From conflict to commemoration Premium26 October 2016 | by Thomas Bruch
On the eve of Pope Francis’ visit to Sweden and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a leading figure in the UK Lutheran community considers the state of Lutheranism worldwide
Discovering our common home Premium26 October 2016 | by Martin Lönnebo
When Pope Francis arrives in the city of Lund on Monday, he will find Swedish Lutherans focused on much that concerns him, not least the need to cherish the planet. Working together for the future of God’s creation could help reconcile Catholics and Lutherans
Ghost stories Premium26 October 2016 | by Melanie McDonagh
Our secular culture may have little place for religion, but it is surprisingly comfortable with some aspects of the supernatural, particularly with the ghostly forms that traditionally emerge at this time of year. Even the Catholic attitude to ghosts is, at best, ambivalent
The Seti Institute in California uses an array of radio telescopes to look for signals from intelligent extraterrestrials. Meeting as part of its science advisory board last month, I heard director Jill Tarter insist that its work was based on rational science, not “faith”. I disagreed. “You can’t prove yet that alien life exists,” I explained.
Brian Morton , James Roberts
Bob Dylan - who was announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature this week - will always be associated with his assertion that the times were changing but, now that it is possible to look back from his 76th year, it is clear that the man himself has changed as much as the times themselves..
Why unity matters Premium12 October 2016 | by Julie Etchingham
Justin Welby talked to Julie Etchingham during his latest visit to Rome about what links and what divides the Catholic Church and the Anglican Community
With the end of the party conference season, MPs and their attendant pundits return to the bearpit of Parliament with little clear idea of what the future holds for the United Kingdom. What is certain is that the old order is overturned both in Westminster and out in the constituencies
What Is the appropriate way to refer to those who have lived through traumatic events, illnesses and crimes? Take, for instance, the ill-starred Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. On the front page of its website it declares: “We will support victims and survivors to share their experience of sexual abuse.” Victims and survivors: are those two separate things? No: it all depends on your standpoint.
Rome has a special place in the hearts of the members of the Society of Jesus who are meeting there to elect a new leader and consider the state of the order and its work. They are praying, pondering and debating in a city full of the tangible fabric of their history
The Government’s inquiry into sexual abuse of children – initiated by the Prime Minister when she was Home Secretary – is in yet more disarray after the loss of its leading counsel. Here, an expert urges those in charge to learn from the Church’s more practical action
We Brits have always been better known for our wine consumption than wine production. As long ago as the ninth century, popes were complaining about alcohol-fuelled Anglo-Saxon pilgrims causing trouble in the Saxon quarter around St Peter’s. Statistics for last year show us ranking sixth in the world for overall wine consumption.
Representatives meeting in the Aula of the Jesuit Curia, just steps from the Vatican, to elect a new Superior General will participate in a process akin to a papal conclave, complete with singing “Veni Creator Spiritus”. A former participant explains the method of voting
AMDG@GC36: Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam (for the greater glory of God) at the 36th General Congregation Premium29 September 2016 | by Paul Nicholson
Modern communications technology means that Jesuits meeting for their thirty-sixth General Congregation are better prepared than ever in discerning the promptings of the Holy Spirit on the important matters facing them..
The Anglican Centre in Rome celebrates its fiftieth anniversary next week with a visit by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to the city and to Pope Francis. The centre’s work, says its director, is driven by the impulse to unity implored by Christ
It began as a Catholic response to the spread of fascism in Europe, exposed colonial atrocities in Africa and Asia, and spoke up for the environment and against the stigma of Aids. As Progressio prepares to shut its doors, a former staff member charts its changing fortunes
Loyalty is not a quality usually associated with the cut-throat world of television but last week the presenter Mary Berry gave the genre a rare and welcome sprinkling. Careers of television personalities are so fickle, that wallets must often be put before finer judgement.
Breaking down the wall Premium22 September 2016 | by Jeroom Heyndrickx
Pope Francis’ appointment of Pietro Parolin as his Cardinal Secretary of State has seen an encouraging improvement in Sino-Vatican relations. But diplomacy is still proving tricky
At the hour of our death Premium22 September 2016 | by Jonathan Riley-Smith
Before he died on 13 September after a long illness, a distinguished historian wrote this advice to others who are dying
The UK decision to leave the EU has triggered an intense national debate about what kind of country Britain is and aspires to be. The key to the answer lies in our Christian heritage
At a time when the West faces unprecedented dangers, Donald Trump threatens to abrogate treaties and take the US into isolationism. Illiberal movements in Britain and across Europe echo his anger. Yet we live in an age when collaboration between nations was never more needed
In the past year, Northern Irish politics have arrived at an equilibrium, but then the EU referendum vote changed everything. Now there is deep concern that the hard-won peace and prosperity will be damaged by the overall UK decision to leave
Putting God on the agenda Premium15 September 2016 | by Rebecca Jenkins
Although criticism of the former Bishop of Durham, who died on 4 September, was often coruscating, he never responded in kind. But very few knew what his struggles with the press and some in the Church of England cost him, as his daughter recalls
This year’s annual meeting of the Catholic Theological Association revealed tensions between academics and bishops over the future of Heythrop College. Some saw it as a clash between two strands of theology: one, outward-facing and challenging; the other, inward-looking and unquestioning
Scientists communicate with images. We want to know not simply one value, but how each value compares with other values measured in other situations: other times, other samples, other planets. Picturing our data as spots on a grid is worth a thousand numbers...
The gender agenda Premium08 September 2016 | by Mary Anne Case
Pope Francis told Polish bishops in July of his concern about the contemporary preoccupation with ‘gender theory’. Others argue that the rival notion of complementarity is of greater concern, having been largely invented by recent popes
No winners in the Grouse wars Premium08 September 2016 | by Mary Colwell
September marks the start of the season of creation, placed on the liturgical calendar by Pope Francis, and running until the Feast of St Francis of Assisi. It is a time to celebrate the richness and wonder of the planet, but also one when natural species are set against each other
Catholic priest persuading drug users to hand themselves in says church is 'on same page' as Philippines police07 September 2016 | by Catholic News Service
As the body count rises in the Philippines' war on drugs, a Catholic priest is trying to create a space where healing takes precedence over killing. On 1 September, Father Luciano Feloni, an Argentine priest who is pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Caloocan City, on the edge of Manila kept a close watch as 20 drug users from his parish surrendered to local police...
Most people assume that saints are sustained by their vibrant faith, which carries them through toil and trouble. Mother Teresa, who will be canonised tomorrow, worked heroically, despite letters revealing her secret ‘dark night’ of the soul
Mother Teresa’s steely determination, total commitment and toughness were evident to those who met her and worked with her in the slums of India
One of the world’s longest insurgencies has come to an end with a deal between the Colombian Government and the rebel group Farc. Here, a former hostage, held captive for six years, explains why she backs the deal and the efforts at reconciliation
The new head of the Vatican Congregation for Laity, Family and Life is an American whose appointment is part of Pope Francis’ attempts to increase the US representation in Rome. His pastoral experience will be needed to deal with some of the Church’s most neuralgic issues
A writer friend of mine is a very good cook. Food, she says, is a great distraction. She might just be sitting down at her desk all ready to tackle a new chapter, when suddenly she remembers that biscuit recipe snipped out of last week’s Sunday paper.
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