SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Dan Hitchens

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January 03, 2019
Protests at the school gate, open letters, disputes at public meetings: it has been a tempestuous few months at Our Lady of Lourdes primary school, Wanstead, in east London. Last month the chair of governors, Greg Eglin, resigned after 30 years on the board. As he explained to the Ilford Recorder, he was stepping down
December 20, 2018
It has long been perhaps the most dangerous Catholic bookshop in London. “It’s terrible, this place,” customers have been heard to complain. “You think you’ll just pop in, and you leave with four books.” Whether it was the warm ambience, the cheerful staff, or just the excellent selection, the Catholic Truth Society (CTS) bookshop was
December 20, 2018
Mass-goers will soon be hearing a different Bible translation used for readings, according to reports. The current lectionary (official collection of Mass readings) is based on the Jerusalem Bible translation. But it seems the bishops want a new lectionary, based on the English Standard Version – Catholic Edition (ESV-CE). In October, when the Bishops of
December 13, 2018
“A decent provision for the poor,” said Samuel Johnson, “is the true test of civilisation.” That’s an uncomfortable reflection when you walk through Britain’s cities. In wealthier regions especially – and London above all – it’s become steadily more common to see a tent outside a railway station, or a series of sleeping bags on
December 06, 2018
In December 2009, two friends sat in a pub and sighed about the difficulty of defending the Church. Austen Ivereigh and Jack Valero had just watched a public debate in which Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens (full disclosure: he was my uncle) had won resounding applause by attacking the Church. From that night sprang Catholic
December 06, 2018
“When I was growing up,” says James Bundy, “I saw Scotland as a tolerant country where the vast majority of people feel comfortable to share their views.” But Bundy, the chairman of the Scottish Conservatives’ youth wing, says that today he’s not so sure. In November, he tweeted a petition entitled “Tell the UN abortion
November 29, 2018
How suspicious should Catholics be? If we’re always suspicious, seeing heresy around every corner, we’ll exhaust ourselves and probably fail in charity too. But we have to be suspicious sometimes – because there’s a duty to defend the faith, and some attacks on the faith are devious and subtle. That dilemma was at the heart of
November 22, 2018
Allen has criticised Church teaching on contraception, saying it was part of a 'battle' about 'the very nature of church'
November 22, 2018
The black avalanche of sex-abuse stories can become so incessant that we want to forget about it. But we need to face it honestly. A thousand years ago, when St Peter Damian wrote his denunciation of sexual immorality among the clergy, Pope Leo IX thanked him profusely. “Everything that this little book contains,” the Pope
November 22, 2018
When Henry Sire published his book The Dictator Pope last year, he knew it could bring reprisals. Indeed, it was originally published pseudonymously – partly to protect Sire’s anonymous Vatican sources. Now Sire has been expelled from the Order of Malta – a religious order of which he has written the standard history. Sire was
November 19, 2018
Henry Sire has been expelled for his strong criticisms of Pope Francis, but plans to appeal
November 16, 2018
The author, papal confidant, archivist and cat Pushkin has died aged 19. He had been suffering from thyroid problems and went off his food on Sunday. It was during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK in 2010 that Pushkin emerged as one of the Church’s most influential and highly-regarded felines. When the Supreme Pontiff
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