SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
August 01, 2021
Pope Benedict lived up to his title of pontifex, or bridge-builder, when he allowed the wider use of the Tridentine rite – more properly the Extraordinary Form of the Mass – in the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of 2007. There has been 13 years for this concession to advance its stated aim: to foster reconciliation
August 01, 2021
Last week I joined a Glastonbury walking group under the thoughtful and intelligent guidance of warbling Guy Hayward, founder of the British Pilgrimage Trust. We began and ended in the spotless quietude of St Margaret’s Chapel by the Magdalene alms houses. Beautiful countryside, good company and fine vistas, but the trip has inspired me to
August 01, 2021
Below is a letter I have written to a prisoner, whose name is Joseph. He has been in prison for twenty-fie years and there is no chance for him to be paroled. It is of course difficult. He was very young when he was first imprisoned, but over the years he has come a long
July 31, 2021
My mother has dementia. I’ve been a mother myself for a good quarter century, so I’m used to trying to help people who can’t express what they want. Or who don’t want what they should. Or who don’t understand what they truly want. But this is different. In those cases I’d be trying to show respect and
July 30, 2021
There is an error Catholics and other Christians can commit, and have committed, despite the Church’s own historic warning against it. That is the error of supposing that children can legitimately be taken away from their parents for the sake of their spiritual welfare. The subject has come out most recently in the story of
July 30, 2021
The US Bishops’ Conference is to issue a teaching document “on the beauty and power of the Eucharist”.  It is overdue. In 2019, a Pew survey suggested that barely a third of US Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is a scandal, evidence of a failure of grassroots catechisis,
July 30, 2021
In an age of secular pilgrimage, James Jeffrey 
writes about walking with spiritual purpose
July 29, 2021
Every year, thousands of Europe-bound Nigerian youths illegally travel along often-dangerous migration routes through the Sahara desert and across the Mediterranean Sea, voyaging on hapless boats, most intent on reaching Italy where they hope to make a better living. Their hopes often crumble like a house of cards.
July 29, 2021
Unusually for me, I had a weekend of sport. The heights of a victory at Lord’s followed by the defeat at Wembley were enough to test the faith. It will be a while before going to Rome is seen more positively than at the time of Cromwell.  The weekend also demonstrated the simplistic fallacy of
July 29, 2021
Melanie McDonagh remembers left-leaning theologian Herbert McCabe
July 29, 2021
The demise of the Universe, a Catholic paper with 160 years of history, is both sad in itself and telling about the condition of the Catholic media in Britain. The challenges faced by the Catholic press are several. The most practical is to do with Covid. Historically, religious papers relied on people buying copies from
July 29, 2021
Grouse breasts with pancetta and olive tapenade