SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Benedict Kiely

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February 27, 2020
From the Underground Church to Freedom By Tomáš Halík University of Notre Dame Press, 374pp, £39.50/$35 At one point in this autobiography, the Czech priest Mgr Tomáš Halík reminds his readers of the reverence the early Church paid towards those who had suffered for the faith. Meeting them, fellow Christians would kiss their chains and
December 05, 2019
On my last morning in Damascus, I was preparing to be driven back to Beirut – a three-hour journey, according to my driver Ahmad. The staff at the charming hotel in the Christian quarter of the Old City, close to Straight Street, where Ananias baptised St Paul, were nervous. Had I heard, they asked, about
September 12, 2019
Many of us have become conditioned because of our history to think of Christianity as essentially European. “Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe,” as Belloc once declared. That modern Europe is the fruit of Christianity is a historical fact difficult to deny, despite the deliberate omission of that heritage in the EU’s
July 11, 2019
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has several categories to define the danger of extinction that various species face today. Using a percentage of population decline, the categories range from “vulnerable species” (a 30-50 per cent decline), to “critically endangered” (80-90 per cent) and finally to extinction. In June Pope Francis announced his
April 16, 2019
Much as already been written, even hours after the devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, about the “iconic status” of the building, its value to world heritage and the fact, noted by Pope Francis, that the building was “an architectural jewel of collective memory.” It took, however, the quiet but thoughtful
March 21, 2019
Less than a year ago I stood in the ruined Old City of Mosul, standing next to the mosque where the Caliphate had been proclaimed by ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. There was a large hole in the roof, and the whole area around it had been bombed to rubble. Apart from the corpses of
June 29, 2018
Nuns and priests from the Middle East have been repeatedly refused visas
April 13, 2017
Returning to England after a few days in Iraq, it is the sound of broken glass and rubble, crunching underfoot in one of the many destroyed churches, that lingers in my mind. Just a few weeks ago, on my fourth visit to that beleaguered Christian community since the genocide began in the summer of 2014,
April 13, 2017
A crucifix which survived the destruction wreaked by ISIS is becoming a symbol of the Iraqi Church's rebirth
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