Catholic Herald logo

March 17th 2017

The new population bomb

European countries are desperately trying to raise their fertility rates. But nothing seems to be working

It is an almost unremarked and yet extraordinarily common practice now for expectant parents to send ultrasound photographs of their unborn babies to family and friends – almost as soon as they know of the pregnancy…

We’ve nothing to fear from Freud

“Is Freud Dead?” asked Time magazine on its front cover in November 1993…
At what level does stealing constitute a mortal sin? The answer as I write is £155.02…

Chapter & Verse: A keen sense of evil

Muriel Spark’s first novel, The Comforters, was published 60 years ago…
Felix Ngole is a Christian who was thrown off a social work course at Sheffield University because he wrote on Facebook in 2015 that he supported the Kentucky registrar who had refused to handle gay marriages and provided a link to a biblical quotation…

Paradise gains

The Church’s attitude towards globalisation has become somewhat ambivalent in recent years – if not a little hostile…
Recently, those of us foolish enough to trust headlines were given a brief spasm of panic when the Daily Telegraph ran an article headlined “Pope requests Roman Catholic priests be given right to marry”…

The James Comey of Catholicism

The reputation of James Comey, who served as director of the FBI until six months ago, has fluctuated to a remarkable extent…
A book I’m currently enjoying dipping into is the recently published Line of Enquiry: Favourite Lines from Classical Literature (edited by Paul Corcoran, Trinity College Dublin Press)…
Anatole France, the Nobel Prize-winning French novelist, observed that “any woman who finds herself alone with a man, thinks him an idiot if he does not make a pass at her”…
London has a new commercial theatre, and everybody in the theatrical profession, as well as regular theatregoers, will be wishing it well…
Classical music may seem like a fixed enterprise where nothing changes fast, but it’s as subject to the vagaries of fashion as anything else…
Around 40,000 years ago, someone sat down with a piece of mammoth tusk and spent hundreds of hours carving a lion-headed man…
Channel 4 broadcasts First Dates (Mondays, 9pm) in an age of sexual uncertainty, when no one wants to be accused of doing the wrong thing…
Tom Wolfe, who immortalised the phrase “Master of the Universe” in Bonfire of the Vanities 30 years ago, lives in exactly the sort of apartment owned by the book’s bond-trader protagonist Sherman McCoy: “One of those apartments the mere thought of which ignites flames of greed and covetousness under people all over New York, and for that matter, the world.” The moment, in 1998, when I stepped inside the curiously dark lobby of Wolfe’s apartment co-op, I was interrogated by a doorman who was wearing a Prussian-looking green uniform with gold epaulettes…
Heroes of the Catholic Reformation by Joseph Pearce, Our Sunday Visitor, £12.99 For Joseph Pearce, the term Counter-Reformation is “an ugly label for such a beautiful thing”…
The Less You Know The Sounder You Sleep by Juliet Butler, Fourth Estate, £12.99 The Russian adage that provides the title to this book is an ironic reference to its contents: the story of Maria and Daria Krivoshlyapova (known as Dasha and Masha), conjoined twins who were born in Russia in 1950 and died in 2003…
Saints and Cults in Medieval England edited by Susan Powell, Shaun Tyas, £49.50 It is common today to hear that more Christians died for the faith in the 20th century than in the other 19 centuries combined…
Why I Am Catholic (And You Should Be Too) by Brandon Vogt, Ave Maria Press, £16.99 Eight years ago, Brandon Vogt was “a young man with an apparently well-functioning brain”…
Jesus tells us that in the end we will be judged on how we dealt with the poor in our lives, but there are already dangers now, in this life, in not reaching out to the poor…