EXCLUSIVE: The former Irish president shares her concerns with Lorna Donlon about Brexit and Europe’s refugee crisis and the need to rebuild many of the bridges knocked down by recent political turmoil

Last week Pope Francis said he was open to the possibility of the ordination of married men. But the crisis in the priesthood is about more than a dramatic fall in numbers. A fresh model of ministry is required and in the life and work of Henri Nouwen we see what it might look like...

Luther has gone down in history as the man who shattered the unity of Western Christendom. But he was reluctant to leave the Catholic Church, and if he returned today he would find that many of the reforms he proposed have come to pass

In the third of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley is reminded by an everyday encounter that the Lord is ready for us long before we are ready for him

Just about managing Premium

16 March 2017 | by Stephen Bates
A week after the election of Pope Francis four years ago, the Anglicans installed Justin Welby as their new spiritual leader. His crisp, business-like approach contrasted with that of his predecessor, Rowan Williams, but recent events suggest there may be limits to its effectiveness

We hate to lose you… Premium

16 March 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
When Claudio Ranieri was appointed manager of Leicester City before the start of last season there was dismay from fans of the club. There was about as much dismay when the Italian got the sack last month.

It is four years on Monday since the election of a radical Argentinian bishop to the throne of St Peter. How far have his reforms progressed and what more does he hope to achieve?

In the second of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley, a novice living with a religious community in a village in Guyana, learns the importance of simplicity

The parting gift Premium

09 March 2017 | by Elena Curti
The Catholic Church is making progress in persuading the NHS to consider the spiritual needs of dying patients. But there is still resistance - and it is not confined to the medical profession

Dutch voters go the polls on Wednesday in an election that could see significant gains for Geert Wilders’ populist Freedom Party. He will owe his success to disillusioned Catholics

Despite being derided as a pointless hangover of our long-gone imperial past, some still believe the Commonwealth can find a new role for itself as Britain prepares to quit the EU

Whither the grape? Premium

09 March 2017 | by N. O’Phile
Whether you think it’s a global myth or an impending catastrophe, climate change is already having a direct impact on both the production and the character of wine in many parts of the world. Irrigation problems, vine diseases and soil erosion are just some of the production problems associated with climate change.

Marie Collins, a victim of clerical abuse as a 13-year-old, became the last remaining abuse survivor to leave the commission set up by Pope Francis to tackle the issue last week. An expert in child protection, Collins spoke to Christopher Lamb about her reasons for walking away from the Vatican...

Brexit and Donald Trump have led us to anticipate a surge in right-wing populism across Europe this year. Closer analysis suggests there may be life in the moderates yet...

The English think Catholics are ‘different’, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party tells Peter Stanford

No historical writing can entirely shake off the prejudices of its author – something that applies to Catholic as much as to Protestant accounts of the Reformation

A media-shy academic appointed to lead the archdiocese of Dublin in 1988 became a scapegoat for his predecessors’ failures to respond to the revelations about clerical sexual abuse

Lent meditation: Embracing human frailty Premium

02 March 2017 | by Theodora Hawksley
In the first of her meditations, Theodora Hawksley, a novice serving in South America, reflects on how living hand-to-mouth can help us to overcome our fear of depending on others

So much more than a game Premium

02 March 2017 | by Jimmy Burns
The dismissal of Claudio Ranieri by Leicester City’s owners underscored the truth that there is no room for sentiment in sport. But when a Spanish club banished their chaplain from the dressing room they underestimated the importance some felt of having God on their side

Michael Novak Premium

02 March 2017 | by Samuel Gregg
Prolific writer and theologian whose arguments for the non-economic foundations of capitalism were embraced by Left and Right

Small is beautiful Premium

02 March 2017 | by Rose Prince
When a food giant moves to take over another, it is news with a paradox. The financial community gets excited at the prospect of a yo-yoing of the takeover prey’s share price.

Glimpses of Eden Premium

02 March 2017 | by Jonathan Tulloch
A rustle in the hedge is followed by scuffling noises.

Pope Francis has made mercy the overriding theme of his papacy but he’s coming under fire for including abusive priests in his vision for a Church that offers forgiveness to all sinners...

An unprecedented doctrinal division has emerged in the Vatican, with some cardinals openly critical of the Pope’s document on the family and others issuing public statements supporting it. What is at stake is not who may receive Communion, but who exercises authority in the Church

Growing pains Premium

23 February 2017 | by Richard R. Gaillardetz
The debate over Amoris Laetitia is more than just a wrangle about the correct interpretation of a particular passage or footnote in a church document. Pope Francis is simply reminding us of the proper role of doctrine within athe life of the mature Church

The language of the letter from four cardinals to Pope Francis regarding their dubia is misleading in using legal discourse to discuss theological issues..

On 2 March, voters in Northern Ireland go to the polls. Will they, like the US and Brexit electorates, confound the pundits? Or will it be the same old, same old in Belfast?

The extraordinarily prolific novelist, critic and composer Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester 100 years ago this week. Although he left the Church as a teenager, Burgess maintained that he was a Catholic writer in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene and Muriel Spark

The director of London’s Southbank Centre tells Joanna Moorhead about the notions of tolerance and exploration that have inspired her latest festival project

Giving and receiving Premium

23 February 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
A paper just posted online by two Caltech astronomers describes observations at an 8-metre telescope of more than 300 faint trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), small lumps of ice orbiting out beyond Neptune.

There is a longstanding recognition in the Church that a situation might be objectively sinful yet lack subjective culpability. Every day in the real world, priests have to make that judgement

Understanding Francis Premium

16 February 2017 | by Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Two words are at the heart of the Pope’s drive to reform the Church: accompaniment and discernment. And they are key to understanding the document at the centre of increasingly heated debate, Amoris Laetitia

Sister Pauline Quinn is a Dominican tertiary who survived years of self-harm, sexual abuse and street living to become a tireless champion of the poor and outcast, of refugees and the victims or war. Her story is one of a life spent healing wounds – both her own and those of others

The child abuse trauma will have profound effects on the country’s Catholic Church for many years to come. A new generation of leaders faces an unprecedented challenge

The historic Commons debate showed how everything in Parliament is suddenly back to front: the only certainty is that the Government’s authority is unchallenged

And God created modernity Premium

16 February 2017 | by Theo Hobson
The modern world is often said to have turned its back on religious belief. But secular morality is rooted in Christianity and the two creeds should work together to resist the rise of populism

Close results Premium

16 February 2017 | by Adrian Chiles
There’s a way of pulling a face to express a mixture of bafflement, amusement and some scorn. I see it on the faces of those who ask me one or both of the following questions: Why are you so into football? And how can you believe in God? I’m asked those questions a lot.

Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong has issued a 'progress report' on the ongoing dialogue between the Beijing Government and the Vatican in which he claims that the core issue of disagreement regarding the appointment of China’s bishops is close to resolution...

The new Mass translation introduced in 2010 has few admirers. Reports that Pope Francis has established a commission to revisit the controversial document that inspired it have raised expectations of a more intelligible and prayerful missal

Don’t get your hopes up Premium

09 February 2017 | by Philip Endean
Talk of a major revision of the 2010 missal is unrealistic and premature. But the frustrations it causes are still real and there is a strong case for change

The creator of TV’s Brookside and Grange Hill tells Peter Stanford why the Church lost his respect

With the first meeting between Donald Trump and Pope Francis eagerly anticipated, the president’s unpredictable style and break with traditional politics have already created awkward dilemmas for the leaders of the US Church

Sobering stories Premium

09 February 2017 | by N. O’Phile
Wine has been faked, diluted and adulterated for profit since it was invented. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79), killed during the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, was convinced that the names of different wines were vacuous and the vintages as untrustworthy as the producers.

Hospital food is so regularly found to be poor, that any new report saying so causes barely a ripple. Some people joke that patients’ meals have to be bad or they’d never leave – only our current social care deficit and too many people stuck in hospital means this is not at all funny.

‘The Churches have disgraced themselves’ Premium

01 February 2017 | by Jon M. Sweeney
The American writer Marilynne Robinson believes Christian voters capitulated in the face of the fear and resentment that were stoked during the US election campaign. In an interview, she reflects on the reality of good and evil

God and democracy Premium

01 February 2017 | by Brendan Walsh
While he was US president, Barack Obama interviewed Marilynne Robinson about her views on the logical connection between religious humanism and a just political system

Dozens of prisoners have died in a shocking series of brutal massacres in Brazil’s prisons in recent weeks. Prison chaplains argue that only a radical reform of the system can break the cycle of violence

For many, there appears to be a marked difference between the sensibilities and behaviour of people today and those of the generation that grew up in these islands between the wars. The death of an uncle serves as a reminder of attributes that once seemed natural to everyone

Religion is not something that’s discussed in polite society. At least that’s the myth. But a year-long festival in London is confronting the big questions in a spirit of openness and tolerance

In the first of a regular feature for The Tablet online, our regional correspondents probe behind the scenes to bring us an in-depth view of the big stories around the world. First up is our US correspondent Michael Sean Winters who takes a look at Donald Trump's US presidential inauguration...

Syria: The hard road to peace Premium

25 January 2017 | by Alistair Dutton
Was the United Kingdom right to back the opposition to the Assad regime? The director of Scotland’s Catholic aid and development agency launches an excoriating attack on British foreign policy in Syria

Signs of hope amid horror Premium

25 January 2017 | by Fr Luke Gregory and Fr Bruno Varriano
From 13 to 17 January, just under one month after the Russian-backed forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad reclaimed Aleppo, two Franciscan friars, Fr Luke Gregory and Fr Bruno Varriano, drove from Lebanon to Syria’s capital Damascus, then on to its ancient second city. Aleppo had been divided into rebel and government parts since 2012, when rebels took hold of the city’s eastern districts. That set the stage for more than four years of brutal fighting and, ultimately, government bombardment that laid waste to eastern neighbourhoods. Here is Fr Luke’s account of their visit.

A new book has reinforced persistent criticism that Pope Francis is unwilling or unable to take decisive action against priests who abuse children. Some claim he has a blind spot on the issue, others that he is frustrated by resistance within the Vatican

Two million people around the world took to the streets last Saturday united in their concern at the threat they fear Donald Trump’s presidency poses for women’s rights. Yet the diversity of issues on show presented Catholic women with difficult choices

Mirror image Premium

25 January 2017 | by Guy Consolmagno
A friend studying for his doctorate at the University of Warwick recently sent me a poster advertising a talk on campus, decrying “The Worst Censorship of Research Since the Catholic Church Banned the Telescope!”

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