Wed 23rd Jul 2014 | Last updated: Tue 22nd Jul 2014 at 14:13pm

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Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips

Francis Phillips reviews books for the Catholic Herald.

Peter Mandelson is not wise, old, or grumpy enough to be a national treasure

Peter Mandelson was lauded by the Times last week as a national treasure (Photo: PA)

Here are five simple criteria for anyone wishing to achieve national treasure status. Prince Philip makes it; Peter Mandelson and Stephen Fry do not

What St Augustine would say to Clifford Longley about his Thought for the Day

Feeling spiritual: students meditate at the Midtown Yoga centre in Memphis, Tennessee (Photo: Commercial Appeal/Landov)

The author of Confessions would have found the attempt to separate religion and spirituality incomprehensible or misleading

Anne Rice, come back to the Church. We need you

Anne Rice, author of the Vampire Chronicles, says she is faithful to Christ but no longer goes to church (Photo: AP/Lenny Ignelzi)

Writers, artists and poets can show the world that the Church is more than a vast committee meeting

Talking about angels with an atheist is like admitting to a belief in aliens

The Miracle of St Michael at Chonae, a 12th-century icon at St Catherine's monastery, Mount Sinai

I told him everyone had a guardian angel, and that they were ‘all around us at this moment’. For my atheist brother-in-law, this was too much

Marriage-saving tips that David Cameron should know about

Hollywood doesn't have the answer to making ordinary marriages work well. Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, above, are an exception (Photo: PA)

A leaflet by the Ruth Institute could help our country stave off misery and debt at the same time

Is the concept of just war still valid?

People pray silently during a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombing at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima (Kyodo)

The memoirs of theologian Stanley Hauerwas make me think I could be a pacifist

David is taking on Goliath in the battle over Proposition 8

Supporters of gay marriage rally outside a federal courthouse in San Francisco (Photo: CNS)

If Prop 8 is overturned the implications for American society will be grave indeed. Thankfully one organisation, the Ruth Institute, is putting up a fight

Think kindly of Russell as he awaits a judgment

Think kindly of Russell as he awaits a judgment

After 23 years in prison, Russell L Ford awaits a decision from the 11th federal circuit court in Atlanta

‘Joyous atheists’: the ultimate oxymoron?

‘Joyous atheists’: the ultimate oxymoron?

The phrase strikes a tinny note against this Catholic’s lexical eardrum

Dawkins has all the vitriol of Trevor-Roper – and none of the panache

Dawkins has all the vitriol of Trevor-Roper – and none of the panache

The elegant Oxford scholar paved the way for Richard Dawkins