- Exodus of biblical proportions
Hounded out of their homes by Islamist violence, Iraqi Christians face what many fear may be their final festive season in the land of their fathers as many prepare for exile
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Perhaps Governor Jeb Bush (“Right candidate?” 13 December) needs to understand that “the timeless nature of the message of the Catholic Church” that he finds so worthy is more than a lofty-sounding phrase to quote.
What a pity that an article with such a promising title (“Humanism belongs to believers”, 6 December) misses the chance to explore the convictions shared between secular humanists and Christian humanists, such as respect for human dignity, freedom and solidarity.
Brian and Maureen Devine (Parish Practice, 6 December) provided a timely reminder of the need for more extensive marriage preparation. However, by focusing exclusively on “all-Catholic” couples, it ignored the many couples involving a non-Catholic, who is often a non-believer.
I don’t want to overly criticise Paul Younger (“Carbon: problem ... and solution”, 13 December). But it doesn’t help to suggest that those calling for fossil-fuel divestment are “queueing up to condemn” the “fossil-fuel sector” as an “unmitigated evil”. It’s not true, except of a noisy minority.
Michael G. Ryan (“Mission intelligible”, 29 November) says that Liturgiam Authenticam (LA) is “in force” and should be “revoked”. But isn’t it invalid already? It contradicts the Decree on Ecumenism which has a much higher authority.
In his piece about the internal exile of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, after his time as leader of the Jesuits in Argentina (“Deeply divided Society”, 29 November), Austen Ivereigh criticises a biography of Pope Francis which makes an “attempt to reconcile the ‘conservative’ Jesuit of the 1980s
This Christmas my heart goes out to my fellow diocesan Fr Philip Gay and to the woman with whom he has fallen in love (News from Britain and Ireland, 13 December).
No, Pope Francis, women are not the strawberry on the cake (“The Church in the World”, 13 December).
I fully endorse Michael G. Ryan’s thoughts on the new translation of the Roman Missal (“Mission intelligible”, 29 November). I do not understand how Liturgiam Authenticam could replace, or still worse, change the basic teachings of an ecumenical council, as expressed in Sacrosanctum Concilium.
The All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom has rightly highlighted the damage done to benefit claimants by the unfair application of sanctions.
Robert Philpot seems to think that Jim Murphy’s support for a Trident nuclear replacement (“Scotland’s marathon man”, 6 December) puts him out of step with Ed Miliband’s “leftward drift”. There has been no sign of any such drift on this issue.
Your excellent article on humanism (“Humanism belongs to believers”, 6 December) could be extended by a consideration of free will
I was most surprised to find Peter Stanford’s column about Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger (“On her laptop ‘Mrs Bishop’ has pictures of herself in full episcopal robes”, 15 November) in The Tablet which has a high reputation for accurate reporting.
You reported (“A cry for humanity”, 6 December) Pope Francis’ participation while in Turkey in both Orthodox and Catholic services, yet acknowledging that the Catholic Church has its own issues to resolve over inter-Communion.
How intriguing to read the pro-intinction letters (29 November, 6 December) and Fr Christopher Jamison’s article “God on the brain” (22 November) with its re-affirmation of the heart and the gut as equally valid sources of knowledge.
Would you please convey my gratitude to Rose Prince for the Christmas cake recipe (The Ethical Kitchen, 6 December).
I read with great interest the review of Professor Gavin D'Costa's book Vatican II: Catholic Doctrines on Jews and Muslims (22 November). However I was greatly surprised that there was no mention of the most important Vatican decision about Jews in modern history.
Tony Beetham ends his letter (29 November) with “food for thought”and I would like to add “time for action”, regarding non-stipendiary/self-supporting ministry in the Anglican communion.
Jonathan Tulloch’s eloquent and coherent article “Against the tide” (8 November) gladdened my heart – so thank you for publishing it.
Will Hutton is a fine political economist; but he is really not much use when it comes to business per se. He does not seem to understand key aspects of either company law or the finer aspects of motivation.
The case for intinction (Letters, 29 November) based on hygiene considerations is not without merit. But is it not the case that a minister’s finger, which constantly touches the tongues of those who receive the host orally, falls under the same constraints,
Fr Bernard Cotter’s helpful advice about “troublesome flocks” (Parish Practice, 8 November) mentioned the healing effects of meditation, but not those of Christian mediation.
Robert Thicknesse’s article about John Adams and Peter Sellars’ opera The Gospel According to the Other Mary (Arts, 15 November) missed the point of librettist Sellars’ disservice to and characterisation of Mary Magdalen. Sellars may have “disarmed” Thicknesse’s “cynical suspicions”, but not mine.
Much of what Pope Francis said to the European Parliament (News, 29 November) was lost in his description of Europe as wearied and ageing, a “grandmother” no longer fertile and vibrant.
I'm sure the “reluctant communicants” who are unwilling to receive from the chalice as mentioned by Sarah T.M. Bell (“Cleaning the chalice”, Letters, 8 November) would have little trouble receiving from the chalice by intinction.
One aspect of Cafod’s reorganisation (News from Britain and Ireland, 15 November) concerns me and I wonder if it has been given sufficient weight.
Denis MacShane (“Migration: truths and untruths”, 15 November) could have taken one step further in his fine analysis of the miasma of untruth surrounding the supposed “issue” of EU immigration into the UK.
Joanna Moorhead hits the nail right on the head when she points out that marriage exists as a concept within the Vatican, rather than as a lived reality (22 November).
As an Anglican who enjoys The Tablet, I want to challenge your leader (“England can break new ground”, 15 November) about why the Church of England now ordains many more new priests than the Catholic Church.
The recent murder by a mob in Pakistan of a Christian couple and their unborn child (The Church in the World, 15 November) is another sad testimony to Christian suffering in Muslim-ruled lands.
Iain McGilchrist’s fascinating theory of brain hemisphere function (“God on the brain”, Christopher Jamison, 22 November) may provide a key to understanding the idea of “complementarity” in marriage (Austen Ivereigh’s report from Rome in the same issue).
I very much enjoyed Nigel Willmott’s inspirational “To Rome with Luther as a guide” (22 November). It has always intrigued me where Br Martin spent the nights on that epic walk from north-east Germany to the Eternal City – presumably at the houses of his own and other religious orders.
I was dismayed by your report (News from Britain and Ireland, 15 November) that Cafod proposes to close 19 diocesan offices, make some 50 staff redundant and then expect their vital work to be done
The fundamental reason for the drying up of vocations to the Irish Catholic priesthood is unfortunately too well illustrated by Brendan Hoban’s article (“On the edge of the abyss in Ireland”, 8 November).
Thank you for Denis MacShane’s article on immigration (“Migration: truths and untruths”, 15 November).
Do people call God “it”? In reply to Christopher Howse’s question (8 November), I would suggest that if we don’t then perhaps we should.
Is it not about time society stopped allowing the tail to wag the dog? Legislation has been enacted in recent decades out of sympathy for disparate minorities which has had destructive effects on society as a whole (“Questionable tactics”, 15 November)
Melanie McDonagh (Books, 8 November) refers in her review of Margot at War: love and betrayal in Downing Street 1912-1916 by Anne de Courcy to “the son of the Earl of Battersea”.