Notebook

The best political diaries are often written by people at a slight angle to the centre of power rather than those right at the middle. For instance, Bernard Donoughue’s accounts of his days as a young political adviser in the 1970s were more revealing and vastly more entertaining than the memoirs of his bosses, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.

The best political diaries are often written by people at a slight angle to the centre of power rather than those right at the middle. For instance, Bernard Donoughue’s accounts of his days as a young political adviser in the 1970s were more revealing and vastly more entertaining than the memoirs of his bosses, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan.

When Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, lambasted Ireland for its lack of Catholic intellectuals last week, his outspokenness caused a few raised eyebrows. Some suggested that the Church only has itself to blame, given how alienated many thinking people have become over its record on issues such as child abuse.

Have you ever wanted to know what the Pope eats for breakfast? Now you can ask him yourself, thanks to a new website that aims to build a dialogue between the social-media generation and Francis.

Cardinal Loris Francesco Capovilla, former secretary to Pope Saint John XXIII, died last week in Bergamo, aged 100.

A priest in Essex has discovered a depiction of Calvary hidden in plain sight in his parish church

What skills and experience make a good vocations adviser? According to the Church of England, which last week advertised two new, national vocations roles, experience with young people and marketing is desirable. It particularly encouraged applications from women and people from ethnic minorities. But, the job profiles stated, actually being a Christian isn’t necessary.

An Irish monsignor who helped to save 6,500 Jews and Allied Prisoners of War (PoWs) in occupied Rome during the Second World War was honoured by the Vatican on Sunday.

The Revd Nicky Gumbel, of Holy Trinity Brompton, an evangelical church in west London, and the pioneer behind the Alpha course on Christianity, claims not to like labels. If he had to choose, he wants them all: Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, Evangelical.

When Buon Appetito was originally published a year or so ago in German, it gave its readers an intriguing insight into day-to-day life in the Holy See. French and Italian translations quickly followed and now a new version of the Swiss Guard cookbook is being released in North America.

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