As Pope Francis prepares to meet Muslim leaders in Cairo at the weekend, a leading scholar of interfaith relations writes in The Tablet about the complex relationship between religion and conflict...

Over many years, Pope Francis has developed his own approach to dialogue with Muslims, as William Eichler explains

As a leading Muslim scholar explains, Al-Azhar faces its own challenges and responsibilities

They trace their origins back to the age of the Apostles, yet still the Copts are treated as second-class citizens in their own country..

Every year in early May, crowds flock to a poor barrio in central Bolivia for a four-day celebration that unites Christian worship and Pre-Columbian fertility rites

Mad, bad and dangerous to know Premium

27 April 2017 | by Richard Cockett
There is grim method in the apparent madness of the dynastic Kim family leadership

Flesh and blood Premium

27 April 2017 | by Joanna Moorhead
The Dublin-born singer-songwriter tells Joanna Moorhead how she learnt to transform sadness and pain into a positive, creative force

Merry merry May Premium

27 April 2017 | by John Morrish
The OED’s entry on ‘may’ runs to 22,000 words, confounding the notion that English is a simple language

Determining any apparition's veracity lies with the local bishop according to the norms established by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...

She said it would never happen. She said it would be “destabilising”. But the temptation for Theresa May to increase her parliamentary majority proved irresistible

Vladimir Putin is not known for showing restraint when under attack. Yet with Washington seized by anti-Russia frenzy, the often irascible Russian leader seems determined to stay cool

Iron fists and velvet gloves Premium

20 April 2017 | by Sarah Mac Donald
Survivor Marie Collins, who resigned from the Vatican’s abuse commission over its slow progress, backs the new appointments at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

What is thought to be the biggest Catholic parish in the world is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary next week. It is in Dubai, now a glittering city in the desert built by foreign workers...

Enchanted island Premium

20 April 2017 | by John F. Deane
This is the centenary year of the birth of the German novelist Heinrich Böll, who found inspiration and peace after the Second World War in rural Ireland. Next week a group of writers and old friends are gathering at his cottage on Achill Island off the coast of County Mayo to discuss his work

Shadows of reality Premium

20 April 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
We believe in things we cannot see – God, say, or black holes – because we observe their effects on the things that we can see. Still, there is a little bit of Doubting Thomas in all of us. It would be nice to have a direct image of what a black hole actually looks like!

Language and words alone will never be enough to enable us to understand the mystery of Christ’s brutal death and Resurrection. Only if we explore its symbolism will we recognise the Cross as a symbol of mercy, wisdom, life and liberation

As she prepares for the celebration of Easter, a debut novelist describes how characters from literature mingle in her imagination with scenes from the Gospels

In her final meditation, Theodora Hawksley reflects on a paradox of Easter: suffering and death, Resurrection and Ascension, need not be experienced in sequence, but as one event, one mystery

The decision to launch a missile attack on a Syrian Government-controlled airfield represented a complete U-turn in the isolationist policy advocated by Donald Trump when vying for the presidency. As a former senior British diplomat explains, a week is a long time in geopolitics...

The crisis long bubbling inside the African National Congress now threatens to boil over into widespread violence throughout the country. Faith leaders have a vital part to play in finding a peaceful solution to the growing political problems

The cleverest of Jesuits Premium

13 April 2017 | by John Haldane
A Scottish philosopher recalls a period in which the Society of Jesus was at the heart of an English Catholic intellectual and cultural renaissance, and describes the singular contribution of Frederick Copleston, the first principal of Heythrop College

Back in the limelight Premium

13 April 2017 | by Peter Stanford
Politician, then banker, now in education, Ruth Kelly tells Peter Stanford about Opus Dei and faith in public life

The chosen few Premium

13 April 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
As we limp, sprint, idle or crawl to the end of the football season, our opinions on players have hardened into stone-cold certainties. Some players we’ll judge to be excellent, others merely competent. Then there’ll be those – probably the majority – deemed to be just plain useless.

The arguments over Brexit have laid bare a fragmented, unequal and angrily divided society. The Church could play an important part in healing the wounds – but only if it reconnects with those who feel powerless and patronised

The visionary painter Leonora Carrington was born a hundred years ago this week. Although she rejected her childhood faith, her works are suffused with Catholic imagery

Twelve months of unprecedented uncertainty and controversy have followed the publication of Pope Francis’ exhortation on the family. What lies behind the confusion and anxiety?

In the sixth of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley reflects on what she is learning during a Lent spent in an Amerindian village, where difficulties are transformed into a joyful gift

Caught in the wake of Brexit Premium

06 April 2017 | by Denis MacShane
In the week after Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, triggering Britain’s departure from the EU, an English visitor reports on the mood he found in Dublin

View from Rome Premium

06 April 2017 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome
Days after Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah as the new head of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I received a reply to an email I had sent to a Jesuit from Ivory Coast who knew the cardinal.

All-conquering cabernet Premium

06 April 2017
Cabernet sauvignon is the all-time celebrity of viniculture. It is the most planted wine grape in the world, covering approximately 720,000 acres of the planet’s surface – only merlot comes anywhere near it.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

06 April 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Night fell over Birmingham in a blaze of street lamps and floodlights.

On Wednesday Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, formally triggering Britain’s departure from the EU. What are we leaving and what will remain?

It’s almost midsummer weekend, which is bigger than New Year here, writes Kate Sotejeff-Wilson. The country is shutting down, everyone is fleeing to the woods to light bonfires, jump from their saunas into the lake, and drink rather too much.

The Spanish think of Britain as an uncomfortable partner, but they did not expect things to end like this

Despite Lib Dem dissent and doubts in the liberal media, there appears to be a virtual consensus among England’s political establishment that the result of the withdrawal process is not in doubt. Scotland’s leading historian believes this is a myth that must be punctured

Resentment in the air Premium

30 March 2017 | by Ulla Gudmundson
Swedes stood with Britain for EU reform and are disappointed by our decision to quit

For the French, Brexit means less than Donald Trump’s election and much, much less than the prospect of a Le Pen victory

The first Muslim woman Cabinet Minister shares her concern about rising Islamophobia with Lorna Donlon

In the fifth of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley reflects on a God who does not save us from disaster, but who shares in it; a God who does not shield himself from our pain, but enters it

A sting in this tale Premium

30 March 2017 | by Rose Prince
I am not a great lover of nettles, but it is distressing to hear them called “thugs”. A recent report by the charity Plantlife warns that rampant weeds such as nettles, which thrive on soil made rich by nitrogen pollution from diesel emissions, are overpowering more delicate wild flowers such as harebells and wild orchids.

With a large majority of the French electorate declaring themselves to be Catholic, their influence could be crucial in the first round of the presidential election next month

Last week the death was announced of the former Bishop of Galway, who resigned in disgrace 25 years ago after it emerged that he was the father of a teenage boy. A colleague and friend recalls a complex man of great energy and charm

The Vatican’s blue-skies sage tells Christopher Lamb that the role of the Church is not to offer ready-made answers but to stimulate discussion and debate

In the fourth of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley wonders why we are more convinced of our blindness than of the transformation that the Lord is working in us

The art of good science Premium

23 March 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
What do you tell a room of bright high-school science students? That has been my challenge recently, visiting Jesuit high schools across North America. Pope Leo XIII wanted the Vatican Observatory to show the world how the Church supports science; while the other Jesuits have been doing the science, I’ve been “showing the world”.

EXCLUSIVE: The former Irish president shares her concerns with Lorna Donlon about Brexit and Europe’s refugee crisis and the need to rebuild many of the bridges knocked down by recent political turmoil

Last week Pope Francis said he was open to the possibility of the ordination of married men. But the crisis in the priesthood is about more than a dramatic fall in numbers. A fresh model of ministry is required and in the life and work of Henri Nouwen we see what it might look like...

Luther has gone down in history as the man who shattered the unity of Western Christendom. But he was reluctant to leave the Catholic Church, and if he returned today he would find that many of the reforms he proposed have come to pass

In the third of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley is reminded by an everyday encounter that the Lord is ready for us long before we are ready for him

Just about managing Premium

16 March 2017 | by Stephen Bates
A week after the election of Pope Francis four years ago, the Anglicans installed Justin Welby as their new spiritual leader. His crisp, business-like approach contrasted with that of his predecessor, Rowan Williams, but recent events suggest there may be limits to its effectiveness

We hate to lose you… Premium

16 March 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
When Claudio Ranieri was appointed manager of Leicester City before the start of last season there was dismay from fans of the club. There was about as much dismay when the Italian got the sack last month.

It is four years on Monday since the election of a radical Argentinian bishop to the throne of St Peter. How far have his reforms progressed and what more does he hope to achieve?

In the second of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley, a novice living with a religious community in a village in Guyana, learns the importance of simplicity

The parting gift Premium

09 March 2017 | by Elena Curti
The Catholic Church is making progress in persuading the NHS to consider the spiritual needs of dying patients. But there is still resistance - and it is not confined to the medical profession

Dutch voters go the polls on Wednesday in an election that could see significant gains for Geert Wilders’ populist Freedom Party. He will owe his success to disillusioned Catholics

Despite being derided as a pointless hangover of our long-gone imperial past, some still believe the Commonwealth can find a new role for itself as Britain prepares to quit the EU

Whither the grape? Premium

09 March 2017 | by N. O’Phile
Whether you think it’s a global myth or an impending catastrophe, climate change is already having a direct impact on both the production and the character of wine in many parts of the world. Irrigation problems, vine diseases and soil erosion are just some of the production problems associated with climate change.

Marie Collins, a victim of clerical abuse as a 13-year-old, became the last remaining abuse survivor to leave the commission set up by Pope Francis to tackle the issue last week. An expert in child protection, Collins spoke to Christopher Lamb about her reasons for walking away from the Vatican...

Brexit and Donald Trump have led us to anticipate a surge in right-wing populism across Europe this year. Closer analysis suggests there may be life in the moderates yet...

The English think Catholics are ‘different’, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party tells Peter Stanford

No historical writing can entirely shake off the prejudices of its author – something that applies to Catholic as much as to Protestant accounts of the Reformation

A media-shy academic appointed to lead the archdiocese of Dublin in 1988 became a scapegoat for his predecessors’ failures to respond to the revelations about clerical sexual abuse

Lent meditation: Embracing human frailty Premium

02 March 2017 | by Theodora Hawksley
In the first of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley, a novice serving in South America, reflects on how living hand-to-mouth can help us to overcome our fear of depending on others

So much more than a game Premium

02 March 2017 | by Jimmy Burns
The dismissal of Claudio Ranieri by Leicester City’s owners underscored the truth that there is no room for sentiment in sport. But when a Spanish club banished their chaplain from the dressing room they underestimated the importance some felt of having God on their side

Michael Novak Premium

02 March 2017 | by Samuel Gregg
Prolific writer and theologian whose arguments for the non-economic foundations of capitalism were embraced by Left and Right

Small is beautiful Premium

02 March 2017 | by Rose Prince
When a food giant moves to take over another, it is news with a paradox. The financial community gets excited at the prospect of a yo-yoing of the takeover prey’s share price.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

02 March 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
A rustle in the hedge is followed by scuffling noises.

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