Pope Francis, who is to visit Iraq in 2021, celebrates Mass on Tuesday in the Chapel of the Nativity Scene at the Basilica of St Mary Major, Rome 25


Melanie McDonagh’s Notebook ‘You know, I think Our Lord wouldn’t have minded having tea at the Goring’ / 13

REGULARS Word from the Cloisters 15 Puzzles 15 Letters 16 The Living Spirit 17

CONTENTS 12 DECEMBER 2020 // VOL 274 NO. 9381


4 / Did the evangelicals fall out of love with Trump? The drift of the ‘religious vote’ away from the incumbent was a decisive factor

in the recent US presidential elections / BY STEWART CLEM

6 / Liberating Mary

In the poetry of liberation theologian and bishop Pedro Casaldáliga, Our Lady is

transformed into everywoman / BY MARGARET HEBBLETHWAITE

8 / Thomas Merton in love

An account by the monk and spiritual writer of his relationship with a young nurse

reveals both selfishness and honesty / BY GREGORY K. HILLIS

10 / The Tablet Interview Socially progressive but doctrinally cautious Cardinal Luis Tagle talks of

his hopes and fears for a post-Covid world / BY CATHERINE PEPINSTER

11 / Advent reflections

In the third of her meditations for the journey to Christmas, our guide prompts

us to ask God to sharpen our ability to hear / BY SR TERESA WHITE

12 / A failure of leadership? A director of the Vatican archive has released vivid but unsettling material from

the newly opened wartime files of the 1940s / BY EDWARD STOURTON

14 / In the footsteps of the people’s Pope An Anglican priest in London’s East End sees the vision of Francis brought to life

in initiatives putting the poorest at the heart of politics / BY ANGUS RITCHIE


24 / The Church in the World / News briefing

25 / Francis to make historic visit to Iraq

27 / View from Rome 28 / News from Britain and Ireland / News briefing 29 / Labour’s Daby quits in row over same-sex marriage

COVER PHOTO: BBC / © FX Pari Dukovic


Peter Marshall A People’s Tragedy: Studies in Reformation EAMON DUFFY Michael Glover Gigantic Cinema: A Weather Anthology EDITED BY ALICE OSWALD AND PAUL KEEGAN Julian Margaret Gibbs Ordinary People DIANA EVANS, (Audiobook read by JENNIFER SAAYENG)


Television Black Narcissus LUCY LETHBRIDGE Theatre NT at Home MARK LAWSON Cinema Il Mio Corpo ISABELLE GREY Radio Faith in Music D.J. TAYLOR