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July 21st 2017

One of the most extraordinary aspects of the Charlie Gard story is the way in which it has attracted global attention, and such widespread sympathy and support…

Brexit’s Catholic Mr Fixit

Two days before Britain voted to leave the European Union, Shanker Singham wrote an article arguing in favour of Remain…
In May this year an unrepentant Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, died…

Triumph of the box-tickers

The old Soviet system of over-bureaucratisation did not die with the USSR; it transmigrated into Britain’s higher education system…
My grandfather, Charles Forte, came with his parents to Scotland from Italy as a child at a time when that was more unusual…
“A giant”: that is how a high-ranking prelate in the Roman Curia describes Joachim Meisner, the German cardinal who died suddenly last week…
In February 2016, Pope Francis set off a media firestorm when he took an unprecedented shot at then presidential candidate Donald Trump…
Earlier this month it was reported that eight priests in Ireland had committed suicide in the past 10 years…
Stephen Bush argued in the New Statesman recently, with back-handed flattery, that my analysis of British politics based around diverging value blocs – crudely, liberals versus social conservatives – led to the Tories’ poor election result…
Over the past five years, I’ve noticed an exponential boom in showing off…
Audra McDonald won a great many awards in New York for her solo performance in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill – a tribute to the singer Billie Holiday – and I have no doubt that her reception in London will match New York’s…
For anyone who thinks of opera as a semaphore activity with sweeping gestures, heaving chests and high anxiety, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande can be an underwhelming evening…
Raphael: The Drawings, a wonderful exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (until September 3), is the first opportunity in Britain to see the primacy of Raphael as a draughtsman since the memorable exhibition held in 1983 at the British Museum…
‘God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus!— Why look’st thou so?’—With my cross-bow I shot the ALBATROSS…

Briefly noted

The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth by Ken Francis (St Paul’s, £8.95)…
Anna and Tranquillo by Kenneth Stow, Yale, £20 In May 1749 Anna del Monte, a young Jewish woman, was escorted by papal police to the Roman House of Converts…
The Force by Don Winslow, Harper Collins, £18.99 In The Power of the Dog and The Cartel, Don Winslow told the story of America’s war on drugs in exacting and devastating detail…
M: Maxwell Knight by Henry Hemming, Preface, £20 The epigraph to this fascinating book is the extraordinary statement of EM Forster in Two Cheers for Democracy: “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” It could only have been made by a member of the Bloomsbury Group, for whom friendship was the supreme value…
The mark of genuine contrition is not a sense of guilt, but a sense of sorrow, of regret for having taken a wrong turn; just as the mark of living in grace is not a sense of our own worth but a sense of being accepted and loved despite our unworthiness…