'Produce fruit worthy of repentance'
The Editor

What about the Inquisition?
Eamon Duffy

Do Catholics have freedom of conscience?
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
One charge levelled consistently at the Catholic Church is that 'the hierarchy shackles a Catholic's conscience and crushes his freedom to think for himself'. Here Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, the well-known historian who, among other books, has written the best-selling Millennium: a history of our last thousand years, examines the charge, 'I want to suggest how it arises and what Catholics should do about it.'

Repentance and Christian unity
John A. Radano
The sins which have caused Christian disunity are those which, according to the Pope 'require a greater commitment to repentance and conversion'. Mgr John Radano, who is Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sets in context this papal teaching and then gives 'two examples of acts of mutual forgiveness already made.'

A woman's letter to the Pope
Tina Beattie
The Church's treatment of women during the course of history needs scrutiny. Tina Beattie, a mother of four children has just completed her doctorate on Mary at Bristol Univeristy. Here she replies to the Pope's 'A letter to women' by looking not only at the past and present wrongs done against women but also at 'what is good and right for women in the Church.'

Mary: true devotion or superstition
Tony Philpot
Certain aspects of devotion to Mary can alienate those who are attracted to the Church. Mgr Tony Philpot is chaplain to Palazzola, the English college retreat centre near Rome, and author of Priesthood in Reality (Kevin Mayhew, 1998). Here he affirms the centrality of Mary in Catholic teaching but describes some of the ways Marian devotion can seem like superstition.

This is my beloved son
Judy Gunthorpe
What help can the Church give to those afflicted by an addiction? Judy Gunthorpe has faced addiction in a very personal way and has found strength in reflecting on Mary's experience.

Preaching and teaching the Word
Theodore N. Swanson
Ted Swanson, former Professor of Biblical Studies (Old Testament) at United Theological College, Bangalore, offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays of February.

Book reviews

New Testament chronicle
Henry Wansbrough OSB

Book reviews

Postscript: Exploring change
Vicky Cosstick

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