James Roberts has covered foreign church news for The Tablet since the end of 2004, during the papacies of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. Received into the Catholic Church in 2005, he has followed and reported on its continuing controversies and occasional crises dispassionately, while engaging fully in the passionate discussions that take place in the Tablet newsroom. He also writes leaders and reviews books. He arrived in Hammersmith via Canary Wharf and Zimbabwe. Before joining the Tablet he spent 12 years on the Foreign News desks of the Independent and Independent on Sunday, where he became Foreign Editor after joining as a sub-editor. Apart from his regular editing role, he reported from Africa on numerous occasions, covering stories in Somalia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana and Zimbabwe. His time on the Independent followed eight years living and working in Zimbabwe, as a teacher and as a journalist. In Harare he had the invaluable experience of introducing Zimbabwean A level students to English Literature, an unforgettable journey of discovery for teacher and students alike. As a sub-editor on the national paper published in Harare, he observed how news can be methodically managed and presented to favour a given political agenda, and as a columnist on the same paper he learned how subtly to undermine that agenda. In 1988, he took his family to see St John Paul II at Harare’s Borrowdale racecourse, and the encounter brought him back to the Christian faith after a quarter of a century of agnosticism. In the years between graduating in 1971, and leaving for Africa just after Zimbabwean independence in 1981, he worked in a wallpaper factory in the north of England, and as a books editor. He studied Philosophy at the University of Sussex from 1968 to 1971, gained a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the London University Institute of Education in 1974 and, after studying part-time at the London University School of Oriental and African Studies, he was awarded an MA (Area Studies) in 1981. He was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, was baptised in the Church of England, and attended Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Blackburn. He is married, has three daughters and four grandchildren, and lives in West London.
Jair Messias Bolsonaro, the President-elect of Brazil, last week delivered a strong gesture of support for Catholics in the country. On a day trip to Brazil’s most important Marian shrine at Aparecida, the right-wing politician confirmed his family values agenda.
The Diocese of Sacramento, in California, has announced that it will offer free schooling at any of its more than three dozen schools to students displaced by the bush fire that devastated whole towns in the region.
Could the Pope’s ‘care for Creation’ encyclical be helping to stiffen the resolve of the man charged by Theresa May with saving the planet? The politician engaged with the crisis facing both the environment and society in his recent Theos lecture – and saluted Francis for his insight
Theresa May’s environment minister Michael Gove last night took time out from the government’s Brexit deliberations to address the London-based Christian ecumenical think tank Theos on the question of food and the environment.
Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have both sent letters to Fr. Federico Lombardi to mark the inauguration of the 2018 International Symposium 'Fundamental Rights and Conflicts Among Rights', being held by the Ratzinger Foundation in Rome.
For 25 years the celebrated Trappist monk Thomas Keating has dedicated his life to reclaiming the Christian tradition of contemplative prayer, as he explains to James Roberts, arguing for new ways of thinking about God and the crises in the Church