SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Piers Paul Read

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June 09, 2016
Hugo Young was head boy at Ampleforth when I was a lowly fourth former. I never spoke to him when I was at school. I left prematurely at 16 (there were no girls) and, after three months cramming with a tutor in London and gaining a place at university, I went to live in Paris.
May 12, 2016
It is hard to know quite what to make of those ambiguous footnotes attached to passages in Amoris Laetitia about whether divorced and remarried Catholics should be admitted to the Eucharist. Overall, I take Pope Francis’s point that it jars to see smug bon chic, bon genre Catholics file up for Holy Communion while it is denied
April 21, 2016
When I was a child, I envied my older brother and sister because their godfathers were famous. My brother Tom’s was Eric Gill, my sister Sophie’s was Graham Greene. Sophie’s was the most enviable, not just because Greene was the more famous but because he was also exotic. He went from one to another of
March 10, 2016
It is often said, following Voltaire’s quip about God, that if such-and-such did not exist it would have to be invented. This is not the case of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. It is so particular and unusual and improbable that it would defy invention. How can it be that a military religious order
February 11, 2016
Last month, I delivered a lecture at Ushaw College at the invitation of the Centre of Catholic Studies, part of the department of theology at Durham University. Before delivering my lecture, I was given a tour and was astonished by Ushaw’s architectural and artistic treasures. They include chapels and liturgical artefacts designed by the Pugins,
January 21, 2016
Given the many different rites in the Catholic Church, one wonders why there is no Jewish rite, with a liturgy in Hebrew and the words of consecration in Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ. This thought came to me after reading the recent publication of the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. Published
December 10, 2015
My 12-year-old granddaughter is studying German and, as part of an exchange arranged by her school, a girl from a Gymnasium in Bonn came to stay for 10 days. She was around the same age, unsophisticated in comparison with the west-London cool of my granddaughter. Her north European physiognomy reminded me of those enchanting Madonnas
January 16, 2013
Two theologians bear much of the blame, as a new book shows
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