The death penalty and Christian moral teaching

Andrew Goddard writes: The announcement that Pope Francis has altered Roman Catholic moral teaching on the death penalty, and the fuller justification of this decision in the letter to bishops from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith open up a host of interesting and important ethical and ecclesiological questions. Although his action appears to … Continue Reading

Should we believe in hell?

Last week the Pope garnered some unwanted press coverage (unwanted especially during Holy Week) when it was claimed that he had denied the existence of hell as a place of conscious punishment for the wicked. The words were reported in an Italian daily publication La Repubblica by its founder, Eugenio Scalfari, a 93-year-old atheist who … Continue Reading

Why Pope Francis is wrong about begging

Jon Kuhrt writes: This week I was at a church in Kings Cross, central London, talking with the minister when a man came to the door asking for help.  He explained that he was not from London but his wife had just been discharged from UCH (a London hospital) following an emergency operation.  He said they … Continue Reading

What should ecumenical unity look like?

Last the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, meets Pope Francis in Rome, their third meeting since taking office. There was a time when such meeting at all, let alone with this frequency, would have been considered unthinkable, and this meeting will celebrate the first meeting of an Archbishop of Canterbury with the Pope since the Reformation—that … Continue Reading

Pope Francis: model evangelist?

Last week Pope Francis wrote a 2,700-word letter to Eugenio Scalfari, the founder-editor of La Repubblica, Italy’s largest-circulation general-interest newspaper. Amazingly, Scalfari decided to publish it. It took up the whole front page…and the following four pages, under the simple heading ‘Francesco’. (Can you imagine the UK’s most popular newspaper giving its first five pages to a … Continue Reading

What we should do about Syria

There is one thing all agree on the subject of Syria: the suffering is appalling and intolerable. And there is one thing no-one can agree on: what we should do about it. A good starting place is to understand the complexity of the situation. One person commenting on Nick Baines’s blog cries in despair ‘How … Continue Reading