SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
William Cash

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May 12, 2020
A new book on Rene Dreyfus tells a gripping story - but underplays his Catholicism
April 02, 2020
I hadn’t realised until I began re-reading the Canterbury Tales that Chaucer’s 14th-century ‘‘road trip’’ poem – 29 pilgrims heading off from the Tabard Inn in Southwark for a story-telling spring jaunt to Canterbury –  would never have been written were it not for the Florence plague of 1348.  It was this disaster that inspired
November 28, 2019
Paris in late November reminds one what a Catholic city Paris remains. The Christmas decorations are up, the churches display posters for musique sacrée in Advent and the tourists have largely gone. I found myself almost alone as I stood in Balzac’s modest study in his little house, once in the village of Passy but
October 17, 2019
I wasn’t able to attend the prayer vigil in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore before the canonisation of John Henry Newman in Rome as our – very exhausted – Catholic Herald Newman pilgrim group found ourselves blocked by Vatican guards from leaving the roped-off area of the sacristy of St Peter’s Basilica. The reason
September 26, 2019
The travel group Thomas Cook, which went into compulsory liquidation this week, may have invented mass tourism, but it failed to embrace technology and convert to a modern online model. It stuck with its one-stop-shop philosophy of summer and winter travel bibles, backed by an expensive chain of increasingly empty high-street shops. Like the Church,
August 29, 2019
With the summer heat in Rome almost unbearable, I’ve been following the saga of Pope Francis’s rejection of his various summer residences – from Castel Gandolfo to the humble Alpine chalet of Les Combes d’Introd – now that Francis has made it clear he doesn’t really do “vacation time”. But what should the Vatican do
June 13, 2019
On the morning of June 6, while Theresa May, President Macron, and elderly veterans attended the unveiling of the new British Normandy Memorial in the little village of Ver-sur-Mer, I was 20 or so miles away in the depths of the French countryside on my own – long overdue – D-Day pilgrimage. This was to
May 30, 2019
On the Bank Holiday Monday, as I gave a house tour, I knew what it felt like to stand in front of a congregation (of paying tea and tour “punters” in my case) and give a duff sermon. I’m sure priests know that sense of inner failure when they just aren’t “on form”, for whatever
March 14, 2019
Recently I stepped inside Fisher House, home of the Cambridge University Catholic Chaplaincy, for a pre-Lenten day of recollection. The last time I knelt there was in my final undergraduate year back in 1990. What struck me as encouraging – and different from the late 1980s – was the sheer amount of spiritual and academic
December 20, 2018
When the Catholic Herald team arrived to launch our 130-year-old magazine in America, I thought we were primarily on an intellectual mission to “convert” educated Catholics to the riches of orthodox Catholicism at a time when the US Church is in crisis. But what I didn’t expect was that we also ended up converting our
October 25, 2018
We will celebrate the riches of Catholicism and promote accountability in the Church
October 25, 2018
In a month’s time, I will be boarding a plane to Washington for the launch of the new American weekly edition of the Catholic Herald. This is one of the most important events in our 130-year history. With the American Church in a state of crisis, our feeling is that a fresh voice on Catholic
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