- Grim parody of a golden age
The jihadist group now calling itself the Islamic State, which has terrorised religious minorities in Syria and Iraq, has declared its intention to restore the caliphate. Yet the extremists’ aims are remote from those of earlier Islamic rulers
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- Archdiocese wins legal row with Satanists as consecrated host intended for black mass is returned
- Cardinal angers abuse victims by suggesting Church is not responsible for priests’ crimes
- Stop scapegoating Muslims: social disaffection has many causes, and they won’t be solved by blunt Government intervention Francis Davis
- Pope Francis has transformed the Church – it’s time the Church stopped stifling groups who embrace that transformation Chris McDonnell
- Francis' support for Romero cause is exciting because of its urgency - could he be beatified by end of 2015? Julian Filochowski in El Salvador
Catherine Pepinster in her column (24 May) suggests Pope Francis should change the form of address for priests from “Father” to “Teacher”. The former Council Father, Bishop Remi De Roo, at the age of 90, said when we met him in Bristol recently that he wished to be addressed simply as Remi. This in no way diminished our respect for him as a bishop who attended all the meetings of the Second Vatican Council. By our baptism we should be living the life of a priest, prophet and king. We, the laity, are the priesthood of the baptised. We have been called by God, and sent to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ to those we meet in our daily life.
It is my belief that we will succeed in our mission to pass on our Catholic – Christian faith, only if we avoid squabbles about the roles and status of men and women, ordained and non-ordained, and how we address our priests.
We are all equal in God's eyes and should be working side by side. No group should be sidelined because another requires acknowledgement. The ordained celibate priesthood is a special and precious vocation. The priest "lays down his life" (marriage) for the greater opportunity to care for his flock, and he is crucial to Catholic life in that he celebrates the Eucharist, enabling us all to become truly part of the Body of Christ.
If we find it natural to address a priest as Father, that is fine. If we do not, that is fine as well.
Kathy McVay, Westbury on Trym, Bristol