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January 14, 2016
Miguel Cullen
A small exhibition of portraits of Aubrey Beardsley at the National Portrait Gallery, Aubrey Beardsley: Artist and Aesthete, reveals a touching detail involving the socialite illustrator’s premature death. There is a picture of him in the Hotel Cosmopolitan, in Menton, France, where he died of tuberculosis aged 25. To the left is a crucifix: Beardsley
January 14, 2016
Tim Stanley
Holiday TV was a mixed bag. Doctor Who and Sherlock were interchangeable: the characters obnoxious, the direction epileptic. Downton Abbey ended as things never do in real life – happily. Mrs Bates, the cringeworthy servant girl, gave birth in her ladyship’s bedroom. As she held the newborn in her arms, I so wanted one of
January 14, 2016
Robert Tanitch
Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803) wrote only one novel, an erotic and psychological masterpiece. It’s a brilliant study of sexual intrigue, and when Les Liaisons Dangereuses was first published in Paris in 1782, it was an immediate succès de scandale and sold out within a few days. Its heartless immorality both shocked and thrilled. Christopher
January 14, 2016
Michael White
New Year is downtime in the music world, recovering from the seasonal surfeit of Messiahs and Christmas Oratorios. But in the void, small things stand out. And one that did for me was a Wigmore Hall recital by the young German baritone Benjamin Appl, who has been on the London circuit for a while as
January 14, 2016
Staff writers
Anglican clergy didn’t leave over women priests SIR – In commending the “treasured possession” of priestly celibacy, WJ Farren (Letter, January 8) makes the common assumption that those Anglican clergy who found a home in the Catholic Church converted owing to their opposition to the ordination of women in the Church of England. I can
January 14, 2016
Melissa Kite
Calcutta As I try on sparkly shoes in downtown Calcutta, I can’t shift the feeling that I am in the wrong place. I usually try to ‘‘find myself’’ in India, in a temple or by a lily pad-covered lake. But here I am getting lost in retail therapy, and in a city I was brought
January 14, 2016
Damian Thompson
On December 8, Pope Francis pushed open the Holy Door of the Basilica of St Peter’s. He thus became the first person to walk through one of the “Doors of Mercy” in cathedrals and churches all over the world that symbolise forgiveness for Catholics in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. And the second person to
January 14, 2016
Staff writers
On Sunday some 5,000 migrants are expected to pack St Peter’s Basilica at the invitation of Pope Francis. Before Mass many will pass through the Holy Door, opened for the Year of Mercy. Among them will be pilgrims carrying a wooden cross made on the Italian island of Lampedusa from the wreckage of migrant vessels.
January 14, 2016
Staff writers
The ivory handle of a crozier used by St Pope Gregory I will go on display at Canterbury Cathedral this weekend. The staff, used by the pope who helped to establish Christianity in England during the 6th century, was flown from Rome to the cathedral a week ago under tight security restrictions. It arrived just
January 14, 2016
Staff writers
✣ Francis gives first book-length interview What happened? Pope Francis’s book, The Name of God is Mercy, an extended interview with Vatican expert Andrea Tornielli, was published this week. The title on the cover, in the Pope’s own handwriting in many editions, emphasises that this is a very personal work. The book contains Francis’s thoughts
January 14, 2016
Staff writers
✣ Highlights from the week online Old Rite warning At the National Catholic Register Mgr Charles Pope has written an “urgent warning” about the future of the traditional Latin Mass. Sensing that the Old Rite has “reached its peak” in the numbers attending, he wrote: “Some years ago (as far back as the early 1980s)
January 14, 2016
Staff writers
Catholic Vespers will be celebrated at Hampton Court Palace next month for what is believed to be the first time in 450 years. Cardinal Vincent Nichols will celebrate Vespers in Henry VIII’s chapel on February 9. The Anglican Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, will preach. The service will be dedicated to St