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Catholic Herald

Ten things I like about the Catholic Herald

A few years ago I downsized my periodicals subscription. It was an economy measure, but also to free-up time. The two I kept were the TLS, for professional reasons, and the Catholic Herald for, well, professional faith reasons (I confess that other have since been reinstated). Here’s what I like about it, as exemplified by the current edition (28 July):

The Leaders

Two, usually, and always instructive: this week, one on China as a “future powerhouse” and the question of reconciliation with Rome over church government; the other on the decline of Catholic (and Protestant) church membership in Germany, and critical of the German Church as a quasi-NGO.

‘The Week in Review’

Often the news that other outlets overlook. This week I learned that a cathedral in the Central African Republic is sheltering 2,000 Muslims from marauding militias.

That Ireland is under ‘Home News’

And a fine piece about Guinness not being good for you (in excessive quantities).

World News

Pages of it, and pretty turbulent, reminding of the Church’s universality and the sheer size and complexity of the Vatican’s purview


Always eclectic, but this week focused on “Americanism” vs “Romanism”; but also an inspiring piece about Fr Willie Doyle SJ, chaplain to the Royal Irish Fusiliers in France in the First World War, killed at Passchendaele, and one of the bravest, most selfless men not to have won the VC (for which he was recommended, but…). Fascinating to read that an estimated 40,000 soldiers on the Western Front converted to Catholicism.


By names that have stood the test of time, but also newer ones. How could you not read a piece by someone called Will Heaven (who is also managing editor of The Spectator). His take on prison and hate preachers is naught for your comfort.


No holds barred ever. A counter-intuitive one stands out this week, though: why the writer, a Catholic (obviously), voted for the DUP, condemning the “increasingly secularized nationalism” of the alternatives.

Books and Art

Things that others often ignore – or a different take. And Tim Stanley on TV is better than actually watching TV. Michael White on music is always worthwhile, though I disagree with his verdict this week on Barenboim’s Elgar 2 at the Proms (Only Mark Elder nowadays seems to be able to “get inside it”).

‘Spiritual Life’

All you need of the Church’s Year for the coming week – readings, meditations etc. And the ‘Saint of the Week’ – this week Ignatius of Loyala, founder of the Jesuits, whose feast day is 31 July, and so was rather eclipsed this year by Passchendaele.

And finally, ‘Catholic Life’

All in pictures – and mainly of young people, reminding that parish and school life is as much the bedrock as is the rock in Rome.

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