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May 19th 2017

Cardinal Zen: 'It seems the Vatican-China deal is not proceeding. That's good'

Cardinal Joseph Zen says that, in their desperation for a deal, the Pope's advisers seem to want 'success at any cost'

The passion of Oscar Wilde

Think of the “Second Spring” of English Catholicism and you will probably picture converts such as Cardinal Newman, Ronald Knox and GK Chesterton…

That Wages of Sin feeling

For more than 40 years I smoked like a chimney (or “like a divil”, as Irish people used to say), and it wasn’t altogether surprising when, around 2011, I developed a bronchial condition which was categorised as a “COPD” – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease…
“Our results show that the paintings we dated are, by far, the oldest known cave art in the world, and were created at least 20,000 years before modern humans arrived in Europe from Africa – therefore they must have been painted by Neanderthals.” So declared Science magazine earlier this year…
People dismayed by Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016 got what they wanted last week when Beyoncé took the stage at the Coachella music festival in California: a rich woman flanked by men in uniform and exploding rockets, singing the praises of “leaning in”, diversity and sexual freedom…

A mission to the English

Herbert Vaughan renounced a considerable inheritance and a warm, loving household to pursue his vocation as a priest…
And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle…
Monday was an extraordinary day in the life and case of Alfie Evans…

Diary by William Cash

Last week I went to the funeral of my dear friend Philip Kerr, who wrote more than 30 novels…
“Haz, we will change the world!” With these words, it is reliably reported, the American television actress Meghan Markle put the seal on her engagement to Prince Harry – or Haz, as he was henceforward to be known to his beloved…
What do you do at the end of your life if you’ve built up an impressive private collection of artwork? Cecil French, a friend of the poet WB Yeats and the actress Florence Farr, was an unsuccessful artist and poet himself, but he collected Pre-Raphaelite art, which had gone out of fashion so was reasonably affordable, throughout his lifetime…
After being closed for nearly three years for refurbishment, the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank has re-opened – looking not so different to the way it did before, apart from re-upholstered seats and cleaner concrete, but it’s good to have the place back…
The Gallery of Living Catholic Authors was an extraordinary flowering of Catholic literary culture in the middle of the 20th century…
A Short History of Ireland by John Gibney, Yale, 256pp, £16.99 Irish history does not need much in the way of authorial flourishes in order to exert its grip…
Religion vs Science by Elaine Howard Ecklund and Christopher Scheitle, oup, 240pp, £20 Is there a tension between science and religious belief? Or can they happily coexist, perhaps even enriching each other? These questions have been debated since the 17th century, and were given a higher profile through the rise of the “New Atheism”, championed by Richard Dawkins…
What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson, Virago, 315pp, £19 As a novelist and essayist, Marilynne Robinson is unusual – unusual for our time, that is…

Moral outrage

Moral outrage is the antithesis of morality…