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The Prince of Peace Premium

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Notebook this week records the discovery of the author's manuscript copy of "Silent Night". That carol — one of the greatest favourites of all time — finishes each verse with a line addressed to the

Tidings of joy Premium

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Donald Nicholl

The joy of which the angels sing is a gift that no one can take away from us - if we can recognise it. Professor Nicholl, formerly rector of Tantur ecumenical institute near

-Acrt.i. .-3,.. .., Premium

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hope that by virtue of the subsequent muta-tion others will be emboldened to pass through and thereby find themselves in a new heaven and a new earth.

Almost 2,000 years ago, such a mutatio

Death of a deputy Premium

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Michael Bourdeaux

One person missing from the new Russian parliament will be Vitali Savitsky, leader of the Christian Democratic Union. It is not because of being beaten at the polls, howev

Room for doubt Premium

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Francis Sullivan

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has declared that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has been infallibly taught. Fr Francis Sullivan, author

How far can artists go? Premium

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Gavin D'Costa

Gyoti Sahi is an Indian Christian artist with a vocation — to act as a bridge-builder between Christianity and the culture of his country. He was interviewed by Gavin D'Costa,

Tracking Sherry tracking Greene Premium

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Carole Foote

An American writer and photographer records a fateful meeting in Vietnam. She was there as a freelance; so was Graham Greene's biographer, Norman Sherry, who was retracing the

What's in a name Premium

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A well-known commentator had to correct himself on a BBC programme about the so-called "European single currency" last week. One moment he was assuring listeners that, if economic and monetary union

The greatest story Premium

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never told Tom Aitken

Is it possible to film the life of Jesus — to represent, pictorially and dramatically, the person and life of someone both human and divine? Hollywood started trying

Stars Premium

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George Mackay Brown

It had been a bright midwinter morning, but the crofter of Banks knew there would be snow before sunset.

He could smell snow in the wind.

He licked h

The holly and the ivy Premium

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Ann Wroe

I imagine the day had been a tiring one. Negotiations with the French or the Spaniards had gone badly; the butler had forgotten to serve the best Rhenish; gout was throbbing in the

Parish diary ... December Premium

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If a pound were given me for every time someone said, "Christmas, of course, is your busy time", I would be quite a wealthy man. It makes me wonder what people think I do for the rest of the year. It

A Christmas stocking Premium

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Alain Woodrow

A hard bargain

Sue Gaisford Premium

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I am never quite sure what the rules are about confession these days, so I tend to stick to my own. These are probably heretical, but I can live with them. I could not possibly feel that I deserved a

Notebook Premium

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Our cover picture

The Virgin and Child with Angels, featured on the front cover, comes from the Walker Gallery on Merseyside, and we are indebted to them for permission to use it. The compo

Twelve women Premium

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"Twelve days of Christmas ... twelve tribes of Israel . . .", begins Julie-Ann Hilton, in her one-woman presentation of a dozen women and their relationship with Jesus. Eleven of her Twelve come from

In his own hand Premium

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An old, yellowing manuscript copy of one of the world's best-known Christmas carols, "Silent Night, Holy Night", has come to light in Salzburg, signed by the author of the text, Fr Joseph Mohr. It is

Letters Premium

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Women priests: the appeal to infallibility

Sir: Professor Avery Dulles SJ argued in a characteristically clear and succinct manner in his Tablet article (9 December) that Scripture, traditi

A handbook on mysticism for ordinary Christians Premium

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Mystical Theology: the science of love

William Johnston HarperCollins, £20 There must be economies of scale in the writing of mystical theology, as well as in the running of companies. Will

Books Premium

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ilk. Johnston stays modestly within the framework of traditional scholastic theology but bravely tries to introduce the ordinary Christian, who is so often left spiritually unchallenged by religious

Radio Premium

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Margaret Howard

It is rare, fortunately, that one wants to throw up when listening to the radio, but anyone who heard Woman's Hour (Radio 4, 11 December) might have been at risk. I tuned in

Television Premium

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Michael Walsh

On 14 December, in the wake of the murder of Philip Lawrence outside St George's Roman Catholic secondary school in London, where he was headmaster, there were two television

Cinema Premium

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Tom Aitken

Animals talking? It must be a cartoon. But no, in Babe (U, general release) the articulate livestock are, or appear to be, real. Based on the story for children by Dick King-Smit

The Church in the World Premium

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Catholic disquiet about peace terms

The leader of Bosnia's Catholic Church has sharply criticised the accord to end the Balkan war brokered by the United States in Dayton,

Children are our hope for a peaceful future Premium

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Children will be the "adults of the third millennium", Pope John Paul has said in a 12-page message, and he pleads that they should have a better future. His message, written for the annual World Day

Dispute follows Premium

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Pope's meeting with widow of Rabin Leah Rabin, widow of the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, has said that in her private conversation with Pope John Paul on 14 December, he referre

Lebanon's bishops Premium

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set out their plan for reconstruction The Special Synod of Bishops on Lebanon concluded its work in Rome last week and issued a public message calling for the renewal and unity of Lebanon's six Catho

Home News Premium

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Cold comfort for asylum-seekers

Government proposals to tighten up procedures for asylum-seekers and to cut their benefit from 8 January 1996 were put on hold on Thursday last week, pending