Damian Thompson

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June 27, 2019
On Monday morning, the historian Tim Stanley tweeted out: “We note with regret that Jesus Christ has been nailed to a cross. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.” If you didn’t know the context, you might imagine that Stanley – who is, of course, a Herald columnist – would find
June 06, 2019
A hymn to the Sacred Heart should fill us with spiritual joy, but how we winced in my childhood parish when our old Irish priest chose it. Until yesterday I’d forgotten the words, but as soon as I typed “Sweet Heart of Jesus” into my browser I was back in the 1970s: an altar boy
August 30, 2018
We still don’t know much about John Paul I, who was elected – and died – forty years ago Forty years ago this week, Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice was elected pope. Next month marks the 40th anniversary of his death. The only thing most younger Catholics know about John Paul I is that he
August 30, 2018
The smiling pope was patently holy and clever – but, if his pontificate had lasted, would he have faced the same problems as Pope Francis?
August 19, 2018
Lay-led services invite a parody of the Mass. Bishops must exercise discipline where necessary
August 16, 2018
A friend of mine texted me last week to say that she’d found a nice church round the corner from her office and had just “popped in for a lunchtime Communion service”. Which puzzled me, because this lady is a Catholic and the word we use is “Mass”. I associate “Communion service” with the Lowest
August 02, 2018
What is a Catholic to make of a “Mass” in which the celebrant throws the Host to the ground and smashes the Communion chalice in fury? The answer should be simple: denounce this sacrilege. And many Catholics did, when Leonard Bernstein’s Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers was premiered at the opening
June 21, 2018
The SSPX founder changed the Church, but in ways he could never have imagined
June 21, 2018
It is exactly 30 years since a gaunt French archbishop stood in front of thousands of worshippers and – in a speech punctuated by bursts of applause – explained why he was about to take a step that would lead to his excommunication. You can find it on you YouTube. On June 30, 1988, followers
May 09, 2018
Fr James Martin SJ is an American priest and author who has cornered the market in affable and polished liberal Catholicism. He is the most famous Jesuit in the United States; probably the most popular, too. And also the most disliked. Hated, even. The name will mean nothing to most British Catholics. Nor will the
May 09, 2018
America's most famous Jesuit has a great gift for spiritual writing. But his polemics have helped to widen the Church's divisions
April 19, 2018
Lady Antonia Fraser has written a book entitled The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829. Don’t be put off by the dreary subtitle. This study of the battle for emancipation, enacted by Parliament despite the tantrums of George IV, is packed with expertly chosen anecdotes. This I wasn’t expecting – but then