Features

A tale of two papacies Premium

21 July 2016 | by Christopher Lamb
This week the Pope celebrates World Youth Day in Krakow. How will his gentler style go down in a country that idolises the muscular approach of his predecessor, 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.

The result of the referendum is an emphatic British rejection of the free movement of labour, which is at the heart of the EU single market, by white working class workers who felt squeeze by massive error of judgment by political wonks...

Picking up the pieces Premium

23 June 2016 | by Michael Sean Winters
This weekend, politicians at Westminster begin the painful task of recovering from the referendum, seeking to restore some sense of party unity after months of name-calling and insult. To judge from US experience, they may find it easier once they identify a common enemy

What Jo gave us Premium

23 June 2016 | by David Bulmer
The tragedy of the events surrounding the killing of the Labour MP Jo Cox on the streets of her constituency has revealed the unity of the community in Birstall. That is part of her legacy

Who are they with whom we weep? Premium

23 June 2016 | by Sarah Teather
Tributes to the refugees’ champion Jo Cox coincided with the start of Refugee Week. Her example of joined-up thinking is vital, says the Jesuit Refugee Service UK director

Despite calls for delay by Moscow, and a significant boycott, the historic Pan-Orthodox Council – the first for 1,200 years – started work this week

Voice of the poor Premium

23 June 2016 | by Christopher Lamb
A radical Argentinian lawyer and academic, the Pope’s new Justice and Peace adviser tells Christopher Lamb of the need for a revolution to fight poverty

Much more than optional extras Premium

23 June 2016 | by Susan Gately
Last week a Vatican document reflected on the relationship of charismatic movements to the mainstream Church. Are they a threat to traditional order, or vital to its rejuvenation?

Rocks of ages Premium

23 June 2016 | by Guy Consolmagno
Over the past 30 years the Vatican Observatory in Castel Gandolfo has been hosting a biennial summer school, where we invite young scholars from around the world to spend four weeks with us, exploring in depth some topic in astrophysics.

This Thursday is decision day for the UK and Europe. In the first of a special range of articles, we reflect on a remarkable creation of post-war idealism and what leaving it might mean

‘I knew the EU had abandoned subsidiarity’ Premium

16 June 2016 | by Gisela Stuart
When, in the early 1990s, I was studying law, a particular series of lectures that I can still remember examined the principle of “subsidiarity”.

One of the driving forces of the initial impetus for European integration was to establish enduring peace in Europe. The founding fathers, predominantly Catholics, sought to make war among their countries “materially impossible”.

‘Despite our separate identity, we are part of the whole’ Premium

16 June 2016 | by Tom Tugendhat
The Catholic Church values stability because it allows families and communities to grow. It is not just an economic good but one that strengthens society and alleviates suffering.

On the move Premium

16 June 2016 | by Mark Hayes
Free movement of citizens within its borders is a mark of the EU’s democratic legitimacy. This in turn has its roots in the dignity and freedom of the individual

The massacre in Florida has thrown a spotlight on several issues – attitudes to the LGBT community, the continuing terrorist threat and America’s debate on gun control

First, do no harm Premium

16 June 2016 | by John Morrish
We thought we knew what “martyr” meant, and then websites and videos started using it to mean “suicide bomber”. How did that happen?

The developing agency Premium

09 June 2016 | by Megan Cornwell
The Catholic aid agency is emerging from a tumultuous time of job losses, structural change and financial reorganisation. Now staff hope to refocus on their core vision

Defender of faith Premium

09 June 2016 | by Ian Bradley
One of the highlights of Elizabeth II’s birthday celebrations this year is the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, due to take place yesterday. While many of her subjects are non-believers or followers of other religions, her Christian faith remains central to her life

Counter-cultural martyr Premium

09 June 2016 | by Philip Crispin
The pilgrimage of St Thomas Becket’s relics to Canterbury Cathedral last month occasioned a remarkable symposium at Lambeth Palace. Leading church figures and scholars met to celebrate the reconciliation of Catholics and Anglicans in the spirit of the murdered archbishop

Put an end to this throwaway culture Premium

09 June 2016 | by Kevin Hyland
In the spirit of Pope Francis’ commitment to combating modern slavery, judges and lawyers gathered at the Vatican last week to share experiences and commit themselves to fighting a scourge inextricably linked to the profit-seeking society

The reopening of the inquest into the deaths of the 1974 Birmingham pub-bombing victims is a reminder of the cardinal’s tenacious support for the many who were wronged

In June 1975, in the week before the UK was due to vote on its future in the European Common Market, Barbara Ward, Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth - whose influence in the Vatican extended to being the first woman ever to address a synod of Roman Catholic bishops - embraced the zeitgeist of the time which was an overwhelming desire to stay in Europe

A recent report suggests that while the Church is relatively successful at keeping those born and raised Catholic, it has a poor record of making converts

An increasingly popular way to support the charity of your choice is to leave a bequest in your will. But with its intimations of mortality, the gesture can be a delicate subject to raise

An exhibition to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the brutal First World War encounter between the British and German navies, throws new light on the role of Catholic priests at sea. They shared the sailors’ suffering and were never quite treated as officers

As the referendum campaign enters its closing weeks, one issue rarely being discussed is that of the European Union as an alternative to the concept of the nation state. But in years to come could the EU act as a counterbalance to the commercial clout of global business?

An Irish priest falsely accused of sexual abuse calls for the Church to rethink the way it treats clergy who are placed under investigation

Fat chance Premium

02 June 2016 | by Rose Prince
In the decades during which nutritional health experts have been telling us to avoid saturated fats, an obesity epidemic has risen, spread and endured. If those authorities were right – and just about every doctor, scientist and diet expert agreed that saturated fat was bad – how and why has this happened?

Difficult dialogue Premium

26 May 2016 | by James Roberts
The Vatican’s man promoting Christian unity talks to James Roberts about the challenge of Muslim relations

Citizens UK has launched a national enquiry into Muslim participation in civic life and social mobility. In Birmingham, it heard good news of progress and bad news of financial cuts

The British Government is building on links with the Church forged over tackling human trafficking to combat sexual violence in conflict, as the Minister responsible reports

Monday’s bank holiday marks the start of the summer season, nowhere more so than in Brighton, where the fun and frolic hides a richly religious history

Music of the spheres Premium

26 May 2016 | by Guy Consolmagno
When Pope Francis issued his groundbreaking encyclical last year, Laudato Si’, the Italian publishing house Elledici took the moment to reissue a book written in the 1960s by the Italian scientist Enrico Medi, Cantico di Frate Sole, a meditation on the Franciscan poem that gave Pope Francis his title.

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