The Pope’s new apostolic exhortation on the family calls for seminaries to include a wider engagement with marriage and family life in the preparation of candidates for the priesthood. The rector of Oscott welcomes these ideas and considers ways in which they can be put into practice
The Pope’s recent apostolic exhortation emphasises the need for the Church to be sensitive in the way it applies its teaching on marriage and relationships. A moral theologian finds precedents for this approach in diverse areas – from money lending to homosexuality in animals
Pope Francis’ visit to Lesbos last week was not only a bold humanitarian gesture – it may prove to have been a significant moment in Catholic-Orthodox relations
The dilemmas of conscience and integrity that Shakespeare wrote about are familiar to Christians today, especially to those suffering in the Middle East and Pakistan
Fantasies of freedom: EU referendum highlights English fear of being small part of something bigger Premium21 April 2016 | by Nicholas Boyle
Those campaigning for Britain to leave the EU emphasise the loss of sovereignty that membership entails. But the fear of being part of a larger entity is a very English complaint...
Building a just peace Premium21 April 2016 | by Philippa Hitchen
This month a conference in Rome urged the Church to revise its teaching on just-war theory – the ethical concept that sanctions the use of military force. Under pressure that has been growing for years, a doctrine first developed by Augustine of Hippo may be set to change
The possible existence of Planet Nine, first broached in January, has become a hot topic of speculation. Just last week, one tabloid announced that comets perturbed (pulled out of their orbits) by Planet Nine would soon lead to the demise of life on Earth! (Astronomer Phil Plait ran an amusing rebuttal in the New Scientist.) But is there actually a Planet Nine?
Vin McMullen, who died on Palm Sunday, was a truly remarkable man. From the most unpromising start in life he rose to become educator, author, voice for the voiceless and inspiration to many. He also made a crucial contribution to the development of Cafod at a turning point in its history...
The once lethal rivalry between Rangers and Celtic football clubs will be recalled tomorrow at a cup tie in Glasgow. But with the success of new laws against sectarian behaviour, how seriously should we take the apparent tribalism between fans today?
If you were to have asked people a few years ago what sort of life they wanted, they might have said “successful” or “happy”. Today, they say they are seeking an “authentic” life. Some call this the “age of authenticity”. But what does “authentic” mean?
Last week a Northern Irish woman received a three-month suspended sentence after Belfast Crown Court found her guilty of procuring her own abortion. The decision was divisive, leaving pro-choice groups arguing against “antiquated” abortion laws and pro-life campaigners criticising the sentence as too lenient. Here four pro-life groups share their response to the ruling...
'Blasphemy' court case suggests that religion is no longer the opiate of the masses for Putin and Russia12 April 2016 | by Sean Smith
A Russian man who claimed that 'God does not exist' during a heated exchange on a social media website is in danger of becoming the first victim of a new law that hints at the rising influence of the Orthodox Church on the Kremlin...
Apostolic Exhortation on the family: Pope Francis is calling for a new openness on the part of the Church Premium08 April 2016 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome
With his document on the family, Pope Francis has let a chink of light into the Church’s window. No longer is it acceptable to 'throw stones' of doctrine at those struggling in their personal lives and things are not just about the rules. What used to be black and white are various shades of grey...
With the people Premium07 April 2016
Catholic charities are playing an increasingly important role in the life of the Church and, with the decline of local government services, in society at large. This is a key conclusion of a new report by the Theos think tank, which outlines (below) its findings on how charities embody Catholic Social Teaching
Government plans to turn all schools into academies will affect 1,300 Catholic primaries. The former Education Secretary Shirley Williams fears the proposals will reduce the Church’s influence, undermine links with local communities and further damage teachers’ morale
The teacher who inspired me Premium07 April 2016 | by Caroline Wyatt
Sr Mary Totton taught me history at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Woldingham (now Woldingham School), writes Caroline Wyatt.
A new Catholic university in Kurdistan offers displaced Iraqis a reason to stay. Campbell MacDiarmid visits the campus and talks to its first students
England’s great Catholic private schools are now all under secular management. Jeremy Sutcliffe talks to the heads of Ampleforth and Downside about being handed the baton by Benedictine predecessors
Girl power Premium07 April 2016 | by Lucy Hodges
Women now far outnumber men studying at university. Lucy Hodges asks why the gender gap is widening
W.C. Field’s boast that he never drank anything stronger than gin before breakfast catches the faint air of colonial decadence that until recently hung round gin. No other spirit has spawned so many acts of parliament – eight in all. Little wonder its road to respectability has been long and rocky.
Christopher Lamb in Rome
Francis' recent meeting with Bishop Bernard Fellay is the latest evidence of a Pope who places personal reconciliation ahead of doctrine, says Christopher Lamb
Long-serving priest and formidable negotiator for Catholic education in England in the twentieth century, honoured by the Pope, and who once led a prime minister through a picket line. His crowing achievement was the development of a new university in Liverpool...
Following the conviction last week of Radovan Karadzic for genocide and war crimes, a former British Ambassador to Yugoslavia recalls the Bosnian Serbian leader he knew. Western leaders, he says, should be more outspoken about similar persecutions – this time of Christians – elsewhere
When I was a smoker, I recall that Budget Day always meant an increase in tax on tobacco. But I never stockpiled cigarettes to save money. Perhaps this indicates that no matter how much the price of a fix is increased, the addicted will always absorb it.
When rebels took up arms to oppose British rule in Ireland 100 years ago, church leaders were caught between fixed church teaching and changing public opinion
The Scottish poet George Mackay Brown drew inspiration first and foremost from his native Orkney Islands. On the twentieth anniversary of his death, his friend and biographer recalls her meetings with him there and the long road that led to his conversion to Catholicism
The Catholic-raised star of the Easter film, Risen, talks to Peter Stanford about struggling with faith
No ballot has mattered more than June’s referendum on United Kingdom membership of the European Union, according to a former European Commissioner who says it will shape both our position in the world and our identity as a nation
The way of discipleship Premium17 March 2016 | by Thomas O’Loughlin
The foot-washing ceremony during the Holy Thursday service will look different in some churches next week. A theologian and liturgist hopes that this change will lead to a recovery of the true meaning of the ritual
Putin’s endgame Premium17 March 2016 | by Mary Dejevsky
The announcement of the withdrawal of troops by the Russian President took the world by surprise. It may indicate a vote of confidence in the peace process and the Syrian state, but it may not bode so well for Bashar al-Assad
As the Mill Hill Missionaries celebrate their 150th year, a priest of their order shares how their, Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, also came to own The Tablet
The testimony by Cardinal George Pell to the Australian royal commission on child abuse was momentous for him and for the victims. But it was also highly significant for the reform programme of Pope Francis, whose third anniversary in office is marked this week
Lent this year has been an impetus for more Christians than usual to give up eating meat. Now some of them, inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’ encyclical, and by research into the environmental impact of animal husbandry, are considering a permanent change in their lifestyle
Does Christianity have a future in Syria? John Pontifex visits Homs five years on to find out Premium10 March 2016 | by John Pontifex
Five years on from the start of the Syrian civil war, the Christian population is a fraction of what it once was. Despite the hopes of the current ceasefire, the urge to leave remains strong
Last month’s general election in Ireland left the country in deep uncertainty, with no party holding a majority and none disposed to form a coalition. Many expect a rerun within a year
In the fifth of his meditations for Lent – and on the third anniversary of the election of Pope Francis – Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, recalls how he discovered the identity of the new pontiff
The European Union, with its origins in Catholic Social Teaching’s ideals of solidarity and subsidiarity, is an organisation that many Catholics instinctively support. But here, a Catholic MP explains why he remains convinced that the UK should vote on 23 June to leave
Dame Janet Smith’s report on the BBC reminds us that there is no monopoly on child abuse. But eradicating it may be more difficult for the Churches than for secular institutions
The Stations of the Cross are given a modern twist in Manchester and London this Lent with a trail taking visitors to different city-centre venues to view art works that reflect grief, loss and transformation
Although the West African state has been declared Ebola free, the virus has left a painful legacy. Survivors still suffer ill-health and communities are suspicious of each other
In the fourth of his meditations for Lent, Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, considers how easy it is to be seduced by all that glitters – and how easy it is for a merciful father to forgive
As the Church looks forward to Mother Teresa’s canonisation at the Vatican on 4 September, her life and works are also being celebrated in her Balkan homeland where several sites associated with her await pilgrims and travellers. Chris Deliso reports
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