|Light in the darkness Free One thing is clear about the economic situation in Britain and the rest of the world - there is no going back. The prosperity that looked so secure a few years ago turned out to be built on the economic equivalent of feet of clay, not just on personal ... ||When Rome says ‘no’|
‘The Lord does not want me to set fire to the world … ’Valerie Flessati
Until he became Pope John XXIII, Angelo Roncalli kept up a remarkable correspondence over four decades with a woman he first met when he was a young priest. Here, that woman’s granddaughter looks at the letters and reveals some of the thoughts and preoccupations of the man who would convene the Second Vatican Council...
Let peace break outMalkhaz Songulashvili
The conflict in South Ossetia this summer took the world by surprise with its aggression. Caught up in it, and in a parallel tension within the Russian Baptist Church, a Georgian Baptist archbishop recalls how the fighting gave rise to an unexpected truce and genuine hope for the future...
Touching the truthGeorge Weigel
John Paul II, who made the connection between the sublime achievement of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement and the mystery of the Incarnation, saw the importance of art as a means of inspiring people to reflect on beauty, the intrinsic mystery of being and the ‘forgotten transcendental’...
A saving festivityDaniel McCarthy
Our purpose at Christmas is not limited to the celebration of the anniversary of an historical event. Celebrating the mystery of the birth of God’s Son, rather, is salvific because it establishes the divine-human exchange. Daniel McCarthy follows the expression of this purpose...
Sweet success of fair tradeAbigail Frymann
Ten years ago the idea that a successful company could be controlled by African cocoa farmers seemed like wishful thinking. But the Divine Chocolate Company is thriving and has transformed the lives of thousands of families responsible for producing the raw product...
Remembering JimmyElena Curti
The life of 16-year-old Jimmy Mizen was cut short suddenly and violently last May, and a man is due to go on trial in the new year for his murder. We spoke to his parents, as they and their large Catholic family prepared to face their first Christmas without him...
Shock waves of BethlehemDaniel O’Leary
It takes some doing to get our heads round the astonishing fact that God stole into our world in the same shape – that of a baby – in which we all started out. The simplicity of it all is almost too much for us. But then, extraordinary things happen in the most ordinary moments...
Time for creationAidan Rossiter
When devising and preparing the various Christmas liturgies, it is important to bear in mind the feasts of the whole season, and the way the different celebrations connect with one another – and then to strike an imaginative balance between tradition and creative innovation...
Feather on the breath of GodRowan Williams
The Trappist monk and writer Thomas Merton died on the same day in December 40 years ago as the Swiss Protestant theologian Karl Barth. Superficially they were very different figures but a study of Merton’s journals shows that Barth had a profound influence on his thinking...
Exits and entrancesJames Leachman
Just as Shakespeare chronicled the Seven Ages of Man, so it is possible to chart the maturation of a person’s faith from the earliest years to old age. Nowhere is this more striking than the Christmas season when we consider the miracle of the Incarnation...
Digging in with northern gritPaul Routledge
Nestling on the west side of Airedale, where the River Worth joins the valley, lies the former mill town of Keighley, whose recent waves of Catholic immigrants are bracing themselves with the rest of the town as the recession turns into financial hardship...
Miniature cathedral of the Silk RoadMarcus Tanner
A tiny Catholic community clings on in the central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan. It is one of the few churches built in the former Soviet Union, but younger members have headed west and those who are left face an uncertain future...
Think twice, it’s all rightMalcom Guite
Over the past 45 years, no popular singer and songwriter has explored the joy and pain of the human condition like Bob Dylan. But his source material is not simply the richness of modern life – he draws much of his inspiration from the Bible...
From Hollywood to holy nightJoe Eszterhas
From the horrors of a refugee camp in post-war Austria, to a hedonistic lifestyle as a top Hollywood screenwriter, a man lived the American dream but one day discovered that he had lost his soul...
The ChildBy Joseph Smith
‘And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people”’...
A feast worth waiting forChristopher Jamison
What does the seasonal exhortation to be happy mean? Pleasure for some, but for a monk it means purity of heart – something hugely threatened by today’s culture of greed and instant gratification...
‘Advocates of complete personal autonomy should be careful what they wish for’
‘It would be a decent punt to bet on Britain experiencing 104˚F between 2010 and 2014’
Books and arts
Make sure to wear a crash helmet Free
Why Go to Church? the drama of the Eucharist
The Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book is an influential annual focus for devotional reading by thousands of Anglicans, used by both individuals and parish study groups ...
Churches under-valued or over-estimating themselves?
Francis Davis, guest contributor
It is not long now until the Local Government Association annual conference. This premier ... Hume knew Alan Hopes would one day be bishop
Fr Mark Woodruff, guest contributor
When 12 Anglican priests in 1995 reached the end of nearly two years of transition and preparation ... Anglican patrimony is becoming a reality
As a convert from Anglicanism I have been curious since Benedict XVI paved the way for the ...