Features

Can a country that came into existence 70 years ago primarily as a tolerant homeland for Muslims of the former British Raj hold on to the secular principles of its founding father? 

In the summer of 1997 I was – like many people at the time – more than a little intrigued by Princess Diana … What most struck me, though, was her genius for empathy. She never wore gloves and always warmly touched those she met, unlike other gloved, formal royals …

EXTRA TIME: Perfidious Albion Premium

17 August 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
To all those dying for the season to begin, I say you’re lightweights. So start getting serious, and embrace the dread

Glimpses of Eden Premium

17 August 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
What do butterflies do on a blustery day?

In 1964, a tall, handsome, ex-naval officer, Jean Vanier, was invited to Trosly to visit an asylum for men with mental handicaps. “It was a horrific place,” he says, “full of screaming and violence; and yet it filled me with a sense of wonderment." … He visited other asylums, equally dismal, and then decided to act.

True sportsmanship touches the soul and great sporting events can be festivals both of God and of humanity.

His characters try to hide their sins and weaknesses (alcoholism, adultery, drug-addiction, murder) from the world and from themselves. ‘I am full of fears,’ he said. Is the Catholicism of his upbringing the key to understanding the films of Alfred Hitchcock?

A philosopher's dark secret: Nazism and theology Premium

16 August 2017 | by Judith Wolfe
The publication in 2014 of Martin Heidegger’s ‘Black Notebooks’, laced with anti-Semitic passages, caused an outcry. But what the Notebooks reveal is that the philosopher’s most virulent quarrel was not with the Jewish people. It was with the Catholic Church.

Short story for summer: The Madonna of the Pool

16 August 2017 | by Helen Stancey
The pool is extraordinary. Not so much the pool itself: that’s just a pleasant version of the usual type found near holiday homes: twelve metres by five, steps into the shallow water, sunbathing areas at each end. A more subtle shade of blue, perhaps, than most, with no colour distinction to mark the place about a third of the way down its length where the bottom suddenly drops steeply to form deeper water

In overall student experience, post-graduation employability and academic standards, UK Catholic universities compare well with the competition and merit close consideration by university applicants

The buzzword in Irish pastoral circles these days is “renewal”. If you were to take Mass attendance as the criterion by which to measure the health of the Church in Ireland, anyone seeking to renew Irish Catholicism faces an uphill struggle.

The poet, pacifist and founder and editor of the poetry magazine Aquarius tells Peter Stanford that he is a Catholic who finds it difficult to believe in God

The integrity of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, comes under scrutiny in the memoir of a distinguished theologian published this week. / By Jacques Dupuis. / Introduced by Brendan Walsh

The Premier League season begins in earnest today. One club is playing in the top tier of English football for the first time in 45 years. A lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town can barely believe his luck / By Richard Harries

Christians and Yezidis are slowly returning to their homes now that an alliance of Kurds and Iraqi Arabs has driven the jihadists of Islamic State out of Mosul. But their relief may be short-lived, as their liberators seem locked on a collision course

Glimpses of Eden Premium

10 August 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Thick, clustering flowers, ranging from electric blue to glow-stick purple, vetch patches are currently turning roadsides into gorgeous tapestries.

From the Vineyard Premium

10 August 2017 | by N. O’Phile
A trend is now developing towards lighter wines, preferred by many for lunchtime and weekday drinking

Small farmers exit right Premium

03 August 2017 | by Rose Prince
I fear very much for the survival of our small and family farms, even if they did vote for Brexit in June last year

Glimpses of Eden Premium

03 August 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
After a gap of many years, swallows are nesting in our garage again.

A leading American spiritual writer reflects on his Evangelical past and the changes that brought two formerly very distinct religious groups closer together

Fifty years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the legal persecution of LGBT people continues across the world. It is time for the Churches to take a lead in ensuring that people can live in dignity, freedom and peace, whatever their sexual orientation

Five years ago, the Tablet’s popular nature writer discovered that the poet Philip Larkin felt more much tenderly towards his adopted home town of Hull than is usually thought

For an English writer who has made her home in South America, an uncomfortable Holy Week followed by a period of being repatriated and incapacitated brought some unexpected blessings

The death of Charlie Gard in a hospice last week following a protracted legal battle has raised several complex ethical issues. It has also highlighted the vital importance of the relationship between doctor and the patient, especially in end-of-life cases

President Nicolás Maduro is attempting to consolidate his hold on power as tensions continue to rise in the face of escalating street protests. Here, a leading Venezuelan social scientist suggests the Catholic Church might hold the key to a peaceful resolution to the deadlock

On 1 August 1917, the leader of the Catholic Church made a dramatic entry into the world of international diplomacy, setting out a finely detailed plan to end the First World War

English Catholic leaders were largely hostile to Pope Benedict’s intervention, as church historian Ashley Beck explains

In the midst of a debate over the perceived persistence of a glass ceiling in the British workplace, a former editor of The Tablet offers an appreciation of the Catholic woman who this week was appointed master of one of Oxford’s oldest colleges

The bitter dispute in Nigeria’s Ahiara diocese over the appointment of a new bishop is about more than tribal politics, as a local theologian explains. It reveals much about the growing pains of the Church in Africa

Alasdair MacIntyre is perhaps the most widely discussed living philosopher. A fellow Scots philosopher explores the character and achievements of the enigmatic author of After Virtue

According to the Telegraph’s website recently, the Government has descended into “all-out war”. And the weapon of choice in that war is “briefing”.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

26 July 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
I was wheeling out the bins when I saw the banded demoiselle. What else could it be?

In his native Argentina, most of his countrymen and women still celebrate Pope Francis, but some feel a growing frustration about his apparent reluctance to make a return visit home

The author of His Dark Materials angered many with what was seen as a scathing attack on the Church establishment. With his latest book due out soon, has he tempered his views?

As President Trump considers some ‘pretty severe things’ in response to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile launch, an ethicist asks if the traditional principles of a ‘Just War’ are still relevant in the age of nuclear weapons?

He is one of Britain’s greatest war poets. But Siegfried Sassoon’s niece, who was to follow him into the Catholic Church, and eventually become a nun, thinks his work can also be understood as a lifelong quest for God

Ten years ago Pope Benedict XVI relaxed restrictions on the celebration of the liturgy in its pre-conciliar form. A leading liturgist argues that it is now time for a new way forward

Our unique mission under threat Premium

19 July 2017 | by Sr Judith Russi
Catholic schools are renowned for their educational excellence, but they also have a higher purpose in the promotion of the faith in their young people – a purpose challenged today by the ethics of the marketplace

On the spot Premium

19 July 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
I have never heard of a planet (or a person) that turned out to be simpler than expected

Glimpses of Eden Premium

19 July 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Held in the hammock of grasshopper song, rocked by the wind riding through the long grass, I must have fallen asleep because all at once I felt myself being woken. Something was repeatedly, gently caressing my face.

Feeling under par Premium

13 July 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
I stopped playing golf a long time ago, but then recently started playing again. I wish I hadn’t.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

13 July 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Despite the green of London’s little parks and the street-lining plane trees, I was soon yearning for the countryside …

Three years ago one diocese in the north-east of England decided to take the collapse in clergy numbers as an opportunity for renewal rather than as the herald of inevitable decline. It was the beginning of an often surprising journey, as the director of the programme explains

Since assuming the presidency, Emmanuel Macron has very deliberately and self-consciously set a new leadership style – inviting parallels with the wartime leader in exile and first President of the Fifth Republic Charles de Gaulle and his “certain idea of France”

A love of paradox and contradiction was at the heart of Jane Austen’s impulse to write and, as her work shows, she was both attracted to roguish charm and repelled by it

Catholic ethicists have been tugged in different directions by a complicated medical dilemma

When I arrive to interview him about his newly opened community kitchen in Earls Court, west London, the fashionable Italian chef and current darling of the international restaurant scene has disappeared.

Gin … is enjoying a remarkable and sustained revival at the moment and the bandwagon shows no signs of stalling.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

06 July 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
In the wash of the custard-coloured meadowsweet and the lapis lazuli of meadow crane’s-bill, something rarer grew.

The impending departure from Rome of two cardinals with controversial records in the handling of abuse cases – George Pell and Gerhard Müller – leaves the Francis papacy at a crossroads. The investigative journalist who was one of the first to reveal the extent of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests argues that now is the time for Francis to create an independent judiciary at the Vatican to deal with negligent bishops

Whether one supports the traditionalist theology and conservative politics of Cardinal George Pell, or questions his character and judgement, he must have a fair trial

The storm surrounding the departure of two senior prelates has cast doubts over Pope Francis’ agenda for Vatican reform, which now needs some serious institutional support

To many who know him, Cardinal George Pell, is a warm and kind-hearted man – if you are on his side of the fence. But for those in the ‘darkness’ of the other side he evokes a different reaction, with one parent of daughters abused by their priest saying he had a ‘sociopathic lack of empathy’

Cardinal Pell, charged by Australian police on 29 June with multiple ‘historical sexual assault offences’, has never gone out of his way to court popularity

After more than three decades of domination by German theologians, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may be led by a Spanish Jesuit from theology’s middle ground

The latest plan to bring the Church of England and the Methodist Church back into “full communion” by 2020 should be welcomed by Catholics

Proud to be Catholic, and faithfully Conservative, the last British governor of Hong Kong is also moderate, flexible and undogmatic

Towards active citizenship Premium

05 July 2017
It is hard to remember a time when the political life of the UK has been conducted at such a high-pitched level. Amid the divisions, schools have a responsibility to encourage informed and responsible debate

Too posh to pick Premium

29 June 2017 | by Rose Prince
Among the mass of information spelled out on packs of fruit or vegetables, rarely will you find any details as to who picked or packed the contents.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

29 June 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
The heat wasn’t making things any better. In the sweltering city centre cafe, I stared blankly at the laptop screen.

President Trump’s claim that Saudi Arabia is a valuable ally in the war against global jihadism makes little sense to a Lebanon-based correspondent’s Christian and Muslim friends

The Conservative Government’s deal with the Democratic Unionist Party is meant to bring stability to Westminster, but is fraught with political risk both there and especially at Stormont

Fr Martin Royackers, a defiant Canadian Jesuit priest, was shot dead in his dilapidated coastal parish on 20 June 2001. Sixteen years later, the motive for his killing remains a mystery, though some believe what led to his death was his defence of the rights of the poor

Both Pope Francis and St Pope John Paul II write of nature and childhood as two sacred places where the divine presence breaks into our everyday world

The biggest crowd at the Durham Miners’ Gala since the heyday of the pits is expected next Saturday, 8 July. They will be drawn by a man who, to the surprise of many commentators, is challenging the consensus that has dominated British politics for nearly 40 years

Across the universe Premium

22 June 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
The month of June marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – and also of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Visiting Chicago this month, on my way to buy the Sgt. Pepper reissue, I found myself driving past Fermilab.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

22 June 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
The hedges are at their most beautiful. Where they have been properly looked after and allowed to grow, they tumble through the countryside like shaggy, wonderfully unruly, irrepressible puppies.

The shock and horror of last week’s fire in a London tower block illustrate some of the defining features of the modern city, where anonymity and co-dependence exist side by side / By Ben Quash

The Church is often experienced as an unwelcome, even hostile, place for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics. One of the most respected voices in the American Church suggests that an emotional and intellectual conversion is needed – on both sides / By James Martin

Next week, Pope Francis will create five new cardinals. The appointments he has made to the electoral college that will decide his successor reveal his vision for the future..

Is it no longer possible for a committed Christian to lead a political party? The resignation of Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron fails to answer the question one way or another / By Nick Spencer

A Catholic priest on the eastern coast of Canada has turned his parish into a powerhouse of renewal and mission. James Mallon explains the secret

Indonesia and Malaysia have been known as role models of Muslim-majority democracies that are moderate and pluralistic. But the politicisation of religion in recent years has led to religious minorities in both countries feeling increasingly threatened / By Benedict Rogers

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