SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888

September 25, 2021
Once we have admitted into law the principle that patients can be intentionally killed, it is very difficult to control the wider application of that principle.
September 23, 2021
programme on St Catherine of Siena exposes the BBC's fundamentalist attitude to spiritual wealth.
September 21, 2021
The Pope has enabled priests to absolve in confession those who participate in abortions.
September 17, 2021
Whatever political side you’re on, you will have seen your Christian opponents try to out-Christian you. They will beat you with the Cross. 
September 15, 2021
It is too soon for abortion opponents to celebrate a complete victory in Texas
September 13, 2021
Mass-goers will struggle with the new lectionary, and it will be for preachers to help them in this struggle.
September 09, 2021
On the last day of the summer term, it was prize-giving at my children’s school. The chapel was full of youngsters, scrubbed and polished and shining in their best uniforms. The Head Boy and the Head Girl wore their gowns of office. The Headmaster and the Chairman of the Governors were also dressed for the
September 06, 2021
It’s a half of this and a touch of that, a quarter of this and slightly less than a third of that. A young friend who works in a coffee shop showed me an online order with about fifteen ingredients, each very specific. The order wasn’t that unusual, nor the worst she had seen. Customers
September 03, 2021
Women will have babies, babies whose conception was unwelcome, but who will now have a chance of life. And that’s bad news? 
September 02, 2021
It is only the fundamentalist who never struggles with questions of faith, and it is questionable whether that is really faith, rather than ideology.
July 18, 2021
Today is the Muslim holy day, the Day of Arafah. The day, the second day of the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca, is said to be the day “on which Allah perfected His religion, completed His favours upon His beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and approved Islam as a way of life.” Pilgrims make their way
July 14, 2021
Conservatives don’t celebrate Bastille Day, of which today is the 232nd anniversary. They lament the beginning of the French Revolution, which began with such hopes and ended in such terror. The great Catholic writer, beloved of conservatives Catholics, G. K. Chesterton, on the other hand, celebrated it and one of the men most responsible for
September 23, 2021
The High Court has thrown out a landmark challenge to the law that permits abortion up to birth of disabled children. The case was brought by Heidi Crowter, 26, who has Down’s syndrome, and Máire Lea-Wilson, 33, the mother of a toddler with the condition. They argued that the 1967 Abortion Act was discriminatory because
September 22, 2021
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2021 / 05:20 am In a private meeting with Jesuits in Slovakia on Sept. 12, Pope Francis said that there were people who wanted him to die after he underwent colon surgery in July. During the encounter, a Jesuit priest asked the pope how he was doing, to which he replied:
September 22, 2021
Vatican City, Sep 21, 2021 / 04:10 am Pope Francis urged theologians gathering in Rome on Tuesday to promote “a renewed understanding of contemporary challenges in light of the Wisdom of the Cross.”  In a message to participants in an international theological congress, the pope said he hoped that the meeting would contribute to the evangelization of
September 21, 2021
Catholics throughout England and Wales are to be called to nine days of prayer at the intercession of Pope St John Paul II as part of their collective attempt to help to defeat the new assisted suicide Bill. The Bishops of England and Wales are drawing up a “novena” to the saint after they saw
September 20, 2021
On Sunday, a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving in the church of San Domenico in Castillo, Italy—where Margaret of Castillo’s body lies incorrupt—provides a joyful conclusion to her long journey to official sainthood. Margaret was born in 1287 in Metola in Italy. Her father Parisio, a successful soldier, expected a healthy first-born son—instead, God gave him
September 17, 2021
Vatican City, Sep 16, 2021 / 09:15 am Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said that the legalization of same-sex marriage in many countries is “a distortion of conscience” which has also entered some Catholic circles. In an introduction to a new anthology of his writings on Europe, Benedict XVI said that “with the legalization of
September 16, 2021
Rome, Italy, Sep 15, 2021 / 09:20 am Pope Francis said Wednesday that the Catholic Church is firm in its stance on abortion because “abortion is murder,” and urged priests to be pastoral rather than political when faced with the question of who can receive Communion. Answering questions aboard the papal plane from Bratislava, Slovakia,
September 15, 2021
Catholics were today urged to redouble their efforts to oppose a Bill to legalise assisted suicide after the British Medical Association adopted a policy of neutrality. Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, an outspoken critic of the Assisted Dying Bill said the move by the doctors’ union should act as a spur to action by those
September 15, 2021
Washington D.C., Sep 14, 2021 / 17:02 pm In a significant shift, the trade union for doctors in the United Kingdom, is no longer officially opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide. In a Sept. 14 announcement, the British Medical Association adopted a “neutral” stance on the issue, following a vote at its annual representative
September 14, 2021
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is today mourning the death of his Catholic mother who has passed away “suddenly and peacefully” in a London hospital. Charlotte Johnson Wahl, 79, had Mr Johnson baptised into her faith as a baby but he elected to worship as an Anglican when he went to Eton College. Few details
September 13, 2021
Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of Wales, has strongly denounced assisted suicide just days after his predecessor reiterated his support for the controversial practice. In a statement submitted to the British Medical Journal, Lord Williams of Oystermouth warned medics that a change in the law would lead to “overstrained families” and
September 13, 2021
Warsaw, Poland, Sep 12, 2021 / 07:00 am A Vatican cardinal beatified two towering figures of 20th-century Polish Catholicism on Sunday. Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, declared Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Mother Elżbieta Róża Czacka blessed at a Mass at the Temple of Divine Providence in Poland’s capital, Warsaw.  He
September 09, 2021
Catholics must actively oppose the latest attempt to legalise assisted suicide, the bishops of England and Wales have said in a letter to the laity. The Assisted Dying Bill of Baroness Meacher represents an “unprecedented attack on the sanctity of life” which must be combatted actively through prayer, lobbying and witness, the bishops said. The
September 08, 2021
Denver Newsroom, Sep 7, 2021 / 14:30 pm Attorney General Merrick Garland on Monday vowed to “protect” women seeking abortions in Texas, days after a new state law went into effect aiming to prohibit most abortions after six weeks.  While the Justice Department “urgently explores all options to challenge” Texas’ new law and “protect the
September 07, 2021
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 5, 2021 / 18:07 pm Calling abortion “the most pressing human rights challenge of our time,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone on Sunday invoked the excommunication of prominent Catholic segregationists in the early 1960s as an example of a legitimate response to Catholics politicians who support “a great moral evil.” In an op-ed
September 03, 2021
The second Catholic president of the United States has spoken in defence of barbaric abortion
September 01, 2021
Visionary craftsman-artist David Montalto has used dust from the moon to create a Cross for the Cosmos. Here is his extraordinary story
September 01, 2021
The former head of the UK’s largest private abortion provider has come to the defence of a Catholic university chaplain “cancelled” for expressing his pro-life opinions. Ann Furedi, until recently the chief executive officer of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), said Nottingham University was “stupid” for refusing to recognise Fr David Palmer as chaplain
August 31, 2021
Washington D.C., Aug 30, 2021 / 16:10 pm Pro-abortion groups are asking the Supreme Court to block Texas’ law that would allow private citizens to sue abortion providers for illegal abortions. The law bans most abortions in the state after the detection of a fetal heartbeat – as early as five weeks into pregnancy On Monday,
August 30, 2021
Nottingham, England, Aug 27, 2021 / 13:00 pm A university in England has refused to recognize a Catholic priest as a chaplain over comments that he posted on social media. The University of Nottingham, in central England, confirmed on Aug. 25 that it had declined to give official recognition to Fr. David Palmer, a priest
August 26, 2021
With the clergy seemingly intent on blotting out tradition, the Church finds itself engaged in another unedifying culture war
August 20, 2021
After three months of continuous demonstrations against President Iván Duque’s administration, Colombia does not seem to be any closer to a political solution for the widespread social unrest.  The Church had been mediating talks between the government and social movements. Although the negotiation with part of them was suspended, Catholic leaders are still trying to
August 16, 2021
A mother of a disabled boy is asking the Canadian government to extend euthanasia to children so a lethal injection might be given to her son. Karie-Lyn Pelletier, from L’Islet, says she wants to be able to end the life of her four-year-old boy, Abel, if his condition further deteriorates. The child suffers from Mednik
August 13, 2021
After the preliminary audience in the Vatican’s maxi-trial of Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu and nine others on charges they bilked, swindled, hoodwinked, cheated, threatened, extorted, and/or stole millions from the Vatican, the business has taken on the look and feel of a phoney war. Don’t be deceived. The preliminary hearing on July 27th in Vatican
August 12, 2021
Denver Newsroom, Aug 11, 2021 / 17:32 pm Amid disagreement among Catholic leaders over whether there is a moral obligation to receive a coronavirus vaccine, board members at the National Catholic Bioethics Center have told CNA that Blase Cardinal Cupich has urged that the center retract its guidance against mandated immunization. One board member told
August 10, 2021
Paris, France, Aug 9, 2021 / 05:40 am A 40-year-old Rwandan immigrant already suspected of starting a devastating fire at a French cathedral was questioned by police in connection with the murder of a Catholic priest on Monday in western France. The man, identified by the media as Emmanuel Abayisenga, was welcomed into a Catholic
August 04, 2021
Melanie McDonagh on how the Vatican Trial of the century highlights the injustice to Cardinal Pell
August 04, 2021
The scandal of elected officials – such as President Biden – who take Communion yet promote views at odds with the Catholic Church must be countered, says Fr Gerald E Murray
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
In an age of secular pilgrimage, James Jeffrey 
writes about walking with spiritual purpose
July 27, 2021
For millions of Catholics around the world who find comfort in the traditional Latin Mass, the fights of the rectory and professional Catholic class have once again struck them at home.
July 25, 2021
In a homily preached on 18 July 2021 at the Monastère Saint-Benoît, liturgical scholar Dom Alcuin Reid offers both a reflection on the place of the traditional Latin Mass in the unity of the Church, and a description of how his monastery will respond to Francis’s Traditionis Custodes. He asked us to highlight his call
July 24, 2021
Journalist and eccentric Christian Malcolm Muggeridge visits a monastery during lambing season and thinks of the fantastic moment when men first saw their God in the likeness of a lamb.
July 22, 2021
A week after Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, liturgical scholar Dom Alcuin Reid predicts what he will do about the liturgy. A monk of the Monastere Saint-Benoit in Frejus-Toulon, France, his book The Organic Development of the Liturgy carried a preface by then-cardinal Ratzinger. His 2007 article Summorum Pontificum a restoration after a gross impoverishment
July 21, 2021
This opinion piece will not be tactfully phrased. Many essays in the past few days have tried to balance both positive and negative views of Traditionis Custodes, the new motu proprio issued by Pope Francis concerning the traditional Latin Mass. This article reflects my experience from the trenches. (I was my diocese’s vicar for clergy
July 21, 2021
Reviewing a book called Inquisition: The Reign of Fear by Toby Green, Quentin de la Bedoyere warns against apologetic attempts to rationalize the Spanish Inquisition. He was the science editor of the Catholic Herald, and the son of Michael, who edited the newspaper from 1934 to 1962. The review was titled “Inquisition apologists are missing
July 16, 2021
1) In his motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, Pope Francis says St. John Paul II’s indults were only meant to heal the breach with Archbishop Lefebvre, not to have the traditional latin Mass as a continuing reality in the Church (my paraphrase). He quotes Pope Benedict XVI on “allowing” the TLM, which seems to buttress the point
July 15, 2021
Vatican City, Jul 15, 2021 / 09:00 am. Members of the Vatican’s Council for the Economy met in person on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss the Holy See’s final balance for 2020 and its investment policy. The July 14-15 meeting was the first time that the body has met face-to-face since Pope Francis nominated six women to
July 13, 2021
Camagüey, Cuba, Jul 12, 2021 / 12:03 pm. Father Castor Álvarez was beaten and arrested in Camagüey while he was defending young protesters amid protests of Cuba’s communist government on Sunday. Protests took place across the island July 11. According to information confirmed by CNA’s sister agency, ACI Prensa, the priest is being held at
July 13, 2021
Yes, someone said that -- not a complete crank, either -- in an article for a third-tier conserative American publication that was essentially a rant, says David Mills, who took up his pen mainly because the author of the screed annoyed him. "The article's a rant by an ideologically marginal writer, writing in a marginal publication," but the author of the piece "does represent a large section of American conservatism, who think as he does."
July 12, 2021
Interviewed in 1998, when he was edited The Daily Telegraph, the Tory journalist Charles Moore describes entering the Church when one's family doesn't like it, his support for Vatican II, and his thoughts on England and Catholicism.
July 12, 2021
Glasgow, Scotland, Jul 12, 2021 / 05:30 am. Pope Francis will visit Scotland “for a very short time” in November, a spokesperson for the country’s bishops’ conference said Monday. The pope is expected to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow on Nov. 1-12. “The pope will be in
July 11, 2021
Ten years ago, reporting that the Vatican had named St Luigi Scrosoppi as the patron saint of footballers, the Catholic Herald's editors noted that "The Vatican has stressed that his care is extended to all players; one trusts, therefore, that his favours would be neutrally bestowed in a tight World Cup final between England and Italy."
July 09, 2021
A friend had taken a perilous road trip, to save a family in danger of being killed. My friend’s a pro-life activist, who stands outside abortion clinics and talks to people in a friendly way. If expectant mothers going into the clinic are willing, she befriends them, and she gets them what they need so
July 09, 2021
The Catholic Herald reviewed J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit about a month after it appeared. The review in the “Children’s Catholic Herald” section was headed by a picture of Tolkien, much younger than the pictures of him we usually see. The caption read: “Professor Tolkien discovered the Hobbit. He is not really a professor of
July 09, 2021
London, England, Jul 7, 2021 / 08:05 am. A woman with Down syndrome said on Tuesday that a U.K. law allowing abortion up to birth for disability made her feel that she was “better off dead.” Heidi Crowter, a 26-year-old from Coventry, in central England, made the comment outside the High Court in London on
July 08, 2021
According to the Italian-born Bishop Adriano Ciocca Vasino of the Prelature of São Félix do Araguaia, there is a clear progression “from statements to concrete actions” by the Brazilian Church in relation to the Bolsonaro administration. “The situation looks intolerable. In a country with a minimum level of democracy, the current state of affairs would have changed long ago,” he told the Catholic Herald.
July 07, 2021
One of the more uncomfortable homilies I can remember included a paean to the “heroic silence” of St Maria Goretti in the face of prolonged sexual harassment by her eventual murderer, Alessandro Serenelli. Maria’s silence, for the homilist, evoked that of Christ during his trials and passion — a connection he meant to be inspiring.
July 07, 2021
The London investment is equivalent to the Vatican’s annual budget, and the idea of a few laymen and a couple of prelates sinking it into a dubious deal, without proper oversight and checks and balances is, well, laughable.
July 06, 2021
Those who want the Latin Mass “only wish to be part of that ‘great orchestra’ of ‘unity in variety’ which, as Pope Francis said, reflects the true catholicity of the Church.” Many with leadership roles in the Church are keen to exclude them.
July 05, 2021
Antonia Fraser's latest biography "bursts with energy and simmering, righteous anger", says Paula Byrne
July 05, 2021
The Dominican Friars have been spreading the Gospel for 800 years. Rev Dr Richard Finn traces their fortunes over the centuries
July 05, 2021
The highly praised novelist, columnist for The Spectator, The Oldie, and The Catholic Herald, creator of cookbooks, and Duckworth’s fiction editor, Alice Thomas Ellis was both a smoker and a contrarian. Here, writing in 1993, she writes as both. She expresses skepticism about the expertise of doctors some will feel relevant at the moment. Cat
July 04, 2021
"We are considered victims," Cardinal Parolin told journalists in Strasbourg on July 4. "After considering all of the elements," he said, "we decided to constitute ourselves [a civil party]," though he specified that the Secretariat had no direct knowledge of the investigation.
July 03, 2021
When looking for a quote on doubt, on this feast of St Thomas the Apostle, whom we call “Doubting Thomas,” I was surprised how differently people look upon this common human experience. Some of the quotes presented doubt as if it was some kind of failure. For instance, a quote from the Evangelical pastor John
July 03, 2021
The laundry list includes some interesting names and corresponding indictments.
July 01, 2021
Nick Ripatrazone looks at Sting’s Catholic imagination and the use of religion in his music
July 01, 2021
The author and journalist Cressida Connolly negotiates a Communion conundrum, with little sympathy from the priest
July 01, 2021
Lavish pre-lockdown weddings are yet to return, but scaled-back services are a blessing not a curse
July 01, 2021
Mass during the pandemic has generally been more old than new rite, extraordinary rather than ordinary.  It turns out that many modern habits are rather dangerous. This includes communion in both kinds: receiving the Precious Blood is both unnecessary and a good way to spread germs; congregational singing, which the Methodists are much better at
June 30, 2021
This is the first of a weekly series from Anthony Esolen giving his top ten films in different categories. Readers are invited to give their own choices on the Catholic Herald‘s Facebook page. You are also invited to suggest topics for future lists.   Hollywood (and the English cinema) used to make a lot of
June 30, 2021
Michael de la Bedoyere was the editor of The Catholic Herald and a friend both of G. K. Chesterton’s and his biographer Maisie Ward. Here he reviews the biography, titled simply Gilbert Keith Chesterton, which appeared in early 1944. The full review can be read here. It appeared in the issue of 14 April 1944.  He
June 30, 2021
Tory Christian though he was, I think C. S. Lewis would have approved of Critical Race Theory, at least the way it understands human limitation and tries to get people to understand that they see the world a certain way, which blinds them to other ways. Lewis was a cold-blooded realist in the way he
June 29, 2021
Reservations about vocabulary are not a good enough reason to forgo necessary conversations about the realities of racial injustice.
June 29, 2021
For these are the men, through whom the light of Christ’s gospel shone on thee, O Rome, and through whom thou, who wast the teacher of error, wast made the disciple of Truth.
June 28, 2021
Maybe the bishops should make an example of the President of the United States. Maybe they ought to name him and shame him as the Dissenter-in-Chief, the bully champion of his political party’s mad promotion of so-called “abortion rights” and insane addiction to the big cheques of the abortion interest. Perhaps they ought to excommunicate the lot of ’em. Maybe. It doesn't matter. They aren’t going to.
June 27, 2021
A country with a very high proportion of cases leading to death should surely be asking some questions about its health service --  not questions about the herculean efforts by the staff in the service (many of whom have sadly died from Covid) -- but questions about the structures within which the wonderful staff work.
June 26, 2021
What happened when convinced anti-Catholics of the established order had an actual personal encounter with the Church, its people and institutions?
June 26, 2021
Writing in a 1947 series on "The Church and the World Crisis," Caryll Houselander suggests the problem is with us as much as with the world. "The collapse of materialism around us does not imply the collapse of materialism within us," she writes. "For that, we have habitually made too many acts of faith in the treasure we hope to lay up upon earth."
June 25, 2021
Vatican City, Jun 25, 2021 / 12:00 pm. Pope Francis told a group of Lutheran leaders on Friday that the desire for unity grows the more Christians understand how much Christ suffers over our divisions. In a June 25 meeting with representatives of the Lutheran World Federation, the pope said: “The passion for unity matures
June 25, 2021
I have watched with dismay as race relations in the United States have grown worse and worse. It seems as if all the good will won during my lifetime has been squandered away. We have gone from one daring kiss between a white man and a black woman on television in 1967, to a time
June 24, 2021
Tucked away in the remote hamlet of El Cebrero (O Cebreiro in the regional Galician language), atop a 1293-metre pass some 150 kilometres from the tomb of St. James, is the church of Santa María la Real, site of a powerful Eucharistic miracle.
June 23, 2021
This is the first known instance of the Vatican using official diplomatic channels to oppose legislation in Italy; although given that it was publicized through a leak to the press and not an official statement, it is possible it has happened before. It is an odd time for the Holy See to brandish such a weapon. The world is observing Pride Month, and Italy is set to host a series of Pride parades this weekend, which organizers now say will protest the Vatican action. In addition, the Catholic Church in Italy has usually fared poorly when opposing Italian laws.
June 22, 2021
Russell E. Saltzman remembers a funeral for a parishioner in his days as a Lutheran pastor, "A nice fellow," he writes, "with a plain garden variety dementia, not Alzheimer's, not the sexy one everybody knows about." He says the fellow "shrank in upon himself, became less and less of himself, shriveling and his world with him." He would sit, quietly alone, as the end approached. "Where was his memory?" Russ wonders. "Where was he?"
June 21, 2021
Over the past few weeks, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega’s regime has arrested 17 political leaders of the opposition, including four potential candidates in the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for November.
June 21, 2021
The announcement of the resignation of two bishops, also on Saturday, was always likely to go unremarked, if unnoticed. But there are resignations and resignations, and these two were not without interest.
June 20, 2021
My heart is not yet fully human. It is at times quite primitive, fearful, angry, and vengeful. This is often something beyond my control, though how I deal with it is up to me and my response to grace. Our hearts are wounded, divided, wanting to do one thing, but doing the exact opposite. We
June 19, 2021
The American bishops have agreed to write a statement on whether pro-choice Catholic politicians may receive Communion. It's needed, though it will be toothless. But that's not the real issue, anymore. The problem is many of them now oppose the Church living by her principles, when those principles contradict Democratic party policy.
June 19, 2021
The czarist government had sent him to jail in Siberia because he was a Catholic priest, not Orthodox. After the Russian Revolution, when he’d become head of the Russian Catholics, the communist state persecuted him as a Christian. Fr Leonid Feodorov died on 7 March 1935 of what were called “natural causes,” but were the
June 17, 2021
Following a decision by Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, the community will leave the Basilica of Fontaine-lès-Dijon — the site of St. Bernard of Clairvaux’s birthplace — in September.
June 17, 2021
The editors of the Catholic Herald, in the lead editorial in the issue of 16 January 1942, have been discussing the challenges of Christian unity, which the war had heightened. Now, they say, others have shifted their attention from dogma to “the outward effects of differing Christian standpoints.”  They then write:   Whether this weakening
June 17, 2021
Vatican City, Jun 16, 2021 / 13:00 pm. A leading European cardinal has said that the great problem the continent will face in the future is attacks against religious freedom. In a June 16 interview with ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language partner agency, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich said he thought that “the problem of religious freedom will be the
June 16, 2021
Of course it was just another example of tokenism and hucksterism by a corporation seeking to align itself with a faddish cause célèbre. Of course the media’s and the Twitterati’s response demonstrates that for all our demographic stagnation and declining fertility, the relative rate of birth of suckers has not slowed since P. T. Barnum
June 15, 2021
"All the patriarchs and bishops are invited to participate in this intense prayer, and to be in a profound Communion of prayer together during this blessed day."
June 14, 2021
To all men of good-will in my generation, the death of Chesterton appears (in various degrees) like an overshadowing of the sun. His philosophy, or some echo of it, gave colour to the things of this world, and was the earnest of better things to come. Many others, like myself, must have been so saturated
June 14, 2021
Most of John Bradburne’s life appears to have been chaotic and haphazard, but one may see that he was being formed through all his searching and wandering, to complete his final task.
June 13, 2021
Speaking in 1958, Pope Pius XII presses on an international gathering of philosophers the idea that love of the living God helps them do their work, because then they will "take into account all reality." Acceptance of Christian Faith does not solve every philosophical problem. But it does oblige the philosopher to "emerge from his isolation" and places him in a broader universe.
June 13, 2021
On the way in, we walked down a hallway where we could just see in to a few of the rooms where some residents lived who couldn’t leave their rooms. I’d brought a youth group to a nursing home to sing carols to the people there, and these patients weren’t able even to make the
June 11, 2021
“In the context of its role of supervision, the Dicastery… has identified several reasonable criteria concerning two necessary aspects of good government: regulating the terms of office in governing bodies at the international level, and the representativeness of these bodies.”
June 11, 2021
St Claude de La Colombière (February 15) had the misfortune of being in London at the time of the alleged Popish Plot
June 10, 2021
Whatever Cardinal Marx's reasons for submitting his resignation, Pope Francis's rejection of it makes the whole thing to appear thoroughly managed -- orchestrated -- choreographed.
June 10, 2021
The Pope insists that that the Church must face the abuse crisis “from our Paschal faith,” saying that “taking up the crisis, personally and communally, is the only fruitful path.”
June 09, 2021
My church and my country, and a community I value, have been implicated in hiding a mass grave of abused children. An unmarked mass grave of 215 indigenous children has been discovered under a residential school in British Columbia run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. This has haunted me as a Catholic, as a
June 09, 2021
"I don't expect members of panel shows or even Church Times columnists to be experts on Catholic Church law," writes Charles Collins. "But let’s face it, most of those who are upset with the Catholic Church for allowing Johnson to marry his girlfriend (and mother of his child) are more upset with the prime minister’s policies than his - or the Church’s - morals."
June 08, 2021
How the selfless sacrifice of the martyred priest Maximilian Kolbe inspired an anxious new father to seek wisdom in tradition
June 07, 2021
There is a good deal more to the stories discussed here in broad strokes – likely more than enough to trigger a Vos estis investigation – and there is also more than enough in each, to trigger the desire of leading Churchmen to keep things tightly under wraps.
June 04, 2021
It took guts for Cardinal Marx to do what he's done. It took guts for Pope Francis to let him. Whatever else Cardinal Marx has done -- whatever the ecclesiastical repercussions, whatever the ecclesiological fallout -- he has done the thing that no other senior Churchman has shown himself capable of doing.
June 04, 2021
"With my resignation," Cardinal Marx wrote, "I would like to make it clear that I am willing to personally bear responsibility not only for any mistakes I might have made, but for the Church as an institution which I have helped to shape and mould over the past decades."
June 03, 2021
The secrecy of the Church’s judicial processes hurts the innocent, while the opacity of her general practices tends to protect evildoers. Together, the Church’s secrecy and opacity undermine public confidence in  her ability to deliver anything like justice.
June 02, 2021
I think I’ve finally wrapped my mind around Fr James Martin SJ’s method for undermining sound doctrine and leading souls astray without ever actually committing heresy. Others have described him as “going right up to the line, and never crossing it.” This is a fair metaphor, but not completely accurate. Martin frames his arguments in
June 01, 2021
The whole ecclesiastical leadership culture has to change: not in a sentimental, “caring about the victims” way, either. Caring about the victims is a bare minimum, a baseline requirement, the measure of which is in its effects. That means the culture needs to change in practical, nuts-and-bolts ways.
June 01, 2021
Senior officials presented the revision of the Church’s universal law regarding punishments for canonical crimes as a major overhaul, though at least one expected change did not materialise, and journalists raised outstanding issues regarding accountability and transparency.
June 01, 2021
American public education is often reduced to caricature, but in reality it is a great democratic experiment, and Catholic teachers – with an eye toward inclusion rather than proselytising – can be an essential element within the world of public schools.
May 27, 2021
A man embraces his wife and daughter after crossing the Rio Grande near the border between Mexico and the United States in Del Rio, Texas. (Sergio Flores/AFP via Getty Images)   While people debate whether the United States has been a “Christian nation,” no one has ever claimed it has been a Catholic one. If
May 27, 2021
"It’s not a whitewash of the man whose very name suggests darkness," writes Lucien de Guise. "This exhibition is more of a blank slate, trying to rehabilitate an individual whose reputation is unknown to younger visitors."
May 26, 2021
Despite its novelty – 50 years is nothing in Church time – the Synod, too, can fall into the same “functionalism” against which Pope Francis warned the Dicastery for Communication earlier this week.
May 25, 2021
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images   I’ve just finished reading Boomers, Helen Andrews’ send-up of her parents’ generation. My parents are Boomers too, but I’m laughing a little, because her assessment is almost exactly the opposite of mine. She blames the Boomers for, well, pretty much everything that’s wrong with modern life, but especially neoliberalism,
May 25, 2021
The British Museum’s dazzling survey of the life and legacy of the cult 12th-century saint Thomas Becket is set to be an unlikely summer blockbuster, reports Guy Hayward
May 24, 2021
That many aspects of God’s nature and plans remain mysterious, at least during our earthly lives, has been a longstanding theme of Christian writing.
May 23, 2021
“[Monday], the Catholic faithful in China celebrate the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, the celestial patron of their great country,” Pope Francis told the faithful following the Regina coeli prayer on Pentecost Sunday.
May 21, 2021
If the incongruity of making the Church more synodalitous by papal diktat ever occurred to him, neither he nor his lieutenants and mouthpieces have given any evidence of it.
May 21, 2021
“The synodal process was not thought up in some office away from reality,” said Cardinal Grech, whose department was responsible for designing the new process in their Rome offices.
May 20, 2021
We are all familiar with the high profile court cases such as those brought by Dianne Pretty, Debbie Purdy, Tony Nicklinson and others plus countless attempts to get legislation through Parliament. Euthanasia campaigners will not give up, but their arguments are based on seven false pillars.
May 19, 2021
Angel was in need, and friends were happy to help her, until they discovered that she wasn't in the need she'd said she was. If you practice the works of mercy, sometimes you're going to get conned. Practice them anyway.
May 18, 2021
"We were a community of servants, a nation serving our communities," says Coventry Foodbank's Hugh McNeill of England under pandemic lockdown. "Surely, we don’t want to lose our togetherness now the world is opening up step by step."
May 17, 2021
It is impossible to visit Roncesvalles as a pilgrim and remain unmoved by the presence of those, who have left their mark here through the centuries by their faith and prayers, or by their deaths, or by the deeply rooted tradition of Christian charity with which they have been received.
May 16, 2021
Pope Francis: “I ask myself, where do hatred and vengeance lead? Do we imagine that we can build peace by destroying the ‘other’?”
May 15, 2021
"When it comes to the promotion of human dignity and the common good and the realisation of the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity," argues Philip Booth, "as well as more modern concerns such as the protection of the environment, the institution of private property is vital."
May 12, 2021
It is important for the Vatican to have a Commission for the Protection of Minors. Whatever one thinks of the Center’s upgrade, it remains important that the Church have other named institutions for child protection.
May 09, 2021
The sucking sound you hear is all the bids for the “2021 Meeting That Should Have Been An Email Award” getting tossed out the airlock.
May 07, 2021
Safeguarding precious rights to religious liberty at home and advocating in behalf of severely persecuted brethren around the world are two of the chief areas in which Mr. Kelly said he sees the Knights of Columbus having a leadership role.
May 06, 2021
"[A]mong misfits," writes Larry Chapp in this essay from the Chapter House vault, "the deepest pain is caused by the most casual verbal cruelties. One soon learns that the community of misfits includes us all."
May 04, 2021
Like the sabbath, the economy is at the service of the human person, not vice versa. Thus, the measure of a moral economy is the development of the full human person.
May 02, 2021
A long read by Michael Duggan on the Irish novelist, Francis MacManus, who "could write about the Catholic faith in a way that was tender but committed, welcoming 'the winds and rains of grace which blow from eternity through the gates of the sacraments upon the human creatures of this narrow world'."
May 01, 2021
A visit to an almshouse gives pause to remember three friends recently passed, and how best to mourn them
April 30, 2021
We are, right now, apparently willing to look the other way on abuse of the elderly because we really don’t believe it is abuse of people who are “like us."
April 29, 2021
Joe Biden's Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, was in the news again in recent days, after a relatively quiet time in office after his confirmation by the Senate. He was again taking up again a hobby for which he was famous in his former role as Attorney General of California: bullying Catholic nuns.
April 28, 2021
The events in Ireland and Quebec are easily explained away as the Church just getting caught up in laws that are aimed at the general population. But another factor is at work: Ireland and Quebec are both flexing their muscles as post-Catholic societies.
April 27, 2021
Nick Ripatrazone explores the spiritual songbook of one of the great contemporary American artists, Bruce Springsteen.
April 24, 2021
If there are stalwart reformers -- and we know there are some of the clerisy genuinely committed to the work of ripping out the rot and repairing the Church's leadership culture -- we might nonetheless reasonably wonder whether they have the wherewithal to bring about meaningful reform.
April 24, 2021
Tan France promises to love the child a surrogate mother is carrying for him and his partner. But what about the anonymous mother? Surrogacy isn't an innocent economic exchange.
April 23, 2021
St George (April 23) is patron saint not only of England, but also Russia, Palestine, Greece and Catalonia
April 23, 2021
A priest once asked me how California got to be the morally decadent place that it is, and my answer — the Gold Rush — took him by surprise. I think he was expecting one of the usual conservative pieties about radical universities and the 1960s, or the political effects of immigration, or corrupt Democratic
April 22, 2021
People who you'd expect to be anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers turn out to be strongly pro-mask and vaccine — because they care for someone vulnerable. It's a teachable moment for them, but only if they see how their experience changes their politics.
April 22, 2021
Written by more than 30 experts and running to more than 700 pages all told, the report looks at religious freedom violations in 196 countries – basically every country on earth – and covers trouble spots both on and off journalists’ radar screens.
April 22, 2021
Born in 1924 in Sydney, Edward Cassidy seemed a most unlikely candidate for the priesthood, let alone a member of the elite College of Cardinals. Philippa Hitchen looks back on his life and times, with the help of several prominent Churchmen who - like her - had profound respect and abiding affection for him.
April 20, 2021
Written by more than 30 experts and running to more than 700 pages all told, the report looks at religious freedom violations in 196 countries – basically every country on earth – and covers trouble spots both on and off journalists’ radar screens.
April 20, 2021
"To be clear," Paul Fahey argues in this essay, "this is not a conservative or liberal problem. Cantalamessa is not chastising any particular political agenda. He is criticizing the subjugation of the Gospel to any ideology."
April 20, 2021
In his Good Friday homily this year, the preacher to the papal household warned the Church against division. He should have turned around and spoken to the greatest source of it, Pope Francis himself.
April 19, 2021
She'd come to the Franciscan University young, naive, neurotic. She found comfort and counsel in two priests. One was later revealed to have protected a sexual predator, the other is now under indictment for raping a young woman he was counseling.
April 18, 2021
Thinking in terms of McCarricks, plural, is important for the Catholic Church. If we’ve had to suffer one, what’s to stop there being others? Indeed, among many lessons to be learned from the whole sorry spectacle, surely one is that being a McCarrick can (to borrow a concept from game theory) be a supremely profitable ‘strategy’.
April 17, 2021
To the claim that liberal democracy can't save the unborn, some argue that the alternative to liberal democracy is worse. Those defenders of liberalism ignore the teaching of St John Paul II on the duty of governments and encourages moral relativism.
April 16, 2021
All we know for sure is that he is no longer Bishop of Crookston, after some investigation and "determination" -- and that he says he will “move out of state to a warmer climate.”
April 16, 2021
According to Deacon Francisco Salvador Pontes Filho, president of the National Commission of Deacons, the number of permanent deacons who died between January 1st and April 10 is almost reaching the total number of deaths reported in 2020.
April 15, 2021
The priests who testified on Wednesday are Frs. Angelo Magistrelli, Enzo Pacelli, and Luigi Portarulo. They all appeared to cast doubt on the testimony of a key witness: former Saint Pius X seminarian Kamil Jarzembowski, whose claims regarding the climate and culture of the institution have contributed to public scrutiny and been a focal point of the criminal proceedings.
April 14, 2021
For years, people have complained about the dumbing down of doctrine in religious education courses, but this takes the cake: Catholics literally enraged because an atheist describes Catholic teaching fairly accurately.
April 13, 2021
A statement on the website of the Crookston diocese says that Pope Francis has "asked for, and has now accepted" Bishop Hoeppner's resignation "after an extensive investigation."
April 12, 2021
The Times reported Sunday that the victim has sent a letter threatening suit against the Archdiocese of Westminster, for personal injury. She says she was “re-traumatised” by Church safeguarding staff after she reported her abuse.
April 12, 2021
Our list brings together the brightest and best artistic whizzes, wordsmiths, musicians and players of the last century, whose Catholic faith – or loss of it – has defined their careers. Edited by Olenka Hamilton
April 12, 2021
A conservative Catholic finds he admires certain "spirit of Vatican II" priests and realizes his old hope in the "JP2 generation" may have been misplaced.
April 11, 2021
"We know," said Detective Supt Andy Wadey, "that many people were very upset by what happened on Good Friday and we deeply regret that." The Detective Superintendent noted the "significant reflection and learning" that he and Superintendent Roger Arditti have undertaken in the days since the Good Friday incident, along with their colleagues in the BCU and senior leaders at New Scotland Yard.
April 11, 2021
We love always to our fullest capacity. That might not be very great, but it can be learned. At first, we may love hesitantly and fearfully, for to open up to love takes courage. As we mature and develop our ability to have an open heart, we can slowly learn to love others for themselves
April 10, 2021
Life presented him some difficult challenges, which he overcame in his unique matter-of-fact way, but perhaps without the honed diplomacy of his wife. They were a formidable team on the world stage. Their leadership and service extended across monumental changes in world affairs, and his personal awareness and vision was truly ‘modern’, in that he pioneered movements and championed technologies which we shall value long after his death.
April 10, 2021
A growing number of Catholics reject something they think is liberal society, because it doesn't enforce the Catholic moral vision. They don't see that we have good reason to value liberalism, which protects Catholics as much as anyone else.
April 09, 2021
"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh." The statement from the Royal Family went on to say: "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning [Friday, April 9, 2021] at Windsor Castle."
April 09, 2021
Saints and sinners, miracles and miscreants, and even Old Scratch himself … the literature associated with the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela abounds in characters and tales as colorful, instructive and entertaining as anything in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
April 08, 2021
It’s a mystery that has puzzled researchers for almost 150 years. In 1878, a wooden box containing two skulls and a cluster of other bones was discovered in an attic in the Welsh town of Holywell.
April 05, 2021
When it comes to stepping on their own message, neither the pope nor the Vatican has need of the press corps’ help. This time, however, it's different.
April 04, 2021
Pope Francis noted the restrictions under which Christians in many parts of the world – owing to the pandemic and other reasons – are worshipping this Easter. “Once again this year,” Pope Francis said, “in various places many Christians have celebrated Easter under severe restrictions and, at times, without being able to attend liturgical celebrations.”
April 03, 2021
Pope Francis reflected on the wonder of the women at hearing the angel's words: “Do not be afraid! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen,” and, “He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.”
April 03, 2021
I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in Hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.
April 01, 2021
Members of the militant Islamic ISIS network have claimed responsibility for the attack, which may have left as many as 50,000 people homeless.
April 01, 2021
In our new architectural column, Michael Hodges admires the London Oratory of St Philip Neri 
and the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
March 31, 2021
The idea that everything can be attributed to financial motivations is a bit of an oversimplification, to be sure, but money can present incentives that act on us -- consciously and unconsciously -- and that does does tend to make "Follow the money" a maxim worth some consideration.
March 30, 2021
Pilate came to flex imperial muscle. With a little shock and awe, he came to Jerusalem to remind the Jews that their primary identification was as Roman subjects.
March 29, 2021
The disciplines of Lent feel different to the depressed than the happy
March 28, 2021
“Let us pray for all the victims of violence,” Pope Francis said in remarks to the faithful praying the Palm Sunday Angelus with him in St Peter’s Basilica on Palm Sunday, “especially those of this morning's attack in Indonesia, in front of the Cathedral of Makassar,” on the southwest coast of South Sulawesi.
March 26, 2021
A heavy-going return by the Patrick Melrose author. Sophia Waugh reviews Edward St Aubyn's Double Blind
March 24, 2021
Aidan O’Neill QC, who represented Canon White in the action, said, “[The blanket ban] has a fundamental chilling impact on worship and belief. It requires people in good conscience to choose between God and Caesar.” He called it “an extraordinary abuse of the state’s power,” and welcomed the judges' decision in the matter.
March 22, 2021
Some Catholics hate Lent, loathe Lent, because it was taught to them as a reason to hate themselves for being so bad.
March 21, 2021
Jobert E. Abueva left the Church when the Vatican said (again) that the Church can't bless same-sex relationships. “The church slams the door right at our faces.” But what if he never quite understood the Church he's left?
March 19, 2021
Tradition and Traditionalism are two different things. The former is the living source of Truth given to the Church by Christ himself. The latter is a rigid, obsessive form of individualism that reminds one both of the Pharisees and the Jansenists.
March 19, 2021
Recalling a powerful theme of his homily at his inaugural Mass and a core motif of the Year of St. Joseph in which the Church is currently living, Pope Francis noted that St. Joseph was not only the protector of Jesus when Our Lord was an infant, nor is he only the protector of the Church in a general way today, but is "the protector of vocations."
March 18, 2021
The report found more than 200 wrongdoers and more than 300 victims, most of them boys under the age of 14. Roughly half the allegations pertained to sexual abuse of different kinds and gravity, while the rest fell under the rubric of “boundary violation” or other misconduct of a sexual nature.
March 18, 2021
The witness – identified by his initials, L.G. – offered a detailed account of the facts, which was occasionally at odds with earlier reported claims.
March 17, 2021
Synodality has become the buzzword of the present pontificate – Pope Francis has used the Synod of Bishops as the chief tool of pushing his agenda – only, what does "synodality" mean?
March 17, 2021
Only a Briton would have such tenacity of purpose, such power of debate, such tact and diplomacy as to emerge victorious from the conference table with Himself.
March 16, 2021
During the early persecutions of the Church, Pope St. Clement I appointed seven notaries to record the acts of the martyrs in each of the seven sectors of the city. The rest is history.
March 16, 2021
Maybe Peter Wolfgang just doesn’t love freedom and Jesus enough. Still, it's fair to wonder - as he does in this piece - how much the reaction of our own tribes this past year was due to patriotism or Catholicism, and how much of it was simply that same desire to not lose control?
March 14, 2021
Thousands of people gathered in south London on Saturday evening for a vigil in honour of Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old marketing executive whose kidnapping and murder has ignited national debate about violence against women.
March 14, 2021
...an exercise of brute force clothed in a gossamer administrative fig-leaf, with implausible reason given — raising questions of the true motive — ill-considered, ad hoc, juridically slapdash at best,...
March 11, 2021
Much of the conversation about abortion, and especially about late term abortion, is really a coded defense of ableism, writes a mother who's faced a poor prenatal diagnosis and said, "No," to her doctors' advice that she abort her child.
March 10, 2021
Sixteen signs that you're in Narnia, that have nothing to do with heroism
March 09, 2021
Anyone undertaking the journey this Jubilee Year will not only be immersed in one of Christendom’s most venerable traditions, but will chart a course into the Camino’s future.
March 08, 2021
Pope Francis was a man on a mission, says correspondent John Cookson in Baghdad on Monday morning. The question is: Did he succeed?
March 07, 2021
The Pope returns to Baghdad and departs for Rome Monday, having wound up what will be seen as a highly successful four-day historic pilgrimage.
March 05, 2021
"It's indescribable," said one worshipper, 53-year-old Martin Scekes, who survived the bombing and decided to stay. Mr. Scekes  told the Catholic Herald: "The Pope coming to see us will lift our hearts."
March 05, 2021
"It's indescribable," said one worshipper, 53-year-old Martin Scekes, who survived the bombing and decided to stay. Mr. Scekes  told the Catholic Herald: "The Pope coming to see us will lift our hearts."
March 03, 2021
Sometimes we need to speak ill of the dead. We may need to speak critically when the dead is a public figure whose memory his ideological allies use to promote their cause. When political people memorialize him in a way that establishes their favored political narrative. We must criticize to try to establish the truth. And as Catholics, we should be critical for another reason.
March 03, 2021
To change domestic policy, or even the course of a war, it is more important to amuse the monarch than inform him, and an insinuation will work better than an argument.
March 01, 2021
As Pope Francis sends the religous book market into overdrive, Serenhedd James investigates the new blockbuster battleground
March 01, 2021
In this guide to foodie saints, restaurant critic William Sitwell explores the surprising relationship between dining out and the Catholic church
March 01, 2021
John Cornwell explores the highs and lows of papal biography
March 01, 2021
Leaders Healing the American divide Poetic Justice for Geoffrey Chaucer Main Diary by Antonia Fraser Tutti Frutti – Piers Paul Read on the paradoxes of Fratelli Tutti Miraculous ignorance – Niall Gooch on why there is no clash between religion and science Spiritual exercise – Ken Craycraft on the legal right to worship Vatican Fair
March 01, 2021
The failure of the Church to adapt her policies to the new spirit of liberalism, culminating with Pope Pius IX’s condemnation of “progress, liberalism and modern civilisation” in his 1864 Syllabus of Errors, came to be seen by Catholics in in later centuries as paranoid, mistaken, even embarrassing; but the eradication of Christian values among Europeans was to lead in the next century to atrocities far exceeding those of Jacobin France.
March 01, 2021
Violet Hudson on how a global pandemic made being in nature a spiritual activity
February 28, 2021
A Vatican City criminal court heard two days of frequently gruesome testimony last week, in the trial of two clerics: 28-year-old Fr. Gabriele Martinelli and 71-year-old Fr. Enrico Radice. Martinelli, a former student at the St. Pius X minor seminary in the Vatican, is charged with sexual abuse of a junior boy when Martinelli was
February 28, 2021
Significant other risks also attend the visit, long desired by Pope Francis and highly anticipated by the sorely tried people of the country. — Rome — The Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq, Archbishop Mitja Leskovar, has tested positive for coronavirus and is in isolation at a site removed from the nunciature — the Vatican embassy —
February 27, 2021
The pandemic has accelerated the closing of Catholic schools, as parishes and diocese bleed money. It also offers a rare chance to make Catholic education important again.
February 26, 2021
Cooler, saner heads might have found Greene's initial behavior "uncalled for," perhaps downright "inappropriate" or even "extreme" — except that her colleagues and the media went out of their way to make it very hard for any sane person to end up saying so in retrospect.
February 26, 2021
Counterfactuals are great fun -- and the beginning of the Reformation in England is packed with fascinating ones Niall Gooch likes to explore. 
February 23, 2021
As the winter days lengthen, preparing the garden for summeris a New Year ritual to be cherished, asks Charlie Hart
February 23, 2021
Historian and expert on the Tudors Alison Weir on taking the pilgrim road
February 22, 2021
"Was there a clear call to the religious life, and if so did that entail becoming a Roman Catholic? Monasticism in the Anglican context was a reality, often an impressive one, but was it really rooted in the day-to-day practice of the Anglican Church? Looking back now, what comes most clearly into focus is that the Roman Catholics with whom I discussed this never exerted the least pressure; and I think of them as setting out to help me be a better Christian rather than to secure a convert."
February 21, 2021
Most of the changes are technical and procedural, and – as my friend, John Allen Jr, rightly noted – are designed to dispel or at least mitigate the impression, general among Vatican insiders, that “Vatican Justice” is heavily weighted against defendants, who are typically laymen and laywomen or clergy of the lower ranks.
February 20, 2021
Active Catholics can look down on the "slackers," like those who go to the "utility Mass" on Sunday evening, for just barely fulfilling their obligation. Some ask why they even bother going.
February 19, 2021
Our liturgical recognition of the Coptic Martyrs," argues Fr Hugh Somerville Knapman OSB, "would offer an icon to the world of the heavenly communion that all who have died for Christ now share in Him."
February 18, 2021
In an annual address to the Roman Rota, Pope Francis said the Church-appointed judges that hear marriage nullity cases “cannot disregard the memories, made up of light and shadows, that have marked the life, not only of the two spouses but also of the children.” It was a strange complaint to bring to this tribunal, since the Rota deals in nothing but cold, legal decisions.
February 17, 2021
Our writers and others share their Lenten disciplines, experiences, or just their feelings about the whole thing. Some will surprise you. One watches comedy, because laughter is a sacrifice. Another is learning not to make rude jokes.
February 17, 2021
"Conversio forces me to change direction, forces me to look elsewhere, a wrenching action without which I cannot see or know the face of God, the God of justice and mercy, the God who is always waiting for me to convert." - Fr. Richard G. Cipolla
February 17, 2021
During the pandemic the air can feel as small and dry as the Eliot finds it at the outset of Ash Wednesday, and the will easily contracts, succumbing to a sort of lassitude that is neither care nor stillness.
February 16, 2021
Ravi Zacharias, who died in May of last year, was American Evangelicalism’s superstar apologist. The movement’s flagship magazine, Christianity Today, headlined their recent report on him, “Ravi Zacharias Hid Hundreds of Pictures of Women, Abuse During Massages, and a Rape Allegation.” The story is worse than that. Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore called it “a pattern
February 15, 2021
According to Catholic tradition, the pale wax of the candle also symbolises Christ’s flesh, his sacred humanity. The wick, embedded in the centre of the candle, represents His soul. The flame, as it burns down the wick, devours the wax to give us light.
February 14, 2021
The kind of confident, even stinging remarks he gave to an audience containing large numbers of people (and countries they represent) indicted by his set of concerns was heartening.
February 13, 2021
Publisher of some of the vilest pornography, Larry Flynt died two days ago. People may condemn his work, but he sold what our culture wanted to buy.
February 12, 2021
My father Robin, Lord Belhaven and Stenton, died on December 2 last year. He would have been 94 in February. “He had a good innings,” people keep saying, and while they are right, this isn’t much of a comfort in the early stages of grief, as anyone who has lost someone they love will know.
February 11, 2021
Serenhedd James on how John Ryan, the Catholic Herald’s brilliant cartoonist, defined the spirit of the Sixties
February 11, 2021
"It is not, in fact, a major advance that Francis has undertaken by appointing a token woman to this pseudo-synod," says Adam A.J. DeVille. "If the Church is ever to be serious about overcoming the present ills, she must ensure that every council of governance in the Church should enjoy broad and equal participation of persons in every state of life: men and women working with their parish clergy and religious, all of them having the same voice and vote under episcopal presidency."
February 10, 2021
Pope Francis made some high profile appointments heading into last weekend, naming Sr. Nathalie Becquart and Fr. Luis Marín de San Martín as undersecretaries to the Synod of Bishops. Only, what does the appointment of a woman with full voting rights in the Synod really tell us about how Pope Francis governs the Church?
February 09, 2021
Herself the mother of a developmentally disabled man who's aged out of care, Maria McFadden argues that the pro-life movement does more for them than Roberto Rivera argued in his "The Pro-Life Movement Goes Cheap."
February 09, 2021
In Rome, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has authorized a preliminary inquiry. Pope Francis has named Bishop Gerald L. Vincke of Salina, Kansas, as Apostolic Administrator of Dodge City during the investigation.
February 08, 2021
"Fraternity is the true cure for the pandemic and the many evils that have affected us," Pope Francis told the Vatican diplomatic corps Monday morning. "Along with vaccines, fraternity and hope are, as it were, the medicine we need in today’s world.” What does fraternity require of us during the coronavirus pandemic?
February 08, 2021
Constructing a film out of a story as beloved of readers as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or indeed Pride and Prejudice or Brideshead Revisited, is a delicate art. Very often, the result is a phenomenal disappointment. We will all have myriad examples to prove this. Not all films are worthy of their titles. 
February 07, 2021
My joy, my love, my anger and lust, my inner rages, are stepping stones to prayer. It is also my connection with others, for my path, while unique, is not that much different from most people's. In my prayer, I understand that when I am healed, or being healed — for it is a life-long journey — I grow in my desire to bring all others with me.
February 05, 2021
The “Benedictine principle” in the life of the Church is rooted in monastic humanism, lectio divina, and the liturgy. These three activities, which inform the whole Benedictine way of life, tap a source on which Newman drew in articulating his understanding of Benedictine poetry.
February 04, 2021
Sir Bill Cash reflects on how his Catholic faith and love of history have fortified him in his political battles over nearly four decades
February 03, 2021
US President Joe Biden may be Catholic, but he is pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, and pro-transgender rights, putting him at odds with the U.S. bishops, who have set up a task force for dealing with the new president -- and questions have been raised about how a meeting between Pope Francis and Biden might play out – and whether the pontiff will take a hard line with the president on life issues.
February 03, 2021
Any resemblance between the ends of Catholic social teaching and the priorities of the existing pro-life movement is imaginary. Nowhere is this disjunction clearer than in the pro-life movement’s regard — or lack thereof — of the intellectually and developmentally disabled.
February 02, 2021
In the 13th century, eight monks walked from Burgundy to northern Scotland to found Pluscarden Abbey. Philip C Adamo follows in their footsteps
February 01, 2021
How did the relics of St. James, martyred by King Herod Agrippa I in Jerusalem in AD 44, end up in the remote and wild northwestern corner of Roman Hispania in the first place? Curtis Williams takes us to the crossroads of history and legend.
February 01, 2021
“I ask myself if it is necessary to go so far as [to make] a law,” said Cardinal Parolin in response to a direct question from his interviewer.
January 31, 2021
Jesus astonishes because he did all in his own name — as if he himself were the source of all truth, as if he himself were the source of all healing and divine power, as if he himself were the fulfillment of all your hope.
January 30, 2021
Attacks by ADF have increased in number and intensity since the Congolese army launched its large-scale offensive on the group in October 2019.
January 29, 2021
Simon Jenkins on how the British Pilgrimage Trust has helped revive the pilgrimage tradition as a metaphor for life.
January 28, 2021
These people cheat. They don't want to argue with you, so they make you out to be the bad guy. They do it in two different but very common ways, both of which I experienced in this discussion. Almost anyone who argues a position will have suffered them too.
January 28, 2021
We who have acquired and still retain the ability to navigate this physical world have a duty to protect the infirm elderly, as well as the unformed young, from bodily harm and dangers that could lead to their premature death. The ancient woman stroking her doll remains as human as she was as a charming toddler, as worthy of our care now that she is dying as she was when she had her life ahead of her. But we tend to forget that, especially when we see them in the groaning waystation to the grave.
January 27, 2021
“Remembering also means being careful,” said Pope Francis on Wednesday, “because these things could happen again, beginning with ideological proposals intended to save a people and ending by destroying a people and humanity.”
January 27, 2021
Following the publication of the report into mother and baby homes in Northern Ireland, the Primate of All Ireland says he is "truly sorry" and asks for "the forgiveness of survivors".
January 26, 2021
The accusations against the 89-year-old Bishop Hart involved 11 victims who were boys at the time of the alleged crimes, and one girl. “These findings do not equate to innocence,” A statement from the diocese of Cheyenne said, “rather, a high burden of proof has not been met.”
January 26, 2021
Edward Davies visits the Anabaptist community in East Sussex that puts people at the heart of economy
January 25, 2021
On Camosy's view, Pope Francis has an extraordinary opportunity: "You are now perfectly positioned," he wrote, "to insist that prenatal children must be treated the same as other children under law as a matter of justice, but also to show how this is consistent with (not opposed to) treating women as the equals of men."
January 24, 2021
A gifted preacher, prolific writer, talented musician, artist and photographer, he was serving as chaplain at Fisher House, the Catholic Chaplaincy for Cambridge University students, when he lost his battle with cancer on January 15th. His warmth, wit and wicked sense of humour made him the life and soul of every party, as well as an inspiration to young students and colleagues of all denominations.
January 23, 2021
It’s the ecumenical dog that doesn’t bark. We need him to bark, but he rarely does, and then he's quickly shushed. It’s the matter of conversion. When we pray for Christian unity, as we do this week, we pray not only for kindness and fellow-feeling and some very foggy idea of joining together in the future, after a gradual convergence somewhere in the middle. We pray for our separated brethren to give in.
January 22, 2021
ISIS destroyed the village church of Tel Hormiz, one of the last homes of the Church of the East. Sam Sweeney Reports
January 21, 2021
Mr. Biden will not help hasten the defeat of the reactionary political extremism that poisons the soul of the nation by catering to the political demands of those at the other extremity of the body politic.
January 21, 2021
After 200 years of building new English churches, is the vocation of the Catholic architect over, asks Michael Hodges
January 21, 2021
Catholic universities have a gift to offer the world which arises from the way we think about knowledge. We have a duty in teaching and research to ensure that the link between faith and reason is not severed. A Catholic university should also help in the building of character. Our alumni should go on to serve society whist practising the virtues – whether they practice in business, the law, sport, health or education.
January 20, 2021
"Under your leadership," Pope Francis wrote, "may the American people continue to draw strength from the lofty political, ethical and religious values that have inspired the nation since its founding." The president of the US bishops conference, Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, echoed those sentiments in a statement on Wednesday, and also reiterated the bishops' opposition to many of the policies and legislative promises Biden has made.
January 20, 2021
In his inaugural address, President Biden renewed his pledge to work for healing in the nation, after four frequently turbulent years that saw convulsion and tumult in the nation's capital.
January 20, 2021
As his presidency comes to a close, Trump issues pardons to a few familiar faces
January 19, 2021
Donald Trump did not just tighten immigration policies; he hired Stephen Miller to use cruelty as a policy of deterrence. He did not just condescend to women; he insulted them and mocked their physical appearance. He did not just ridicule his opponents; he clearly enjoyed doing so. Over and over, he demonstrated that he did not just consider political opponents to be opponents, but as enemies to be crushed.
January 19, 2021
Nigeria is about evenly divided: a little more than half the country’s 206 million people are Muslim, a little fewer than half are Christian. In the northern part of the country, Islam stands as the dominant faith, while Christianity stands in the South – but most of the killings take place in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where the halves of the country meet. While religion was not originally an issue linked to conflict in Nigeria, it has risen to the fore.
January 18, 2021
Honest depictions of misdeeds and their repercussions happen so rarely, but the National Gallery got it right, says Melanie McDonagh
January 17, 2021
Pope Francis has refocused the ecumenical initiative away from the formal, institutional unity being laboriously investigated by theologians, to an informal, grassroots, and immediate unity in the martyr-blood of ordinary Christians.
January 17, 2021
"A gentle and caring pastor," was how the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert recalled Archbishop Tartaglia, "who combined compassion with a piercing intellect." Bishop Gilbert went on to say, "[W]e will miss his wisdom and wit very much."
January 15, 2021
Addressed to the Apostolic Nuncio in Indonesia, Archbishop Piero Pioppo, and signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, the telegram says Pope Francis was "saddened to learn of the tragic loss of life and the destruction of property caused by the violent earthquake in Indonesia," and "expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this natural disaster." "He prays for the repose of the deceased," the message goes on to say, "the healing of the injured and the consolation of all who grieve." Pope Francis also offers special and particular encouragement to civil authorities, "and those involved in the continuing search and rescue efforts."
January 15, 2021
The extract appearing here is from George Cardinal Pell's Prison Journal, Volume 1: The Cardinal Makes His Appeal. George Weigel introduced the work to readers of the Catholic Herald in a short essay, which appeared on our website earlier this week. Both the extract and Weigel's essay are featured in the January / February issue of the Catholic Herald.
January 14, 2021
Lisa Montgomery’s execution was not justice. It did not make the world better, restore it to order, or net off the debt of sin.
January 13, 2021
As the torch passes to the second Irish Catholic president, how do Joe Biden and JFK compare, asks Damian Collins
January 13, 2021
Led by an English priest, Msgr. Richard Barry-Doyle, one initiative in particular raised awareness, funds and eyebrows throughout the United States. Msgr. Barry-Doyle’s “Call of the East” packed music halls and theaters. Later incorporated in Pennsylvania as The Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the new outfit sought to raise funds to help address the many needs of the endangered Eastern churches and the people they served.
January 13, 2021
Having known Cardinal Pell since 1967, the author George Weigel introduces his friend’s candid Prison Journal
January 12, 2021
Martha is a flight attendant and often gets unwanted attention. In the last few days, though, some of the attentions were not caddish, but nasty ones from people who know she is conservative. She shared with me some of what had happened, and asked what we do next.
January 11, 2021
I started counting the days since anyone had touched me: back in March, a friend hugged me good-bye. The day before my world collapsed. At least we hugged each other. What day was that? No idea. What month, then? March. That was March. Then April came. The churches closed. This was … June? July? What day is it? What month is it? At least I know the year.
January 11, 2021
“You”, he shouted, “the one who dresses up like a priest every day like an idiot in this summer heat, I forgot your name, what’s your name? “  “Ricardus”, I answered in dread. “OK, hot shot, look at that verb in the fourth line of the page we are reading: tell me everything you know about it.”
January 11, 2021
Pope Francis also discussed the increasingly diffuse social tendency to judge persons’ worth on the basis of “productivity” and to discard anyone “unproductive” – especially the sick, the elderly, and the unborn – a tendency he identifies as the chief characteristic of the “throwaway” culture.
January 10, 2021
"I urge [government] authorities and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility," Pope Francis said Sunday, "in order to soothe tempers, promote national reconciliation, and protect the democratic values rooted in American society."
January 09, 2021
Speaking to Mediaset Tg5 journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, in an interview that will air in its entirety on Sunday evening at 20:40 CET on the Italian network, Pope Francis said: "I believe that, ethically, everyone must take the vaccine." 
January 08, 2021
The Roman aristocracy learned by experience that their traditions and institutions were fragile, and depended on the faithful obedience of every citizen. But if a man were willing to use his money and mob violence and military power for his own ends, setting aside the needs of the Republic, then he could indulge dreams and ambitions that were simply beyond the minds of previous generations.
January 08, 2021
Whatever one calls what happened on Wednesday, the spectacle of hundreds of thugs storming, vandalizing, and occupying the US Capitol, interrupting the national legislature’s acknowledgment of the electoral votes certified by each of the states in the fullness of their rightful sovereignty, surely appalled every true American—and filled us with an immense sadness—a horrible day for the Republic.
January 05, 2021
Beth Harmon is profoundly wounded from being rejected by her parents and by others who should have loved and accepted her. The orphaned chess prodigy who is the subject of Netflix’s new original series, The Queen’s Gambit, turns to drugs and alcohol not only to cope, but to play chess and win.
January 05, 2021
No one who has paid attention should be surprised by his post-election conduct, including the phone call to Georgia. This most recent offense of his, perhaps the most outrageous on record, is of questionable legality and, you would think, grounds for a second impeachment, but he appears to have shed few supporters.
January 04, 2021
It had been such a good day. In the snap of a finger, I was back in my garage trying to figure out if Anthony was really dead as I looked at his lifeless body. It was like the worst time machine ride ever. It happened so fast that I am sure I had some kind of mental whiplash.
January 04, 2021
The number of Scottish drug deaths has doubled – doubled – since 2014. On average, three Scots are dying from drug misuse every day. The majority are men, though not young men. The median age at death is 44.
January 04, 2021
The first Catholic church to be built on that spot was begun in 1830, constructed with the labor and funds of the working class children of Irish and German immigrants. Their descendants only come here for Mass. This is the normal ebb and flow of the tide of American cities. We come here as riffraff, live downtown in squalor, build a church, and eventually our descendants become people who want nothing to do with the squalid riffraff that live downtown.
January 03, 2021
There are about three-dozen hymns that Luther certainly wrote, about a dozen more that he probably wrote, and then various others that he might have written (some of which were credited to him without sufficient proof).
January 02, 2021
It seems it would take Solomon to figure out how to cut State down to size, but perhaps the wisest of ancient Israel’s kings has already provided a solution: Cut the baby in half.
December 31, 2020
Bruni's statement explained that the Dean of the College of Cardinals, His Eminence Giovanni Battista Re, will preside at First Vespers and Te Deum, while the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, will say Mass of New Year's Day, while Pope Francis still plans to lead the Jan 1 recitation of the Angelus from the Library of the Apostolic Palace.
December 30, 2020
"It is important to oppose ethically compromised science," says Ron Belgau, "but it’s also important to cheer scientists who produce ethical research."
December 29, 2020
Both the myths and the Scriptures understand that sexual differentiation has its most profound meaning in the separation of man from God, but in the myths this separation represents a loss of divinity; it is only in the Scriptures that the male-female distinction is part of the glory of man.
September 26, 2021
A university has performed a U-turn on its decision to “cancel” a Catholic chaplain after he tweeted against abortion and assisted suicide. The University of Nottingham has announced that it will now allow Fr David Palmer to serve Catholic students on campus “with immediate effect”. During the summer it refused to recognise his appointment by
September 23, 2021
Police have questioned a man in connection with the theft of rosary beads which belonged to Mary Queen of Scots. The beads are said to have been carried by Mary, the Catholic first cousin once removed of the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, when she was went to her execution at Fotheringhay Castle in
September 21, 2021
Vatican City, Sep 20, 2021 / 08:15 am The Vatican will require all visitors and personnel to show a COVID-19 pass proving they have been vaccinated, have recovered from the coronavirus, or have tested negative for the disease in order to enter the city state beginning Oct. 1. To enter Vatican territory, tourists and other
September 17, 2021
Kafanchan, Nigeria, Sep 16, 2021 / 03:10 am A Nigerian Catholic priest kidnapped at his parish residence on Monday has been freed. The priest’s liberation was announced on Sept. 15 by Fr. Emmanuel Uchechukwu, chancellor of Kafanchan diocese, in northern Nigeria, reported ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner. “With hearts filled with joy, we raise our voices
September 17, 2021
A Catholic librarian sacked after she criticised a local council for handing a multi-million pound construction contract to a state-owned Chinese firm is to take her case to employment tribunal. Maureen O’Bern, who worked at Leigh Library, Greater Manchester, for 34 years was suspended then fired when she objected on social media to the involvement
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