Simon Barrow's blog

Edinburgh launch for 'Religion and the News'

Edinburgh launch for 'Religion and the News'

The Edinburgh book launch of a multi-author volume, 'Religion and the News' takes place in association with a panel discussion on "Media, Faith and State post-Leveson" on Tuesday 19 March 2003 in the Martin Hall, Edinburgh University School of Divinity, New College, Mound Place, Edinburgh, EH1 2LX, from 17.45.

The journalists' case for Leveson

Tonight, as the Lords vote on Leveson amendments, I have been taking part in a lively discussion, with expert input, hosted jointly by the two National Union of Journalists branches in Edinburgh.

A free press: sidelining the threat of private and corporate power

A free press: sidelining the threat of private and corporate power

The disagreement about Leveson purports to be a debate about 'press freedom'. In those terms, it is monstrously distorted. Powerful interests are disingenuously trying to portray as lingering 'state control' a reasonable attempt to give an arms-length independent regulatory framework legal underpinning as a matter of last resort.

"Francis, go repair my house": papal advice from a saint?

"Francis, go repair my house": papal advice from a saint?

Others will also recall it now, but I am grateful to Mark Chater, director of Culham St Gabriel's Trust in Oxford, for reminding me of one of the most significant sayings said to have been received from Christ by St Francis of Assisi: "Francis, go repair my house which, as you see, is falling completely to ruin."

Analysis: What can we expect from Pope Francis I?

The election of Argentinian Cardinal-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ, to be Pope Francis I is historic in four senses. The new pontiff is the first non-European to be Bishop of Rome for a millennium, the first Jesuit, the first from Latin America, and the first with deep origins in the industrial working class.

A 'religious pope': what difference it could make for the Catholic Church

A 'religious pope': what difference it could make for the Catholic Church

Unsurprisingly, the Jesuits are celebrating tonight that one of their own has become the first member of the Society of Jesus to be elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church.

Waiting on the Conclave: is laughter the best medicine?

Waiting on the Conclave: is laughter the best medicine?

As black smoke continued to rise above the Sistine Chapel earlier today, and as speculation bubbled in inverse proportion to the amount of information coming out of the Vatican about the papal conclave (that is, given the secrecy surrounding it, virtually none), journalists were faced with the task of finding something to do to 'keep the story alive'.

What do the cardinals in conclave stand for?

What do the cardinals in conclave stand for?

This morning the 115 cardinals begin their period in conclave, where they will choose the next pontiff of the 1.2 billion strong Roman Catholic Church, by celebrating Mass before beginning their deliberations in the Sistine Chapel.

But who are the men who will seek a common mind on the new leader of the largest Christian communion in the world?

Another church is possible: the example of Bishop Raúl Vera

Another church is possible: the example of Bishop Raúl Vera

BBC Newsnight finally offered a different perspective on the Catholic Church on the eve of the conclave to choose the next pope (11 March 2013), profiling a remarkable and inspirational Mexican bishop.

The next Pope, social change and liberation theology

It is widely assumed that the next pope, whoever it is, will be of a highly conservative disposition, because both Benedict XVI and John Paul II ensured that the College of Cardinals that now exists was shaped firmly in that direction.