Damian Thompson

The smiling pope was patently holy and clever – but, if his pontificate had lasted, would he have faced the same problems as Pope Francis?

Lay-led services invite a parody of the Mass. Bishops must exercise discipline where necessary

The SSPX founder changed the Church, but in ways he could never have imagined

America’s most famous Jesuit has a great gift for spiritual writing. But his polemics have helped to widen the Church’s divisions

Five years on, his resignation is still shocking

The Catholic cyber-wars have broken out and the casualties are piling up

Liturgical squabbles, doctrinal rows, vicious public spats: the Church is once again gripped by a 1970s-style factionalism

For “progressive” Catholics, the cappa magna is – appropriately, you may think – like a red rag to a bull.

Time magazine reporting of 1978 now looks both quaint and prescient. Then, as now, everything hangs on the choice of the next pope

John Paul II couldn’t strike a deal that satisfied the SSPX. Nor could Benedict. Enter the unlikeliest of bridge-builders