Features

Second place won’t do Premium

18 August 2016 | by Martha Pskowski
The Olympic Games in Brazil will be followed next month by the Paralympics, which throw down a challenge to prejudice across the world but especially in the host nation

Martyred for Christ Premium

18 August 2016 | by Jimmy Burns
On the Feast of the Assumption 80 years ago, a group of priests was executed in northern Spain by Republicans. Yet the nation remains divided over the legacy of the Civil War and the anniversary of its outbreak has not been widely commemorated

Bishop Kevin Farrell, appointed to lead the new dicastery of family, marriage and the laity, brings a variety of experiences and aptitudes to his task...

The US presidential campaign has become one of the most bitter on record as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump vie to be elected commander in chief in November. Catholic voters, especially the swing ones in key marginal states, could be the passport to the White House...

The scene of the terrible murder of Fr Jacques Hamel, at daily Mass in a small town, recalls the roots of Christianity and is a reminder of how so many people experience the Church

In a deprived corner of the UK, Christian meditation is a frequently used tool to counter the ravages of drink, drugs and homelessness, thanks to a former roadie for punk band The Damned

Many of the unprecedented number of Christians fleeing violence across the Middle East have taken refuge in Jordan, where fellow Christians are struggling to help them

When you wish upon a star Premium

18 August 2016 | by Mark Faulkner
The holiday season owes its origins to holy days and the pilgrimage tradition. Today, even in the most unlikely of escapist destinations, more than a hint of ancient ritual survives

Hot stuff Premium

11 August 2016 | by N. O’Phile
Apart from the skill of the winemakers, the reason for success is always the weather conditions

Glimpses of Eden Premium

11 August 2016 | by Jonathan Tulloch
When Jesus told us to consider the lilies, chances are he was referring not to the variety of hothouse flowers, but simple arable weeds – the flowers of the field.

Keeping faith with champions Premium

10 August 2016 | by Filipe d'Avillez
The man in charge of ministering to the spiritual needs of the competitors at the Olympics in Rio tells Filipe d’Avillez why the Church can learn from their discipline and dedication

Revelati­ons about the Irish national seminary, and the Archbishop of Dublin’s apparent loss of confidence in it, are casting doubts on the future of the institution

Questions of inclusion Premium

10 August 2016 | by Massimo Faggioli
The announcement of the commissioners who will study the possibility of a female diaconate indicates that Pope Francis wants to promote broad discussion of the issues and encourage significant contributions from women themselves

Read the signs of the times Premium

10 August 2016 | by Daniel O’Leary
Many people feel hopeless in the face of disaster after disaster, from the death of MP Jo Cox to the slaughter of innocents in Nice. But amid the chaos, there is space for hope

Not an end, a beginning Premium

10 August 2016 | by Sheila Isaac
A-level students will be told their results on Thursday. On what can be one of the most nerve-wracking days of their lives, it is essential to be prepared with strategies to deal with the grades they achieve

Over-egging it? Premium

04 August 2016 | by Rose Prince
Pregnant women are easily scared. In their very first antenatal appointment they will be told which foods to avoid. The list has grown since I had my first child. Then it was blue cheese and dairy products made with non-sterilised milk.

The brutal murder of a parish priest at his altar has focused attention on the delicate relationship between Church and state in a land still divided over the place of religion in society

From a legacy of persecution and martyrdom, the Church has emerged as a settled part of French life, with the curé a respected figure in the community, as an English priest serving in a French diocese explains

The Pope’s visit to Krakow was potentially awkward, but Francis was determined that the meeting of younger Catholics from around the world should present a positive vision of the future

Vultum Dei Quaerere: Sisters doing it for themselves Premium

03 August 2016 | by Patricia Rumsey
Pope Francis’ apostolic constitution on the contemplative life for women, published last month, offers encouragement and challenges to Religious and contemporary society

Sir David Goodall Premium

03 August 2016 | by Dominic Milroy OSB
Sir David Goodall who has died aged 84, was never more stretched as a diplomat than in the five years from 1982 to 1987, when as Deputy Secretary in the Cabinet Office and then as a Deputy Under-Secretary in the Foreign Office, he worked at the very centre of Margaret Thatcher’s Government.

Be still, my fluttering heart Premium

28 July 2016 | by John Morrish
A friend of mine is a recovering gambling addict who mentors young people with a similar problem. They are in ready supply, given television adverts that promote a potentially home-wrecking activity as a harmless bit of fun for those who can “bet responsibly”.

Could William Shakespeare and Edmund Campion ever have met? Rowan Williams tells Mark Lawson why he has created an encounter between them by way of a play

We must obey the will of the people ... at least for the moment. But should we respect it, any more than we respect other, self-defeating policies endorsed by majority opinions throughout history? And is there an alternative?

A group of priests and theologians have taken the unprecedented step of writing to the College of Cardinals censuring Pope Francis’ most recent apostolic exhortation and demanding clarification. But putting out definitive statements is not the Catholic way..

The Polish bishops will have given Pope Francis a suitably polite welcome on his arrival in Krakow this week. But behind the scenes, they are determined to ignore most of what he says and sit out his papacy in the hope of getting a more conservative successor

Ideas of a Catholic university Premium

27 July 2016 | by Clare Watkins
A pastoral theologian with experience of both Heythrop College and Roehampton University reflects on the meaning of Catholic education after the failure of their partnership

A tale of two papacies Premium

21 July 2016 | by Christopher Lamb
As Pope Francis celebrates World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. How will his gentler style go down in a country that idolises the muscular approach of his predecessor, St John Paul II?

The Nice attack has changed the mood in France. Public confidence in the government is wavering, and the gulf between Muslims and the secular majority grows apace

The failed plot to overthrow President Erdogan has revealed the unstable political landscape and the concerns of minorities in the once defiantly secular country

The sharp rise in racist incidents since the EU referendum has put fear into the hearts of Britain’s migrant communities. With years of negotiations ahead, their uncertainty is likely to get worse

On 4 July, the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around Jupiter, beginning its mission to probe the interior of our solar system’s largest planet. It has only just started collecting data and the first results are not expected until September; undoubtedly it will be years before we really know what we have found there.

Which way does God face? Premium

14 July 2016 | by Mark Francis
The Vatican’s most senior liturgist recommends that the priest celebrating Mass should face east. But there are powerful theological and pastoral reasons why he should not

On Tuesday, the governors of the eminent Jesuit higher education institution meet to decide whether they can agree on a plan to save their college. If they fail, a series of missed opportunities and misunderstandings could signal the end of 400 years of the order’s teaching

Britain’s outgoing man at the Vatican discloses the highs and lows of his five years in the job to Christopher Lamb

No end of a lesson Premium

14 July 2016 | by Jonathan Shaw
The obsessive control exercised over policy by Tony Blair and his inner circle was a key reason why bad decisions on Iraq went unchallenged. Without reform, they will be repeated

Theresa May: Quiet daughter of the Church Premium

14 July 2016 | by Nick Spencer
Theresa May’s appointment as Conservative leader and Prime Minister invites comparisons with Margaret Thatcher. But there is another politician with whom better parallels can be drawn

Et tu … Premium

14 July 2016 | by John Morrish
This has been an extraordinary few weeks for our two biggest political parties, with passions running high and language struggling to keep pace. On the Tory side, we have had accusations of “treachery”, “treason” and “betrayal” by a prominent “back stabber”.

It is 50 years this autumn since Catholic scholars produced the first translation of the Bible into modern English. Now there are whispers of a revised edition...

The Chilcot Report into the Iraq War was finally due to be published this week. Tony Blair’s powerful religious beliefs were key to Britain’s involvement in the conflict

Peering over the edge Premium

06 July 2016 | by Ulla Gudmundson
The shock waves of the British referendum result are spreading uncertainty far and wide. What concepts in Catholic thought can we cling to in this most uncertain of times?

A special strength Premium

06 July 2016 | by Peter Stanford
A Norfolk nurse, mother of three, and saviour of thousands of children in Romania, tells Peter Stanford why she’ll be celebrating twice over this year

What lies beneath Premium

06 July 2016 | by Melanie McDonagh
A cardinal virtue – the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason – turns out to be an inspiration for confronting one’s sins as well as clearing the house

Widely red Premium

06 July 2016 | by N. O’Phile
According to the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre, “Facts, like telescopes and wigs for gentlemen, were a seventeenth-century invention.” Few uncontested “facts” were in evidence during the debate over whether to leave or remain in the EU, although before the vote the UK’s wine trade body was in no doubt.

In the sea of long black robes and white beards at the recent Orthodox Council in Crete, there was “a thimbleful of women” present to remind the male delegates there of the real world outside their closed-door conference. There were only three of them among the 290 participants and two were nuns (from Greece and Albania)...

Britons who voted ‘out’ complained that the EU was too centralised. If Brussels had not ignored a key Catholic principle, the result of the referendum might have been very different

Welcomed by Russia, China and far-Right leaders across Europe, the referendum result threatens the prosperity of the City, our trade with the US and the wider world, and our relations with the Commonwealth. At least the Holy See will continue to have regard for Britain

The European Union referendum vote shows Britain to be a disunited kingdom. But rather than causing the disarray, the Brexit result has only exposed society’s deep divisions

The UK referendum and the forthcoming US presidential elections herald a world in flux. Next week’s Nato summit in Warsaw will show the alliance has tensions of its own

The first Pan-Orthodox Council for 1,200 years ended with hopes for the future

We recognise imaginative projects where school pupils, volunteers and cancer sufferers support migrants, the ecology and marginalised communities across the world

Got to pick a punnet or two Premium

29 June 2016 | by Rose Prince
There was a period, not long after Britain joined the then Common Market, when our fruit-farming industry went into a spiralling decline.

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