SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Fr Mark Drew

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January 05, 2017
Over the past year, the prospect that Pope Francis would take the Church on a trajectory radically different from that of his predecessors has been hailed by some as a new dawn, while others have either rejected it as an impossibility or decried it as a betrayal. Amoris Laetitia seemed to confirm a seismic shift,
January 04, 2017
The Vatican doctrinal chief may be a hard taskmaster, but he has an instinct for finding common ground. Can he heal the Church’s divisions?
December 02, 2016
Prognostications are a dangerous pastime for commentators, and in the papacy of Pope Francis the business of making predictions seems a particularly dangerous one. Back in April, when Francis issued a document called Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), I warned readers to expect ongoing controversy around an unanswered question. This time I was not
November 30, 2016
Pope Francis has declined to answer four cardinals’ ‘doubts’ about his teaching on marriage. The Church is now in uncharted territory
September 26, 2016
The Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue announced a substantial agreement but healing the historic schism still requires plenty of work
September 22, 2016
Catholics are divided over how far Francis wants to change Church teaching regarding the remarried. But does he even have the authority to do so?
September 22, 2016
When Pope Francis published Amoris Laetitia five months ago, I predicted that the discussion of the document and its implications for Catholic teaching on marriage and the family would be lively and sometimes acrimonious. So it has turned out. The debate took a fresh turn last week with the publication of theoretically private correspondence between
August 25, 2016
The appointment of Bishop Farrell suggests the Pope wants the Church in the US to move away from confrontation and towards dialogue
August 25, 2016
Last week saw the long-awaited nomination by Pope Francis of a head for the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life. Irish-born Bishop Kevin Farrell, who turns 70 next week, moves from his current post as head of the Diocese of Dallas, Texas to take up the reins of this newly created body. The new
July 14, 2016
Cardinal Sarah’s advice to priests to celebrate Mass facing east, rather than towards the congregation, has caused uproar in Rome. Yet a simple compromise is available
July 14, 2016
It’s not often that academic conferences make headlines, but when the Vatican’s liturgy chief, Cardinal Robert Sarah, invited priests last week at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London to return to a centuries-old tradition and begin celebrating Mass facing east (ad orientem) from Advent this year, his words were instantly reported worldwide. Those listening to
July 07, 2016
The long-awaited Great and Holy Council of Orthodoxy closed its deliberations in Crete on June 26. Given the tensions surrounding its convocation, perhaps the most significant thing about the synod is that it happened at all. Now that the finalised texts are published, what impact can we foresee on worldwide Orthodoxy and on relations with