Catholic Herald logo

December 22nd 2017

‘The road of belief has many surprises’

The opera singer Andrea Bocelli talks about his childhood blindness, singing for Pope Francis - and why's he's careful about his wine intake

Mary Kenny: Retreats without God

It is now commonplace in the January of a new year to be regaled with advice about striving to become “a new you” with health programmes, diet and exercise…
Rarely can a parish church have inspired as much passion as Our Lady of the Angels and St Winefride, in the centre of Aberystwyth, on the coast of west Wales…
St Francis Xavier’s right forearm and hand is travelling across Canada this month, evidence of a growing piety of relics…

Inside Pugin’s dream church

The architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52) wrote: “There is nothing worth living for but Christian architecture, and a boat.” For him, both came together on top of the West Cliffs at Ramsgate in Kent, where he built his ideal house – the Grange (1843-4) – and next to it his ideal church, St Augustine’s (1845-1851)…

Downside has faced the truth

Those who think that the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is too big to succeed should have paid more attention to its hearings on England’s leading Benedictine schools, Downside and Ampleforth…

The man who invented economics

Many believe that the science of economics began with the Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations…
Election As a seasoned Vatican diplomat and a cardinal closely associated with Vatican II, Paul VI was an unsurprising choice to succeed Pope St John XXIII…

Pope Francis and the Macri problem

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was not always on friendly terms with Argentina’s political leaders…
Although our weekdays have mostly succumbed to the Norse and Anglo-Saxon influences on the English language, the months still carry a discernible echo of their Latin origins…
An earthquake turns everything upside down: the roof over your head – that very symbol of safety and security – suddenly becomes a source of danger; that which is designed to protect becomes itself a threat…
Cinderella has been a popular pantomime since 1830…
Leonard Bernstein was the great showman (for want of a better word) of serious music in the mid/late 20th century; and the conflict that that involved, between high art and popular appeal, stalked his creative life – uneasily for him but interesting for us…
Mention Churchill to movie execs, and they respond like his namesake nodding dog: “Oh, yes.” As the debate over national identity rages on, it is perhaps inevitable that we should rally round the totemic Briton, and see what wisdom he might still impart to us…
The box office appeal of the 1962 movie Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? was the animosity between its stars…
When I saw the trailer for Alexander Payne’s new film, Downsizing, I thought the movie would be a light-hearted farce, relying principally on visual gags…
Reclaiming the Piazza II ed…
The Vortex by Michael Voris, St Michael’s Media, £20 Michael Voris began his broadcasting apostolate in 2008, four years after returning to the Church after many years’ lapsation…
As a God Might Be by Neil Griffiths, Dodo Ink, 700pp, £12.99 Thirteen years ago, I received a proof copy of a debut novel entitled Betrayal in Naples by Neil Griffiths…
The Church in Iraq by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, translated by Edward Condon, Catholic University of America, 277pp, £16.95 I have always enjoyed reading books about the history of Christianity in Iraq, because I spent much of my childhood in Baghdad around Dominican and Franciscan schools and churches…

A healthy fear of God

Why don’t we preach hellfire any more? That’s a question asked frequently today by a lot of sincere religious people who worry that too many churches, and too many priests and ministers, have gone soft on sin and are over-generous in speaking about God’s mercy…