Once a month, as I drive from Plymouth to serve the Divine Liturgy – the Mass – in Torquay, I turn on Radio 4 to listen to the Sunday Service. After ten minutes or so I suffer from information overload.

I can remember from about the age of 16 wondering if the priesthood was for me. I was brought up a Catholic, alter-served from a young age and went on to be a Eucharistic Minister.

As part of Pope Francis' more collaborative and consultative style, the Vatican is conducting a worldwide survey on how parishes and deaneries deal with sensitive issues such as birth control, divorce, and gay marriage, seeking input ahead of a synod on the family planned for October 2014.

GK Chesterton identified 'an atheistic literary style' and it came to mind when I read Sir David Attenborough's comments on population control.

It should surprise nobody that the Tory MP Bill Cash has criticised Peter Sutherland's recent Heythrop lecture in which the latter argued Christians should support the EU (The Tablet, 26 October).

05 November 2013 | by James Scott, guest contributor

Franco-era beatifications did nothing to heal old wounds

Many Spaniards were greatly disappointed when the fresh winds seen blowing through the Vatican since the election of Pope Francis this spring were nowhere in evidence at the beatification of 522 martyrs from the early days of the Civil War.

05 November 2013 | by Paul Dixon, guest contributor

Swearing on the Bible should have been scrapped

On Saturday, 19 October, the Magistrates' Association rejected the proposal to end in England and Wales the swearing of oaths on the Bible and other holy books.

05 November 2013 | by Michael D Phelan

Demonising Damian

Catholics and non-Catholics have appreciated Pope Francis's message of mercy and forgiveness.

05 November 2013 | by Hans Küng

Pope Francis embodies my hopes for the Church

Since Pope Francis took office in March, almost everything he has said and done indicates that he is bent on carrying through a thorough reform of the Roman Catholic Church, beginning with the Vatican itself.

A common activity in youth work is to use the day's newspapers to help start a discussion with young people.


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