Latest Issue: 30 August 2014
30 August 2014
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28 August 2014 by Jonathan Tulloch

Scots are soon to vote on independence. This week, in the first of two articles examining the implications of the ballot for the two countries, a writer steeped in the cultural and linguistic links between Scotland and England argues that they are indivisible

28 August 2014 by Gerard Russell

Iraqi Christians fled their ancestral homes in Mosul and Nineveh in fear of Islamic State. A former diplomat, who has toured their refugee camps in Kurdistan, describes here why he believes the community may yet survive

28 August 2014 by Melanie McDonagh

Is it unreasonable to ask elderly people where they would prefer to die and how? Some individuals think so, judging by the adverse reaction to an initiative from NHS England

28 August 2014 by Michael Pollitt

Pope Francis has chosen slavery as the theme of the forty-eighth World Day of Peace on 1 January 2015. But campaigners say a British anti-slavery bill is missing a vital element

28 August 2014 by Philippa Hitchen

Catholic and Evangelical Christians will be meeting in Germany next week. Francis is leading the way with a new approach based on empathy and a shared vision of evangelisation

28 August 2014 by Austen Ivereigh

The close collaboration between Bishop Tony Palmer and Pope Francis was ended abruptly earlier this year by the bishop’s sudden death. Back in May he spoke to the Pope’s biographer about their shared goal of unity

28 August 2014 by Rose Prince

ON SUNDAY in a rural Andalusian village, all the shops should be shut. Except there is one stall, set outside a busy local bar, breaking the normally strictly observed trading principles. A woman, probably in her mid-thirties, is selling produce from her garden: boxes of sweet-flavoured grapes, figs, eggs, jams and honey.

Previous issues

21 August 2014 by Damian Howard

The jihadist group now calling itself the Islamic State, which has terrorised religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, has declared its intention to restore the caliphate. Yet the extremists’ aims are remote from those of earlier Islamic rulers

21 August 2014 by Brendan Walsh

In Kenya earlier this month, a unique gathering met to discuss the Church in Africa and how it can contribute to the future of a continent poised at a critical juncture

21 August 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

The Archbishop of St Louis celebrated a Mass for peace and justice this week after police shot dead an unarmed black teenager in the suburb of Ferguson. The death of Michael Brown and the heavy-handed police response to street protests is a reminder of America’s stark racial divide

21 August 2014 by Kevin Rafferty

The Pope’s overarching message during his visit to Korea was one of reconciliation between North and South – and between the Vatican and the regional superpower, China

21 August 2014 by Noel O’Neill

Since 1976, Fr John Oh Wooing-jin has built Kkottongnae – the “Flower Village” – into South Korea’s largest social welfare organisation, caring for almost 4,000 homeless people, intellectually and physically disabled folk, alcoholics, elderly people and abandoned babies, writes Noel O’Neill.

21 August 2014 by Alberto Melloni

Pope Francis has suggested that Benedict XVI has paved the way for future popes to stand down and that he too may one day do so. Here, a Vatican historian says Francis’ view is correct and that those who claim otherwise are not disinterested observers

21 August 2014 by Daniel O’Leary

Darwin’s seminal work is still seen in some quarters as incompatible with Christianity. But Catholic theologians and scientists have come to see it as evidence of God’s creative dynamism

21 August 2014 by Terry Prendergast

Clinical psychiatrist and writer who transformed Catholics’ understanding and appreciation of the value of marriage

21 August 2014 by Guy Consolmagno

The european Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft arrived at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 6 August. Launched more than 10 years ago, it has now taken up an orbit around the Sun that parallels the comet’s path, to keep the comet in its cameras from a distance of only a few tens of kilometres.

14 August 2014 by Joanna Moorhead

The potential pitfalls of commercial surrogacy have emerged in the case of a Down’s syndrome baby born to a Thai woman. Yet there may be circumstances in which the Church’s ethical opposition to surrogate motherhood could be challenged

14 August 2014 by Mark R. Francis

Reactions to the Vatican’s new guidelines on the appropriate way of offering the sign of peace during Mass suggest that the real significance of the document has been misunderstood

14 August 2014 by John Pollard

When the cardinals met to elect a new pope in September 1914, Europe was at war. But the grim international situation was not the only factor that would influence the outcome

14 August 2014 by Helen Gosh

A decade of work by volunteers is uncovering an Elizabethan Northamptonshire garden rich in Catholic symbolism, which is testament to the beliefs of an English recusant

14 August 2014 by John Morrish

BITTER EXCHANGES are taking place every day on the subject of the conflict in Gaza. Some have accused the Israelis of genocide. The word has been applied more widely to the conflict in Iraq.

14 August 2014 by Ruth Gledhill

“Nun tears down Jihadi flag after it appeared at gates of Tower Hamlets estate,” wrote one newspaper after Sr Christine Frost, a Faithful Companion of Jesus, arranged for a provocative black Islamic flag to be removed from the gate of the Will Crooks estate in Poplar, east London.

07 August 2014 by Laura Sheahen

Catholic aid workers, church leaders and medical personnel are on the front line in West Africa battling to control a disease that has already claimed more than 800 lives. But the ebola virus is doing more than killing people; it is spreading fear and suspicion and wiping out whole communities

07 August 2014 by Kevin Rafferty

On Thursday, Pope Francis begins a five-day visit to South Korea, a country with a young and growing Catholic community. He will beatify more than 100 Korean martyrs, a reminder of the persecution of Christians that is continuing in North Korea

07 August 2014 by Dominic Asquith

As key players continue in Cairo to try to hammer out a more durable ceasefire to the conflict in Gaza following this week’s 72-hour truce brokered by Egypt, a former leading British diplomat in the Middle East analyses the problems both new and old faced by peacemakers

07 August 2014 by Michael McGough

What to do with thousands of lone youngsters making the hazardous journey from Central America to the US is shaping up to be an issue in this autumn’s congressional elections

07 August 2014 by Clive Barrett

A thriving international peace movement fell apart at the start of the First World War. However, those who held fast to the principle that war is incompatible with Christianity regrouped and the association that followed proved deeply influential

07 August 2014 by Paul Donovan

Two women remember how their conscientious objector grandfathers suffered for their principles

07 August 2014 by N. O’Phile

At the beginning of the year I wrote happily about Sainsbury’s expanding range, but after a recent visit to a fairly big store, I was sorry to see that some of the wines that I had recommended had disappeared.

31 July 2014 by Ivor Roberts

One hundred years ago this week, diplomacy failed and the world descended into war. Outrage at recent events in Gaza and Ukraine may be justified, but although the risks of failure are high we must not abandon diplomatic efforts to find lasting solutions in the world’s trouble spots

31 July 2014 by Oliver Rafferty

In 1914 the British Government was slow to recognise the importance for Catholic soldiers of having a chaplain alongside them. Once the issue was addressed, the courage of the men and their priests was greatly admired

31 July 2014 by Antoine de Tarlé

The French Government and the Catholic Church have condemned the anti-Semitic demonstrations which have targeted Jewish shops and synagogues in recent weeks. Here a commentator says the latest protests have had the effect of bringing together once mortal enemies

31 July 2014 by Kevin McDonald

Fifty years ago next week, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical letter Ecclesiam Suam, a groundbreaking document that changed the way the Church understood itself. No longer simply wagging a finger at the modern world, the Church began to enter into dialogue with it

31 July 2014 by Hazel Southam

The Archbishop of Canterbury has talked about competing the pay-day lender Wonga out of the market. Now the Church of England has begun to put the ambition into practice

31 July 2014 by Francis McDonagh

A distrust of economic theory and theorists is characteristic of Pope Francis’ thinking. Instead his thoughts on social policy are rooted in the Gospel and his experience of poverty and injustice in his native Argentina

31 July 2014 by Nick Spencer

Officially the UK economy may be back to where it was before the financial crash of 2008, but the gap between rich and poor is wider than ever

31 July 2014 by Harriet Meyer

With the Co-operative Bank working hard to reinvent itself after the worst losses and scandal in its 142-year history, is it wise to abandon it as it attempts to rebuild customer trust, and what are the ethical alternatives?

31 July 2014 by Rose Prince

We are moving house and I will say goodbye to our beehive clay oven. This is a wood-fired oven we got on a whim, thinking myself to be quite the primitive cook that would attempt all sorts of derring-do adventures outdoors.

31 July 2014 by Tina Beattie

Although the Vatican’s watchdog takes a dim view of doctrinal dissent, it has approved a new document that one leading theologian, who has herself questioned aspects of the Magisterium, describes as a ‘revolutionary’ text for all baptised Catholics

31 July 2014 by Edward Kessler

The search for peace between Israel and Palestine is beset by advocates on both sides unable to hear alternative voices