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February 9th 2018

Against all odds, pro-lifers could still win Ireland's referendum

The Irish establishment wants to sweep away pro-life laws. But the battle will not be so easily won

Throughout the 1630s, Queen Henrietta Maria’s mission to re-establish the Catholic faith in England looked increasingly successful…

Gender extremism, new and old

There exists, in the Netherlands, an ultra-strict sect of Calvinists who do not allow girls to wear trousers, on the Old Testament principle of the separation of the sexes…

Ecumenism under Putin

Will the downturn in Western relations with Russia have an impact on Catholic-Orthodox ties? Not at all, according to Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill, who talked by telephone with Pope Francis last Saturday and insisted that both had agreed to continue dialogue…
I was in America when Paul Ryan announced he was retiring as Speaker of the House…
Chekhov famously said that if the audience sees a pistol hanging from the wall in Act One, it has to be fired in Act Three…
At the conclusion of our meeting as Missionaries of Mercy with the Holy Father, we were given a gift, a small replica of one of the panels on the holy door of St Peter’s…
On a rainy Wednesday morning at the end of March, President Emmanuel Macron stood in the courtyard of the Invalides to pay homage on behalf of the French Republic to Colonel Arnaud Beltrame…

Diary by Damian Thompson

Lady Antonia Fraser has written a book entitled The King and the Catholics: The Fight for Rights 1829…

Syria: Grim choices

Why Syria’s Christians support the ‘Gas Killing Animal’ Assad by Gerard Russell Among those condemning the American-French-British strikes on Bashar al-Assad’s forces this past week, alongside Ayatollah Khamenei and Vladimir Putin, were an apparently surprising group: the spiritual leaders of Syria’s Christians…
Is Newark’s archbishop emerging as the leader of the ‘Francis party’? by Michael Davis Right now we are the national champions of Pope Francis.” So Crux’s John Allen quotes the organisers of a conference on the Holy Father at Villanova University last week…
The internet has given an unexpected boost to Marian devotion by Dan Hitchens The total currently stands at 237, but every few hours it increases…
Francis has apologised over the ‘Barros affair’…

Portugal: A bumpy bandwagon

Portugal’s bishops have embraced Amoris, but can’t conceal their divisions by Filipe Avillez Two years after Amoris Laetitia, many dioceses around the world haven’t yet implemented the document…
I went to Buckfast Abbey for the Good Friday service, to my local church in Bovey Tracey for the Easter Vigil and to the Anglican church in Widecombe-in-the-Moor for the Sunday morning service…
What pays for North Korea’s nuclear programme – not to mention Kim Jong-Un’s cars, yachts, 1,000-seat luxury cinema, $1 million annual consumption of alcohol, etc? North Korea’s domestic economy can’t provide this kind of wealth…
Leonard Bernstein’s Mass is not the sort of thing its name suggests or something you could do in church. It isn’t liturgy, it’s music-theatre, written in exuberantly big, brash, heart-on-sleeve terms for a cast of hundreds who are usually young people – as they were last week at the Festival Hall, in a performance conducted by Marin Alsop that involved the National Youth Orchestra with cohorts of community choirs, dancers, marching bands and all…
I went to see A Quiet Place, John Krasinski’s new thriller, with absolutely no anticipation of finding theological or spiritual themes…
The World, the Flesh and Father Smith by Bruce Marshall, Human Adventure Books, 230pp, £12 Bruce Marshall was many things: a Scot exiled in France, an accountant, a soldier and a Catholic convert…
To Fight Against This Age – On Fascism and Humanism by Rob Riemen, WW Norton, 176pp, £15 Is the continent of Europe and the wider world menaced by the rise of fascism? In the view of the Dutch humanist philosopher Rob Riemen it most certainly is, and this short book is his analysis and antidote to what he perceives as the gathering storm threatening the values he holds dear…
What We Talk About when We Talk About Faith by Peter Stanford, Hodder, 256pp, £15 The British, my Italian father warned me when he waved me off to boarding school in north Oxford, do not talk about money or religion…

Reasons to believe in God

Today belief in God is often seen as naïvety…