Features

Pope Francis has suggested that the current phrasing of the Lord’s Prayer is misleading. A distinguished biblical scholar suggests a more accurate way of reading the ancient text

A former ‘pre-mill’ evangelical explains the cod theology of those American fundamentalist Christians behind President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

Christmas cheers

14 December 2017 | by N. O’Phile
The Augustinian Canons of Klosterneuburg, just north of Vienna, have been producing wine since 1114

Glimpses of Eden

14 December 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
A giant tractor ploughed this field in September.

While many marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, few have noted the near-loss of a religious sensibility that dominated the culture of the United Kingdom for centuries

The decision to end Sunday shopping is the latest fruit of the growing alliance between Poland’s conservative government and the country’s Catholic bishops. A leading commentator on Polish affairs suggests the benefits to the Church of this collaboration may be short-lived

Advent Meditation

13 December 2017 | by Luigi Gioia
In the third of our Advent meditations, Benedictine monk Luigi Gioia considers how God’s advent affirms us and embraces our whole being

The Tablet’s Rome correspondent travelled with the Pope on a sensitive visit to south-east Asia in which gestures were as important as words

Haunted by the possible disappearance of the priesthood in Ireland, a parish priest ordained in the early 1970s has turned to fiction to try to make some sense of what has happened

The debate – it goes back to the days of the first followers of Jesus

President Buhari was elected in 2015 amid real hope that he would address oil-rich Nigeria’s twin problems of corruption, and religious and tribal division. In fact, as one of the country’s leading Christian intellectuals reports, the country has gone backwards

While covering the general election, a journalist discovered a former church that has become a centre of the sort of unheralded social project going on in parishes throughout the country, often below the radar

View from Rome

06 December 2017 | by Christopher Lamb
There was a subtext to Pope Francis’ visit last week to South Asia and it can be summed up in one word: “China”.

Cure for Christmas

06 December 2017 | by Rose Prince
The commercialisation of Christmas releases antibodies in my spending habits. I have so far bought just two presents.

Glimpses of Eden

06 December 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
They built our house in 1976. Having laid the last brick, they planted an ornamental cherry tree.

Ronan Drury

30 November 2017 | by Patrick Hannon
Devoted teacher and wise, courageous editor known for his generous spirit and skill as a raconteur

Last week, the Bishops’ Conference announced that in spite of Pope Francis’ instruction that they should have more authority over liturgical translations, Catholics in England and Wales would continue to be restricted to the use of the current, much criticised, Missal

One of the most successful Catholic evangelists of the digital era, Robert Barron, discusses with a papal biographer and communications expert the different approaches he and Pope Francis take to closing the gap between contemporary culture and the Church

The first Church of England woman bishop from an ethnic minority background wants to celebrate the diversity of her flock, she tells Abigail Frymann Rouch of her traumatic flight from her native Iran after the Revolution.

As the last major figure to be tried for war crimes committed during the Bosnian war is convicted, the former British ambassador to Belgrade finds that old resentments and hatreds are still festering in the Balkans

Advent Meditation / Refresh and rekindle

29 November 2017 | by Luigi Gioia
In the first of our Advent reflections, Benedictine monk Luigi Gioia reminds us of the delicate balance in the spiritual life between being both restful and alert.

First scout

29 November 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
This body emitted no visible gases at all, even as it fell to within a quarter of Earth’s distance to the sun

Glimpses of Eden

29 November 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
At the moment, wrens seem to be everywhere. I was in the garden, watching a light smoke of winter gnats simmering in the weak sun, when a small ball of brown feathers darted into the redcurrant bush.

The dramatic events in Zimbabwe this week reminded our assistant editor of the scale of repression the people had experienced and of the role of the Church in resisting injustice

In spite of the uncertainty over the future of Zimbabwe, a Maryknoll religious sister who has lived and worked in the country for one year less than the 37 Robert Mugabe has served as the country’s leader, remains hopeful

Westminster has never experienced anything comparable to the current uncertainty, with an enfeebled government facing political challenges of unprecedented scale

Persecution, cultural assimilation, religious revival and diaspora have been grist to a comic mill that ranges from Kafka to the Marx Brothers. But its roots go back to the Bible

At just beyond the mid-point in the first term of his government, Canada’s media-savvy, politically astute leader finds himself more feted on the world stage than he is at home

On Boxing Day 2012, I had a terribly bad experience at Queens Park Rangers.

Glimpses of Eden

22 November 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Thirty years ago I visited this city for the first time. Eighteen years old and looking for the university, I lost my way. Ending up at the wrong end of town, I sat on a bench under a tree by the city walls and watched the tourists go by.

Glimpses of Eden

16 November 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Growing in the streams and ditches of Britain and Ireland, watercress became so essential to the diet of impoverished Victorian families that it was known as Poor Man’s Bread.

Clearly claret

16 November 2017 | by N. O’Phile
One of the key reasons why the wines of Bordeaux have been so prized is their ageing potential.

Morocco's religious reform programme is designed to promote traditional Islam.

At the age of 90, the Irish theologian Gabriel Daly looks back at tumultuous change in the Church.

In his autobiography 'My Life, Our Times, published this month, the former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown argues powerfully for a religious conviction “that shapes your life, public as well as private”.

As the Rohingya crisis deepens, the Pope's trip to Myanmar is likely to be the most sensitivity of his papacy

Wrong-footing fans with her latest novel, the author of several classic feminist novels tells Peter Stanford she has always been happy to go against the crowd

God’s counter-revolution: faith in the Soviet Union

08 November 2017 | by Dominic Erdozain
One hundred years ago this week, the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks in Russia unleashed an unprecedented persecution of the Church. But Christianity not only survived the onslaught, it was revitalised as a living, meaningful and creative force among the people

Italians, by and large, still run the Catholic Church. But under Francis, Englishmen – and women – have become surprisingly influential in the Holy See

The issues of inappropriate behaviour, and worse, that Westminster has spent this week struggling with, affect men and women in all walks of life in Britain today. Here, a leading theologian and academic reflects on her own experience in an area where sex and power collide

We should deal firmly with serious cases but beware of the impact of a media feeding frenzy

The Victorians profoundly changed the ways in which churches were understood and experienced. At the heart of this revolution was the unlikely figure of John Henry Newman, who believed that every aspect of a church building could communicate a message

The trauma for a child whose family have been evicted from their home is hard to imagine – especially when life changes can be brutal – and help depends more on personal acts of kindness than official concern

Born to be wild

08 November 2017 | by Rose Prince
On a high meat-and-cereal diet British people are well fed – a bit too well fed, in fact – yet are undernourished

Glimpses of Eden

08 November 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
It was a dreich day. Cloud wreathed the hills, and the leafless oaks bordering our path were beaded with droplets.

Catalonia is fractured, not just with Spain, but within itself. Whatever happens now, as an Anglo-Spanish writer who divides his time between London and the Catalonian town of Sitges points out, the crisis has opened up old wounds that will take a generation to heal

Liverpool’s enduring bard, who turns 80 next week, talks about the Mersey Sound of the 1960s and the sustaining place of Catholicism in his life

Growing up in a poor rural backwater, Hungary’s increasingly right-wing Christian populist prime minister is causing consternation in Europe by closing his landlocked country’s borders to would-be refugees, calling them a Muslim invasion

While the news agenda moves on, for those who watched the tragedy at Grenfell Tower unfold, the events and their consequences remain a constant, lived experience. A poet and journalist organising a festival of citizenship and literature considers the ethics of giving voice to the pain of others

Gregory Baum

01 November 2017 | by Michael W. Higgins
Theologian and teacher who helped draft Nostra Aetate, then became a prominent champion of progressive causes

Eccentric visitor

01 November 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
‘Normal’ or ‘exotic’ has as much meaning in the greater universe as ‘up’ and ‘down’

Glimpses of Eden

01 November 2017
Our little hills are filled with springs and becks, and fast-running rills.

The causes of the Arab-Israeli conflict will always be contested. But some trace its origins back to a decision made by the British War Cabinet 100 years ago, with unforeseen consequences that have shaped the modern world

British children are beginning a new school year, but in Lebanon hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees the same age are not getting an education

In the last in our series, a historian disentangles some of the myths surrounding what began with a German friar nailing 95 theses to a church door half a millennium ago, and reminds us that we repeatedly remake history in our own image

This is more than just a list of interesting people doing interesting things. Some are well known for their faith commitment; some wear it more lightly and tentatively. But there are important values held in common, a shared sensibility: a protectiveness towards the dreams of others, and perhaps the understanding that how the cards fall in this life is not all that matters.

It took me a long time to get to grips with baseball. Ever since I was little I’d looked at it longingly, knowing there was something I could love about it if only I could work out what it was.

Glimpses of Eden

25 October 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
The first sign of the winds that would ravage Ireland and Britain’s west coast was a bewildered butterfly …

Scotland is helping to bridge the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils.

The teacher who inspired me

19 October 2017 | by Julian Coman
Julian Coman recalls how, in the 1980s, performing in the sixth-form play was a rite of passage for pupils doing English A level.

From Scripture courses in prisons to degrees in canon law, the world of online RE is opening up.

Pernicious peer pressure

19 October 2017 | by Rosemary Keenan
New figures show a sharp rise in depression among teenage girls. Schools have a vital role in coping with problems so often caused by social media and advertising

When things don't quite work out as expected

19 October 2017 | by Antonia Beary
The head teacher of a leading Catholic school for girls shares her experience of teenage traumas.

Schools that help pupils to carve out time for reflection from their full schedules reap great rewards.

School Report

19 October 2017 | by Isabel de Bertodano
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Battersea, south-west London: A ‘good’ primary whose ‘well-taught’ diverse pupils enjoy working, playing and praying together.

The basic moral test of a society and its laws, argues an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Westminster, is its treatment of human life at its most vulnerable. And in Great Britain, this is severely lacking when it comes to unborn life

A pro-life activist for nearly 30 years suggests a change of direction for those campaigning for the abolition of the Abortion Act

In our series looking at the origins of the Protestant Reformation, a leading German Lutheran theologian argues that the laity were already reading the Scriptures before 1517

The latest collaboration between Neil MacGregor, the British Museum and the BBC explores connections between everyday objects, structures of society and those of religious belief

Alsatian fixation

18 October 2017 | by N. O’Phile
Grape sugars are fully fermented into alcohol, making for much fuller-bodied, drier and more alcoholic wines

Glimpses of Eden

18 October 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
It felt as though I had stepped into the Amazon forest.

Ill-starred by Michelin

12 October 2017 | by Rose Prince
I honestly prefer places where the food's perfection is measured by its simplicity

Glimpses of Eden

12 October 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Hats off to the farmer who works his few acres along Moor Lane.

Atrocities such as in Las Vegas reinforce our tendency to divide the world into good and evil. But a leading theologian argues that human desire renders us all susceptible to violence

Charles Spencer, the historian and uncle to Princes William and Harry, talks about the almost forgotten role of English Catholics in saving a Protestant king’s life

In our series looking at the Protestant Reformation, a leading historian argues that Luther’s teaching on justification by faith alone demanded a complete reshaping of Christianity

A former Cabinet Minister who quit during a Labour Party Conference reflects on the various personal and political tensions that colour a decision to leave high office

In a relatively poor and ethnically mixed area of Glasgow there is a community that had been forced to live on the periphery of the periphery. But now a project set up by Vincentian sisters is bearing fruit and helping the ethnic group’s women and children come in from the cold

The question of whether girls and boys perform better in single-sex or co-educational settings has not been resolved conclusively, but head teachers nevertheless have a wealth of experience they can share

It seems like a simple dispute over church teaching. In fact what we are witnessing is the clash of two fundamentally different understandings of how to be a faithful Catholic in the contemporary world and two different understandings of what constitutes the Church’s core mission

The former close friend of Diana, Princess of Wales, turned champion for those with learning difficulties tells Peter Stanford her real inspiration is Jean Vanier

In the fourth part of our series on the Protestant Reformation, an American historian argues that our secularised and relativist society is the unintended outcome of Luther’s reforms

The man-made famine that killed up to 10 million people in the 1930s is becoming Ukraine’s defining national tragedy. The insistence that Russia deliberately planned the catastrophe makes reconciliation between these neighbouring countries increasingly remote

The medicines may be getting better, but there is still stigma surrounding HIV. A resource is being launched that breaks down myths and misunderstanding and will be a pastoral support for Christians living with HIV

Sins against the Earth Floods and earthquakes were seen as God’s judgement on sinful people. We know that this is terribly naive

Glimpses of Eden

04 October 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
Whenever I see a field full of thistles, my heart rises.

With a series of recent initiatives, the Pope has rooted his papacy more deeply in the reforms of Vatican II. But as his programme becomes clearer, so has the nature of the opposition to it

Mark Dowd the former Dominican friar suggests that it is often on the uncertain and challenging edges of the Church that the sense of lived faith is greatest

Two very different experiences inspired a psychiatrist to create a series of “wordless books” to help those who find pictures easier to understand than words express themselves

There was astonishment when in 1961 the belligerent anti-establishment playwright John Osborne put the Protestant Reformation at the centre of his new play

The nine justices of the Supreme Court wield extraordinary power in America. Now, they are about to meet for a new term that is poised to produce momentous judgments

The Tablet poem

27 September 2017
Full English

Strictly roots

27 September 2017 | by John Morrish
A ‘black’ person in medieval or early modern times was usually someone with dark hair or eyes

Glimpses of Eden

27 September 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
This year we had a fifth (and unofficial) season in the north of England.

The centenary of the birth of Oscar Romero is celebrated today in Westminster Abbey with an Ecumenical Evensong. As one of the lawyers who has worked on the case for several years explains, the search for the truth about his murder may be approaching its conclusion

Producers traditionally assumed that theatregoers would be bored by politics. So why are plays about Westminster infighting now enjoying successful runs in the West End?

On a cliff edge in Catalonia: crisis over referendum

20 September 2017 | by David Gardner
With separatists determined to go ahead on 1 October with a vote on independence that Madrid brands illegal, Spain is suddenly faced with the real possibility of disintegration

Next month, the 500th anniversary of a Wittenberg friar’s campaign against the sale of plenary indulgences, which sparked the Protestant Reformation, is being marked all over the world. But in the England of 1517, there was barely a hint of the coming storm

For heads and hearts

20 September 2017 | by Raymond Friel
Falling applications for vacant headships is spurring renewed spiritual formation of lay Catholic educators, especially those tasked with leading the Church’s schools in these challenging secular times

View from Rome

20 September 2017
Realities, Pope Francis says, “are greater than ideas”.

Man of the people

20 September 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
Les James came into the world with next to no one looking out for him. He left with hundreds surrounding him

Glimpses of Eden

20 September 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
I walked beneath the long avenue of English limes.

Francis’ visit to a conflict-ravaged part of Latin America last week showed again that he is willing to take risks to build bridges and consolidate reconciliation

In the first of a series of articles looking at the legacy of Martin Luther, an Anglican writer argues that his message has been misunderstood: honesty, not certainty, is at the centre of Luther’s intended reformation in our understanding of the nature of faith.

A tribute to Vin Garbutt (1947-2017)

What does the funding crisis mean for schools with high numbers of pupils who have special educational needs? Annabel Miller visits a Catholic school in the West Country to find out

The teacher who inspired me

14 September 2017 | by Ruth Hunt
I have not one, but two teachers who inspired me, and who were pivotal in helping me to understand and accept who I am.

Following religious orders

14 September 2017 | by Sean Whittle
How has the change to lay leadership affected Britain’s Catholic schools? Sean Whittle describes a new generation of head teachers who draw heavily from the past while steering towards the future

From ‘awful’ to awesome

14 September 2017 | by Lorna Donlon
Five years ago, many of the children at a south London secondary school were reluctant pupils. Today all that has changed, after a remarkable turnaround that has seen St Thomas the Apostle College named UK Secondary School of the Year. Lorna Donlon reports

When Pope Francis visited Colombia this month, he found a country recovering from the trauma of 50 years of civil war. One of its victims, Ingrid Betancourt, taken hostage for six years during the conflict, recalls people who inspired and helped sustain her – from an 87-year-old fighter pilot to one of her teenage captors

A 160-year-old, venerable Devon secondary school is cleaning up its act.

Glimpses of Eden

14 September 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
September always saves some of the year’s most scintillatingly vivid sights for itself.

Hot grillo

14 September 2017
Grillo thrives on the hot plains and, unlike other grapes, doesn’t become cooked and jammy

When Pope Francis meets Nobel laureate and de facto leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi in November, the plight of the Rohingya people will be high on his agenda. But whatever help he may bring may be too late, as action is needed immediately

The Ethical Kitchen

07 September 2017 | by Rose Prince
What will happen to West Country producers and their hard-earned appellations following Brexit, no one knows

Glimpses of Eden

07 September 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
What can be more beautiful than a plum tree’s bridal white blossom?

A century ago, Russia was convulsed by revolution. Yet the inheritors of the Soviet system and the leaders of the Orthodox Church are doing as little as possible to mark it

An ebullient Benedictine nun and campaigner for Catalan independence tells Joanna Moorhead why she is willing to wait for an end to misogyny in the Church.

With the death of the former Archbishop of Westminster, we have lost a man of exuberant faith who steered the Church in England and Wales through a time of turbulent change

‘A delightful companion’

06 September 2017 | by Sir Anthony Kenny
Friend and fellow student at the English College in Rome Anthony Kenny remembers the rollicking cameraderie of the Venerabile

A leading psychiatrist recalls her work with the cardinal during his Visitation to the Irish Church in 2011

The lawyer representing the victims of paedophile priest Michael Hill assesses the cardinal’s response to the sex abuse crisis and his forcing through of safeguarding changes in the domestic Church

Cardinal Cormac worked hard to get to know his clergy and, in a homily of compelling humility following the media onslaught over the Hill case, he regained their trust, respect and affection

Great grand-uncle Cormac, the family man

06 September 2017 | by James Murphy-O'Connor
For me, and my siblings and our families, Cardinal Cormac was always “Uncle Cormac”, writes James Murphy-O’Connor.

The making of a poem: resurrection in verse

06 September 2017 | by Michael Symmons Roberts
One of our finest living poets describes the never-ending work of carving shapes and forms that are truthful and real from words: a process that is a form of exploration and a form of prayer

Charles Darwin’s religious beliefs have long been in dispute. He carefully avoided asserting that his theory of evolution was incompatible with Christianity, but his latest biographer is in no doubt that he deliberately concealed the loss of his faith

Within the next 15 years there will be more Christians in China than in Brazil, Mexico or the United States. Hopes are high in the Vatican of a rapprochement between the Holy See and Beijing – but a veteran China-watcher believes that an imminent deal is unlikely

Is there still a ‘Catholic vote’ in Scotland? As MSPs return to Holyrood next week after the summer recess, the editor of the country’s leading Catholic newspaper argues that it could be the key to whether the Scottish National Party will retain power at the next election

Funerals are changing, and the gap is widening between the expectations of many bereaved families and what the Church is able to deliver

The men who hid behind school gates: a survivor's story

30 August 2017 | by Graham Caveney
When a charismatic, Kafka-quoting teacher took an altar boy under his wing, his working-class parents were delighted. The man was a Catholic priest, and it was the 1970s, so they knew that their son would be in safe hands.

Total eclipse of the soul

30 August 2017
Overhead, bright stars and planets appeared. Amazingly, the sun was replaced by a jet-black spot ringed with fire

Glimpses of Eden

30 August 2017
Had I left the garden to its own devices for too long?

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 …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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”.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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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