Mon 1st Sep 2014 | Last updated: Mon 1st Sep 2014 at 06:31am

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William Oddie

William Oddie

Dr William Oddie is a leading English Catholic writer and broadcaster. He edited The Catholic Herald from 1998 to 2004 and is the author of The Roman Option and Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy.

Why Rowan Williams is much more comfortable as an academic than he was as an archbishop; and why he should never have gone to Canterbury in the first place

Lord Williams of Oystermouth, former Archbishop of Canterbury (Photo: PA)

If we really have to have an established Church, its head needs to take the defence of basic Christianity quite seriously

Why, in today’s paper, I wrote that it was Pope John Paul who made it possible for me (with many others) at last to be received into the Church

Young woman greets Pope John Paul II during event with youths in 2004 (CNS)

He re-established the simple but immense fact of the Church’s authority to declare the objective truth of Catholic doctrine

John Paul II set the barque back on course

Those closest to Pope John Paul II regarded him as a truly great man (CNS)

Pope John Paul’s major achievement for the Church was to recover Pope John’s original purpose: to “guard” and to teach more efficaciously “the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine”

Should Pope Francis have abandoned the trappings of his office? The media image now is of a pontiff rejecting the traditions of the Church

Pope Benedict famously wore red shoes

Pope Benedict was no less a pontiff of profound personal humility because he wore red shoes and lived in the papal apartments

What will the synod on the family decide about Holy Communion for remarried divorcees wrongly denied an annulment? As Pope Benedict says ‘mistakes occur’

The Pope Emeritus has previously made some interesting points concerning this difficult question (PA)

What we need is an intelligent application of the science of casuistry: after all, we have a Jesuit Pope: Jesuits are supposed to be good at it

This is still a Christian culture: but the Law Society is now encouraging Sharia principles that are deeply hostile to our values

The Law Society has made proposals which would make it possible for Muslims to commission English solicitors to draw up 'Sharia compliant' wills (PA)

Our democracy is built on the fundamental principle that we are one nation and that there is one law for everyone

What now is the future for the English episcopate? Just when things weren’t looking too hopeful, we get another Ratzingerian appointment. What’s going on?

New Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham Fr Robert Byrne (Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk)

Is Fr Robert Byrne’s appointment a sign of things to come? How many more orthodox bishops can we now expect?

No one has done more than the Church to address the problem of child abuse, says the Pope. This is a problem for all of society: time to throw off our scapegoat status

Francis walks to Santa Sabina in Rome on Ash Wednesday (CNS)

The trouble with using the Church as a scapegoat is that it allows society to avoid facing its own more serious sex abuse crisis

Blame the Government for food banks where they are really culpable: but this is mainly a global problem – and bishops need to understand that. And the EU doesn’t help

Campaigners dressed as a cows protest against the Common Agricultural Policy (AP)

Episcopal attacks on politicians are just too easy; politicians are always unpopular. But the Government isn’t always to blame for much of for the real hardship

Our new Cardinal’s attack on Iain Duncan Smith’s benefits reform policies shows that he has a lot to learn about the spiritual blight of welfare dependency

Iain Duncan Smith heads the think tank the Centre for Social Justice (PA)

This is not a good start to his cardinalatial ministry; he admits that he might benefit from a ministerial briefing on the complexities of government policy. He should ask for one