SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Mark Drew

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February 27, 2020
Lent is a time when we dwell on our own sinfulness and seek the grace of repentance. We should not dwell on the sins of others. Sometimes, however, they are unavoidably brought to our attention. Last week brought a new “fallen idol”: Jean Vanier, revered founder of the l’Arche community. Vanier was hailed as an
November 14, 2019
In December last year, Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople recognised an autocephalous Orthodox Church in Ukraine. In doing so, he risked turning the longstanding rivalry between Constantinople and Moscow into open and enduring schism: he was establishing a new ecclesial body on territory over which Moscow still claims jurisdiction.   Almost a year later the
August 22, 2019
A year ago, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was a retired diplomat who was little known beyond the limited world of Vaticanologists. He had reached the senior position of apostolic nuncio to the United States in October 2011, but his retirement in 2016 would normally have signalled an end to his influence. On August 25, 2018,
April 18, 2019
On May 5, Pope Francis begins a three-day trip to Bulgaria. He will pray with members of the country’s Catholic minority (who number around 50,000), and lead an open-air prayer for peace in the presence of representatives of other religions in central Sofia. However, no official representatives of the majority Orthodox Church will be present.
December 13, 2018
Last October, Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople announced the creation of a new autocephalous (self-governing) national Church in Ukraine. A council to bring this new body into being will meet on December 15. It is intended to heal the rift between the separate Orthodox churches in Ukraine. All three rival groups have been summoned to
November 08, 2018
Will the monks of Mount Athos side with Moscow or Constantinople? The rift between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople over Ukrainian autocephaly continues to threaten worldwide Orthodox unity. One as yet unclear potential consequence concerns the position of Mount Athos. Colonised by monks since the 9th century, the monastic enclave within
November 01, 2018
The youth synod’s final report resoundingly endorses ‘synodality’. This could be a positive step – once bishops have worked out what it means
November 01, 2018
Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has often expressed the desire for a more “synodal” style of Church life, and commentators on Catholic affairs now increasingly speak of “synodality”. What do they mean? It is often suggested that “synodality” refers to the Church’s experience of journeying together. The verb syn-odeuō does indeed mean to
September 27, 2018
Tensions over Ukraine threaten to tear apart the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians
September 27, 2018
For centuries, the archbishops of Constantinople could credibly claim to be the “Ecumenical Patriarch”. Their see was the “New Rome”, centre of the oikoumenē, the “inhabited world”. Today, their successor, Patriarch Bartholomew, looks beleaguered. The guards around his residence in the Phanar quarter of Istanbul reveal his threatened position in an increasingly Islamified Turkey. But
September 13, 2018
A man who rose quietly through the Curia has become the most incendiary figure in the Church
September 13, 2018
How a man who rose quietly through the Curia became the most incendiary figure in the Catholic Church Anybody considering a career in the Roman Curia is well advised to avoid public controversy and be noticed only by the right people and in the right way. Last month, one man who had observed that code