Latest Issue: 29 November 2014
29 November 2014
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27 November 2014 by Alistair MacDonald-Radcliff

Interventions by Prince Charles in support of persecuted Christians are, according to a senior Anglican adviser who knows his interfaith work well, examples of a commitment to religious freedom born out of his role as heir to the throne

27 November 2014 by Andrew Johnson

On 3 December 1984 clouds of poisonous gas from a pesticide factory in India killed thousands. A nun who helped the injured recalls that time in conversation with Andrew Johnson

27 November 2014 by Austen Ivereigh

As the first Jesuit Pope, Francis now seems to enjoy cordial relations with his confrères in Rome. But this was not always so. After many interviews with the order in Argentina, a new papal biographer believes he has uncovered the story behind the tensions

27 November 2014 by Michael G. Ryan

This week’s appointment of a new head of the Congregation for Divine Worship will reopen the debate about how the Church makes decisions on the liturgy. Some want to start by revoking the Vatican document that led to the new Missal

27 November 2014 by Margaret Atkins

People in the West have become used to instant gratification, but the Christian life demands patience and fortitude. In the first of her seasonal reflections, Margaret Atkins looks at this time of waiting and how we can best prepare for it

27 November 2014 by John Morrish

“THERE’S NO nice way of saying this,” they say – and then they try to find one. Euphemisms are an essential part of losing your job, and none of them helps a bit. There are two ways employment comes to an end: on the one hand, the people go and the jobs disappear with them; on the other, the people go and are promptly replaced by other people.

Previous issues

20 November 2014 by Jonathan Luxmoore

There are signs that Turkey’s President Erdogan is seeking to appease Western critics with limited gestures to his country’s persecuted Christian minorities. Arriving in Ankara this week, Pope Francis will be able to judge the results for himself

20 November 2014 by John Hills

Popular notions of hard-working families forking out for benefit scroungers are well wide of the mark, argues the author of a new book, which shows that virtually everyone at some point in their lives needs government support

20 November 2014 by Christopher Jamison

Developments in our understanding of how the human mind works pose challenges to scientists and theologians about the role of religion and spirituality in our lives

20 November 2014 by Michelle Hough

The United States is being criticised for its treatment of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving in the country from Central America, 25 years after it and other governments worldwide adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child

20 November 2014 by Daniel O’Leary

Mary and her newborn baby are usually pictured as radiant beings far from the reality of a frightened young woman giving birth in difficult circumstances. Yet as the start of the Church’s year approaches, focusing on the humanity of mother and child makes plain God’s desire for us all

20 November 2014 by Louise Cowley

A few minutes’ walk from Manger Square in Bethlehem is an underground chapel that for nearly 2,000 years has been the site of a sanctuary, said to contain rock made miraculous through the spilling of the Virgin Mary’s milk on it. Louise Cowley investigates

20 November 2014 by Edna Pottersman

For many pilgrims, Portugal means Fátima, but 80 miles down the coast is a series of religious festivals uniting the land and the ocean, and indulging the spirit in an inclusive feast of music and colour, as Edna Pottersman found out when she went to Setúbal

20 November 2014 by Chris Deliso

More than 1,000 years of Western and Eastern Christian traditions have come together in a small monastery on the Mediterranean island of Crete to create a rich fusion of religious art and artefacts that are testament to a long and turbulent history, as Chris Deliso explains

20 November 2014 by Nigel Willmott

A few years before he was to change the face of Christian Europe forever, a German Augustinian friar crossed the continent to plead with the Pope for his order’s independence from Rome. Half a millennium later, Nigel Willmott retraced his journey

20 November 2014 by Anthony Weaver

The search for a retreat house led Anthony Weaver to the easternmost point of the Italian mainland, where he found a history of siege and martyrdom that has poignant lessons for religious tolerance today

20 November 2014 by Guy Consolmagno

THE PHILAE LANDER from the Rosetta spacecraft of the European Space Agency (Esa) has arrived – and bounced – on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, generating a big splash of planetary science media coverage.

13 November 2014 by Christopher Lamb

A mini reshuffle has led to the appointment of an English prelate to a senior post within the Secretariat of State. The move reflects a growing trend

13 November 2014 by Elena Curti

This week, Catholic aid agency Cafod announced it will cut around 50 jobs in an effort to save £3m. The move, part of the charity’s long-term strategic review involving its operations around the world, poses major challenges for the organisation and director Chris Bain

13 November 2014 by Denis MacShane

The result of next Thursday’s Rochester by-election and the possibility of a second Ukip victory will show the impact of the party’s campaign focus on the issue of immigration. But hostility to ‘newcomers’ is nothing new in politics, and is perpetuated by a series of lies and statistics

13 November 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

Chicago’s new archbishop has been welcomed as a prelate who is cut from the same cloth as Pope Francis. Ahead of his installation next week, he talked to Michael Sean Winters about how he puts real people at the heart of his ministry

13 November 2014 by Rodolfo Cardenal SJ

Six Jesuit priests were murdered in El Salvador 25 years ago. But what happened to the Catholic university where they taught? One of their friends, who went on to become its vice rector, tells the remarkable story of its survival and rebirth

13 November 2014 by Sheila Hollins

Moves by Lord Falconer and his supporters in the House of Lords to allow terminally ill people to ask doctors to help them kill themselves came closer to being made law last week, if the press is to be believed. But all is not what it seems, as a prominent Catholic crossbencher explains

13 November 2014 by Brendan Walsh

In all his work, Gerard (“Gerry”) W. Hughes SJ, who has died at the age of 90, tried to heal what he saw as the damaging “split” in our spirituality. “God is in every human being, in every movement of our devious minds and hearts and in every human tragedy, drawing us out of death into life.”

13 November 2014 by John Morrish

It’s been a busy few weeks for “trolls”. But then it always is. They’ve been hounding campaigners and rape victims; and they’ve been threatened with a clampdown by the Government. No wonder they have so little time to sit under a bridge and intimidate billy goats.

06 November 2014 by Brendan Hoban

Soon there will be so few priests in Ireland to say Mass that the very existence of the Church will be in question. The bishops have no Plan B but laypeople are thinking more creatively, according to a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests

06 November 2014 by Ted Harrison

The meaning of the poppy has been as divisive as it has been comforting. Its origins as the symbol of remembrance lie in a poem by a military doctor whose feelings about war were complex

06 November 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

Most conscientious objectors were drafted into non-combatant roles in the army but some believed their religious principles forbade even that. Facing torture and death, one group of so-called absolutists helped enshrine through their bravery the right to conscientious objection in law

06 November 2014 by Amy Daughton

Recent high-profile appointments suggest that male dominance in the study and teaching of theology may be coming to an end. But special challenges and dilemmas remain

06 November 2014 by Sally Read

Visions of suffering sinners feature in the spiritual diaries of two nineteenth-century mystics. But, as the translator of one of them discovered, they are also eloquent on the theme of Christ’s redeeming love

06 November 2014 by John Laurenson

The number of Jews emigrating from France to Israel has virtually doubled in the last year. Those who are leaving cite rising anti-Semitism and fears that a generation of French Muslims is being radicalised

06 November 2014 by Chris Bain

The Catholic aid agency Cafod has helped 145,000 people rebuild their lives after a devastating typhoon hit the Philippines a year ago. But now, the agency’s director says, the focus must be on minimising the risk of extreme weather, and that means addressing climate change

06 November 2014 by Ivor Roberts

This weekend marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Today, the optimism that event engendered seems wildly misplaced given the conflicts facing many parts of the world, not least the West’s struggle against militant Islam

06 November 2014 by N. O’Phile

Ask anyone to name an Italian wine and Chianti will almost certainly be at the top of their list. Not only is it the best- known, but Chianti has been one of the main driving forces behind the exponential growth in Italian wine quality.

30 October 2014 by Peter Kavanagh

No sooner had Canada joined the American-led air offensive against Islamic State in Iraq than it was targeted in two separate terrorist attacks. Now it faces questions familiar to countries like Britain, long on the front line in the battle against jihadists

30 October 2014 by Tina Beattie

Following the Pope’s urging of the Synod Fathers to be open to the promptings of the Spirit, a leading theologian considers how Francis’ theology guided its proceedings

30 October 2014 by Mark Vernon

A recent conference explored how the idea of Purgatory could work in contemporary psychotherapy. Much common ground was found, particularly in relation to pride, hope and love

30 October 2014 by Abigail Frymann Rouch

The broadcaster and Church of England vicar tells Abigail Frymann Rouch about his journey from drugs, pop stardom, gay flings and ‘existential despair’ to faith in God

30 October 2014 by Charles Wookey

It is hoped that a dozen multinational companies will sign up to a list of key principles as part of an initiative begun by Cardinal Vincent Nichols. Speakers at this week’s Blueprint for Better Business conference issued a call to action aimed at restoring public trust

30 October 2014 by Daniel O’Leary

This is the season when the death of a loved one is felt all the more keenly but the sense of loss is tempered by precious memories that hint at immortality

30 October 2014 by Rose Prince

There will be legions of campaigners cheering Tesco’s woes. It turns out that they were right, and shoppers would abandon the retailing giant. Every analyst studying the current climate in supermarket retailing says the same about the trend