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It was only pure chance that prevented a table that once belonged to G.K. Chesterton ending up on the scrap heap.
Pope Francis has revealed that he has not watched television for 25 years after making a promise to the Virgin Mary.
When a female bishop gets together with Muslim, Hindu and pagan women leaders you might expect conversation to take an unusual course.
British actor Jude Law is to play the lead role in a new American TV series about a fictional pope, Pius XIII, described as an Italian-American who becomes the most conservative pope in modern history.
Germaine Greer, renowned feminist and a self-described “atheist Catholic”, has emerged as an unlikely supporter for traditional church teaching on gender.
The dean and chapter of Durham is going to great lengths to keep its cathedral free to enter despite having felt the squeeze in recent years (see Jonathan Wright’s book review, page 23).
Mount St Joseph Retreat Centre, run by the Jesuits in Malta is, they say, “an invitation to leave the fast pace of modern life and enter into a haven of peace and quiet.” Now that calm has been disrupted in a highly dramatic way.
One is an imposing Victorian building in Headingley in Yorkshire, and the other is a villa in the Alban Hills set in woodlands, with a swimming pool and lakeside views. Which would you prefer if you were holding a meeting?
As a cathedral named after Britain’s first martyr, it is fitting that St Albans has just installed statues of seven new martyrs with a strong ecumenical theme.
In our Easter issue we ran a competition to win an eight-day pilgrimage for two to Malta. We asked entrants to tell us where the traditional site of St Paul’s shipwreck is.
While we reported last week that the number of Catholic and Catholic-educated MPs in this Parliament is likely to be fewer than the last one, Oaklands Catholic School, in Waterlooville, Hampshire, can count at least two new government ministers among its alumni.
You might call it the secularisation of transport.
One of the battles likely to take place following the Synod on the Family in October will be over how it is reported. During last year’s, the media narrative had the progressives in the ascendency at first, only to be dashed by the conservatives.
Not many priests had a second career as manager of a jazz musician, but that was the supplementary vocation of Fr Peter O’Brien, who has died in the Bronx, New York, at the age of 75.
To honour the patroness of Scotland, the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Leo Cushley, has decided to restart a summer pilgrimage that was last made in 1974.
Today The Tablet is proud to celebrate 175 years since it published its first edition. An anniversary is not, however, simply a time to reflect on the achievements of the past but an opportunity to look to the future.
Why are young women interested in attending the old rite?
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has a holy role model as a namesake.
While he might have worked at the Vatican office which deals with censorship, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, pictured below, was due to take charge of a newspaper this week.
There are almost a quarter of million children caring for a relative in England and Wales, and around 23,000 of them are under the age of nine.
Reforming the Vatican was never going to be straightforward but it seems that streamlining its media operation is becoming an unexpectedly tricky task for Pope Francis.
Fr Denis Hall was such an avid supporter of West Ham United that on one occasion before a match the club’s announcer asked him to return to church as “the bride and groom are waiting”.
Next Saturday, 16 May, The Tablet turns 175, and to mark the occasion a special Mass is to be celebrated at Westminster Cathedral.
His company’s assets include Liverpool’s John Lennon airport and Salford’s MediaCityUK where a significant portion of the BBC is now based.
The Vatican machinery appointing bishops appears to have clicked into gear under Pope Francis. Rocco Palmo, of the “Whispers in the Loggia” blog, says of the 194 dioceses in the United States just two are now vacant and none have serving diocesan bishops over the retirement age of 75.
Manuscripts, letters and journalism from the pen of the novelist G.K. Chesterton, one of the most eloquent and influential Catholics of the twentieth century, are to be housed in a new archive dedicated to his work.
It is now more than two years since the Soho Masses in central London for gay Catholics were ended and the group moved to a new church.
It is an unusual move for someone who wrote a book titled Why Catholics are Right, but Michael Coren, a prominent Canadian broadcaster, author and journalist, has become an Anglican.
Brigitte Bardot, one of the most prominent sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, managed to make it pass the film censors at the English College. The job of checking through films before they were shown had one year fallen to a young Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.
Quietly overseeing the construction of Crossrail, the new commuter line across London that includes an underground section in the city centre, is St Barbara.
A poll earlier this month showed that Catholics are more likely to vote Labour in the forthcoming general election than any other faith group. This is consistent with other surveys of faith-group political affiliation.
In the build-up to the centenary of “Metz Yeghern” – the Armenian Genocide of 1915, remembered on Friday 24 April – there was a notable event in Brussels last Friday.
They gave their lives in battle a century ago, and to mark the event a new setting of the Mass, commemorating those who fell fighting Ottoman forces during the Dardanelles Campaign of the First World War, will be celebrated today, Anzac Day.
Australia’s youngest bishop, Columba Macbeth-Green, is as different from the image of a high priest as his Outback Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes is vast.
In 1965 the Guinness family gave Waterford chandeliers and pendants to Westminster Abbey to mark its 900th anniversary.
Vatican art is normally assumed to be the Sistine Chapel and glorious Renaissance frescoes. For the second time, however, the Holy See will join other countries in having a pavilion at the Venice Biennale, a major contemporary art exhibition.
It was one of the final pieces of legislation passed by the last Parliament: the Lords Spiritual (Women) Act ensures that female bishops go to the head of the queue when a vacancy in the House of Lords arises.
The Caribbean came to Lourdes last week with steel drums, a choir of several hundred and music led by the cantor of a parish in Jamaica.
Chelsea’s extrovert football manager José Mourinho has revealed that there is one aspect of his work he keeps under wraps. He and his wife, Matilde Faria...
With candidates starting to declare they are in the running for the US?presidency, at least two Catholics are likely to be throwing their hats into the ring.
It involved seven political leaders and a heckler, and was watched by millions of viewers: last Thursday’s general election debate was a high-pressure occasion.
A canoe is to sit alongside the boxes in the removal van transporting the possessions of the soon-to-be-installed Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham from London to his new diocese.
It’s a poster intended to make people stop at street corners, and think about those who might be spending the night at one.
After being told by his doctors last week that he should cut down on pasta and eat it on no more than two days each week, the Pope has received some tongue-in-cheek advice from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
Est-ce le Pape? Passers-by did a double take outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris this week when they spotted a smiley Francis giving them a big thumbs-up.
One Tory general election candidate to watch is Tom Tugendhat, a 41-year-old Catholic recently described by one magazine as being on David Cameron’s “secret A-list”.
Was it the case of a prophet not being accepted in his home town or a church leader who could have been more collegial?
Rome can rest easy, after king of satire Armando Iannucci revealed he is not considering “having a go” at the Vatican.
If you were going to open a bar with a Catholic theme, what would you name it? Cana, of course. That’s what the Diocese of Lille in northern France thought when it decided to try a different kind of evangelisation by opening one close to the city’s main square.
Catholic actor David Harewood, who starred in the hit TV series Homeland, is to present one of the leading BBC offerings over Easter, the narration of the gospel of St John.
Going into Church House on the evening of Wednesday 25 March was like stepping back into the 1980s, as faces familiar from that decade marked the launch of Eliza Filby’s new volume God and Mrs Thatcher.
His move to live in Sussex offers the newly appointed Bishop of Arundel and Brighton the chance to get into the saddle in more ways than one.
For a man who famously said of the Blair Government, “We don’t do God,” the Labour Prime Minister’s former spin doctor’s latest book tour took him to an unlikely venue on Monday.
Priests in penal times had to travel light so what better than a reversible chasuble that could be worn to celebrate Mass in Ordinary Time, and also for requiems? Such a garment exists in the collection of treasures owned by Ushaw College.
An eclectic mix beckons from the broadcasters on Good Friday. BBC Radio 4 offers a meditation on everything from ebola victims in Africa to flooding in Derbyshire while the channel Good Food honours the day with back-to-back coverage of fish cookery, including Rick Stein’s Seafood Lover’s Guide.
For parents on the go comes the first and only mobile phone app for infant baptism within the Catholic Church, from Redemptorist Publications. Adapted from the publishing group’s book Your Baby’s Baptism, the £4 app contains an interactive section for pictures and postings for the families’ special day.
At first sight, an Easter play at Oxford Brookes University last week could be regarded as a little inappropriate, accompanied as it was by free wine and exotic food despite falling in the heart of Lent.
He is the most high profile figure to be received into the Church for many decades. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair (pictured) became a Catholic in the chapel of Archbishop’s House, Westminster, in a service conducted by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.
It was a service to commemorate the end of British operations in Afghanistan, honouring all those who put their lives on the line and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country – a number that included many Catholics.
Former Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Wiseman’s connection with Seville was celebrated recently
A Catholic independent school is to change its name after deciding to take Newman’s advice that “to live is to change”.
It wasn’t quite St Paul’s version of fighting the good fight to the finish, but when Irish priest Fr Pierre Pepper took on the challenge of a boxing match with one of his parishioners, he was determined to give it his very best shot.
The Chilean actor Sergio Hernández, who is to play the Pope in the forthcoming film Call Me Francesco – the Pope, is seeking out those who know Jorge Bergoglio to help him with the part.
This year’s Newman Lecture – the annual event sponsored by Campion Hall, Blackfriars and St Benet’s Hall, the three Catholic permanent private halls of Oxford University – could not have been more topical. Halfway between the synod on the family last October and this year’s follow-up synod on the same topic, also to be held in October, moral theologian Lisa Sowle Cahill...
Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, who did not attend the ordination of the first female bishop in the Church of England, was again a no-show at her installation ceremony in Chester Cathedral.
It may seem a bit of a leap to go from Chinese propaganda to portraits of the Church’s leadership – though possibly not for leading artist Shen Jiawei, whose paintings of Maoist soldiers became one of the most enduring images of the Communist era 40 years ago.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest is one with a difference: it includes, for the first time, Australia. The country has been given a “wild card” one-off entry and will be represented by Guy Sebastian, who earned international prominence for singing
When Maureen Martin, the head teacher of a successful girls school for more than two decades as well as being executive principal of another academy, met the Prime Minister, David Cameron, recently, it was only natural for him to ask how she managed.
Scripture contains several accounts of brothers who go their separate ways and now, from the Bible Belt of America, comes an unusual story about 43-year-old twins.
Her interviewing style is an institution and she has talked to everyone from President Obama to Michael Jackson on her famous sofa.
No news yet of the successor to Kieran Conry, who, almost six months ago, stood down as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton following an admission that he failed to keep his vow of celibacy.
In Malta it is not uncommon for priests to live with their parents. But it is more unusual for an archbishop to do so.
A new study, juicily entitled The Monastic Estate: four million acres grabbed by a needy, greedy king, promises a fresh angle on the dissolution of the monasteries...
Safecracking might nowadays seem quaintly passé, but retired safecrackers everywhere offered up a prayer for the spirit of Joe Beltrami, Glasgow’s legendary criminal defence lawyer, who has died at the age of 83.
As the Archbishop of Canterbury’s diplomatic envoy, Terry Waite negotiated the release of hostages taken in Iran in 1980.
Those expecting a reflection to aid their fasting and penance on Ash Wednesday by tuning in to BBC Radio 4’s “Prayer for the Day” might have been surprised to hear a Scottish Presbyterian minister suggest that receiving ashes was akin to wallowing in sinfulness.
Establishment hostility to Catholicism is not as distant as people might think. During Lord (William) Waldegrave’s time as a Foreign Office Minister – 1988-90 – the then head of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service came into his office to raise an “embarrassing personal matter”.
A set of 15 Stations of the Cross by contemporary artists commissioned for Brentwood Cathedral in Essex has been acquired by the prestigious Komechak Art Gallery in Chicago.
Sending a monk with a set budget to an auction may not sound like the recipe for success.
Motivational wartime slogans appear everywhere, from mugs to T-shirts. Now St Mary’s in East Hendred, Oxfordshire, has found a slogan for churches in Lent.
This week 50 journalists were allowed a once-and-once-only glimpse of the luxurious apartments of a former bishop.
Last year’s Synod on the Family was notable for its attempt to find a more welcoming language for gay Catholics, although in the end the Synod Fathers voted down a shift to a more inclusive tone in their final document.
Austere it won’t be. When work is finally completed on turning St Edward’s Presbytery in Ramsgate, Kent, into holiday accommodation, guests can expect a degree of en-suite comfort that the priest who once lived there would have had to do without.
He is a former Augustinian monk who began a religious revolution almost 500 years ago. Today, Martin Luther has inspired a major manufacturing success: a plastic figure of him, costing €2.39, has become the fastest-selling toy ever for the Playmobil company of Germany.
In the early Church it meant abstaining from meat and all that comes from flesh including milk, cheese and eggs. Today, Lenten observance, which started on Wednesday, is less about giving something up than about taking something on – such as, for instance, care for the environment.
As a man of 6ft 3in, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne is used to towering over people. But when it comes to preaching from the pulpit in his new cathedral he starts to get vertigo.
In her autobiography A Lot Like Eve, the pro-life campaigner the Revd Joanna Jepson reveals how a retreat at the Anglican Tymawr Convent in Monmouth helped her overcome her doubts about priesthood due to her image of the clergy as dowdy.
How to address declining numbers and ageing clergy was on the agenda at the Church of England’s General Synod this week, with five reports discussed on the matter.
In most walks of life, retirement normally beckons in the mid-sixties. In the Church, however, bishops are expected to remain in office until 75, sometimes longer.
Volunteering at a food co-op in Brooklyn, and a trip to see one of the world’s most lauded feminist artworks, based on the Last Supper.
First it was Tristram Hunt’s nun gaffe. Now another Labour frontbencher has found a way of putting off Catholics.
A model of Cologne Cathedral made of around 2.5 million matchsticks has turned up in the cellar of a house in Sankt Pölten in Lower Austria.
The start of Lent, which occurs next Wednesday, will see series of talks during the season in parishes and elsewhere.
Francis’ list of the 15 “diseases” of the Roman Curia, outlined at the end of last year, was reportedly met with “surprise, shock and incomprehension” by its audience.
A discussion on women organised by the Vatican – where the decision-makers are of course all men
The little-known role of a Benedictine monk of Ampleforth in the historic ascension of Mount Everest will be ...
Evidence that the Pope perhaps enjoys a wee dram
Despite the persecution of the Reformation, including being expelled from their home ...
The Catholic Church decreed Oscar Romero a martyr this week, but the Church of England decided ...
It’s a saint’s day celebration in an abbey, but not quite as we know it. Stanbrook Abbey, home to a community of Benedictine nuns for 171 years, now has a new life as a luxury events venue, and to celebrate St Valentine’s Day, romantic dinners à deux are on offer at £49.50...
Papal ambassadors are schooled in a classical form of diplomacy that includes discretion, tact and often working behind the scenes. But the world of social media might be changing that.
The Tablet’s obituary of the untimely death of Fr Robert Kaggwa took one Mill Hill missionary back to a village in Uganda in the early 1960s.
Half a century ago, the world was mourning the death of Sir Winston Churchill, whose state funeral took place on 30 January 1965.
When it comes to crossing the final threshold, you might assume that priests and Religious would be among those who have a happy death.
To celebrate his seventieth birthday last week, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn invited 50 homeless people to lunch.
It is normally used for large-scale music concerts and is the venue for stand-up comedians such as Billy Connolly. But next month the Grand Hall in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, will be the place where hands are laid on to ordain the next Bishop of Galloway, Fr William Nolan.
After the Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope, a Catholic winemaker in California saw an opportunity. Why not make a wine for him? Trinitas Cellars winery in Napa Valley realised it didn’t have Argentinian malbec grapes, but did have cabernet franc.
A tenth-century limestone relief showing St Peter, discovered in the garden of a cottage near Ilchester marking the grave of a pet cat, has been acquired by the Museum of Somerset in Taunton for £150,000.
Leicester City Football Club have signed up an independent Catholic school, Ratcliffe College, to educate 16 Thai students who have just arrived to train at the club’s academy.
Home design consultant and television celebrity Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s winter wonderland attraction near Birmingham (pictured) might have ended in tears for some children, but now some of the poorest youngsters in Britain ...
Famous for presenting horse racing and sports programmes, Clare Balding is now considering deepening her spiritual life by applying for a course at Heythrop College.
“You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you the freedom of being a child of God,” so said Pope Francis delivering a homily during Mass last Friday.
This week’s episode of the BBC series Father Brown – based on G.K. Chesterton’s sleuth priest – caused a few winces for one viewer: Fr Tony Nye, a Jesuit based at Farm Street, Mayfair, who was the programme’s religious adviser.
Artist Sean Scully, who has twice been nominated for the Turner Prize, had his baptism into the world of art at his local church in north London.
Five Popemobiles were prepared for use during the Pope’s trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines this week.
A practical reality of naming new cardinals from far-flung corners of the world is a long time spent on an aeroplane travelling to Rome.
Hugh Grant’s campaign to curb the excesses of the media has led to a friendship with a Catholic peer and her family, and next week it will give the actor the chance to return to his first love, amateur dramatics.
The former editor of The Tablet, John Wilkins, cut his teeth as a journalist with contributions to The Catholic Herald under Desmond Fisher, who has died in Dublin at the age of 94. Fisher was the Herald’s editor from 1962 to 1966, the years of the Second Vatican Council.
To Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s great delight, a bottle containing his 1972 graduation address in Latin, and a list of his fellow graduates, has turned up at his former high school in his native Geseke, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Villa Palazzola, on the shores of Lake Albano, 18 miles from Rome, will be the agreeable surroundings for the bishops of England and Wales at their low week meeting in mid-April.
The 2010 general election saw more than 80 Catholics elected as Members of Parliament.
How times change. Once silenced by the Vatican, Leonardo Boff is now taking on the role of defending the Pope.
After being silenced by the Vatican for 30 years, the liberation theologian and former Franciscan priest Leonardo Boff is, The Tablet understands, now advising Pope Francis on the drafting of his next encyclical.
This year, 2015, is a special year for The Tablet as it marks 175 years since the birth of the publication – a 16-page issue dated 16 May 1840.
Providing moral leadership in Britain is hard work. And a poll for The Sunday Times of 2,000 people does not make particularly comfortable reading for male church leaders.
The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland, has awarded an honorary doctorate to Elie Wiesel, 86, the Romanian-born Nobel Prize-winner who survived the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps as a teenager.
Hedgehog heaven is the garden of a Carmelite convent in west London. The prickly creatures are an endangered species in Britain – but when the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea undertook a survey of potential habitats, ...
Pope Francis’ listing of the diseases of the Roman Curia appears to have resonance outside the Vatican: his honest but rather brutal compilation – which includes excessive activity,...
Lord (Roy) Hattersley’s twenty-third book has a strong personal element to it. Taking as its subject the persecution of Catholics in England, the book is dedicated to his father, Frederick Roy Hattersley, a priest who left the ministry to marry Roy’s mother.
Along with former Shadow Attorney General, chancellor of the University of Greenwich and Queen’s Counsel, Baroness (Patricia) Scotland can add alderman of the City of London to her roles.
After overseeing one large media operation, Lord Patten of Barnes is hard at work seeking to reform another, as the former chairman of the BBC Trust is now in charge of a committee looking at Vatican communications.
Last week in East Sussex, students at St Leonards-Mayfield School staged a live crib service in the local village (pictured). Mary and Joseph processed down the high street guiding a donkey and singing carols.
Pope Francis’ critique of the global financial system is getting him noticed by economists. The London School of Economics has devoted two lectures in a month to his views on the world economy.
Actress Angelina Jolie was brought up a Catholic: her father, Jon Voight, once played Pope John Paul II in a TV movie and her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, was praised by her daughter for the way she lived her faith.
What is the future of the European project? Pope Francis has strong views on where the source of the problem lies, and he did not pull his punches when he addressed the European Parliament last month.
Made for Glory, a series of short films designed to help young people go deeper in their personal relationship with Christ, was given the Vatican seal of approval this week after a link to one of them was tweeted by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
They are a group of 30 prominent Australians who have come together to record a song protesting against the detention of 700 asylum-seeker children.
Where else but in Germany would the wheels used by church leaders – both Protestant and Catholic – to get around come under scrutiny?
A Yorkshire parish has produced a chronicle of its first 100 years revealing links to a gallery of famous names from Apollo astronauts to the US Ryder Cup golf team and the crooner Bing Crosby.
After signing a lucrative sponsorship deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Real Madrid football club decided to drop the small Christian cross surmounting the royal crown on its official crest.
Heythrop College has hosted plenty of eminent lecturers over the years. But the man who proved the biggest draw was the philosopher Charles Taylor. A packed Loyola Hall heard on Tuesday night the author of A Secular Age discuss the Disjunctions Movemen
On his visit to Strasbourg to address the European Parliament, Pope Francis met 97-year-old Helma Schmidt, whose family he had lodged with in 1985 when he was learning German at the Goethe Institute in Boppard, West Germany.
The remains of a Second World War Spitfire aircraft shot down over Salisbury Plain is to be handed over to the Catholic school where its pilot was a pupil.
Although Jon Cruddas, Labour’s policy guru, said that party leaders are nervous of taking up Catholic Social Teaching, Ed Miliband has not given up on the Church.
Today, The Tablet’s popular “Letter from Rome” returns to these pages. It will be written by four writers each bringing their own take on goings-on in the Eternal City.
While Alastair Campbell’s insistence that Tony Blair’s Government “didn’t do God” is seen as a maxim for politicians to follow, Theresa May had no such reticence talking about her faith when she appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs last week.
Just over two months ago, Kieran Conry announced his resignation as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton after acknowledging he had been unfaithful to his vow of celibacy.
Will Cardinal Raymond Burke and a whole host of curial officials be hanging out of their windows on the Via della Conciliazione to see Daniel Craig screeching past in his Fiat 500 during filming for the next James Bond movie?
Serving the poor is a Christian duty but it also brings happiness, according to Australian priest and broadcaster Fr Bob Maguire, who has launched a competition offering three happiness prizes.
Illuminated manuscripts from the Middle Ages, including a Book of Hours and a rare German handbook of Christian death, are among items to be sold at an auction in Paris next week.
Gerard W. Hughes’ spiritual writings spanned the Christian denominations and also crossed the political divide – as his funeral on 17 November showed.
It has now been almost three months since it was announced that Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Vatican’s department for liturgy, would return home to Spain as Archbishop of Valencia.
Are beards now the fashion for senior clerics?
Dame Judi Dench has revealed that her acting debut at 16 was as an angel in the York Mystery Plays when they were first revived in 1951 – but at the time, her ambition was to be a designer.
There have sometimes been murmurings of VIP receptions for bishops at installations, while the rest of us have to make do with warm white wine and sausage rolls.
An openly gay man has appeared in a film distributed online by the Holy See this week, in what is probably a first.
An arty snippet from the 2012 Cultural Olympiad reveals that, for some within the Establishment, the Church remains unpalatable. As part of the preparations for the London Olympics, major regional art galleries were invited to hang the best of their collections in 10 Downing Street for the duration of the games.
Last week the Prince of Wales helped launch the annual report by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. This week he has awarded the Prince of Wales Medal to a Catholic, John Studzinski, for his work in arts philanthropy. Studzinski, a financier, is now the first individual to hold both that and the Prince of Wales Ambassador Award.
While Pope Francis appears to favour English priests, following his appointment of one as his Foreign Minister, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban has expressed his concern about how much England has changed since the days of Catholic persecution.
A life-size sculpture, Jesus the Homeless, has found a permanent home outside the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster after an appeal in The Tablet last month.
He is an Argentinian cleric working and residing in Rome who renounces extravagance and lives the simple life. No, not Pope Francis but Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, who has been in the Eternal City since 1971.
A new cookbook should prove a boon for those abstaining from meat on Fridays. Pauline Curran’s Friday Suppers features 40 meat-free dishes including mushroom risotto and “the ultimate bruschetta”.
Kieran Conry’s resignation as Bishop of Arundel and Brighton comes at a time when the diocese is preparing for a major celebration.
In the new film The Vatican Museums in 3D, to be shown in simultaneous screenings in cinemas across the UK and Ireland on 18 November, viewers can admire – through special goggles
Where would the Church in England and Wales be without former Anglicans?
Oscar Romero’s sanctity has already been recognised by the Anglican Church, so it is fitting that a former Archbishop of Canterbury is to deliver the annual Romero Lecture on 12 December.
A French church confessional was going, going and almost gone on an online auction site when the local bishop discovered the proposed sale and insisted the object be withdrawn.
Art dealer and broadcaster Philip Mould reflected on his unsuccessful time as an altar boy this week.
He is bishop of what one newspaper has described as “the most gossiped-about diocese in Italy”, with Pope Francis expected to send an apostolic administrator to resolve the problems.
It is now possible to eat like a Pope, thanks to a new recipe book by 24-year-old TV chef turned Swiss Guard David Geisser.
POPE FRANCIS has talked of the “God of surprises” several times recently. But where does the phrase come from?
They were a community of Carmelite nuns in the 1950s with no chapel and no funds to pay builders.
It scandalised Catholics, and led to the resignation of the “bishop of bling”, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.
One hundred and fifty years ago today, the first post-Reformation Mass in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, was celebrated.
Any visitor to the Vatican is likely to see the odd bishop sweeping through St Peter’s square dressed in cassock, pectoral cross and a flash of purple. During a synod – attended by prelates from across the world – this is even more common as bishops each day make their way to the Paul VI audience hall or aula.
There was an English presence at the beatification of Paul VI on Sunday. Among the choirs singing at the Mass was one from More House, an independent Catholic girls school in London.
Pope Francis says the Church needs to accompany couples and families in a variety of pastoral situations. It could be the unmarried, divorced or those simply struggling. This, however, can require patience and a sense of humour, as Cardinal Vincent Nichols recalled this week.
The work of hospital chaplains usually takes place quietly, behind the scenes. Now, a new BBC documentary series will give an insight into this key ministry at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
The pop singer Madonna was condemned by the Vatican when she performed a mock crucifixion in Rome during a concert in the city.
“Homeless young people today stand before a cliff that is higher and steeper than ever before,” Cathy Corcoran of the Cardinal Hume Centre told 90 chief executives as they prepared to sleep out in Wembley Stadium on Monday.
World Homeless Day was also marked with a reception in the House of Lords last week, where the former presenter of BBC’s Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman, was among the guests.
Prominent Catholics seem to be at the forefront of the battle to restore the reputation of bankers, after a string of scandals that have eaten away at the public’s trust.
A Christian festival for young people, with singing and prayer, has just ended in Ankawa, a Christian suburb of the Iraqi city of Erbil.
The Synod on the Family is keen that we do not to rush to judge those failing to live up to church teaching.
For many years, Cardinal George Pell had a lively column in Australia’s biggest-selling weekly, The Sunday Telegraph. Now he has encouraged other clerics to write for the newspapers.
When Pope Francis urged participants at the synod to speak their minds, he used the Greek word parrhesia, meaning to speak candidly.
The Indian Government might have declared Mother Teresa as a “Bharat Ratna” (“Jewel of India”) in her lifetime, but it has decided that it does not have sufficient resources to sponsor the university chair it instituted in her memory.
Exhibitions, talks, study days, retreats and conferences are among the events taking place to mark the fifth centenary of the birth of St Teresa of Avila.
The director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Tim Knox, has announced that a public appeal to raise £85,000 to keep a seventeenth-century carving of the Mater Dolorosa, the Virgin of Sorrows, in Cambridge has been successful.
With the problems the Church of England has in attracting vocations from ethnic minorities, you might imagine that St Paul’s Cathedral would have been keener to hold on to its succentor
The food at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where Pope Francis lives and eats alongside everyone else, is unlikely, say those who have sampled it, to receive a Michelin star.
No one doubts Pope Francis’ commitment to collegiality. But it seems he has not forgotten how to exercise papal primacy.
This synod is not the first to discuss the family.
Resignations, scandals, pressure on numbers: it might be easy to get disheartened about the Church in England and Wales.
Fresh moves announced at this year’s Conservative Party conference to cut welfare payments have sparked further criticism by the Church of government policy.
Inspecting women’s stiletto shoes is not a task you might expect of a priest secretary at Archbishop’s House, Westminster.
The hunt is on for a London home for the famous bronze depiction of Christ as a homeless person.
When Malta’s newly elected president, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, met the Pope in Rome on Monday, she may well have raised a hot topic currently exercising opinion on the traditionally Catholic island
Gino Bartali is best known for winning the Tour de France twice, becoming one of the best-known cyclists of the 1930s and 1940s.
It is almost unheard of for a director of news at the BBC to present one of his own programmes, but James Harding is stepping out from the shadows of management to present a Radio 4 documentary on Pope Francis.
No one should be surprised if we find life elsewhere in the universe, according to Vatican astronomer and Tablet columnist Br Guy Consolmagno.
Maintaining neutrality throughout the Scottish referendum debate has required a delicate balancing act by the hierarchy in Scotland.
The first baby baptised by a former leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has had his baptism “reaffirmed”, but this time by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
A Catholic pioneer aviator is to be remembered in a church window in the village where he crashed and died (design above).
The Duke of Cambridge attended Mass for the first time in a public capacity last weekend on a visit to Malta.
When visiting the Pope it is a good idea to carefully observe Vatican protocol. But when Stanley Johnson, pictured right, was received in an audience with John Paul II his decision to break the rules paid off rather well for him.
Lord Bannside, as the Revd Ian Paisley became, was not known as the “Big Man” of Irish politics for nothing. At 6ft 5in, and weighing around 20 stone, he literally towered over friend and foe alike.
Bristol’s Anglican Cathedral was the unlikely setting for a fashion show this week, not for the latest styles in clerical black or prelate purple, but for the creations of iconic designers such as Stella McCartney, Gucci and Christian Louboutin.
They are used to first-class treatment but next month executives from companies such as Facebook, Aviva and PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) are swapping their comfy beds for a night sleeping rough.
Catholic Women’s Ordination will be discussing female deacons when they meet in Bristol on Saturday, 4 October.
Their most famous fan is the Bishop of Rome. So when San Lorenzo de Almagro football club were considering what name to give their new football stadium they looked no further than Pope Francis.
With Pope Francis’ emphasis on simplicity and the Bishop of Limburg (aka the Bishop of Bling) scandal still ...
Last week, we reported on Cardinal Henry Manning’s role as the mediator of the Great London Dock Strike of 1889 ...
Just days before the cricket match between the Vatican and the Church of England in Canterbury ...
Last Sunday, Christopher Lamb of The Tablet was interviewed by 10 BBC regional radio stations ...
Before she trained for ordination, the Revd Miranda Threlfall-Holmes briefly worked ...
Benedictine monasteries produce everything from beer to ...
While it is a long way from being the poor Church that Pope Francis would like, it appears the Vatican is not as wealthy as many like to assume.
Catholic humour topped this year’s Edinburgh Fringe bill, with Bridget Christie (above), 2013 holder of the festival’s Oscar equivalent – the Foster’s prize – handing it on to this year’s winner, fellow Catholic John Kearns.
Former Tory MP Lord Tebbit, 83, is to make his debut speech in a Catholic parish.
The Bishop of Limburg, nicknamed the “Bishop of Bling” for extravagant spending on his house, has not just scandalised the faithful but also appears to have traumatised them.
Now that Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera is returning to Spain, thoughts are turning to who might succeed him as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.
How many pennies are needed to scale the London skyscraper known as the Shard (pictured), one of the tallest buildings in Europe?
The word “conservative” hardly does justice to Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux, who has died at the age of 99. He was a firm believer in the Divine Right of Kings, the cause for the canonisation of Marie Antoinette, and, of course, the Tridentine Rite.
Another religious order in Britain is planning to downsize.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy wandered along the famous pilgrimage route for five miles together last Sunday towards the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
The environmental faith group Christian Ecology Link is revamping its profile for the twenty-first century, starting with a name change to Green Christian.
The caricature of a beaky, querulous John Henry Newman that appeared in Vanity Fair magazine in 1877 is rarely chosen for book covers or prayer cards.
Lord (Roy) Hattersley is a self-proclaimed atheist, but has a personal connection with the Church: his father, before marrying his mother, had been a Catholic priest.
With Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi’s departure, the Government has lost an outspoken proponent for religious freedom.
As a Catholic place of worship that survived the Reformation period, and is still in regular use today, the chapel at Stonor Park, Oxfordshire, is used to being under the radar.
An architect of Vatican II, a bridge-builder between East and West and open to dialogue with the world: it is likely that Cardinal Franz König would have approved of Pope Francis.
He was commissioned to paint a portrait of Scottish martyr St John Ogilvie for the refurbished St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow.
Academic institutions are usually buildings rather than people, but at 106 Margaret Wileman was a near permanent fixture in Cambridge.
The church hierarchy can expect a lighter mailbag following the news that Daphne McLeod, the chairwoman of Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, is retiring after 20 years.
Actors including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams (pictured) and Stanley Tucci are reportedly in talks to star in the Tom McCarthy film on the clerical sexual-abuse scandal in Boston.
The disciples in woolly jumpers and the risen Christ with gardening tools are just some of the unusual portrayals by the artist Eularia Clarke (1914-1970), whose Picnic on the Shore is pictured above.
Pig wrestling can now be listed alongside bingo, barbecues and selling marmalade as one of the ways for parishes to raise money.
As one of the inspirations for the BBC2 sitcom Rev, and host of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, his fan base is now arguably as large as, if not larger than, it was in his days in the 1980s as a musician with Jimmy Somerville in the Communards.
The challenging pace set by Professor Linda Woodhead on debating and researching religion is expected to step up a gear as she has accepted an invitation to become president of Modern Church.
In a new twist for ecumenical relations this week, a Requiem Mass – which included a tribute from Pope Francis – took place for an Evangelical bishop, Tony Palmer, who died tragically in a motorcycle accident last month.
One of the largest Pentecostal churches in Brazil, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, last week inaugurated a new 10,000-seat venue in São Paulo.
Sending questionnaires to the laity, exploring the role of women in the Church – in many ways Cardinal Edward Clancy, who died last weekend at the age of 90, was a man ahead of his time.
Peace is in danger of breaking out between the Church and Stonewall, the gay equality organisation.
With the synod on the family just a matter of months away, a well-timed book-length interview with Cardinal Gerhard Müller is to be released.
The eighth-century monastery on the remote island of Skellig Michael in south-west Ireland harks bark to an ancient monasticism but has now taken on a more futuristic role as a location for the latest Star Wars film.
After over a decade in the editor’s chair, Catherine Pepinster is taking a sabbatical. During this period she will spend six months as Visiting Scholar at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford
On Monday, Europe will pause as it commemorates the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War, a scene of which is depicted in the watercolour above.
The “great silence” on a recent retreat at Douai Abbey was disturbed when some of the rooms at the Benedictine monastery in Berkshire were invaded by giant hornets in the middle of the night.
English-born Bishop Richard Williamson, who was expelled from the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X (SSPX) in 2012 for challenging the society’s leaders, has founded a new “Priestly Union of Marcel Lefebvre” in France for priests who leave the SSPX.
Ahigh-church Anglican vicar has increased by as much as ten-fold his visitor count by opening what is believed to be the first full-time post office in a church. Last month, Fr Andrew Foreshew-Cain incurred a formal rebuke from his bishop when he married his partner, Stephen Forshew, a Catholic from Australia.
It is rare to find evidence of Christianity in Britain prior to AD 306, when Emperor Constantine came to power. Yet a silver ring with a Christian motif has been found at a dig at the Roman fort of Binchester, in County Durham.
The distinguished journalist Roland Hill, who has died aged 93, began his career on The Tablet after the Second World War. Born in Hamburg the son of a businessman called Rudolf Hess (no relation of Hitler’s deputy), Hill fled Nazi Germany for Austria.
Competing against choirs from as far afield as China, the Bradford Catholic Girls’ Choir has won two bronze medals at the World Choir Games in the Latvian capital, Riga.
Amid all the public commemorations that are marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Bishop of the Forces, Richard Moth, is also pondering a poignant personal story connected with the conflict.
Along with helping the Holy See to elucidate its message more effectively, one of the tasks facing the committee appointed to oversee Vatican communications is to make savings. Indeed, Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, ...
With their match against the Church of England fast approaching, the Vatican cricket team is garnering support from across the world.
Congratulations to Tablet columnist Br Guy Consolmagno, who has won the Carl Sagan medal, a prestigious scientific award for those who communicate astronomy to the public.
While Westminster politicians were due to debate whether assisted suicide should become the law of the land, a group of 1,200 of the sick and dying – many of them elderly – were preparing to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes.
The two are close friends having spent the summer commentating on the World Cup in Brazil together after both made the move from BBC to ITV Sport.
Given the poor state of religious literacy among young people, it is time to think creatively about how to communicate basic tenets of faith.
The mosaics in Westminster Cathedral look as if they will remain unfinished after the project to complete them has been put on hold
Lord Patten of Barnes was this week appointed president of a committee tasked with reforming Vatican communications.
When it comes to seeking a celebrity speaker for a parish’s bicentenary dinner, few priests can be as blessed as Mgr Phelim Rowland
While the upcoming Vatican synod on the family will be dominated by male clerics, another church gathering shows it is possible to achieve the opposite.
Some 185 hectolitres – that is more than 32,500 pints – of dark beer from St Marienthal, the oldest Cistercian monastery in Germany, is on its way to China.
In 1996, the year before the general election which saw Labour oust the Conservatives by a massive margin, the Catholic bishops of England and Wales published a radical new policy document, The Common Good and the Catholic Church.
The BBC is priding itself on sticking closely to the word of author E.F. Benson in its adaptation of his Mapp and Lucia books, set in Tilling, a town based on Rye in East Sussex, where the series is currently filming.
The local clerical tradition of literally tending a flock of sheep, as disclosed by Bishop Joseph Toal in his Motherwell installation homily, continues in the northerly South Uist parish of St Michael’s in Argyll and the Isles where he once served.
Among those at the press conference presenting the working document for next October’s synod, the instrumentum laboris, were two lay people who gave testimonies.
Sir Stephen Wall, a former British Permanent Representative to the European Union, has talked about how he took part in last weekend’s gay pride march in London.
The Order of Service for the Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vincent Nichols on Saturday at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Simon Stock, in Kensington, west London, to mark the 400th anniversary of Heythrop College told the story of the educational institution through a series of pictures.
It caused Cafod some discomfort when Damian McBride, the aid agency’s communications man, published an account of his time working for the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown that included details of political skulduggery.
Full visible unity between Catholics and Anglicans might seem distant, but it is in the pews that the most unlikely new relationships are being forged.
The death at the age of 60 of Gerry Conlon, one of the four people wrongly convicted of the 1974 Guildford pub bombing, has revived unhappy memories of a terrible miscarriage of justice,
Pope Francis would like priests to have the “smell of the sheep” so he will be pleased to hear that the new Bishop of Motherwell is a shepherd who has literally tended his flock.
Arundel Cathedral’s annual carpet of flowers this year commemorated the centenary of the beginning of the First World War.
Political theorist Larry Siedentop is both critical of and sympathetic to Benedict XVI’s critique of contemporary Europe, he explained at a Theos think tank gathering in Westminster last week, held to discuss his most recent work, Inventing the Individual: the origins of Western liberalism.
The new Bishop of Brentwood is to follow in the footsteps of Pope Francis and eschew the grander housing options for him to live in a small bungalow in the 14-acre grounds of the diocesan retreat house, Abbotswick, alongside a community of nuns.
Eyebrows were raised around Westminster this week when the date for Caritas Social Action Network’s parliamentary reception this year was revealed as 5 November.
Fig trees are part of the biblical landscape, but that isn’t the only reason why Archbishop Justin Welby gave Pope Francis a cutting from one that grows in the Lambeth Palace garden.
The criticism within the College of Cardinals for Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal that divorced and readmitted Catholics should be allowed Communion was a victory for the forces of conservatism, according to the church historian Alberto Melloni.
After the Reformation, not a single significant statue of Mary remained in Lincoln Cathedral, despite the building being dedicated to her.
Cycling fans in Yorkshire for next month’s opening stage of the Tour de France can say a special prayer for the competitors in a church right beside the route.
St Mary’s, Hampstead, north London, was founded by a priest from Normandy in northern France so it was fitting that last weekend that a parishioner couple travelled to the scene of the D-Day landings 70 years ago.
When the Jesuits decided they were withdrawing from the Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, in south-west London, it fell to the Archdiocese of Southwark to work out who would lead one of the largest parishes in Britain.
Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg in in South Africa has spent years at the “coalface” with his ministry to those with HIV and Aids.
Pope Francis last week called for an end to prejudice against Gypsies, who increasingly find themselves the object of suspicion in some parts of Italy.
This week, the European Commission urged the United Kingdom to build more homes in order to rein in a property boom. Could an answer to the woeful lack of housing stock be found in church property?
The gunpoint robbery of Lady (Carla) Powell at her home just outside Rome has shocked her wide circle of friends, none more so than those in the Church.
When the World Cup kicks off later this month all players will be looking for inspiration. More than you might think will be appealing to the divine sort, including Brazilian defender David Luiz (pictured), Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.
At almost 600 feet, the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth offers marvellous panoramic views.
With questions ranging from pop stars to geography and income tax, two Catholic priests emerged victorious this week in a BBC1 quiz show.
Pope Francis’ desire for a poor Church is still taking time to filter through in the Vatican.
Ballot papers in a conclave are supposed to be burnt as soon as they are counted. But next month, one of them, from the 1903 election of Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto as Pope Pius X, is going up for auction in London.
After the Red Hat cocktail created for Cardinal Vincent Nichols, we can now report plans for a book of exotic drinks with an ecclesial twist.
Preparing teenagers for confirmation can be an uphill struggle, especially given the distraction of social media.
It is a global organisation with nearly 200,000 employees spread across the world that, according to one academic, can teach some valuable lessons to businesses today.
He might prefer to avoid the limelight, but Stratford Caldecott, the Catholic author and publisher, has recently found himself the subject of an international social media initiative that has gone viral.
New academic appointment marks an Oxford first
In the rather incongruous setting of the uninhabited island of Lamb Holm in the Orkney Islands stands a little piece of Italy.
The new Archbishop Denis Hurley Centre, in Durban, South Africa, is asking for donations quite literally “brick by brick”.
We can now reveal the ingredients of the “red hat cocktail” created especially to celebrate Vincent Nichols being made a cardinal earlier this year.
The victory of Austria’s Conchita Wurst, a bearded drag queen, in the Eurovision song contest was criticised by Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin. But in the winner’s home country of Austria, not known for its progressive views on matters such as homosexuality, Conchita, aka Tom Neuwirth, has an unlikely fan: his parish priest.
It appears to be tough times for those covering religious affairs in the media. Ruth Gledhill, The Times’ religion correspondent, is departing after 25 years in the post and her role is being scrapped.
Last month, the Queen travelled to Rome to meet Pope Francis and tomorrow it is the turn of her grandson Prince Harry to visit the Eternal City.
OLD ETONIANS hold a significant number of key positions in the inner circle of Prime Minister David Cameron, who himself was a pupil at the school.
IT WAS quite a journey. Sally Gross, who died earlier this year at the age of 60, was born Jewish and, classified as male, was given the name Selwyn.
PACIFISTS WILL be pleased to hear that conscientious objectors (COs) have not been forgotten amid the many events marking the centenary of the First World War.
The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did not mince his words.
THE TRADE union leader Bob Crow, who died unexpectedly in March, may appear to some to be an unlikely hero of Catholic Social Teaching.
WHEN HE was made Cabinet Secretary, Lord (Gus) O’Donnell placed in his office a motivational slogan: “only the first step is difficult”.
AS THE PATRON saint of travellers, the protection of St Christopher is often invoked by Catholics going on long journeys.
DURING THE weekend when the Church’s attention was fixed on the canonisation of two Popes, most people missed the raising to the altars of a courageous Italian friar.
BESIDE HIS family, there will have been few prouder people witnessing the installation of Malcolm McMahon as Archbishop of Liverpool than his primary school teacher.
The former director of the Catholic Education Service, Dr Margaret Smart, makes a powerful point against Catholic schools moving to academy status (Letters, 26 April).
The Archbishop of Dublin paid his own tribute to Popes John Paul II and John XXIII at Mass last weekend.
RELATIONS BETWEEN the Catholic Church and the Government have been up and down in recent months
WHILE CATHOLICS across the world will celebrate the feast of St John XXIII on 22 October, other Churches already have him in their liturgical calendars.
The elaborate floral arrangements that adorn the steps outside St Peter’s Basilica every Easter may fall victim to some government budget-cutting back where the flowers were grown.
According to the UK Hand Knitting Association, there are 500,000 men who practise the craft.
LAST WEEK WE reported that Neil Tennant of the pop duo Pet Shop Boys and a lapsed Catholic who has incorporated elements of the liturgy into his songs in the past, has produced his own version of the old spiritual hymn “Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)?
He normally offers a reflection on nature on the back page of this publication.
Is Alastair Campbell more interested in faith than he appears?
It is not only bishops’ living arrangements that are being examined afresh under Francis’ pontificate, following his decision to live in a Vatican guesthouse rather than the apostolic palace.
Speaking of living arrangements, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone appears to have gone off-message with his.
He may be a lapsed Catholic, but Neil Tennant, of the pop duo Pet Shop Boys, has worked religious references into his music over the years.
It was the spot where Catholics were hanged, drawn and quartered for their faith during the Reformation
Eagle-eyed observers will have noted that three out of the four most recent episcopal appointments in England and Wales have come from religious orders.
Nadine Dorries once described the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, as “two arrogant posh boys”, in contrast to the picture painted in her novel, The Four Streets, based on her upbringing in a working-class Irish-Catholic neighbourhood in Liverpool.
Pope Francis was due to leave the Vatican on Maundy Thursday to wash the feet of those on the margins of society.
Masses for gay and lesbian Catholics in Soho, central London, may have ended but the community they served continues to grow.
Last week we reported on the pressure on bishops to downsize from large residences. In Scotland, the newly installed Bishop of Paisley, John Keenan, is leading by example by choosing to live in the Clydesdale town of Greenock, described by the novelist and screenwriter Alan Sharp as a “cemetery with two lamp posts
Following the untimely death of Paul Goggins MP, the Cardinal Hume Centre is looking for a new chairman of its trustees.
An unlikely witness appeared last week for the defence in the long-running News of the World phone-hacking trial at the Central Criminal Court in London.
When Pope Francis was first shown those spacious papal apartments (the ones he rejected for a modest Vatican guest house), he is reported to have exclaimed, “But there is room here for 300 people.”
FOR 35 YEARS, the car used by Pope John Paul II while he was Archbishop of Krakow was left rusting in a barn in Poland with mice nesting in its upholstery. But new life has been breathed into the 60-year-old vehicle and on Monday it is due to start a journey to Rome to attend the late Pope’s canonisation.
LAST MONTH we reported that Stations of the Cross would be on display on the London Underground thanks to the public art enterprise Art Below. Now Transport for London (TfL) has deemed eight of the images unsuitable to be shown on billboards at Tube stations.
“Football for men. Gossip for women. Religion for all.” This is the Irish-Catholic world that Nadine Dorries describes in her debut novel, published this week. The Conservative MP, who is proudly working-class and once described David Cameron and George Osborne as “two arrogant posh boys”
One question on the agenda of this year’s Synod on Marriage and the Family will be how to pass on the faith to the children of gay couples. Fr Edmund Montgomery, 29, an assistant priest at the Church of Our Lady and St Christopher in Stockport, has signalled a special interest in the topic by announcing on Twitter ...
OUR COVER this week depicts a detail of a crucifix by the late artist Steven Sykes. Sixteen feet high and made of concrete, it is looking for a home in a Catholic church.
JEROME KERVIEL was a high-flying trader at a Paris bank who juggled huge sums on international markets until he lost €4.9 billion (£4.1bn) in 2008 and was convicted of fraud and forgery.
WHEN BISHOP Malcolm McMahon packs up his bags to move to Liverpool in the coming weeks, one of the boxes marked “valuable” is likely to contain his owls.
RUSSELL CROWE’s charm offensive to religious leaders as he promotes his film of the Noah Bible story appears to be paying off.
DERMOT O’LEARY is openly Catholic but equally open about the struggles with his faith. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Pope Francis has been a breath of fresh air for the presenter of ITV’s pop music talent show, The X Factor.
THIS WEEK’S debate between CND veteran Bruce Kent and former Conservative Defence Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind about the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent had both men scrambling for the moral high ground.
THE QUESTION is not just why the Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, spent €31 million (£26m) of church funds on his residence, but how he managed to spend so much.
HERE’S A CHALLENGE to Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff who, as we reported last week, is going to learn Welsh.
WHEN LONDONER George Stack was appointed Archbishop of Cardiff, there were several commentators – including the editor of The Tablet – who called on him to learn Welsh. At the time, he said he was open to this “legitimate request”, although he made no commitment.
FRANCE’S SOCIALIST leaders are slowly getting better – or at least quicker – at denouncing radical protests against the Catholic Church.
READERS OF John Campbell’s new biography of Roy Jenkins might be surprised by the revelation that the architect of the permissive society and bon vivant devoted “a month reading little except books by and about [Cardinal] Newman” in 1990.
LIKE MOST junior seminaries of its time, the regime at Mark Cross, in Rotherfield, East Sussex, was extremely strict. The ultimate sanction was expulsion, though at least one student who was shown the door for smoking did proceed to ordination.
IT’S USUALLY football managers who own up to employing “robust tactics” for big matches. But that was the term used by Catholic composer James MacMillan about his role in an ongoing “stooshie” (a word frequently used in connection with Scottish football games)
A CLEVER NEW internet innovation in Ireland will allow family members unable to attend the funerals of loved ones to watch proceedings online.
The Tridentine Rite holds a unique appeal to gay Catholics, according to an article in the Latin Mass Society’s in-house journal.
There was an unusual choice of gospel reading at Dom Sebastian Moore’s requiem Mass, held in the abbey church at Downside last week
Devout Catholics with a penchant for eating alligator can sleep easily this Lent after it emerged that one conscientious parishioner gained approval from the Archbishop of New Orleans on that matter.
Clarissa Dickson Wright, the television cook and countrywoman who died last week, regretted the conveyor-belt atmosphere of Mass in big inner city Catholic churches.
Art met reality when Guardian writer and London vicar Giles Fraser went to interview the actors Tom Hollander and Olivia Colman, who play the vicar and his wife in the BBC2 sitcom Rev, which launches its third series
Sir David Frost’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey was full of VIPs including the Prince of Wales, former Prime Minister Sir John Major and actress Joanna Lumley
Last week we reported on two centenarians who are still active volunteers in the parish and asked readers to send details of others they knew about
When Alan johnson was Labour Education Secretary and became embroiled in a battle over faith schools with the Catholic Church, there were some who thought him immune to understanding the importance of religious belief.
THIS WEEK Pope Francis named the members of his new finance body that will oversee Vatican budgets. There is no space, however, for women on the Council for the Economy, which includes seven laymen and eight cardinals.
ON THE SUBJECT of women, what could explain a sudden flurry of tweets about the merits of females by the official twitter account of the British Embassy to the Holy See?
FOR A MAN born in 1911, the year before the Titanic set sail, Archie Campbell Murdoch is a remarkably active church volunteer. Celebrating his 103rd birthday this month, he divides his time between three churches in Salisbury
THE MAN who masterminded the Queen’s acting debut, in which she parachuted into the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony with James Bond, found himself the victim of a dramatic hijacking stunt last Saturday.
HE HAS OFTEN travelled to Liverpool wearing red, the colours of Liverpool Football Club of which he is an avid supporter. Tomorrow, Vincent Nichols will return to his home diocese yet again wearing red, but this time that of a cardinal.
Witty, radical and unpredictable – that is how actor Ralph Fiennes summed up his great-uncle, Dom Sebastian Moore, who died last week aged 96.
HERIE BLAIR has been a regular on the circuit of major Catholic events in recent weeks. On 28 January, the wife of the former Prime Minister travelled to Plymouth for the installation of Mark O’Toole as the new bishop.
For even an old hand such as 78-year-old Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Pope Francis’ new papal style is refreshing.
DEPUTY PRIME Minister Nick Clegg may be a self-professed atheist but his Catholic wife, Miriam González Durántez, makes sure he is exposed to matters of faith.
A new item of clerical fashion has appeared: the rainbow dog collar. Clergy in the Church of England are being urged to wear rainbow collars during Lent in protest at the refusal by the House of Bishops to endorse same-sex marriage.
Commuters on the London Underground will be able to reflect on the Passion this Lent, with an exhibition of Stations of the Cross featuring on billboards at Tube stations whose names have a symbolic link with the life and death of Christ.
LAST WEEK, we reported on the signature gin-based cocktail of the English College in Rome, which was served at a party to celebrate Archbishop Vincent Nichols becoming a cardinal.
Theology has long stalked Doctor Who, shortly to return to the nation’s screens.
the last time that England and Wales had two living cardinals was 135 years ago, in 1879, when John Henry Newman gained his red hat to join Henry Manning in the College of Cardinals.
IN THE vestibule of the church of St Alphonsus Liguori, on Rome’s via Merulana, an announcement dominates its noticeboard:
RATHER THAN just lamenting the lack of Catholic marriages, one church has decided to take action.
MALE-DOMINATED guest lists are a fact of life in the Vatican.
PROFESSOR John Marshall, one of the original members of the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control, died last weekend at the age of 91.
Pope Francis has shown he can use bold and imaginative gestures, as well as provocative words, to build a new hope that some entrenched positions and vested interests at the heart of the Church may be about to change.
Your article “Either one thing or the other” (1 February), discussing whether “Germans think in black and white”, is a mystery to me. You say rightly that “national stereotyping is hardly a serious form of argument”
After long periods without a director, the Scottish Catholic aid agency, Sciaf, is hoping to fill the vacancy this spring with the help of lay expertise.
Pope Francis recently raised £200,000 by auctioning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle he was given last summer. But earlier this month, an American archbishop rode his motorbike as part of a fundraiser for one of his favourite charities.
A seven metre pole bearing the gold-and-white flag of the Holy See seemed just the thing to declare the presence of the Catholic church in the picturesque Kent town of Westerham.
In his first work of fiction, to be published next week, the presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, James Naughtie, promises secrets, betrayal, loyalty, death and blackmail. But The Madness of July, a political thriller, also features The Tablet as part of the plot.
Aa successfil businesswoman, Julia Ogilvy knows about breaking through glass ceilings. Now the wife of James Ogilvy, whose mother, Princess Alexandra, is the Queen’s first cousin, has produced a book on the prejudice suffered by woman in the Christian Churches.
Staff at the St Mary Magdalen Leper Chapel in Ripon, North Yorkshire, may be calling to mind the parable of the wise builder after a narrow escape from one of the many sinkholes to open up in flood-hit Britain this month.
When Buckfast Abbey in Devon first started producing its famous Tonic Wine in the 1920s, the drink was marketed with the jolly slogan: “Three small glasses a day for good health and lively blood.
Benedict XVI’s announcement that he was resigning, exactly a year ago on Tuesday, shocked the Church. But what did the man who would succeed him make of that momentous decision?
Pope Francis appears to have breathed life into a language “as dead as dead can be” with his Latin Twitter account now hitting 213,000 followers, more than those who follow his German and Arabic tweets.
Along with the red hat and the right to vote in a conclave, the men to be created cardinals on 22 February will also be assigned a titular church in Rome.
Was it a sign? Or just an unfortunate coincidence? On the day that the Church of England’s General Synod approved plans to fast-track a final decision on the introduction of women bishops by the end of the year
On the topic of female leadership in the Church, a Canon Pastor at Canterbury Cathedral, Clare Edwards, is to speak in a Catholic church in Kent next month on “The Anglican perspective
His portrayal of a Catholic priest in the 2008 film Doubt earned Philip Seymour Hoffman critical praise, including an Oscar nomination.
What's in a name? Arguably, quite a lot, if you’re Pax Christi, the international Catholic peace movement founded as a “crusade of prayer” in 1945 and now operating in more than 50 countries.
Good ecumenical relations will undoubtedly be a priority for Mark O’Toole, who was last week ordained the new Bishop of Plymouth in front of hundreds of dignitaries
The Vatican has traditionally been wary of anything that smacks of religious relativism. Last November, for example, Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, adjunct secretary at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Next week's rural Catholics’ conference has floods as a central theme, with talks on the subject from a specialist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and a senior Anglican priest.
Thank you to everyone who entered our Christmas competition with the prize of a weekend break for two in Rome.
Providence has seen to it that the new Bishop of Plymouth has a strong connection with one of the diocese’s patron saints.
When paparazzi caught French President François Hollande emerging from an alleged tryst with a woman who was not the First Lady, he called Jean-Pierre Mignard for help.
This week members of the French Catholic religious group Chemin Neuf are to move into Lambeth Palace.
The fact that cardinals serve up to and often beyond the age of 80 could start to get expensive, according to one octogenarian with a red hat.
Now that the Irish Government is to reopen its Vatican embassy the search is on for an ambassador to live in it.
Where will it end? He’s been on the cover of Time magazine, the New Yorker, Vanity Fair Italia and now America’s premier rock paper, Rolling Stone.
Best known for her presenting of horse racing on Channel 4, there was some surprise when Clare Balding was announced as the next host of BBC Radio 2’s programme on faith, religion and ethics, Good Morning Sunday.
Christians are not supposed to indulge in revenge or delight in the misfortune of their enemies but an exception to this rule can be made when it comes to cricket, according to Cardinal George Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney.
Apple’s late founder, Steve Jobs, practised Zen Buddhism, and Google teaches its employees how to meditate, but now it seems that Silicon Valley executives are turning to the Benedictine tradition for advice.
When St Mary's Catholic Church in Clapham, south London, was formally opened and blessed in 1851, the ceremony had to take place at 5.30 a.m. in order to avoid local unrest due to “the growing influence of what was deemed the menace of Roman Popery”.
Although a canon lawyer for much of his priestly life, Mgr Ralph Brown always retained his pastoral warmth and sense of fun.
There was a flutter of excitement when one member of the congregation took their place for the ordinariate’s Epiphany Carol Service in central London last Thursday.
As a prison chaplain, Fr Patrick Cope understands what it is like to be behind bars. But he now knows what it feels like to be locked in not a prison but a convent.
It might have been too much to have expected to see him riding it around the Vatican, so Pope Francis is selling one of the two Harley-Davidsons given to him last June to mark the motorcycle manufacturer’s 110th anniversary.
Is the cappa magna in danger of extinction? Pope Francis has made it clear in his letter to new cardinals that their role is not an “honour or decoration” and there should be no celebration which is contrary to the “evangelical spirit of austerity, sobriety and poverty”.
In life Mary MacKillop was an educational pioneer, establishing schools for the poor in nineteenth-century rural Australia. So it is fitting that the first high-school students are about to start at a college for girls in South Sudan named after MacKillop, who was canonised in 2010.
Throughout his 84 years, Giles Hibbert OP, whose funeral took place at Blackfriars, Cambridge, on Wednesday, was uncompromising in his search for the truth.
Congratulations to Andrew Willis from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, who is the winner of the Prize Acrostic competition in our Christmas edition.
Your report (News from Britain and Ireland, 11 January) that a review of the new English translation of the Missal is on the cards is welcome. The text is lumpen, difficult and odd.
For most, the news comes via a phone call, with the voice at the other end asking “Are you alone?”
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has a key role as one of the Pope’s eight key advisers on Vatican reform – the C8 – but has been struggling to keep up in the group’s meetings. Why? His Italian is a little rusty.
John McCaffrey, who helped fund-raise for Pope Benedict XVI’s British visit and more recently was the Labour Party’s fund-raising director, has a new role.
Situated in one of London’s most affluent areas, South Kensington, the Brompton Oratory is nevertheless seeking new ways to reach out to the poor and vulnerable.
As the “Francis effect” continues to ripple around the world, the group founded to supply informed speakers to radio and television to defend Catholic doctrine has made a shift in its approach.
Getting people interested in your poetry is difficult enough and probably even harder if the poems have a religious bent.
2013 was a dramatic year for the Church, so what might 2014 have in store?
For most 73-year-olds, abseiling 70 metres down the side of a high-rise car park might be a challenge too far.
He was briefly a Conservative activist, who switched allegiance to become a Labour peer and government Minister.
He frequently reaches for his phone for short calls to friends and strangers. But it also turns out that Pope Francis likes to send text messages as well.
As chief executive of Barclays, Antony Jenkins will have encountered the top dogs of the world’s major financial institutions.
In our Christmas issue, we wrote that a man with the same initials as Father Christmas had been appointed as the next principal of St Mary’s University College,
He opted against living at the Apostolic Palace, riding in the papal limousine and wearing the red shoes.
Cruises can offer the chance for a lucky few to spend Christmas in luxury and style, but will they have to miss Midnight Mass?
In his Christmas short story in this edition of The Tablet, Jonathan Tulloch explores the fate of the gifts given to the Christ Child by the three wise men.
Thanks to the efforts of a former banker, the Catholic Directory is publishing a statistical table that includes the latest figures on Mass attendance, clergy numbers, marriages and baptisms in its next edition.
Word reaches The Tablet that the hunt for a new principal of St Mary’s University College, Strawberry Hill, is over, and that the governors have made their choice.
Born within three years of each other, they spent much of their lives in a struggle against South Africa’s apartheid regime.
At Mandela’s memorial service a huge cheer went up when a man dressed in white entered the FNB Stadium in Soweto.
Oona Stanard, who abruptly stepped down from her role as director of the Catholic Education Service almost two years ago, is back in the academic arena with two jobs.
HIS 40 INDUSTRIOUS years as a bishop led some to comment that it would be impossible to write a biography of Cardinal Francis Bourne.
In recent years the dean of Westminster has grown used to the media spotlight after welcoming Pope Benedict XVI and President Barack Obama to the abbey, and officiating at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Sometimes referred to as Scotland’s Mother Teresa, Sr Margaret Duncan worked for 17 years helping those caught up in the Bosnian civil war.
Pope Francis has a new fan – Jonathon Porritt. The environmental campaigner was so taken by the Pope’s remarks on the economy in Evangelii Gaudium that he raised the recent apostolic exhortation on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? last week.
A North country parish church is hoping to tap into an unlikely, but rich, seam of connections to raise more than £250,000 for a new roof and interior refurbishments.
It must have felt a world away from the comfort of the ITV studio on match day but for football presenter Adrian Chiles it was worth it.
For more than 30 years she was renowned for her pasta and loving support given to staff and students alike at the English College, Rome. Sadly, at the end of last month Mariagrazia Sangineto died from a post-operative infection at the age of 64.
She is best known as a writer of contemporary Catholic hymns that are sung in churches across the land.
She inspired the Catherine wheel firework and on her feast day – 25 November – French milliners have traditionally paraded their wares. Yet St Catherine of Alexandria has had mixed fortunes in recent years.
The picture of President John F. Kennedy visiting Westminster Cathedral, which was published in The Tablet (16 November), has brought back memories for several readers.
As Aa Fransciscan, Bishop Franz Lackner OFM faces something of a dilemma as the new Archbishop of Salzburg. His see is one of the grandest in Europe, a former prince-bishopric from the days of the Holy Roman Empire, whose holder can claim the title Primate of Germany.
He may be the chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust but gastronome and broadcaster Loyd Grossman is to be the star performer at a forthcoming gathering of the atheist service, the Sunday Assembly.
As he gets to grips with his new job as the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin can count on the assistance of an English priest.
Going into hospital is bad enough for adults, let alone for children. So Fr Peter-Michael Scott and Jane Morgan have produced a booklet entitled “My Hospital Prayer and Activities” ...
Fund-raising, as any charity boss will tell you, is hard graft, involving hours of research into potential donors, organising events and trying to convince people that yours is the cause to back.
The mayor of London has become the latest public figure to praise Pope Francis. Asked of his opinion of the Pope, Boris Johnson told us: “He is doing a bang-up job,” adding, “he seems to be very successful and popular.”
It is probably the closest thing to a church for the luvvies so unsurprisingly Corpus Christi, in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, has enlisted the support of some Catholic actors for its renovation project.
Followinf the tragic death of their son Jimmy, Barry and Margaret Mizen’s response has impressed many, and none more so than the Prince of Wales.
Denis MacShane the former Labour MP and Europe Minister who resigned from the House of Commons after being found to have submitted 19 false expenses invoices, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey on Monday to false accounting.
The pictures of Pope Francis embracing a severely disfigured man at the Wednesday general audience in Rome earlier this month went viral.
Just when John Humphrys – religion sceptic and BBC Radio 4’s Today programme presenter – thought it was safe to leave the building, it turns out that a full dramatisation of the Nativity is to take place on his doorstep.
In a move that chimes with Pope Francis’ call for the Church to go out to the peripheries, the outgoing Bishop of Plymouth, Christopher Budd, is planning to spend half his retirement on the Isles of Scilly.
When he isn’t driving the many miles across the three counties that make up his Diocese of East Anglia, Bishop Alan Hopes unwinds by reading detective fiction.
Before entering the world of comedy, Katy Brand studied theology at Keble College, Oxford. And while she went up to university a Christian, she said later that studying the subject made her a non-believer.
In a similar way that his taste in architecture values tradition, so it appears with the Prince of Wales and Christianity.
Four of the top 10 modern churches are Catholic, it has been revealed.
It's a long-standing tradition that popes offer gifts to those they meet in private audiences.
It is enough to make Richard Dawkins splutter on his cornflakes: the pages from his book The God Delusion have been turned into a crucifixion scene.
Earlier this year, the human-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell met the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to discuss gay rights. Now he has been given a rave write-up in a magazine closely associated with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.
Speculation has been rife this week about which women might be made cardinals – names recently mentioned include Professor Linda Hogan, of Trinity College Dublin, and Sr Maryanne Loughry, associate director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Australia.
He rose to the helm of one of the most successful publishing companies as chief executive of Transworld. At the same time, Paul Scherer, who died last month at the age of 79, was a committed Catholic.
Over the summer, the Holy See’s Secretariat of State – the body responsible for Vatican diplomacy – lost two prominent English-speaking officials.
Last week The Tablet’s new columnist, Joanna Moorhead, urged Catholic parents to resist the commercialism of Halloween and take their children to Mass on the following day, the feast of All Saints.
As well as being entertained by burlesque-style dancers and having drinks served to them by women hanging upside down, guests at Sir Michael Hintze’s sixtieth birthday also heard from a cardinal.
Lou Reed, the singer/songwriter whose death, aged 71, was announced this week, was an unlikely choice of soundtrack for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK.
Something is brewing in the tranquil world of Trappist beers.
It has been more than a decade since the Jesuits’ Campion House shut up shop.
PETER SUTHERLAND’S argument that Christians should support Britain remaining in the European Union has raised the hackles of one Catholic MP.
CARTHUSIAN MONKS are well known for producing strong liqueurs, including the famous green variety made by the Grand Chartreuse in France.
REPORTS THAT the Bishop of Limburg has spent €15,000 (£12,700) on a new bathtub are understood to have led other church leaders to review the cost and style of their bathroom fittings and furniture.
THE LONDON Oratory School is an old hand at educating children of the powerful.
GIVEN THAT it sits in the shadow of the house of the writer of the first Gothic novel, it is appropriate that St Mary’s University College, Twickenham, is offering a new MA in the subject.
With an Argentinian Pope and two Serie A football sides in Rome, starting a Vatican cricket team seems fanciful.
An offer extended to me in 2012, “would the Catholics like to use Stonegrave Minster on occasion?”
An offer extended to me in 2012, “would the Catholics like to use Stonegrave Minster on occasion?”
ST CHARLES Catholic Sixth Form College, in Notting Hill, west London, found itself in the headlines for the wrong reasons when, on 25 March 2010, a group of its pupils carried out an attack on a rival gang of youngsters which left a 15-year-old dead.
FIRST HOLY Communion celebrations in Ireland have gained a reputation for expensive dresses and limousines. But for the parents of one group of First Communicants, a concert by the popular boy band One Direction, due to take place in Dublin, was an even bigger day.
GIVEN THE predicament it now faces, it is perhaps fitting that the northernmost Anglican cathedral in Canada should be named after St Jude, the patron saint of lost causes.
BERNARD LONGLEY, the Archbishop of Birmingham, has recently said he could foresee a “reconsideration” of the rules on giving Communion to non-Catholic Christians.
In August we reported that a number of Catholic places of worship were vying for a place in a list of the top 10 modern churches built after 1953.
NO SUBJECT was too challenging for the illustrator James Sillavan, whose work graced The Tablet for more than a decade and who died suddenly on 6 October.
While last week Cafod announced it would decline its share of the royalties from its employee Damian McBride’s memoirs, the Catholic aid agency has now revealed Gordon Brown’s former press adviser has been promoted.
Introduction to Christianity courses appear to be all the rage. Last week the Church of England launched a 48-part “pilgrim course”, introducing people to the creeds and the 10 Commandments.
Through her blog, NeverSeconds, Martha Payne has raised more than £130,000 for the charity Mary’s Meals.
Relentless laws of supply and demand don’t stop in front of the altar, as St Michael’s bakery in the Netherlands is finding to its chagrin.
Is Pope Francis’ down-to-earth liturgical style beginning to catch on in local churches?
As Archbishop of York, John Sentamu has reached the second highest ranking in the Church of England. At one point, however, there were those tipping him for an even higher office.
For generations Gammarelli tailors have dressed popes, cardinals and bishops. The Rome-based creators of clerical garb also have a following among English clergy, including Anglican bishops.
Those walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage normally undergo the physical discomfort of sore feet and limbs as they trek the many miles to their final destination.
Are you a bearded vegetarian? If so, rule yourself out as a seminarian for the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP). The traditionalist society has released a questionnaire for those interested in training at one of their seminaries – there are currently 10 men from England and Wales in formation.
CARDINAL Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga is emerging as a leading figure in Pope Francis’ pontificate. He is the coordinator of the Council of Cardinals – the so-called “C8” – established to advise on Church reform and is believed to have been an influence on the Latin American bloc of red hats to support Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
IT IS ROUTINE for the Church to lobby MPs and peers with its concerns about upcoming legislation. But given that “all politics is local”, as the Americans would say, attention is now being given to forging links with local authorities.
As Pope Francis and his council of cardinals met this week to discuss reform of the Roman Curia, one of those who has felt the sharp end of Church governance offered a reflection.