UK’s National Health Service a welcome prescription during pandemic

by Mark Faulkner in The National Catholic Reporter (USA), 23 June 2020 Standing at Land's End, the most westward tip of England, and gazing out over the Atlantic, I know that America is out there somewhere — beyond the grey and rain-streaked horizon. Despite the cold, watery gulf that separates us, we are not "Two peoples…

A Different Kind of Heaven – Paradise According to John Prine

By Adam Willis in Commonweal, 14 April 2020 There’s a funny, spoken interlude toward the end of John Prine’s song “When I Get to Heaven,” in which Prine recalls a folksy aphorism of his Kentucky father. He delivers the line after smacking the side of his guitar, like a father might roughhouse his son: “Buddy,…

Ill met by moonlight — but poet laureate got a verse out of it

By Bryan Appleyard in The Sunday Times, 19 April 2020 It was the evening of the supermoon earlier this month. The poet laureate, Simon Armitage, and his family took one of their regular walks from their home near Huddersfield. As usual, they passed a cemetery, but this time there was something different. Police incident tape…

Confession by Zoom? Pandemic revives conversation about reconciling from afar

by Joshua J. McElwee in The National Catholic Reporter (USA), 17 April 2020 The social distancing measures imposed on most of the world's population during the coronavirus pandemic have not only prevented Catholics from going in person to celebrate the Mass, but have also largely put a stop to the practice of confession. This new…

Mike Ashley or Saudis? Time to reach for the moral compass

By Martin Hardy in THE TIMES, 16 April 2020 Tyneside’s local newspaper, the Evening Chronicle, asked the supporters of Newcastle United a question yesterday morning as the city reverberated to the chatter of the potential takeover of its football club. Twenty-four hours earlier it had emerged that dialogue between the club’s owner, Mike Ashley, and…

As the suffering of many weighs on me, I’m learning to pray again

By Daniel P Horan in The National Catholic Reporter (USA), 15 April 2020 Five years ago, Toni Morrison, the late Nobel laureate and prodigious novelist, wrote a short article for The Nation magazine on the occasion of the publication's 150th anniversary. The piece, titled "No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear," centered on the recalling of her…

Mike Ashley’s exit will herald rebirth of Newcastle’s soul

By Henry Winter in THE TIMES, 15 April 2020 When Mike Ashley finally leaves, and the party starts, it will not take long for Newcastle United’s soul to be re-found, eventually restored. It is there in the Strawberry pub, in the tweets of Alan Shearer, in fans like Bill Corcoran manning the food bank by…

Ireland’s swift action leaves UK facing questions over its coronavirus strategy

By Rhys Blakely, Science Correspondent, in THE TIMES, 14 April 2020 The government’s chief science adviser has defended the timing of lockdown measures after it was suggested that the faster implementation of restrictions in Ireland significantly reduced the number of deaths. Leo Varadkar, the prime minister, suspended normal life in Ireland nearly two weeks before…