The Times: The Church can wail, but few are listening

In today’s paper… The bishops complaining about poverty were silent when Labour spent money we didn’t have In yet another re-run of the 1980s, 27 Anglican bishops, together with Methodist and Quaker leaders, have signed a letter accusing the Government’s welfare reforms of causing malnutrition and creating a “national crisis”. This follows criticism by the Catholic Cardinal-elect Vincent Nichols, who last week called the growth of food banks under the coalition “a disgrace”.  

Persecuted Muslims Who Love Life in England

Persecuted Muslims Who Love Life in England

As Friday prayers end thousands of believers stream out of the mosque. Keen-eyed men with Pashtun cheekbones hover by a convoy of cars, many of them wearing the traditional hats of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier province. Were it not for the Tube depot in the background, one could be in that exotic land with its long and sometimes unhappy links with Britain. Departing last, and driven safely away, is Hadhrat Mizra Masroor Ahmad, the fifth leader of the worldwide Ahmadiyya community…. Read on

Iraq’s Christian exodus

Iraq’s Christian exodus

The Arabs once had a saying about the British: ‘Better to be their enemy, for that way they will try to buy you; for if you are their friend, they will most certainly sell you.’ For Iraq’s Christians it has proved to be sage advice. It is a lesson learned by a 25-year-old engineering student Wissam Shamouy, an Assyrian Orthodox Christian from Bakhdida in Nineveh province, who fled after jihadis gave him a second warning: leave or die. Shamouy’s mother… Read on

The rise of the super elite

The rise of the super elite

Charles Murray has produced a sociological study of America that should startle readers on both sides of the Atlantic. The political scientist has trawled through the statistics to paint a picture of how American society has changed from 1963 to 2008, and his conclusions are clear: that since the 1960s America’s society has cracked into three parts, with a broad middle class separating a super-rich elite and a growing underclass. Back in 1960, Murray argues, America was essentially a… Read on

The Church and the Nazis

The Church and the Nazis

The year after Queen Elizabeth II’s successful visit to Ireland the Republic is set to pardon 5,000 Irish soldiers who deserted to fight for the British against the Nazis. As the BBC reported, even Sinn Fein supports the move: Over Christmas the issue of a pardon was referred by ministers to Maire Whelan, the Attorney-General, whose decision is expected early this year. Alan Shatter, the Irish Defence Minister, who is Jewish, is thought to sympathise with a… Read on

Whatever happened to neoconservatism?

Whatever happened to neoconservatism?

In yesterday’s Observer Nick Cohen made an admirably un-crowd-pleasing call for intervention in Syria, citing my colleague Michael Weiss’s proposal for helping opposition forces in that country. He wrote: Intervention to stop a regional war carries vast risks. But we should be honest about the consequences of acquiescing to Assad. A failed state and nest for terrorism will sit on the edge of the Mediterranean. Foreign mercenaries and Alawite paramilitaries will continue to massacre a largely defenceless population and the… Read on

‘I can see God is working through this’

‘I can see God is working through this’

Few articles in The Catholic Herald have moved readers as much as an interview we ran two years go with the American seminary applicant Philip Johnson, who in 2008 was told he had an inoperable brain tumour and just 18 months to live. The interview prompted many people to write heartfelt letters, and one reader even wrote to us offering to pay the cost of his priestly training. At the time of that first interview the young man (he was… Read on

Church as state

Church as state

The Canadian-born, British-educated, American-based Mark Steyn is the biggest of the big beasts of the Anglosphere conservative commentariat. He is one of the wittiest, most original and erudite of writers of this era, even if one of the more pessimistic. As one of the reviews of his last book put it, he’s the only person who can make the impending apocalypse laugh-outloud funny. That publication, America Alone, looked at the demographic implosion facing most of the western world; the sequel… Read on

‘Tolerating intolerance is not a virtue’ 



‘Tolerating intolerance is not a virtue’ 



Slight of build and 

dressed in the stylish manner of the European-influenced Arab middle class, Nonie Darwish could be any wealthy Levantine in Paris or west London. 

But behind the veneer of Egyptian elegance is a onewoman anti-jihad machine, a Christian convert from Islam, founder of a group called Former Muslims United and author of two books highly critical of Sharia law, Arab policy towards Israel and Islamists’ ambitions for global conquest. Darwish is often compared to Ayaan Hirsi Ali,… Read on

Marr on Darwin

Marr on Darwin

When I heard that Andrew Marr was presenting a show about Charles Darwin that would take him off to Germany, Turkey, America and the Caribbean, I wasn’t just angry; I was positively Islamic. Grrgh, I thought, here he is, the face of the New Establishment, the pseudo-socialist libertine-authoritarian Jockocracy, swanning off around the world care of the overtaxed, small-c conservative blue-county English license-payer, and probably getting a few digs in at Christianity in the meantime. By the end of first… Read on