SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
News
December 22, 2015
Melanie McDonagh
Our Christian duty in January is clear, we must carry on celebrating
December 22, 2015
Gerard Russell
The Middle East is more polarised along religious lines than ever before. Yet recent history shows the region can return to the enlightened tolerance it once enjoyed
December 22, 2015
Will Gore
From remorseless executioners in Indonesia to hippy detectives in LA, 2015 was a thrilling year for film-lovers
December 22, 2015
The Catholic Herald
In the treasury of Catholic devotions the Crib is surely among the most popular, and its invention is attributed to one of the best loved of saints. On Christmas Eve in 1223, St Francis of Assisi created a Nativity scene in Greccio, a hill town in central Italy. It was a living praesepio, with a
December 22, 2015
Jenny McCartney
The story of the 50-year-old woman known only as “C”, who recently argued for her legal right to refuse life-saving treatment on the grounds that her life had “lost its sparkle”, has a particular resonance for our times. It was not “C”s expression of exhaustion with a potentially dreary future which seemed unusual: such feelings
December 22, 2015
Fr Ronald Rolheiser
No generation in history, I suspect, has experienced as much change as we have in the past 60 years. That change is not just in the areas of science, technology, medicine, travel and communications, it is especially in the area of our social infrastructure, of our communal ethos. And perhaps nowhere is this change more
December 22, 2015
Dennis Sewell
With all the Janus-like looking back and looking ahead that goes on at this time of year, we once again confront the awkward paradox of progress. Not even self-styled progressives really believe in progress any more, in the sense that things can only get better over time or that everything in the present is axiomatically superior
December 22, 2015
Alun Evans
Cryptic across 1 Statement of faith, writing after one like Paul (8,5) 8 Inquisitor’s team’s directions to trail army (7) 9 Subject of work to get a kind of spasm about (5) 10 Saint’s name appearing in the ‘Times’? (5) 11 Sink off port lines making a retreat (7) 12 One greeted by Paul belongs
December 22, 2015
Gerard Russell
Across the Middle East today, non-Muslim minorities are on the retreat. Let the numbers alone tell the story. Christians in Iraq comprised eight per cent in 1987 and are one per cent today. The mysterious Mandaeans, who once kept alive Babylonian traditions and a Gnostic faith in the Iraqi Marshes, have shrunk by more than
December 22, 2015
Staff writers
✣ Trump criticised over Muslim moratorium What happened? An American archbishop spoke out against presidential hopeful Donald Trump this week after the Republican candidate said he would impose a moratorium on Muslims entering America. Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit said the idea “fractures the very foundation of morality on which we stand”. The archbishop denounced
December 22, 2015
Staff writers
1 The oldest pupils at Loreto Girls’ Grammar School in Altrincham, Cheshire, hold a party for the school’s youngest pupils. 2 Alexandra Hutchinson, the new headmistress of Woldingham School in Surrey, talks to pupils. 3 The Ven Ian Wheatley, Chaplain of the Fleet, Mgr Andrew McFadden, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Admiral Jonathan Woodcock and other guests at
December 22, 2015
Staff writers
✣ Highlights from the week online It is time to read Dante Web evangelist Bishop Robert Barron has urged Catholics to read Dante’s Divine Comedy, hailing its “extraordinary spiritual power” and saying it “changed his life”. In particular he picked out Dante’s image of the Devil. Unlike other depictions, he said, Dante “presents Satan not as
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