Fri 25th Jul 2014 | Last updated: Thu 24th Jul 2014 at 16:14pm

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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.

Should Pope Francis sell off the Vatican’s art collection and give the money to the poor? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’

Pope Francis addresses diplomats in the Sala Regia on Friday (CNS)

There are some irreversible changes which cause lasting damage: others which bring real spiritual growth. Pope Francis will know the difference

Is Pope Francis indeed a member of the Argentinian Chesterton Society? Maybe: but he has surely been inspired by Chesterton’s great work on St Francis

Pope Francis and the Catholic Church were the subject of an Intelligence Squared debate

Much will no doubt emerge over the months ahead about the new Pope’s intellectual formation. But if Chesterton were not part of it, I would be astonished

I thought that having a new Pope at last would bring some relief from hostile media attention: how wrong can you be?

Pope Francis greets people after Mass yesterday (Photo: CNS)

They can’t get Pope Francis over paedophilia: but they were always going to find something

Now the conclave is about to begin, we can look forward with relief, not only to having a pope again, but to the secular media’s sudden loss of interest

The Sistine Chapel is being prepared for the conclave (Photo: CNS)

Then we can all get back to the business of completing the work of the pontificate so unexpectedly ended

We are right to feel compassion for Cardinal O’Brien: all the same, let there be no facile excuses for what he has done and what he has been

Media outside the cardinal's residence last month (Photo: PA)

He should never have been given his red hat. He had made it clear that he did not support the teaching authority of the Church

We have all now grown used to the idea of the Pope’s abdication: the reality will be harder to take in. It remains a great sorrow to have to live through

Benedict XVI, who leaves office today

This has been a very great pontificate: we now need a vigorous pope who will defeat the treacherous bureaucrats who undermined Pope Benedict

The Magdalene laundries were used as reformatories where girls were sent without due process. But they were not brutal: anti-Catholics have lied about them

Ireland's Prime Minister Enda Kenny (Photo: PA)

The laundries were tough places, undoubtedly. But there was no sexual abuse and no physical punishment

How, during the lifetime of a pope, can his successor gain the authority he needs? We are in a time of uncertainty: but we are also in God’s hands

Pope Benedict XVI waves after giving an address about Vatican II to clergy in Rome (Photo: PA)

We all need to approach the conclave without resentment or feelings of betrayal

The Holy Father’s warnings on secularism and religious liberty are borne out by the consequences of the same sex marriage Bill.


But will the next pope carry on the struggle against the dictatorship of relativism with the same clarity and determination?

Pope Benedict’s abdication exemplifies his courage, his radicalism and his humility. All the same, I can’t help it, on March 1, he will still be the Pope to me

Benedict XVI makes his first public appearance since his abdication announcement (Photo: PA)

We are moving into uncharted territory: the next few weeks are going to be difficult to live through