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April 21st 2017

The political elite have undermined the family. It's time to change course

British politics has become strangely hostile to the family. We can't afford to let this continue

Back in the olden days, the Salvation Army – and other temperance campaigners – used to frequent public houses and music halls, trying to tempt imbibers away from over-indulging in the demon drink…

The bohemian moralist

Anna Margaret Haycraft (1932-2005), known to her readers as Alice Thomas Ellis, was a journalist, novelist, painter, Catholic polemicist, cookery book writer, fiction editor, mother of seven and a member of the Gloucester Crescent literary milieu…

The lion of Caracas

Twenty-five years after Soviet totalitarianism was thrown on the ash heap of history, with the dissolution of the evil empire itself, the world is witnessing in Venezuela the reprise of a familiar Cold War drama – the courageous cardinal defying a corrupt communist regime…
If you want to see an electrifying new play that features a mercurial performance by Paddy Considine as a reformed IRA activist and has a tortured Irish priest who is as conflicted and anguished as any creation by Graham Greene, then make sure you get to see Jez Butterworth’s The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre…
The seven Catholic priests who walked into a bar and were initially turned away by staff, who thought they were members of a stag party, have done more for the image of the Church than a hundred popes…
When having my hair cut, I like the barber to get on with the job and let me go home as quickly as possible…

The unresolved nuclear debate

On Sunday the overwhelmingly Catholic island of Guam prayed for peace amid a military standoff that threatens its very existence…
Is fixing things in the blood? My wife, a dogged problem-solver, has regular “daughter of an engineer” moments…
Fr Mark Vickers, our parish priest at the Holy Ghost and St Stephen in west London, is also an author and has recently published a fascinating new book, Reunion Revisited: 1930s Ecumenism Exposed…
The Edinburgh Festival’s 70th birthday kicked off with Bloom, an impressive light show with music and images projecting 70 years of news onto the buildings of St Andrew Square…
When dealing with the lives of creative personalities, cinema nearly always gets things spectacularly wrong…
I’m not sure I can recommend Glow (Netflix) in a Catholic publication, but if they could only bleep out the swears and censor the rude bits, I’d be very happy to do so…
Last week, one of Manchester’s most popular churches opened its doors after nine weeks of repairs and maintenance…

Briefly noted

Rebuilding Confirmation by Christopher Wesley (Ave Maria Press, £9.99)…
Leaving God for God: The Daughters of Charity 1847-2017 by Susan O’Brien, DLT, £25 From their founding in 1633, the Daughters of Charity have occupied an unusual place in the Catholic world…

When race wars came to Britain

Lovers and Strangers: an Immigrant History of Post-War Britain By Clair Wills, Allen Lane, £20 West Indians were not numerous in 1950s London…
The Sagrada Familia By Gijs Van Hensbergen, Bloomsbury, £20 The cause for Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926) was opened in 1998…

God needs a better press

The word “Protestant” is generally misunderstood…