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News from Britain and Ireland
The numbers of people due to be received into the Church at Easter this year are at their lowest for six years.
Top Catholic secondary schools received record levels of applications this year, with hundreds of pupils competing for entry as figures across the country reveal that tens of thousands of children have missed out on their first choices, writes James Macintyre.
UKIP IS the natural home for Catholic voters and the bishops who urge caution over backing it are out of touch with the laity, the deputy leader of the UK Independence Party claimed this week, writes Paul Wilkinson.
TOP SALARIES in the faith-based charity sector are being paid by the Church Commissioners and a community of religious sisters, according to new research published by Third Sector magazine.
POPE FRANCIS is making governments around the world “sit up and take notice” thanks to the huge global impact of his pronouncements on social and economic behaviour, according to the British Ambassador to the Holy See.
A Catholic university has secured a £1.8 million grant to research the relationship between science and religion, writes Christopher Lamb.
The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has announced a £25,000 grant award for the proposed project for a Pugin and St Augustine Education, Research and Visitor Centre.
The Catholic Bishop of the Forces, Richard Moth, is among six Christian leaders who have backed a call for the Government to review its policy of legal aid cuts.
ALMOST HALF the parishes in the Diocese of Leeds are providing daily food aid, new research has shown.
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, far right, and his Church of Ireland counterpart, Archbishop Richard Clarke, stand in front of St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral which has been wrapped in a red ribbon to highlight a blood- and organ-donation campaign.
A top priest psychologist who advises the American bishops on clerical sexual abuse has said that the Irish Church’s “one Church” approach to safeguarding should serve as a model for Churches still drawing up their policies in this area.
THREE CATHOLIC politicians from the United Kingdom Independence Party are to be quizzed next week over their party’s manifesto by the bishop responsible for migrants.
CARDINAL Vincent Nichols made an impassioned call for Catholics to engage with politics in the run-up to this year’s general election for the sake of society and to avert a crisis of trust in government, writes Liz Dodd.
THE BISHOP of Paisley has endorsed an all-party statement on anti-Semitism released earlier this week by the Jewish community in Scotland expressing sadness and concern about recent terrorist murders in Paris and Copenhagen.
ATTEMPTS BY Catholic parents to save the autonomy of their local primary by converting it into a community-led school have been rebuffed by the local council, writes Brian Morton.
MORE THAN 200 MPs this week united in a cross-party effort to clarify the law that abortion solely on the basis of gender is illegal.
THE CHURCH has to learn a new approach in order not to alienate people while avoiding giving the impression that “anything goes”, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has said, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
THE UNITED Kingdom has become the world’s first country to legalise the creation of three-parent embryos, after the House of Lords voted down an attempt to delay the controversial legislation by a majority of 232.
SCHOOL INSPECTORS have come under fire from the Bishop of Shrewsbury this week, in an escalation of the Church’s row with the Government’s education regulator, Ofsted.
A REPORT by a committee of MPs has backed parents who want to remove their children from sex education classes and has recommended that schools consult parents on the content of lessons, writes Liz Dodd.
THE CHURCH of England has this week intervened directly for the first time in a general election campaign urging people to consider carefully why they vote, writes Paul Wilkinson.
THE BISHOP responsible for evangelisation in England and Wales has unveiled a radical plan for reform in his own diocese and encouraged parishes to take risks or face extinction.
OPPONENTS OF a proposed law giving same-sex couples access to adoption and other parental rights such as IVF treatment claim it “commodifies children and puts the wants of adults before the needs of children”.
A new rural officer post has been created by the Church in England and Wales in order to help bolster ministry in this area.
A NEW CENTRE was launched last week in Hertfordshire to tackle problems such as social isolation, youth exclusion and intellectual disability, writes Paul Wilkinson.
SHADOW EDUCATION Secretary Tristram Hunt was this week accused of “breathtaking ignorance and bigotry” after he appeared to suggest that nuns were second-rate teachers without qualifications.
A PROPOSED restructuring of parishes in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh is planning for a reduction in the number of full-time priests to about 30 by 2035, writes Brian Morton.
THE POPE’S remarks backing the smacking of badly behaved children have been criticised as “most unhelpful” by a British survivor of clerical sexual abuse who is now a member of the Vatican’s child protection commission.
MOST BRITISH churchgoers believe politicians are fixated on short-term goals, according to a poll organised jointly by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Church Action on Poverty, writes Joanna Moorhead.
BRITAIN’s first independent anti-slavery commissioner is to travel to Poland to advise the country’s bishops on tackling human trafficking, writes Liz Dodd.
THE PRINCE of Wales said this week that he will take on the role of “Defender of the Faith”, which he envisages as being the protector of all faiths, writes Joanna Moorhead.
LEADERS OF all the religious orders working in the Archdiocese of Dublin have been told to review their application of child protection rules.
GORDON BROWN this week paid tribute to the Scottish Catholic aid charity Sciaf, saying it offered people the hope that they can build a better world.
TACTICS USED by the “yes” lobby in this week’s “three-parent” baby vote revealed an aggressive secularisation that depicted faith figures as uncaring and dogmatic while scientists were presented as caring and compassionate, according to the Catholic MP who led the opposition to the move.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said freedom of religion is a fundamental human right and that Christians should speak up when Muslims are attacked, writes Abigail Frymann Rouch.
A PRO-LIFE charity said this week it plans to raise funds to help two Catholic midwives now facing a six-figure bill for costs following a recent unsuccessful legal battle over their being forced to supervise nurses involved with abortion procedures, writes Joanna Moorhead.
RELIGIOUS BROADCASTING on BBC radio dropped by 37 per cent last year, according to figures from the corporation.
TALKS AIMED at reconciling a leading Irish advocate of church reform with Rome were due to be held in Dublin this week.
THE CHIEF regulator for education in England and Wales has said some faith schools have not done enough to promote social cohesion and provide multicultural teaching.
THE DIOCESE of Dunkeld has called for an urgent effort of re-evangelisation to win back the unexpectedly large numbers of Scots who identify as Catholics but no longer attend Mass, marry in the Church or baptise their children.
TWO BISHOPS have criticised the depiction of St Thomas More in the BBC dramatisation of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, writes Liz Dodd.
A judge has said that priests and imams could be committing the offence dating from the nineteenth century of “spiritual influence” if they instruct congregations to vote for certain candidates.
THE BBC is to dispense with a dedicated commissioning editor for religious programmes following a decision to fund fewer independent productions as part of its drive to cut costs, writes Christopher Lamb.
The aid agency Cafod denied having plans to sack paid staff and replace them with volunteers as part of a programme to restructure the Catholic aid charity, writes Joanna Moorhead.
ALMOST ONE in two British adults has been to a church in the past year, with attending a religious service being the reason for a third of visits, according to the results of a new poll.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Armagh, Eamon Martin, has said he would like to help the governors of the last three Catholic grammar schools in his diocese find a way to end the academic selection of students, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
THE BRITISH Government should put aside a short-term view on Europe and avoid taking a “backward step” on integration, one of the European Union’s leading economists and a former Prime Minister of Italy told an audience at an Oxford University inaugural lecture last week.
Seventy-three MPs have signed an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill that would make it illegal for a pregnancy to be terminated on the grounds of the sex of the unborn child, writes Joanna Moorhead.
A LETTER signed by more than 200 supporters of Cafod claims that help for the poorest people in the world would be put at risk if the charity goes ahead with plans to cut jobs and restructure.
THE CATHOLIC Education Service has apologised to a senior educationalist following a row over planned changes by the Government to the religious education syllabus, writes Christopher Lamb.
A HUGE DISPARITY in the proportion of men and women who believe in God, a higher number of doubters among Catholics than in other denominations, and the fact that only one in four Britons thinks religion is a force for good are among the revelations of research released this week.
A CATHOLIC MP says he is “hugely disappointed” with the response of the Prime Minister to his concerns over the conscience clause of the current abortion law.
A RETREAT and conference centre run by the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy is to close its doors after 114 years, writes Joanna Moorhead.
ARCHBISHOP OF Dublin Diarmuid Martin has confirmed he will attend this October’s follow-up Synod on the Family in Rome and has invited Catholics to take part in a diocesan-wide discussion ahead of the gathering.
A CATHOLIC charity for the homeless may be forced to close down its rough-sleeper centre following a withdrawal of support by the London Borough of Newham, writes Paul Donovan.
THE MILLIONS-STRONG Je Suis Charlie march in Paris protesting at the killings by Islamist terrorists has created further divisions in French society, according to L’Arche founder Jean Vanier (pictured right).
The Prime Minister has said there is a right to offend someone’s religious faith, disagreeing with Pope Francis’ comments on freedom of speech.
The historic ordination of the first woman bishop in the Church of England has already made an impact on ecumenical relations, the Catholic archbishop responsible for dialogue and unity said this week.
A LEADING Catholic educationalist is urging the Church in England and Wales to consider reversing its decision not to open any new Catholic academies.
AN MP HAS written to the Prime Minister calling for him to protect the consciences of those in administrative positions in the National Health Service who do not want to be involved in abortion procedures, writes Christopher Lamb.
THE CHURCH OF England needs to promote “numerical growth” and reach out to the world through digital and social media, according to a strategy paper written by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, writes Christopher Lamb.
A FUND-RAISING campaign by the Archdiocese of Westminster has raised almost £40 million in gifts and pledges.
A DELEGATION of Catholic bishops from across the world was unable to enter Gaza to say Mass at a local parish after being held up for eight hours by Israeli security forces.
At a Mass held in solidarity with the people of France, the Archbishop of Dublin called for dialogue and respect following the terrorist attacks in Paris last week, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A CROSS-BENCH peer is to argue later this week in the House of Lords that the High Court alone should decide whether a terminally ill patient can end their own life early, writes Christopher Lamb.
THE ASSISTED Dying Bill, which will return to its committee stage in the House of Lords next week, is likely to founder, but anti-euthanasia campaigners warned the threat will not disappear, and that a similar bill is very likely to be presented during the next parliament.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Glasgow has paid tribute to the lives of three members of the same family killed in the Glasgow bin-lorry tragedy, in a homily that described their deaths as “random, cruel and meaningless”, writes Liz Dodd.
RECENTLY DECLASSIFIED papers show that the late Donald Dewar consulted Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street about proposed reform, or even the scrapping, of the 1701 Act of Settlement, writes Brian Morton.
TWO PROMINENT pro-lifers are among the many Catholics to have been honoured in the New Year list.
A CATHOLIC former MP has said the growth of food banks is a step back to the nineteenth-century era of the workhouse.
RENEWAL IN the Irish Church will not be achieved “by throwing books of dogma” at people, the Archbishop of Dublin has warned.
POLITICIANS NEED to be more religiously literate and speak more carefully about the links between religion and security, according to a Conservative MP this week.
PRINTING OF THE Catholic Directory of England and Wales is to cease after 175 years although an online version will continue to appear, writes Christopher Lamb.
A LEADING IRISH priest has warned that opposing proposed same-sex marriage legislation is a battle the Church is “destined to lose”, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Priests should not rush to judgement about the rights and wrongs of “irregular” couples and patchwork families, the bishops’ conference of England and Wales has warned.
The quality of theological research undertaken by Heythrop College has dramatically improved, according to a major assessment of the expertise of British universities.
A religious sister who has taken charge of two Catholic churches in the south of England has been “warmly welcomed” by her parishioners, according to the priest who says Sunday Mass there.
Open and unhindered debate by all sides of opinion must be heard ahead of May’s referendum in the Republic of Ireland on gay marriage, according to the Archbishop of Armagh, saying that it was a chance for faith groups to put their case.
A group of snow-stranded coach passengers have paid tribute to the Catholic parishioners who opened their church and its hall, and provided them with hot drinks, mince pies and a place to shelter for the night, writes Joanna Moorhead.
A deeper understanding of spirituality is needed to address problems such as political alienation, the ecological crisis and the decline in trust in major public institutions, according to a new report from the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
With the church ablaze with candles, the Christ Child in the crib and the choir singing their carols at perfect pitch, Midnight Mass is at the heart of Christmas. But according to a Tablet survey, it is on its way to becoming a thing of the past.
Philip Tartaglia, the Archbishop of Glasgow, has expressed his dismay at a legal ruling against two Catholic midwives who objected to supervising nurses involved in abortion procedures, writes Christopher Lamb.
The west London Orthodox cathedral visited by the Prince of Wales on Wednesday 17 December is habitually treated with profound disrespect by local Sunni Muslims, the Syriac Orthodox archbishop for the UK has told The Tablet.
Paul Barber, the Church’s education director, has met the Government’s chief schools’ inspector to “set the record straight” about a Catholic secondary school that was listed as failing to deal effectively with extremism and radicalism, writes Christopher Lamb.
According to the chairman of the Catholic Education Service (CES), the Archbishop of Liverpool Malcolm McMahon, the faith admissions’ cap on new academies could be removed by the next government, writes Christopher Lamb.
The former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has been appointed as a professor at St Mary’s University in London. She will teach a MA course in Irish studies, undertake research and give two public lectures at the Catholic university’s Centre for Law and Culture.
Vatican procedures for dealing with censured priests need to be reformed, the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), which represents more than 1,000 Irish priests, has told Pope Francis.
A leading campaigner against sexual abuse in England and Wales has been appointed to the Vatican commission for the protection of children, writes Christopher Lamb.
Christmas is a time for reflecting on our faith and reconnecting with its saving truth. No matter where we are in our lives, or the hardships that we face, Christ is there with us. That is the fundamental message of this great feast. God’s irrevocable choice is to be with us.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”.
A catholic children’s agency has been taken over by a secular charity, The Tablet can report. Cabrini, formerly known as the Catholic Children’s Society, which was founded 127 years ago, has transferred all of its adoption, fostering and residential services to the Diagrama Foundation and now describes itself as “non-operational”.
NORTHERN IRELAND’s bishops have announced the end of the Church’s relationship with a major adoption-service provider in the province following legislation upholding the legal right of same-sex couples to adopt, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
WORK AND Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has defended cuts to welfare payments following criticism of them by senior church leaders, writes Christopher Lamb.
ST MARY’S UNIVERSITY has been selected by Home Secretary Theresa May to house a specialist research centre to investigate strategies to combat slavery and human trafficking.
A PRIEST who left active ministry after falling in love with a woman is being replaced by a married priest, writes Joanna Moorhead.
A former pub will be the setting for a Christmas lunch for 38 homeless people following a nun’s successful fight to turn it into a hostel.
THE HUGE variety of backgrounds, economic circumstances and ethnicities worshipping side by side in Catholic churches has been recognised by new research, writes Joanna Moorhead.
The Prince of Wales said this week that killing in the name of faith is blasphemy and warned that online videos of executions by Islamic extremists take the world back “into the dark ages”, writes Abigail Frymann Rouch.
HEYTHROP COLLEGE has announced it is no longer accepting undergraduate students in a move that makes a planned partnership with St Mary’s University increasingly necessary in order to secure its future.
A PARTNERSHIP between St Mary’s University and Heythrop College would be the most significant development in Catholic higher education in the past 50 years, writes Christopher Lamb.
THE PERCENTAGE of pupils claiming free school meals in Catholic schools remains below the national average, according to the Catholic Education Service (CES) annual census, published this week.
DEPAUL UK, a homelessness charity founded to continue the work of St Vincent de Paul, has appointed its first Jewish chairperson of trustees, writes Joanna Moorhead.
AN ORDINARIATE priest who is hoping to buy a former Methodist church in the West Country said this week he hoped it would enable his congregation to reach out more effectively to the local community.
A LEADING pro-life campaigner has said that the Scottish people should “welcome” the possibility that abortion law will be devolved to Holyrood, writes Brian Morton.
GLASGOW’S ARCHBISHOP Philip Tartaglia marked the first anniversary of the Clutha Vaults helicopter crash with a homily in which he told the bereaved families of the 10 who died that “the remaining pain in your heart is the undying fire of love”, writes Brian Morton.
THE QUEST for perfection is piling too much pressure on teenage girls, according to the head teacher of a leading Catholic independent school.
A NEW study on Irish priests’ views of celibacy and obedience has revealed a split in the attitudes of younger and older priests, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A swift and united response by religious leaders helped to avert a “dangerous and polarising situation” in the wake of the Lee Rigby murder, according to the UK Ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker.
The man in charge of Labour’s policy review, Jon Cruddas, said this week that the party leaders are nervous of taking up the new direction that would be required to implement Catholic Social Teaching (CST), writes Elena Curti.
Pope Francis has appointed two men known for their extensive pastoral experience to dioceses in Scotland and Ireland, write Sarah Mac Donald and Brian Morton.
MANY IN Britain have forgotten the basic facts of Christianity, which at its heart helps people understand those who suffer from oppression, neglect or poverty, according to the Archbishop of Birmingham, writes Liz Dodd.
A MAJOR international partnership between the Church and law enforcement agencies is to be announced at next week’s meeting of the Santa Marta group to combat human trafficking.
Politicians in both Palestine and Israel must recognise that there is more to leadership than security and aggression, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said this week on his first visit to Gaza, an experience he described as “very dramatic and traumatic”, writes Joanna Moorhead.
Benedictus, a Catholic liberal arts college to be based in London, said this week it aims to enrol its first students in autumn 2016, writes Joanna Moorhead.
PRAY AT WORK, do not gossip and be fair in your dealings with others: these are some of the ideas put forward by the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in an evangelisation drive inspired by Pope Francis.
The Chairman of Heythrop’s board of governors has resigned as crucial talks about the future of the Jesuit-run college in west London take place.
A DEBATE ON abortion organised by an Oxford University pro-life group was cancelled this week after students planned a protest to disrupt the event, writes Katherine Backler.
NEW GUIDANCE for Catholics on putting current equality law into practice was published this week by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, writes Joanna Moorhead.
CARDINAL VINCENT Nichols said this week that he believes Pope Francis appreciates the experience of the English Catholic Church in learning to exist in a culture that does not always agree with it.
MEN FROM ethnic minorities are to be targeted in an effort to boost numbers at seminaries in Britain.
NEXT YEAR’s Synod on the Family must take issues such as Communion for the divorced and remarried and cohabitation off the agenda, according to a leading American conservative prelate.
MEMBERS OF the first diocesan synod in Ireland for half a century should challenge Catholics about being part-time Christians who are simply clients of “an ecclesiastical franchise”.
THE NEW Bishop of Leeds has been warned that holding episcopal office is “dangerous” and that service must be at the centre of his ministry, writes Christopher Lamb.
FIFTY JOBS are to be axed by the Catholic aid agency for England and Wales as part of plans to cut costs by £3 million.
RADICAL PLANS to deal with the crisis caused by a dwindling number of both priests and Massgoers in Hexham and Newcastle diocese are to be revealed this weekend, writes Joanna Moorhead.
POPE FRANCIS is to publish an encyclical on climate change and plans to convene a meeting of faith leaders on the issue ahead of two crucial summits on the environment next year, writes Christopher Lamb.
PUPILS AT Catholic schools are teaching their parents about their faith rather than the other way round, according to the surprising findings published this week of a research paper on evangelisation in England and Wales.
WORK BY the Catholic Education Service has ensured that changes to the religious studies GCSE syllabus to make it more academic, and compel the study of two religions instead of one, will maintain a Catholic ethos, writes Joanna Moorhead.
THE FIRST prior of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace, which will bring together young Christians of all denominations, was announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury this week.
Birmingham is reinstating its Nativity Trail at the city’s art gallery, just a year after it was dropped as a regular feature of its Christmas celebrations, writes Paul Wilkinson.
One of Ireland’s most senior bishops has warned that the Church is witnessing the last vestiges of Christendom.
The PRINCE of Wales this week spoke again of his despair at the plight of Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in northern Iraq and Syria.
A senior Conservative minister, Eric Pickles, has admitted the Government gets irritated by the interventions of church leaders, but at the same time says it is good to listen to what they have to say, writes Joanna Moorhead.
A PARISH PRIEST has refused a request from the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis to either cancel or change the venue of a talk by the reforming Irish priest Fr Tony Flannery.
PUPILS, STAFF and parents at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds say they have drawn strength from their faith and from messages of support from around the world, according to head teacher Steve Mort, following the jailing this week of a 16-year-old boy for the killing of Ann Maguire, writes Joanna Moorhead.
FR GERARD W. HUGHES, the author of the best-selling God of Surprises, who died this week, was “an uneasy prophet who sought God in the turmoil, rather than in the tranquillity, of the status quo”, according to the Jesuit provincial in Britain.
A RETIRED vicar’s campaign against the effect the council tax has on the poorest people in society has been boosted by two court victories, writes Joanna Moorhead.
GUIDANCE FOR Catholics voting in next year’s general election will be discussed when English and Welsh bishops gather in Leeds next week for their biannual meeting, writes Christopher Lamb.
LANGUAGE USED at the Synod on the Family to describe gay relationships was “revolutionary”, according to Ireland’s senior archbishop, welcoming the changes signalled by the meeting in Rome last month.
The BISHOP of Portsmouth has spoken of his sadness and the importance of obedience while reflecting on the resignation of Kieran Conry, the former bishop of the neighbouring diocese of Arundel and Brighton, who stood down last month following a relationship with a female parishioner.
CHURCH VOLUNTEERS and premises are playing a key part in tackling the problem of homelessness in London, according to a new report, which reveals that almost 450 religious buildings are being used as night shelters, with 1,577 people being helped over the last year, writes Joanna Moorhead.
INCIDENTS OF child sexual abuse cannot be made a special case in the confessional with absolution conditional on disclosure to the police, a priest who works with abuse victims said this week.
Six Catholic cathedrals have received almost £1.5 million in the second round of grants awarded by the Government to fund repairs on the buildings to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.
PROMOTING vocations must be more than mere “paper pushing’, priests at a conference in Maynooth were told last weekend, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Conflict resolution and communication are key components of a new wedding preparation course run by the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
GOVERNMENT PLANS to ensure that GCSE religious studies pupils focus on at least two religions rather than just one are likely to be welcomed by the Church, writes Joanna Moorhead.
THE SYNOD ON the Family has sounded a “trumpet call” for marriage while adopting a new pastoral tone and language that sees the good in unions that fall short of Church teaching, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said this week.
The Archbishop of York has said he is “deeply ashamed” that the Church of England failed to stop abuse by a former dean of Manchester, Robert Waddington, writes Christopher Lamb.
THE PROPORTION of British people identifying themselves as Anglican has halved in the past 50 years, while the proportion of Roman Catholics has remained largely steady, according to new data, write Joanna Moorhead and Liz Dodd.
A SENIOR Catholic MP has accused the Government of putting migrants’ health at risk by restricting their access to free health care.
THE FORMER head of the church body set up to protect children in Ireland this week attacked the country’s bishops, accusing them of “minimal responses and empty gestures” when dealing with clerical abuse.
THE CATHOLIC aid agency Cafod has called on politicians to use Catholic Social Teaching (CST) as a moral framework to reboot the British economy.
CHRISTIANS ACROSS Britain are being asked to pray and fast on the first day of each month in an attempt to focus attention on climate issues in the run-up to the next big international summit, which takes place in Paris in a year’s time, writes Joanna Moorhead.
POLITICIANS HAVE backed a Catholic approach to tackling the global economic crisis, as the Archbishop of Canterbury invited young bankers to spend a year praying with him at Lambeth Palace to form them for life in the City.
THE disbanding of a group set up to select a new Bible translation for use during Mass in the English-speaking Church was described this week as an “opportunity lost”, writes Liz Dodd.
The ARCHBISHOP of Southwark, Peter Smith, has ordered an inquiry into the events that led to the resignation of Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, who stepped down this month after admitting he had broken his priestly vows, writes Joanna Moorhead.
CATHOLIC HEAD teachers must be offered better support if faith schools are to combat a dramatic fall in the number of people applying for senior roles, new findings reveal, writes Joanna Moorhead.
CATHOLIC VOLUNTARY secondary schools in Ireland are at a serious disadvantage because they receive less support than state counterparts, a report has revealed, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
THE AID charity Progressio is pulling out of its 30-year mission in the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, once brutally occupied by Indonesian forces, because of a funding shortfall, writes Paul Wilkinson.
WOMEN IN Killaloe in County Clare who successfully campaigned for the deferral of the permanent all-male diaconate in the diocese are calling for money set aside for the project to be diverted to training the laity.
THE SOCIETY of Jesus in Britain has revealed plans to entice more people to go on retreat by offering online programmes, with personal spiritual direction via Skype.
THE CATHOLIC Church in England and Wales has backed an ecumenical campaign encouraging blood and organ donation, writes Paul Wilkinson.
A SENIOR Catholic peer has criticised the Synod on the Family for excluding women and called for greater equality in the Church’s decision-making.
THE NUMBER of annulments in the United Kingdom has declined dramatically over the past 10 years, according to figures seen by The Tablet.
VOCATIONS ARE a top priority for the Church in Ireland, according to the newly elected president of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A REPORT that criticised a Catholic secondary school for failing to make pupils aware of the dangers of radicalism has been withdrawn by Ofsted, writes?Joanna Moorhead.
PARISH PRIESTS have to deal with people who are gay or using contraceptives, and do so without being judgmental, according to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, writes Joanna Moorhead.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury has conceded that the Lambeth Conference expected to take place in 2018 will be delayed, possibly by two years, amid continuing division concerning gay clergy and women bishops.
FAMILIES OF soldiers named on a “unique” war memorial at the University of Roehampton are being invited to attend a remembrance service there on 11 November, writes?Joanna Moorhead.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and the Archbishop of Southwark have sent messages of support to parishes in Arundel and Brighton shaken by the sudden resignation of their bishop over an affair.
LABOUR HAS denied claims that a move to legalise assisted suicide will be part of its party manifesto for next year’s general election, writes Christopher Lamb.
SALFORD’S NEW bishop has pledged to follow Pope Francis’ exhortation to stay close to his people and is considering giving up his episcopal residence, a Grade I listed manor house.
SUPPORTERS OF women’s ordination have pledged their support for Catholic theologian Tina Beattie, who as The Tablet revealed last week, has been banned from speaking on church property in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A PARTNERSHIP between Heythrop College and St Mary’s University appears more likely after it was announced that talks between the two Catholic institutions are to continue.
MONEY FOR toilets, leaking roofs and crumbling spires topped the list of funding requests made to the National Churches Trust grant programme last year, writes Liz Dodd.
ONE OF THE largest Catholic charities in the United Kingdom has appointed its first female chief executive, writes Joanna Moorhead.
A FEMALE Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh from speaking on church property in his diocese.
MORE THAN half of Scotland’s Catholics voted in favour of independence in last week’s referendum, according to research published this week, writes Brian Morton.
THE CHURCH may have forgotten the importance of mercy in recent decades but allowing Communion for divorced and remarried couples would require a “radical rethink” in teaching, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said this week.
OBESITY, alcoholism, diabetes and smoking could be tackled more effectively if public-health bodies worked more closely with faith-based organisations, according to a report out this week.
Falling numbers and an ageing membership are forcing the Dominicans in Ireland to withdraw from running four parishes.
GAY-RIGHTS charity Stonewall is dropping its controversial “Bigot of the Year” award.
NO PARISH funds have been used in a renovation of the curial offices and bishop’s residence, the diocese of Down and Connor said this week following criticism of the two-year project, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
The newly appointed Bishop of Leeds this week pledged himself to frugal management and to a policy of listening to the people of his diocese, which has suffered financial difficulties in recent years.
PROTESTS BY parishioners have forced an Irish bishop to postpone the introduction of a permanent diaconate in his diocese, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
OLDER churchgoers should not frown or be put off by the sound of children in church, the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, Kieran Conry, said this week.
A LAY REFORM group has criticised the Irish Church’s decision to choose a nun and not a lay married representative to attend October’s Synod on the Family in Rome, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has told Catholic theologians they need to have the “smell of the sheep”.
A PROMINENT Catholic historian has claimed the United Kingdom is close to being a failed state, a month after declaring his support for Scottish independence, writes Kathleen Nutt.
ALL HALLOWS College in Dublin has instructed the American multinational commercial property company, CBRE, to oversee the sale of its campus, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
THE newly appointed Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, who also becomes Primate of All Ireland, says he wants to see a “humble renewal” of the Irish Church led from the bottom up by the laity.
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would require its own nuncio, it emerged this week, writes Christopher Lamb.
INCONVENIENT Mass timings are putting off non-practising Catholic parents from returning to church, according to new research published on Thursday, writes Liz Dodd.
JONATHAN RUFFER, the City investment adviser and philanthropist, says he was inspired to bankroll the £60 million redevelopment of the former palace of the Bishop of Durham during an Ignatian retreat at St Beuno’s College in North Wales four years ago, writes Paul Wilkinson.
CARDINAL Vincent Nichols has attacked the extremist group Islamic State (IS), describing the depth and scale of the barbarity it perpetrates as “unconscionable”
LETTERS WRITTEN by the wife of assassinated United States President John Kennedy to an Irish priest and held by the Vincentians have been returned to her family, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Cuts to subsidised faith-school transport revealed by The Tablet last week mean poorer Catholics are no longer able to afford to send their children to church schools, according to parents and MPs.
Schools may be failing in their obligations to teach religious studies after the numbers taking exams in the subject at GCSE level dramatically declined, writes Joanna Moorhead.
Scotland’s archbishops have urged Catholics to vote in the country’s forthcoming independence referendum while stressing their own neutral position on the vote, writes Brian Morton and Christopher Lamb.
Chemin Neuf, the ecumenical Christian community, has moved in to the former Carmelite monastery at Sclerder Abbey in Cornwall.
The Catholic shrine at Walsingham is looking for a new director after the Marist Fathers announced they were leaving after almost 50 years, writes Christopher Lamb.
The introduction of the permanent diaconate in the Diocese of Killaloe has been met with opposition from some women who reject the idea of another male-only ministry.
Ireland’s first new Catholic secondary school in 30 years opened its doors this week in a west Dublin suburb, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Cardinal George Pell will be in Britain next week to mark the official opening of a centre of new evangelisation, writes Joanna Moorhead.
FREE TRANSPORT to and from faith schools has effectively been scrapped in England’s countryside, according to an investigation by The Tablet.
LEADING ACADEMICS have backed Professor Sir Tom Devine’s call for a “yes” vote in the upcoming Scottish referendum.
FALLING NUMBERS of vocations could see ancient parishes wiped out, according to the co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests this week.
FOUR WOMEN of the Year have been chosen by representatives of Catholic women’s organisations and lay movements, writes Liz Dodd.
MORE THAN 1,000 people attended a charismatic-style “healing mission” at a Catholic cathedral in Aberdeen last weekend, writes Brian Morton.
BRITONS WHO join extremist Islamic groups in the Middle East should have their passports revoked, a former Archbishop of Canterbury suggested this week, while the current Archbishop of York condemned the Government’s response to those fleeing persecution in Iraq.
THE BISHOP of Paisley has offered “prayerful support” to families and communities affected by the closure of the last surviving shipyard on the Lower Clyde and the only yard still building merchant vessels, writes Brian Morton.
Leading theologians have criticised the closure of a university’s postgraduate theology and ministry programme as “deeply regrettable”.
The number of students taking religious studies at A level in England has almost doubled in a decade, according to new figures, writes Ruth Gledhill.
The Chief Executive of the Catholic charity Marriage Care welcomed the Government’s greater commitment to supporting marriage pledged by the Prime Minister in a ringing endorsement of family life in London this week.
A major survey hoping to garner examples of how religious faith is treated in the workplace in Britain has been launched, writes Christopher Lamb.
The Catholic Union has criticised the decision by Travelodge to remove Bibles from its hotel rooms, writes Ruth Gledhill.
A leading Catholic aid charity has called on governments to challenge businesses that exploit the poor and the environment.
The Bishop of Motherwell has told a sheriff court that a priest “booby-trapped” a church house following attempts to evict him, writes Brian Morton.
A leading Catholic historian has lent his weight to the pro-independence movement by announcing that he will vote “Yes” in the forthcoming Scottish referendum, writes Brian Morton.
Ireland’s new abortion law’s first test case has seen a rape victim denied an abortion, then her baby delivered by Caesarean section at 25 weeks, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A senior English Benedictine house is considering its future after the retirement of its abbot and the decision not to immediately appoint a successor.
St Mary’s Cathedral in Aberdeen is to host a three-day “healing mission” run by a group offering the charismatic-style laying-on of hands, writes Brian Morton.
Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi called for David Cameron to “seriously consider” authorising targeted military action to save the lives of religious minorities driven from their homes by jihadists in northern Iraq.
The 77-year-old nun who twice arranged for a provocative black Islamic flag to be removed from the gate of the Will Crooks Estate in Poplar, east London, has called for extra funding to help with training and employment for the area’s young men.
The Church of England has made its largest single property sale, writes Ruth Gledhill.
The leader of the Anglican Church in Ireland has rejected the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey’s stance on assisted dying, describing it as “perplexing”.
The Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Seán Brady, has submitted his resignation as Archbishop of Armagh as he today reaches the episcopal retirement age of 75, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
NEW DRAFT guidelines on NHS chaplaincies could seriously undermine the work of Catholic chaplains in hospitals, it was claimed this week.
The church has expressed its regret at the resignation of Baroness Warsi as Minister for Faith and Communities. Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi stood down on Wednesday, saying that she could no longer support what she called the Government's “morally indefensible” approach to the Gaza conflict, writes Ruth Gledhill.
THE CENTENARY of the outbreak of the First World War was marked at Westminster Abbey on Monday with a service focusing on peace, repentance and reconciliation.
Jeremy Pemberton, a canon and Church of England hospital chaplain, is seeking legal advice after he had the offer of another chaplaincy job withdrawn because his bishop has refused him a licence, writes Ruth Gledhill.
POLICE HAVE questioned the Bishop of Gloucester, Michael Perham, over allegations of indecent assault on a girl under 18 and a woman.
A LEADING Irish theologian has criticised Vatican action to silence Fr Tony Flannery and suspend him from ministry, describing it as “theologically inept”.
THE SCOTTISH town of Coatbridge has said farewell to the De La Salle order, which has served in the Lanarkshire community for 40 years, writes Brian Morton.
THE FUTURE of Catholic education in Wales could be jeopardised by the ending of subsidised transport for pupils at faith schools, the head teacher of a church secondary school said this week, writes Joanna Moorhead.
Faith groups and voluntary and local-authority leaders in Birmingham are negotiating a pioneering “social-action covenant” to remove mistrust and promote collaboration across a range of projects.
Up to one in 10 Catholic priests are former Church of England clergy, according to new figures, writes Ruth Gledhill.
One of the Church in England and Wales’ landmark lay ministry courses has ended due to a lack of students and funding.
Pope Francis’ courage is causing disquiet among those with “a very conformist and closed Catholicism”, the Archbishop of Dublin has warned, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
In a news story published in the 26 July 2014 edition of The Tablet headed “Church builds bridges with abuse survivors”, we referred to a High Court judgment which held that Portsmouth Diocese could be vicariously liable for alleged abuse by its priests.
Peace groups around the country will call for an end to war as Catholic and other religious leaders join vigils, services and commemorations to mark the centenary of Britain’s entry into the First World War on Monday.
The Church must be willing to accept criticism from the secular world as “prophetic”, a gathering of Catholics seeking to influence public life has been told, writes Christopher Lamb.
A veteran peace campaigner has called on Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land to be better informed on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, writes Christopher Lamb.
Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, which would allow doctors in England and Wales to administer a lethal dose of drugs to sound-of-mind terminally ill patients with less than six months to live, had its second reading in the Lords on Friday, write Ruth Gledhill and Hannah Roberts.
THE HEADMASTER of a prominent Catholic secondary school has hit back at a government body’s ruling that its admissions policy favoured white middle-class pupils, writes Liz Dodd.
Writer and broadcaster Mary Colwell has criticised the church hierarchy for failing to speak out more forcefully on the environment.
PARISHIONERS OF an Edinburgh church threatened with closure over mounting debts have petitioned the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh to save what they describe as a “community hub”, writes Brian Morton.
THE ASSOCIATION of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland has criticised the decision to appoint Judge Yvonne Murphy to oversee the Commission of Investigation into church-run mother and baby homes.
A prominent Catholic secondary school has been ordered to change its admissions procedures after the school’s adjudicator found it was favouring white middle-class pupils.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, joined leaders of the main faiths and Christian denominations in Britain to condemn the Assisted Dying Bill.
Heythrop College has announced it is in talks with St Mary’s University about forging a new partnership after struggling with a budget shortfall and fewer students.
A former sacristan for the Knights of Malta has pleaded guilty to nine sex offences including those against boys as young as 11 he had met in the 1960s and 1970s.
The Irish hierarchy is in denial about the critical shortage of priests and the collapse in vocations, according to the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland.
Churches are to be open all day in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games and a daily Mass will be said at the athletes’ village for participants and officials, writes Brian Morton.
Negative attitudes towards the Church and its leadership have increased in recent years due to hostility to official teaching and clerical sexual abuse, a new academic study has found.
Concern is growing that access to abortion may be included in the 15-year UN development programme that will replace the Millennium Development Goals from the end of next year.
The bishops of England and Wales have pledged their full backing for the new public inquiry into child abuse.
All office holders in the Church of England are to have a “duty” to follow the guidance and standards in safeguarding procedures for the first time under proposals to be debated at the General Synod in York.
Catholics have allowed the Mass to become part of the consumer society through their sense of entitlement about receiving Holy Communion, according to the bishop responsible for the liturgy.
Young people need to find silence away from the noise of social media in order to encounter God, the archbishop in charge of New Evangelisation has said.
Four catholic cathedrals are among the 22 who will benefit from £5 million in the first round of grants from the First World War Centenary Cathedral repair fund, writes Ruth Gledhill.
CATHOLIC SCHOOLS with a majority of Muslim pupils should provide them with prayer rooms and allow them to adapt their uniforms, according to a leading Catholic expert on Islam.
CARDINAL VINCENT Nichols told bishops to reject power during a ceremony to ordain the new Bishop of Brentwood, Alan Williams, on Tuesday, writes Liz Dodd.
GOVERNORS OF Catholic schools have criticised the National Governors’ Association (NGA) for advocating the abolition of compulsory Christian assemblies in schools.
NEW Archbishops of Liverpool and Edinburgh were among 24 prelates to receive the pallium from Pope Francis in Rome on Sunday, writes Liz Dodd.
METHODISTS celebrated more than twice as many funerals as baptisms last year, as latest figures show a decline in membership of one-third over the last decade.
THE BISHOP of Shrewsbury has denounced the “false mercy” put forward in Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill and has warned that the sanctity of life is under attack.
A senior priest has raised questions over the extent to which educational institutions in Wales are using government guidelines to tackle radicalisation of students, after two students who attended a Catholic sixth-form college went to Syria to join the terrorist group Isis.
The Labour Party has reiterated its long-term support for faith schools in the wake of a poll in The Observer newspaper which found that nearly two-thirds of voters believe faith schools should not be funded by the state or should be abolished, writes Ruth Gledhill.
A taking of the temperature of Britain’s relationship with religion began this week with the launch of a major commission’s national consultation on belief.
The first permanent deacon has been commissioned as a Catholic chaplain in the armed forces as concerns grow about the shortage of priests serving the military.
A 100-year-old library that holds thousands of books and artefacts of Catholic history is to close while a search continues for new premises, writes Christopher Lamb.
St Benet’s, the Benedictine permanent private hall that is one of the last bodies at Oxford University with a single-sex policy, has voted to admit women for the first time.
The Church in Scotland has announced its college in Spain will reopen as a seminary.
Catholic and Protestant teachers will train alongside each other in a new institute announced by the Irish Government last week.
The Supreme Court today rejected an appeal to allow doctors to help people to die, but challenged the Government to review the law around euthanasia, writes Liz Dodd.
In a significant ecumenical gesture, a Catholic bishop has been asked to lead a retreat for 21 Anglican ordinands, including nine women, preparing for the diaconate.
THE CHURCH of England has reinforced its commitment to creating faith schools with open admissions policies where no places are reserved for Christians.
A leading Catholic expert on health has claimed that a trend to professionalise hospital chaplaincy could endanger the future of the service.
A Catholic priest in Jersey who led his community’s response to the murder of six people has been given an MBE.
The Prime Minister has once again applauded the value of Christianity in public life, arguing that it can inspire politicians to get out and “make a difference to people’s lives”.
The number of abortions in England and Wales fell slightly to 190,800, latest figures show, with nine taking place due to a cleft lip and palate, writes Liz Dodd.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has backed efforts to end sexual violence in conflict zones as a government minister condemned faith leaders for not supporting victims.
The former president of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has claimed that it is “completely bonkers” for celibate men to advise the Pope about family life, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A CATHOLIC Conservative MP has accused Oxfam of politicising its charitable status over a poster supporting a report that 20 million meals were being provided by food banks.
A survey of Irish priests’ attitudes to the new Missal has shown that the majority are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with it and 80 per cent want it revised or scrapped.
Parents and priests are struggling to transmit faith to teenagers while others are fearful about evangelising due to the prejudices of others, a new report has revealed, writes Christopher Lamb.
The distinguished theologian Professor Ladislas Orsy has recommended the Church adopt a proposal once put forward by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
This week the Catholic Education Service (CES) moved to distance faith schools from the controversy involving the alleged infiltration of Islamic extremism in community schools in Birmingham.
FORMER Home Secretary Charles Clarke has attacked the Government for allegedly downgrading religious education (RE) in the National Curriculum, writes Liz Dodd.
Food poverty in Britain is becoming a chronic problem and not just an acute situation, the head of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) said this week.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has celebrated Mass in Westminster Cathedral for more than 600 couples marking significant anniversaries this year, writes Liz Dodd.
IMMIGRATION AND initiatives such as pub and cafe churches have slowed the long-term decline in church attendance across Britain, new figures have revealed.
Catholics may find it difficult to train as midwives following new government guidelines stating that they can administer abortions, according to a leading Catholic doctor.
A Christian team that patrols the infamous suicide site at Beachy Head, East Sussex, saving hundreds of lives each year, may be disbanded due to lack of funding.
The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh has acknowledged that his archdiocese faces the amalgamation of parishes, due to falling numbers of vocations.
THE PAPAL nuncio to Ireland has spoken of a rebirth of the Church in the country and a renewed enthusiasm among young Catholics for their faith.
BRITAIN NEEDS to be part of a reforming European Union, the bishop with responsibility for European affairs said this week in the wake of the electoral gains by the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip).
A CATHOLIC Roma family whose two youngest sons are to be placed with a gay couple are “frightened” by the move that they believe will sever the children from their faith.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury is to have a second meeting with Pope Francis in Rome next month to discuss their joint initiative to tackle slavery and human trafficking.
THE PRESIDENT of the International Monetary Fund cited Pope Francis this week when she criticised the growing gap between the rich and the poor.
THE SOCIAL action wing of the Church in England and Wales this week rejected government suggestions that employment alone is the key to solving the poverty crisis faced by millions of Britons today.
A NEW INITIATIVE to reach out to survivors of clerical sexual abuse has been set up by the Irish Church.
Unreported allegations of clerical sexual abuse in Scotland will be handed over to the police as part of a review of complaints going back 60 years, write Brian Morton and Christopher Lamb.
THE CHURCH is opposing a move to abolish civil partnerships and replace them with same-sex marriages, arguing that “great harm” would be caused to those who opted for the unions but believe marriage is between a man and a woman.
Catholic doctors who follow church teaching on sexual ethics cannot work as gynaecologists in Britain, the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) conference was told last Saturday.
A leading British naturalist is facing criticism after claiming that Christianity encourages the exploitation of Creation.
THE archbishop of Cardiff has said that increasing employment is not a solution to a “poverty crisis” in Wales, where close to a quarter of the population live below the poverty line, writes James Macintyre.
POPE FRANCIS has named Gibraltar Bishop Ralph Heskett to become the next Bishop of Hallam, in south Yorkshire, writes James Macintyre.
The Irish Church must stop trying to be a “spiritual Tesco” and instead focus on re-organising itself in order to serve a population who are unaware of the Gospel, a leading Irish bishop has said.
THE MOVE to produce Buckfast Tonic Wine in smaller quantities and in cans as well as bottles has been welcomed by a leading health expert in Scotland, where the alcoholic drink has been blamed for contributing to crimes and violence.
A Catholic programme of support for victims of abuse has been granted charitable status and will be launched nationally in the next few weeks, writes Elena Curti.
CATHOLICS in England and Wales have called on their bishops to find ways to support marriages that have broken down and to stop being “behind the times”.
A COLLEGE in Dublin stands to gain over £800,000 from the sale of private correspondence from the late Jacqueline Kennedy to an Irish priest, writes James Macintyre.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Birmingham welcomed the growing role that the Oratorians are playing in the Church in England and Wales as a member of the order, Robert Byrne, was ordained an auxiliary bishop, write James Macintyre and Liz Dodd.
NEW FIGURES have revealed a modest rise in the number of vocations to priesthood and religious life in England and Wales.
A prominent gay Catholic has been told he cannot be a Cafod volunteer due to his “speaking out against aspects of church teaching”, writes Christopher Lamb.
The proportion of Catholic prisoners in England and Wales is double that of the general population, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice.
The Diocese of Cloyne, which was heavily criticised in 2011 by a government report into its handling of abuse, has made progress in developing child protection policies according to the Irish Church’s safeguarding body, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
THE APOSTOLIC nuncio to Great Britain has said that Pope Francis personally supports Cardinal Vincent Nichols over his criticism earlier this year of the Government’s welfare reforms.
CATHOLICS are being urged to vote in this month’s European elections by the England and Wales bishops’ conference spokesman on European affairs, who also cautioned against the policies of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip), writes Christopher Lamb.
LORD PATTEN of Barnes has stepped down as chairman of the BBC Trust following major heart surgery, writes James Macintyre.
A NEW ANGLICAN bishop has been appointed to Liverpool, a week after the installation of Malcolm McMahon as archbishop of the city’s Catholic diocese, renowned for its ecumenical relations.
THE NEWLY appointed Bishop of Motherwell claims that a local authority plan to reduce the number of Catholic schools in North Lanarkshire amounts to “indirect discrimination”, writes Brian Morton.
THE CATHOLIC who wrote the script for the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony has defended it against claims that it demonstrated the disappearance of God from Britain.
BISHOP PATRICK Lynch, the chairman of the England and Wales bishops’ conference Office for Migration Policy, has urged the Government to consider giving legal status to thousands of undocumented migrant children living in the United Kingdom.
LEADING representative of Catholic head teachers has spoken out against increasing security in schools following the fatal stabbing of a teacher in her classroom on Monday.
RELATIONS BETWEEN Ireland and the Holy See appear to have turned a corner following an invitation to Pope Francis to visit the country and the lifting of sanctions against an Irish priest, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
THE NEW Archbishop of Liverpool has urged his diocese to break with old structures and become a Church that is focused on evangelisation and serving the poor.
A?HEADMASTER newly appointed to a Catholic school had the job offer withdrawn when governors learned he had split up with his wife, writes James Macintyre.
THE CONTROVERSIAL blog “Protect the Pope”, written by a deacon who used it to attack church figures over issues such as sexuality and abortion, will be closed down on the orders of his bishop.
THE CHURCH of England is to celebrate today the twentieth anniversary of the ordination of women as latest figures reveal that almost a third of all clergy are female.
Bishop Joseph Toal has been appointed Bishop of Motherwell and has said his first task will be twinning parishes in order to respond to declining numbers of clergy, writes Brian Morton.
Northern dioceses are seeing their incomes drop due to declining numbers of Massgoers and economic pressures following the recession.
THE ARCHBISHOP of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, has defended the Islamic community and called for sympathy over the pressures it faces following reports of Islamist infiltration in schools, writes James Macintyre.
Hundreds of parents in London have been left disappointed after missing out on their first choice of Catholic primary school due to heavy oversubscription in some areas.
The Archbishop of Dublin has signalled his openness to a discussion on the ordination of married men as priests, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
DOZENS of cinemas across the UK and Ireland will broadcast the canonisations of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII in Rome on Sunday, some in 3-D, writes James Macintyre.
Nick Clegg has revealed that he is an agnostic who remains open to the possibility of adopting faith, not an atheist as he has widely been regarded up to now.
POPE FRANCIS wants to abolish hypocrisy, heavy-handedness and other “bad habits” within the church leadership, according to the Archbishop of Southwark, writes James Macintyre.
CARDINAL Vincent Nichols and the Archbishop of Liverpool, Malcolm McMahon, on Wednesday visited Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds where Ann Maguire was stabbed to death in a classroom last week, writes James Macintyre.
THE LEADER of the ordinariate has lamented the lack of growth of the group, set up in 2011 to allow former Anglicans to enter communion with the Catholic Church, writes James Macintyre.
Permission to ordain married men should be widened, according to three bishops of England and Wales who have spoken out following reports that Pope Francis would like episcopal conferences to put forward suggestions for reform.
the LONG-awaited announcement of a new Bishop of Brentwood was made this week with the surprise appointment of a Marist priest who is currently the director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, writes Christopher Lamb.
Prime Minister David Cameron has placed his authority behind what appears to be a Downing Street strategy to restore good relations with the Catholic Church following the public row with Cardinal Vincent Nichols over the impact of government welfare reforms.
THE LONG-STANDING director of music at St Marie’s Cathedral in Sheffield has been made redundant as the cathedral struggles to pay back a debt of more than £1 million, writes James Macintyre.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has faced down criticism of its refusal to release the findings of a marriage and family survey by revealing it had been requested to keep the results secret by a Vatican cardinal.
A BRITISH academic has been appointed by Pope Francis as the next president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, writes Christopher Lamb.
A PASSION PLAY in Oxford has been cancelled after a bureaucratic misunderstanding involving the local police and council, writes James Macintyre.
A Vatican conference on human trafficking will help establish an international hub in London to help combat the crime, according to the commissioner for the Metropolitan Police.
Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into sexual misconduct in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh following the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, writes Brian Morton.
A CATHOLIC primary school dominated by Muslim pupils is to become a Church of England academy, in the first switch of this kind.
Church EDUCATIONISTS and Catholic teachers have expressed concerns over pupils playing violent adult-rated computer games at home while parents are left ignorant about their children’s activities, writes James Macintyre.
An iconic church in the Diocese of Lancaster has been handed to the traditionalist Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
Frustration over the plight of censured priest Fr Tony Flannery appears to be mounting within his Redemptorist order, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A community project run by the Archdiocese of Cardiff at a former Congregational chapel in the city has received an £80,000 development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, writes James Macintyre.
The BISHOPS’ Conference of England and Wales has told Catholic parliamentarians that they will not be refused Communion if they voted in favour of same-sex marriage.
ALL 35 Catholic schools in the counties of Devon, Cornwall and Dorset are set to become academies under plans by the Diocese of Plymouth, writes James Macintyre.
A CATHOLIC bishop has warned that government policies are leaving victims of trafficking vulnerable to abuse, writes Liz Dodd.
Campaigners against sexual abuse have expressed grave concerns as a leading figure in Catholic education was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to downloading more than 5,000 indecent images of children, writes James Macintyre.
A FORMER altar boy who was sexually abused by a priest in the Archdiocese of Birmingham has launched a £300,000 compensation claim.
Pope Francis has appointed a former rector of the English College as an auxiliary bishop in Westminster.
THE?QUEEN was due to meet Pope Francis on Thursday, making him the fifth Pope she has met in her lifetime and the fourth as monarch, writes James Macintyre.
The decision to allow Britain’s last remaining Catholic adoption agency to retain its charitable status has been dismissed as “mistaken” by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), writes James Macintyre.
BELFAST CITY Council has voted to invite Pope Francis to visit the city. No member of the council voted against the decision to issue the formal invitation, with 30 votes in favour, writes James Macintyre.
The next Archbishop of Liverpool says he plans to “get the smell of the sheep” in his new diocese, quoting a phrase used by Pope Francis when he urged priests to be close to their people, writes Christopher Lamb.
CHURCH LEADERS and parliamentarians have expressed outrage at the revelation that more than 15,000 aborted and miscarried foetuses have been burned as “clinical waste” in hospitals, in some cases to provide heating and power.
The Archdiocese of Liverpool is blocking an attempt by an independent Catholic school in Crosby to become a free school, writes James Macintyre.
Catholic grant-making body has awarded almost £300,000 to a series of projects that work with the poor.
TRADITIONAL “Victorian” expectations of family life should give way to a much greater understanding of those with “patchwork” families or who live on their own, a leading Catholic theologian has said, writes James Macintyre.
THE PRIME MINISTER, David Cameron, has expressed his opposition to assisted suicide in advance of the issue being debated in Parliament, arguing that people who are terminally ill will feel unfairly pressurised into ending their lives, writes James Macintyre.
An ordinariate priest has admitted that he entered a civil partnership six years ago when he was a Church of England priest.
The Church has welcomed a £20 million government grant for cathedral repairs but warned that dioceses must apply quickly to avoid missing out, writes Liz Dodd.
THE BISHOP of Portsmouth has provoked criticism from Catholic MPs after saying that politicians who voted for same-sex marriage should be denied Communion.
The Diocese of Leeds has cut £800,000 from its central expenditure and put a freeze on parish building projects in order to balance its books, writes Christopher Lamb.
A new Archbishop of Liverpool was due to be announced yesterday with the Bishop of Nottingham, Malcolm McMahon, understood to be in line for the post, writes Christopher Lamb.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has called for a “deep cultural change” in the business community, saying it must serve the common good and show more respect for human dignity, writes James Macintyre.
The Church’s safeguarding office is to be relocated from Birmingham into the headquarters of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales at Eccleston Square, central London.
The Church’s teaching on marriage and family life is disconnected from the real-life experience of many Irish Catholics, the country’s bishops have acknowledged.
The Bishop of Brentwood says he hopes the forthcoming Vatican Synod on Marriage and Family Life will decide to allow remarried divorcees to receive Communion in some circumstances, writes Christopher Lamb.
Two bishops of England and Wales have broken ranks with their confrères, with one calling for developments in church teaching on human sexuality and the other criticising the collective decision not to publish the findings of a Vatican survey.
A senior lawyer has criticised the Vatican for failing to issue its official approval to the Church in England and Wales’ child-protection procedures, writes Elena Curti.
The Archbishop of Dublin has criticised the Association of Catholic Priests’ (ACP) use of the word “mistake” to describe incidents of child sexual abuse by priests, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, will attend next month’s Vatican conference on human trafficking to be chaired by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Damage is being done by secularism, which is creating a society without foundations, leading to the victimisation of the weak, the undermining of family, increasing state control and even surveillance, the Bishop of Portsmouth has said, writes James Macintyre.
A deacon who runs a Catholic website that criticised bishops, theologians and lay groups for being out of step with church teaching has been asked to stop posting material.
THE CATHOLIC charity Cabrini is to make 25 people redundant and cut back services in order to cope with an almost £1 million black hole in its budget, writes Liz Dodd.
TWO OF Ireland’s most prominent dioceses say responses to the Vatican survey on marriage and the family reveal a gap between church teaching and practice.
CARDINAL Vincent Nichols has renewed his criticism of government welfare cuts amid further signs of a cooling in the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Conservative Party, write Liz Dodd and James Macintyre.
CAFOD is warning that the Department for International Development’s (DfID) new focus on trade rather than aid is ignoring small businesses, which employ some of the poorest people in developing nations, writes Abigail Frymann.
A LEADING figure in Catholic education pleaded guilty in a London court this week to downloading more than 5,000 images of child pornography from the internet to his computer.
A CATHOLIC MP has challenged the Deputy Prime Minister to campaign for faith schools after he praised them as “engines of integration”, writes Liz Dodd.
Three leading bishops are urging Catholics to return to confession this Lent.
Catholic children’s charity Cabrini is set to make a loss of nearly £1 million this year, writes Liz Dodd.
RECORD numbers of applications were made to top-performing Catholic secondary schools this year, leading to hundreds of pupils being denied places, writes James Macintyre.
Cabinet minister Eric Pickles pulled out of attending the consistory in Rome where Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols was created a cardinal.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien is facing the possibility of further disciplinary action being taken against him by the Holy See, write Christopher Lamb and Brian Morton.
Results of the Vatican questionnaire on marriage and the family show many Catholics acting at odds with church teaching, according to an analysis commissioned and approved by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has argued that one can be a faithful Catholic without receiving Communion, saying the Eucharist is not the “sum total” of church life, writes Robert Mickens.
The deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has said he backs faith schools as long as they do not bring about “segregation”.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the Danish ambassador in London, expressing concern over Denmark’s ban last month on the production of halal and kosher meat, writes James Macintyre.
The Archbishop of Westminster became embroiled in a row with the Prime Minister over welfare this week, just hours before he was due to fly to Rome to be made a cardinal by Pope Francis.
The Diocese of Westminster is to publish findings from the recent Vatican questionnaire on marriage and the family – making it the first in Britain to do so, writes Catherine Pepinster.
Organisers of Ireland’s largest Catholic conference have dismissed calls for Fr Timothy Radcliffe’s invitation to be revoked over his views on homosexuality, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
The Church is to step up its campaign against the legalisation of assisted dying by sending leaflets to every parish in the country. “Sense and Nonsense on ‘Assisted Dying’” lists the Church’s answers to common questions on the subject.
Cabrini Children’s Society could be forced to close down all its services except adoption and fostering in an effort to break even.
Church leaders have written an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for more Syrian refugees to be let into Britain, write James Macintyre and Liz Dodd.
Europe is in danger of betraying its Christian heritage unless Christians find new ways to influence Western society, Cardinal Reinhard Marx warned this week during a lecture held in Oxford, writes Catherine Pepinster.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor believes that confession is in need of significant reform and should be discussed at a special synod on the sacraments.
The Catholic Education Service’s (CES) former religious education adviser has appeared in court charged with possessing more than 5,000 indecent images of children, writes Christopher Lamb.
A leading Anglican thinker has described popular charismatic “worship songs” as impoverishing Christian liturgy.
Pope Francis has appointed a 49-year-old university chaplain and vocations director as the new Bishop of Paisley, writes Brian Morton.
The leader of the Vatican’s social justice office has revived his call for a global regulatory body of the world’s financial systems, despite the Holy See having distanced itself from the idea.
Homophobia is an insult to God and love must be shown to gay and lesbian people, according to the Archbishop of Dublin.
More care for the environment, sustainable living and the adoption of simple lifestyles are needed to help prevent further flooding, according to the Bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang.
The Environment Agency has told a Catholic audience that flood-hit rural communities can suffer when attention is focused on preventing flooding in urban areas, writes Isabel de Bertodano.
More than 16,000 responses have been received by the Bishops’ Conference of England of Wales to a Vatican survey of Catholics’ views on same-sex marriage, contraception and Communion for divorced and remarried couples, writes James Macintyre.
The Queen is to meet Pope Francis on 3 April in an informal visit at the Vatican, Buckingham Palace announced this week.
A senior bishop has written to the Health Secretary to describe the tragedy that abortion had now become a “routine medical procedure”, writes Liz Dodd.
The Catholic children’s charity Cabrini is under pressure to balance its books after running at a loss for at least a decade.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has strongly criticised the Church over Ireland’s Magdalene laundries, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Britain's last remaining Catholic adoption agency has won an appeal against a decision to strip it of its charitable status.
Legislation permitting same-sex marriage in Scotland was passed by the Scottish parliament on Tuesday with an overwhelming majority, writes Brian Morton.
The largest Catholic higher-education college in England and Wales, St Mary’s, Twickenham, has been granted full university status.
The first new bishop of England and Wales appointed by Pope Francis was ordained on Tuesday.
A church leader in Syria said on Tuesday that Western governments should not be encouraging those suffering in the region to leave, as Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, announced that the UK would take in a small number of Syrian refugee
Catholics are the most left-wing Christian denomination while Anglicans are consistently more likely to vote Conservative, new research has found.
An order of nuns has been accused of supplying evidence in a “haphazard and piecemeal fashion” to Northern Ireland’s investigation into historic allegations of abuse.
A leading Catholic school has temporarily won back the right to select students based on the Catholicity of their parents after the Government overturned a complaint by the British Humanist Association, writes Liz Dodd.
Victims of trafficking and domestic violence could be denied vital health care if the Government’s Immigration Bill becomes law, the bishop responsible for migration policy has warned.
The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) in Ireland has criticised a suggestion by the Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, that schools should give less religious instruction, writes James Macintyre.
The Catholic Church in Scotland has continued to lobby against same-sex marriage but its parliamentary officer believes that it is likely to be legalised after a parliamentary vote on Tuesday, write Brian Morton and Liz Dodd.
Senior diplomatic and church figures have cited the effect of Pope Francis on the Irish Government’s decision this week to re-open its Vatican embassy just over two years after ministers decided to close it down.
A leading Catholic poverty charity this week named for the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award has reported a marked increase in demand for its services, writes Christopher Lamb.
The number of diocesan priests in England and Wales fell by more than 15 per cent from 2010 to 2012, according to the latest figures compiled by the Catholic Directory, writes James Macintyre.
Ian Paisley told Tony Blair he was “a fool” when the former Prime Minister informed the Protestant politician that he was going to be received into the Church.
Pope Francis is not a Marxist and his economics should not be interpreted as anti-business, the UK Ambassador to the Holy See has said, writes Liz Dodd.
Christian divisions and a failure to evangelise are leading to insufficient witness by the Church in the Midlands, the Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, has said, writes James Macintyre.
A women’s ordination group will hold its annual meeting in a Catholic church for the first time in its history.
A fund-raising campaign has been launched to purchase one of England’s grandest recusant homes to put it back into church hands, writes Liz Dodd.
The new Bishop of Dunkeld says that not to forgive Cardinal Keith O’Brien would be “gravely wrong” but that the retired archbishop needs to make reparation for the harm he has done, writes Brian Morton.
The Archbishop of Westminster has said that serving as a cardinal will place English Catholicism at the heart of the universal Church.
Two Catholic schools in Kent have been granted academy status by the Department for Education as part of a proposal for all 32 voluntary-aided Catholic schools in the county to be made academies, writes James Macintyre.
The Archdiocese of Glasgow is undertaking a consultation to plan for its future after releasing figures showing a decline in Mass attendance, marriages and priest numbers.
The Bishop of Shrewsbury has paid tribute to Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict XV for standing against popular opinion in their opposition to the First World War, writes James Macintyre.
A delegation of Catholic bishops celebrated Mass with the Catholic community in Gaza last Sunday, expressing solidarity with local Christians and the wider people of the Palestinian strip of land ruled by Hamas.
A 34-year-old Sicilian man has been charged with the murder of a well-known Catholic pro-life activist in Ireland, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
A REVIEW of the new English translation of the Roman Missal is on the cards as disquiet grows about the quality of the Mass texts
PORTSMOUTH’S bishop is calling for a “huge shift in attitude” from his diocese after identifying some Catholics as viewing the clergy as “a service provider”, writes James Macintyre.
LONDON dioceses are bucking the trend of declining Mass attendance across England and Wales, new figures show, writes
TRIBUTES FROM church leaders and politicians flooded in this week for Paul Goggins, who died in hospital on Tuesday.
THE HEAD of Digby Stuart College at the University of Roehampton, Suzy Harris, has given up her post after two years in the job, writes James Macintyre.
A SCOTTISH bishop has defended the decision to suspend a priest who had written a controversial memoir claiming there was a culture of homosexual bullying in the Catholic Church in Scotland, writes Brian Morton.
MGR PATRICK BURKE has been appointed as a vicar general in the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, writes Christopher Lamb.
Senior bishops across England have called on the Church to do more to support divorced Catholics and those in unconventional family circumstances.
The Church of England is the glue that holds society together, the Archbishop of Canterbury said in his first New Year message, in which he urged Christians to “change the world”, writes Liz Dodd.
At least four churches have been closed in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, and the Bishop of Northampton has disclosed that he is struggling to provide a resident priest for every parish.
The head of a Christian charity running hundreds of food banks across the UK still wants to discuss the economic crisis with the Government, despite being accused of “scaremongering” by the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, writes Paul Wilkinson.
In 30 years’ time Ireland will be a more religiously diverse country and Islam will be the second largest religion according to latest predictions from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
A New Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chief Rabbi top a list of events in 2013 that have affected interfaith relations, according to the Cambridge-based Woolf Institute, writes Paul Wilkinson.
Growing numbers of churches in England and Wales are opening emergency shelters this Christmas in what some are describing as the worst homelessness crisis in living memory.
Growing numbers of churches in England and Wales are opening emergency shelters this Christmas in what some are describing as the worst homelessness crisis in living memory.
Recent messages from bishops in England and Wales have revealed a renewed emphasis on poverty, with six bishops citing the issue in pastoral letters and statements, research by The Tablet
THe Archdiocese of Dublin has commissioned an American fund-raising firm to help its 200 parishes to boost their income while separately appointing a priest to a new role for financial development, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, has been given a pivotal position in the appointment of new English bishops by Pope Francis, who has named him as a member of an important Vatican department.
A Scottish Catholic priest has been given the go-ahead to sue the Church for unfair dismissal, writes Brian Morton.
We see in that stable a perfect model for our existence – a family united in love, caring each for the other’
Christianity is under threat in its own birthplace due to a wave of persecution, the Prince of Wales has said, writes Abigail Frymann.
The number of Catholics attending Welsh Catholic schools has suffered a marked decline over the last six years, with experts citing falling Mass attendance and proposals to cut transport to faith schools as factors behind the fall.
ope Francis has named a former assistant to Cardinal Keith O’Brien as the new Bishop of Dunkeld, writes Christopher Lamb.
The handing of a prominent north London parish to a French Catholic movement has been delayed for at least six months due to disagreements over property and a lack of hospitality from some parishioners, the Archbishop of Westminster announced last Sunday.
A majority of couples planning to marry in the Catholic Church view it as a lifelong sacrament open to children but nearly all of them are already living together and use artificial contraception, a leading charity has told the Vatican, writes Christopher Lamb.
A safeguarding audit by the Irish Church’s watchdog has found 870 allegations of abuse against 325 Christian Brothers.
The suspension of a Legion of Mary group at an Irish university is being investigated after students reported leaflets distributed by the Catholic group as homophobic, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
It has emerged that Peter Sutherland, the chairman of Goldman Sachs International, has been acting as an unpaid adviser to the Vatican Bank, writes Christopher Lamb.
The Catholic Education Service (CES) produced figures this week which it says demonstrate that Catholic schools serve more disadvantaged pupils than other faith or state-run ones.
Promoting freedom of religion is a priority for British foreign policy but that does not include a policy to defend Christians under attack, a government minister said this week, writes Christopher Lamb.
A government minister has urged faith groups to become more vocal on social media in order to make the case for religion in public life, writes Christopher Lamb.
Ireland could reopen its embassy to the Vatican, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister has indicated.
A?huge increase in the number of Polish migrants to Scotland has delivered a boost to the Catholic Church.
Priests from St Andrew’s Cathedral parish were among those offering comfort to traumatised survivors as well as to those bereaved by last Friday’s police helicopter crash on Glasgow’s riverside, writes Brian Morton.
Christmas can be a frightening time for people who worry they don’t have the money to spend on food and gifts that they and others expect, Bishop Kieran Conry said this week in a statement to mark Bible Sunday which falls tomorrow.
Around 10,000 Catholics in England and Wales have so far taken part in the Vatican survey on marriage and the family, writes Christopher Lamb.
The distinctive identity of those becoming Catholics via the ordinariate can be found in the liturgy of the Church of England, according to an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), writes Christopher Lamb.
The man chosen to lead an external inquiry into how the Catholic Church in Scotland handles sexual abuse says he has been given a free hand to review child protection in order to guarantee that lapses that led to abuse in the past could not be repeated.
The recently appointed Vatican prosecutor for abuse cases travelled to Britain this week for his first overseas visit in his new role, writes Christopher Lamb.
The Bishop of Portsmouth wants Catholics to serve at food banks, on credit unions, befriend immigrants and campaign for justice, writes Christopher Lamb.
The Church must stop looking at the world as hostile to Christian faith, the Archbishop of Birmingham has said, writes Christopher Lamb.
The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced a £200,000 government grant to support faith projects and volunteering groups, writes Sabrina Sweeney.
Dioceses in Britain have issued amended versions of the Vatican’s consultation seeking to find Catholics’ views on issues such as the divorced and remarried, contraception and same-sex unions.
A leading Catholic composer has announced he will no longer write congregational music for the Church, writes Christopher Lamb.
A plaque was unveiled in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey last Friday to commemorate the author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis on the fiftieth anniversary of his death, writes Abigail Frymann.
Much excitement recently when Oxford Dictionaries revealed their “Word of the Year”. It was “selfie”, which left observers amused and bemused in equal measure.
Catholic Aid agencies have so far received donations of close to £1 million to support the Philippines in the wake of the storm caused by this month’s typhoon.
A consecrated woman from a French religious community is to become the first Catholic to live in Lambeth Palace since the Reformation, writes Abigail Frymann.
Birmingham, which was once infamously accused of trying to replace Christmas with a non-religious “Winterval”, is to drop a Nativity trail that has been staged in the city’s art gallery for the past eight years, writes Paul Wilkinson.
A Scottish priest is fighting to be reinstated after his suspension led parishioners to walk out of church just before Mass.
The Church of England has voted to fast-track legislation to ordain women bishops, with final approval now expected next year. The vote was passed with 378 votes in favour, eight against and 25 abstentions, write Liz Dodd and James Macintyre.
Poverty is threatening the fabric of society and some families are enduring so much hardship that they are effectively destitute, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales have warned.
A senior Vatican official told a London audience of priests and laity this week that Catholics should avoid adapting their faith to make it more palatable to modernity, writes James Macintyre.
Comets, according to comet-hunter David Levy, are like cats. They both have tails; and they both do whatever they want.
No cathedral, state room or recording studio has an acoustic like late autumn. On crisp days, a leaf can be heard falling more than 30 yards away. Human voices wander a quarter of a mile up the lane. Shouts can fly a mile.
Minister for Faith and Communities Sayeeda Warsi said this week that by putting faith back at the “heart of government” the Coalition is following in the tradition of Margaret Thatcher.
New studies reveal that the days when the vast majority of Catholics attended Mass weekly and followed the official teachings of the Church are over, writes Paul Wilkinson.
Researchers and members of the public are being invited back to the Scottish Catholic Archives following a surprising U-turn over the closure of their home at Columba House in Edinburgh, writes Brian Morton.
A Benedictine hall of Oxford University is planning to expand its premises in order to admit female students, writes Christopher Lamb.
Restoration of the pre-Reformation chapel at Stonor Park in Oxfordshire is on course to win Lottery funding, writes Christopher Lamb.
The new Bishop of Plymouth says one of his priorities is to serve the poor starting with those in his diocese affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The Pope’s ambassador to Britain this week outlined the qualities needed for new bishops, qualities that he said should also be evident in those currently leading dioceses, writes Christopher Lamb.
Concern is growing for the safety of one of the chaplains to the Filipino community in London who was in the Philippines during the storm caused by last weekend’s typhoon.
A former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) last week defended the censuring by the Vatican of the Irish Redemptorist Fr Tony Flannery, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
Two years ago, some 1,500 works of art were found in the home of a reclusive old German. The son of a Munich art dealer, he was selling them off piecemeal whenever he ran out of money.
Two years ago, some 1,500 works of art were found in the home of a reclusive old German. The son of a Munich art dealer, he was selling them off piecemeal whenever he ran out of money.
When the sun suddenly came out, I realised that one of the winter thrushes feeding in the field had a large red patch under its wing. Medium vermilion, an artist might call it. Something frightened the flock and they lifted.
Concern is growing in the British Church over the large number of dioceses in need of new bishops.
Society should find new ways of letting mothers stay with their children rather than face imprisonment, the liaison bishop for prisons said this week, writes Paul Wilkinson.
The Catholic charity offering marriage counselling has sold its headquarters and moved to new, smaller premises in a bid to balance its budget, writes Christopher Lamb.
The order of nuns portrayed in the newly released film Philomena, about an Irish woman seeking to be reunited with her adopted son, has accused the makers of falsely creating a scene that showed one of their sisters in a profoundly negative light.
The Church has welcomed a call from the former Director of Public Prosecutions for teachers and other professionals who fail to report child abuse to face criminal prosecutions, writes Paul Wilkinson.
Mgr Patrick Burke is understood to have been appointed vicar general of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, writes Christopher Lamb.
Bishops in England and Wales have launched an extensive consultation on issues including same-sex marriage, contraception and Communion for divorced and remarried couples.
The implications of this year’s legalisation of gay marriage will be among the issues discussed by the Bishops of England and Wales in their plenary meeting next week, writes Christopher Lamb.
One of the Church’s most important higher education establishments was in turmoil this week after the sudden resignation of its acting director.
The battle between faith and secularism dominated media coverage of Benedict XVI’s visit to the United Kingdom in 2010, a shift from 1982 when ecumenism was presented as the overriding theme of Pope John Paul II’s trip, according to a new study, writes Liz Dodd.
The man leading plans to establish a free school with a Catholic ethos has accused the local diocesan schools commission director of “unprovoked hostility” in her comments on the move in The Tablet last week, writes Paul Wilkinson.
Britain is afflicted by a hidden violence on its poorest citizens that is in danger of destroying society, warned the former master of the Dominicans this week.
A review of a major inquiry into clerical sexual abuse in Dublin has accused it of treating priests unfairly.
A bid to boost tourism at places of worship in Wales was launched last weekend by Welsh Economy and Transport Minister Edwina Hart, writes Paul Wilkinson.
The archbishop of Westminster and the Anglican Bishop of London made history this week when they met in the Tower of London to pray together in the cell of St Thomas More.
A redundant Catholic church in Stoke-on-Trent has been sold by the Archdiocese of Birmingham to the local Muslim community, writes Paul Wilkinson.
The director of the Church’s overseas aid agency has acknowledged the distress caused by the publishing of the memoirs of its employee Damian McBride, a former press adviser to Gordon Brown, write Christopher Lamb and Paul Wilkinson.
The Archdiocese of Westminster is to hand the running of a prominent parish in north London to a French Catholic community.
A campaign has been launched to preserve the site where three Catholics were martyred more than 400 years ago, writes Paul Wilkinson.
A new national curriculum framework for religious education, designed to improve the way the subject is taught, was proposed this week in a review by the RE Council of England and Wales.
He Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh has agreed a £30,000 contract with the NHS to provide out-of-hours spiritual care, writes Liz Dodd.
The Bishop of Portsmouth hopes next year’s Synod on the Family will offer mercy and reconciliation to Catholics who are divorced and remarried, writes Christopher Lamb.
Africa should no longer be seen as a charity case requiring endless handouts from superior Western economies, the provincial of Jesuits in East Africa was to argue in a lecture.
A former Chief of the Defence Staff has said Britain should hold on to its nuclear deterrent in order to maintain peace in the world, writes Christopher Lamb.
Despite the decline of formalised religion in Britain, the country is a long way from being a nation of disbelievers, according to a new survey.
The Vatican has granted Heythrop College permission to award ecclesiastical degrees, writes Christopher Lamb.
A majority of Christians are opposed to bed-and-breakfast owners refusing accommodation to gay couples, new research shows, writes Paul Wilkinson.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has supported a Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to charge two doctors over claims they offered abortions based on gender.
Former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland says Christians should support Britain remaining in the European Union (EU).
A former sacristan for the Knights of Malta has been charged with a dozen counts of sexual offences against children dating from 1966 to 2011, writes Christopher Lamb.
More than half of England’s schools are failing to provide good religious education according to a new Ofsted report which suggests it is being “squeezed out” by other subjects, writes Paul Wilkinson.
Restrictions on Christians from other denominations receiving Communion in the Catholic Church could be relaxed, the Archbishop of Birmingham has said.
Catholic Aid agency Cafod has announced that it will not accept royalties from the controversial political memoirs written by its media executive, Damian McBride, after concerns that its reputation could be damaged.
One of Ireland’s top bioethicists has resigned from the board of directors and the board of governors of the Catholic Mater Hospital in Dublin over the terms of Ireland’s new abortion act, writes Sarah Mac Donald.
The Church of England is among a group of investors who have purchased more than 300 branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to form a new bank, writes Isabel de Bertodano.
A report that claims Catholic schools take fewer children from disadvantaged backgrounds than other schools uses flawed criteria, according to the chairman of the Catholic Education Service.
The new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh says Scottish Catholics may in future have to marry in a civil ceremony as well as in Church.
Poverty can be seen in the loneliness suffered by old people, poor parenting and the distraction offered by superficial pursuits, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said last week.
The Church of England on Tuesday launched a nationwide evangelisation programme which seeks to teach people the basics of Christianity, writes Abigail Frymann.