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January 6th 2017

Cardinal Müller’s balancing act

The Vatican doctrinal chief may be a hard taskmaster, but he has an instinct for finding common ground. Can he heal the Church’s divisions?

How cheering to see the white cliffs of Dover lit up with the image of Dame Vera Lynn, to mark her 100th birthday…
The Fourth Sunday of Lent 1 Sm 16:1, 6-7, 10-13; Ps 23; Eph 5:8-14; Jn 9:1-41 We have now reached the mid-point of Lent and many of us will be taking a short break from our Lenten observances…
Kate and I had been married for eight years, and had two young children, when she told me that our marriage was in trouble…

The Pope’s ghostwriter

When one thinks of Argentine Catholicism, one unanswered question emerges: who among the local Church figures is the closest to Pope Francis? Two candidates head the list: Víctor Manuel Fernández and Carlos Galli…

The heartache of busy men

It is not often that an ex-Tory Chancellor gets compared by a former Cabinet colleague to Gordon Gekko…
If any year can be said to have made a difference to the United Kingdom’s relationship with the Holy See, it is 1982…
Last week, the founder of St Anselm’s Institute in Margate, a Catholic institute that trains foreign priests and religious in evangelisation and leadership, said that the Home Office’s handling of visa applications had amounted to “mental torture” in recent years…
An old joke sees a Jewish man accosted by some burly types on one of Glasgow’s rougher streets…
If you’re leaving an important job it’s natural to make some kind of statement as you go; and Kasper Holten’s statement on stepping down as director of the Royal Opera is an opulent, in parts magnificent, in parts a complete mess, staging of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with an interesting if questionable sting in the tail…
Fifty years ago the then 29-year-old Tom Stoppard had a brilliant success with his clever Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which has now returned to its original home, The Old Vic, in an excellent production by David Leveaux…
I had some very bored summers as a child…
Visiting American Dream: pop to present at the British Museum is a bit like solving a whodunit, cracking a finickity puzzle, or unmasking a villain, il capo di tutt’i capi…
There is no trope more present in pop music than the kiss…

Briefly noted

Glimpses of Glory by David Bryant (Bloomsbury, £9.99)…
Speaking of Faith edited by John Miller, Canterbury, £20 With hopes of boosting the coffers of the Winchester Cathedral Appeal, various luminaries were invited to discuss faith, public life and a host of contemporary topics in a series of talks…
The Transferred Life of George Eliot by Philip Davis, OUP, £25 If there is no God, George Eliot will do, author Philip Davis’s mentor used to joke – by which he meant that she was “the best version of what a novel’s omniscient narrator might really stand for”…
The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher, Sentinel, £20 This is the age of the New Low…
What is meant when certain schools of psychology today warn us about our “shadow”? What is our shadow? In essence, it’s this: we have within us powerful, fiery energies which, for multiple reasons, we cannot consciously face, and so we handle them by denial and repression so as not to have to deal with them…