SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Mark Drew

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June 07, 2018
In April, it was announced that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has petitioned Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to recognise an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The Ecumenical Patriarchate is said to be considering the request, and there are high hopes in Kiev that a “Tomos of autocephaly” – meaning that Ukrainian Orthodox will be canonically free of
March 01, 2018
Christianity became the official religion of the Georgian kingdom of Kartli in 337AD, and afterwards helped unite Georgians into a single kingdom. Originally dependent on the Byzantine patriarchate of Antioch, the Georgian Church achieved increased self-government over time, until in 1010 it was granted its own patriarchate. Since that date, save for an interlude between
February 15, 2018
The Russian Orthodox Church, only recently on its knees after 70 years of atheist rule, has not only gained hundreds of thousands of new adherents since the demise of the Soviet system, it has also surged in prestige and confidence, basking in the favour publicly bestowed on it by President Vladimir Putin. Just as the
November 09, 2017
The cardinal has overcome the challenges to his power. How much further can he go?
November 09, 2017
When Cardinal Pietro Parolin was appointed Vatican secretary of state in October 2013, there were rumours that the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia was about to have its wings clipped. Insiders said that Pope Francis was considering creating a new department to deal with the interior running of the Curia, reducing the secretariat of
October 19, 2017
Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyayev, better known as Patriarch Kirill, is in a position most of his predecessors over the last 100 years would have envied. He presides over a Russian Orthodox Church freed from the shadow of the gulag, and under his tenure it has gone from strength to strength. Descendants of the Soviet-era unchurched are
August 24, 2017
This week, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is in Russia. The visit, which began on Monday August 21 and was due to end on Thursday August 24, marks an important moment in relations between the Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as providing an opportunity for Vatican diplomacy to promote international peace and
August 10, 2017
Sitting in a church in suburban Athens on a sweltering evening recently, I attended the Paraklesis service, a daily supplication to the Mother of God which takes place from August 1 until the Assumption. The hour-long service combines a strict liturgical format with fervently devotional content. The large congregation were largely passive, yet one sensed
June 29, 2017
The cardinals who elected Pope Francis hoped for major curial reform. Why isn't it going to plan?
June 29, 2017
In high summer, Rome may be crawling with tourists, but most of the inhabitants have either fled the stifling heat or are hunkered down behind shuttered windows. In the Vatican, once the celebrations for Ss Peter and Paul are over, there is an aura of winding down. This year, as is often the case, the
January 26, 2017
The Apostle Paul brought the Gospel to Malta, and the Maltese today arguably remain the most Catholic people on the planet, despite plunging Mass attendances in recent years. The strategic position of the Maltese islands made it inevitable that their history would be full of invasions and wars. Conflict of another sort, however, erupted from
January 25, 2017
Two very unlikely bishops have issued the most permissive guidelines yet on Amoris Laetitia. No wonder many Catholics are up in arms