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Personal opinion pieces on a wide range of Catholic issues by different writers.

Pilgrimage: The Road to Post-Secular Spirituality?

Graveyard and tower of St Mary's Abbey, Bardsey Island, Wiki Image by David Medcalf

Pilgrimage: The Road to North Wales is currently airing on BBC 2 and IPlayer. In a tried-and-tested format over six series, three hour-long episodes follow seven British celebrities from a variety of faith and cultural backgrounds as they traverse, on foot and by bus, the North Wales Pilgrims Way from Flint to Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli). The premise behind the original series was to place individ... Read More

Ian Linden: Refugee children - the Kindertransport and Today

Arrival of child refugees, London 10/1939. Bundesarchiv Bild 183-S69279/CC-BY-SA3.0

Lord (Alf) Dubs fought back tears as he spoke in the House of Lords on 2 February during the Holocaust Remembrance debate. He had been referring to One Life, the film recently in cinemas, and starring Anthony Hopkins, about the 1939 evacuation of children from the Nazi threat in Czechoslovakia. Aged six, Alf Dubs had been on one of those Kindertransport trains from Prague. Lord Dubs had other reas... Read More

In withdrawing support for UNRWA, donors are openly backing Israeli genocide

Forced from their homes - desperately overcrowded camp supported by UNRWA

In the wake of several large donors withdrawing their support for UNRWA Jonathan Cook examines the history of the organisation. He writes on X (formerly Twitter): 'UNRWA is separate from the UN's main refugee agency, the UNHCR, and deals only with Palestinian refugees. Although Israel does not want you to know it, the reason for there being two UN refugee agencies is because Israel and its wester... Read More

Ian Linden: Governance and the Post Office scandal

Image ICN/JS

"An excoriating picture of a shamefully dysfunctional political culture". Not a comment on the recent ITV series Mr. Bates vs. The Post Office. This is Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, on the back cover of Rory Stewart's Politics on the Edge: A Memoir from Within Jonathan Cape 2023. Yet the book exposes the profound weaknesses in governance that enabled the Post Office scandal.... Read More

Ian Linden: The Immigration Game

Photo by yousef alfuhigi on Unsplash

Immigration, like a high-scoring Scrabble letter, has become the 'Q' stuck in the Prime Minister's hand as his opponents play their last letters to end the game. Sunak's promises to control immigration, made ever more forcefully but never kept, have become a liability, a pledge too far. His government's anti-immigration policies don't acknowledge the realities of international migration. This is t... Read More

Reflections of a diaspora Gazan, in a time of genocide

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

The haunting images of Palestinian babies, children, women, and men from Gaza have become deeply etched into our minds and souls. They are repulsive to us as emotional beings, shaking us to the core of our existence and leaving us in tatters. These visuals starkly portray the depths of human cruelty, our fragile hope, unlikely sense of recovery, enduring sense of hopelessness, and imminent fear of... Read More

Christmas Reflection on Gaza from Dr Swee Ang

Dr Swee Ang Image: ICN/JS

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, author and founder of Medical Aid for Palestinians, Dr Swee Ang Chai writes: On this Christmas morning, I was thinking about what Christmas means to all of us who are deeply shaken and broken by the brutal massive killing of innocent lives in Gaza and the total destruction of homes and all institutions for human survival like hospitals, schools, generators, churches... Read More

Ian Linden: A Wreath for Reith

Lord Reith -Wiki Image

The BBC Reith lectures began under Atlee's Labour Government in 1948 - alongside incidentally the National Health Service. It was a time of proud and creative post-war nationalism when the idea of public services that aimed to enrich the intellectual and cultural life of the nation, and its health, had traction. Public sentiment was much influenced by the recent solidarity of wartime and shared ex... Read More

The blessing of being an international community

St Dunstan's, decorated for the International Mass - an annual event on the parish feast day.

In a week in which the British government has introduced various schemes to discourage foreign workers and students from coming to the UK, and draconian plans to send refugees seeking asylum off to Rwanda, Canon Rob Esdaile, Parish Priest of Woking & Knaphill writes in his parish newsletter: "At a time when much political discourse seems to regard the presence of migrant workers and refugees ... Read More

Ian Linden: Immigration or inequality?

Dr Ian Linden

The manipulation of public anxiety about immigration has become an important element in Party politics here in Britain. With the economy flat-lining, against a background of a million job vacancies, debilitating understaffing in the NHS and social care, hostility to immigration seems odd. But at a time of economic distress, an appeal to xenophobia, subtle or open, and the stoking of anger against ... Read More

Viewpoint: Climate Crisis - The public needs to react

In 1962, when I was 29, I was very concerned about the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US and Soviet Union were, it seemed, on the brink of starting a nuclear war. Luckily, neither President Kennedy or Nikita Khrushchev thought war was either necessary or winnable, and with some help from Pope John XXIII peace prevailed. Now, 61 years later, we are faced with another catastrophic threat: the destruction... Read More

Ian Linden: Rwanda is safe: Rishi's End-of-Pier Show

Professor Ian Linden. Image: RCDOW

"A completely extraordinary thing to do, to effectively overrule a decision on the facts, on the evidence, by the highest court in the land." That is Lord Sumption who served on the Supreme Court from 2012-2018 describing the Prime Minister's proposed emergency legislation on offshoring asylum processing to Rwanda. "With our new treaty Rwanda is safe", Rishi Sunak declared responding to the Supr... Read More

Viewpoint: What about Palestinian men?

Father hugs son rescued from their destroyed house in Khan Yunis. Image N Khalid

I'm sure you have heard the numbers of Palestinian women and children that Israel has killed during this month of agony in Gaza and the West Bank. Today, I long to tell you about Palestinian men, but every time I try to put words on the page, I can't see through my tears. Palestinian, Arab, Muslim men who by virtue of being born brown are subject to the deep structures of violent racism and dehuma... Read More

Viewpoint: Fathers need children

Image Salesian Schools

Salesian Father David O'Malley writes: "The most important thing that a father can do for his children is love their mother." I heard that sentence decades ago when fathers were the main bread winners and many mothers stayed at home rather than working in paid employment. The statement is true and a beautiful endorsement of married love as the complex commitment and rich relationship within which ... Read More

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