasis on the Catholic Church being “of and for the poor” Pope Francis has adopted a perspective of the Latin American theology of liberation. That theology makes a radical challenge to many of the comfortable presuppositions of bourgeois Western Catholicism.
On both sides of the Irish border, the United Kingdom referendum result in favour of leaving the European Union has become the constant backdrop to all sorts of policy discussions, including the very possibility of continuing with the Northern Ireland power-sharing agreement.
The Catholic Church in Australia is in very deep water. There is widespread public disgust and horror at its failure to stop the sexual abuse of children by a considerable number of its priests.
Both major parties in the House of Commons have voted to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, thereby starting the negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. That leaves the question – who speaks for the 48 per cent of the country that did not vote to leave; and who speaks for that part of the 52 per cent majority which would have liked to keep as much as possible of the EU relationship intact?
Restoring the ancient tradition Premium23 February 2017
There is an exceptional level of turbulence in the Roman Catholic Church, and it arises from resistance to Pope Francis’ leadership. His critique of free-market capitalism, his outspoken sympathy for refugees and his strong support for measures to combat global climate change have been denounced in right-wing political circles.
Theresa May wants to be remembered as the politician who safely delivered the United Kingdom out of the clutches of the European Union, without wrecking the economy in the process.
If the language with which we pray is not the language with which we think, write and speak, it constitutes a barrier that separates us from God. This is the major flaw in the current translation of the Latin Mass into English, and it could hardly be more serious.
The risks of diplomacy Premium09 February 2017
It is plainly unethical, not to say ghoulish in the extreme, to remove organs from recently executed prisoners in order to use them in transplant operations even if that saves patients’ lives.
Upwards not outwards is the UK Government’s response to the overwhelming need to build more homes for Britain’s growing population.
Too quick to cosy up to Trump Premium01 February 2017
Pacts with the devil do not generally end well. That may have been one of the doubts that the British Prime Minister banished from her mind as she journeyed to Washington last week to become the new President’s first official foreign visitor.
Recent disturbances in British prisons – thankfully quelled without too much extra violence – may be interpreted as protests at a severe crisis in the entire system rather than just as outbreaks of lawless anarchy.
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